Everything you need to know about remote, online-only IT support services

Everything you need to know about remote, online-only IT support services

Remote, online-only IT helpdesk services focus on providing support to individuals and small-to-medium size companies. They help customers nationwide by providing helpdesk support that is enterprise-grade but nevertheless low cost. They can resolve any IT issue that may arise, except for hardware repairs, computer start-up issues and, more generally, any issue where the user cannot log-on to their computer. Let’s take a closer look at online-only IT helpdesk services below.

24/7 support by highly trained technicians

These support providers serve customers round the clock. They offer customers highly experienced, well-qualified technicians and staff that quickly diagnose problems and present reliable, affordable solutions.

Broad knowledge of operating systems, cloud and software platforms

The technicians can support many operating systems, cloud services and software platforms. Many customers with software issues prefer contacting this type of service rather than relying on the support service provided by a software company.

Free diagnosis

Some operators will offer you a free diagnosis if the problem is called-in during business hours. A fee will only be charged upon your approval to proceed to resolve the issue. If a problem is called-in after business hours, only a small diagnosis fee is charged.

Pricing

Pricing is competitive. Some operators offer a ‘No Fix, No Fee’ service. If they cannot resolve an issue, they will refund the payment and finish the session free of charge.

Case studies

Most cases are handled over the internet and a phone call or email exchange. The types of problems handled by the new support model are many and varied.

One case involved assisting a client who was working on a massive unsaved Word document when his computer was attacked by malware. The solution involved quarantining the malware and then removing it without harming the unsaved document.

Other cases involved setting up a new domain and email access, setting up an Outlook client, helping a client navigate her Windows 8.1 interface, and resolving printer problems.

Conclusion

Remote, online-only IT helpdesk services provide IT support at the click of a button, anywhere with an internet connection. If you are an individual or small-to-medium sized business with IT issues, these services might be the best solution for you.

Why antivirus software is essential for small businesses

Why antivirus software is essential for small businesses

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are moving exclusively online. As a consequence, cyber attacks have become more prevalent. Despite the growing threat, many small business owners neglect cyber security entirely. Many mistakenly believe that free antivirus software or built-in internet security adequately protects their data. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Here are five key reasons antivirus software is vital.

1. Ransomware protection

Ransomware is an extremely destructive form of malware. Once it enters your computer system, it’s nearly impossible to detect, and cannot be cured. Ransomware will block your access to files and freeze your device. Free and standard antivirus programs cannot stand up against it. To safeguard important information, ensure you choose business-grade antivirus software.

2. Guard sensitive information

Operating an online business entails receiving sensitive customer data. This includes credit card numbers, passwords, bank account information and more. Unfortunately, sophisticated malware can easily steal this information, if left unguarded. You can easily prevent this catastrophic event, however. By simply investing in quality antivirus software, you can rest assured customer data is well secured.

3. Protect emails

Emails are one of the leading channels for Trojans and other viruses to get into your computer or network. They can enter your operating system, damage essential files and enable unauthorised persons to directly access your device. And detecting them is increasingly difficult. They’re often disguised as innocent-looking images, files and links. However, clicking on them means your confidential information can be accessed. Business antivirus software automatically detects these threats, warning you not to open them.

4. Enhanced security

Online businesses deal with sensitive information and accept customer payments on a daily basis. Antivirus protection enables you to do so confidently. Premium packages offer greater security, creating a safe environment for business owners and customers alike. Antivirus software does so by swiftly detecting and blocking phishing attacks and fraudulent websites.

5. Ease of use

To make your life as a business owner easier, antivirus software enables you to manage all security through a single console. This way, an administrator remotely controls all connected devices with ease. Better still, you don’t need to be an IT expert to manage it, thanks to the console’s simple interface.

Call or email Rapid IT Support today to manage all your antivirus setup needs.

Four easy tricks to improve productivity with Microsoft Word

improve productivity with Microsoft Word

It’s almost certain that your business is using Microsoft 365 for word processing, presentations and spreadsheets, and your team is no doubt very comfortable using these tools. Here are some very useful tips that can help boost your productivity and improve your internal and external communications.

Become a Word master with these tips

Here are some of our favourites.

1. Quick copy and paste

These three shortcuts will save you lots of time when creating documents:

To copy text: Select the text and then hold down Ctrl + C to copy.

To paste that text somewhere else in the document: Insert your cursor where you want the text to go and hold down Ctrl + V.

