6 advanced search tips for Gmail

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By EDITOR

Looking for an important file or message among endless emails in your inbox is no fun, especially if you need it right before a meeting starts. You’ve tried using the basic search box at the top of Gmail and found out that it didn’t help either. Don’t worry, we’ve rounded up 6 search operators that will help you sort through your inbox to get what you need in a jiffy.

1. Where did I put that file?

Looking for a file your colleagues sent you ages ago? Don’t remember the file’s specific name but you do recall some keywords? That’s a good start. Simply type a keyword after filename: to search for a particular file. For example, you can typefilename: minutes to search for a file named meeting minutes. Don’t even remember a part of the name but know what type of file it is? Then you can also use the same search operator to search for a file type. For example, typefilename: doc to search for document files.

2. CC or BCC

There are times when you want to narrow down the recipients: whether they are direct, carbon copy (cc), or blind carbon copy (bcc) receivers. The basic “To” search boxes are proven to be useless in this case. What you can do to be more specific is to type cc: or bcc: followed by the recipients’ names or email addresses. For example, instead of typing “anna” in the “To” search box, you can type cc: anna to look for email sent to Anna as a carbon copy (cc) only. Note that you won’t be able to find messages that you received on bcc.

3. Search by time period

You don’t have to remember the exact dates to be able to search for a specific email. With the search operators before: or after:, you can just type the period when the email is sent or received. Don’t forget to use the date format yyyy/mm/dd, otherwise, Gmail wouldn’t get it. By typing after: 2016/07/01before: 2016/07/15, Gmail will look for emails sent or received between July 1, 2016 and July 15, 2016.

4. Search for read, unread, or starred messages

You can search for messages that are read, unread, or starred by using is:read,is:unread, is:starred. By typing is:read is:starred from:Anna you are searching for messages from Anna that have been read and marked with a star. If you have more than one type of stars (or if you don’t, we suggest you learn how to manage your emails with Gmail’s stars option), you can type has:green-star to search for messages marked with that color.

5. Don’t ignore Spam or Trash

Whether using the simple search box or search operators suggested above, both ignore emails that are in Spam or Trash box. And from time to time, important emails can mistakably be thrown into Trash box for some unknown reasons. Usein:anywhere to look everywhere in your inbox, including those two places, to make sure that no important email has slipped through.

6. Look in the chat box too

We all hate it when our colleagues send important files or message via a chat box. That makes it difficult when searching for them later. But by typing is:chatfollowed by keywords or name of the person you’re communicating with, you can actually search for messages or files in the chat log. Next time you can tell your colleagues to send vital files or information via proper email instead. But if that still doesn’t work, now you know how to help yourself.

When it comes to managing and sorting through confidential emails in your inbox, no one can do it besides you. Yet there are still the matters of database management and security to take into consideration. Why not outsource those issues to us and enjoy a more carefree communication with your colleagues and customers? Call us today to see what our experts can do for you.

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IRS Warns of Back-to-School Scams; Encourages Students, Parents, Schools to Stay Alert

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WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today warned taxpayers against telephone scammers targeting students and parents during the back-to-school season and demanding payments for non-existent taxes, such as the “Federal Student Tax.”

People should be on the lookout for IRS impersonators calling students and demanding that they wire money immediately to pay a fake “federal student tax.” If the person does not comply, the scammer becomes aggressive and threatens to report the student to the police to be arrested. As schools around the nation prepare to re-open, it is important for taxpayers to be particularly aware of this scheme going after students and parents.

“Although variations of the IRS impersonation scam continue year-round, they tend to peak when scammers find prime opportunities to strike”, said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “As students and parents enter the new school year, they should remain alert to bogus calls, including those demanding fake tax payments from students.”

The IRS encourages college and school communities to share this information so that students, parents and their families are aware of these scams.

Scammers are constantly identifying new tactics to carry out their crimes in new and unsuspecting ways. This year, the IRS has seen scammers use a variety of schemes to fool taxpayers into paying money or giving up personal information. Some of these include:

  • Altering the caller ID on incoming phone calls in a “spoofing” attempt to make it seem like the IRS, the local police or another agency is calling
  • Imitating software providers to trick tax professionals–IR-2016-103
  • Demanding fake tax payments using iTunes gift cards–IR-2016-99
  • Soliciting W-2 information from payroll and human resources professionals–IR-2016-34
  • “Verifying” tax return information over the phone–IR-2016-40
  • Pretending to be from the tax preparation industry–IR-2016-28

If you receive an unexpected call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here are some of the telltale signs to help protect yourself.

