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What Has 30 Years of the World Wide Web Given Us?

internet

30 years ago, today Tim Berners-Lee proposed to his supervisor at work, a new management system that connected documents held across multiple computers.

“Vague but exciting” was the Supervisors response, however, that proposal marked the birth of the World Wide Web and has proven to be an invention that has transformed the world we live in today not only socially, but economically as well.

Mode looks over the positives that the World Wide Web has given, as well as maybe some of the less positive impact it has had.

  • Email: Communication within business and outside of business has become quicker and more efficient than the days of memos and traditional letters. We may all think we now get too many emails, but no one can deny the benefits of email for faster communication.
  • E-Commerce: We all buy on line now and get these items delivered to our front door. We can now order anything on line, your food shopping, your take-aways, clothing even your plumbing or building supplies. In a busy world, it’s made our lives easier.
  • News: We now have access to the world news when it happens and as it happens. We are all now more in touch with events that are happening across the globe.
  • Social Media: We share pictures on social media, we can now stay in touch with people who may live far away, or we don’t see very often. It’s made the world smaller. However there has been a negative impact, with cyber-bullying or people posting negativity or defamatory comments. But it has also aided the search for missing people and created positivity as well. It’s not without its faults but it has a far reaching positive impact on our lives.
  • Smartphones: Apples iPhone invention totally changed how we use our mobile phones. We now have the World Wide Web in our pockets, and we can look at anything wherever we are. It’s completely changed again the way we communicate.
  • On line Dating: We can now meet people we may have never got the chance to meet by swiping right-or maybe you often swipe left! Regardless, whilst we could argue that this way of meeting prospective partners has made relationships transitory, we are now more open to meeting different people from environments we may have never encountered.
  • Gaming: Like it or hate it, on line gaming has again opened peoples whose interest it is, the world in which they game. There are of course the obvious concerns of internet safety and has meant we have to ensure protection, however, this has again allowed our world to be more open.
  • Video streaming and Music: Gone are the days we would have to download a video before we could watch it. Now after very complicated work from software engineers who developed an App where we can watch videos as they’re being downloaded or watch live streaming. This means we now have access to tutorial’s, music videos and TV Shows. Along with this the way we listen to music has now changed with the development of Spotify and Apple music. We can now get the music we want as soon as it’s released-no more off to buy the single!
  • On Line Support: Any one in need of support never need be alone again or need to travel any distances to get the support they need. So many on line support groups are now on hand with help. Making the support people may need more easier to access.
  • Selfies: ok most of us can’t stand them-this brings out the narcissist in those that love them. So many selfies-so little time!
  • Viral Content: This can be an article, video, photograph or Gif that spreads on line rapidly. But this has provided us with entertainment, shock value but artistic merit can be found too!

The benefits of the World Wide Web are undeniable. It’s made our world easier to access, closer to us and helps with our ever increasingly busy lives. Of course, with any innovation, it has its negatives but as we evolve, we adapt and we’re sure the World Wide Web will continually develop. Thank you, Tim Berners-Lee, for this incredible invention.

Could Your Business Be Greener?

environmentally friendly

The impact we have on our environment is consistently in the media and this increased awareness means that rightly, people are more conscious of what they are buying and what impact that, that purchase has on the environment.

Being able to provide a service that can be proven to be more environmentally conscious could have potentially a positive impact on your business too in terms of increasing your sales as businesses. A recent survey by Close Brothers Asset Finance, discovered that 55% of businesses are prepared to pay higher prices for products and services from companies that have environmentally friendly processes.

However, balancing the need to be cost effective in your business as well as balancing your responsibility to the environment can be a challenge and the Close Brothers survey demonstrated that.

76% of businesses questioned said that they favoured the cost of goods over the environmental impact, even though 71% had said (SMB’s), that they were active in promoting the need to their employees to be environmentally responsible. Going green as a business is not a straightforward process.

So how can businesses reduce their impact on the environment?

Review current processes

Look at how you use energy in your office. What paper do you waste, who travels for business, what are you throwing away that could be recycled? By stepping back and ascertaining your usage and auditing what you do, will really focus what your business needs to do next.

Reduce your carbon footprint

Buildings account for 30% of Carbon Dioxide emission globally so try reducing your carbon footprint in your office by reviewing your insulation, and whether solar power can benefit your business. Also, why not work with a Carbon Footprint charity in balancing your current carbon footprint and offsetting your usage by donating the value of that usage to charitable work. Find out how Mode became Carbon Zero here.

Use the right paper

Whilst many would challenge your use of paper, the view that paper is unsustainable material is now being challenged considerably.

