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military collaboration
06 Sep 2021
How to Choose the Best Chat Application for Defense?
Communication is important in any successful business, but it is life-critical in defense while carrying out the operations, every piece of data or information helps to keep the activities running smoothly. Any issues, errors, and so on can create chaos or freeze the defense collaboration endangering the entire situation, costing lives, and weakening the national security, as a result, you must choose the best chat application for defense that provides outstanding services rather than a mediocre platform. For shortlisting the chat application for defense inevitably our minds will be programmed to compare it with regular instant chat platforms because the basic functionalities in the platform are replicated seeing the popular platform’s efficiency, with that said the defense messaging app or platform requires better qualities to be the best compared to an instant messaging software. The factors listed below will assist you in selecting the best chat application for defense. Data Ownership The client should have complete data ownership within their data spaces and networks. Location, device id, messages, contact information, browsing history, and other data types should not be collected by the app's creators. It should give the client the ability to handle and maintain the entire data space, either individually or collaboratively. Most instant messaging softwares or platforms collect data from their users but do not reveal it to the public, while others provide detailed details on what data they collect and how they use it to their advantage. As a result, double-checking the platform before making a decision is critical, since defense data is very sensitive. Feasible Deployment Few chat platforms or softwares have their deployment process, but when it comes to defense, no matter how standard a process the app follows that deviates from universal practice, it should be customized as per the requirements and make it possible to deploy on-premise in just a few steps without leading to multiple steps and accommodate all target devices such as desktop, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, and other devices. Secure File Sharing The chat platform must support army-grade file transfers that are very secure and encrypted. It should not be possible for anyone utilizing the platform to share files via consumer-grade file sharing apps., The file-sharing should be limited within the platform. Support Air Gap Networks Instant chat platforms or office chat softwares typically operate on unsecured networks, but when it comes to a chat application for defense, it will run on Air gap network that work isolatedly from the public networks. As a result, don't base your assessment of the platform's performance on its use of unsecured networks. Because the data and information exchanged between defense collaboration services are bound to be classified, so they choose Air Gap Networks. As a result, the platform must collaborate securely within air-gapped networks. File Management The Military application should provide a central repository where all of the files exchanged on the platform are safely stored and accessible whenever needed. Multi-Platform Availability The chat platform must be offered an on-premise solution, and it must be adaptable to different platforms such as Mac OS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android, as well as the mobile, laptop, desktop, and other devices or browsers. Latency Issues Since soldiers are required to work in various locations, a chat application for defense cannot afford any latency issues for obvious reasons. As a result, choose the platform that can efficiently work on High-Latency networks and whose developers conduct regular network monitoring and troubleshooting in the platform, resulting in the resolution of issues and improved latency. End-to-End Encryption Text, audio, video, and all forms of data or information communicated on the platform should be encrypted. Regardless of the policies in place, app developers should be prohibited from decrypting information to intruders, only chat participants should be able to decrypt and view the messages. Support & Service Select a platform that commits to deploy a group of dedicated individuals working entirely on providing support and service to the defense messaging app or platform, regardless of how good the app developers are at delivering support and services to their clients for the regular instant chat platforms. So, whatever issues arise can be solved on a priority basis irrespective of their severity. Regularly Updated Platform Check how often the chat platform is updated; this is a crucial factor to consider because each update or new version resolves previous issues and introduces new strategies, features, and so on. Military messaging tools should also be updated in parallel with the changing digital world. A platform that is regularly updated states that app developers are working on it to provide consistent service while also adding new features that can reduce the manual efforts in communication. Advantages of opting to Troop Messenger All the aforementioned qualities or the factors can be mapped to Troop Messenger. It is a highly secured instant chat platform designed to empower defense collaboration apart from providing the basic functionalities of texting, HD audio & video calling. Below are some of the unique features in Troop Messenger that can be employed to the benefit of defenses in terms of easing communication to a whole new different level, and which you won't find in any major chat platforms. Live Location Tracking It is unavoidable that a soldier's occupational hazard will be patrolling or working in remote areas where they will be unable to communicate their location details. This function allows you to keep track of your soldiers' whereabouts without losing sight of them on your radar. Join Now It's a feature that lets you join a missed group audio or video conversation or reconnect with a call that was dropped due to signal problems. This feature ensures that you never lose contact with your battalion or troop. Attachment Preview You may look at the attachments in the chat, such as text, image, video, maps, order paperwork, and so on, without having to download them. As a result, when you use a system, you don't have to download anything and