Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Google Docs Phishing

Google Docs Phishing Campaign.

Gmail users beware: a very convincing, very deceitful, phishing scam has been making its way around the Internet. The scam targets Google Doc and Google Drive users with a lookalike login page designed to steal your username and password.

The Google Docs phishing scam is a textbook example: it aims to trick you into handing over sensitive login details, and it does exceptionally well. The scam starts with an email referring to an “important document” stored on Google Docs. Clicking on the link in this message will take you to what appears to be a Google Docs login page—but it’s not. This fake login page allows scammers to collect your username and password for their own malicious use.
Unfortunately for Gmail users, the page in this case is remarkably convincing—emulating Google’s typical login page. And here’s the clincher: because this scam is hosted on Google’s servers (the scam is, after all, a public folder on Google Drive) it effectively sidesteps one of the more reliable ways to detect a phishing scam. Generally speaking, phishing URLs are one or two characters different from the official website that they’re masquerading as. To top things off, because the scammers were hosting this attack on Google’s servers, the URL appears to be secure.
This attack on Google Doc users is especially troubling as Google uses a single login across all of their services. If the scammers successfully obtained login credentials for your Google Docs, they’d also be able to access your email, Chrome browsing history (including searches), YouTube account, and perhaps even be able to make purchases through the Google Play store if you’ve previously registered your payment information.
Despite the sophistication of this scam, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. After its discovery earlier this week, Google has successfully removed the phishing pages. They’ve also stated that their “abuse team is working to prevent this kind of spoofing from happening again.”
While this particular attack seems to have been vanquished, phishing scams in general are on the rise. By being aware of how these scams operate, and how to detect them, you’re well on your way to protecting yourself from the Internet’s many bad guys.
Follow the steps below to help avoid falling victim:
  • Double check your URL address. Most of the time, a phishing URL will have some reference to the entity it’s pretending to be, but with some form of variation. For example: will take you to Google; (as an example) will take you to a crash page—but it could also take you to a phishing scam website. That being said, do be aware that the scam described above uses a legitimate Google URL and could trick even the most thorough of skeptics.
  • Don’t send banking or login information via email or text. Professional services will never ask you to send sensitive information over email or text messages. They just don’t. At the bare minimum, they’ll ask you to sign into your account on their website (remember to check the URL) in order to address any sensitive information. If you’ve received an email asking for transmittal of financial or login details via email, you’d be wise to delete it.
  • Watch the links. Be wary of linking on links sent to you over email, text message or social media sites. Most are harmless, but the ones sent to you by someone you don’t know, or a business that you didn’t sign up for, could send you to a malware-infested site.
  • Install comprehensive security software. As always, practice caution, and protect yourself online with comprehensive security services like McAfee LiveSafe. It will help block spam and dangerous email, as well as guard against malware and viruses on your PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets.

Cool Google App's Lesser Know Features

1. Video conference with up to 15 people (my Favourite)

Instead of an email, a chat or a phone call, you can look your co-workers in the eye with Hangouts, the built-in video conferencing service that comes with Google Apps.
And you can do it from inside Gmail. Open up an email, hover your mouse over the person's name, then click on the video icon to invite that person into a video call.
  • Select Settings.
  • Click the gear in the top right .
  • Click the Labs tab.
  • Find the "Undo Send" lab and select the Enable radio button.
  • Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.


2. Make Suggestions in others documents

With Google Docs, two or more people can work on a document together, live. But if you don't want to make a permanent change to someone else's document, you don't have to.

Anyone that has "commenting access" can use the "Suggest Edits" feature instead (similar to Microsoft's "track changes" feature). Edits can be accepted or rejected with a single click. And if you convert a Microsoft Word file to Docs (or vice versa), your tracked changes will convert as well.

Click on the little green editing icon in the upper-right of the document to access Suggest Edits.


3. Access and include royalty-free images to any document

If you need pictures to spice up your work, you can choose from a bunch of royalty-free images in Docs and the Slides presentation software.

Just click Insert > Image > Search > Stock images to browse.

If you are looking for an image to doctor, try searching the "Life" image database, too


4. Avail Google search awesomeness inside working documents

Open the Research Tool in Google Docs (Tools menu > Research) and find all sorts of scholarly articles on Google.

You can also search for quotes, images, tables, or just search the Web.  Often, if you can click on a result, you will be given the option to drag the result right into your paper or to cite it.


