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Windows Server 2008 End of Life (Questions/Answers)

Are You Prepared for Windows 2008 Server End of Life?

Windows Server 2008 End of Life

Windows Server 2008 has been a sensation and many people have had a positive experience utilizing it, but what does its end of life mean?

There’s a lot to it. First, Windows Server 2008 end of life infers that the manufacturer, Microsoft, will no longer update this product unless a warranty compels them to do so.

However, Microsoft mainstream support will still be under obligation to provide bug fixes and vital improvements through extended support. This implies that you can still enjoy using Windows Server 2008 as long as you don’t need any further updates currently offered by the mainstream support.

How much time do you have to change out your equipment?

You need to change over from the Windows 2008 Server to a supported server by January 14, 2020. To keep your data safe, experts recommend making the switch six months earlier than the set date. That’s how much time users have till Microsoft stops offering bug fixes and security updates through the extended security support.

Will 2020 be the real “End” of Windows Server 2008?

An end to bug fixes and those all-important security updates may be the ultimate deal breaker for users. Data managers will tell you that not having these fixes makes your data vulnerable to access by unauthorized parties and nobody wants to take chances with sensitive data.

After January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer offer security updates and bug fixes for this server and that will create loopholes in data security which prying hackers would be interested in exploiting. These security breaches can be avoided by installing a newer generation server with supported security updates. So, yes, 2020 will be the real end of life for Windows Server 2008, especially for data management centers.

What you need to do before Windows Server 2008 End of Life

The most logical action would be to update all equipment. There are many Microsoft products available on the market with more convenience, efficiency, and better virtualization attributes than Windows Server 2008. Do some research to ensure that you get a proper replacement that will address all the functions needed for your organization.

These servers come at a high cost (especially for large data centers) and installing them can be challenging, so the sooner you start the better. Upgrading a server system will definitely take some planning and precious time. Ample time should be devoted to installing the system. Unexpected delays are common; things don’t always go as planned with today’s sophisticated hardware and software. Don’t take chances with such important technology. With six months leeway, you can ensure that your new server is fully functional and your data is safe before the end of the Windows Server 2008.

Is it the end of life for all Windows Server 2008 versions?

No, it’s not. There are 16 Windows Server 2008 versions and this is not the end of life for all sixteen. However, mainstream security support for all Windows Server 2008 products ended on January, 13th 2015. But newer products like the Windows Server 2012 still have many years ahead.

More recent products like the Windows Server 2016/R2 offer users immense improvements in performance and may make it worth your time and money to switch.

Will I still be able to use Windows Server 2008 after End of Life?

While Microsoft will terminate the extended support service after the end of life, these servers will still run smoothly. The obvious drawback is that your data will be vulnerable and you will be missing out on many newer virtualization features. Even if it wasn’t the End of Life for these servers, newer features alone would warrant a server upgrade.

It’s not the End of Life for mainstream support

There are many data centers that will find themselves in a situation where they need help with a few issues after Windows Server 2008 End of Life. If you find yourself in this situation, Microsoft’s mainstream support may come in handy.

Get ready for the move

To plan for an infrastructure upgrade, rewrite and migrate all applications based on SQL Server 2008 to a safe storage place. The new server may need extensive troubleshooting, which can affect your timeline and efforts. SQL databases can be hosted on the Windows Server 2008 hardware as you install the new system.

During the transition, put a data protection infrastructure in place that will eliminate the risks of data vulnerability during a server upgrade. This will protect the data from the fragility of the old server and risks associated with the new system. While this may be costly, the fines associated with a data breach are often far more expensive.

To undergo this transition smoothly, work closely with organizations tasked with planning for Windows Server 2008 End of Life. These IT professionals can offer a great deal of assistance. They know what types of issues to look for and how to make the switch successful.

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Exactis Data Leak (Questions/Answers)

Exactis Data Leak Reveals the Dangers of Less Efficient Security Measures around People’s Data

The new data leak at Exactis, a marketing and data-aggregation firm based in Florida, presents a great many opportunities for cybercriminals to launch any number of attacks on unsuspecting victims over the next several months.

Data Leak

Exactis, which collects loads of personal data on nearly every U.S. adult, recently leaked detailed information on both people and businesses in the country, according to an exposé by a security researcher.

The exact number of people that this breach has affected remains unknown, but reports indicate that about 340 million records were involved in the leak on the company’s publicly available server.

The Florida-based data aggregation company claims to be in possession of data on a whopping 218 million U.S. adults, including some 110 million households. It further has some 3.5 billion records (digital, consumer, and business records).

Exactis data leak a lesser threat?

Many potential victims may take comfort in the fact that Exactis does not collect people’s payment information such as credit or debit card data, nor their Social Security Numbers. The marketing firm is largely interested in personal information – including names, addresses, and other very basic and specific details about people’s private lives such as hobbies, religion, and individual preferences.

Additionally, unlike the Equifax data breach that involved massive loss of people’s payment information into the hands of cybercriminals, no evidence has come to light yet indicating that the leaked data on the Exactis server actually fell in the hands of anyone with malicious intent.

According to the individual who discovered the breach, Exactis has since taken protective measures to secure the data.

However, this is not a guarantee that there’s no need for alarm. There is no way to tell just how long the individuals who infiltrated the server might have stayed there undetected. Neither does anyone know the details of their exact intent nor the kind of information they might be interested in.