The idea that the use of paper is destroying forests couldn’t be further from the truth. In Europe forests are not shrinking, they are growing at an exceedingly healthy rate. Between 2005-2015, European forests grew by 44, 000 sq. km, an area the size of Switzerland. Equally, paper is one of the most recycled materials with a 72% recycling rate in Europe.

Paper from trees is a renewable source so if it is recycled then you are dealing with this responsibly.

Every business has a challenge in reducing its impact on the environment, but sometimes by making minimal changes has a huge impact on improving your impact on the environment. For more information, visit our website www.modeprintsolutions.co.uk

4 Tips for Green Printing

green printing

The environment is a big concern for consumers and businesses alike, resulting in a rising level of respect for companies who are environmentally friendly. With that said, you might be wondering how to reduce the impact your business is having on the environment. A great place to start is with your printer. It’s worth assessing how much energy you’re using and how much toner and paper is being wasted every day. By paying attention to such things, you’ll be able to figure out how to be kinder to the environment, while reducing overall costs. Here are four tips to help:

1.     Be Energy Efficient

If you have a large print job pending, it is worth waiting to do it at night when the electricity costs less. You should also print a test copy to make sure it’s perfect before you print off lots more. This will help avoid mistakes and therefore save paper. When the printers aren’t in use, you should set them to “stand-by” mode, as well as the rest of your office technology.  Be sure to share your printer across each department in your business.

2.     Use Recycled Paper or Responsibly Sourced Paper

Many printers allow you to use recycled paper, however, lots of devices aren’t compatible. If you’d like to use recycled paper but you’re unsure if you can, please give us a call and we’ll happily help. Mode recommends responsibly sourced paper with FSC® or PEFC and EU Ecolabe labels.

3.     Follow Me Printing

Follow me printing is widely popular and has many benefits. As well as being convenient and secure, it also reduces waste and is therefore better for the environment. With follow me printing, the user is asked for a code before they can release their print job. This prevents abandoned prints, which is just a waste of paper and ink.

4.     Opt for an Eco-Friendly Printer

If you’re really serious about going green then this is a great option. Despite using less energy than other printers, eco-friendly printers still offer exceptional performance.

 

If you want to know more about eco-friendly printers, or how to be more environmentally friendly around the office, get in touch and a member of our team will be able to give you some advice.

Why is Information Security Still so Fragile Within Businesses?

Security used to mean CCTV, a manned gate and employees only being able to gain access with a pass. Security of information consisted of lockable cupboards within your offices and that was enough. However, times have certainly changed in the age of dramatic transformation regarding the digital world, and how we defend the information our businesses hold has certainly had to change. Or has it? It appears with recent research, that Companies are still failing to see the importance or protecting confidential information with proper security measures, or rather they’re choosing not to engage with the growing threat of cyber attacks by ensuring they have basic IT security.

Mode investigates the threat that all businesses face.

Ransomware-an increasing threat:

Rates of attacks from ransomware has significantly increased from one every two minutes on average, to now one every 40 seconds. The greater threat appears to be SME’s where 42% fell victim to some kinds of ransomware attack. Unbelievably one in three paid the ransom however, only one in five retrieved their files even though they had paid the ransom.

67% of companies affected lost all or part of their data and one in four spent several weeks trying to retrieve access.

Financial gain is the main driver for ransomware attacks although now many of these attackers are being paid for sensitive information and those sectors more greatly targeted are those in the financial, educational and healthcare sectors.

Pretexting scams

You may not have heard of this before, but in a nutshell, this is where an individual lies to need information in order to confirm the identity of an individual, hence the name Pretexting-false motive.

This is becoming an extremely popular tactic and is rapidly on the increase and financial employees are most at risk of this as they are the ones that hold the keys to the Company’s purse strings. Email is the number one form of doing this and can occur over a period where the cyber criminals send several emails developing a relationship before asking for any financial transfer request.

Loose & easy passwords

This is such a common and easy flaw within any business’s IT Security.

The Verizon Data Breach report commented that 81% of hacking related incidents occurred because of either stolen, weak or too easy to guess passwords. Even if your businesses IT security is fundamentally flawed, a strong password is one of the most effective security measures you can have in place to protect your information. Our experts at Mode suggest a multi-factor authentication as this alone would act as excellent security for your sensitive data.

Whilst there is so much press coverage on Cyber security and the threats that we all now face, too many Companies are not bolting down the hatches and cyber criminals are still finding it too easy to gain access to too many businesses. The fact remains that the cost to your business is far greater if a hacker gains access, than the cost for secure, effective IT security.

If you’d like more information on how Mode can protect your sensitive data, then do contact us on 0345 223 2203 or email us on enquiries@modeprintsolutions.co.uk.