5. Individual Mobile apps for Sheets, Docs, Slides

With the mobile apps for Docs, Sheets and Slides, you can work in real time with your coworkers on your Android or iOS device. These apps also make it easier to find a specific type of document stored in your cloud and let you create (and sometimes edit) documents even if you aren't online.


6. Manage and use different email addresses

There are times when you want to send email from a different address, such as when you are sharing a corporate address or using a personal email address, or when assistants are answering their boss's email.

You can set up Gmail to send messages and replies from alternative accounts. Go to Settings (click the gear in the top right ) > Accounts > Add another email address you own.


7.  Subtle Pop-up notifications

If you like pop-up notifications but don't like how they rudely interrupt whatever you're doing, try "Gentle Notifications."
Instead of a pop-up, the title of the Google Calendar window or tab will blink in the background and the computer will make a more pleasant sound.

From your calendar go to Settings (click the gear in the top right ) > Labs > Enable Gentle Notifications.

Pro tip: there are a bunch of other cool features in the Labs setting, like automatically declining invites when you are busy, day/night calendar options, sending attachments with meeting invites, and more.


8. Edit Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files

You might already know this, but it's worth mentioning all the same. There's no need to buy a special app to let you edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint if you you use Google Apps. Documents created with Microsoft Office will open and be editable directly in Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, on your desktop, phone or tablet.

9. Quick and Clean your contact list

With just a few clicks, Google will sift through your contacts, look for duplicates and merge them into a single contact file. From the Contacts app click on More > Merge contacts. You can merge them all or select the ones that should be united.


10. Add all sorts of extra features through apps and add-ons

There are a ton of add-on apps that will give you extra features for Google Docs, Sheets, Forms, email, etc. Just log into your Google Apps account and then head over to the Google Apps Marketplace.

You'll find free label printing apps, project management apps, calendaring apps, sales and marketing apps and so on.


11. Recall an email you have sent

In Gmail, you can undo a sent email. To set up the "Undo Send" feature, first decide how long you’d like Gmail to hold your mail before actually sending it off.
  1. Select Settings.
  2. Click the gear in the top right .
  3. Click the Labs tab.
  4. Find the "Undo Send" lab and select the Enable radio button.
  5. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.


12. Access your files offline with this neat hack

If you frequently find yourself in spots where the internet access is iffy (airports, the train) and you use the Chrome browser, use this trick to keep access to your cloud documents.

Right before you unplug from the office network, sign into from Chrome. Your files will be viewable offline, as will email. You can edit offline (or write an email) and your changes will be saved and synced (or the email sent) when your internet connection comes back. If you don't use Chrome, you can also use the Google Drive app to view and edit Drive documents offline.


13. Security doubled

When turned on, it requires you to input a regular password, and a special one-time password sent as a text to your mobile phone. Every time you use a new computer it doesn't recognize, it sends a new one-time password. So bad guys can't get into your account on an unauthorized computer even if they learn your password.

You can set it up to refresh once a month, so it doesn't bug you too often.

From any Gmail, click on Settings (click the gear in the top right ) > Account > Click 2-Step Verification > Go through the step-by-step process.

Pro tip: download and use the Google Authenticator app which gives you other options besides a text message to get the second password and allows you to login even when your device is in airplane mode.


14. No reply-all by default ( It is annoying )

Sometimes a "reply-all" message goes viral in your company and suddenly your inbox is filling up with replies from your co-workers on a topic that has nothing to do with you.

To stop that, open a message in the string, click More > Mute and you'll no longer see new emails.


15.  Print while en-route

Google Drive lets you print directly to a FedEx office.

Click on the Print icon > Change printers > Print to a Fedex Office and you’ll receive a retrieval code that you can use to print out your job at more than 1,800 FedEx office locations.


Monday, October 26, 2015

Professional Invoice : The Importance

Why Your Invoices Matter 

What do your invoices have in common with your website, your helpdesk and your technicians? They all serve as touchpoints with your customers — among the few recur - ring ones you have if you’re a small or medium-sized MSP — and when they’re done right, they’re a great opportunity to reinforce the value you deliver and strengthen the customer experience. 

