Blog Post Archive - Archives
We have been rolling out Microsoft 365 Business voice to clients that are transitioning to a work-from-home, virtual workplace. It has been a resounding success so far – and clients are loving the flexibility and savings it has offered them.
Let us know if you are interested in transitioning your current phone system solution to M365 business voice! Read more...
Did you know we offer self-service payment options using our portal? Of course, it is fine to call us if you prefer – but anyone who receives an invoice from us can login to the portal using the link in the email. You can view payment history, invoices, and make payments. If you do not know your password, there is a forgot password function you can use to create a new password using your billing email. Read more...
The tax man cometh, and things tend to get busy at SpireTech during November and December. This year-end appears to be no different. Oftentimes, equipment availability and delivery times get extended – so plan ahead! If you are considering some year-end upgrades, please let us know soon so we can get your projects estimated, scheduled, equipment ordered, and installed.
Thanks! Read more...
SpireTech recently introduced a way to monitor customer satisfaction by including voting links at the end of a ticket closure email. So far, the feedback has been that we are doing an excellent job, and that customer satisfaction is very high, an average of 9.91 out of 10.
Unfortunately, a very small percentage of you respond – it only takes a few seconds. We would love it if more of you can let us know how we’re doing! At the end of the survey, the tool will offer you a chance to leave a Google review – positive public reviews help our search ranking – it would be greatly appreciated if you can also complete a Google review!
Thanks in advance! Read more...
In response to customer demand for increased site security, SpireTech is now offering Managed WordPress Hosting. The package includes monthly security updates to your WordPress site, and several other features:
- Monthly security updates to the WordPress framework, and the plugins and themes contained within
- Backups of the WordPress website and all data contained within once every 24 hours
- One hour per month of technical support, which includes:
- Minor content updates of textual content
- Upload and inclusion of customer-provided images
- Installation of plugins and any minor required configuration
- Installation of code snippets (such as Google Analytics)
- Modification of certain PHP configuration, such as version, memory limit, and other configuration variables
- DNS record edits, if DNS is hosted at SpireTech
Over the last two months, we have seen several customers have their WordPress websites hacked. Hackers installed a plugin or other backdoors and used the sites to send thousands of spam messages – or worse. All sites were successfully recovered from backup and repaired by our Service desk, which is a billable event.
Our investigation revealed that the hacks were due to sites not being kept up to date with security updates, or poor password management practices. Read the rest of this month’s articles to discover ways to secure your WordPress website, and Managed WordPress hosting. Read more...
In response to frequent WordPress hacks, we thought it might be helpful to write about some of the best practices we’ve used to secure WordPress websites.
- Use unique, strong passwords for your login. One of the techniques hackers use is a stolen password – a password you’ve used elsewhere – to login to your site. Another technique is to crack a weak password using a bot, repeatedly trying weak password combinations.
- Use Multifactor Authentication at your Wordpress login. Plugins such as “Google Authenticator” will implement this.
- Update your installation at least monthly. This includes updating WordPress itself, all plugins, and any themes you’ve installed.
- Change your login page. Bots will try the default login URL to find your login page. Simply changing this URL to something unique will give them nothing to probe. Plugins such as “WPS Hide Login” (https://wordpress.org/plugins/wps-hide-login/) can help make this change easily.
- Install a security plugin. Multiple plugins exist for free that will ban IP addresses that repeatedly try to access your login page, or change the default URL for you. Caution
Microsoft announced changes coming to their Stream video product to better integrate it with the rest of the M365 ecosystem. Currently, recordings are stored in Stream, which requires accessing a separate site to view recordings of teams meetings. The service will be revised starting in October to store Recordings in OneDrive or SharePoint. Here are the guidelines and timing we’ve been provided:
- Early October (October 5, 2020) – You can enable the Teams Meeting policy to have meeting recordings saved to OneDrive and SharePoint instead of Microsoft Stream (Classic). Requires use of powershell to enable this policy.
- End of October (October 31, 2020) – Meeting recordings in OneDrive and SharePoint will have support for English captions via the Teams transcription feature.
- Early to mid-November (Rolling out between November 1 -15 , 2020) – All new Teams meeting recordings will be saved to OneDrive and SharePoint .
Microsoft has issued guidance around the changes in behavior you will notice:
- Meeting storage:
- Non-Channel meetings will be stored in the OneDrive of the person who clicked the record button in a special folder labeled “Recordings” – that sits at the top of the recorder’s OneDrive.
Most clients have us update their systems on Tuesday nights – but we can’t update them if they are powered off. Please remember to leave your systems plugged in and powered up when you receive the update reminder – it helps us keep your systems updated and secure. Thank you. Read more...
We’ve recently had discussions with clients that are considering strategies for closing their offices and going entirely virtual. Some clients still need to have windows servers, and their employees are currently connecting to a mostly empty office and using a VPN to access their applications and data.
Are you paying for an empty office too? Did you know SpireTech has a datacenter? You may be able to relocate your server and firewall to our datacenter, and save a ton of money on office rent. Your connectivity will improve too, due to the much higher internet speeds available in our datacenter.
Server colocation with SpireTech starts at only a few hundred dollars per month – and includes fault-tolerant, very high speed internet, UPS and generator power. Options and prices are available at our Portland Server Colocation website. If you are interested, give us a call today to discuss and get a free quote. Read more...