Tag Cloud
ComputerSpot on Twitter

Archive for December 2010

Exclaimer Mail UtilitiesDisclaim, Brand and Protect with Exclaimer Mail Utilities

As your business grows you can no longer afford to let individuals control their own email signatures. You need to make sure that all email is correctly branded, with the latest marketing messages, and are also legally compliant. As a UK Limited Company there are certain legal requirements on you regarding information that must be included in all business email.

Features of Exclaimer Mail Utilities

Exclaimer Mail Utilities can ensure that your brand is properly reflected and that all of your email, even if its sent from a Blackberry, iPhone, Android phone or Tablet, is correctly branded and compliant.

  • Programatic control of the insertion of disclaimers in Outgoing, Incoming and Internal email
  • Branding of outgoing email for that professional image that the marketing department are looking for
  • Protection against incoming Spam, with the Anti-Spam module
  • Block or redirect email based on rules about specific users or domains
  • Create disclaimers for Plain Text, HTML and RTF format messages
  • Integration with Active Directory enables you to trigger rules based on AD fields and include information from AD fields in your signatures to personalise signatures. i.e. Phone Number, Job Title etc.
  • Compatible with mobile devices like Blackberrys, SmartPhones, iPhones, Android devices etc.

Why do I need Exclaimer Mail Utilities?

Exclaimer Mail Utilities are designed for Microsoft Exchange mail systems, including Exchange 2003, 2007 and 2010. The goal is to simplify the process of managing, disclaiming, branding and formatting of your company email, through automation.

Branding with Exclaimer Mail Utilities

Design your email signatures so that they fall in line with your company brand guidelines. Create dynamic signatures that adapt to automatically personalise and include Active Directory Fields along with the latest messages from the marketing department.

Compliance with Exclaimer Mail Utilities

Ensure that all of your external email is correctly disclaimed for legal, compliance and email regulation purposes. In addition to adding the disclaimers some of the compliance regulations require that you journal your email.

Protect your email with Exclaimer Mail Utilities

Use Exclaimer Mail Utilities to help protect your computer systems against Spam and email hosted viruses.

Manage mail flow with Exclaimer Mail Utilities

Control and manage the email flow process to ensure that when emails are sent to your support department they are correctly routed. That the customer receives an automatic response saying that the email has been received and that someone will be in contact within 15 minutes, if its within business hours or providing a phone number if its out of hours.

You now know how Exclaimer Mail Utilities can help your business better manage your email branding and compliance.

Next steps with Exclaimer Mail Utilities

If you want to find out more about Exclaimer Mail Utilities, or download and evaluation copy, then go to the Exclaimer website at www.exclaimer.com.

If you need assistance installing,  configuring  or managing Exclaimer Mail Utilities then contact me via the SystemAssure website.

Top 5 questions asked by Businesses considering VoIPAdvantages of VoIP Aastra 6739i colour screen

VoIP (Voice Over IP) benefits businesses the moment it is put to use. VoIP has been widely available for many years now, typically it has been used within large companies. Now, using Hosted VoIP, the benefits that large enterprises have experienced are available to Small Businesses at an affordable price.

To demonstrate the benefits of VoIP we have listed the top 5 business questions that are asked by Small and Medium size companies when they are looking at a VoIP Phone System.

To learn about our recommended Hosted VoIP Phone solution go to the SystemAssure VoIP pages and you will find out more about Hosted VoIP.

Q. Is the quality of VoIP as good as traditional phone calls?

A. In almost all cases you wont be able to tell whether its a VoIP Phone System or a traditional phone system. In fact, VoIP calls can sound better than a call made using a traditional phone system. That’s because VoIP can take advantage of the superior audio quality supported by high-bandwidth data networks rather than low-grade “twisted pair” copper wiring. To test this for yourself why not call us on +44 (0)1489-897760 and hear the quality of a business grade VoIP phone system.

Q. Will I lose any of the features of my current phone system?

A. Probably not. In fact, there’s a good chance that a hosted VoIP system will offer features your existing system doesn’t have. Popular VoIP services include auto-attendant (voice driven call routing), call forwarding, voice mail, Web based interface, distinctive rings, Music on Hold, Outlook Integration, Click-to-Dial on web applications and Call-Me-Now. In most systems these facilities are user configurable and are available for little or no additional charge.