To cut text: Select the text you want to cut and hold down Ctrl + X.

2. Delete entire words in one go

Most people don’t know about this one. It’s very easy and will save you from having to hold down backspace to delete words.

To delete an entire word, place the cursor at the end of the word you want to delete, and then hold down Ctrl+Backspace. Try it — you will love the time it saves.

3. Remove unwanted formatting

Unwanted formatting can be introduced to your document when you copy and paste from external sources like web pages, or from another document. If you don’t ‘paste as plain text’, you can bring all the formatting from the external document into your own document. It makes a mess that can be time-consuming to clean up.

A quick way of removing all this formatting is simply to select the offending text and then hold down Ctrl + Space. All external formatting will be removed, and you will be left with clean copy.

4. Select big chunks of text with multiple clicks

Use double click and triple-click to your advantage. Instead of dragging and highlighting the text you want to select, just place your cursor over the word you want to select, then double click. To select the whole sentence, place your cursor anywhere in the sentence and triple-click. Easy!

Get Microsoft 365 in Cairns

Contact Computerman IT today and we can help set up cloud-based Microsoft 365 for your Cairns business.

3 ways Avast protects your small business

protects your small business

Established in 1988, Avast prevents 1.5 billion attacks on personal and commercial devices every month. Their layered system (including extensive malware protection, efficient patching for software and operating systems, and identity protection) makes this figure possible. Small businesses make up a majority of the Australian economy, so this article focuses on those with less than 20 employees and breaks down Avast’s premium Business Next-Gen Antivirus and Patch Management applications.

1. 7 layers of malware protection

Short for ‘malicious software’, malware is the collective term for any computer software that intends to harm a device or steal data. Using their unique layered system, Avast analyses suspicious files and URLs, assesses their threat level, and stops the infected files from doing any damage to your device. If new malware is detected, it is entered into Avast’s database for future threats.

2. Patch management

Over half of the data breaches found can be attributed to poor patch management. A quick Google search regarding the act of patching an operating system will show you that the process of keeping business computers safe from ransomware, lost data, and more is rather complex and time-consuming. Avast offers a simpler alternative and the best part is they do the work for you so you can focus on your business. With their Patch Management service, you can quickly update thousands of third-party apps (like Windows) for free.

3. Identity protection

According to ACS, Australia is one of the most hacked countries, having had 16 significant cyberattacks since 2016. So there is no better time to have your details protected. Avast has your business covered with their elite security system. Your business details (such as banking information, passwords, and downloads) will be protected from hackers because Avast searches places like the dark web’s favourite marketplaces for your personal details and helps you lock down your account before data can be stolen.

Without adequate protection, the business’s devices could succumb to malware or hacking and you or your employees’ details could be leaked. To avoid this, download Avast’s premium applications for $87.27 annually. If you would like to discuss protection in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact us.

3 reasons even the smallest businesses need IT support

Smallest businesses need IT support

Think of any medium or large business, and you don’t have to wonder if they have an IT helpdesk solution in place (trust us, they do). But what about the little guys?

It’s just a fact: When you’re operating a small business, and you’re either fighting through those initial, start-up years or you’ve just emerged from them intact, managed IT services or professional helpdesk support can seem like a secondary concern.

But what about when that first big problem strikes? When that server crashes? When something minor glitches and you really, really wish you had easy, online IT support on the other side of a call or message?

When it happens, you may just wish you’d read about the three main benefits of computer tech support even for the smallest of small business operations:

1. Productivity

Let’s face it, as a small business operator, you don’t just have lots to think about – you have everything to think about! Tick the IT service desk box now and rest easy in the knowledge that your operations won’t grind to a halt when something eminently solvable crops up.

2. Expert consultation

Successful large, medium or small businesses all have something in common – they accept that they don’t know everything. That’s why they put together a structure with policies that delegate to people and other organisations who are experts in their particular field. IT isn’t exactly a doddle, so when you’re relying on it every day, you want to be able to trust the help and consultation of those in the know.

3. Security

Remember, those who wish you harm don’t care if you’re not a major, powerful player – they just want to hurt you. Unfortunately, that means smaller entities that have their IT defences down are the most at risk from security breaches and hazards. But with affordable IT support much more available, it’s possible to level that playing field and rest just as securely as the really big guys.

So don’t forget – your organisation may be small, but that doesn’t mean your peace of mind on IT matters needs to be non-existent! IT support helpdesks and other IT services are now within reach of every type of business, allowing them to focus on what they do best to stay productive and grow.

