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Getting used to Windows 11 shouldn’t be too challenging. On the contrary, the OS comes with several intuitive features to enhance productivity.

Microsoft recently introduced Windows 11 as the company’s latest operating system and compared to Windows 10, this OS has various features that can increase your productivity and provide a better user experience.

As soon as you start using Windows 11, you’ll notices the efficiency it brings to your work environment.

For example, it has refined several household features, such as video conferencing and video management. You also get enhanced note-taking, data input, and a user-friendly interface that should help you complete your duties more efficiently.

Many other features can help boost your productivity, and this article will talk about them in detail. We’ll also look at some features Microsoft didn’t include in the new version.

Windows 11 – What’s New?

Feature #1: New Taskbar

Previous Windows versions feature an iconic taskbar, but it can sometimes get clunky. Windows 11 provides a streamlined solution.

The new taskbar is perfect for expediting work, as it can contain a list of recent cloud and local files. You can also pin various apps to improve access and utilize a search bar that allows for convenient web browsing.

Another highlight of the taskbar is clean lines and widgets that display essential information (e.g., weather, photos, and news).

This should be a tremendous upgrade from the busy display of Windows 10.

Feature #2: Windows Grouping and Snapping

The enhanced Snap Group and Snap Layout features allow you to resize and manage windows more easily. You also get to keep essential apps grouped to maintain high productivity.

Using the feature is relatively straightforward: Just hover the mouse over the maximize button on the desired app to reveal your layout options. You can choose between several arrangements, such as four-app grids and side-by-side layouts.

And if your team needs to perform basic window management, they can still grab and pull windows to the edge of their screen.

This feature improves desktop organization, which is especially useful for people working with two or more monitors. They can reduce clutter rapidly, enabling them to focus on their tasks.

Feature #3: Improve Accessibility Options

Windows 11 follows in the footsteps of many smartphones to simplify setting changes and make them easily accessible. Pulling up your control panel now only requires one tap or click in the taskbar coroner, replicating Apple’s Control Centre.

Furthermore, Windows 11 apps feature aesthetic, curved corners, and your Settings incorporate more options you can tweak. For instance, blind or vision impaired users can take advantage of cutting-edge audio cues. There are also desktop themes to help reduce eye strain, which is essential if you work long hours.

On top of that, the new operating system has revamped voice typing. You can activate this with a simple keyboard shortcut. This feature supports most major languages, including English, German, Italian, French, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, and Portuguese.

Windows 11’s better accessibility means your team will no longer have to keep relying on your IT service provider to set things up for them.

Feature #4: Better App Store

Many apps can enhance workplace productivity, but you’ll first need to find them on your PC’s app store. Fortunately, Windows 11 came up with an organized and coherent platform to make the search easier. 

Besides universal apps, you can check out the applications compatible with your devices. The platform can also handle programs from third-party stores and manage app installation on the internet. 

Feature #5: Smooth Notetaking

If you’re using a touchscreen device, taking notes in Windows 11 should now be highly satisfying. This feature offers haptic feedback to generate physical sensations when drawing lines on the screen or checking boxes with your pen. 

Moreover, the Ink Workspace allows you to add preferred apps instead of using the standard snipping tool and Whiteboard. It gives you easy access to creativity tools the moment you pull out your pen.

Which Features Were Left Behind?

Overall, Windows 11 should work great for your business but bear in mind that Microsoft left out some features that were a staple in previous versions:

Excluded Feature #1: Taskbar Customization

Windows 10 users can move their taskbar from the horizontal position to the left, right, or upper part of their screen. In contrast, the Windows 11 taskbar is fixed at the bottom of the display, and you can’t customize the dimensions. 

The taskbar customization feature would have been helpful because it would let you use space more efficiently. 

Another significant change is that you can no longer move the Time and Date on your taskbar. Windows 10 didn’t have this problem since you could toggle off the Clock feature in your Settings. 

The default taskbar layout might be fine, but some users prefer higher customizability than what Windows 11 offers.

Excluded Feature #2: Drag-and-Drop Features

Windows 10 and some earlier versions allowed you to drag several items to change their position. For example, you could drag a Word document onto your Word icon on the taskbar to open it. 

This function is disabled in Windows 11. There’s no way to drag and drop or save any program or file onto your taskbar.