The IRS Will Never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

If you get a suspicious phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:

  • Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
  • Search the web for telephone numbers scammers leave in your voicemail asking you to call back. Some of the phone numbers may be published online and linked to criminal activity.
  • Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page or call 800-366-4484.
  • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
  • If you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.
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Best Options for CRM Software in 2016

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By EDITOR

As the saying goes, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” If oceans were to separate you from your loved ones, what would you do? Would you communicate as much as you used to? Would you still check in from time to time? Now, apply this sentiment to your business; what would happen if communication with your customers broke down? Following up on orders or keeping track with progress would become a nightmare – it’s time for CRM software to save the day:

Since every business differs in terms of size, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to CRM. Thus, varying corporate sizes require unique CRM software that best addresses requirements. We’ll be taking a look at ideal CRM software options for the following categories: businesses in general, very small businesses and ones that are free.

Best CRM Software for Small Businesses: Salesforce

Salesforce has long been considered one of the top-tier CRM solutions, mainly due to its cloud-based nature coupled with full-featured capabilities that cater to businesses of every size. Typically, Salesforce is synonymous with larger enterprises, but that doesn’t mean small- and medium-sized businesses are denied the same perks. Enter Salesforce’s small business edition: with it, SMBs can utilize the robust set of CRM tools at an affordable rate.

Salesforce Small Business Solutions offer packages that are tailor-made for small businesses. With it you’ll be able to fully utilize all that Salesforce has to offer. In order for your company to really thrive, your CRM should be equipped with features such as lead generation, contact and opportunity management, sales forecasting, workflow automation as well as collaborative tools — all of which can be found in Salesforce. Also, the software is cloud-based, meaning that you can access data and files anywhere at anytime via mobile devices.

Best CRM Software for Very Small Businesses: Insightly

Underneath its simple and navigable facade lies a CRM software that is abundant with capabilities, all of which fit the bill for microbusinesses. Aside from the fact that it has the vital components small businesses really look for in CRM software, it’s also highly scalable to accommodate the growth of your company. Furthermore, Insightly is currently one of the more affordable CRM solutions on the market; there’s even a free version if you wish to test the waters. There are also paid plans available at a fraction of the price when compared with other CRM software solutions.

Even with the free version or paid plans that start at $12, Insightly doesn’t compromise utility with affordability. It comes equipped with all the vital CRM capabilities any microbusiness would need. This includes detailed sales reports, opportunity, contact and project management as well. It’s also scalable to meet the needs of your business as it grows. To top it all off, it’s a cloud-based CRM software allowing you to access data anywhere at anytime via Internet-enabled mobile devices.

Best Free CRM Software: Zoho CRM

Not having to pay for Zoho doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t deliver the necessary capabilities required from CRM software. Zoho CRM provides your business with all the core functions it needs. Moreover, it allows you to onboard up ten users for free. Courtesy of Zoho CRM’s mobile app, you’ll be able be access data regardless of time or location. Here are some of the other features that the free version of Zoho CRM has to offer:

  • 360-view – all the vital information is stored and displayed, allowing you to make the best business decisions. This includes contacts, sale cycles, pipelines, and discover trends. It also helps you identify opportunities.
  • Automation – spend less time dealing with mundane tasks by automating tasks such as lead generation, contact management, calendars and even call logs.
  • Collaboration – Zoho CRM doubles as a social media platform integrating with Twitter and Facebook to link contacts to their social media accounts. This allows you to see their updates as well as the interactions you’ve had on social media right from your dashboard.
  • Analytics – you can track sales as well as measure both business and employee performance via a range of reporting capabilities.
  • Security – with Zoho CRM, you are given full control over who can do what with the software. Besides creating individual user profiles, you can assign roles and even restrict access.

Unlike farms, the main component to a company’s growth isn’t fertilizer and sunshine. Instead, it’s competent CRM software that allows your business to reach its full potential. If you have any questions on customer relationship management software, feel free to get in touch with us. We’re more than happy to not only provide answers but also be part of your success.

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Linux bug infecting Android users

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By EDITOR

Bugs have come a long way, and they’re not just creepy-crawlies anymore. So we have to worry not only about the bugs that we contract and make us physically ill, but also the bugs that threaten the security of our beloved smartphones. Most people overlook bugs since they’re so tiny, but what they lack in size they make up for in their capacity to wreak havoc on innocent devices. What are the consequences of failing to address these security matters? Read on and find out.

