POPI

The yes or no about sending an email

As we all know, with new rules come new limitations.  With these limitations comes the fear of pressing the SEND button. But, do we need to be wary or do we simply need to be aware!

The straightforward answer is regarding sending emails – BE AWARE!

Must we change the way we communicate with our clients?

Emails are a standard modus of communication for any business. Therefore, sending messages to relay various information is a common practice, and when private and confidential information is not be shared with other parties, you are well within your rights.

The main difference comes into play because of how businesses market themselves, not how they communicate. This will be impacted by the Protection of Personal Information Act (Popi Act) which came into effect on July 1. Under the act, marketers face the prospect of a cookie-less future as the protection of personal information becomes increasingly pertinent.

No is no! Accept that the first time!

Section 69 of the Act outlaws direct marketing using any form of electronic communication unless the receiver has given their consent. Such electronic communication includes emails, SMSs and automatic calling machines. Once authorisation to send has been declined, the sender may not request permission to send again.

There are consequences to not complying

Most businesses are affected by the government implementing the new act, particularly banks, insurance companies, hospitals, and medical aids. This is because they have access to identity numbers and other information like addresses and banking details.

If you fail to comply with the POPI Act, whether intentional or accidental, you can be liable for an administrative fine of up to R10 million. Furthermore, if a data breach impacts your clients, POPIA even empowers them to take civil action for damages.

No longer is the adage ‘’ask for forgiveness over permission’’ true. Now, more than ever, permission over forgiveness is pertinent!

For more about what we are about and what services we offer, do reach out to us by heading on over to our About and Services pages or simply giving us a call on +27 21 556 3524.

We look forward to welcoming you into the Complete IT Business Solutions family.

Showcase

What were the technical challenges you were experiencing previously?

When the company initially started, we had no IT infrastructure. We used our home equipment to run the business. Then, so many technical challenges came along. We needed to ensure that we partner with a trustworthy and reliable company that creates that technical cover we required in our industry.

How has Complete IT changed the way you do business?

We have moved in leaps and bounds with the strategic planning, recommendations and proactiveness of CITS. They have created a stable and secure network to operate from. As a result, we can challenge major competitors with the IT infrastructure we have in our industry.

What are the benefits of choosing Complete IT as your technical support provider?

A very professional team that is dedicated to client service delivery and their contact centre is available at any given time. As a result, we benefitted from remote problem solutions with minimal interruption to our work day and the CEO is always available and shows interest in your business.

What are the key offerings that appeal to you most?

They have good products offerings with live monitoring and ongoing preventative maintenance.

Please comment on the service received from Complete IT.

Their product offerings are brilliant and add value to our business and their entire team is pro-active.

Any other information will be appreciated.

CITS is the real deal! A company that operates and delivers with integrity!

 

For more about what we are about and what services we offer, do reach out to us by heading on over to our About and Services pages or simply giving us a call on +27 21 556 3524.

 

We look forward to welcoming you into the Complete IT Business Solutions family.

data

‘How safe is your data’ is like asking ‘how long is a piece of string’, we assume there is no accurate answer…

How wrong we are to assume that! Smaller businesses, operational anywhere, from commercial premises to your living room, are all at threat and our data, entered into our machines from wherever needs to be adequately protected!

Back up your data; somewhere other than in the sky

Create a backup copy of your data, and do this at regular intervals. Store it somewhere other than your primary workplace, if possible. That way, if there’s a break-in, fire or flood, you don’t lose everything.

Remember, if you’re using an external device as your backup, you’ll probably want to encrypt it.

Take care when working remotely.

Working remotely is a norm for many of our staff and something like data security wasn’t given much thought when COVID-19 struck! It is never too late though so if you, or people you work with do their work remotely, make sure the devices you use are as secure as the equipment you use in the office.

You lock your front door, don’t you?

When leaving your home, your lock your door! Your personal belongings are housed there, and you want to protect them. Do the same with your computer and make sure your staff do the same. Taking steps to lock your screen when you leave your desk is a simple thing to do but will prevent someone else from accessing your computer.

Make sure you know who knows what!

You have to restrict who has access to your IT systems and buildings – you can’t let just anyone in because this will leave your systems vulnerable. The fewer people with access, the better. Ensure you limit IT access to people who work for you, where possible. If a staff member leaves your company or is absent for long periods, perhaps suspend their access to your systems.