you don't have to manually erase files. Favorite Users A lieutenant colonel receives a lot of messages from their regiment's soldiers. For example, in a general chat application for defense, you might have to search or scroll through the entire soldiers' list to find the commanding officers’ or deployed soldiers’ for important messages. To save you time, this feature allows you to mark specific soldiers as your favorites, and you can also view your favorite soldiers' messages with a single click. Edit Today's many giant social chat platforms and office chat softwares do not provide an edit option for sent messages, which is critical for defense because soldiers share the enemy's location, tanks, and other weapons positions’ live coordinates in latitude and longitude, which are entirely dependent on their observation, which can be prone to minor errors, but with such a feature, soldiers will have 5 minutes of grace time to correct any message with mistakes, it will avoid them sending a new message correcting the previous message and confusing the officers at receiving end, who are marking the maps on soldiers’ information. Airtime groups You may start an airtime group with only one click, and your soldiers will be able to observe it but not respond to it. Chat Area Filters This privilege allows you to search the message based on your criteria such as the user, images, files, location, video, link, and so on. For example, unlike instant chat platforms, you may search for a specific soldier's chat history or messages in the group without wasting time perusing the multiple messages of other users that display when typing a word in the search bar. Group call without the host This privilege avoids other members of the group call from being disconnected as a result of the host ending the call because, by default, the next member in the list after the host becomes the host, or the host can make another member the group's host before ending the call. You may encounter a few situations where the officer or soldier who hosted the call becomes disconnected due to a signal issue or unforeseen circumstances, causing other soldiers in the group call to become disconnected by default. However, sometimes the soldiers in the group call are required to remain in constant contact to maintain collaboration without losing communication, so in such situations, multiple soldiers in the group call each other leading to confusion or someone in the group take initiative in calling but the initiator may not be familiar with all of the troops' contact information, and the situations at actual host’s place may get severe. This feature will come in handy in such situations, allowing other soldiers in the squad to continue collaborating through the conversation without the need for a host. Orange Members The feature allows you to add individuals who are not from your regiment, allowing them to communicate via text, audio & video calls, indeed, their access can be restricted in contacting other soldiers, groups. All caught up This tab facilitates you to view all the unread messages in a specific tab without missing any information. Respond Later In certain cases, you may respond to some messages that are supposed to be responded to but are not that vital to hold the current job for a while because you neglected to respond to them earlier in the day, assuming that you would respond later. You can use this function to mark a received message as Respond Later, and then view the marked messages in a specific tab at the end of the day or whenever you have free time, respond to them without missing them. Access to unlimited Chat History Other platforms limit their users' chat history, but Troop Messenger recognizes the importance of information communicated on the platform so it provides unlimited chat history access.   Forkout Using this feature, you can send a message to multiple soldiers or groups at a single go reducing the time taking process. Conclusion When comparing the features of an chat application for defense to those of a regular chat platform, it's like comparing a defense employee to a regular employee in terms of who serves the country better, with no disrespect intended for other people's jobs. The design of a messaging app for defense requires not only basic functionalities like texting, audio, and video calling, but also a sense of great responsibility, because the soldiers' lives, operations, and so on, are entirely dependent on the defense communication grid, and the ramifications, if it goes dark for even a moment for any reason, are unimaginable. Troop Messenger is an instant chat platform that is developed in India and is already used by a country's defense collaboration services. As a result, it proves that it is an effective chat application for defense, in addition to the unique qualities listed above.
Communication is important in any successful business, but it is life-critical in defense while carr...
team management
27 Aug 2021
Applicable Strategies for Effective Team Management
Others may choose to see the manager or team leader job as a position of power, but it is a responsibility that requires you to manage your team while meeting the company's and team's expectations. Managing a team requires multi-tasking, where you have to deal with a different set of psychologies and motivate them to work together toward a common goal. Strategies for Effective Team Management Do you feel managing a team is the most complicated task? If so, some strategies are mentioned below which not only change your opinion but will also help you increasing team productivity. Communication Communication plays an important role in the success of any industry. You should be in a position to communicate the company’s work standards, vision, timeline, and other relevant information so that you and your team are on the same page working towards the common goals. Your team members may require your level of expert guidance in some cases but if they continue to work on suggestions from your subordinates in being hesitant to contact you, it will impact the end outcome. Hence, be cordial with your team, so that they can contact you for any queries. In this pandemic period, you may not be in a position to communicate with your team as effectively as in pre-pandemic but still using the best team communication tools like Troop Messenger you can make group or one on one video calls. Make sure you schedule a group video call with your team every