What is now public knowledge, however, is that the exposed information also included home addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers – which can be a time bomb in the hands of a bad actor.

What was the mistake that led to the Exactis server leak?

The data leak at Exactis was possible because the company left the information up on a public server without any protection around it. This way of storing information in the company left the massive collection exposed for anyone who cared to access and use it. There’s no denying how tempting something like this would be for a data thief, as the database had information about “pretty much every U.S. citizen in it.”

While Vinny Troia, the security expert who exposed this leak admits to not knowing where Exactis obtains all their data, he confirms that the database is truly one of the most comprehensive information resources available of its kind.

Should this data security breach and the numbers associated with it be anything to go by, it would be one of the most detrimental to hit the U.S. in a while. This data leak would beat 2017’s Equifax breach hands down. The Equifax breach has held the record as being one of the most devastating security data breaches to date. It affected the highest number of consumers – up to an estimated total of 145.5 million individuals.

What potential risks are victims of this breach are facing?

The damage is done, so what are the repercussions? What does this mean to the individuals and businesses whose details have been breached? What possible solutions do they have at their disposal?

Spam emails

Persons whose personal details are now out there can expect to receive streams of annoying spam emails in their inboxes.

If spammers got hold of someone’s personal information from the Exactis data leak, this would mean a fresh new list of email addresses to send unsolicited offers to. This class of cybercriminals makes money off signals such as website pop-up ad impressions or email response rates. Clicking on their unsolicited emails would be generating money for them without intending to.

Phishing attacks

A direr possibility, the data might fall into the hands of identity thieves. These criminals could use the email addresses obtained from the leaked collection to create any number of phishing schemes.

The consumers who have lost their personal information, therefore, run the risk of being targeted by phishing attack emails, which involve criminals impersonating legitimate senders attempting to trick them (unsuspecting recipients) into clicking malicious links in these emails. Clicking such malicious links would trigger the download of malware onto these victims’ computers.

Attackers may also trick these victims whose emails they (attackers) have gathered, into giving out some confidential and more valuable information such as usernames and passwords, credit card data, and even Social Security numbers.

Wrap up

Knowing what to expect is the first step in preparing for the consequences of this breach. At the end of the day, you must protect yourself. It is utterly important that you do not open any email that originates from an untrusted source. Better still, consider using a suitable email authentication service to protect you from interacting with malicious emails. Watch for phishing schemes—expect them to come to your inbox and be prepared. Don’t be fooled by emails that seem a bit too urgent. Cybercriminals always use fear to get you to click on their bad links.

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Is Your CFO Running The IT Department?

Should a Business Place the CFO in Charge of IT?

The work of a Chief Financial Officer in a business organization is to manage the finances, record keeping, manage financial risks, prepare financial reports, and give general financial advice. Information and Technology, on the other hand, is the department that is in charge of designing, operating, and maintaining the IT infrastructure of the organization. So where do these two critical departments intertwine in the management of the affairs of a business organization?

CFO and IT

Why is it important to separate the two departments?

This question can only be addressed properly by having a quick overview of the functions of the IT department in an organization.

Functions of the IT Department

Some businesses have their IT department run by the CFO because they think that the IT department is more or less a wing of the finance department. This thinking may be derived from years past where companies didn’t have a large IT department and no one really understood the work that IT experts were doing.

That was way before technology took a leap to this current era where IT departments are responsible for services such as storing data, online platforms, website management, social media, and all related functions. This scenario clearly shows that the functions of IT have evolved into a massive effort to keep the company website running smoothly and protect customer and company assets. Since the website is the face of most companies now, this is a crucial aspect of doing business in a global economy.

Connection with the Outside World

Truth be told, most of what we learn and know about a given business organization is the information that can be viewed at websites and other online platforms. The profile of almost all companies is found on their web page. There you will learn things about when it was incorporated and who is in charge of various departments. The addresses of the head office and branches, if any, are there on the website, along with achievements, awards, upcoming events, press releases, and so much more.

Links are there to all social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. These assets form an organization’s direct link with their customers. For instance, if a business is portrayed in a bad light by the media, they use their social media platforms to clarify issues so that they can restore the confidence of the different stakeholders and prospective customers. When introducing new products into the market, businesses opt to use social media to launch them. These are all vital tasks that take place every day for most companies.

Storage of Company Data

Long gone are the days when data was stored in large physical files using paper copies of documents. This method came with many disadvantages. Government buildings would frequently run out of storage space. The sheer amount of paper and ink used was massive. Retrieving documents was tricky at best. If someone misfiled an important document, the staff might have to search for days to locate it. Those days are gone with online data storage. Now a company can store enormous amounts of information and retrieve the records almost instantly.

Privacy and Security

With all the good things associated with a modern IT department, certainly, there are a few challenges here and there. Now that all our data is stored online or in the Cloud, it’s available to cyber thieves. Most of them have special hacking skills that can break through the best defenses.

Security breaches can totally cripple a business and bring it to its knees. Information that healthcare organizations store is very sensitive. It can be devastating for any company to undergo a security breach, but healthcare is especially vulnerable.

The IT Department is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that security breaches don’t happen at all and if they do occur, they are detected as soon as possible. The IT department must be vigilant in protecting a company’s data. It’s a full-time job.

Updates

Technology keeps on evolving to better serve us and this is where the IT department comes in. They consistently stay aware of security threats. They install system upgrades and train the staff on how the new upgrades are applied. They must make sure the company website works properly and all service issues are dealt with right away. If customers can’t shop or perform tasks on your website, then they’ll just go someplace else.

