Team Zeus Blog

Motivational musings from Mount Olympus and beyond.

Why Should You Avoid Using Public Mobile Messaging Apps for business?

Why Should You Avoid Using Public Mobile Messaging Apps for business?

In today’s world of global communication, smartphones facilitate easy connection with our peers, giving access to a myriad of mobile messaging apps such as Whatsapp, Viber or Facebook Messenger, which provide an alternative to SMS messaging. Indeed, very few smartphone users send text messages to their contacts, as they are not only expensive, but they also don’t offer the same additional functionality as messaging apps.

One of the most attractive aspect of some instant messaging apps in comparison to texts, is that they offer the possibility of communicating in real time with a group of users, as opposed to just one single person. This is why many mobile users have recently started to utilise their favourite personal messaging app to collaborate with their work colleagues. Despite the benefits that publicly-available messaging applications provide, we would recommend against using them in a work environment, because of the following reasons:

LACK OF CONTROL

One of the prime inconveniences of using a free instant messaging application is that a company has no control over the use of their employees’ account. So, conversations that members of staff will have with their teammates about your business dealings will be mixed amongst personal discussions with outsiders that take place on the same app.

Besides, the fact that the system isn’t solely dedicated to business use makes it difficult to define boundaries and a line of conduct to follow, so as to ensure that conversations don’t become too informal. For instance, it would be hard to ask your staff to avoid using a personal profile picture and to stop them from publishing personal content on their own profile via their status.

Conversely, certain members of your workforce may be reluctant about having to give out their private number to colleagues and use their own private profile. They may see this as a form of invading their privacy, yet they wouldn’t be kept in the loop as to what was discussed if they don’t join the group – creating a vicious circle.

SECURITY ISSUES

Some popular messaging applications like Whatsapp encrypt communications to ensure that the content remains private and is only accessible to the telephone’s owner. However, this isn’t enough to keep business information secure, as the chat history of your employees can be saved on their phone and there is no way for a firm to retrieve the data when someone leaves the company.

On the other hand, their user management functionality would also put your security at risk, as anyone is able to add participants to a group, which means that outsiders could gain access to your information. What’s more, if the size of the list of group members is significant, you may struggle to keep an eye on who was added or who should be removed from a group.

Another danger is that in the event of a phone being lost or stolen, somebody with malicious intent could look through your employee’s conversations and use it at the expense of your enterprise.

Additionally, most free messaging applications don’t comply with EU regulations as regards to data protection, as their data centre is often located outside the EU where laws may not be as strict. This is particularly problematic as your company itself must ensure the security of any client information that is shared amongst your staff.

LIMIT OF THE NUMBER OF MEMBERS

As most mobile messaging apps are free and are designed for personal use, the number of members in a group is restricted. As a consequence, such applications wouldn’t be adapted for companies with over 100 employees.

WE OFFER A BETTER SOLUTION: THE TEAM ZEUS NATIVE APPS

The Team Zeus application is a responsive communication and collaboration web application for enterprises, which is accessible on any devices. Thus, you can access Team Zeus on your phone by downloading our app.

BETTER MANAGEMENT OF CONVERSATIONS

One of the main advantages of Team Zeus – in comparison with public messaging apps – is that you can easily create different groups (no matter how big they are), and have separate conversations about different topics within the same group – as opposed to having to use a single thread for different discussions.

BETTER SECURITY

In contrast with public apps, Team Zeus keeps your internal conversations 100% secure, as not only all content that is shared between employees is encrypted, but access is limited to staff only. Besides, Team Zeus’s data centre is based in the EU and complies with the European General Data Protection Regulation, which makes it an appropriate mean of communication for colleagues to converse together.

Furthermore, Team Zeus also increases the security of your account by enabling companies to appoint administrators who are responsible for managing users and controlling the Team Zeus company account, via an audit trail which records all sensitive activities. In case a normal user changes phone, he/she can as well deny their old device access to Team Zeus.

Last but not least, the Team Zeus application goes beyond instant messaging, offering a to-do list, calendar and a range of other features designed to enhance your productivity.

So, what are you waiting for? Sign-up for Team Zeus now and download our application on your phone.