4 things your IT helpdesk could be getting wrong

IT helpdesk

If your organisation is yet to fully embrace the benefits of a helpdesk, let’s help you out from the outset: embrace it! Your operations will work more efficiently, problems will be solved faster, problems are organised, centralised and prioritised, solutions are customised – and everyone is happier!

That is, of course, if your helpdesk solution is working well to track, handle and solve problems. And if yours isn’t, it’s likely one of the following things is going wrong:

1. Don’t implement and walk away

An IT helpdesk may seem like an entity, but it’s also one that is constantly evolving. Those that quickly stop working well are the ones that abandon the idea of constant improvement and adaptation, failing to respond to feedback and educate users about new developments, tools and features.

2 Don’t run on autopilot

Automation is revolutionising the world of industry and commerce, but a helpdesk on autopilot should be regarded as a lazy one. Yes, autopilot tools are useful to do things like check, re-assign and close tickets, but it should never fully replace those who are charged to give it what users want – the human touch.

3. Don’t be impatient

When it comes to that human touch, never forget: above all else, it’s customer service. So while it’s true that the customer is not always right, a constant reminder of what you’re doing – helping those who need it – is a must. It’s not all about solving problems, it’s about effective listening and communication – and rising above both yours and the users’ frustrations.

4. Don’t ignore the bigger problems

When you take a single IT helpdesk in isolation, the same old tickets and problems will keep popping up over and over again. And while the system and team need to be great at quickly solving those glitches, too many ignore the real problem – the root cause of the glitch itself! So while the immediate action is the Band Aid, the effective helpdesk will need to find the medicine, too.

Implementing the perfect helpdesk may be challenging, but that’s no excuse for not working constantly to make it a more potent, responsive and friendly phenomenon within your organisation. Remember: if the helpdesk isn’t working well, operations across the board can be slowed, paused or terminally disrupted, so always be on the lookout not only for what’s not working well, but how the improvement you implement may need improving before long, too.

3 top tips to keep your small business safe from ransomware

Small business safe from ransomware

For any growing business, understanding the risks of computer and internet usage is a must. While most companies these days are informed about viruses, malicious software continues to evolve and become smart and smarter – and much more challenging to spot. So, as a small business, how do you keep malware and ransomware out and your employees safe?

Here are three of our top tips to up your IT security, keeping your business safe and your computers ransomware-free in the long term:

Offer training and regular reminders about the risks of ransomware

Knowledge is the best tool anyone has against ransomware. Providing your employees with concrete ways to identify and stop malicious software from accessing your systems is key to IT security, without even clicking a mouse or touching a keyboard. Regular training and reminders about what ransomware looks like, what to do if you spot it, and how to manage viruses can help to ensure your business stay virus-free for years to come.

Install a high-quality antivirus software on your business computers

Occasionally, malware can slip through the gaps. No matter how vigilant or trained you are, some ransomware can be so convincing or seamless that it manages to breach your defences. That’s where a great antivirus comes in handy. Installing a paid-for antivirus onto your office computers can help to catch anything that does manage to access your network, neutralising nasty malware before it can get any further or cause any damage.

Work with a professional IT support service

Ultimately, the best way to protect your business against malware and ransomware is to put it in the hands of the experts. A tech support Sunshine Coast service will be able to identify areas of weakness, provide antivirus setup, and even help with existing ransomware attacks to improve your business’s overall safety. If you want to offer the highest standard of protection, online IT support is an excellent place to start.

If you need high-quality IT helpdesk support to keep your business protected, Rapid IT Support is the best team for the job. Get in touch today to find out more about what we could do for you.

5 essential tips for backing up data

Tips for backing up data

Data backup should be a priority for every Australian business. Viruses, hardware failure, and accidental deletions are just a few ways that your files can disappear. Should the unthinkable happen, it doesn’t mean your business operations have to be severely impacted. Instead, take some practical steps to prevent the future loss of data. We’ve pulled together five of our best tips for effective data backup.

1. Setup automated backups

Manually backing up data is tedious and often gets overlooked. Instead, ensure that your files are automatically backed up regularly. If you’re unsure how to set this up, call our team to discuss backup solutions that provide peace of mind.

2. Understand what data is important

Take some time to analyse your files and decide what’s important and needs to be preserved. Anything you’re unable to recreate easily or can’t do without should be backed up.

