Helpful Web and IT Tips

Posted: Mar 24, 2020
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With the current work climate evolving to more of a work from home atmosphere we thought we'd give out a few tips that may assist some businesses, organizations and folks in general when it comes to the web, information technology and keeping safe online!

Work From Home - Remote Desktop

  • For those that need to stay home but still want to access their work computers, you can take advantage of a free tool (both for personal and commercial use) called Chrome Remote Desktop from Google that requires having the Google Chrome web browser installed. Click here for instructions on how to set up Chrome Remote Desktop. Do note that we've seen this disconnect every once in a while or need you to re-setup remote access but it's still great as a free solution once it's up and running! 
  • Alternatively for a commercial paid solution that is more consistent, you could look at Teamviewer, LogMeIn or Splashtop. We'd recommend Teamviewer the most out of this list.

Email Access If You're Still Using POP

  • Most users are using IMAP so that emails are saved centrally in the secure cloud and can be accessed from multiple devices (or webmail) but for those that are still using POP as their email type, emails are downloaded directly onto that single device and may not be accessible from anywhere else.
  • If you want to keep using POP but want to access emails without remoting into your office computer or setting up IMAP: you can turn off the email program such as Outlook or the entire computer so that emails aren't downloaded to that particular device. This way you can log into webmail (if your email provider has it) using your normal email address/password. This works because the emails haven't yet been downloaded over POP to that single device since it's offline.
  • You can also start using IMAP (this is the most common email type) which will allow you to use your email on as many devices as you want in addition to webmail but you'd have to delete your old POP account and re-add it as IMAP (IMPORTANT: if existing old emails are required you'd also have to backup your POP account to a .pst file within Outlook first, delete the POP account, create the IMAP account and finally import the backup .pst file into the IMAP account otherwise you will likely be starting with a completely fresh mailbox). This makes it so everything is synced but then you have to be aware of disk space usage and potentially deleting large files (you can always add more disk space storage if needed).
  • Please contact us if you need us to enable IMAP on a currently POP only email account or require more disk space.

Avoid Scammers

  • Random emails claiming that you must pay a domain renewal or else your domain name will expire are almost always fake. We often manage clients' domains so they always auto renew and won't expire. Unless you manage your own domain through GoDaddy or a similar reputable registrar and the email is 100% from that company, anyone else claiming you need to pay them or click a link likely has malicious intent and the email should be deleted/disregarded. You may also choose to block the sender if you're positive it is not legitimate.
  • Unfamiliar emails saying that you must pay an invoice or open an attachment to see an invoice are very likely fake and may contain a virus that will infect your computer and/or network on opening of the attachment.
  • Always double check the email address (not the display name) that is sending a link or file, especially if the request/info seems fishy. An email address is typically shown within the two angled brackets to the right of a display name as shown in this example:
    From: "Email Display Name "
    In some email programs you may need to hover or tap on the display name to see the true email address in full.
  • Other emails requesting or offering money may even look legit but are often fake claiming to be from: the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), your local bank, the police or another known entity. Always be skeptical of emails like this and do not click any links or attachments if you have any doubt.
  • Organizations often get unsolicited emails offering web services such as web design, app development, graphic design and other digital services from international prospectors, foreign countries or people using solutions not suitable for business, security and privacy. While choosing cheaper services might seem attractive, you are more than likely to get work that is not compliant with Ontario's accessibility laws (AODA & WCAG) even if they claim otherwise or end up with a Content Management System (CMS) that is hard to use, susceptible to being hacked, using a free template similar to hundreds or thousands of other websites or doesn't represent the quality of your business. If you truly want cheaper overseas work, we'd recommend going to a reputable online marketplace to find a freelancer or agency otherwise it is possible you may be scammed. Please keep in mind Ontario's accessibility penalties can be significant and fine your business and additionally each liable director per day that your website is not compliant.

Add Online Services

  • You can add online payments or services onto your website to either make it easier for clients/customers to pay or to create an additional stream of revenue. This allows you to charge credit cards but will typically have a standard online payment processing fee of around 2.9% + 0.30 cents per transaction that you need to account for.
  • You can digitize a form so it can be filled out on your website and the details emailed to you.
  • If you have a Facebook page for your business, you can use their free Messenger Customer Chat plugin to embed a chat widget on your website which allows you to be more responsive to questions compared to email.

Wishing everyone well!
- the Miramar team

Miramar Design Studio Inc. provides secure web and digital services including responsive & accessible web design, internal digital signage, email, web/app development, graphic design, print, online advertising and more!

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