Is (your insert service provider’s name) unavailable? Check their service status!

Is (your insert service provider’s name) unavailable? Check their service status!

Is your (insert service provider) unavailable? Check their service status!

We often receive phone calls from clients distressed that their internet connection, website hosting or email hosting is unavailable. Often attempts to call the provider are made more difficult by long wait times, or at worst, no response at all. During this time, it can be frustrating to not know what is going on and difficult to know whether this issue is with your premises or located elsewhere.

One way to identify these is to review the “service status” pages located on their website or social media pages (especially Twitter and Facebook). Generally, service providers will list these under the Support sections of their website. Some will allow you to subscribe to notifications when they occur,  but others require you check yourself in case of an outage.

Generally, the service provider will relay messages on a regular basis to assure their customers they are working on an issue which can negate the need to call. However, in some circumstances if they advise all is working then it may be necessary to call.

We suggest it is worthwhile considering adding your service providers’ websites to your favourites or bookmarks in your browser. This could include your electricity, telephone, internet, website and email hosting provider. For instance, Telstra’s outages can be reviewed on the Telstra Service Status (link opens in new window) page.

It is also worthwhile searching the internet for other customers experiencing issues. One such website is AussieOutages.com (link opens in new window) which uses community provided information include details of reports of failures, a live outage map and reported issues and comments in real-time.

If issues persist with your service provider, it may be worth considering compensation from them for the cost to your organisation, or alternatively may be time to move from them to another provider. If we can assist in any way, please let us know.

Microsoft Teams released to Office 365 business clients

Microsoft Teams released to Office 365 business clients

Microsoft Teams released to Office 365 business clients

This week Microsoft announced a new feature for Office 365 business clients called Microsoft Teams. Allowing users to be more self-sufficient, Microsoft Teams makes it easy for businesses to improve collaboration between employees using a chat-based workplace.

In releasing the Teams app, Microsoft has aimed to create digital workspace built on four core promises: chat for today’s teams, a hub for teamwork, customization options and security teams trust.

With Microsoft Teams having been in preview since November, early feedback is positive, particularly the way it integrates with other Office 365 apps. It would appear Slack and HipChat have some serious competition.

Microsoft Teams is included as part of your Microsoft Office 365 subscription and can be found in the app launcher. This is enabled automatically unless your Office 365 administrator has disabled this feature.

Microsoft Teams
Screenshot of Microsoft Teams

If you would like further information or training in Microsoft Teams, please contact us today.

Come and hear the Guru speak!

Come and hear the Guru speak!

Chris Jeffery, Proprietor/Chief Guru, CyberGuru

Remember when you had to dial up to connect to the internet? When AltaVista and Netscape ruled cyberspace? Before the days of Google and Facebook, there was CyberGuru.

This year CyberGuru celebrates its 20th anniversary. In recognition of this achievement, the Australian Computer Society Queensland Branch has asked Chris to reflect on his success over this time and present on Sustainment as a Sole Provider in IT for 20 years – Reflections from a Successful Entrepreneur for the first Small Medium Enterprise Special Interest Group (SME SIG) for 2017.

The session is being held at the Berkley’s on Ann, 255 Ann Street, Brisbane on Monday 27 March 2017 at 5:30pm.

If you would like to hear Chris’s insights or for more information about his presentation, please visit http://bit.ly/acsqldsmesig-mar17 (link opens in new window).

Are you the master of your domain name?

Are you the master of your domain name?

Image of text reading "www."

A domain name is a part of your business, and as such is an important asset. We strongly believe that you should own your domain name and website. Not only will you have control of how it operates, you can make changes without the need to go back to the website designer and it will enable you to receive notices directly from the domain name registrar when your domain name comes up for renewal.

Over the years, CyberGuru have looked after a number of clients who may have had their website designed previously by someone else, perhaps another professional, website designer, colleague, friend or family member. What we have noticed with several of these is that the website’s domain name (eg. cyberguru.com.au), has been registered in the domain name registrar’s records under the name of the designer, not the business owner.

When CyberGuru registrars a domain name for a client, we ensure that they are the owner and registrant. We also set the chosen contact for administrative, technical and billing contact listed to be them also or we can management to oversee this on their behalf. However, the business owner remains the registrant and the owner of the domain name at all times.

If you don’t know if you are the owner or registrant of your domain name, we strongly suggest you check. If you check your domain name to ensure you are the owner, you can do so using the AusRegistry WHOIS Lookup (for Australian domain names such as .com.au and .net.au) or ICANN WHOIS Lookup (for generic domain names such as .com). If you find that you are not listed, then it is worthwhile contacting your website designer or person listed to adjust accordingly. Alternatively, CyberGuru may be also assist with this should you require assistance. If you are looking to purchase a new domain name, why not look at our Domain names page for more information.

Password expiry for Office 365 – don’t leave it until the last minute!

Password expiry for Office 365 – don’t leave it until the last minute!

Password expiry for Office 365 – don’t leave it until the last minute!

One of the key security elements in Office 365 is the requirement by default to reset your password every 90 days. Whilst the expiry period can be changed, having to regularly change your password ensures your account remains secure and reduces the risk of the password being found and your account accessed.

Notification of password resets usually begins around 10 days prior, however depending on the device you are accessing your email on, this notification may not appear until later, or not at all. You can reset your password once it has expired, but your email will stop working until the password has been changed and account details updated, so it is best to change it when you can rather than needing to do this.

Therefore, we strongly suggest you don’t leave changing your password to the last minute. We suggest that it may be worthwhile having a recurring appointment every two months to reset your password.  Once you have changed your password you will need to update any device which is using this (such as your computer, tablet and mobile phone).

To change your password, please follow the steps below:

  1. Login to the Office 365 Portal.
  2. Click Settings (the cogwheel located on the top right-hand side of the screen), then click the Password option.
  3. Enter your old password, then your new password twice.

Within a few minutes, you will be prompted to update your password on your email program and devices. Enter your new password in these devices and you’re done!

Microsoft have determined the following requirements for strong passwords on Office 365:

  • The password needs to have at least 8-16 characters.
  • Don’t include common words or names.
  • Combine uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.

CyberGuru provides Office 365 consulting, support and training to small businesses, not-for-profit organisations and individuals of all sizes and industries. If you need a hand and would like us to assist you with Office 365, please contact us today.