day, preferably at the end of your working day, to review work status, learn about their queries, plan the timeline, and so on. It works better than an audio call since it allows them to sense your presence in these remote working conditions. Assigning the Tasks As a manager or team leader, you must know your team’s capabilities. Which tasks do they excel at, and which do they require assistance with? Assign tasks to your team members based on their abilities, along with some additional responsibilities that will aid them in development. If you can't provide sufficient help, better don't cross-assign the task to your team member and expect them to perform it as per the timeline. Discuss expectations with your team along with the timeline of the project while assigning the tasks, these will help them in improving their skills. Team Collaboration In some instances, work may become too demanding, so despite assigning the tasks to your team, let them work collaboratively even if it means running errands, yet hold the assignees responsible for the tasks. Collaboration encourages the entire team to work together on a task, and it promotes a work culture in which everyone will be engaged in contributing their skills and ideas that can help them become more educated about tasks to a different extent, which they cannot do by confining themselves to their given responsibilities. Team Building Events Your job doesn’t end with giving instructions, project planning, tracking the work status, and so on, team building activities are equally important., as it is also important to keep your team motivated. Create some fun activities that will improve team collaboration and communication between team members. You can use such events to help your team resolve problems on a personal level. Whenever your project succeeds, celebrate it as the team's collective achievement, acknowledge every team member’s effort. You may think that team-building activities wouldn’t be possible in remote work, but using Troop Messenger, few companies are celebrating events such as fun interactive polls, announcing employee of the month, and so on. You can use such reliable team communication tools to increase team productivity in remote work too. Feedback Giving feedback to team members is one of the most effective strategies for not only helping them to improve their abilities but also it increases team productivity. No team is perfect, you have to make it perfect. Some team members may not perform as well as their peers, so giving them well-constructed feedback will encourage them to work on their skills and be generous in helping them when it is required. Find the reasons to appreciate your team members, which will boost their spirit. Remember to criticize in person, and appreciate in public. Be the role model Your team draws the energy from you, so your team can be as good as you. A manager or a team leader needs to be righteous. Don’t make favorites, even if you have don't show them, it will sabotage the team spirit. Such a position bound you to the standards, and you must adhere to them. If you stray from the standards, you may instruct your team to follow them, but such actions will make you appear hypocritical in front of your team, so you can’t afford to deviate from them. Certainly, the position made you a manager allotting the powers but try to be a leader. Be empathetic towards your team, they should aim to become a manager like you. Conclusion Hope the strategies mentioned above will assist you in managing your team and increasing team productivity, which can be used in both office and remote work environments. Be advised to use team communication tools like Troop Messenger because giving your team the best tools will certainly help you communicate seamlessly and manage your team more efficiently.
Others may choose to see the manager or team leader job as a position of power, but it is a responsi...
team collaboration
25 Aug 2021
Advantages of Team Collaboration & Best Collaboration Tools
Team Collaboration is all about bringing individuals together with different levels of skills and experiences to work together towards a common goal. A team comprises of individuals with variant grades of expertise in their respective skills who are required to work collaboratively otherwise they would just scatter into their own created zones limiting themselves and working independently without any contribution of others' skills, guidance, ideas affecting their own growth, and compromising the project's result. Advantages of Team Collaboration Individuals who work in a group are more likely to feel vouched and connected, which encourages them to work together to reach a common goal by taking advantage of opportunities and offering their ideas, skills. Following are the advantages of Team Collaboration Revamped Team Performance Regardless of your experience, you may have or have to encounter a gap that can be solved by a colleague who has more or less experience. Collaboration aids in the completion of a project by allowing individuals in the team to contribute with new viewpoints and ideas solving the problems faster, which not only boost productivity at work but also improves their knowledge of technology. Seamless Communication Communication is an important factor in any company or domain and team collaboration is the only method that can aid the seamless communication between the teams. Despite their unfamiliarity with one other, several teams working in a company must work together. With the instilled team collaboration spirit, teams can communicate with each other according to their requirements and work proactively. The team will have healthy debates and disagreements, but they will eventually come to a productive conclusion, be it at the office or remote employees using remote collaboration software. Adaptability Change in the modern world is inevitable so as in domains, market trends, etc., An individual may be suppressed but a good team will never be crushed seeing the change team collaboration makes them strong and adapt to the change flexibly and molds it to their advantage with the teams' contribution, ideas, experience who witnessed many of these changes. Complex Projects Some projects demand a huge time taking process, and they may appear complex that can be distributed among the team members, allowing them to collaborate with their experience, ideas, and knowledge. Projects can be monitored regularly, where the team members can share