Collaboration Tools Are GREAT. But Are They A Security Risk?

In today’s digital age, workplace collaboration tools and messaging apps such as Slack, Teams, and Zoom have become indispensable.

They’ve revolutionized the way we work, making communication with colleagues a breeze, facilitating seamless file sharing, and allowing for productive meetings without the hassle of commuting.

The ability to discuss even the most sensitive of topics from the warmth and safety of our homes seems like a dream. However, every silver lining has a cloud.

While we see these tools as productivity enhancers, cybercriminals see them as gateways to potential vulnerabilities. The very platforms that have been champions for our productivity are simultaneously creating a playground for cyber threats.

It’s alarming to realize that, for instance, while Slack employs encryption, it does not have end-to-end encryption. The reason behind this? To provide companies with an overview of their internal communications.

Moreover, if you’ve jumped on the WhatsApp bandwagon for business, beware. This popular app has been a victim of numerous social engineering attacks. And Telegram? It’s steadily climbing the list of hotspots for cyber attackers. These threats have ushered in a new form of cyber-attack known as Business Communication Compromise (BCC).

Think of it as the menacing relative of the widely recognized Business Email Compromise (BEC).

Shockingly, a 2022 Data Breach Investigation Report highlighted that a staggering 82% of data breaches stem from human errors. Just one misguided click on a deceitful phishing email, and your prized communication channels become a hotbed for these cyber rogues.

But there’s hope! Here are some measures to safeguard your digital spaces:

Establish robust access controls. Ensure that only authorized individuals can access your platform. Even basic protocols like multi-factor authentication can act as formidable barriers against intruders.

Adopt stringent data loss prevention techniques. Opt for systems that provide end-to-end encryption and have capabilities to remotely wipe data from misplaced or stolen devices.

Educate your team. Regular training sessions on best practices for handling sensitive information can make all the difference.

Your security is our priority. If you need guidance on fortifying your digital defenses, we’re here to assist.

Mobile Malware Has Increased 500% – What Should You Do?

Cybersecurity researchers uncovered an alarming mobile statistic. During the first few months of 2022, mobile malware attacks surged by 500%.

For years, mobile phones have become more powerful. They now do many of the same functions as a computer.

Yet, people tend to secure their computers better than they do their smartphones.

This is a behavior that needs to change. Over 60% of digital fraud now occurs through mobile devices. That makes them highly risky if proper safeguards aren’t followed.

Use Mobile Anti-malware

Yes, your mobile phone needs anti-virus/anti-malware too! Malware can and does infect smartphones and tablets. Ensure that you have a reliable mobile anti-malware app installed.

Don’t download apps from unknown sources
Only download mobile apps from trusted sources. Do not download outside a main app store. Trusted app stores include places like:

• Apple App Store
• Google Play
• The Microsoft Store
• Amazon Appstore

Don’t assume email is safe
Many people prefer checking email on their phone rather than PC because it’s so handy. But they have a false sense of security about the safety of emails when viewed on a mobile device.

It’s difficult to hover over a link without clicking when on a smartphone. If you see something questionable and want to check the link, open the email on your PC where you can do that.

Beware of SMS phishing (aka “smishing”)
In March of 2022, text spam outpaced robocalls. Unwanted text messages rose by 30%, ten percent higher than robocalls. Many of those spam texts are smishing.

Be on the lookout for text messages that don’t quite make sense. For example, getting a shipping notification when you haven’t ordered anything.

Remove old apps you no longer use
Go through your device and remove old applications that you are no longer using. There is no reason to keep them around, potentially leaving your device at risk.

Keep your device updated
Speaking of updates, you also need to keep your device’s operating system updated. Are you using the current version of Android or iOS?

Not installing updates can mean your phone has vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities allow hackers to
breach your data.

Use a VPN when on public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi is dangerous. Most people understand that, but many connect to it out of necessity. Reduce your risk by using a VPN app.

Use mobile security solutions to prevent a data breach
Don’t wait until your phone is infected with malware to secure it properly. It’s only a matter of time before you are the next victim.

Is Unified Communications Right For Your Business?

Unified Communications (UC) is a ready-to-use system that allows for seamless communication in numerous ways such as phone, video, screen sharing, chat and file management.

The system operates as a cloud service, making it easily accessible to all team members with access to the Internet. But why should anyone consider switching to unified communications?

There are several reasons, but this is the most crucial: Business leaders who adopt UC would be able to impact their business every day and make it seamless for employees to interact with each other.

That said, we’ll list 5 of the key features of this concept to help you better understand how it can help you scale your business.


When connected to unified communications, all employees can stay connected at all times and from all locations. It doesn’t matter whether they’re working from home, vacationing on a remote island, or sitting in the office. They’ll still be able to chat, receive calls, and more.

Unified messaging

This allows employees to handle different message types using a single tool. They can easily switch communication modes, depending on their needs.


Whenever you need conferencing tools, you’ll have them in the palm of your hand.

You can allow a group of teammates or customers from outside your organization to connect and speak via video or audio from different locations.

