Wifi woes and Phishing scams
We don’t know about you, but it has certainly been an interesting last couple of weeks. Little did any of us know that when we wrote about preparations for the looming COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic exactly what that would mean, or quite how quickly that it would hit everyone in as many ways.
Several hundred laptops prepped and delivered later alongside countless thousands of VPN’s set up and tested we have definitely seen the effects as our amazing Systemagic team continue to support our client’s team members that now work from all over their respective houses, from the home office to the dining room table!
The shift from office to home working whilst relatively simple does not come without its challenges and so we thought we should share some observations to make people aware of some of the challenges that we are seeing.
One of the clear challenges of everyone working from home is the impact on the infrastructure which has seen unprecedented demand as everyone fights for bandwidth and has even seen Netflix turn down its quality for 30 days!
However, we have seen a lot of our client’s team members raise issues about accessing systems or data which are often linked directly to their ability to gain access via their home networks.
Some suggestions to improve the quality of your work experience:
- Download don’t stream – We suggest with children and young people at home that our clients plan ahead so that where possible all learning and entertainment downloads are completed in the evening so that during business hours when video calls and meetings are taking place.
- Disconnect unnecessary devices – The more devices connected the more the bandwidth has to be split and the slower it is so if you don’t need that extra device, turn it off.
- Place router on shelf not floor – And place it as far away as possible from other devices that may interfere with the signal which includes phones, lamps, stereos, speakers, TVs, monitors including those of the baby type. We even suggest that people don’t use microwaves whilst online as this can interfere with signal quite significantly!
- Use a cable – We love Wi-Fi but for the best speeds and quality a cable is still best when you really need it to work, so buy a long network cable as a back up!
- Timing is everything – Most meetings start on the hour and the half hour so consider if you can time your meeting for a less busy time when less people will be vying for the broadband space.
- Consider if you need the video – Audio requires a lot less data than video and whilst in these times of self-isolation it is lovely to see your teammates if the call is crucial and the quality poor, try turning off the camera!
Whilst its reprehensible we know that criminals don’t knowingly miss an opportunity and so we have seen a significant rise in people being targeted with Coronavirus related scams.
From emails, texts and calls offering everything from advice through to bogus treatments, including most reprehensibly of all the fake charity page, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau suggests there have already been over £800,000 lost to scams since February 2020.
We published an e-book on how to spot suspect emails which you can download here but specific advice includes:
- Being highly sceptical if you receive an email, text or WhatsApp message about coronavirus, and never click on any attachments or links.
- Never providing personal or company data such as your full name, address and date of birth as this can be used by scammers to steal your identity.
- Not allowing you or your team to be pressured into donating money and never make donations by cash or gift card or send money through transfer agents.
- Ensuring you check all requests for payment are properly checked and an approval process is established, particularly with finance teams working remotely!
- Consider upgrading security systems and having a contingency plan against ransomware which is sure to increase.
We will continue to update on developments, issues and hopefully good news stories but in the meantime please continue to stay safe and if you need any assistance please do not hesitate give us a call or drop us a line today.
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