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It’s No Internet Explorer! 7 Features of Microsoft Edge That Make the App a Productivity Powerhouse

Many business owners shy away from Microsoft Edge, thinking it’ll slow down their operations. However, the browser has been massively upgraded and can help boost productivity.

Microsoft has made great strides since the introduction of Internet Explorer. The company now offers Microsoft Edge, a refined version that arguably provides the best web experience for business users.

Unlike the old Internet Explorer, this browser now relies on Google’s Chromium engine to provide faster loading, better compatibility, and enhanced support. Plus, Microsoft releases regular updates to tweak various features of the browser.

With Microsoft Edge, you can now surf the internet more privately, optimize performance, enable cross-device support, and enjoy many other neat functions.

Best of all, these features have been introduced conveniently. They don’t clutter the interface and are easy to find. They’re also user-friendly, which means your team won’t have to rely on your IT service provider for help with simple tasks involving the browser.

Overall, Microsoft Edge has come a long way since its release and boasts several features you can use to boost productivity. This article will list the seven main ones.

THE FEATURES
Picture of a mail slot in a door with the words private above it.

FEATURE #1 WIRELESS SHARING

One of the most attractive features of Edge is Share. It allows you to transfer browser content to nearby devices without leaving the website you’re viewing.

The Share feature is simple and clean. It works like social-sharing buttons but contains more customization options and controls.

Wi-Fi sharing might be the most practical option, but you can also choose between other services, such as OneNote and Mail.

FEATURE #2 MULTIPLE PROFILES

Microsoft Edge provides another convenient feature – setting up multiple profiles.

This well-designed function lets you share your browser with other team members without disclosing your preferences or information. Such a feature makes the browser a practical tool for separating your work and personal stuff.

To make this work, you won’t even have to ask your IT service provider to do the task.

When adding a new profile to Edge, you do it by simply linking to a different Microsoft account. This newly-linked account has a unique history, favorites, and other relevant settings compared to other profiles on the same browser.

There’s also the option to switch between connected profiles automatically. To do that, the browser will prompt you to use the correct profile when launching a page.

Users save time and increase productivity as a result.

FEATURE #3 WEBSITE PINNING

Most browsers have the Pin feature to help users access their favorite websites quickly. They need only to launch the program to load the pages automatically.

However, this function can be problematic.

If you close the window with pinned sites before closing the remaining windows, the pinned sites are lost. This can be a massive problem for your workers, especially when working on a critical project. Their productivity suffers since they often need to re-pin sites.

Microsoft Edge solves this issue with the Pin to Taskbar option.

As the name suggests, it lets you pin sites to your computer’s taskbar. Once you open the desired page, click this feature in the ‘More’ menu. So the next time you need to access the website, clicking the icon on the taskbar should do the trick.

FEATURE #4 PRIVACY CONTROL

Tracking Prevention is a Microsoft Edge feature that helps prevent social media, advertisers, and other trackers from tracking your online activity. It can protect your privacy and make your browsing less personalized, which is essential for any professional environment.

This feature consists of three privacy levels:

  • Basic – This level permits most trackers. Therefore, ads and content are personalized based on your team’s activity, but known harmful trackers are blocked.
  • Balanced – The second level blocks trackers from unopened websites, leading to fewer ads and less personalization. Like the first level, this one also blocks known trackers.
  • Strict – The final level promises the most privacy. There will be minimal personalization, with some parts of websites disabled to fend off threatening trackers.

FEATURE #5 READING LIST

Your team often marks articles for later revisiting but end up cluttering their bookmarks. Fortunately, Microsoft Edge has a powerful feature to overcome this obstacle:

The Reading List.

This feature allows you to save articles and synchronize the saved list with other devices. More importantly, it doesn’t mess up the Favourites or Bookmarks tab, allowing your team to get back to them in no time.

If they come across an interesting webpage, they need only strike the Star symbol in the address bar, choose the Reading List and press Add.

There’s also a convenient Reading Mode that helps remove any clutter to further improve workplace efficiency.

FEATURE #6 TAB PREVIEW

You and your team probably perform a lot of research daily. This means you often need to use a bunch of tabs, and the number can quickly get overwhelming. As a result, you get lost in all the clutter, hindering your progress.