Fax support

Faxes received through unified communications appear as email attachments. This way, users can also receive faxes on their desktops and smartphones.


This feature lets other users know each other’s status. That means you’ll be able to see when someone is online (Active), busy (Do Not Disturb), or away (Out of the Office).

Tools To Improve Internal Communication In Your Business

Improved internal communication will build stronger teams, increase employee engagement, and enhance productivity.

You can build a better and friendly workplace by increasing communication between employees.

However, the main challenge is to implement an internal communication tool into your business system. Choosing the best tool among all is a difficult decision to make. Therefore you can choose among these top tools for internal communication:

Intranet is a centralized communication tool to share, gather, and access information. This is a private network that requires a web connection.

Digital Signage is a workplace communication tool that requires strategically placing screens. You can also use instant messaging applications dedicated to internal communication such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype, etc.

After implementing the tool into your workplace, ask your employees to share all information through the channel. Then, create a team or assign managers to lead the communication process.

A communication team is better than a meeting, and you can utilize it in numerous ways, including training sessions and surveys.

How to Up Your PowerPoint Game

Back when PowerPoint first came out, it didn’t take a lot of finesse to create something visually appealing and exciting. Now, however, PowerPoint and its similar counterparts like Keynote and Prezi, are old hats. It is no longer sufficient to add some generic photos and bullet points that outline your speech to grab your viewers’ attention.

In fact, such uninspiring presentations have led to the coinage of the phrase “death by PowerPoint” to describe PowerPoint strategies that fall flat and leave those forced to watch them on the verge of sleep.

Presentation slide templates for your business with infographics and diagram set

Presentation slide templates for your business with infographics and diagram set

Here are a few things to keep in mind when crafting your next presentation:

• Avoid the following kiss-of-death PowerPoint photo types. Some images have been overused to the point of having little to no meaning. This, consequently, leaves viewers bored because the photos add nothing to the material covered in the presentations. Archery targets, cogs, business people preparing to race or grouped around a monitor, jigsaw pieces, hand gestures, and globes are among these types of images.

• Instead, think outside of the box when choosing photos for your PowerPoint presentations. For example, pass over an image of a handshake to represent a partnership and choose something more untraditional like cheese and crackers or a needle and thread.

• Don’t hesitate to use some of Microsoft’s newly released tools to showcase your images. For example, you can create animations using Morph or try things like frames or transparencies. However, when using such tools and enhancements, make sure they fit the overall theme and feel of your presentation.

As such, your extras will be a seamless part of your PowerPoint and not stick out like a sore thumb.

• Most importantly, focus on the content of your PowerPoint presentation. That is, after all, the purpose – to inform and effectively convey ideas. Your photos are meant to complement your content, not overshadow it.

Avoid These Five Email Annoyances

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

Email is a primary form of communication in the business world because it allows people to work within their own schedules and time-management styles.

With its ease of use, however, we may be sending more messages than necessary, contributing to a general email overload that can mask which items are most important.

Here are some common pet peeves in regards to this lightning-fast communication that may help you refine your email practices:

Sending/Responding to All
Before you send a mass email to all of your contacts or reply to all on an email, ask yourself if each of those people really have a need to know the information within your message.

While this may cover all bases, it is disrespectful to the recipients of your message that aren’t an essential part of the conversation by wasting their time and clogging their inbox. [Read more…]

How Can Small Businesses Amplify Employee Communication?

Michael Menor is Vice President of Support Services for Tech Experts.

Using email to conduct important business always starts with the best intentions, like saving everyone time. Just think back to the last time you used email to solve a significant business issue or answer detailed questions from an important customer.

But, sometimes, email creates a disaster of miscommunication. Tone, intonation, and emotion get lost in translation. Messages and ideas are misunderstood. Nothing really gets accomplished.

So, what’s your next step when email isn’t working?

Usually, it’s a meeting in person or a quick conference call. Un-fortunately, those communication methods can create a whole new problem. In an increasingly mobile business world where teams, employees, and customers are spread out over multiple remote offices, work-from-home setups, or field operations, it can be nearly impossible to get everyone into the same place at the same time.

Tethering to the mothership: The lasting value of a virtual phone system
Web conferencing has helped mitigate the above problem. However, the fact that many businesses lack the communication and collaborative tools their team’s need — regardless of where they work — is the bigger issue. For example, even with web conferencing, many remote or work-from-home employees still rely on personal cell phones that aren’t connected to the company’s main phone system.

That’s problematic for a couple of key reasons:

• With personal landlines and cell phones, it’s significantly more difficult for remote employees to access antiquated company systems for voicemail, call forwarding, and conferencing.

• Without a true company-owned connection between the corporate office and the employee, the relationship between the two feels more like a contract gig than a full-time job — hurting employee engagement and retention.

Thankfully, there’s a relatively simple way to solve that problem: implementing a new, company-owned communication system that’s flexible, mobile, and collaborative.

One common solution is a VOIP (Voice Over IP) service, which can be based in the cloud or on-site.