the outcomes/ results when they collaborate and work together by making their distinctive contributions which help the manager or team leader in knowing the work status and planning the workflow accordingly so that the project can be delivered as per the commitment working collectively. As a result, following such processes can simplify complex projects. Enhanced Work Culture Anyone would be pleased to work in a work culture that values team collaboration since they are well aware that it not only allows them to connect but also allows them to grow their skills and gain experience. The whole team will work with pride seeing their collaborative efforts contributed towards a larger goal. Best Collaboration Tools Collaboration tools must be capable of connecting everyone, regardless of their location. The following are some of the top collaboration tools and their features. Troop Messenger Troop Messenger is the instant messaging software that is known for its new-age features. Its design is very competent that it can be integrated into any domain. At remote work, these online collaboration tools make communication as seamless as in the office. Troop Messenger is multifunctional which can be used as a work chat app, business chat app with the features such as audio & video calling, one on one & group text chats, files sharing, and so on. Apart from the aforesaid list of basic features which can any chat app can provide, below are the unique features that you may not find in giant companies’ tools. Features Burn Out feature helps its users to have a private chat within the specific time set by the same users. It is impenetrable to outsiders, cannot be breached by any means, and as a result, it can be used as a military messaging collaboration tool. Forkout feature will help you to send a message to multiple users or multiple groups at one go, Live Location Tracking feature is meant to track your employees who work on the field such as marketing team, sales team, business development team, and so on, Slide Show is a feature that allows users to engage in seeing images one by one rather than doing manually. Remote Screen Sharing and Controlling functions provide you with the privileges of remote access to the system and screen sharing, Jointly Code feature allows two programmers to collaborate on a code while on a video or audio call, Search filters help the user to search based on a keyword, file, images, video, flagged messages specific user chat in the group without consuming the time Mailtrim MailTrim is an email management software that can help users to classify or sort emails received from various users or companies. It will organize the emails in chronological order according to the user's specifications so that they can quickly view them. It is designed to save time by guiding users to check important emails without encountering spam emails, unwanted emails, etc., increasing team productivity. It is highly secure, identifies spam, and serves as a secure repository for storing confidential communications and data for future reference. And it can be used in a variety of ways by any domain. features Easy to use Intuitive UI Intelligent Inbox Multi Integrated Smart Search Customized displays Time Dynamo Time Dynamo is a biometric attendance management system commonly used in mid-to-large-sized businesses, colleges and universities, and government agencies. This solution lowers the time spent manually tracking employees' work roaster, leaves, timesheets, and attendance, among other things. This application is easily adaptable to any domain and any type of office. Features Attendance Tracking Biometric Integration GPS Tracking Payroll & HCM Integration Compliance Management Absence Management Analytics & User Reports Scheduling Details SendX – Send Bulk Emails with Ease   SendX is an Intuitive and affordable bulk email tool.  With one of the simplest UIs in the industry, SendX provides unlimited email sends with every plan, powerful automation capabilities, best of breed email deliverability. 3000+ companies worldwide trust SendX for their Email Marketing.  Features Email Editor: SendX has a simple WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) drag and drops email editor. You can just drag the blocks to create beautiful emails.  Email Templates: There are nearly 50 email templates inside SendX that can be used for various use cases like the holiday season, newsletter, product launch, promotions, eCommerce, online courses, etc. We also feature one of the biggest email template collections from across the web with over 1500+ templates. Email Campaigns: With SendX you can send unlimited emails every day to your audience. If someone has not opened your emails, you can use the Resend feature to send the emails again, therefore ensuring that nobody misses the updates. Automation With SendX, you can make your marketing go into auto-pilot mode. Segment the customers on the basis of demography, subscriber behavior, and more than 25+ other parameters. You can increase revenue with transactional emails and reach the target customers at the appropriate time through scheduling. Conclusion Team collaboration boosts productivity at work by reinvigorating the team spirit, engaging every team member in the project offering them a chance to contribute their skills in the process to achieve a common goal. It's a procedure that every organization should approach as a work culture, as a result of which both employers and employees will be delighted.
Team Collaboration is all about bringing individuals together with different levels of skills and ex...
encrypted chat apps
21 Aug 2021
The Most Secure Encrypted Chat Apps in 2021