Microsoft Edge lets you avoid this scenario through the Tab Preview feature. It shows a preview of any open tab through a panel located at the top of your screen.

Launched after the Creators Update, it can be activated by clicking the chevron icon. Once you locate your tab, tap on your chevron icon to make the panel disappear.

You’ll hardly find a simpler yet more effective tool.

FEATURE #7 MUTE TABS

You may enjoy listening to music to improve your focus. But as you’re invested in your work, a newly opened tab can start playing a high-pitched dialogue, breaking your concentration.

Luckily, you can get back on track by enabling the Mute Tabs feature on Microsoft Edge.

Just find and right-click the annoying tab to reveal the function. Activating it allows you to work without noisy distractions and maintain high productivity.

STICK TO MICROSOFT EDGE, AND YOU WON’T LOOK BACK

One of your primary duties as a business owner is to ensure productivity across the entire team. If your employees underperform, customer satisfaction may plummet, and the competition may grab your clients.

We’ve listed seven key Microsoft Edge features to help you boost productivity, but this browser has a lot more to offer.

And there’s no need to think you’ll face the same issue as Internet Explorer users. This program is a massive upgrade designed to streamline your experience and help your team conduct their duties more efficiently.

If you’re looking for more tips to take your productivity to the next level, give us a call today. We can arrange a 15-minute obligation-free chat to determine how to improve your business.

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

Google Chrome Logo

Enhancing Office Productivity With Google Chrome: The 12 Best Extensions To Improve Your Workflow

Working from your computer or smartphone is convenient, but it can also be distracting. To maintain productivity, you should install effective Google Chrome Extensions. 

Google Chrome is arguably the most popular browser on the planet. It’s best known for allowing faster loading of websites, optimized performance, and an intuitive interface. As a result, it can help your team complete their daily duties much faster.

However, it raises the same concern as other browsers – ample room for distractions.

Your team members can easily switch to YouTube videos or social media, lowering their productivity. And it can often get out of hand, preventing your staff from meeting deadlines and reducing customer satisfaction.

That said, you can help your employees get back on track and maintain productivity. All you need to do is incorporate practical extensions into your browser.

This article will list the 12 best Google Chrome extensions that can help increase office productivity in your business.

THE 12 EXTENSIONS

EXTENSION #1 – BLOCKSITE

BlockSite can enable your team to stay focused by blocking harmful or distracting websites. This extension is perfect for team members who tend to drift away due to all the online activities that seek their attention.

Some of the web pages you can block access to with BlockSite include social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But if you don’t wish to block them completely, you can limit access to them during breaks.

EXTENSION #2 – ADBLOCK

AdBlock is one of the most widely used extensions for Google Chrome. More than 10 million users rely on it to remove most ads by preventing them from showing up on their screens.

It can also help your team avoid malware-ridden ads, improving their experience in turn by increasing browsing speed.

EXTENSION #3 – LASTPASS

Remembering your passwords can be extremely challenging. Thankfully, LastPass can provide an efficient solution.

LastPass is an effective alternative to your browser’s built-in password manager, generating new passphrases whenever you log into a web page.

In addition, the extension can synchronize passwords across various devices, providing easy access to accounts, credit cards, and form filling.

EXTENSION #4 – EVERNOTE WEB CLIPPER
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Although Chrome has a convenient bookmark feature, Evernote might be even more powerful. You can use Evernote Web Clipper to save your internet content for later viewing.

This extension enables you to easily save your web content and transfer it to your account. With just a few clicks, you can obtain images from any website, create summary links, save a distraction-free version of web pages, and make annotations.

EXTENSION #5 – POCKET

Another effective way to track your online content is through Pocket. This extension can also let you save articles, web pages, and videos for later use.

Whenever you come across interesting content, hit your Pocket extension and you’ll automatically save it on all your devices. You’ll then be able to access it whenever you want, even if you’re offline.

EXTENSION #6 – MOMENTUM

Momentum isn’t a standard extension. Rather, it’s a custom-made page to replace your default landing page.

It has a robust, personalized dashboard with a beautiful scenic background, inspirational quotes, weather reports, widgets to favorite sites, and to-do lists. Therefore, it doesn’t just help enhance productivity – it can also motivate your team members to keep grinding.

