What are your 2021 New Years (IT) Resolutions?

It’s a new year and who knows what it will bring? COVID vaccines or not, 2021 is bound to have surprises.

One prediction we can make with absolute confidence is that we need to be more careful than ever about protecting our data from ever-increasing computer security threats.  As we keep saying, you can’t eliminate the risk, but you can reduce it.

Here are three quick tips to share around your workplace.

1. Sort your files out


Separate work documents from private personal files. Keep your work stuff at work and your personal documents on your own Google/Dropbox/Microsoft or alternative platforms.

Tidy your files up – when we are busy we tend to make hasty decisions about how we structure our files, and in any event, circumstances change and decisions we made need to be reassessed. With the New Year, set yourself up for success by reviewing the folder structures you use and optimising them so the files you need most often are the easiest ones to find.

Now that you have grouped your files into sensible folder structures, think about who should be able to access these items. With the cloud, it’s really easy to share files and folders as you collaborate with others.

Now is the time to check who you have shared your files with and make sure it makes sense, removing people who no longer need access. This is important firstly, because of your legal obligations to protect data and secondly, because you reduce the risk of a ransomware attack on your files by reducing the amount of access to them – if one of the people you share work with is attacked, they can’t corrupt your files if they can’t access them.

2. Protect your Passwords


We’ve seen more and more phishing attacks, with more ransomware than ever. Almost every day we read about some data theft where your credentials are stolen by cyber-crooks and made available on the Dark Web. Then the crooks try to use these to access your accounts, to guess your passwords for other sites, or to masquerade as you.
Whether it is a personal account or a work one, you need to protect yourself by having unique and complex credentials on everything – TradeMe, LinkedIn, travel websites, banking websites, Google accounts, Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, AliExpress – everything.

The only way you can credibly do this is with a password manager – whether you use the KARE Password Vault or something else, you MUST have a password manager to help you track hundreds of different and complex passwords. Make sure the password manager you use is secure itself – for example, the KARE Password Manager is SOC2 compliant so we can have complete confidence.

3. Finally – BACK UP EVERYTHING!!


By now, all your work SHOULD be in the cloud. But just because it should be, doesn’t mean it is! Even if it is in the cloud, is it backed up?

If your data is in Teams or Microsoft Office 365, we can back it up for you, as an option under KARE – just talk to your account manager. While Microsoft offers some protections, our view remains that you can never have enough backups – better to have backups you don’t need to use than to wish you had ones you do need!

Unfortunately, despite everything, some people still keep important files on their local PCs – their documents folder or their desktop.  If you, or your colleagues, still do this, we do have inexpensive options to back it up as well (KARE Personal Document Backup).

Last but not least...


If you have a responsibility for IT planning in your business, now is the perfect time to look over your plan and match it to the business. 

All plans need regular updating and the tech world moves so fast that an annual review is ideal. The Kinetics FlightPlan gives you a relatively quick, thorough and inexpensive IT planning process to guide you through your budgeting cycle for 2021/22