Should the CFO do IT work?

Given the above overview of the functions of an IT department, it is clear that the Chief Financial Officer cannot adequately deliver or even oversee most IT work. The main and only function of a CFO should be overseeing company finances. Of course, they must be consulted if the IT department needs newer equipment, hardware, or software. These expenses can be hard to budget for but they’re very crucial to maintain a thriving online presence.

Wrap Up

The financial transactions of most business organizations nowadays rest with the CFO and his department while the IT department handles servers, computers, internet security and the company’s online presence. Only IT experts are equipped to manage these tasks efficiently. The CFO should be there to facilitate financial assistance and receive reports, but not be involved directly in the IT work. Organizations should ensure that these two departments have their roles distinctly separate and well laid out.

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Happy Independence Day!

On July 4th we as Americans honor the formation of the union we call The United States of America. Whether enjoying the holiday at the beach; a backyard barbeque; watching a fireworks celebration in the city; working hard in the office or shop; or marching in a local community parade; we all celebrate the birth of our great nation together as one.

Here’s to our beautiful lakes, our majestic mountains and everything that makes American the greatest place to live!

For anyone who’s not American, or new to our country, here’s what Independence Day is all about.

Independence Day is celebrated each year on July 4th. It’s often known as “the Fourth of July.” It’s the anniversary of the publication of the declaration of independence from Great Britain in 1776.

In 1775, the people of New England began fighting the British for their independence. On July 2, 1776, the Congress secretly voted for the country’s independence from Great Britain. Two days later, on July 4, 1776, the final wording of the Declaration of Independence was approved, and the document was published.

Happy 4th of July

The first public reading of the Declaration of Independence occurred on July 8, 1776. Congressional delegates began signing it on August 2, 1776. Fifty-six congressional delegates signed the document. The delegates signed by states from North to South, beginning with Josiah Bartlett of New Hampshire, and ending with George Walton of Georgia.

Some delegates refused to sign the Declaration, including John Dickinson of Pennsylvania, and James Duane, Robert Livingston, and John Jay of New York.

Some opposed the document but signed it anyway to present the appearance of a unanimous Congress. This included Carter Braxton of Virginia, Robert Morris of Pennsylvania, George Reed of Delaware, and Edward Rutledge of South Carolina. Five delegates were absent including Generals George Washington, John Sullivan, James Clinton, and Christopher Gadsden, as well as Virginia Governor Patrick Henry.

John Adams sent a description of how Independence Day would be celebrated in a letter to his wife Abigail on July 3, 1776. He described “pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations” throughout the country.

An interesting note: Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, both signers of the Declaration of Independence and presidents of the United States, died on July 4, 1826, exactly 50 years after the adoption of the Declaration.

For our Help Desk employees, Independence Day is a workday. We plan to celebrate the 4th just like the rest of our countrymen (and women!). But we do this by being here if you have any technical issues.

Our Help Desk is your front-line support for submitting incidents and service requests.

We say that we operate 24/7/365 and we mean it – Independence Day, Memorial Day, Christmas, New Year’s Day, Easter – no matter the holiday or day of the week.

You’ll have direct access to the IT professionals who help you onsite and provide the advice, guidance, and rapid restoration of services you need to keep your business running. 

When you call, one of our agents will log your request into our IT service management system and either resolve it for your then or escalate it to the next level of support.

You have the option of reporting an incident or service request by email or by contacting us by phone. When you do, this will generate a “ticket” in our IT service management system.

Once the ticket is created, you’ll automatically receive an email receipt confirmation with your ticket or reference number. This confirmation tells you that your request has been logged at our Help Desk and that it’s been assigned to a tech specialist who knows your business and is experienced in your particular IT issue.

Here’s what we ask that you provide when submitting a request to our Help Desk:

  • Your name, business name, phone number, and email address.
  • A detailed description of the problem or concern.
  • Whether the issue you’re experiencing affects only one user, many users, your entire office or multiple offices.
  • The impact your issue has on your business, including whether any critical applications have been affected.
  • Anything you or your staff have done to try to resolve the issue before contacting us.

Prioritizing Tickets

It also helps if you prioritize your need. Here’s an example of what we mean:

  • Non-Urgent: Your problem is minimal and doesn’t impact your ability to work. It’s something that you could wait to be addressed within the next week. (For example, you’d like us to provide a new piece of computer equipment for you.)
  • Normal: The IT issue has some impact on your day-to-day operations. However, you could wait for two days for it to be addressed. (For example, you’d like us to help you find a better way to use an application or replace it with a different one.)
  • Urgent: The issue you face has a significant impact on one user’s ability to work. You need help sometime during the workday.
  • Emergency: This issue has a significant team-wide impact on your staff’s ability to work. Multiple employees are affected. You need help as soon as possible, no matter if it’s after hours, over the weekend, or on a holiday (like the 4th of July). This is for things like outages and downtime.

Please do your best not to prioritize something as “Urgent” or “Emergency” when it’s not. This helps us get to those really urgent requests much faster.

We want you to know that you and your staff can enjoy Independence Day with the peace of mind that our Help Desk is always here for you. Happy 4th of July everyone!

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How To Migrate To Microsoft Office 365

Help! How Do We Migrate To Office 365?