3. Reduce risk with an offsite backup

It’s good practice to backup data locally, on a physical server, so that you maintain control of it. But keeping a copy of your files offsite will avoid headaches if the local backup fails or your hardware lets you down. Also, in the event of an office fire, you’ll be back up and running much quicker with an offsite copy of everything.

4 Encrypt backups

When backing up data offsite, send it as an encrypted version. If hackers ever access your files, they won’t be able to use them. Encrypting backups won’t require extra work once automated, and it is an excellent way to secure your data.

5. Verify backup success

Although backup systems usually verify success on completion, this isn’t a stone-clad guarantee. Be sure to run a restore test at regular intervals to ensure the files are recoverable if the need arises.

Data loss can cost a business time and money without an effective backup system. Keep it simple and automate processes wherever possible. Taking some risk-reduction steps in advance will ensure that your business has minimal disruption should the unthinkable occur. If you’re short on time, then check out our managed services that take care of the job for you.

How to choose the right tech for your startup

right tech for your startup

Gathering enough resources for that business idea you have taken years to develop cannot be complete without the inclusion of tech. Generally, contemporary businesses revolve around technology, so it takes the right tech to run your startup successfully. Check out this beginner’s guide for your startup business:

Choosing the right platform

If you want to choose a great platform for your product or service, consider whether it will be a good fit on mobile and/or web.

Sometimes, going for two platforms that can coexist is an even better decision as that helps to create a more flexible product. It’s easy to choose tech when you are starting up since you can build a complementary web page or app any time after launching the product. Advice from a local firm that provides small business IT services is vital here.

Note that going for a web app first is much safer, considering that web apps are more flexible and better when it comes to fixing errors. Also, they don’t have any Android/iOS cross-platform compatibility issues.

Choosing the devices

Your startup needs safe, reliable and powerful devices for handling clients and company data. So, for IT security and unwavering business continuity, here’s what we recommend:

Devices: From desktops and laptops to smartphones and tablets, make sure you start only with the number you need. This should include at least one well equipped desktop computer.

HR management software: Startups usually lack a fully-fledged human resource team. That’s where HR management software comes in. It can do nearly everything, for example, schedule employee shifts, send announcements, collect bank account data for direct deposits, etc.

Scheduling software: This tool can help you establish a strong presence for your startup on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. It will schedule and publish posts, interact and engage with your audience, monitor feeds, view analytics and more.

Video conferencing software: With the Covid-19 pandemic, video conferencing software is perfect for communicating with your remote team and meeting with clients, potential employees, consultants, etc. Remember to buy software with IT security in mind to keep hackers at bay.

If you need more details and help with equipping your startup business with the tools listed above, contact us for the best small business IT support in Melbourne and other cities across Australia.

3 ways a managed service provider can grow your small to medium sized business

grow your small to medium sized business

Many small to medium businesses are seeing the benefits of outsourcing their tech support to a Managed Services Provider (MSP). This IT support takes all the stress out of your IT servicing, is cost-effective and provides a proactive service that manages IT issues; improving productivity, deciphering between necessary and unnecessary upgrades and increasing cost-effectiveness so that you focus on what you do best – increasing business growth.

Improved productivity

By outsourcing your IT, you allow your employees to be more efficient in the office. An MSP refines systems and processes, keeping things up to date to guard against preventable IT problems. Working on an as-needed basis, you can contact your MSP as soon as a problem arises and leave the resolution to the experts. This improved office productivity enables your staff to focus on their tasks at hand.

Decipher between necessary and unnecessary upgrades

Without an MSP, it is tempting as a business to jump on board the best new technologies being offered. IT support providers are aligned with your business objectives and their industry knowledge can help you navigate around what new technologies are sustainable and financially efficient for your business, and what is simply unnecessary – saving you undue stress and costs.

Cost-effectiveness

MSP keep their staff regularly trained in ever-changing technologies and systems so that they can keep up with your needs and provide your business with the best service. This is more cost-effective than hiring a full time IT person to manage your systems in-house. Your IT support team should also be sending you periodic reports on risk, systems and servers specific to your small to medium business so that you can see what value they are adding.

Benefiting from outsourcing to a team of IT industry experts and drawing on their IT support as needed, allows your business to focus and grow. Through improving productivity, deciphering between necessary and unnecessary upgrades and increasing cost-effectiveness, a significant part of the business is being taken care of.

For reliable, efficient and effective IT support, contact Rapid IT Support so that we can discuss how we can best assist your business needs.