Q. Is VoIP cost effective as a Small Business Phone System ?

A. A hosted VoIP Phone system is very cost effective, scaling from a single phone and line, up to hundreds of phones without the need to buy an expensive PBX. You don’t need to work out in advance how much your business is going to expand by and by an appropriate PBX, your hosted VoIP provider has already made this investment for you. Hosted VoIP is cost effective for a start-up business, starting at only £8.00 a month and will grow with you as your company expands without the need for expensive upgrade investment. You can have hunt groups that ring in multiple locations, to ensure that your calls are always answered. So not only is Hosted VoIP cost effective for a Small Business it is the ideal solution for any start-up, or new, business.

Q. Will my business save money by switching to VoIP?

A. VoIP helps companies save money in several ways, including eliminating the major investment of buying and maintaining an on-site PBX. Businesses can also expect to save on the cost of local and international calls, various calling features and internal network deployment and maintenance. All calls between your remote offices are free, as are calls to and from Home Workers. Also all calls from Home Workers will be billed against your company Phone Number, so it simplifies the management of expenses.

Q. Can I move my existing phone number to a VoIP Phone System?

A. The short answer is, yes you can. The process of moving a phone number from a traditional Telephony Provider like BT, to a VoIP provider, is known as Porting. This is a simple process and typically takes around 10 days. During this time you can continue to use your existing phone system or set-up a divert so that all calls are delivered to the VoIP phone system. This keeps the whole process simple and painless for all parties and your customers wont be inconvenienced.

With the SystemAssure VoIP phone system the PBX (Telephone Exchange) is hosted so you don’t have to worry about system maintenance and upgrades, neither do you have the capital investment in a PBX.

You now have the answers to the Top 5 Questions asked by businesses considering VoIP phone systems.

What is the next step in getting a VoIP phone system?

The next step in using a Hosted VoIP phone system is to call +44 (0)1489-897760 and discuss your telephony requirements or go to the SystemAssure VoIP pages.

Call Me Now

Click to call meClick on the Call Me Icon, on the left, and enter your phone number and we will call you right back to discuss your requirements. At the same time you will hear the quality and flexibility of a hosted VoIP phone system. Call Me is a standard part of the Voiplicity phone system, so is something that you will be able to do on your website with just a few mouse clicks.

So call us today and let your business benefit from VoIP.

What is Outlook Anywhere?

Outlook Anywhere, also known as Outlook over http, allows you to connect to your Exchange Server when you are out of the office, without the need for a VPN. It is especially useful with using a laptop on the road, or if you regularly work from home.

Outlook Anywhere allows you to bring the Office to you, when you can’t get into the office. Keeping your business running in a safe, secure and timely manner.

How to Configure Outlook 2010 for Outlook Anywhere

To configure Microsoft Outlook to use the Outlook Anywhere facility just follow the instructions below.

Outlook Anywhere File Menu

Outlook File Menu

When you are logged into Outlook 2010 go to the File Menu and select the Info option, see left.

From here select the Account Settings Option

Account Settings

Account Settings

When you click on Account Settings the Drop Down menu below will be displayed.

Select the top option for Account Settings

Email Account Settings

Account Settings

Double click on the

Microsoft Exchange item the Change Account details, below, will be displayed.

Outlook Anywhere Server Settings

Server Settings

Make sure that

Use Cached Exchange Mode

has been selected, otherwise Outlook will be very slow when online and you will not be able to review emails when you are off-line.

Click on the More Settings… Button to get to the next Screen.

Microsoft Exchange General Settings for Outlook

General Settings

When the dialogue box appears it will default to the General tab, see left.

You shouldn’t need to change anything in here.

Microsoft Exchange Advanced Settings

Advanced Settings

In the Advanced Tab make sure that

Use Cached Exchange Mode

is selected

Microsoft Exchange Security Settings

Security Settings

Ensure that the check box for data encryption has been checked. This will help to ensure that your data is kept secure.

