6 Tips to Set up a Successful Virtual Data Room

What is a virtual data room?

A virtual data room is an extremely secure digital space for storing and sharing high-value business files. Data rooms work much like a traditional Onehub Workspace but with even stronger security protocols and more advanced features such as document watermarking, stealth users, automatic indexing, and NDAs.

These features make data rooms the perfect solution for transactions that require top-level confidentiality. VDRs are commonly used for M&A due diligence, series funding, and legal proceedings. Using Onehub’s virtual data room keeps all users anonymous and hidden from each other to maintain privacy and security during these sensitive transactions. 

Setting your VDR up for success

  1. Add your company branding

Branding your virtual data room makes your business look more professional. You can simply add your company logo and colors, or you can choose a white-label VDR. Our white label option allows you to remove all Onehub branding and create a custom domain. 

  1. Customize your settings

Virtual data rooms come with many advanced settings that you can customize to fit your specific use case. Below are a few features and their benefits to consider as you customize your VDR. 

Watermarking

Automatic watermarking helps protect proprietary data or other sensitive information by linking the file with the person who accessed it. When activated, all previewed, printed, or downloaded files will have the user’s email or IP address and the word “CONFIDENTIAL” watermarked diagonally across the page. The watermark can’t be removed or edited. Administrators will still be able to print the original version of the file without a watermark. 

Non-disclosure agreements

You can require all users to sign a confidentiality agreement in order to access the data room. The NDA is entirely customizable to provide maximum flexibility.  The agreement will appear the first time a user enters the workspace. If they accept the NDA, it will be recorded in the activity log. If they reject the agreement, they will not be able to use the virtual data room. 

Two-factor authentication

You have the option to add an additional layer of protection to your data room by enforcing two-factor authentication. To access the data room when 2FA is enforced, users enter their login credentials and are then prompted for a second authentication factor such as a security code sent to their phones. This means if a hacker steals a user’s credentials, they still won’t be able to access your data room.

Stealth mode

Some transactions benefit from anonymity. With stealth mode, you can keep users’ identities private and their activity hidden from each other while still having access to everything they need in the data room. 

Session timeouts

Create customizable session timeouts to help further secure your data room. You can automatically log users out after a set period of inactivity. This ensures that no unauthorized person can take advantage of a user’s account because they forgot to log out. 

  1. Make a list of all the documents that need to be uploaded to the VDR

Virtual data rooms are most often used for sensitive transactions such as series funding or M&As. It’s important to present your company in a professional manner to ensure you’re able to land the deal successfully. You can put your company’s best foot forward by ensuring all necessary files are available in the data room as soon as it’s live. 

Your list will vary depending on the type of transaction you’re working on. As an example, a due diligence list would include documentation such as business licenses, shareholder information, tax documents, and a list of suppliers. For each item on the list, you’ll need to locate all the corresponding files from your current storage location so you can upload them to the VDR.  

Organizing this information beforehand means you can account for everything easily. You don’t want to risk leaving out a key piece of information that may compromise your deal. 

  1. Pick your file upload method

Onehub offers two main ways to transfer your files to your data room. The first method is a drag-and-drop feature that’s easy to use and allows you to move over multiple files or entire folders at a time. The second option is to upload your files using FTP. This is the best route if your files are extremely large or you want to move entire directories at once. 

  1. Determine the access level of your files and folders

With Onehub’s detailed options for roles and permission, you can customize access to every file and folder. You have complete control over which users are able to view, print, download, or copy certain files. Permission levels can be granted or revoked at any time with a single click.

  1. Double check everything before going live

Do a final review of your data room’s content and settings before you begin inviting users. Here is a checklist to help you make sure you’ve reviewed all the important aspects of your data room:

  • Data room custom branded
  • All documentation uploaded
  • Watermarking enabled
  • Session time-outs enabled
  • Two-factor authentication enforced
  • NDA customized and activated
  • Stealth mode enabled
  • Permission levels set

Once you’ve completed your VDR review, you’re all set! You can start inviting users to join the data room and kick off the next phase of your project.