YOUR MICROSOFT OFFICE 365 MIGRATION CHECKLIST

Microsoft Office 365 Migrations

First, let’s talk about why you should use Microsoft Office 365.

It’s simple…

If you do, you’ll have a full-featured, cloud-based office productivity tool that can help you work more easily, productively, and collaboratively.

This allows you to please your customers and grab more market share. There’s no better solution for small and mid-sized businesses today than Microsoft Office 365.

Why?

Because instead of simply packaging the popular applications you use (like Excel, Word, PowerPoint and more) Microsoft has taken the extra step to integrate these tools, along with others. This provides your organization with the capabilities a larger-sized business enjoys.

But there’s something you should know.

Migrating to cloud computing is a multi-phased project. There are many things to consider when making a conversion to Microsoft Office 365, or any cloud-based system.

We’ve developed this Microsoft Office 365 MIGRATION CHECKLIST to help ensure the process is seamless for your business and transparent to your customers.

Of course, we think we should do this for you.

Why?

Because it’s complicated and a lot of things can go wrong unless you know exactly what you’re doing.

But, if you’re ready to try this on your own, here’s what you need to do.

INVENTORY EVERYTHING IN YOUR IT ENVIRONMENT

Start by making a detailed inventory of everything in your IT environment. This way you can make the best decisions and estimates about what it will take to migrate everything. You’ll also be able to better determine how long this might take and develop a migration timeline that you can share with your staff.

Your inventory may include things like:

  • Site Collections (a group of websites that have the same owner and share administrative settings)
  • List and Libraries (a special list/library for documents)
  • Pages (all files that have a dependency to another file using a URL)
  • Blocked File Types
  • Branding
  • Workflows (pre-programmed mini-applications that streamline and automate a wide variety of business processes)
  • Content Types
  • Site Columns (reusable column definitions or templates that you can assign to multiple lists across multiple SharePoint sites)
  • Permissions
  • User Alerts
  • Retention Policies (A retention policy is the only feature that can both retain and delete content across Office 365.)
  • Records
  • Users and Groups
  • Large Lists or Libraries
  • Any other UI customizations (JavaScript, altered menus, etc.)
  • Customized IT Solutions

What About Our Customized Solutions?  

You could run into trouble here.

Create an inventory of all your customizations. Identify what you want to migrate. This is a good time to identify what you don’t need any longer and remove it.

Make sure you have a good overview of what you have in your sites (WSP, Sandbox, etc.) And note if one depends on another.

Map things out, so you’re sure to deploy everything in the right order when it’s migrated to your destination.

Are you running any Farm Solutions? These run codes that can affect the whole farm and can’t be migrated to Office 365. Get rid of them.

Do you have any Sandbox Solutions? As with Farm Solutions, it’s recommended that you don’t include these.

Converting any Web Parts you developed for Add-Ins could be problematic.

If you’ve built Timer Jobs, there is no real solution when you migrate to the Cloud. You must find a new way to do this.

Event Receivers: You’ll need to rewrite and host them differently to get the same results.

Determine how you can deploy your declarative artifacts. You might be able to do this with an Azure Web App or PowerShell.

Stay away from customized fields. Display Templates or Office 365 column formatting might provide an option for displaying content the way you want so you don’t need to create new fields.

Item IDs in Lists and Libraries could change during the migration.

REMOVE & REORGANIZE YOUR OLD IT ENVIRONMENT ITEMS

Microsoft SharePoint helps you custom-build what you need for your unique operations. Now’s a good time to locate and reorganize what you want to keep or delete what you don’t.

  • Locate and get rid of any “Orphaned Users.”
  • Locate and get rid of vacant SharePoint Groups.
  • Move users with specific permissions back into Groups.
  • Get rid of any Custom Content Types, Site Columns, and Workflows you no longer use.
  • Locate any sites that you haven’t used or modified and determine if you still need them.
  • Ask all users to check-in documents they’ve checked-out, including those that have never been checked in. (Ensure you migrate the most recent versions.)
  • Find any Large Site Collections and break them up into multiple Site Collections.
  • Locate Large Sites and promote them into Site Collections.
  • Delete any duplicate content.
  • Clean-up items that have too many custom permissions.
  • Get rid of versions in your history you no longer want.
  • Re-order Lists and Libraries that contain too many columns.
  • Rethink and re-order very Large Lists.
  • Ask all users to finish up any pending workflow tasks.

III. PREPARE YOUR NEW DESTINATION

This is the time to prepare a clean slate for your new destination. A well thought out Information Architecture can make all the difference between a successful migration and one you’re not happy with. Take your time doing this as it might be the last chance you have to do this for quite a while.

  • Map out the information architecture of your new destination.
  • Backup all of your data.
  • Test your backup restoration to make sure it works.
  • Check out all databases for any corrupt data. (Delete any that you find.)
  • Run a number of migration tests beforehand. (Take note of any unsupported elements.)
  • Determine the overall time required to migrate all sites. (Slow migration speed can significantly impact project duration, causing delays that can disrupt your business operations.)
  • Set SharePoint to import user profiles from any specific sources.
  • Map a plan for the metadata on your content.
  • Look at your customizations. (If required, convert them to work in the new destination.)
  • Locate any deprecated native templates or features and make a plan to replace them.

IT’S NOW TIME TO COMMUNICATE EVERYTHING TO YOUR STAFF.

