Microsoft announces free Microsoft Office E1 for six months

Microsoft announces free Microsoft Office E1 for six months

Microsoft Teams released to Office 365 business clients

As part of Microsoft’s commitment to customers during COVID-19, they are offering Microsoft Teams available for free as part of Office 365 E1 for six months.

This offer, available through Microsoft Partners such as CyberGuru, will enable people across organisations, as well as their clients and individuals to be able to take advantage of Office 365 and Teams including being able to hold virtual video and audio calls, meetings and collaborate across documents without needing to leave the safety of their own home.

As part of this offer, you will be provided with freemium version of Teams to use forever which includes unlimited chat, built-in group and one-on-one audio or video calling, 10GB of file storage for teams as well as 2GB of personal file storage per user. It also includes the Office web apps, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote allowing for real-time collaboration.

CyberGuru has been had significant experience in providing Office 365 to our clients since its inception over six years ago. We can provide you and your organisation with the necessary knowledge and skills to deploy, manage, support and train rapidly. This can be done by phone and remotely if face-to-face isn’t an option.

To avail yourself of the six months offer and for advice on how this can be set up to best suit your needs and requirements, please contact us for more information.

Preparing yourself and your organisation for COVID-19

Preparing yourself and your organisation for COVID-19

COVID-19

As you would be aware, it is important to be prepared for the coronavirus (COVID-19). In order to prepare if your organisation for a possible lockdown, you need to consider the folllowing:

  1. Move to a fully cloud-based environment and implementing online services to be able to work from outside the normal workplace. Our example is the use of Microsoft 365 or Office 365, which includes the ability for hosted email, as well as attachments saved in online storage and collaboration of work using products such as OneDrive and SharePoint. In addition, we would suggest the use of Microsoft Teams for video, chat and document sharing as well as third-party integration with other services. Microsoft is offering six months free usage of Teams which is available exclusively through Microsoft Partners such as CyberGuru.

  2. If your systems are not fully cloud-based, you may need to look at alternative programs to be able to access these. In doing so, you may wish to look at TeamViewer or Splashtop Desktop in order to be able to login to your usual computer from another device such as your home computer or tablet. This requires you have a program installed on the chosen device you wish to connect on to as too. Also, check you can access any necessary systems as soon as possible to minimise any disruptions when this occurs.

  3. Conduct an audit prior to staff working from home to ensure they have the means to do so. This means ensuring staff have a stable internet connection, internet security protection (including enabling multi-factor authentication in online applications and using a secure virtual provide network) and hardware and software if required for online meetings. We would also suggest checking to make sure the operating system and various applications are updated, to reduce the likelihood of any issues.

  4. Be vigilant of fake text or email messages or other phishing scams relating to COVID-19. COVOID-19 scams are already beginning to circulate, and others will follow suit in the coming weeks. Be careful what you open, click or type, whether on email, text message or on social media. If you are uncertain whether the source or the information is correct, then we suggest that you contact the organisation that sent the message by telephone to confirm its legitimacy.

  5. Remain in contact with your customers through your website, social media or email messaging. Here at CyberGuru, we currently continue to operate as usual with some minor operational changes to accommodate COVID-19 recommendations. As such, we have provided a formal response to our clients in relation to this and will update this as the situation changes. As mentioned, we will happily continue to support our clients and we will continue to support them as best we can.

CyberGuru can provide our ICT consulting, support and training solutions to our clients and prospective clients by phone and remotely to discuss and review, implement and support and train on many ICT needs and requirements including Microsoft 365 and Office 365.

If you are in need of additional equipment, our suppliers have advised that at the time of writing, various hardware and software is also available which can be delivered directly to your home or office. Once delivered, arrangements to install and configure this can also be undertaken.

Please contact us if we can assist in any way, we are only a phone call or email away.

The end is near for Office 2010 and Office 2013

Microsoft Office

On 13 October 2020, some considerable changes in Microsoft Office 365 will be occurring to only support modern email software. If you are running Microsoft Office 2010 or Microsoft Office 2013, Microsoft will no longer allow these to access Office 365 after this date.

Microsoft is making these changes to make email more secure. As part of this, Microsoft will support predominantly which allow modern authentication, being the currently supported perpetual versions, Microsoft Office 2016 and Microsoft Office 2019 and the subscription product, Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus (which is included in Business Premium, Enterprise E3 and Enterprise E5 and Microsoft 365 subscriptions).

As noted on the Office Resources page (link opens in new window), Microsoft advises, “Office 365 is designed to work with the latest browsers and versions of Office. If you use older browsers and versions of Office that are not in mainstream support Microsoft won’t deliberately prevent you from connecting to the service, but the quality of your Office 365 experience may diminish over time”.

If you are running Microsoft Office 2010 or Microsoft Office 2013, or other programs not supporting modern authentication, then we strongly recommend you upgrade to a supported program as soon as possible. For mobile phones and tablets, Microsoft recommends the Outlook app for iOS and Android. For desktops and laptop access, they encourage the use of the latest versions of Outlook for Windows and Outlook for Mac.