EXTENSION #7 – GOOGLE KEEP

Google Keep is a powerful extension that can allow your team to organize their data neatly. Its primary purpose is to help users create to-do lists and take notes. It also works great for saving pages, images and adding notes to them. Plus, it can make voice memos to simplify notetaking.

To further improve note organization, users can market them with colors and labels. This way, there’s no time wasted when looking for crucial notes.

EXTENSION #8 – CLOCKIFY TIME TRACKER

Monitoring workplace performance is critical, and Clockify Time Tracker is the ideal extension for this.

As the name suggests, it tracks time spent on specific activities. Your staff can later use the results to analyze their productivity levels and determine their weaknesses.

The extension lets users schedule break intervals, operate in pre-set work periods, detect idle time, set reminders, and integrate with more than 50 business apps.

EXTENSION #9 – STAYFOCUSED

If you want your team to stay away from distracting websites but don’t want to remove them altogether, StayFocused may be the answer.

This extension can help your employees avoid distractions by limiting the time they can spend on them.

What’s more, StayFocusd comes with a handy Nuclear Option. It sets the time during which your team can’t access certain websites. Once you activate this option, there’s no way to deactivate it until the time expires.

EXTENSION #10 – NOISLI

The main purpose of Noisli is to enhance your team’s productivity. It allows you to select the sound combination your staff finds most inspiring. This can include falling rain, storms, wood noises, wind, crickets, fire crackling, and coffee shop chatter.

Noisli can be particularly useful if your team works in open offices where background noises often cause distractions.

EXTENSION #11 – HYPERCONTEXT

Hypercontext is an extension that can help teams maintain high performance by combining engagement measures, quarterly priorities, and weekly meetings.

The platform enables you to create collaborative, one-on-one meetings, access conversations starters, and elicit feedback from each team member. You also get a feature that can help limit social media distractions and encourage your staff to prepare for their meeting.

EXTENSION #12 – TODOIST

Todoist is a straightforward yet helpful task manager. It can help users monitor their projects and tasks by delegating or organizing them from your browser.

This extension is a terrific option for tracking multiple deadlines. After all, it can set due dates and help you prioritize specific tasks accordingly.

TAKE YOUR PRODUCTIVITY TO NEW HEIGHTS WITH GOOGLE CHROME

Streamlining office productivity isn’t just about providing your team with cutting-edge computers and advanced software. It also has to do with installing appropriate extensions on your web browser.

We’ve given you many options for Google Chrome with this article. It’s now up to you to decide which ones work best for your company. Remember that by incorporating them into your business, your workforce should become more efficient.

Give us a call if you want to find out other tips to help boost employee productivity. We can have a non-salesy chat about it.

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

Making Your Mobile Devices Safe From Cyberattacks: The 9 Best Practices

The reality is, mobile devices are less safe than desktop computers. Boosting security on such devices is essential if you use them in business. 

Technological breakthroughs have streamlined your operations in several ways. Primarily, you can now use mobile devices to make your communication and data sharing more convenient.

But this technological advancement also means that information on your team members’ mobile devices is no longer limited to just phone numbers and contacts. They now contain much more significant data, such as emails, passwords, and other account details.

That’s why here at “Callow and Company” we believe in keeping those mobile devices secure is key to shielding your reputation and minimizing the risk of losing money.

Unfortunately, the protection of tablets and smartphones against cyberattacks isn’t as robust as that of desktops and laptops. Anti-malware applications may be present, but they’re not as powerful as their computer counterparts. In addition, many devices don’t support certain measures and applications that companies develop to enhance business security.

Fortunately, you can still implement robust safety measures to protect your smartphones and tablets.

This article will cover the nine best practices in improving cybersecurity on mobile devices.

THE NINE PRACTICES

PRACTICE #1 – ESTABLISH A SOUND SECURITY POLICY

Before issuing tablets or smartphones to your teams, create an effective usage policy. Define rules about acceptable use and determine the penalties for violating them.

Your employees must be aware of the security risks and measures that can help them reduce the risks. They should know that they are the first line of defense against cybercrime.