With the dawn of instant messenger apps, it may have gotten easier to communicate with people all over the world, and however, malicious individuals have discovered easy ways to infiltrate our data, business information, and so on. To your surprise, some famous chat apps don’t provide encrypted chats, with that said still few chat apps can provide you end-to-end encrypted communication. Some of the best secure encrypted chat apps are listed below Troop Messenger Troop Messenger is a highly secure and best-encrypted chat app that can also be used by the military and NASA. Troop Messenger is a multifunctional platform that can be used as an instant messaging app, business chat app, work chat app, and so on. It was created to safeguard daily shared data, information regardless of domain or demographic. It secures and protects your data with Server-Side Encryption (SSE). SSE has the advantage of not just ensuring data separation but also limiting the complexity of the environment. However, its features are very proactive but developing such a safe chat app these days is commendable. Key Features ● As stated, it uses Server-Side Encryption to secure and protect your data (SSE). ● The user can check the details of all currently logged-in devices by selecting Activity from the profile settings menu. And it empowers the users to log out from the suspicious logged-in device. ● The activity monitor also displays information about your usage, like the number of messages, photographs, videos, files, and storage space used. ● By default, the one-on-one or group video and audio calls are end to end encrypted. ● It has the option of a four-digit PIN which can be used instead of your user ID and password to sign in on your mobile device. Operating Systems: Android, iOS, macOS, Windows Signal Signal emerged as the fastest growing social chat app, which has millions of users throughout the world. It is said to be the most secure chat app, which is a cross-platform encrypted messaging service that specializes in end-to-end encrypted voice and text communication. It was purchased by Twitter in 2011 to improve security on the microblogging network. Key Features ● Signal has no keys to decrypt the messages, as a result, they wouldn’t be in a position to track users’ messages. ● Self-destructing messages. ● There are no ads, affiliate marketers, or covert tracking because it is an Open Source initiative sponsored by donations and grants. Operating Systems: Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux WhatsApp With WhatsApp's introduction into the IM league in 2009, many individuals all around the world became users with the ability to exchange photographs, texts, voice calls, and video calls. In May 2019, WhatsApp prevented hackers from infecting the phones with spyware by fixing the software bugs. On January 7, 2021, WhatsApp, Facebook asked the users’ consent to share their data with marketers, as business conversations held on the social network may be read and utilized by businesses to target customers. As a result, a large number of users have switched to alternative encrypted chat apps. Later, Facebook changed their thoughts. The end-to-end encryption feature on WhatsApp ensures all of your communication, including messages, files, and calls, is private and only you and the recipient can see it. Key Features ● Encryption in WhatsApp improves communication privacy and protects users' messages from impostors or malicious individuals in making it a safe chat app. ● It allows users to modify their privacy settings, such as whether their status and profile are visible to others. Operating Systems: Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, KaiOS Telegram Telegram provides end-to-end encryption like any other instant messaging program and it is regarded as one of the most secure chat services. Messages, files, photographs, and videos can be set to self-destruct after a particular duration of time has passed since they were sent and received. When you erase messages from your chat history, the app on the other end of the secret chat will be instructed to do the same. Key Features ● A timer can be used to destroy messages. ● You must encrypt your chat so that your data wouldn't be stored on Telegram's servers, as a result, it aids the security of your messages from risk. ● For security and speed, distributed servers are deployed across the globe. Operating Systems: iOS, Windows, Android, macOS, Linux Wickr Me Wickr was one of the first instant messengers to employ end-to-end encryption (E2EE), having been founded in 2012 by Silicon Valley-based privacy and security enthusiasts. Messages are encrypted by default, and the organization is subjected to conduct security audits regularly. While registering yourself, It doesn't ask for any contact details such as email address or a phone number, so no personal information is collected in the process and the app doesn't have access to it. Key Features ● Custom self-destructing configurations ● Files, photos, videos can be exchanged securely ● Secured location sharing, online status Operating Systems: Windows, iOS, Android, macOS, Linux Threema Threema is an encrypted chat app that does not require a phone number or an email address to use, instead, it assigns you a unique Threema ID, allowing you to use the program fully anonymously. Scannable QR codes make it easier and safer to authenticate other users and add contacts. The app's creators also claim that once your messages are delivered, they are deleted from their servers. It contains a feature called Private Chats that allows users to password-protect individual chats, as a result, attackers cannot access confidential discussions. Key Features ● Anonymous chat provision ● Option to hide the specific chats with a password ● Servers delete the messages Operating Systems: Web, Android, iOS, Windows Phone Viber Rakuten Viber, often known as Viber, is a cross-platform voice-over IP and instant messaging software application owned by Rakuten, a Japanese multinational corporation. It allows fully secured voice and video conversations on mobile devices and main desktop operating systems after selecting the appropriate sharing option. It has color codes that indicate their level of security, such as ● Green indicates that the chat is encrypted and the contact with whom you are connected is trustworthy. ● Red indicates an issue with the encryption key. ● Grey indicates encrypted communication with a trustworthy person. Key Features ● It is developed by a former Israeli intelligence officer ● Capable of self-destructing the messages ● By exchanging secret keys, trusted contacts can verify the identity of the people with whom they are communicating. Operating Systems: Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, HarmonyOS Conclusion With regular technological advancements, the vulnerability of instant messaging programs is also increasing. If you want to have encrypted chat, do some research on the chat applications to determine how committed they are to privacy and security, which this blog can help you with. We live in a time where our personal and business data can be readily hacked by attackers or marketing businesses without our knowledge or approval, so leave no stone unturned in using a safe chat app.