Consider these four best practices for creating professional invoices that show existing and potential customers alike that you’re the right MSP for their business: 

1. Accuracy 
2. Professionalism 
3. Timeliness 
4. Service

1. Accuracy

As you grow your managed services business, an accurate invoice is one of the more important keys to building trust with your customers. (Conversely, an inaccurate invoice can spark distrust in your services and your practice.) One of the best ways to ensure accuracy is by automating as much of the billing process as possible. For example, if you can fully integrate your technicians’ field reports and your helpdesk processes with your billing platform, you can deliver accuracy and clarity for every item listed on your invoices.

2. Professionalism 

A clear and easy-to-understand invoice tailored to each customer’s needs allows you to always put your best foot forward. Rather than using a ‘one-size-fits-all’ template across your entire customer base, your invoices should be as simple or as detailed as necessary to reflect the different billing models used by each particular customer, whether that’s hourly, on retainer or fully managed services. This way, you can bill your customers in the way they like best — improving satisfaction while showing a deeper understanding of their business needs.

3. Timeliness 

Nobody likes to get a bill? That’s not entirely true. Customers expect to be billed but they expect that bill to arrive at a specific time and date. When customers know they’ll be billed promptly, it’s easier for them to track costs and plan expenses. A late invoice, on the other hand, can feel like an unexpected expense — and that leads to a negative customer experience. When your ticketing, helpdesk and invoicing tools are working together, previously manual steps can be eliminated, helping you generate and send invoices faster and more efficiently… and the faster your customers receive their invoices, the sooner you get paid.

4. Service 

You should always be ready to answer questions after the invoice has been sent to help build and grow the relationship. An integrated ticketing, helpdesk and invoicing system makes it easier to respond quickly to billing questions making you look professional and that you are on top of things.

An Easier Way to Bill Customers 

There are quite a few cloud-based service management platform for creating support tickets, scheduling technicians and generating professional invoices — everything you need to deliver quality service to your customers. These integrated, customizable billing process saves you time while increasing the accuracy of your invoices. You can also generate multiple invoices simultaneously for faster, more efficient billing — and then export your invoices directly to your preferred accounting software. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Digital Design

Digital Service Design.

Delivering human-centred service excellence across every digital touch-point.
Customers interact with my business in so many different ways – how can I deliver the best results across their whole experience?
Digital Service Design aims to understand how your customers (or users) engage with your organisation and services or products, with a view to creating experiences and services which create maximum engagement and value creation. By aligning the customer journey across the entire omni-channel ecosystem, we can identify areas where digital enhancements are able to deliver better services, customer experiences, and ultimately improved business performance.

Digital Service Design involves a detailed analysis of the way that customers and users interact with your organisation and all the processes (internal and external) which relate to that interaction. It takes into account every touch-point along the customer journey, including the manner in which that contact is made (for example, what kind of device is likely to be used, or where that customer is likely to be when they make that contact).

Our comprehensive Digital Service Design process helps improve or develop new services to support your organisation and stakeholders in achieving your objectives. Our human-centred approach works by combining a thorough understanding of your customers, your processes and your business, and applying best practice user experience design, behavioural psychology and game science to deliver a detailed Service Blueprint.




Application development, advanced integration architecture and interaction design to help your business stay ahead.
My business needs to innovate – how can I develop new applications and integrate disparate systems to support new services?
Consumer expectation is driving change at a pace that can be hard to match, especially when your business runs on a variety of complex legacy, bespoke and third party systems. Just as customers expect to be able to interact with your business through a mixture of channels and devices, so the users within your company need to be able to access data and processes quickly and easily.

We have extensive experience in the development of bespoke applications, interaction design, complex systems integration and architecture for digital services. Our approach is pragmatic, innovative, customer-focused and designed to deliver the highest value for your business. We utilise a wide spectrum of tools, techniques, skills and expertise to deliver secure and robust solutions that deliver powerful business performance, allowing users to effectively engage however and wherever they want across your digital estate.

Post launch we continue to work with you, supporting business goals and optimising system performance as your business needs and user behaviours evolve. So you
re well equipped to support the most demanding consumers, both now and in the future. 