Change is always difficult for everyone and this includes your users. For your Office 365 Migration to be a success, you need to let them know what to expect.

  • Communicate with all users before starting the migration and let them know this is a process but that you’ll keep them informed.
  • Circulate the proposed timeline to ensure it won’t interfere with their business-critical efforts.
  • Let them know about the IT downtime that will occur and for how long.
  • Relay any possible changes in the environments (URLs, Bookmarks, Document References, Excel Macros, etc.).
  • Determine where to go to get an updated status or any assistance you might need during the migration.
  • Create sandbox sites for previewing.

BEGIN THE MIGRATION

At this point, the process of migrating to Office 365 shouldn’t be too difficult if you’ve followed all the steps above. Just be prepared to deal with any unforeseen complications that might not have been revealed during the testing phase.

Workflows:

  • Stop running any workflows you’ll be migrating.

Migration Scenarios:

  • Use a third-party tool to migrate and granularly restructure as you transition.
  • Perform multi-phased, incremental migration for large sites.

AFTER MIGRATING

It’s time to take a “test drive” to make sure everything is working properly in your new environment.

  • Test your Destination Environment.
  • Make sure everything migrated successfully.
  • Test all your workflows and check user permissions.
  • Make a complete backup of your new environment.
  • Remove all access to the old SharePoint environment.

ON A WEEKLY BASIS: MONITOR YOUR OFFICE 365 ENVIRONMENT

You’re not done. It’s very important that you continue to monitor the security, usage, and other elements in your new Office 365 environment to make sure it’s running at peak performance without any glitches.

  • Ensure all your users are getting what they need from Office 365. Find out if they require any assistance or run into problems.
  • Always monitor data security and check for any data breaches.
  • Locate any broken permissions.
  • Ensure all users are using the right permissions.
  • Ensure user credentials remain private.
  • Control sharing of monitor permissions.

As you can see, when you move your organization to Microsoft Office 365, it’s important to plan exactly what steps you want to take, when to perform them, and who’s involved. Keep the lines of communication open, and this checklist will help you as you plan and prepare for a migration to Office 365.

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How to Download a Facebook Live Video

There are many reasons why you would want to download a live video from Facebook, whether it is yours or someone else’s. Sometimes a video is shared into a very active group and finding it later would be a bit tasking. Another reason why someone may want to download their own live videos is to keep a copy for future reference, or even upload it to another social media platform like Instagram.

Facebook Live Video

For whatever reason you may have, here is a step-by-step explanation on how to do it. First, this article will outline the process of downloading your very own live video from Facebook, then explain how to download someone else’s live video from your wall, or a group where the video was shared.

Previously, Facebook didn’t have this feature and it was difficult to download a live video but now it is available and very easy to use.

Downloading your own live video from Facebook

Step 1

Locate the video on your Facebook account page profile or on your feed. On the left side bar you will see under “Explore”, a button for Live Videos. When you click on that button, it will generate all the live videos you have shared or the ones that have been shared on your wall. Find the one you would like to download, then click on it to open it.

Depending on the method you choose to access the video, say through your feed, you will also be required to click on the time stamp. Once you click on the time stamp, it will open the video. On the right side of the screen, you can also view all the comments about the video.

Step 2

On the upper right side, there are three dots. Click on them and you will get a number of prompts including one allowing you to download your video. Click on this and you will start downloading the video automatically. It will be saved to your device as an MP4 video.

Now you have the video downloaded to your hard drive. You can share the video to your other social media platforms, email it to someone, or use it for whatever purpose you like.

Downloading someone else’s Live Video

Downloading someone else’s live video from Facebook is totally different from downloading your own. This is because of the strict privacy measures put in place by Facebook. The steps are a bit complicated and you may need to use a third party site in order to download the video and save it directly to your device as opposed to saving it on your Facebook page as a feed. There are other strategies of course, such as switching to the mobile version of Facebook. The bad news is that this is no longer supported by most web browsers. So for now, we will discuss the other option of using third-party software to download someone else’s live videos. One of these programs is called SaveFrom.net.

Step 1

Find the live video, open the time stamp, and play it. Locate your browser’s address bar, which is always at the top of the page. This displays the URL to the video. Highlight and copy the link. Alternatively, just right click on the video and then choose the option, Show Video URL. This is another method of copying the link.

Step 2

Go to the SaveFrom.net site and paste the web link there.

Step 3

Click the download button and you will have a drop-down menu with two options: download your video as an MP4 or in High Definition (HD). Choose a suitable format to save the video to your device.

Browser Extensions

Some browsers, such as Chrome, do have download extensions that you can use to download a Facebook Live Video. These extensions include Fbdownloader and Social Video Downloader, just to mention a few of them.

The trick to choosing the most suitable method to use when downloading a live video is the time it takes to do this and also the quality of the video saved. Choose a method that is best for your situation.

Wrap Up

Live Videos on Facebook are becoming a common trend lately and they are preferred because they have a larger social media following compared to YouTube. It’s common to see everything from funny cat videos to breaking news stories. Millions of people all over the world use Facebook today and everyone enjoys viewing the many videos found there.

In addition, more people are using Facebook as compared to any other social media platform. The important thing to consider is time and quality of the video. Depending on the device that you are using, you may have a number of options to choose from when downloading your video as discussed above.