With the dawn of instant messenger apps, it may have gotten easier to communicate with people all ov...
team communication
16 Aug 2021
10 Best Team Communication Tools for Small Business
In today's modernizing environment, team members can no longer rely on one-on-one interactions with colleagues and communicating every petty information or transferring essential files via email, which can be a time-consuming process due to its etiquettes. Choosing team communication tools can be the best decision because it not only improves communication but also team productivity, collaboration, and time management. Small and micro business owners believe that work chat tools are too expensive, so they turn to social chat applications, which do not meet their needs. Some were forced to use them due to an unprecedented pandemic affliction. However, with their subscription plans, a few of the best tools can provide better services on a small budget.   Best Team Communication Tools The following are some of the most effective communication tools for your business. Troop Messenger Troop Messenger is considered the best team communication tool, which can be used as a business messaging tool, work chat tool, instant messaging tool for both office and remote work. Within a short period, Troop Messenger surprised the market and many businesses opted for it seeing its new features which you probably see in giant apps' further releases or you may not find in today's apps. Troop Messenger added new features to the tool as a result of their extensive research, and it is affordable and suitable for usage in any domain. It's a safe and secure team messaging platform that the military and NASA could use to communicate classified information. Features ● Remote screen sharing and controlling ● Join Now, allows the user to join the missed group audio or video call while ongoing ● Burnout ● Live Location Tracking ● Jointly Code ● Advanced Search Filters ● Forkout Pricing  Plan Type  Premium  Enterprise  Superior  Monthly Charges  $ 2.5 per user  $ 5 per user  $ 9 per user   Available Platforms: Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, Linux Microsoft Teams Microsoft Teams is a Microsoft-developed proprietary business communication tool that is part of the Microsoft 365 product line, and its users can have access to Office 365 plans through it. It is the appropriate collaboration tool if you use more Microsoft applications at work. Features ● Meeting Recordings ● Screen sharing ● All Microsoft 365 apps and services may be accessed with a single sign-on. ● Cloud-based solution ● 100+ Participants capacity Pricing    Plan Type  Free Microsoft 365 Business Basic  Microsoft 365 Business Standard  Monthly Charges $ 0  $ 5 per user  $ 12.5 per user   Available Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Web platforms Google Hangouts Google Hangouts is a cross-platform messaging software created by Google. The benefit of Google Hangouts is that it can be accessed from other platforms such as Gmail, Google+, and other Google Workspace apps, however, users cannot share files. Users will find it much easier to make audio and video calls with Google Hangouts, but preferably it is ideal for solo use. Features ● Integrated with Google products ● Screen Sharing ● Audio & Video calls ● Instant chat ● Easy to set up Pricing Free   Available Platforms: Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, Web platforms Slack Slack is a proprietary business communication platform created by Slack Technologies, an American software company which is owned by Salesforce in 2021. Seeing the price, startup companies may show interest in it, and it can be a good enterprise collaboration tool. It is a better alternative for email services because it includes enterprise key management, two-factor authentication, data encryption, and other features. Features ● Files sharing ● Voice and Video calls ● File sharing ● Apps & Integrations ● Slack Connect Pricing  Plan Type  Free Pro Business+ Enterprise Grid  Monthly Charges $ 0 $ 2.67 per month $ 5 per month Contact sales    Available Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Windows Brosix Brosix is a secure all-in-one instant messenger that helps companies and their teams to have seamless communication. It is a secured team messaging platform that maintains data confidentiality and privacy. Features ● User Activity Log ● Chat Apps Control ● White Board ● Chat Room Controls ● Tabbed Chat Pricing  Plan Type Startup Business Premium  Monthly Charges $ 0 $ 4 per user $ 6 per user Available Platforms: Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Linux, Web client Flock Flock is a well-integrated enterprise collaboration tool with Twitter, Google Calendar, Trello, Jira, Google Drive, GitHub, and so on, which helps your team in saving time from switching between multiple tools. Features ● Well Integrated ● Automate workflows ● Polls ● Notes ● To-dos ● Reminders Pricing  Plan Type Starter Enterprise Pro  Monthly Charges Free Get a quote Rs. 199 per user Available Platforms: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Web Twist Twist was developed to resist the particular demands of modern work by a remote workforce of 70+ people in 25+ countries. Users can follow the thread dialogues of one or more than a month old in this team messaging platform. This team messenger is ideal for remote teams. Jira Software, Integratedly, Google Drive, Pipedream, Google Calendar, and more tools are all integrated to make users’ collaboration effortless. Features ● Organized conversations ● Private Conversations ● Thread Conversations ● Well Integrated ● Project Management Pricing  Plan Type Free Unlimited  Monthly Charges 0 $ 5 per user   Available Platforms: Android, Windows, macOS, iOS Ryver With emails, group chat, task management, and audio & video calls, Ryver allows the users to handle team communication in ONE APP. Ryver provides a discount to non-profit organizations and educational institutions, making it a useful communication tool for them. Features ● Well Integrated ● Task Management ● Advanced Team Management ● Custom Invite Links ● Unlimited file sharing Pricing  Plan Type Starter Unlimited Enterprise  Monthly Charges $ 49 $ 79 $ 149   Available Platforms: iOS, Android, Mac, Windows Glip Glip, with features like HD audio, HD video calls, task management could be one of the best team messenger platforms on the market. One of the primary advantages is that you can keep track of your team's tasks while having a discussion. Features ● HD Video calls ● Voicemail-to-text ● Well-integrated ● Real-time analytics ● Cloud recording Pricing  Plan Type Essentials Standard Premium Ultimate  Monthly Charges $ 19.99 $ 27.99 per month $ 34.99 per month $ 49.99 per month    Available Platforms: Windows, Android, iOS Pumble Pumble is a free team chat tool that may be used instead of emails and allows you to chat with unlimited users. It is an online web program that runs in a browser, but it may also be downloaded and installed on your computer or mobile phone. Features ● Real-Time communication ● Message formatting ● Unlimited chat history ● Channel browser ● Smart notifications Pricing Free   Available Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android Conclusion We hope that the information in this blog will assist you in selecting the best team communication tool. Analyze your business requirements, do some market research on the chat tool's performance, features, client or user reviews, and other factors before opting for the tool. So you don't have to replace the tool since it doesn't fit your needs.  