If you are still using Microsoft Office 2010 or Microsoft Office 2013, we suggest that you start look at upgrading now to at least Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium or Microsoft 365 to ensure you remain able to access to Office 365.

If you need a hand to understand the changes going forward or help to plan and go you to the next step, please contact us.

Happy Safer Internet Day

Happy Safer Internet Day

Safer Internet Day 2020

Today is Safer Internet Day, a global event to raise awareness about online safety and encourage people to help create a better internet. At CyberGuru we have dedicated many blogs on how businesses can stay safe online so to celebrate Safer Internet Day we’ve decided to talk about keeping families safe online. In giving our kids access to technology it is important to ensure the device is secure and consider the use parental control software to protect against adult content. Less obvious but just as important is the need to talk to our children about how to stay safe online.

This year to celebrate Safer Internet Day the eSafety Commissioner has released an array of resources to help parents have this conversation with their children (link opens in new window). Resources are split into two age groups for children (aged 5-12) and teenagers to give you age appropriate advice. The eSafety Commissioner is also holding a series of webinars this week (link open in new window) on this topic. To register, please visit and sign up for children-focused webinar or teenager-focused webinar.

Furthermore, the eSafety Commissioner has released its top five online safety tips for children:

  1. Set up your device to protect.
  2. Explore safely & tell an adult if you see anything online that makes you feel yuck.
  3. Limit who can contact you when you’re playing games.
  4. Stop all contact with anyone online who asks you to do anything you don’t want to do. Report and block them.
  5. Ask for help if anything online is bothering you.

The eSafety Commissioner has also released its top five online safety tips for teenagers:

  1. Think of others’ feelings before you post, like or share content.
  2. Ask for permission before you share a photo or video with someone else in it. Respectful online relationships start with consent.
  3. Be an upstander. Speak up if you see someone cyberbullying or sharing nudes in a group chat – let them know that’s not okay. Report and delete it.
  4. Use privacy and screen time settings to take control of your digital life and its impact on your mental health.
  5. Ask for help. Cyberbullying and sharing intimate images without consent can be distressing, but eSafety can help remove them.

At CyberGuru we are happy to help parents ensure that devices are secure and discuss your needs and options regarding parental control software, but we strongly encourage parents to start a conversation with their kids about online safety. This week we will be talking to our (nearly) five year old daughter about talking to us if she ever sees anything online that makes her feel yuck. What will you talk about?

Five new year’s resolutions for your computer systems

Five new years resolutions for your computer systems

Recent research has found 80% of people fail to meet their New Year’s resolutions, with most quitting by 19 January. So now that you’ve got those out of the way, let’s talk about some resolutions for this year you could realistically achieve.

Here are five new year’s resolutions for your computer systems:

  1. Multi-factor authentication
    In the past year we have noticed a significant increase in the number of hacking attempts to gain access to secured information both ourselves and our clients. We have concluded that multi-factor authentication (MFA) is now a critical aspect of your cybersecurity to protect against hackers. This includes activating MFA on your email, website, financial management software, banking and other critical services. Since its introduction, MFA has become less intrusive in that you can whitelist common IP addresses such as your workplace and home so you only have to go through the authentication process if you are working offsite.
  2. Passwords
    We all know they’re important but it’s so easy to forget about changing them and it’s hard to remember new passwords. There are two options here. Firstly, there have been recent changes around what the definition of constitutes a strong password. The biggest change is that the longer the password, the stronger it is, because difficulty of cracking a password goes up exponentially with each letter. A second option is to use a password manager, which stores your passwords for you so you no longer need to remember them. The other big advantage is that it can enable you to easily see whether one requires changing, whether it has been compromised or is in use across multiple websites.
  3. Windows 10
    If you’re still using Windows 7, act as soon as possible as it is no longer supported by Microsoft and you are now vulnerable. as no further software/security updates or technical support are being available. Due to this, it is possible that security risks will arise from the continued use of Windows 7. Windows 8.1 users have until 10 January 2023 until it goes out of support.
  4. Cloud services
    Using cloud services such as Office 365 gives you access to the latest tools in the Microsoft Office suite and can help make your business more productive by making communication and collaboration easier, allowing remote access and reducing downtime. You can easily scale as your business needs grow and take advantage of products and services previously only available to larger businesses.
  5. Cyber Insurance
    Protecting your environment from hackers is a bit like protecting your home from intruders: you can take reasonable precautions, but if Bruce Willis or Arnold Schwarzenegger want to break in they’ll probably find a way. In these situations, cyber insurance can protect you from potential losses incurred. Just be wary because like health insurance, there are a lot of junk policies out there which don’t offer any real protection.

Much like a business coach helping you implement new practices in your business, or your personal trainer keep you accountable for undertaking regular exercise, it is important to find an ICT partner that can assist in support you in implementing and maintaining these resolutions. If CyberGuru can assist in any way, please contact us.