You can try out Onehub’s virtual data rooms for free for 14 days. No strings attached. See our advanced features and security protocols in action, so you can decide if Onehub is right for your business.

Break Down Information Silos With Cloud Storage and File Sharing

What are workplace silos, and how are they hurting your business?

You may not have heard the terms “workplace silo” or “information silo,” but you’ve likely experienced them. A workplace silo separates different types of employees, often by department or management level, that prevents workers from sharing information and collaborating freely. 

Simply having departments within your organization doesn’t constitute a silo. It’s normal to group people by specialty for efficiency’s sake, but a silo forms when those departments become cliquish. Their loyalty is to their department colleagues. All others are seen as outsiders despite everyone working for the same company, and presumably, the same goals.

This mindset has significant negative effects on a company. It inhibits creativity, collaboration, innovation, and camaraderie. Departments compete for resources and become resentful of each other. It creates an unhealthy work environment where ideas and information are hoarded instead of being freely shared so they can be explored, improved, and implemented. 

How can you break down silos?

Address the problem directly and promote common goals

The first step to recovery is admitting there’s a problem. Address this head-on with your staff. Educate them on the issues that information silos are causing within your organization, and lay out the steps you plan to take to heal these divisions by increasing communication and cooperation. 

Take time to outline common company goals with your team. Identify where each department fits into the picture and ways they can support each other to achieve their objectives. Hold

regular staff meetings to keep employees updated on their progress toward these goals and highlight positive examples of teams working together to make this happen.

Another important step in breaking down silos is to have your leadership team exemplify the behaviors you want to see throughout your organization. It should become commonplace for managers to engage with all employees, no matter their level or department. Employees model their attitudes and actions on the example set by upper management, and seeing this new behavioral standard will make workers feel more comfortable reaching outside their departments. 

Provide collaborative tools and resources

Major culture shifts are always accompanied by a period of growing pains. It’s difficult for employees to change the way they work, so it’s important to support this growth with smart tools and resources. 

Online storage and file sharing

If your company isn’t already using online file storage, now is the perfect time to start. Online storage platforms provide secure cloud servers that keep your data safe while making it more accessible to employees. Your staff can access files on-site or remotely using any device. 

Switching to online file storage will greatly improve your employees’ general access to files, but it’s important to keep in mind that information silos often extend to a company’s file organization. If your teams have been divergent for a long time, they’ve likely developed their own file organization systems. This makes it difficult to share information across company boundaries.

Renaming all these files under a cohesive system may not be practical, but you can have each department create a brief guide to explain their systems. A helpful guide will include:

  • The department’s folder hierarchy
  • A brief description of the type of content stored in each folder
  • An explanation of their file naming conventions

Share this across the organization so all users understand where to look for the information they need. 

While the goal here is to knock down silos, there is still a need for digital security protocols within any organization. Security measures will vary across cloud storage providers. With Onehub, for example, you can choose to keep files with sensitive information hidden, password protected, or accessible only to certain user types. Granular control over roles and permissions allows you to tailor access to your company’s unique needs.

Collaborative tools

Many online file storage platforms come with a variety of tools that will help your teams work more cooperatively. Look for features such as messaging, tasks, file syncing, and file versioning. 

  • In-app messaging enables colleagues to reach out to each other without leaving their digital workspace, allowing them to find the answers they need without interrupting their productivity. 
  • Task assignment is an important feature that will keep teams from questioning the progress of other departments or worrying that important details are falling through the cracks. In addition to staying updated on specific projects, tasks can also be used to track employees’ own to-do lists.
  • File syncing is essential for effective collaboration. It ensures everyone is working from the same up-to-date information. With file syncing, you can have multiple people working in a document and see changes in real time.
  • File versioning is the sanity-saving feature your staff needs to avoid the confusion of multiple file versions. If you’ve ever had to read through multiple files labeled “final” to find out which one is actually the final final, you know what a help this feature is. File versioning also ensures you can restore older versions easily if needed.

Collaborative spaces

Your company should function as one unit, so it’s important to set up your office space accordingly. Try creating a communal area within the office that provides ample space for multiple departments to meet for brainstorming sessions, project updates, or team-building exercises. 