In today's modernizing environment, team members can no longer rely on one-on-one interactions with ...
remote teams
05 Aug 2021
12 Essential Cybersecurity Practices for Remote Teams in 2021
You’ve hired your remote team, scheduled your projects, and planned your workflows. You’ve heard security terms like virtual private network and Internet of Things, but you’re not quite sure what they mean or what to do about them. You’ve had virus protection software on your devices before, but you’re pretty sure it’s expired by now. The last to do on your list is setting up a cybersecurity plan, but you’re not sure where to start. Thankfully, we’ve got just the thing you need. In this article, we’ll cover 12 essential cybersecurity practices your remote team needs to thrive in 2021. Let’s take a look.   Use a virtual private network (VPN)   A virtual private network acts as a protected tunnel within another one of your networks. Since all data stays within the tunnel, no one outside the VPN can access it, and your data never leaks onto the web. VPNs also unlock restricted content without affecting the internet speed on your team’s devices. By providing your team access to a VPN, your data stays safe and secure on multiple servers and devices. When researching VPNs, look for one that matches your specific needs. Check out reviews like this NordVPN review to help you understand their features and how they can best serve your needs. Also, be on the lookout for a VPN that offers customer support 24/7 and international servers if you have an international team.   2. Secure your workflows   From accepting work orders to assigning projects, efficient workflows help cross-functional teams be as productive as possible. But remote teams have purely digital workflows. If an automation or a platform gets stuck, the workflow is interrupted. That’s why it’s essential to have cloud-based workflows that secure your processes and save new updates in real-time. Having workflows in the cloud requires employees to follow data security standards set by the company. This may include signing NDA’s and installing specific security software on devices.   3. Use secure HR software   Making sure your HR software protects your employees’ personal data is an essential cybersecurity practice. HR teams often handle sensitive data that can lead to serious legal trouble if compromised. HR employees must have a way to do their jobs and access necessary data without compromising on security. When choosing HR software, look for one that secures data about: The employee onboarding process: Setting up interviews, presenting offers, signing new hire paperwork and contracts Employee benefits: Paid time off, insurance options, employee rewards Employee financials: Bonus structures, compensation plans, salaries, stock, and pension plans Outsourcing these responsibilities to a PEO company can be a game-changer for your company. The companies have strict processes and protocols in place to ensure compliance with data security and employee privacy. Nelson Sherwin, manager of PEO Companies, finds that many companies are happy to have someone else take over these processes, “An idea I had would be to focus on the consequences for business owners who screw up admin and HR tasks whilst trying to save a few pennies.”   4. Use antivirus software   Antivirus software is a cybersecurity tool that protects against ransomware, phishing, malware, and viruses on hardware. For a remote team, every employee needs high-level protection on any device they use for work. To ensure everyone on your team installs antivirus software, send them individual access to the software you want them to use. Then, have IT do a remote check to ensure that all employee devices have the antivirus software installed.   5. Commit to having ongoing security training   As technology advances, so do cyber crimes — which means that security measures can change at any time. From copying passwords to breaking into bank accounts, cybercriminals stop at nothing to get what they want. But with ongoing security training, your team is prepared to handle security breaches of all kinds. When planning a security training schedule, get with your employees to decide on the best form of training and whether or not to administer it as a group or individually. 6. Create a secure document signing and sharing process   Working remotely means onboarding clients, vendors, and employees without seeing them in person. Instead of handing out physical contracts and pens, you’ll be administering digital paperwork. Instead of meeting at a coffee shop, you’ll be meeting on video calls. From NDAs to vendor agreements and client contracts, your team will have to keep up with paperwork without sacrificing security. When setting up a secure document signing process, consider using contract management software. Contract management software like PandaDoc encrypts and secures documents from lurkers. It also keeps documents in order and guides users through the digital signature process, so all forms are signed and dated correctly. When sharing sensitive documents, use private documents with assigned permissions and password-protected PDFs. Be sure to train your team to do the same. It’s also important to train your team to avoid using their personal email accounts or devices when sharing files and collaborating. If email is the only option, train your team to use email verification tools to make sure all email addresses are valid and safe. And finally, make sure to encourage your team to report any suspicious attempts or security breaches.   