Furthermore, be sure to develop a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy if you permit your team to use a personal device for business. Your company policy can include the following:

  • Requirements for the installation and remote software wiping on any personal device that stores or accesses company data
  • Employee training and education on safeguarding company information when using wireless networks on their mobile devices
  • Data protection methods that include automatic locking or other security measures applicable after long inactivity periods
  • Protocols for lost and stolen devices
  • The use of security software and antivirus platforms
  • Backup requirements

PRACTICE #2 – ENSURE THE OPERATING SYSTEM IS UP TO DATE

Updating Android and iOS operating systems improves overall user experience, but their most significant role is in addressing security vulnerabilities.

Therefore, install updates as soon as the developer rolls them out to reduce exposure to cybersecurity threats. Delaying it may give criminals enough time to attack your weaknesses and take advantage of outdated operating systems.

 

PRACTICE #3 – ENABLE PASSWORD PROTECTION

A complex password or PIN can help prevent cybercriminals from accessing mobile devices. Besides using alphanumeric combinations, you can also use facial or fingerprint recognition, depending on what suits your employees.

If you opt for digits and letters, don’t share the combination with people outside your company. On top of that, be sure that your staff doesn’t store them on their phones. Unmarked folders and physical wallets are a much safer option.

PRACTICE #4 – INSTALL BUSINESS PROGRAMS ONLY

Lenient download policies can allow your team members to install non-business apps. Downloading such apps might seem harmless, but they are also infamous for their harmful advertising codes and many other threats.

To mitigate this risk, tell your employees they can only download and use apps necessary for their roles.

PRACTICE #5 – AVOID PUBLIC WI-FI CONNECTIONS

Your team may need to use public Wi-Fi networks in emergencies to send crucial emails or schedule a meeting. However, connecting to such networks can expose confidential company information to cybercriminals using the same network.

The easiest way to minimize this risk is to provide a high-quality internet plan that features roaming services for your remote workers.

But if there’s no way to avoid public Wi-Fi connections, a reputable virtual private network (VPN) or secure global network (SGN) may do the trick. It can help shield your data by creating direct, secure links from your location to the intended website.

PRACTICE #6 – LEVERAGE PHONE TRACKING

Losing company-issued mobile devices is unfortunate, but it’s not the end of the world.

Enabling Android Phone Tracker, Find My Phone on iOS, or other device-tracking software can help locate your lost smartphones. Some programs also enable you to remove data on your stolen devices remotely.

Installing these apps takes a couple of minutes and gives you much-needed peace of mind. With it, even if your staff loses their mobile device, cybercriminals are less likely to get their hands on the content.

PRACTICE #7 – INCORPORATE MDM (MOBILE DEVICE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE)

For even more security, you may want to integrate with reliable MDM. It’s an excellent way to separate personal and business information while allowing your team members to set up robust security measures on their devices.

In most cases, cloud-based software is the most affordable, flexible, and manageable type of MDM. Many platforms let you check out device information, update and manage apps, configure your devices, create usage restrictions, and remove content remotely.

If possible, implement MDM software that enforces security measures across all devices. As previously mentioned, this can include data encryption, strong passwords, and setting up containers to separate personal information from enterprise data.

PRACTICE #8 – SCREEN MESSAGES CAREFULLY

Cybercriminals frequently employ SMS phishing to trick your team into clicking dangerous links. They pose as someone credible, asking your staff to share confidential information.

If your employees encounter such messages, they should delete them or alert the IT department. here at “Callow and Company” we recommend avoiding opening the SMS and blocking the sender.

PRACTICE #9 – BLOCKING AND WHITELISTING

Many threats can compromise your company due to employee errors. For example, a team member may not realize they’re downloading a malicious app that allows thieves to steal data from their mobile devices.

Blocking and whitelisting can enable you to protect your employees from these risks by determining which sites and apps are safe.

On one hand, blocking certain applications can give your IT department peace of mind and alert them when someone tries to access those applications.

On the other hand, whitelists can work great for highlighting the tools your team should prioritize over social media and games.

DON’T DROP YOUR GUARD

Securing your desktop computers and laptops only is a disaster waiting to happen.

Your employees may still use their mobile devices to send emails and share sensitive information. That’s why shielding them from cybercriminals should be your top priority.

So, develop a strict usage policy and follow other recommended practices to make your team’s smartphones and tablets virtually impervious to data theft. We recommend these practices to our customers in the Dallas, Ft. Worth area.

Get in touch with us today for even more cybersecurity tips. We can schedule a non-salesy chat to help you identify and address any potential security risks.

The article was used with permission from The Technology Press.