Instead of holding cross-departmental meetings within any departments’ “home base,” move these meetings to neutral ground with tables and chairs that can be reconfigured easily. Removing the home team advantage puts every department on equal ground and allows employees to share ideas more confidently. 

Are you ready to break down information silos and encourage collaboration within your team? Onehub can support your company’s culture change with organized online file storage, secure file sharing, and a suite of collaboration tools. Try our free 14-day trial today!

5 Best Practices for Successful Internal Documentation

Last week we covered how investing in internal documentation can save your organization significant time and money, not to mention hassle and stress. This week, we’re focusing on implementation. Where do you start? How do you keep internal documents accurate? What’s the easiest way to make this documentation accessible? We’ve answered these questions and many more to help you create and implement valuable internal documentation.

Determine what information needs to be documented

Procedures and workflows

Documenting your business procedures can be a daunting task, but it’s one that will save the company significant time and money in the future. To get things started, identify the core processes in your organization. These will vary by industry, but to give you an idea of the types of questions it’s helpful to ask, let’s say your organization is in retail. What steps are taken to order new inventory? How do employees complete returns? What’s the escalation procedure for an unhappy customer? How do you onboard new employees?

The answers to these questions will help you narrow down the most important core processes that keep your business going. This is where you want to start with your internal documentation. Begin with the most essential of these practices and continue down the list until all major policies and workflows are documented.

Projects and clients

In addition to the core processes of your business, it’s smart to keep documentation on your projects and clients. This is the best way to keep everyone on the team aligned during a long, multi-phase project or to provide valuable insight for future projects. Referencing project documentation can help employees in many ways such as providing inspiration for new projects or choosing the best way to structure a complex project with many milestones.

Keeping documentation on your clients is also a great idea. It makes your company look more professional when employees can simply reference internal documentation to be reminded of client preferences and important information instead of asking the client for these details again. 

Identify the best format and keep it simple

Internal documentation can quickly become overwhelming, so it’s important to consider how you’ll convey the information. Hierarchy of Information is a design principle that is helpful for this stage. Information hierarchy refers to the way elements are arranged on a page or in graphic design that conveys at a glance what information is essential. You can use this design principle in your internal documentation by using headings, bullet points, and other common formatting tools. 

In addition to formatting text elements, you can also use a variety of documentation formats such as videos, screenshots, flowcharts, checklists, or diagrams. The type of workflow and its complexity can help you determine which format is best. For example, internal documentation on how to add a new customer to your CRM might be best conveyed with a quick video tutorial. While you could write these steps out and include screenshots, this would take much longer to create and be less helpful to your employees than a video that shows someone actually using the CRM. 

The end goal of all international documentation is to make it easy for employees to quickly review standard procedures or get up to date on the current state of a project. This helps keep their work organized and boosts their productivity.

Connect with relevant departments or employees

To ensure your internal documentation is up to date and accurate, include the departments or specific employees who carry out these work processes or projects. They have the most intimate knowledge of the subject, so their input is invaluable. 

This is also a great time to ask them if there are any steps that could be improved or eliminated to make the procedures faster or more effective. Employees who regularly do these processes will undoubtedly have helpful insight on how to improve them. Don’t reject these suggestions out of hand simply because they’re not the established method. Listen to the reasoning behind the suggested changes and talk them through to see if they’re viable. A smart tweak to your systems could stimulate meaningful changes to the quality of work or how quickly it’s completed. 

Quality management

Recording the core processes and projects of your organization is time consuming, but when done correctly, it can save your company significant money in employee turnover, recruitment and training, avoidable mistakes, and increased employee productivity. The key to keeping internal documentation valuable is to implement quality management. Have departments regularly review the documentation relevant to their teams to ensure the information is current. If any changes need to be made, designate a specific person to update the record. 

To get the most benefit from your internal documentation, it must be organized, accessible, and up to date. If employees find that the information in these documents is wrong or outdated, they will stop using them. Without a central document to govern procedures, employees will eventually begin to make mistakes. Quality management of your internal documents will keep workflows from being disrupted and affecting the company’s bottom line. 