Excluded Feature #3: Cortana

Cortana is a voice assistant counterpart of Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. Many people are used to it and may be disappointed to hear that it’s not a part of the Windows 11 system setup. You can’t even locate it in your start menu. 

The good news is that the Cortana application can still be found – it’s just hidden away. You can enable it by visiting Settings and navigating to Apps & Features.

A Wise Investment

While Windows 11 isn’t perfect since it removed many valuable features, it’s still an excellent platform to help increase your productivity.

 Whether you need to organize your desktop more conveniently or take enjoyable notes, the OS won’t let you down. Plus, you get a revamped taskbar and powerful Voice Typing compatible with most major languages. 

Overall, Windows 11 can be a terrific asset for your business. Contact Databranch today at 716-373-4467 x 15 or info@databranch.com if you’re thinking about making the switch and would like to discuss options.

 

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

 

Your data is pivotal to running a successful company. If you don’t have proper security measures in place, hackers can easily steal your data and take you out of business.

Cybercriminals might be the biggest threat facing your company. Besides gaining access to your money and accounts, they can also take over critical software, preventing you from collaborating with clients.

Any organization can fall victim to hacking. However, small and medium businesses are particularly at risk.

Why?

Too often, their owners don’t always address cybersecurity when launching their company. Sometimes, they even just hire the first IT service provider they see. They also don’t know how to shield themselves from online attackers, making them low-risk targets.

As a result, these organizations often go under due to the loss of sensitive data. It isn’t a risk you can take.

To help mitigate it, this article will introduce you to the various types of hackers and explain how to protect your business from them.

THE 5 TYPES OF HACKERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

1. Hackers Who are After Your Personal Information

Many hackers are dying to get their hands on the personal information of your clients and employees. It includes birth dates, financial data, and social security numbers.

Social security numbers might be the most valuable asset they want to get ahold of since cybercriminals can use them for various purposes. For instance, they can perform tax fraud, open credit accounts, and make other significant identity breaches.

In addition, financial data can be utilized for fraudulent activities and purchases, especially if it lacks robust digital security systems.

2. Hackers Who Want to get into the Digital Infrastructure

Storage and data servers are expensive – and hackers know that.

In order for them to cut costs, hackers may aim to store their applications and data on your infrastructure instead. The better your infrastructure, the more likely cybercriminals are to target it. This can strain your network to the limits and have devastating effects on your business.

Unsurprisingly, tech companies are some of the most common victims of this type of hacking.

The common indicators that a hacker has tapped into your digital infrastructure include:

  • Running out of storage faster than usual
  • Your network suffers slowdowns
  • You may have unknown devices on your network.

3. Hackers Who are After Confidential Information

Few business aspects are as important as your intellectual property (IP). Your products and services enable you to stand out from the competition and strike a chord with the target audience.

A huge problem arises if hackers steal the design of your upcoming product before you launch it or submit your patent. A competitor may obtain the information, allowing them to hit the market first and undercut your sales.

4. Hackers Who Want to get Account Data

Sure, you and your IT service provider might have done enough so that hackers might not be able to obtain financial data. But are your employees’ accounts secure?

If hackers compromise them, they may let them run scams and gain information to disrupt your operations.

For example, losing CEO login credentials can be devastating. Besides granting hackers access to sensitive information, it also helps them impersonate the CEO. In return, they can solicit information from employees or clients and halt your operations.

This data breach can lead to widespread confusion, tarnishing your reputation.

5. Hackers Who Aim to Have Network Control

In some cases, hackers aren’t after data. Instead, they want to gain control of the entire network. And to make it happen, they launch ransomware attacks.

These activities enable them to lock you out of the system and make data inaccessible until you pay a ransom. They’re typically initiated through spam, phishing emails, and online ads.

The average ransom amount stands at approximately $30,000, but the loss caused by business disruption is much more significant.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS

1. Investing in Security Resources

A key factor ignored by many owners is the amount of money and time devoted to cybersecurity. Avoid this mistake by allocating enough resources to set up solid defensive measures. Make sure to invest in a reliable IT service provider to help you out.

This way, your online accounts, hardware, and network should be more secure.

2. Training Your Team

Most security systems have weaknesses and their employees are usually the biggest ones.

