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“Co-authoring” is available in Office365, which is the ability for multiple people to edit a file at the same time.  The file must be stored on Sharepoint or Onedrive for this feature to be available (not an internal file server).  To see it in action, along with sharing and invites, please watch this video:

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We’ve been recommending for quite a while that our clients implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) on their email and Office365 accounts – really, anything that can have MFA enabled should.  You may have heard of two-factor authentication (2FA) before, multi-factor can use two or more methods of authentication. 

We’re asking our clients to use two factors to login now.  This is because like it or not, employees will use weak passwords – or use the same password on multiple websites.  If a hacker gains access to your email, they can trick your clients or employees into sending your hard-earned cash to them, or worse.  Some regulated industries have penalties associated with data breaches.  At a minimum, your reputation is at stake – do you want to have to tell your clients you’ve had a breach?   

Microsoft has made two-factor authentication easy to use with the authenticator app for iOS and Android.  Once connected to your account, all you have to do is push the “approve” button when prompted on your phone.   Read more...


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Several years ago, we hated OneDrive and had massive problems with efforts to implement it with our clients. We’re happy to say now that it works, and works well.  Microsoft has made great strides in improving the product and it is now a valid replacement for third party solutions like Box, Dropbox, FileCloud, and for many small businesses, even an on-premise file server. 

Recently, we’ve been working with clients to remove other collaboration solutions and get them onto SharePoint/OneDrive, and they’ve been happy with the results.  SharePoint allows you to setup shares for teams of people and integrates well with the windows 10 file explorer and OneDrive.  It even allows multi-user editing of documents at the same time with others, much like google docs has for years.  You can tell it to backup your personal documents folder and make it available on all your devices.  

“Syncing” of all the data is not required – you can have access to far more data that is available on your local hard drive – but you can tell it to keep certain files available locally if you want, for offline use and editing.   Read more...


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At SpireTech, our managed services clients often contact the helpdesk to determine if an email is fake or not.  We thought it’d be helpful to put together a short instructional video to help you identify some common signs that an email is a phish or fake email.

While this doesn’t cover all the possibilities, we think it hits on the most common ones. Another thing we’re seeing occasionally is a real, targeted email to a client purporting to be be from an owner of the company or a vendor. Always pick up the phone if there’s any question on the validity of an email, and contact our service desk if you need help!  Read more...


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2019 was a year of continued growth at SpireTech.  We’d like to thank all our clients for your continued support and your referrals – we don’t advertise much, so we appreciate every referral!

Review of 2019 Business Activity

We spent a lot of the year focused internally on improving our processes and operational maturity.  Some of the areas we worked on include:

  • A new billing system and customer portal
  • Complete redesign of our website
  • Re-organized and relaunched our blog
  • Implemented brightgauge for customer reporting and performance metrics
  • Improved our internal and customer documentation
  • Improved our patch management system, for better and more reliable windows patching
  • Moved from Slack to Teams
  • Moved to Onedrive/Sharepoint for file storage
  • Continued focus on improving security

We’ve also been attending conferences and quarterly IT business peer group events to keep up on current trends and best practices.  We learn a lot at these events, and it is an excellent investment of our time.  Read more...


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Many of our @spiretech.com email customers have been using our SquirrelMail webmail interface for years. However, as time has gone by, SquirrelMail has received very few updates to remain current with the latest security standards. Therefore, we are making the transition to a new webmail interface called Roundcube.

At present, both interfaces are available, but we will be retiring the SquirrelMail interface at the end of March 2019. We recommend that you visit the new Roundcube interface by visiting https://mail.spiretech.com.


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Windows 7 is reaching the end of its life and support on January 14, 2020. It’s now time to plan your upgrade to Windows 10.

What’s happening to Windows 7?

Windows 7 (as well as Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2) will no longer be supported by Microsoft after January 14, 2020. This means there will be no more software updates or security patches. Continuing to use the operating system could make you out of compliance with industry standards. Microsoft customer service will also no longer be available for Windows 7.

Unsupported operating systems are often targeted by cyber attackers specifically because they no longer receive software updates or patches to fix flaws and vulnerabilities. By continuing to use Windows 7 past its end of support, your PC will become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses.

Your organization may also be out of compliance with industry or legal standards if you continue to run on unsupported software or operating systems.  Read more...


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If you regularly use Skype for Business in your organization, you may now know that Microsoft has begun replacing Skype with Teams. Microsoft Teams is a new platform that acts as a hub within Office 365 and brings together chat, meetings, notes, and integrations with other Office 365 applications like SharePoint.

Depending on how your organization is handling this transition, you may already be using Microsoft Teams and be rerouted to it for your chats, meetings, and presentations. The Teams UI is certainly different from Skype! Here are some quick tips on starting a chat, voice call, or video call with another person, and presenting your desktop to others when in a meeting or call.

Start a chat with a user in Teams

  1. Go to the search bar at the top of the Teams application.
  2. Begin typing the name of the person you want to connect with.
  3. Select the user when they appear.
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used with permission from Norton by Symantec, by Steve Symanovich

You’re probably no stranger to those little pop-up windows. They tell you software updates are available for your computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile device.

You might be tempted to click on that “Remind me later” button. Don’t do it. Or, at least don’t put off updating your software for long.

Software updates are important to your digital safety and cyber security. The sooner you update, the sooner you’ll feel confident your device is more secure — until the next update reminder.

Why are software updates so important? There are a lot of reasons. Here are 5 that show why it’s important to update software regularly.

1. Software updates do a lot of things

Software updates offer plenty of benefits. It’s all about revisions. These might include repairing security holes that have been discovered and fixing or removing computer bugs. Updates can add new features to your devices and remove outdated ones.  Read more...


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used with permission from FTC.gov., by Colleen Tressler

Phishing is when someone uses fake emails or texts to get you to share valuable personal information – like account numbers, Social Security numbers, or your login IDs and passwords. Scammers use your information to steal your money, your identity, or both. They also use phishing emails to get access to your computer or network. If you click on a link, they can install ransomware or other programs that can lock you out of your data.

Scammers often use familiar company names or pretend to be someone you know. Here’s a real world example featuring Netflix. Police in Ohio shared a screenshot of a phishing email designed to steal personal information. The email claims the user’s account is on hold because Netflix is “having some trouble with your current billing information” and invites the user to click on a link to update their payment method.  Read more...

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