Online file sharing and storage

Once you have your documentation ready, you’ll need a secure way to store it and make it accessible to your team. Online file sharing & storage such as Onehub allows you to create secure, shared folders that are quickly and easily accessible to employees. Accessibility of this information is vital, as it ensures all the effort that went into accurately documenting your internal workflows, procedures, and projects will pay off. 

For procedures that contain sensitive information such as HR documentation, Onehub provides granular control over roles and permissions. This means you can decide which users are authorized to view sensitive information. In addition to the security that roles and permissions provide, Onehub also protects your data with bank-level encryption. 

Some Onehub clients such as BankTEL have even been able to simplify business processes by creating automated, auditable, one-click actions within the platform that improve efficiency. Our robust selection of collaboration and communication tools also help support your employees’ productivity. 

To test drive Onehub’s online storage and file-sharing tools, sign up today for a free 14-day trial — no credit card required!

How Investing in Internal Documentation Saves Your Company Money

When budgets get tight, cutting unnecessary costs is a standard strategy to maintain a successful business. While the big expenses tend to get the most attention — finding cost-effective employee benefits, buying supplies in bulk, cutting out catering for staff meetings — sometimes it’s the smaller details that can have the most impact. 

Internal documentation is one of those minor details that are rarely at the top of anyone’s money-saving list, but it definitely deserves a spot. Internal documentation refers to any detailed information about your company’s processes and procedures that’s kept up to date and is available for employees to reference as needed. 

It’s a simple concept that’s easy to implement, yet many companies don’t make it a priority. Good internal documentation has the potential to save businesses tens of thousands of dollars each year, and it can directly increase profits by reducing turnover rates and improving every aspect of your business, from onboarding to customer service.

Investing in internal documentation increases company efficiency

Workers can easily spend up to 30% of the workday scouring company databases for basic information they need to do their jobs. If your company has 50 employees and they’re paid the U.S. average of $25.68 per hour, you’re losing $3,210 per day in employee effectiveness. 

If you’re wondering what this expensive time-wasting looks like in action, picture your top-performing employee — the one everyone goes to for help because they have accumulated years of company knowledge. Now imagine that person leaves your company. Without proper internal documentation, they’re walking away with priceless information that your other workers need. When your team is left without their go-to resource, they have to waste an enormous amount of time piecing together information to recreate that former employee’s knowledge base.

If your company’s documentation is nonexistent or lacking, it’s quite likely that a scene like this has played out within at least one of your departments. Imagine how much more your organization could achieve if those hours were put toward customer service, improving products, or training employees on new skills to stay competitive? Productivity and effectiveness would explode, and the results would speak for themselves in your company’s bottom line. 

Great internal documentation makes onboarding easier

Not only is searching for information costly in terms of time wasted, it can also cost you top talent. Work tends to be stressful in general, and insufficient internal documentation is an unnecessary obstacle that adds to that stress. If this issue isn’t addressed, you may find some of your best employees packing their bags to head to more organized pastures. 

If your organization’s lack of proper documentation is causing employee burnout and high turnover, your onboarding process is likely also suffering. New workers are bombarded with more details during onboarding than they can possibly digest in their first few days. It’s important to streamline this process to ensure your new talent feels supported and confident in their position.

Hiring and training new workers is a huge expense. You save your company big bucks by making the process faster and more effective with quality documentation. Set new employees up for success and reduce turnover by clearly documenting your company’s policies, processes, and job-specific information and storing it somewhere that’s easily accessible. 

Internal documentation supports collaborative work

Workplace collaboration is vital to a company’s success, especially in today’s market. The best ideas are rarely the sole effort of a single person. Combining the perspectives, skills, and experiences of a diverse group is the most effective way to develop a robust product or service that will delight your customers. 

Every step of that process, from ideation to implementation, requires employees to share information. When you have solid internal documentation in place, as well as a secure method to store and share it, this process is seamless. This speeds up the collaborative process, meaning your team always hits their deadlines with quality work in hand. 

