Useful Info

Posts: 33

Emailing documents securely

This applies especially to IFAs, accountants, insurance, educational specialists, schools, medical, etc. You may have a Word or Excel document with sensitive information (personal details) that you want to email to someone outside your organisation. However once the email leaves your server its insecure and anyone intercepting it could view the document. Treat email just like sending a postcard – anyone that handles it can read it.

Encrypted email PDFOne answer is to use the Word Save as PDF function (you need Word 2010 or newer). As you create the PDF, click on Options and tick the bottom box that says ‘Encrypt the document with a password’. You’ll get a password prompt before saving the PDF. Now simply email that person the PDF. You’ll need to let them know the password too, but don’t use email! We recommend phoning or txting, or pre-arrange a PDF password when you meet first time.

This works well for occasional use, however if you regularly need to email personal information, ask about the secure email service we offer. Its got high security and encryption and works just like the systems you’ve probably seen from the big insurance companies. It offers better tracking, password management and is easier to see the history if sending multiple documents.

Improve your broadband and wireless speed

Ofcom have just put out a useful article about improving your broadband speed. One of the not so obvious tips hidden away in there, is to raise the height of your broadband router or wireless box. We’ve found at times that this will make a massive difference on wireless range.

speedOne specific location we looked at couldn’t even receive wifi in the adjacent rooms, until we spotted that the internet box (one of the BT hub models) was on the floor behind a set of drawers in the furthest corner We relocated it onto a shelf, 2m higher and the wireless speed improved and the range extended out to all the adjacent rooms.

We’ve moved other routers up much higher and had similar success. Sometimes there are cheap, quick solutions and you don’t need expensive equipment upgrades. However wireless is one of those unpredictable technologies that you often need to check properly in situ, we have a selection of equipment that can be loaned out for testing purposes.

Practical tips for improving your broadband speed

The best business-to-business networking

I’ve been out of breakfast networking for a little while – recovering from BNI burnout! I finally decided last month it was time to get back out there and see what was new, what had changed, who was networking. I headed round a few events met some interesting people, had a few early morning flashbacks and some boring meetings – the ones where you wonder how any business ever gets done.

Lets Do Business

Then I got an invite to an independent business networking meeting at Dantes, between Chorley and Preston, and I was really impressed – good bunch of helpful, friendly people, some great contacts, business referrals being done every week, social events, proper breakfast. More importantly they seemed to have worked out a good balance between some rules to make the meeting run and create new business opportunities, some excellent business support sessions, all without being too militant. Very refreshing.

Come and visit.

BT say this takes a week to repair

What happens when a car hits the street cabinet supplying your broadband and it looks like this …

Car crash broadband

BT Openreach advise this will take a week to repair. How well can your company survive without broadband and phones – make sure you have a plan B in place, ready to go. Its better that we have a discussion now and work out a recovery plan and priorities. That way we can kick it into action when the unexpected happens.

Windows 10 – this might take a while

Installing Windows 10

We’ve already started loading Windows 10 free upgrades and not seen any major issues yet, but its still early days. If you’ve got business PCs or gaming PCs we’d advise to hold off for the minute. There will be problems in the early days and it always takes time for applications to get updates, to make sure they’re compatible. Come and speak to us for the latest info and to check whether your key programs are ready for Windows 10.

Parish Council websites for Transparency Code

Much Hoole Parish Council[July: Just heard there’s Government funding on the way for new websites, for parishes meeting certain criteria.]

You might have heard that the government has brought in a transparency code requirement for parish councils to publish certain information and financial details on their website. We already provide suitable websites for councils. Have a look at Much Hoole or Bretherton, for example.

Using a similar template, we can setup your council’s website quickly and cheaply. The system used is well-known for providing good security. We look after backups and making sure the server is online and available. You get an easy to use system, allowing you to upload documents, information, notices, agendas, etc. You can do this from your own computer, someone else’s computer, at the library, or even on an iPad or tablet – live from the meeting itself!

Lancashire Association of Local Councils use the same template. Bretherton Parish CouncilTake a look at their website for a slightly different layout idea, plus separate logins.

You can also have a domain name registered for your parish, eg So that there’s a address for the website and your emails can then be (either forwarded to your regular email address or as a separate mailbox)

Please use the contact page to get in touch and Mike will discuss what you want to do – no techie talk or acronyms, we promise!

Fibre broadband 15x faster

fibre upgrade

– How fast do you want your broadband to go?
– How much data do you use?
– What’s the best router?
– Are you secure ?

Just completed a fibre broadband upgrade for a growing customer with mobile staff and VPN requirements. Their old ADSL broadband was 3.9Mbps download and 1.1Mbps upload … slow! BT finally got around to providing fibre at the street cabinet two week ago and the office broadband upgrade went live yesterday …. 71Mbps down and 16Mbps up! So thats 15-18x faster, can’t wait to see the reaction in the office.

But more importantly – the reaction of the staff working from home. The connection will fly now.


Windows 10 incoming, free upgrades

Windows 10MS news just broke this morning that Windows 10 will arrive on 29 July 2015. Free upgrades for Windows 7 and 8.1 will be available for the first 12 months only – make sure you get in touch promptly to see if you’re eligible and plan the upgrade. This could be a great time to standardise all the PCs on the latest version of Windows. The free upgrade will be available on tablets and phones too.

May you live in interesting times!

Server files on an iPad

By adding a VPN connection to your office broadband and the SMB File Browser or FileExplorer apps on your iPad (other tablets are available), you can have quick remote access to files on the office server. Even with slow office broadband and a 3G connection, its surprisingly quick to load that spreadsheet or Word doc direct from the server.

45s online mistake costs $8bn

twitter-failJust reading the background to the leak about Twitter’s Q1 results being poor. Results are normally released after the market closes to give traders a chance before they make a knee-jerk reaction and start selling shares. However the Twitter results were released online early – but only for 45 seconds. Unfortunately for Twitter a tech savvy company called Selerity had already spotted the update and grabbed it, notifying their investors.

The lesson here (and its a hard lesson) – once its on the internet, you’ve lost control of it already. So think twice about what you post.

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