How Your Employees Benefit from Digital Learning

digital learning

28th February is now the day that celebrates the use of technology with great training.

Your employees want to perform well in their jobs, but it’s important as business leaders to provide them with the opportunities to continually develop their skills and knowledge. This will help them to progress in their roles and if they progress and develop then so does your business!

Digital learning is becoming a great way to do this quickly and effectively and provides your Company many benefits, but what are those benefits?

Flexibility

Digital learning allows your employees to train when they can at a convenient time for them. If you have remote workers, or staff with irregular hours, this way of learning allows them the freedom to do the necessary training when they can. It also means that you don’t have to have huge numbers of staff away for the day training off-site; it can be completed within a time frame set by you but at their convenience.

Cost benefits

You save time and money learning digitally. There are no longer the usual expenses involved with off-site training including savings on teachers, course materials, travel and accommodation etc.

Speed of delivery

You can access as many of your employees as you need to with all the necessary training quickly and easily.

Employees own the process

This type of training empowers employees to take control of their own training needs and therefore they are far more likely to remember the training if they have had to actively engage with the process and complete it.

Fantastic impact

Often you can blend digital learning with classroom-based work if you should need to. This helps focus employees in completing the work and then sharing what they have learned with others.

Measured training

Learning digitally can be tracked and measured so easily on line and business leaders are able to see the level of engagement and time spent on completing the training.

Digital learning can benefit your business in so many ways. By working with your employees to develop their skills, you will aid your company’s growth and success into the future.

Employee Legal Awareness Day – For Employees and Businesses too!

legal awareness

13th February was established by Australian lawyer, Paul Brennan as Employee Legal Awareness day. Who knows why he picked 12th February, maybe it struck him on this day one year that there was perhaps a lack of information or knowledge of what employees’ rights were? However, he created the day with the aim to emphasise the importance of legal education for not only employees but small businesses and wanted to reduce the risk of any legal complications on both sides.

However, Brennan was also keen to accentuate that the onus of knowing your rights should not just sit with the Company you work with but also that you should ensure you are aware of the policies.

So, we have devised the top 4 things that as an employee, you should be ensuring you are aware of:

  1. Induction: when you join a Company, you should be offered a full induction that allows you to question any policies your new employer has.
  2. Know whose HR: understand who your HR manager is. If the business is too small to have a designated person for this role, ensure you know who organises holiday, or is responsible for any company policy procedures.
  3. Ask for a handbook: your employer should have a company handbook which should detail in full the following policies:
  • Health and Safety
  • Absence from work
  • Holiday entitlement
  • Privacy
  • Email/phone use
  • Disciplinary
  • Information you must provide
  • Office policies
  • Equal opportunities
  • Grievances
  1. Unsure still? Ask questions. If you’re unclear of any procedures, then make sure you ask? No employer will mind being asked any questions if you need clarification.

Employee legal awareness day is not a day just to make employees aware, its for business too as a way of reminding all that clear policies protect your business as much as it protects your staff, so why not make a day of it next February 12th 2020 and have some fun with it-use it as a time to remind all of the policies your company has and help clear up any questions.

6 Questions to Ask Potential Managed Print Companies

Managed print services (MPS) can offer big benefits for your business. By finding the right service you can spend less time managing documents and more time on your business goals.
Asking potential managed print companies the right questions will help you get the best return on investment in the future.

To help you evaluate your best print management solution and find a service provider who can meet the needs of your organisation, here are six crucial questions you should be asking…

  1. Where can we read your client reviews?

Client feedback is a great place to start. Do your research and see if you can find online reviews and testimonials for each potential MPS. Do they deliver what they promise?

  1. What analytics do you use and what reporting will be provided?

A good MPS should be able to offer a bespoke solution that fits your business and work flows. They should be able to provide analytical tools and reporting that can tell you how much time and money you are spending on printing, scanning and managing documents.

  1. How secure is your solution?

From sharing and printing confidential information to accessing documents stored on your network, robust security is an absolute must when it comes to a print management solution. Find out how a MPS can assist you with your GDPR responsibilities and be sure to check that their print management security will work seamlessly with your existing security setup.

  1. What maintenance and help desk support do you offer?

When something works, you don’t notice it. Our preventative maintenance provides absolute peace of mind and lets you get on with running your business. We offer personalised, attentive service from local engineers so that your issues are resolved quickly and easily. This is the kind of service you should be looking for when choosing a MPS.

  1. How can your services improve workflow?

Find out how well a potential MPS can integrate both your digital and hard copy processes, so that all work flows smoothly and efficiently throughout your business. Will they suggest new software options to automate workflows? Will they provide suggestions for equipment placement within your office? Will they help with connectivity, cloud applications and mobile printing? And finally, what are their service response times like?