For this reason, HR managers and CEOs should ensure their staff follows optimal security measures, both in-office and at home. They must all remember that any phone or laptop they use for work can be a weak point and entryway for hackers.

To introduce your employees to the best security practices, consider arranging security education and training for a month once a year. You can talk about different aspects of your company and the steps necessary to deter cybercriminals, for example.

Sound education can go a long way in promoting a healthy security culture.

Click here to learn more about Databranch’s Security Awareness Training Program!

3. Adding Authentication

There are many valuable tools you can use to fend off hackers. One of them is two-factor authentication (2FA) – a simple yet effective weapon against scammers.

This measure requires each user to verify their identity to access your system. You could use it on all business-related accounts

Furthermore, encourage your team members to activate 2FA on personal accounts. This way, they’ll be more likely to follow appropriate security practices, reducing the risk of compromised devices and data breaches.

4. Leveraging Software

Computer viruses are another go-to tool for hackers. And a great way to deal with them is to incorporate antivirus software.

Make sure your built-in antivirus software is up to date. Also, you can consider a corporate package from trusted companies like Webroot.

Each machine that can access work resources should rely on this software. Plus, the user should conduct weekly antivirus scans to lessen the chances of computers getting infected by a virus.

5. Performing Security Checks

Checking your system is vital for optimal cybersecurity. Solid antivirus software is practical, but you shouldn’t disregard manual scans. It’s crucial that your IT service provider does this periodically.

More specifically, check who’s accessed your network and make sure each point of access is authorized. Any suspicious activity must be reviewed and rooted out. Otherwise, these red flags can prove fatal for the company.

STAY ON THE SAFE SIDE

Battling hackers may not be the most exciting part of running a business. However, neglecting cybersecurity turns your company into a sitting duck for scammers. You may lose money, data, and your reputation might suffer irreparable damage.

While there isn’t a bulletproof solution, adopting the outlined tactics should be a strong starting point.

Contact us today if you want to discuss your cybersecurity in greater detail and pinpoint potential risks. We can arrange a quick chat to discussed some options we have available that would help enhance your businesses security. Give us a call at 716-373-4467 x 15 or email us at: info@databranch.com to learn more.

 

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

Managing Data and IT Solutions In-House can be Challenging and Expensive.

That’s why many organizations turn to MSPs.

Digitalization has forced businesses to alter their operations and make IT a huge part of their day-to-day affairs. Still, some owners choose to hire a managed service provider, or MSP, to take care of the work.

But what exactly is an MSP?

Simply put, this is a third-party company you can collaborate with to help manage parts of your business, such as your IT or cloud needs. It provides technology and expertise to boost your organization’s scalability.

Working with MSPs can have tremendous benefits for your enterprise.

For instance, their profound understanding of cutting-edge technology can help you improve performance, operations, and security while reducing overheads. In addition, they can offer several creative solutions to help you navigate the evolving landscape of the big data world.

But the strongest suit of any MSP is usually their ability to deliver tailor-made solutions that fit your company perfectly.

Their expertise allows them to analyze your business thoroughly and render their services according to your strengths and weaknesses. Plus, they consider the regulatory environment and compliance to safeguard against legal issues.

Another great thing about MSPs is that they can support your business even after hours. They offer support measures and staff to maintain and protect your organization 24/7. MSPs can even tap into your system to resolve issues and deploy updates without going to your office using remote technology.

Overall, MSPs can help take your company to the next level. However, you can’t work with just any service provider. You need to select the right team for your enterprise, and this article will show you how.

What to Look For When Choosing and MSP

Hiring an MSP shouldn’t be a hasty decision. Instead, you want to take a variety of factors into account.

Here are the six important factors to keep in mind:

Factor #1: The MSP’s Track Record

Prospective MSPs should provide case studies and success stories to demonstrate they’re suitable for your business. You can also look for testimonials, references, and endorsements. These will help you determine if the team has been operating for a while and if their reputation is solid. 

Working with a reputable MSP can give you peace of mind with the knowledge that your system will be appropriately managed. Moreover, you’ll feel confident that the MSP will do all in its power to preserve its name.

The MSP’s success hinges on yours in some respect, which is why they’ll view you as a valuable partner. 