7. Improve password management   Poor password management systems continue to plague remote businesses today. In 2021, improving password management security is imperative. To improve password management, start by creating a single sign-on (SSO) path for every platform or app your team uses — check out the tool LastPass for this. Then combine SSO with multi-factor authentication to immediately eliminate a massive amount of risk. Here are some other quick password security tips:Create thoughtful passwords with a variety of characters, numbers, symbols, and capitalization Use PAM solutions and password vaults to prevent unauthorized users and simplify password management for employeesUse a different password for each accountRequire routine password changes   8. Consider using biometric security technologies   Biometric security technologies verify system and network users using voice recognition, fingerprint scans, facial recognition, gait analysis, and palm biometrics. (Image Source) For instance, using your thumb to access your smartphone’s home screen is biometric security at work. What makes biometric security work so well is that no two individuals have the same biometric features. So, if an unauthorized individual tries to access information, the identification system will identify that they’re not a recognized user.   9. Create a risk-assessment policy/approach   A cyber risk is the likelihood of your company suffering disruptions to business operations, sensitive data, or financials. Cyber risks are ranked from zero, low, medium, and high-risk and can result in data breaches. Some examples of cyber risks include: Phishing Cyberattacks Malware Ransomware Insider threats Data leaks Conducting a thorough risk assessment is the only way to know what potential cyber risks and vulnerabilities your company might face. Cyber risk vulnerability assessments are used to identify, estimate, and prioritize risks surrounding your company’s assets, employees, operations, and information systems. Risk vulnerability assessments are based on answering the following questions: What are the relevant threats and their sources? What reputation or financial damage would this cause if breached or made unavailable? What’s the likelihood of exploitation? What’s the likelihood of cyber threats, cyber-attacks, or security incidents that could impede my business’ ability to function? What are my company’s risk targets and boundaries? What are the external and internal vulnerabilities? Are there any high-priority security risks? How can I cost-effectively reduce these risks? When creating a risk assessment policy/approach, start by deciding how often you want to conduct the assessment. Then, choose which tools and team members you’re going to use to make the assessment as smooth as possible.   10. Manage IoT security   The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the network of physical objects/things that are embedded with software, sensors, and other technologies that connect and exchange data between each other. These ‘things’ can range from household objects like alarms to sophisticated tools like chatbots. Now that people can connect objects they use every day to the internet, there’s seamless communication between the internet, people, and things. But that poses a large risk to remote companies with employees who may work from home near these devices. (Image Source) IoT devices — especially doorbells, security cameras, office equipment, and smart door locks — have access to some of your team’s most sensitive information. To secure IoT data against malicious intruders, here are some security best practices:Conduct IoT penetration tests to understand your team’s IoT risks Plan your strategy based on the risk insights you analyzedHave all team members install firewalls, improve passwords, and encrypt IoT dataSupply team members with secure and current routers and ask them to enable the firewallTrain your team to use end-to-end encryption for resting data and data in transit Train your team to use proper authentication, so only trusted connections have access to endpoints   11. Take a proactive approach to phishing   Take a proactive approach to phishing by educating your team about what to look out for and how to prevent it. Cybercriminals use phishing techniques — spam emails and phone calls — to collect sensitive information about team members, steal their credentials, or infect their systems. This often happens when a well-meaning employee unconsciously helps perpetrators get into your system. To protect your team against phishing: Train your employees about common phishing techniques and how to handle them Make sure all employees have properly configured spam filters on their work devices   12. Issue secure devices or use virtual desktops   Issuing secure devices or using virtual desktops is the ultimate level of security protection. Next-generation firewalls and the best malware tools work — but once devices aren’t protected by a corporate network, security is up to each individual employee. Let’s review two quick options to solve this issue. Issue secure devices By using a teleworker gateway, corporate security features extend into employees’ homes to help separate the home into business and nonbusiness networks. These devices also build secure VPN tunnels so employees don’t need to continuously update their VPN software. Use virtual desktops An alternative to issuing corporate laptops is using virtual desktops. Virtual desktops let you launch a business OS that looks and operates as if it’s native to the user. But really, the desktop is being streamed from a secure private data center infrastructure or the public cloud. While there are many reasons to choose this option, businesses like to use virtualized desktops for data loss prevention.   Ready to be proactive about cybersecurity? Remote teams depend on their networks, systems, and operating devices to collaborate, meet, and operate. When remote teams don’t prioritize cybersecurity planning, they put their business at great risk for cyber threats, cyber-attacks, and security breaches. To ensure your remote team has all the tools it needs to thrive, take a proactive approach to cybersecurity.  
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