Roadmap July 2017

Team Zeus Roadmap Instant Messaging

INSTANT MESSAGING

  • Increased performance: faster opening of conversation and chats.
  • The name of the person who archived a conversation will be displayed below the message sender area, with the time and date it was archived.
Team Zeus Roadmap Calendar

CALENDAR

  • Calendar invitations: support for adding all people from a group to a calendar event. When a group is selected, it will separately add all users to the event and single invitations will be sent automatically to every member of a group.
Team Zeus Roadmap Search

  • Drum roll: when you click on a message in the search results, it will take you directly to the place in the conversation/chat where the message is located and it will highlight the message. This is a ‘read-only’ contextual view, if you want to go to the conversation/chat and send new messages from this view, click to ‘go to conversation’ or ‘go to chat’ from the upper-right corner, it will open in standard view with latest messages and the name of the message sender.

We value our customers’ feedback, so if you have an idea about a feature you would like us to incorporate, please share it with us.

OoO REPLY Vs TEAM ZEUS VACATION STATUS

“Say ‘Goodbye’ to Auto Reply emails when you go on holidays and say ‘Hello’ to more transparency with the Team Zeus ‘Vacation’ Status”

Before going on a holiday, like most people, you will be busy finishing all the remaining tasks left on your to-do list and creating a handover so that work can be handled by colleagues during your absence.

Before their vacation even starts, the idea of having to come back to an overloaded inbox on their return causes anxiety for most office workers. For this reason, some may prefer to access their email whilst they are away, so they can manage their inbox as emails arrive. What workaholics may not understand though is the true meaning of a ‘holiday’ and how detrimental it can be to not fully switch off – holidays should be a time to rest!

Many people opt for setting up an automatic ‘out of office’ (OoO) reply, so that when people send them an email, the sender is notified of the recipient’s absence and will know when they are returning. However, though this option may seem practical, we would recommend to refrain from using this feature.

Here are the many reasons why we would advise against using an automatic ‘OoO’ response:

SMALL REDUCTION OF EMAILS

Despite the fact that an ‘OoO’ reply cleverly informs people who are emailing you that you are unreachable for the time being, this doesn’t actually stop new people from sending you an email. Thus, the auto reply will only discourage the same sender from sending further emails until you come back to the office.

NOT ALL EMAILS REQUIRE A RESPONSE

Additionally, out of all the emails you receive on a daily basis, only a small percentage will be relevant to you as you have to ignore spam, sales email and emails that were sent to you via a list that you were incorrectly added into. Therefore, not all the emails in your inbox will require a response from you, meaning that the ‘OoO’ reply is unnecessary as a blanket solution.

INCREASED CHANCES OF GETTING SPAMMED

One of the risks of applying the auto-reply function is that it will confirm to spammers that your email address is active. As a consequence, you are facing the possibility of being added to other unwanted mailing lists, which will multiply the amount of spam that is sent to your email address.

HIGHER SECURITY RISKS

Finally, people often make the mistake of providing too much information in their ‘OoO’ email, which could be re-used to carry out Social Engineering Attacks. Elements such as your precise location, your private contact details and the name and email address of a work colleague to whom enquiries can be relayed are all valuable data for cyber criminals. For instance, they could send a convincing message to your colleague, using the data you provided in your auto-reply to achieve their devious goals and cause damage to your company.

But what if there was a better solution to the OoO automated reply?

DISCOVER THE TEAM ZEUS VACATION ONLINE USER STATUS

MORE CLARITY

Team Zeus provides a more effective alternative to the Out-of-Office automated reply for internal use: the Team Zeus ‘Vacation’ online user status. Team Zeus users can notify their colleagues that they are away on holidays with only a few clicks, simply by changing their online status to ‘Vacation’.

The ‘Vacation’ user status displays a blue circle under your profile picture, enabling other users to see at a glance that you are on leave – providing more transparency. As a result, this eliminates the need for your teammates to send you shot-in-the-dark messages and it also reduces noise on your Team Zeus account.

Furthermore, when you select the vacation status, you are prompted to select the date and time of your return, so your colleagues know when you are back and will not disturb you during your break.

100% SECURE

Unlike the ‘OoO’ reply, the Team Zeus ‘Vacation’ status doesn’t put your security at risk as all data is encrypted at source on Team Zeus and access is limited to staff only.

But what should you do as far as external communication is concerned? A more secure and professional approach to using the ‘OoO’ reply would be to send a personal email to clients with whom you correspond, providing them with the name of a person they can contact when you are away, as well as the contact details for that person.

Last but not least, Team Zeus provides plenty of other solutions to help you enjoy a stress-free holiday this summer, read the following article to uncover all of them: 9 tips for using Team Zeus to ease back into work after a holiday.

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