Recently, researchers from the mobile security firm Lookout confirmed that “an estimated 80 percent of Android phones contain a recently discovered vulnerability that allows attackers to terminate connections and, if the connections aren’t encrypted, inject malicious code or content into the parties’ communications.” The statement itself might be new, but many have already suspected a flaw in version 3.6 of Linux, dating as far back as 2012. It’s thought that the flaw itself was introduced into Android version 4.4 (aka KitKat) and is still present today, including in the latest developer preview, Android Nougat.

As numerically backed up by the Android install base and quoted by statistic provider Statista, over 1.4 billion Android devices (about 80 percent of users) are currently vulnerable. What Android users can do is to ensure that their communications are encrypted by using VPNs (virtual private networks) or by making sure that whatever sites they visit are encrypted. Encryption allows you to travel without being tracked; if the predator can’t see you, you’re no longer a target.

If you’re vulnerable, you welcome anyone with an Internet connection to determine whether or not two parties have been communicating via a long-lived transport protocol connection. This includes Webmail, news feeds as well as direct messages. Unencrypted connections allow attackers to utilize malicious code or inject content into the traffic. This doesn’t mean that encrypted connections are safe; attackers are still be able to determine and terminate the existence of channels as well. This vulnerability has been dubbed as CVE-2016-5696.

One of the more likely methods used to compromise Android users is the the insertion of JavaScript into legitimate Internet traffic that isn’t HTTPS cryptographic scheme-protected. This may display messages claiming that users have been logged out of their accounts and prompting them to re-enter their usernames and passwords. Having sent the login credentials to the attacker, similar exploits may also be used to target unpatched browsers, emails or chat apps the Android users use.

To initiate the attack, the attacker must spend about 10 seconds to establish whether two specific parties are connected, then another 45 seconds to flood their traffic with malicious content. Because it takes a certain amount of time for the attack to fully commence, these attacks aren’t suited for opportunistic attacks that affect more than one individual. Instead, this technique is ideal for the infection or surveillance of one specific target, especially if the hacker knows some of the sites the target frequently visits.

We can breathe a sigh of relief with a Google representative’s statement that company engineers are aware of the situation and are “taking appropriate actions.” He also noted that among the various vulnerabilities on Google’s patches, the Android security team has officially rated the risk as “moderate” as opposed to “high” or “critical.” Maintainers of the Linux kernel have successfully patched CVE-2016-5696. They are working toward incorporating a fix into a new Android release in the coming months.

Matters of security should never be taken lightly, especially when it comes to your personal device. For more information on this sensitive and intricate matter, please feel free to contact us anytime. We are more than happy to answer your questions. The more you know, the better.

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Office 365 gets an upgrade!

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By EDITOR

Did you know that Microsoft’s Office 365 platform provides updates to their online components once every quarter? This is quite impressive because as an end user, you’ll be able to enjoy a more feature-rich and intuitive experience with your cloud productivity suite without having to manually install the updates yourself. So what exactly does Office 365’s update have in store for you this quarter?

Word

This quarter, Office 365’s upgrade will focus on cloud-powered intelligent services, designed to maximize productivity while saving time. And Office 365’s upgrade wouldn’t be an upgrade if there were nothing new in Word, the business application that put Microsoft on the map. To that end, Word is getting two new features called Researcher and Editor. As you may have guessed, Researcher is designed to help you find reliable sources of information by using Bing’s Knowledge Graph to help search and then cite sources in your Word document. In the future, Researcher’s body of reference materials will also include sources such as national science and health centers, well-known encyclopedias, and more. The feature will be available on mobile devices too.

Now that you have Researcher to help you start your paper, you can count on Editor to help you finish it. This new feature builds on the existing spellchecker and thesaurus, and in addition to the wavy red line under a misspelled word and wavy blue line under bad grammar, Editor uses a gold line for suggestions on how to improve your writing.

PowerPoint

Currently, when making a presentation, you’re forced to use the 1-2-3-4 linear method of showing your slides. The problem is that you can’t change your presentation order as needed without having to exit PowerPoint’s slideshow mode, and let’s face it, sometimes you do make mistakes and need to go back or move to a different slide. But thanks to PowerPoint’s new feature, Zoom, you can now present your slides in any order you want at any time without a hiccup.