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Do “IT” Faster with Microsoft

Time is money, but most of us value both. Microsoft knows how important these two things are. They have developed some programs that will help you work faster with your computer or preferred device. This article will review some helpful features from Microsoft that will help you get your work done faster and more efficiently. These technologies include Cortana, Outlook, and finally the Microsoft Edge browser.

Microsoft Cortana

Microsoft Cortana is like a digital assistant who does everything asked of her. Before you start working with Cortana make sure to link it into your work account. Then navigate to the bottom left search bar. There, you can type anything, such as a random question. Let’s say you type something like: “What do I need?” Cortana will automatically generate a pool of different things she can do for you.

Simply put, you can set a reminder on your PC for a doctor’s appointment and Cortana will alert you on your phone. This is so helpful, especially if you are away from the office. It collects information from all your devices, such as your phone contact list. Cortana can send email reminders and give you alerts based on your location. Did you know that you can even attach a photo to your reminder? Yes, with Cortana you can do that!

Cortana simply ensures that you keep up with your busy schedule. Like all smart voice assistants, Cortana has the ability to find information ranging from flight schedules, traffic conditions, and even weather changes in your area. She can immediately give you updates on all these things and more.

With time, as you interact and use Cortana, she gets to know you personally and improves the kind of assistance that she provides. These customized services make this virtual assistant especially helpful. She helps keep track of your favorite things like music, hobbies, and sports. She can learn about your favorite hang-outs or places you like to eat. She can give you suggestions and inform you of any updates in relation to these things. Do you have a favorite celebrity that you enjoy following? Cortana can give you timely updates on what your favorite celebrities are doing.

The Cortana virtual assistant is constantly advancing in knowledge. The developers add new features all the time, plus she learns as you use her. This new type of technology is advancing at a rapid pace. It includes the convenience of being available for all of your devices. Information is synchronized across phones, computers, and tablets both at home and at work. Every time you use any of your devices, the information gets updated. Cortana remembers. This definitely saves you time and it offers a new kind of convenience that people are beginning to enjoy and expect.

Microsoft Outlook

Here is a tip to help you reduce the number of emails that are related to conversations in your inbox. You just go into Outlook into the messages in your inbox. At the top left of your menu, you will see something called “clean up.” When you click on this icon, it will give you different options like:

  • Clean up conversation
  • Clean up folder
  • Clean up folders and subfolders

This allows you to delete individual conversations or entire conversations. This feature goes through your conversations, streamlining everything, leaving only the most recent conversation. Your inbox gets a quick but thorough clean-up.

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge is the most secure, dependable web browser on the market today. It has a whole host of features within itself, but here are a few that stand out.

Imagine a busy day at work and you have been conducting research and your desktop has a number of Tabs open. Maybe you’re not ready to close any of them! Microsoft Edge allows you to use a tab manager which pushes aside the tabs for you to use later.

When you want to reopen those tabs, you simply go to the left of the screen, open up the Tab Manager, and select the tab that you want to reopen.

Ink within Microsoft Edge

The ability to ink within Microsoft Edge is now at your fingertips. All you need is a stylus. Go to the Microsoft Edge and circle what you need, annotate it, capture it, and send it to the recipient of your choice.

Wrap up

Microsoft is constantly searching for new ways to improve the efficiency of their products just to make your life easier and more enjoyable. That is why Microsoft Windows 10 is a modern day hack on your computer that will make work stress-free. It helps you get everything done more efficiently so you can still achieve the best results in a shorter time frame. Being organized is part of working smarter and so is mastering these simple tools. Knowledge is power, and with what you have learned here, you can save time and improve your work life.

Microsoft Tech

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Understanding Microsoft Office 365 (Product Review)

This article is basically an overview of what Microsoft Office 365 is. Virtually, there is nothing new especially to those who are already using Microsoft Office products; only a few enhancements to better your user experience. To start off, we will have a historical evolution of Office to give you a clear understanding of where we are coming from, and then explore Office in the Cloud and finally various Office 365 user scenarios.

Microsoft Office 365

Evolution of Office

Most of the Applications on Office are basically the same ones from ten years ago, only with a few improvements to increase efficiency.

In the past, when one needed a software upgrade, you bought it in a box and then had it manually installed on your device. What Office 365 has done is make it easier for you to access the upgrades to all the Office Applications you usually use.

This is to help you collaborate and communicate so you can get more work completed faster. Office 365 contains the normal Office Applications that most people are accustomed to such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook. Office 365 has added a few helpful Apps to make your work easier such as Yammer, OneDrive, Skype, and OneNote.

  • OneDrive for Business

This is an App where you store your business documents to save, view, and edit. You can also co-author or co-create content with colleagues.

  • Skype

This App enables instant messaging, video, and voice calling and it is good at indicating whether you are at your desk, in a meeting, on a call, and even when you are away from your desk.

  • Yammer

This is like a social network for an enterprise. You can follow groups, teams, comment, share ideas, provide feedback, and also store content.

  • OneNote

This App is not new at all, but it is very useful for taking notes. It allows you to paste images, links, and store very different kinds of contents. It works like a digital notebook.

Office 365 Delivered Services

These are basically the services that Microsoft delivers to different organizations in order to enable them to use the technology reviewed above. They include helpful programs like PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, and OneNote. Microsoft recently purchased Skype and has integrated this program into their suite of products. It can be used for communications and holding virtual meetings on your desktop.

SharePoint is used for sharing documents and is integrated with OneDrive and Exchange which provides email functionality.