Microsoft Exchange Connection

Connection

Select the Outlook Anywhere box and then click on the Exchange Proxy Settings button.

The dialogue box below will be displayed, detailing the proxy options.

Microsoft Exchange Proxy Settings

Exchange Proxy Settings

Enter the URL of your mail server name. Typically this will be something like

Mail.DomainName.co.uk

Select Only connect to proxy servers that have this principal name in their certificate. And enter:

msstd: Mail.DomainName.co.uk

Then press OK

Using Outlook Anywhere

Once this has been done you should be able to connect to your Exchange Server using Outlook without the need for a VPN. You will be prompted for your windows login credentials when Outlook goes to connect to your Exchange Server. Other than that you should be able to use Outlook Anywhere in exactly the same way that you use Outlook in the office, you will still get all of your email signatures and have full access to your Calendar and Contacts.

Now you know how to Configure Outlook Anywhere.

Malware Protection CenterMicrosoft Malware Protection

The Microsoft Malware Protection Center shows the latest information from Microsoft about the new additions to Security Essentials and Forefront, for Enterprises.

What the Microsoft Malware Protection Provides

The Microsoft Malware Protection Center provides:

  • Information about the latest Viruses and Malware that have been discovered
  • Detailed information about specific Viruses
  • Advices on how to avoid Viruses and Malware
  • Access to the Threat Encyclopedia

What else is available in the Microsoft Malware Protection Center?

In addition to the detailed information about specific Threats you can also download Anti-Virus updates for the following Microsoft Security Products.

  • Microsoft Forefront
  • Microsoft Security Essentials
  • Microsoft One Care
  • Microsoft Defender

Microsoft have a robust anti-virus and Malware portfolio of products with the Forefront range of Enterprise products. Small Businesses and home users can now benefit from the same infrastructure and investment.

Free Anti-Virus Software – should I use it?

Everyone who uses a computer should have anti-virus software installed, but should you use the Free Anti-Virus Software that several companies offer? The free products typically use the same core anti-virus engine as the companies chargeable products, they are just missing some of the advanced features of the big brother.

There are a lot of Free Anti-Virus software products available on the Internet, so where should you get your copy from and which one should you use?

What Free Anti-Virus Software is available?

Most of the Anti-Virus companies offer some form of Free product, these include:-

AVG-Free Antivirus Software
Microsoft Security Essentials Free Antivirus software for up to 10 PC's
Avast Free Anti virus software Avira Free Antivirus Software
AVG Microsoft Avast Avira

All of the above links direct you to the website of the company who write the software, check before you download.

There are other Free Anti-Virus software products available from other manufacturers, but we know that all of these work and we don’t have experience of the free versions of all of the other products.

Where  Should I download Free Anti-Virus Software from?

You should make sure that you download all forms of Security Software, including Anti-Virus software and Anti-Malware Software, direct for the appropriate company website. i.e. Download Security Essentials direct from the Microsoft website and Avira from the Avira website. That is the only way that you can make sure that the software you are downloading is genuine and isn’t a scam, or some form of malware.

Which  Free Anti-Virus Software should I use?

All of the anti-virus applications above are for Windows PC’s and they all do a good job of keeping viruses at bay. They all get scheduled anti-virus signature updates, typically only once a day for the Free products. So in the end it does come down to personal preference and the features that you are looking for in the product. My personal preference would be for Avast or Microsoft Security Essentials, but that is because I have more experience with these products.

Can I use Free Anti-Virus Software in my Business?

All of the Free Anti-Virus software products are licensed for use on personal, or home, computers. Of the 4 Free Anti-Virus Software products above only Microsoft Security Essentials allows you to use it within a small business.

Microsoft Security Essentials is now licensed to allow small business with up to 10 PC’s to use the product for free.

Free Anti-Virus Software is a good option for home PC’s and is now an option for Small Businesses, with Microsoft changing their licensing for Security Essentials.