Outlook

The time has come for Office 365’s Outlook to get the Focused Inbox which has been available for iOS and Android for some time now. If you’re not familiar with Focused Inbox, the feature separates your inbox into two tabs: Focused tab which includes emails that matter most to you and the “Other” tab for everything else. This makes it easy to identify email that needs your attention so you never miss anything important.

Not only that, but as you move email in or out of the Focused tab, Outlook learns from your behavior and adjusts to your priorities. You can also flag someone by typing the @ symbol in the body of the email and pick whoever you wish to flag. This will automatically highlight that person’s email and their email address will be added to the To: line. If you are mentioned, the @ symbol will show up in Outlook so you can quickly find all email where you are mentioned.

For now, Microsoft hasn’t set a release schedule for these new features, but according to Kirk Koenigsbauer, Corporate Vice President for the Office team, you can expect to use them soon enough! And as always, if you would like to find out how you can make the most out of Office 365 or Microsoft Office, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

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Benefits of using Skype for Business

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By EDITOR

For businesses, it’s never enough to rely on just one asset to succeed, especially when there are better options out there to explore. This is where Skype for Business comes in. Skype for Business is more tailor-made for companies, and it’s hard to deny the many corporate benefits it brings to the table. Let’s examine four of these useful benefits today.

Cloud PBX

Skype for Business is designed for simple management, with Cloud PBX (public exchange servers) allowing you to store and transfer data via the Internet as opposed to a computer or other hardware that the end-user owns. With Skype for Business, you are able to easily record and store any audio or video conversation history. You can also store instant messages for future reference in a separate email folder.

In order for a cloud PBX system to work, it requires an IP connection or Internet phone for the necessary Internet connection. From there, you can access it through a personalized account from any Internet-enabled device capable of running the Cloud PBX’s interface. Your cloud PBX service provider is in charge of storing and managing all the data, meaning that your calls are connected to their recipients via the Internet. Your service provides “redundancy,” which backs up all your data in the event they were to get lost or corrupted because your computer crashed.

Expanded Capability

Over the past decade, webinars have become quite popular, mainly due to the fact that they allow important meetings to be held without having to converge at the same location. It’s like having a video chat with your friends. Whereas Skype allows up to 25 participants, Skype for Business accommodates up to 250. Other nifty features include:

    • Skype Meeting Broadcast – broadcast meetings for up to 10,000 people in large webinars.
    • PSTN Conference (or Dial-in conference) – allows attendees to join a meeting via landlines or cellphones.

On top of all that, Skype for Business is fully integrated with a host of other useful office applications. You have access to Microsoft Office (e.g., Excel, PowerPoint, Word, etc.), and you can share files with other participants throughout the meeting.

Enhanced Security Control

With Skype for Business, users have better security control through the authentication and encryption of private communications. So you have better access to guest accounts, and you can enable or disable certain call features to enhance communication.

Knowing which tools to utilize is vital to help you get the upper hand. By utilizing what’s best for you and your business, you won’t have to search for success; it’ll come looking for you instead. For any questions regarding Skype for Business and its functions, feel free to give us a call or send us a message. We’re more than happy to help you any way we can.

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Change your Dropbox password

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By EDITOR

In 2012, cloud storage firm Dropbox was hacked with over two-thirds of its users’ details dumped all over the internet. While the company initially thought a collection of email addresses was the only thing stolen, it was wrong — passwords had been compromised as well. This new information came to light when the database was picked up by a security notification service. So if you were using Dropbox before the incident and haven’t changed your password since, you should do so right away.

Despite the unfortunate incident, Dropbox has implemented a thorough threat-monitoring analysis and investigation, and has found no indication that user accounts were improperly accessed. However, this doesn’t mean you’re 100 percent in the clear.

What you need to do

As a precaution, Dropbox has emailed all users believed to have been affected by the security breach, and completed a password-reset for them. This ensures that even if these passwords had been cracked, they couldn’t be used to access Dropbox accounts. However, if you signed up for the platform prior to mid-2012 and haven’t updated your password since, you’ll be prompted to do so the next time you sign in. All you have to do is choose a new password that meets Dropbox’s minimum security requirements, a task assisted by their “strength meter.” The company also recommends using its two-step authentication feature when you reset your password.