Ensuring you connect and engage with your audience to get the results you need.
We understand the need for digital transformation - but how do we approach a challenge this great?
The landscape of digital is constantly evolving. Todays connected consumer expects to interact online via multiple channels and devices, moving seamlessly between digital and physical worlds at will, taking the context of their engagement with them. They are mobile, agile and incredibly demanding.
To keep up with these high expectations, many organisations rush to embrace new digital technologies, without properly considering their impact, or their audiences needs and desires. While advances in technology can enable innovation, the real business benefit and value creation comes when your services deliver against your specific customer and business strategies.  
We can help you achieve this; by understanding not only the specific business challenges youre facing but also your strategic goals and the nature of your business and audience, we will work with you to develop a digital strategy and implementation roadmap that delivers tangible benefits. Whether thats leveraging your digital estate to lower business execution costs, deliver channel shift, lower your bounce rate with interactive web design or bring brand new traffic and income streams to your digital real estate – we will help you put in place the right strategies to maximise the benefit from your digital investment. 


Leverage Google App's

As many companies, governments, and educational organizations consider making the switch to Google Apps, the question is raised of how productive one can be on the cloud-based system.
Here are some tips to help you leverage Google Apps.

1. Google Drive on the Desktop

Connecting your Google Drive to your desktop creates a local folder that is directly connected to your Google Drive. This feature is not about offline editing capabilities, but it does offer an easy way to drag-and-drop files such as PDF documents from your computer into Google Drive.
To connect your Google Drive to your desktop, simple click the "Connect Drive to Desktop" link on the left side of your Drive landing page. It will give you the opportunity to download and install Google Drive for your specific operating system and it will create a Google Drive folder on your computer. That's where you drag and drop files into the folder to save them into your Google Drive.

2. Offline editing
Perhaps one of the most contested points of the use of Google Apps in the enterprise is the necessity of an Internet connection to access documents. There is a little-known way to move your Google Apps files down to your desktop.
Copy and paste the below URL into your browser:
Once there you simply click the "Enable Offline" button to enable offline editing. Bear in mind, however, that this can only be enabled on one Google account per computer. If this link simply takes you to your list of Google Drive files then you may already have offline editing enabled for another account.
3. Action Buttons in Gmail
With quick action buttons in Gmail, users can respond to event invitations, check-in for flights, view attachments, and review products, among other things, without opening an email. When checking your email in Gmail, look on the far right of the individual subject line and, if there is an action available, there should be a drop-down button where you can select how you want to respond.


4. Share your files
Gmail limits attachments to 25 MB, but it will allow users to insert a link to a Google Drive file, up to 10 GB in size, in an email. When in the "Compose" window, hover over the + at the bottom of the window and it will change to show you  a few different options. Click the Drive logo and you will be able to choose a file from your Google Drive to insert into the email.
 Once you insert a file into an email, you will be prompted to choose what access you want to give the recipient. When you have selected the access for the recipient, click "Share and Send" to send your email with the file. The file will appear as a blue link in the body of the email and recipients will have the option to save the file to their own drive.
5. SMS Appointment Reminders
Getting appointment reminders from your Google calendar sent to your phone can really help if you have to be away from your desk during the day. The first step to setting up the SMS alerts is to enable the feature and link your mobile number in calendar settings. Click the gear icon on the top right of your calendar page and select "Settings." Then, click the "Mobile Setup" option at the top and fill out the forms on that page and click save.
Once you have the feature enabled, you will need to select the reminder to be sent to your phone. When you are creating the event, or viewing an event, you have the option to select a reminder. Once the SMS feature in enable, it should show up on the drop-down menu next to "Reminders." Once you have selected SMS, finish creating the reminder and it should text you at the appointed time.
6. Google Tasks
Another oft-overlooked feature of Google Apps is the tasks feature available in Gmail and Google Calendar. To access tasks through Gmail, click on the drop-down arrow next to "Mail" on the top left section of your screen.
 Tasks can be created from the task inbox or an email. There is a + at the bottom of the tasks inbox to create a new task. From an email, click the "More" drop-down button at the top of an email and click "Add to tasks." Tasks created from an email will link back to the original email so you can understand the context of the task. You can also use this button to create an event from an email. For Chrome users, Google also offers a Tasks extension.
7. Email Filters
This is a great resource for folks who are making the move from Microsoft Outlook and are looking for a feature that is similar to the "rules" feature of Outlook. To access filters, first click the gear icon on the top right of your Gmail page. Select settings, and Filters tab will be at the top of the settings page toward the middle.
Once you reach the filters page, you will have the option to create a new filter or import filters. Click "Create a new filter" to create a filter based on sender, recipient, included words, attachments, and a couple other options. The import filters options will let you upload an XML file to import filters from that file.