  1. How future-proof are your services?

This final question is probably the most important. Can this potential MPS meet your business needs for the future? How quickly and easily can you change or upgrade? And how much will it cost you? Take this opportunity to ask these questions and future-proof your investment.

The Office Utopia – How Can Your Business Achieve This?

happy staff

Attracting and retaining the best employees is critical for a business to succeed. Not only does a low turnover rate benefit your bottom line, but it provides the foundation of a successful business for the future.

However, how can you create the office utopia where your employees are happy and productive to their highest capacity? Its proven that happy people in their work are more productive. But it’s not always about the money and if you want to achieve an office Utopia, perhaps these top tips will help you achieve this:

  1. Promote the work-life balance: Whether you are the employee or the employer, you all share the need to balance your good working life with a good life. Promote the importance of working hard but also embrace the need to maintain a healthy life.
  1. Everyone is part of the bigger picture: Always promote how each employee is part of the bigger picture and how the work they do contributes to that. Keep everyone informed about the Company direction and provide clear communication about what is expected from each department to achieve that vision.
  1. Celebrate progress: Point out the good things that your employees do! Whilst its necessary to offer constructive feedback to help improve things, don’t forget to celebrate the great things top!
  1. Create a relaxed space: Have a break out area where employees can relax and chat with each other, a casual space where it is inviting with nice comfortable furniture. What will happen is people from across the business will come together and share ideas and you may find that it’s a great environment for creative thinking.
  1. Be positive, make it an ethos of the business: Happy employees = happy company. Encourage group lunches, allow employees to take courses to aid their development and help them gain extra knowledge. The more your team feel they can grow and feel supported, the more your business will benefit.
  1. Treat everyone the same: If you are the boss or a senior manager, set the example. You can never underestimate the impact you have by walking into the office with a smile and treating everyone with the same respect. That will permeate throughout the whole business.
  1. Reward! Frequency is better than size. Smaller, more frequent positive rewards and feedback is far more beneficial for your business.
  1. Trust your team: Delegate, don’t micromanage! Empower your people and trust they’ll do a good job
  1. Know your team: Take time to understand who your team are. You can never underestimate the impact you’ll have if your employees know you are interested in them as individuals.
  1. Say thank you: Simple but true to say the power of being appreciative will reward your business immensely.

And here are some stats why:

  • Employees who report being happy at work take 10 times fewer sick days than unhappy employees.
  • 36% of employees would give up money from their salary to be happy at work!
  • Happy employees are 12% more productive

5 Tips for Internet Safety at Work

internet safety

Today is Internet Safety Day and a great opportunity to shed some light on the subject. Most people aren’t actually aware of the cyber threats they face on a daily basis whilst using the internet at work. Keeping both yourself and the company you work for safe should really be a part of everyone’s jobs, so it’s worth knowing how. Here are 5 tips for using the internet safely whilst at work:

1.     Use Strong Passwords

When signing up to different online platforms and software, be sure to select strong passwords that are no less than eight characters long. It’s also wise to use numbers and symbols within your passwords and even include a variation of both upper and lower case letters so that it’s not easy for people to guess them. Keep your passwords a secret and don’t use the same ones everywhere.

2.     Lock Your Screen

If you leave your desk to pop to the toilet, grab a drink or speak to a colleague, always remember to lock your screen. Leaving it unlocked makes important files and any confidential information vulnerable. Eventually it will become a habit you don’t have to think about.

3.     Be Careful When Clicking Links

It’s likely that you receive an abundance of emails on a daily basis and you’re probably used to clicking hyperlinks and downloading attachments. However, you should be cautious when clicking links, especially if you’re not sure who the sender is because the link could be a virus. If you’re dubious, you can click on the email address to check if it’s legitimate.

4.     Don’t Use Public Wi-Fi Networks

Public wireless networks are undoubtedly convenient, especially if you’re out and about for meetings. However, they can also be dangerous and jeopardise your privacy, so you should think twice before connecting to them. Home Wi-Fi is encrypted, but public networks in coffee shops, for example, are not. This means that people can monitor your activity, including the emails you send, your login information and the pages you visit.

5.     Report Anything Suspicious

You probably have an IT professional or even a team at work, and if you spot anything suspicious at all regarding your computer or your internet usage, be sure to report it to them. After all, it’s better safe than sorry.

As well as careful use of the internet, it’s worth taking measures to ensure all aspects of your workplace are safe and secure, such as printing sensitive documents. For more information on how to ensure you’re printing securely, you can read this helpful article.

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