Delivered Services by Office 365 also offer the Office 365 programs for any device, whether powered by iOS, Android, or Windows. This means that you can access your stored data in Office 365 on any device or platform.

Office in the Cloud

Traditionally, an organization runs their Apps in a central data center owned and managed by them. On the other hand, Cloud is where a service provider like Microsoft can provide computer powered storage like a hard drive to other organizations to help them manage their data. A hybrid is using both the traditional and cloud methods to manage data. Advantages of using Cloud include flexibility, accessibility, reliability, manageability, and of course security.

Office Online

This is a service that enables you to access your Apps online and also your data.

Office 365 Scenarios

  • Do it from anywhere

Office 365 gives you access to any device to enable you to work from anywhere. This is because files and settings are synced across devices. You can easily create, edit, and share documents and even access them on a mobile device. One Note is also your digital notebook and you can take notes anywhere anytime and all your devices will be updated with the new information.

  • OneDrive for Business

OneDrive for Business works with SharePoint to store, sync, and share your work files. You can co-create and co-author documents with colleagues. You don’t have to be together or even working from the same location. You can keep refining and make changes from anywhere.

  • SharePoint

SharePoint allows you to better manage your content. You can also collaborate on documents with your colleagues.

  • Skype for Business

The features of Skype allow you to connect with anyone via instant messaging (IM), video calls, and online meetings. Skype has the ability to turn the instant messenger into a phone or video call. You can record sessions to use later or share with others.

  • Yammer

This is the social network guru for your office. It allows discussions, ideas, and input without necessarily holding a meeting.

More information can be found on:

support.office.com

www.microsoft.com/en-ca/site/work-wonders

Wrap Up

The best way to learn is to explore. Get Microsoft Office 365 and start using the awesome features. It is user-friendly and totally worth your investment. Microsoft saves you time and makes work very easy.

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How to Set Up a Microsoft Bookings Site (Questions/Answers)

If you own a small business that deals in offering services to the public, scheduling appointments is often part of your daily routine. You may find yourself playing phone tag so much that you sometimes lose focus on your clients. Being a small business, you may have to double up as the chief administrator and financial officer, as well as the inventory supervisor and janitor on some days.

Microsoft Bookings

Microsoft Bookings: empowering clients to handle the appointments part

Microsoft has a solution – Microsoft Bookings – designed to alleviate the burden of booking appointments. Microsoft Bookings is a new online and mobile scheduling tool that is available with the premium subscriptions of Office 365. It provides your business with a unique web page where customers can schedule appointments themselves. First, the customer selects the service they want, chooses a day and time based on the availability you’ve provided, then enters their contact information and proceeds to book the appointment.

First things first: set up your Microsoft Bookings portal

The first step is to sign up for an Office 365 plan that includes the Microsoft Bookings service. Once you do this, the Bookings portal is turned on by default. It’s available as a tile in the MS app launcher. If you check the app launcher page and do not see “Bookings” listed there, then you may not have the right plan.

Bookings are available with an Office 365 Business Premium subscription, as well as for customers with the Office 365 A3 and A5 subscriptions. However, enterprise customers with Office 365 Enterprise E3 and E5 subscriptions can now turn it on and set it up for their clients.

To turn on the Bookings app for Office 365 Enterprise E3 and E5 subscriptions, simply follow these steps:

Step 1: Login to the administrator portal

To configure Microsoft Bookings, start by logging in to the admin center of your subscription by clicking on the Admin icon and entering your administrator username and password. This gives you the admin rights to acquire new services from Office 365.

Step 2: Adding Bookings to your Office 365 Enterprise subscription

Once you’re logged on, select the Billing tab and navigate to the Purchase Services option under it. You should be able to see a whole selection of options that include a Business App (free) with a Buy Now button that shows up when you hover over it. Click on this button to add the app to your subscription free of charge.

You will then have the option to add the amount corresponding to the licenses that you want. Ensure that this amount matches the total number of users in your organization (preferably). You will want to enable this service for these users during setup.

When this is complete and you have assigned licences to the users that you want the service enabled for, the users will now see the Bookings app as a new addition to the multiple apps on Office 365.

Moving onto setup

To set up the Microsoft Bookings site for your small business, click on the Bookings icon to open the Microsoft Bookings app. This action should open the welcome screen on the Microsoft Bookings website.

Tap the “Get it now” button to begin the setup process. This should lead you to a new window where you can enter your new Bookings calendar name and add it by clicking the “Add a booking calendar” tab.

You will then see a new window that requests more information about your business. This is where you enter your business name and type (from a predefined list). Ensure that the name you provide is unique since it is what will be used as the email address from which meeting notifications are sent.

When you’re done, select the “Continue” button and give it a moment to build the site. Your new Microsoft Bookings site eventually appears, ready for customizing.

Click on the different options to add more details about your business, staff, and services. Take your time to explore the various settings, one by one to ensure that you customize everything correctly. Of course, you can go back and tweak things if you need to.

At the end, you’ll have a Home Page from which you can monitor Bookings, add activities, modify the services you offer, manage your staff by adding, removing, and/or setting them up in terms of, say, working hours and days of the week – with respective color codes for each staff member.

Wrap-up

With Microsoft Bookings, you can spend far less time scheduling appointments with your customers and instead concentrate more on actually serving them. The tool simplifies how customers schedule and manage appointments. It takes care of the appointment-booking side of your business management so you can focus on the service side.