This also makes your company look competent and professional from a client’s perspective. When your team completes projects in an organized and timely manner, clients will be impressed and feel confident choosing your company again and again for their needs. Alternatively, team collaboration that’s clumsy and behind schedule will send customers straight to one of your competitors, and you can bet they’ll readily share their bad experiences with others. 

The more information about your company, clients, products, and services you document, the more ammunition your employees will have to draw from when it’s time to collaborate on new projects. All employees will have the base knowledge they need to do their parts, whether that’s details on how to use certain software or information about the success or failure of past ideas. This facilitates better, more profitable products and projects that will increase your company’s profits. 

Accessible internal documentation improves work-from-home effectiveness

Working from home became a necessity in 2020. It opened the eyes of many executives to all the benefits that remote work can bring, from downsizing office space to having a wider pool of qualified job candidates. Employees also took a strong liking to the flexibility that remote work provides, so it looks like this trend is here to stay.

As with any major change in business models, remote work poses a few challenges. In-office employees struggle with finding the information they need, and this issue is amplified even more when workers are remote. At the start of the pandemic, the Harvard Business Review reported that work-from-home employees were surprised by how much more difficult it was to find the information they needed to do their work. 

This doesn’t have to be the case, though. Work-from-home effectiveness can be equal to that of on-site employees if internal documentation is a company priority. Business efficiency increases even more when you store that documentation in the cloud where all employees can easily access it and share files as needed internally or externally. 

Ready to whip your company’s documentation into shape? Onehub can keep it secure, organized, and easily accessible to employees. See for yourself with our free 14-day trial (no credit card required!). 

How to Choose a Dependable Cloud Storage Solution for Your Business

What is cloud storage?

The term “cloud storage” may sound abstract and ephemeral, but it’s actually a secure method of storing your business files online. It eliminates the cost, security issues, and maintenance hassles that come with traditional on-site servers. 

It’s no surprise that business owners are moving to the cloud in droves. With the cloud, you don’t have to maintain or replace expensive hardware, it’s simple to scale your storage up or down to suit your needs, and your data is protected with high-level security protocols that outperform those of physical servers. 

There are many online file storage providers, and they all offer something a little different. It can be overwhelming to try to narrow down the best options for your company. We’ve highlighted several important cloud storage features to look for as you start your search.

What to look for in online file storage

Security and dependability

Secure and dependable cloud storage is a necessity. If a provider can’t immediately give you a breakdown of their security protocols and uptime, go ahead and scratch them off your list. Without these two basics, no other impressive tools or features will matter.

256-bit encryption

Encryption is the process of turning data from plaintext (readable) to ciphertext (unreadable until decrypted with a key). With 256-bit encryption — the same type that banks and the CIA use — it would take a hacker billions of years to crack the data with a brute force attack. No one’s got that kind of time, so even if a hacker gets their hands on your business files, the data will be useless to them.

That’s the level of security you want for your online file storage. Hackers are targeting businesses at an incredible rate, and they can do extensive damage to your company, your employees, and your customers if they get the data they’re after. Keep your business secure by selecting a cloud storage provider that offers 256-bit encryption.

Roles and permissions

Roles and permissions are important security features for your online file storage. These allow you to customize access for each user and even specific files or folders. Look for providers with multiple options for roles and permissions to give you the flexibility you need for the wide variety of information companies store. If there are only two or three roles available, it may not provide the level of nuance that your company needs.

With permissions, you can customize access even further. For example, you may decide to share a file with someone but don’t want them to download it or share it with anyone else. With a provider like Onehub, granular permission levels can be added or revoked with a single click. 

Two-factor authentication

Employees are the most valuable resource your business has, but they’re also your biggest security risk. Despite knowing the importance of using strong, unique passwords, 83% of Americans use weak passwords that can be cracked within seconds. 

Usernames and passwords generally don’t keep hackers out for long. The solution to this problem is two-factor authentication. This type of login requires a user to enter their username and password, followed by a second type of authentication. This can be a security token, a code sent to a mobile device, a thumbprint, or numerous other methods. 

The second type of authentication ensures that hackers can’t access your system with just a username and password. Unless they’ve also stolen the security token, mobile device, or thumb of the person whose account they’re hacking, their attempts are futile, and your data is safe.