The reality is that voice communication is still a far superior — and much more immediate — way for team members to connect with each other. It typically leads to richer, more sincere, and more empathetic communication, which in turn amplifies productivity.

These tools are like a tether to the corporate mothership. They’re a lifeline that allows everyone to feel connected to their colleagues and customers, but in a way that aligns with the mobility and functionality that today’s remote workers need.

Why many businesses are moving to the cloud
Of course, the image of a desktop phone doesn’t exactly convey a sense of mobility. And it certainly doesn’t solve the problem of being able to connect from any location.

That’s where cloud-based phone systems come in.

Cloud-based phone systems allow team members to receive company calls, access corporate voicemail, and set up virtual conferences from a basic Internet connection.

When employees step out of the office, calls can be forwarded and certain features can be accessed from their cell phone.

Traditional phone systems, on the other hand, often hinder remote workers’ communication effectiveness because of their limited mobile capabilities. This often results in lost money, lost productivity, and big headaches. Even worse, businesses often pay more for traditional phone systems in the form of equipment maintenance and outages.

Virtual communication systems create an overall experience that makes people feel like an effective part of the team, wherever they are. No more emotionless email exchanges and no more awkward, disjointed conference calls. At the end of the day, that’s good for your team, your company, and, most importantly, your customers.

Documenting Business Processes

Scott Blake is a Senior Network Engineer with Tech Experts.

Documentation is quite possibly the most important aspect of a business, but it can also be workers’ least favorite task to do. The average person doesn’t want to spend time writing down how they do something — they just want to do it and move on.

Can you guess the biggest reason for documenting your business processes? It may come as a surprise, but it’s also the most fluid part of your business: your employees.

Employees come and employees go and some just take vacations. It’s what they do in between that’s important. Every employee is responsible for some part of your daily business.

Whether an employee quits or just needs time off, having documentation that lists the software used with usernames and passwords, step-by-step instructions on how to use the business software, client and vendor contact information, and credit card information makes their absences that much easier to deal with.

Well-documented processes will cut down on the time it takes to train a new employee.
Give the related information to the new employee and let them use it as a guide for their daily activities. This will allow your other employees to spend more time on their tasks and assignments instead of spending the majority of their time answering routine questions that a documented process could answer.

Order-of-operation questions and disputes can be minimized as well. If there ever comes a time when your employees are unsure of the next step or there is a dispute between departments on how to proceed, they will only need to look over the documented processes in question to resolve the issue.

Having documentation that shows in detail how long it takes to produce a product will also help your sales force deliver your product to your customers.

It allows your sales and marketing departments to understand the timelines of production.

This knowledge will let them know when a product order can be delivered and if the amount can be fulfilled in the timeline requested by the customer. There will be no more over or under promising of delivery dates to customers.

Put trust in the documents, not the person. No one person should be trusted with remembering processes without documenting them. What if this employee quits or becomes ill and is unable to return to work?

For example: You have an employee that works in your IT department. This employee’s job is to monitor and resolve any network related issues. While doing his daily tasks, he discovers it’s time to change the passwords on the business networking equipment such as the router, managed switches and domain admin password.

While the employee doesn’t think twice about it and may have mentioned it to his manager, there was nothing ever documented. Now, four months later, the employee falls very ill and is unable to return to work. What do you do?

The best way to document your business processes is to document them in such a way that all contributing employees have access.

You could use online tools such as Google Docs or Microsoft SharePoint. This way, whenever a process is changed, amended, or removed, the documentation is instant and available for all to see.

After a while, you will have an impressive collection of documented procedures. Having documented information available for employees to read can also start the flow of constructive questions and comments why things are done a certain way and how they can be improved.

If you have questions or you’re looking for suggestions on documenting your processes, call Tech Experts at (734) 457-5000.

Is Skype For Business Right For Your Company?

Last month, Microsoft released its vision video preview for Skype for Business, which suggested some major changes to ways we currently conduct business.

The video shows a wrist-worn communication device that allows you to contact colleagues on the fly. It also illustrates how Skype can help people be virtually present in the office while actually working in the field.

Skype-powered technology can integrate data into one space and share it on a big screen to facilitate brainstorming, can instantly translate speech into a number of languages, and even simulate a doctor’s house call – if what is depicted in the preview becomes a reality.

Really, nothing in Microsoft’s Skype for Business preview is all that far-fetched. Skype has already drastically changed how people keep in touch on both business and personal levels.

Presently, you can video chat with anyone, anywhere to conduct interviews or meetings. It’s not that big of a leap to envision using Skype to do these same things in the great outdoors or to integrate it with web searches and data files. The basic technology is already there; the vision video just shows some tweaks and new exciting applications.

The possibilities illustrated in the preview video highlight Microsoft’s mission to develop cross-platform technology that increases productivity.

While Skype for Business may not initially perform as seamlessly as the video leads us to believe – especially when real-time translation has yet to be perfected – there are products already advertised that do similar things.

Microsoft’s Surface Hub combines Skype with an 84-inch touchscreen display, and the HoloLens promises to take holograms and headsets to the next level.