This tool was built for small businesses that depend on scheduling appointments with customers. It’s great for companies such as an auto mechanic shop, insurance agent, accounting office, a dog groomer, hair stylist, a dentist’s office, and many more. Now customers can set up their own appointments and do it at their convenience. This frees up your staff for other tasks. Microsoft Bookings boosts customer satisfaction, plus it reduces the number of missed appointments.

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Creating A Macro in Microsoft Excel (Tutorial)

A foolproof guide for increasing efficiency in Excel

Microsoft Excel Macros

Excel often gets a bad rap. It is misunderstood as the groan-inducing, spreadsheet monster with tricky-to-navigate features. However, the truth about Excel lies in the user’s commitment to making the most out of the feature-rich platform. If we put aside Excel’s tedious reputation, creating step-by-step guides for mastering Excel efficiency really is a no-brainer.

The Marvelous Macro: How Macros Make Your Life Easier

What better place to start than by creating a macro in Excel. Creating a macro is hands-down the best possible way for users to automate repetitive tasks and get tedious work done more efficiently. Can you think of something that you or one of your team members does repeatedly in Excel? Whether it’s data entry or calculations, creating a macro can help streamline team processes and seriously boost productivity.

Basically, a macro lets you record an action or series of actions that can then be run repeatedly as needed. The creation of a macro is essentially a duplication of some specific set of mouse clicks and keystrokes, which gets recorded and saved to help you work smarter not harder. The best part about macros? They’re completely customizable. Once you’ve created your macro, you can make tweaks and edits to ensure they work just the way you want them to.

Productivity Game Changer: Working Smarter Not Harder with Excel

When you think about it, this is a game-changer that’s super easy to implement. Consider this. Perhaps one of your team members creates daily, weekly or monthly reports for managers, customers or other staff members. The creation of these reports, on a repetitive basis, can be extremely tedious when done manually each time. This results in long completion times and a huge decline in morale for your tied-up workers.

Creating an Excel macro for projects like these helps keep your team moving forward while still staying on top of boring, yet mission-critical reports. An Excel macro can be tailored to help workers format names, color-coded report data, and customize formatting and presentation. The macro can then be run and applied to any selected cells, meaning monotonous tasks really do become as easy as the click-of-a-mouse.

How to Create a Macro in Excel – A Fool-Proof Guide

Alright, ready to cut to the chase? How exactly can you and your team start taking advantage of the Excel macro feature in hopes of improving productivity, efficiency, and morale? Check out the fool-proof step-by-step guide below.

Creating a Macro in Excel

Initial Steps

Before you record a macro, you must ensure the Developer tab is visible on the ribbon. As a default, Excel keeps the Developer tab hidden. In order to get it front and center, complete the following steps:

  • Go to Excel > Preferences > Ribbon & Toolbar
  • Under the Main Tabs list, select the Customize the Ribbon
  • Then, select the check box beside Developer and then click

Record Your Macro

You’re now ready to record your series of actions to create your macro. With your desired keystrokes and mouse-clicks in mind, follow these steps to record your macro:

  • Under the Developer tab, select Record Macro.
  • If you wish, enter a name for the macro in the Macro Name
  • Enter a shortcut key in the Shortcut Key
  • Enter a description in the Description
  • Select OK to start recording.
  • Carefully perform the series of actions you wish to automate.
  • Once you’ve finished the sequential actions, select the Developer tab from the Code group and select Stop Recording.

Fine Tuning Your Macro

In order to make the most out of your creation, be sure to check out the different ways you can customize and edit your macro. To edit a recorded macro, follow these steps:

  • Under the Developer tab, click
  • Select the name of the macro you wish to customize and choose
  • This will open the Visual Basic Editor. Here, you can witness how your recorded actions play out as macro code.
  • This is where the creativity comes in. Experiment with your code, then close the editor to run your macro again. Tweak and customize as much as you wish until the macro is running just as you envisioned.

Back to Basics: Reaping the Productivity Benefits Already Built into Your Infrastructure

It’s that simple! Suddenly, your team members have a more streamlined and efficient way of completing even the most tedious of Excel tasks. This means increased productivity, a boost in morale and a more efficient team overall. By keeping your team moving and productive, you keep your team occupied and happy, which can only have positive impacts on your day-to-day operations and ultimately, on your bottom line.

In an increasingly crowded marketplace of digital productivity solutions, it can become easy to get lost in the shuffle and postpone the mastering of your operational pains. However, when professionals remember to get back to basics, a world of difference can be discovered.

Excel has been on the scene for decades and Microsoft is working all the time to optimize features and prioritize user experience.

By paying attention to what your existing digital infrastructure can do for your business, professionals can save time, money, and frustration. Good leaders understand the trials their employees endure each day. Any organization can make solid improvements without subscribing to new or trending efficiency solutions.

IT experts know that helping professionals make better use of their existing infrastructure is a core part of the managed-service mission. Professionals don’t need all the very latest tools and gadgets to help their team navigate technology more productively. They simply need to learn how to maximize those tools they’re already using.

With a humble and level-headed approach, a strategic IT partner will be committed to helping every client make better use of what they have and become the masters of their own tech infrastructure.

If you’re looking to get a better handle on the tech resources your team uses daily, don’t hesitate to reach out to a team of IT experts for advice and consultation. One phone call can put your company on the path to revamping your existing infrastructure and mastering operational needs.