Factor #2: The Range of Services it Provides

MSPs offer a wide array of services. Some teams are full-service companies, meaning they address your cloud and IT needs comprehensively. In contrast, others may help you with different pieces of your tech puzzle.

Therefore, consider your needs carefully and ensure your MSP can meet them.

Regardless of your service package, the MSP needs to keep up with the latest technology trends. Otherwise, numerous security issues may compromise your company and allow the competition to prevail over you.

Factor #3: Support

As previously indicated, MSPs can work round the clock to ensure your business is compliant and maintained adequately. However, they should also increase their support quickly and adjust staff schedules as your company grows.

That’s why you should consider an MSP that offers training for your employees.

It lets them understand the necessary changes and encourages them to train other team members as they join your business. But if your employees are too busy, you can instruct the MSP to carry out all the training.

Factor #4: Response Time

Your network can go down for any number of reasons, preventing your employees from working and your clients from reaching you. This situation can even cripple your reputation, customer base, and revenue. In the worst-case scenario, it can even make you shut down your business.

Fortunately, a high-quality MSP can help you avoid this scenario. They can identify threats to your system and neutralize them before hurting your company.

Moreover, if an incident takes place, they should respond immediately. They need to mitigate the risks as soon as possible to keep your organization from crumbling.

Factor #5: Security and Backup

One of the most important duties your MSP should perform is to shield your data from cyberattacks. This is critical to protecting your company and customers. Besides, safe data storage might be mandatory in your industry, which is why your IT department could use all the help they can get.

Once you work with an MSP, they should recommend robust security solutions and endpoint protection to combat harmful software. And throughout their engagement, they should consider compliance to help prevent legal issues.

Another major part of their mission should be the implementation of backup software. It enables you to retrieve your data in case of a breach. Such implementation may involve automation, a restoration plan, and a no-downtime policy.

With a failproof backup and security strategy in place, you should be able to run your company more confidently. The risk of downtime will be drastically lower, allowing you to operate smoothly, maintain high sales, retain customers, and preserve your brand.

Click here to learn more about our preferred data protection & business continuity solution, Datto!

Factor #6: Guidance on Workflow Options

Your MSP shouldn’t just deal with cybersecurity – they should also suggest adopting the best practices across the entire tech landscape.

For example, they should advise you on various CRM solutions and project management applications. They should also help you revamp your approach to workflow and data to create efficiency in all departments.

The fact is, you can yield tremendous results from their guidance. Your team can work faster, collaborate in real-time, and be more tech-savvy.

Recruit Your MSP Carefully

While price is important when selecting an MSP, it pales in comparison to all the factors listed above. Be sure they’re a perfect fit for your enterprise, even if you need to pay more.

With high expertise, customized services, and an understanding of threats, a reputable team can help you stay ahead of your competitors.

 

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

Have You Made Cybersecurity a Priority in Your Business?

If not, I strongly urge you to do so.

Otherwise, you’ll continue to make yourself vulnerable and it’ll only be a matter of time when your business gets hacked.

Yes, it’s now a ‘when you get hacked’, not an ‘if you get hacked’ situation.

In fact, the primary reason for the numerous successful hacks on businesses can be ascribed to a lack of cybersecurity.

Business leaders can often underestimate this and make the mistake of thinking, “My business is small, why would hackers pay attention to me?”

Believe me, they still will.

Luckily, you can take steps right now to resolve that issue.

1. Invest in Cybersecurity

Investing in cybersecurity means several things, but these are the most basic:

  • Direct enough resources towards making your accounts, hardware, and network safe.
  • Educate your team on the dangers of cyberthreats and train them to follow security procedures. Employees are often the weakest point in your security grid, as any device they use for work can be a potential point of entry for hackers.

2. Leverage Two-Factor Authentication, or 2FA

It’s a highly effective solution to preventing hacker attacks. This method works by requesting confirmation before the user can log into their account.

Encourage your employees to use 2FA on both work and personal accounts.

3. Use EndPoint Protection Software

It may sound old-school, but it’s still an excellent method of cyber-attack prevention. But to ensure maximum cybersecurity for your business, purchase a professional package.

Please contact us at you’d like to learn more about using advanced cybersecurity methods for your business. We can arrange a quick chat to discussed some options we have available that would help protect your business. Give us a call at 716-373-4467 x 15 or email us at: info@databranch.com to learn more.

 

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.