Apart from that, if you used your Dropbox password on other sites before mid-2012 — whether for Facebook, YouTube or any other online platform — you should change your password on those services as well. Since most of us reuse passwords, the first thing any hacker does after acquiring stolen passwords is try them on the most popular account-based sites.

Dropbox’s ongoing security practices

Dropbox’s security team is working to improve its monitoring process for compromises, abuses, and suspicious activities. It has also implemented a broad set of controls, including independent security audits and certifications, threat intelligence, and bug bounties for white hat hackers. Bug bounties is a program whereby Dropbox provides monetary rewards, from $216 up to $10,000, to people who report vulnerabilities before malicious hackers can exploit them. Not only that, but the company has also built open-source tools such as zxcvbn, a password strength estimator, and bcrypt, a password hashing function to ensure that a similar breach doesn’t happen again.

To learn more about keeping your online accounts secure, or about how you can protect your business from today’s increasing cyber threats, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.

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IRS Warns Taxpayers of Summer Surge in Automated Phone Scam Calls; Requests for Fake Tax Payments Using iTunes Gift Cards

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WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today warned taxpayers to stay vigilant against an increase of IRS impersonation scams in the form of automated calls and new tactics from scammers demanding tax payments on iTunes and other gift cards.

The IRS has seen an increase in “robo-calls” where scammers leave urgent callback requests through the phone telling taxpayers to call back to settle their “tax bill.” These fake calls generally claim to be the last warning before legal action is taken. Once the victim calls back, the scammers may threaten to arrest, deport or revoke the driver’s license of the victim if they don’t agree to pay.

“It used to be that most of these bogus calls would come from a live-person. Scammers are evolving and using more and more automated calls in an effort to reach the largest number of victims possible,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Taxpayers should remain alert for this summer surge of phone scams, and watch for clear warning signs as these scammers change tactics.”

In the latest trend, IRS impersonators are demanding payments on iTunes and other gift cards. The IRS reminds taxpayers that any request to settle a tax bill by putting money on  any form of gift card is a clear indication of a scam.

Some examples of the varied tactics seen this year are:

  • Demanding payment for a “Federal Student Tax”–IR-2016-81
  • Demanding immediate tax payment for taxes owed on an iTunes or other type of gift card
  • Soliciting W-2 information from payroll and human resources professionals–IR-2016-34
  • “Verifying” tax return information over the phone–IR-2016-40
  • Pretending to be from the tax preparation industry–IR-2016-28

Since these bogus calls can take many forms and scammers are constantly changing their strategies, knowing the telltale signs is the best way to avoid becoming a victim.

The IRS Will Never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money and you don’t owe taxes, here’s what you should do:

  • Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
  • Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page or call 800-366-4484.
  • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
  • If you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.
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Use Microsoft Azure Key Vault to protect your data backups

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by Brien Posey

The Azure Key Vault can serve as data backup protection through its encryption key storage management. Explore how to set up the vault and administer it in your organization.

Data storage administrators go to great lengths to protect network servers and their contents against various types of security breaches. Similar care must be taken to secure backups so they don’t become a security vulnerability. After all, a backup is essentially a copy of an organization’s data that exists outside of the protective confines of the server where the data normally resides.

One of the simplest ways of protecting backups is through encryption. But without careful planning, backup encryption can cause data loss. That’s where the Microsoft Azure Key Vault comes in.

Backup encryption uses encryption keys. These might be software-level keys or hardware-level keys that live on a backup device such as a tape drive. In any case, an encrypted backup cannot be decrypted without the encryption key. Imagine a situation in which an organization has created a series of encrypted tape-based backups, sent them off-site for safe keeping and then has its data center destroyed by a fire. However, when the organization retrieves its backup tapes so data can be restored, it must have a copy of the encryption key — which typically does not exist on the backup tape — to decrypt the data. If it doesn’t, the organization ends up losing just as much data as it would have if the data had never been backed up.

Storing encryption keys with Microsoft Azure Key Vault

The Azure Key Vault is a cloud-based service specifically designed to store encryption keys and other secrets such as SQL Server connection strings and passwords. It does this by using a Federal Information Processing Standards-validated hardware security module.

HSMs are physical devices that store and protect cryptographic keys. They typically take the form of an expansion card or external device that connects to a network server. Although HSMs aren’t anything new, it is only in recent years that Microsoft has made it possible to use a cloud-based HSM.