Download Microsoft Security Essentials - The Best Free Anti virus product

Microsoft Security Essentials

If you are looking for the best free anti virus product on the Internet for your home PC, or Small Business, now you can work and play on your PC more safely. With Microsoft® Security Essentials, it’s easy to help protect your PC from viruses, spyware, and other malicious software for FREE* with the same award-winning technology used by millions of consumer and enterprise PCs around the world. Security Essentials provides Malware protection in addition to Anti-Virus protection, making it possibly the best free anti virus tool available.

Is Security Essentials the Best Free Anti Virus Product?

You don’t need to pay for Home, or Small Business, Anti Virus software

Microsoft are the latest company to to make their Anti Virus products free for home users. Several other anti-virus providers, probably the best knows is AVG Free, have a version of their Anti Virus software which can be used for free on Home PC’s. In a recent update Microsoft have now made Security Essentials available free of charge to Small Businesses with up to 10 PC’s.

Is Security Essentials the Best Free Anti Virus product?

Well its certainly at least as good as the other Free Anti Virus products, if not the best free anti virus product that we have tried. Security Essentials is based on the Forefront technology that is used by hundreds of thousands of Microsoft enterprise customers, so it has a lot of research behind it.

Installing Security Essentials

Microsoft Security Essentials Website To get your copy of  the Free Anti Virus product from Microsoft click on the ‘Security Essentials, Free Download’ graphic above.

This connect to the Internet and display the Microsoft Security Essentials site, where you can either download and install Security Essentials or you can find out more about the product by watching the video.

Click on the Download Now button and follow the instructions to complete the installation.

You can see the steps outlined for the download and installation, for what is possibly the best free anti virus product available, in the process below:-

Download Security Essentials

Download Microsoft Security EssentialsAfter you have selected to Download Microsoft Security Essentials you will see the screen to the left.

Confirm the Language version that you want to download and then click on the Operating System Version that you are using. XP 32 bit, Vista/Windows 7 32 bit or 64 bit.

Once you have confirmed your Operating System Version, in the download screen,  then the download of Security Essentials will start automatically.

Note: you may get the ‘Standard’ Windows file download warning, you can safely ignore this warning message and proceed with the download.

The Download Process

Download  Microsoft Security Essentials for Free

The file will then be downloaded for you to save locally on your computer. Make sure that you note where the file is downloaded to, as you may need this information later on.

Once the download has completed you should select the option to run the installation file and then follow the detailed on-screen instructions. This will ensure that Microsoft Security Essentials is installed and configure correctly and that the latest updates are applied to ensure that your home computer  is protected by, what is possibly, the best free anti virus product available.

The instructions on screen will guide you though the installation process and make sure that Security Essentials has the latest updates installed.

Install Security Essentials

Accept the Security Essentials License TermsBefore you can proceed with the installation process You will need to accept the Microsoft End User License Agreement (EULA).

You should, of course, read the ELUA before you accept and agree to it, by pressing the I accept Button.

Once you have accepted the EULA then Microsoft Security Essentials will verify that you are using a genuine version of Windows before continuing the installation process.

Should you be  using a pirate, or unauthorised, version of Windows the installation will terminate at this point as Microsoft Security Essentials will only install on a system which passes the validation process.

Note: Microsoft does not collect any information during the Validation process which can be used to identify who you are, neither do they ask for any contact information such as an email address.

Operating System Validation

Remove other AV productsPress the Validate > Button to continue with the Validation process. This will verify that your versions of Microsoft Windows is a genuine version and that it has a valid license.

Once the validation of your Windows Operating System has been confirmed you can start the installation by pressing the Install > Button.

Once you have pressed the Install Button then the installation process will start and a Status Bar will be displayed, showing you the progress of the installation.

This will continue to update during the installation of Microsoft Security Essentials.

Security Definition Updates

Installed & ScanningAfter the installation process has completed the Computer Status will be set to ‘At Risk’ whilst the virus and spyware definitions are updated to the latest version.

Whilst your computer remains At Risk the Status Line will be bright red, to indicate that you are not currently fully protected.

This process will always happen as there will have been additional anti virus and anti malware updates which have been issued since Microsoft Security Essentials was packaged. The security updates will take a few moments to download and install.

