Archive for August, 2014

Are you an email risk-taker?

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Screen shot 2014-08-28 at 16.31.54We live in a world where emails are so commonplace we don’t always pay them as much attention as we should. We don’t always spell-check them, react to them or even check properly where we’re sending them. How many times a week do you send an email and forget the attachment? Have you ever sent an email to the wrong person? And why do so many emails include disclaimers at the foot declaring that the content is confidential and meant only for the intended recipient?

All of this activity astounds me. Working in a professional environment, managing the affairs of companies and individuals, we should be absolutely sure that our communications are 100% secure. Accountants, solicitors, FAs and other professionals are dealing with intensely private data yet risk their reputations and livelihoods by using email.

This isn’t a hard sell for docSAFE, although it’s one of the reasons we created a portal where clients and professionals can exchange files and communications safely. It’s a plea for businesses to seriously consider how they send sensitive information electronically because email is absolutely not the way to go.

Email makes you vulnerable. Not only are you running the obvious risk of making genuine mistakes by using it, you’re also open to hackers, malware, viruses and all sorts of digital threats – many of which are unknown and developing all the time.

Use email for daily, non important things for sure but reconsider client communications with confidentiality, security and responsibility at the top of your list.


Is your head in the clouds?

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

You’re probably cloud working and don’t even know it!

Screen shot 2014-08-28 at 12.21.36

Many clients ask me what is the big deal about cloud working whilst others even ask ‘what is cloud working?’ – I always answer by saying they’re probably cloud working already, there are just different degrees to it.

Since the Internet revolution began, over twenty years ago, we have been steadily working towards a different way of working – it was inevitable. The world wide web has made the world a smaller place as we can (really quickly) access people, places and information we couldn’t have even considered before. In turn our work has been hugely affected – email has displaced a high proportion of faxes, letters and phone calls. Skype has replaced many traditional meetings, negating the need to travel and coordinate diaries. The Internet has created a resource pool we can jump into at any time we like – new recruits, products or processes – all can be found online pretty damn fast.

The far-reaching, rippling effects of the Internet and the enormous accessibility of literally everything has changed our working landscapes – especially for us who are old enough to remember the good old days – P.I. (pre Internet).

Cloud working is the natural culmination of all of this. We base our offices in the sky – not literally of course, that would be hugely impractical. We can dump all of our work online, storing it away from the physical office creating a virtual office we can access from anywhere, at any time. It’s an alluring thought. It’s backed up for us – our offices could burn down or be burgled but we’d still have our data stored safely away in the clouds. Although of course you must be sure your data is safely stashed with no threat of security breaches or vulnerability – more of that in another blog.

If you use any kind of file sharing system, if you back up online, even if you use any type of social media or photo sharing system – you are already in the cloud. It’s the way forward and it will continue to envelop us all until we don’t even buy our own software or typefaces any more – everything will be online for us to share – at a cost of course. If you start to think about what you do online, you’ll start to realise your head is more in the clouds than you thought!

Mike Couzens owns Online Practice, the company that created docSAFE and specialises in getting businesses working online in the most effective way. With an accountancy background and IT expertise, Mike can help steer you in the way your business needs for ultimate productivity and profitability.

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