We can offer you backup solutions to ensure your data remains safe on site and off.

For more about what we are about and what services we offer, do reach out to us by heading on over to our About and Services pages or simply giving us a call on +27 21 556 3524.

We look forward to welcoming you into the Complete IT Business Solutions family.

Cloud storage

Flop Proof?

How safe and reliable is cloud storage? Do you think cloud storage is hack free and watertight, or are you living with your head in the clouds? While cloud storage keeps your data secure from fires, floods, hurricanes and computer meltdowns, it is still vulnerable in the sense that it is in the hands of a third-party system.

Security measures are configured to protect cloud data, support regulatory compliance, protect customers’ privacy, and set authentication rules for individual users and devices. From authenticating access to filtering traffic, cloud security can be configured to the exact needs of the business.

But can we secure our data offline, and why should we?

Yes, absolutely!

Off-site cloud data backup tends to be more secure and reliable in comparison to traditional methods. The procedure for off-site cloud data backup is automated, which means all of your data will be backed up at regular intervals, typically every day or whatever works best for your business.

The best feature of an offline cloud backup is that they let you restore a system as per the last backup, and you can complete the restore far faster and more efficiently!

Cloud storage is more reliable when used in tandem with another storage system.

How can we use the Cloud for data-sharing?

Using shared files and storing them into Cloud data-sharing applications like Dropbox, SharePoint or One Drive,  you can ensure that anyone you give access to can quickly locate the files through a web-based platform.

Sharepoint is one of the best web-based collaboration platforms to use within a working environment. Benefits are such as easy data-sharing, centralised administration, improved data management and simplified business functions.

For more about what we are about and what services we offer, do reach out to us by heading on over to our About and Services pages or simply giving us a call on +27 21 556 3524.

We look forward to welcoming you into the Complete IT Business Solutions family.

cybersecurity

Cybersecurity – first things first, get protected!

Understanding remote working and the cybersecurity awareness that goes with that is the first step in protecting your business! Your business is to make sure all employees know that data security is a priority. Believe it or not, some employees today might still not be aware that data security is something they should be concerned about, at both personal and professional levels.

Many employees might assume that if they are not working directly with customer data, they don’t need to worry about cybersecurity. Don’t assume your team understand cyber threats.

Where to start with getting protected?

The best place to begin is by establishing a cybersecurity policy. Ensure all new and existing employees review and sign the policy, regardless of whether they work remotely or not.

The policy document should delve into the following; the reasoning behind having a policy in the first place and details outlining all of the various security protocols employees are expected to comply; how the company will support them in complying; and a place for the employee to sign their commitment to following the policy. This buy-in is crucial in data security.

Ensure all Internet Connections Are Secure

Working remotely means that your staff use an internet connection that you as a business may not have supplied. Everyone needs to get out of the house now and then as a remote worker, and the lure of the local coffee shop — with the camaraderie of other remote workers and your favourite hot beverage — can be the perfect break.  Using an unsecured Wi-Fi network is the most common way to expose your company to a data security breach.

Encourage your staff to use a VPN. Before signing on to public Wi-Fi networks, VPNs will encrypt the remote worker’s internet traffic and monitor for any signs of infection.

Password please or NO ENTRY!

Password safety is another relatively easy way to protect your organisation’s data. Many people joke about password safety, admitting they use the same password from device to device and program to program, but educating remote workers about password protection is key to securing your company’s data. Give your employees training on password importance. Start with the basics of keeping passwords strong and why it’s essential not to use the same one repeatedly.

For more about what we are about and what services we offer, do reach out to us by heading on over to our About and Services pages or simply giving us a call on +27 21 556 3524.

We look forward to welcoming you into the Complete IT Business Solutions family.

Zone Security

We met Zone Security through a Networking Database called SCnet (Supplier Chain Network) and they have been a client with us since May 2020.

 

1. What were the technical challenges you were experiencing previously?

Support issues with regards to our internet connectivity and backup power supplies. We could hardly get hold of our previous IT suppliers and the turnaround time for resolving issues was tediously long.

2. How has Complete IT Business Solutions changed the way Zone Security does business?

As our business grows, we know that we can rely on Complete IT to develop our foundation as we need it without hassle.  As an all-round support provider, Complete IT gives us the peace of mind to grow bigger and faster.