Once the definitions have been updated the status line will change to Green and the status will be set to protected. At the same time a Quick Scan of the computer will be carried out. The status of the scan will be updated as things progress.

Updates

The Update Tab will show you the version of the virus and spyware definitions and also show when they were last updated. If you want you can manually update the definitions, or more likely you will set the updates to take place on a regular schedule.
Computer Protected

Once the initial scan is completed then you are protected from Viruses.  Security Essentials will automatically update the virus definitions on a regular basis.

One of the advantages of the Free Anti virus products is the fact there there isn’t a subscription which can expire. So the virus and spyware definitions should always be up to date, so it truly should be a ‘set it and forget it’ product.

In another post we will discuss how to configure and use Microsoft Security Essentials to ensure that you are always up to date and protected for viruses and malware. This will help you to get the most out of Microsoft Security Essentials and show you that it is, possibly, the best free anti virus product available.

Is Security Essentials the Best Free Anti Virus Product?

We certainly think its one of the Best Free Anti Virus products that you can get. Why not let us know your experiences with Security Essentials by filling out the Comments below.

* Microsoft Security Essentials is available at no charge for Home customers who are verified to have a copy of genuine Windows in select countries. No registration or personal information is required, only automatic verification of your genuine Windows installation.

Need security for your business?

Microsoft Security Essentials is now  available for small businesses with up to 10 PCs. If your business has more than 10 PCs, you can protect your computers with Microsoft Forefront Client Security.

Do you think that Microsoft Security Essentials is the Best Free Anti Virus Product available, let us know.

Use Comments to Improve Web Traffic

In my recent post Is My Website Effective, where I was looking at how you can measure the effectiveness and reach of your website, I spoke about the use of both Comments and Backlinks as tools to help improve web traffic. I have a real world example to share that shows the effectiveness of this technique, providing that you choose the right sites on which to place your comments.

How can comments help improve web traffic?

Improve Web Traffic with Comments and BacklinksYou can see that there is a spike in site visitors on November 30th and that after this date the number of visitors returned back to a more regular level.

What was the cause of the traffic increase and how can we sustain the increased visitor numbers, so that we continue to improve web traffic? Using web analytics, either provided by Google or in my case using the inbuilt WordPress statistics it was possible to see that the spike in visitors had all come from the same place. They had all come from a newspaper website, where I had added a comment in response to an article in a Technology Blog.

Increase Web Traffic with Backlinks anIncrease Web Traffic with Backlinks and Commentsd Comments

Compare the Traffic

Compare the 2 graphics on the left, the upper graphic shows the increase in traffic after the first comment posted to the Technology Blog.

In the second graphic the spike from the first graph, Dated 30th November, is more or less in the centre of the traffic graph. So the 2nd post was even more effective than the first in terms of helping to improve web traffic to ComputerSpot. The challenge remains to keep the traffic levels at the higher volume.

Posting a relevant comment to the Technology Blog of another, well known, UK newspaper has once again increased the traffic to ComputerSpot. So this simple 5 minute exercise has helped me to improve web traffic to ComputerSpot.

The comment that you post needs to be helpful and to entice readers to come and look at your blog, so it needs to be relevant to the original article. If the comment is helpful to people they will probably click on the link that goes back to your website, the backlink, to find out more. Its this process of backlinking that helps to improve web traffic to your site.

Backlinks improve web traffic

Its actually the Backlink that we are after, the link back to our website, rather than the content of the comment. So you need to have enough information in your comment:

  • So that it makes sense in its own right
  • That it shows that you know your subject
  • That people are interested in finding out more about the topic, by clicking on the link

The ‘Rules’ of using Comments and Backlinks to improve web traffic?

  1. Post comments that are relevant
  2. Make sure that there is a reason for people to click on your link
  3. Don’t advertise, be helpful with the content of the post.Otherwise your post will be removed by a ‘Moderator’
  4. Add comments to articles that are relevant to your website. i.e.There is no point posting a comment to an article about fly fishing if you are trying to get people to a website about perfume.
  5. Be honest, don’t try to hide who you are or where you are looking to take people.

So be selective in where you add comments and gain the backlinks and you can improve web traffic and gain visitors on a regular basis.