It is important to understand that the Microsoft Azure Key Vault not only stores a backup copy of your encryption key, but manages an application’s access to a key. This allows the Azure Key Vault to store keys securely in the cloud and prevent keys and other secrets from being directly exposed.

Setting up an Azure Key Vault

Each Microsoft Azure customer can create a dedicated Key Vault. Because the organization owns the Azure Vault, it has full control over its use. But creating a Key Vault is only the first step. The administrator must make the vault work with the backup application. Unfortunately, there is no standard method for doing this because every application is different.

To get a backup application to use the Microsoft Azure Key Vault, the administrator must register the application in the Microsoft Azure Active Directory and then use the Set-AzureRmKeyVaultAccessPolicy cmdlet toauthorize the application to use the Key Vault.

In most cases, other IT staff members — such as backup operators — will need to be authorized to use the Azure Vault. For instance, the storage administrator may need to grant members of the IT staff the ability to add keys to the vault. The Set-AzureRmKeyVaultAccessPolicy cmdlet can be used for this task.

Once the access policy has been configured, the backup application must be set to use the Azure Key Vault. You will need to use the Add-AzureKeyVaultKey cmdlet to add your key to the vault. If the backup application uses some other type of secret, you can use the Set-AzureKeyVaultSecret cmdlet instead. In either case, Azure will provide a uniform resource identifier that corresponds to the key or secret. To use the Key Vault and the key within it, the application must provide users with a way of adding the key’s URI to the application’s configuration.

Microsoft makes it relatively easy to set up an Azure Key Vault and to add keys and secrets to the vault. Although HSMs can be used on-premises, these devices tend to be expensive, and the Microsoft Azure Key Vault may be a cheaper alternative.

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7 tips every Windows 10 user should know

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By EDITOR

The difference between regular users and power users is their proficiency in navigating the OS and utilizing its tips and tricks for an efficient computing experience. It may take anywhere from a few sessions to a few months to really get into the swing of it. Achieve power user status in a jiffy with the help of these seven tips:

Master virtual desktops

Virtual desktops allow for better utilization of screen space. You can span your applications and windows across multiple “virtual” desktops. Create one by clicking on the “Task View” icon (located at the right of the Cortana bar) on the taskbar, then click “+ New Desktop” in the lower right corner and add as many desktops as you wish. To move an application to a new desktop, merely drag it into the virtual desktop on the bottom.

Next-level screenshotting

The original screenshotting methods on Windows include Windows + Prt Scn, which captures the screen and saves it into the Screenshots folder; and Alt + Prt Scn, which captures the screen and copies it to your clipboard.

Introducing the new built-in Snipping Tool. On top of capturing a full screen screenshot, other capturing options range from a free-form rectangle to a specific aspect ratio or even an entire window as well. You can also set the capture to delay a screenshot by a set interval — this comes in handy when you want to screenshot a YouTube video minus the playback controls.

Shake and minimize

For users who aren’t aware of this trick, you can grab a window by its bar and literally shake your mouse. This causes all the other windows to automatically minimize.

Professional Windows snapping

Snapping windows to certain parts of the screen is ideal for multitasking. You can now organize and monitor different applications more seamlessly. Make the most of your screen space with the following tips:

Drag a window to the right or left to split it in half.
Drag a window to a corner to reduce it to a fourth of its size.
Drag a window to the top to maximize its size.

Record your screen with the Xbox app

After launching the Xbox app, go to the app you wish to record and press Windows + G. You’ll be prompted with a window that asks: “Do you want to open the Game bar?” Click on the “Yes, this is a game” box and let the recording begin!

Talk to Cortana like a person

Aside from typing your requests, you can also use natural language to ask Cortana to locate your vacation photos, or provide directions to your friend’s house. No date needed, just specific words and she’s all set. Cortana is also synced with your calendar, so if you’re ever unsure when your meetings are, Cortana will gladly double-check.

Automatic Battery Saver mode

When activating battery saver in Windows 10, you can limit your portable devices’ background activity and push notifications to prolong battery life. Battery saver also kicks in automatically once your battery life is lower than 20%. To customize your own power threshold as well as which applications you allow to run in the background, go to Settings > System > Battery saver — voilà!

Make the most of Windows 10 with these tips and upgrade your user status from regular to power. Regardless of what you’re using it for — arranging your meetings or planning your vacation — make each computing experience a memorable one. Want to hear more of the latest Windows 10 news and updates? Contact us today.

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