3. What are the benefits of choosing Complete IT Business Solutions as your technical support provider?

Instant access! Complete IT ensures we can reach their support techs 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  As a 24 hour business, this is critical for us.

4. What are the key offerings that appeal to Zone Security most?

Complete IT are a “one-stop-shop” whether it be a technical support query, advice on new software or hardware, installations, setups or tests that need to be run – it’s as simple as one call away.

5. Please comment on the service Zone Security has received from Complete IT Business Solutions?

We had many teething issues with our new foundation setup when we changed premises; however, Complete IT was definitely up for the challenge.  We received competent, professional and fast service with each and every request.

6. Any other information will be appreciated

Anthony and team have been wonderful to work with, and we are glad to have chosen them as our support provider.  We are immensely grateful for the role they have played in the growth of our business. Their client communication and quality service will see us recommending their services for many years to come.

We thank Zone Security and Dylan Williams for answering these questions candidly, and we look forward to continuing to offer them a superior service, helping their business flourish.

Zone Security can be reached here if you see a need for their services:

Website  Facebook

Should you see synergy within this case study or require IT solutions and services, please do reach out to the team at Complete IT Business Solutions. We look forward to helping your business.

For more about what we are about and what services we offer, do reach out to us by heading on over to our about and services pages or simply giving us a call on +27 21 556 3524.

We look forward to welcoming you into the Complete IT Business Solutions family.

WhatsApp privacy policy

In this digital world we live in; there will always be a few niggles and worries creeping in. The WhatsApp debacle regarding their new policy was the most recent, and boy did it cause an up-in-arms reaction.  And, mostly because the public didn’t understand the policy, or more accurately, that WhatsApp owners didn’t communicate it accurately and, to be honest, very tactfully.

As a company dealing with tech and digital issues daily, we thought we would explore what actually the whole WhatsApp privacy policy issue was about.  And, more importantly, as we are very aware of how vital it is to protect your data, we thought it a good idea to educate our valuable clients.  We want to point out that we are in no way supporting or knocking WhatsApp and their policy – we simply want to communicate the facts.

WhatsApp’s Policy

As communicated by WhatsApp in January, the policy is quite lengthy, so we have attempted to summarise as best we can.

WhatsApp users have until the 8th of February 2021 to accept the policy in order to continue using the messaging platform.  Should you not wish to accept their policy, you can simply delete your account.  You will see this message pop up:

“By tapping AGREE, you accept the new terms and privacy policy, which take effect on February 8, 2021. After this date, you’ll need to accept these updates to continue using WhatsApp. You can also visit the Help Center if you would prefer to delete your account and would like more information.”

WhatsApp privacy policy

The Key Changes in their Privacy Policy

  • The new updates include more information about the WhatsApp service provided and how it processes data;
  • Partnering with Facebook is a big one, where Facebook’s hosted services store and manage WhatsApp chats (this is not new really – if you’ve ever added someone to your WhatsApp, you more than likely will see Facebook suggesting to befriend that same person on their platform);
  • The new policy looks at how WhatsApp partners with Facebook with regards to offering integration across the Facebook Company;
  • The big one is about how and why they collect data from you – their words, “WhatsApp must receive or collect some information to operate, provide, improve, understand, customise, support, and market our Services, including when you install, access, or use our Services.

The types of information we receive and collect depend on how you use our Services. We require certain information to deliver our Services, and without this, we will not be able to provide our Services to you. For example, you must provide your mobile phone number to create an account to use our Services.” Understandably, all platforms collect your data when you choose to sign up with them.

You can read the full privacy policy info here from WhatsApp.  Another useful reference to read up on is here.

In a nutshell, while your data sharing is apparent, it isn’t that different across many other platforms. What you need to be aware of is what data you are sharing with the platform.  And, while WhatsApp declares they are not storing the content in your messages for onward use, we can only recommend you don’t message very private and confidential information. E.g., bank details, passwords, and login details to other platforms.

As always, be aware of what platforms you sign up with, and if you are at all unsure, you can reach out to us.  Although we are not consultants or affiliates of WhatsApp or its partners, we will always attempt to help you with tech.

For more about what we are about and what services we offer, do reach out to us by heading on over to our about and services pages or simply giving us a call on +27 21 556 3524.

We look forward to welcoming you into the Complete IT Business Solutions family.

