Team Zeus Blog

Motivational musings from Mount Olympus and beyond.

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.

Team Zeus Development Roadmap – June 2017

We regularly update Team Zeus in order to improve user experience and enhance the productivity of our customers. In this latest update to our roadmap, we have listed some of the exciting improvements we recently made to our team communication app:

Team Zeus Roadmap Chat

MENTION

  • Mentioning someone in a conversation will now automatically add that person to the conversation. It even works when mentioning multiple people in one message.
Team Zeus Roadmap Chat

CHAT

  • We have changed the ‘Recipients’ button so that to show members of the current conversation, you now have to click on the button, where previously you just had to hover over ‘Recipients’ to see the list of members.
Team Zeus Roadmap Search

  • New Search Backend.
  • Search results for users, messages, conversations are always ordered by date of creation, in reverse chronological order.
  • New ordering of search results for calendar events, done by starting date, score/match.
  • Improved search of special characters.
  • Fixed search when making a search query, using this model: ‘#CONVERSATIONNUMBER’.
  • Added basic support for “AND / NOT” Boolean operators in search queries. Thus, you can now make the following search queries:
    • "Search Term 1" AND "Search Term 2" – search for data containing both “Search Term 1″ and “Search Term 2″.
    • "Search Term 1" NOT "Search Term 2" – search for “Search Term 1″, excluding “Search Term 2″ in the results.

PERSONAL TO-DO LIST

Tasks are automatically ordered by ‘Due Date’ and then by alphabetical order on the Team Zeus personal to-do list.

iOS APP

  • The calendar is now viewable on the iOS app, enabling users to view events and import them from Team Zeus to the iOS native app. However, users cannot yet create, edit, or delete events through the app.
  • We have made changes to improve the synchronisation of events from your calendar to the Team Zeus iOS app. If you encounter any issues with calendar sync, please try to delete your device from ‘My Devices’ section on the desktop app, then add it again.

We value our customers’ feedback. So, if you have any ideas for a new feature that you would like us to bring out, please contact us.

How To Keep Your Team Zeus Account Safe And Secure

“Protecting your data is paramount to us at Team Zeus”

Keep your Team Zues account safe and secure

Recently the “WannaCry” ransomware affected a number of large organisations in one of the most widespread cyberattacks ever seen, leading many firms to become increasingly worried about the safety of information stored on local computers, and shared between different users. This exploit is suspected to have been transmitted by email and is supposed to be disseminated more easily with the use of file sharing applications that are commonly used in multi-site businesses.

The NHS was amongst the victims of this incident that hit approximately 99 countries, which demonstrates the damage that such malicious programs can cause if sensitive information ends up into the wrong hands.

Fortunately, Team Zeus users cannot receive messages from people outside of the business, as our application is designed for internal use only. Moreover, all data is encrypted at source via a 2048bit SSL RSA public key, combined with the use of a SHA256 signature algorithm and an ECDHE_RSA key exchange. Together this provides security that is better that that which most banks currently use.

(You can read more about our security credentials here.)

To further increase the security of your information, we would like to share with you the best practices to adopt, in order to ensure that your Team Zeus account stays safe and secure. Here are a few tips to apply that will reinforce your account safety:

Make your password “impenetrable”

Your Team Zeus password gives you access to your company’s private data, and as such it needs to be kept private and be as strong as possible. You should therefore create a unique password that is at least 8 characters long with the use of both uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and characters that would make it more difficult to guess.

Workstations must also be secured by a unique password and we advise that employees sign out of their computer when leaving their desk, so as to ensure another user can’t possibly access Team Zeus in their absence.

Your password must be changed regularly to prevent giving access to someone who might have inadvertently found it out. Sometimes employees might get frustrated with having to regularly modify it and may instead opt for a weaker password. A way around this would be to ask your staff to use a password manager such as LastPass, which generates unique, random passwords.

Secure your connection to Team Zeus on your mobile device

In order to securely access your Team Zeus account via one of our mobile applications, you will need first to authorise your mobile device. To do so, login to the Team Zeus platform via your computer, then go to your profile, and select ‘My devices’. Click the ‘Request Code’ button, and you will get a code that needs to be entered when you first login on the native app.

Conversely, if you are changing your phone, we recommend you delete your old handset from the list of authorised devices. This will automatically log you out Team Zeus on that device permanently.

Limit access to some of your groups

When sensitive information needs to be discussed with members of a team, users can create a group that is either ‘restricted’ or ‘private’ on Team Zeus, so access is limited to the group members.

For a discussion that needs to stay totally confidential, it is best to set it as ‘private’, so it is invisible to people who are not part of that group.

“Off-boarding” staff

When an employee has left the company, they should be removed from Team Zeus, so they can no longer access your company’s internal chat. This will avoid the risk of having mischievous former employees sharing any sensitive or private information externally.

The IT team should work closely with the HR department, to ensure that users are removed from Team Zeus immediately after their departure.

Whitelist

On Team Zeus, users are able to export notifications that they receive by email to the Team Zeus application. But, this doesn’t mean that they can just share the content of any email on the platform, and potentially put the security of your company’s account at risk.

To do this, they have to first ask for the approval of an admin user, who will then add the email address or domain name to a whitelist, authorising this source to post content on Team Zeus.

Security checks

We suggest admin users regularly carry out a number of security checks, by inspecting the Audit Trail that is accessible via the Admin Dashboard.

With the audit trail you can verify who made a specific modification (i.e. user activation, email changes, password changes, etc), and see when this occurred. This will allow you to identify any unusual activities and to act upon them fast.

Files Encryption

When you share a sensitive file with your colleagues on Team Zeus, you should always encrypt it with a password. Microsoft Office enables you to easily protect a document with a password when you are about to save it onto your computer.

Security measures

To make the security of your Team Zeus account impenetrable, your enterprise should follow strict security rules.

Though it should go without saying for modern PC users, it is important that a reliable anti-virus package is used to secure all your company’s computers. At Team Zeus we suggest the paid version of BidDefender, which achieved the highest test scores in comparison with other anti-viruses, and also protects against emerging threats like ransomware.

Furthermore, your IT team must limit the ability for employees to install new software on their computers, by assigning them with a “limited account” that means they can’t install any malicious programs onto their computer.

Finally, remind your staff to install updates and patches, as they will not only serve the purpose of adding new features or fixing bugs, but they will most importantly help to fix security holes that could be exploited by malware.

These measures should form part of your company’s internal security policy, and will increase the security of the data you share on Team Zeus, and protect it against cyber threats. Luckily, Zeus has you covered!

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