Phishing

Oh, the joys of sitting down and enjoying a sip of your favourite drink whilst you wait for the fish to bite! “Open your eyes, yes, you!” No, we are not really fishing; however, and ironically, if you do not open your eyes and become more aware of another form of fishing, you will not be having a good time at all.

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a form of cybercrime where a target or targets are contacted by email, text, or telephone by someone posing as a legitimate institution. Their goal? To lure individuals into handing over sensitive data such as personal or company identifiable information, passwords, credit cards, and banking.

How to be more aware of Phishing?

  1. Phishing emails and text messages often look like they are from a company or individual you know and trust. You may have seen emails where it appears to be from your bank requesting information from you. These are the most dangerous;
  2. Phishing emails and text messages often come with a lengthy explanation encouraging you to click on a link or open an attachment. If it seems at all odd, do not open or click;
  3. They often tell you that they have noticed suspicious activity or log-in attempts against your account (which is the ultimate eye-blind), and want you to confirm your personal information so they can help you;
  4. Phishing emails will often include a fake-looking invoice which you immediately want to click on;
  5. Some phishing emails or messages will tell you that you have qualified to receive a government refund;
  6. The email may offer you a coupon where you can receive free stuff.

Phishing

What steps to take to protect yourself and your business against phishing attacks

  1. Before clicking on anything, first, contact the third party with the contact details you usually use. Then, validate if they sent you any emails or SMSs that requires personal information;
  2. Educate yourself and your staff about the dangers of phishing attacks. Teach them how to recognise these emails and messages (we run a fantastic Cybersecurity Awareness Training Program);
  3. Protect all your computers by using updated and automatic security software;
  4. Look after your mobile phones by ensuring you have the latest and automatically-updating software;
  5. Safeguard all your online accounts by upgrading to multi-factor authentication. This is where two or more credentials are needed in order to log in, and this could be a password married with a pin code or for phones, often a fingerprint or face recognition software. Multi-factor authentication deter scammers from logging in to your accounts;
  6. Back up your data on all devices. Make sure those backups are cloud-based and not linked to your home connection. (Dropbox and OneDrive are not backup solutions)

If you are at all unsure or suspicious about a possible phishing attack, please do reach out and let us assist you.

For more about what we are about and what services we offer, do reach out to us by heading on over to our about and services pages or simply giving us a call on +27 21 556 3524.

We look forward to welcoming you into the Complete IT Business Solutions family.

Pty

We believe in growing to change!

Besides the obvious reasons (which many are not even aware of), we moved from a CC (Close Corporation) to a Pty (LTD) (Proprietary Limited).

For many, this may seem like a mundane and generally obvious move, but it was quite a monumental growth move for us.

While the benefits of moving from CC to Pty (LTD) were good – the growing to change benefits were:

  • As a Pty (LTD) is seen as a separate juristic person, it meant our shareholders had limited liability when it came to the company’s debt – great news!
  • No limitation on how many shareholders we could have – great growth move right there!
  • Obtaining funding became easier as we could essentially barter our company’s equity as surety – good options!
  • Matters pertaining to management, governance, and control are all laid out in the memorandum of incorporation.  This is important when there is more than one shareholder. All the shareholder’s rights, duties, exit strategies, and funding obligations are carved out and clearly defined – no confusion or fights here!
  • A private company need not have independent reviews and can employ internal accounting staff – a significant time and cost factor, in fact!

Okay, so now we have given you a brief lesson on why moving over to a Pty (LTD) is a good idea for factual reasons alone; here is why it has been a more significant growth factor outside of that.

Pty

Why we moved over to a Pty (LTD)

For us, it speaks volumes about our growth and willingness to change, even after almost two decades in business.  It is very easy to get stuck in one’s ways. To do just what you did last year and the year before that because it worked.  That cliché?  “Don’t fix what ain’t broken”.  Well, nothing was broken here at Complete IT Business Solutions, but it certainly needed a little maintenance and revamping.

Our growth potential has increased phenomenally. We have more options. We are more attractive to possible investors, suppliers, and of course, to our customers.

This business format’s structure has proven an eyeopener for us.  We do feel more in control, ready to take on more challenges, larger clients, and bigger projects.

A simple and progressive move? Yes! A growth and change-ready mindset? Most definitely!

For more about what we are about and what services we offer, do reach out to us by heading on over to our about and services pages or simply giving us a call on +27 21 556 3524.

We look forward to welcoming you into the Complete IT Business Solutions family.