Redundant backups

Businesses today simply can’t function without on-demand access to their files, and good online storage providers understand this. That’s why they back up your company files across multiple devices in multiple facilities. If an earthquake destroys a server, your company won’t even notice because there’s a secure backup of your data at another location. 

File sharing options

The best online file storage will offer several secure methods of sharing files. Inviting users to access a file or folder is standard practice, but it’s also important to have an option for sharing files with people external to your organization. This allows people who are not users on your cloud storage platform to access the file without setting up an account. 

Onehub took this feature a step further. We allow users to send secure direct links that can be password protected and assigned an expiration date. Cloud storage providers that offer these additional features ensure you have the ultimate flexibility and security for your online file storage.

Collaboration and communication tools

Few successful companies are a one-person show. It takes collaboration and communication between colleagues for a business to consistently produce a quality product or service. Many cloud storage providers such as Onehub offer features that go beyond basic online file storage.  

A great cloud service can provide you with tools to make your team more effective. When evaluating your cloud options, check to see if the provider offers some of the popular features listed below. 

Tasks

Keep track of a project’s progress by assigning tasks. Onehub allows users to assign tasks to others or themselves. Whether you use this tool as a personal to-do list or to monitor who is doing what and when, tasks will help keep important jobs from falling through the cracks. Having this easy-to-use task list means you don’t have to expend any mental energy keeping up with the thousands of little details that bring a project together.

File syncing

File syncing is a must in today’s busy world. It lets employees work on a file simultaneously, from anywhere on any device, and know that everyone is looking at the same information. If a team is stuck working in files that don’t automatically sync, they’re literally not on the same page. It’s a recipe for confusion and misunderstandings. You can sidestep all that hassle by choosing a cloud service that has automatic file syncing.

File versioning

Like file syncing, file versioning is key to preventing projects from derailing and costing precious time and money. Automatic file versioning means your team never has to spend hours skimming through a file’s contents trying to figure out if “important-project-FINAL2” or “important-project-FINAL-FINAL” is the real final version. 

File versioning keeps a history of changes made to the document, and they can be restored easily if needed. It’s a fantastic feature for any business that relies on employee collaboration to get things done.

Comments and messaging

All work requires communication, so it’s essential that you provide employees with a quick and easy way to get in touch with each other. This is especially true if your team sometimes works remotely. The Harvard Business Review noted that remote workers were often surprised by how difficult it was to get simple information from colleagues. 

You can facilitate easy communication between coworkers by selecting an online storage provider that has integrated communication channels. This lets workers get their questions answered without even leaving their digital workspace. It’s a simple tool that saves employees a ton of time and frustration. 

Intuitive interface

Extensive research about what makes a great user experience is readily available online, so there’s simply no excuse for a bad user interface in 2021. If a cloud storage provider has a clunky, confusing interface that requires in-depth training for employees to understand, you may want to keep looking. 

The right online file storage for your business will have a clean design that’s not overwhelming to look at, and you’ll intuitively know how to do all the basics such as uploading a file, creating a new folder, or inviting new users.

Good cloud storage design is a sign that a company cares about its customers and is competent in its field. 

Find a dependable cloud storage solution for your business

The tips we’ve covered here will help you evaluate different online storage solutions so you can choose one that’s right for your business. You’ll know when you’ve found the perfect fit because you and your employees will become more organized, communicate and collaborate better, and feel less overwhelmed with daily tasks. 

To really get a feel for how a cloud storage provider will benefit your organization, ask for a free test drive. Onehub offers a free 14-day trial so you have plenty of time to explore our features and make an informed decision for your business. Sign up today!

Regular Software Updates Keep Your Business Secure and Productive

Installing updates is one of the simplest ways to protect your company’s files and keep your business running smoothly. Devices and software that are up to date provide data protection, improved functionality, and helpful integrations. 

Why do companies issue software updates?

To improve security

A known vulnerability is a glitch or weakness in software or operating systems that hackers can exploit. When a software company identifies a vulnerability and finds a solution, they release a security patch to fix it. This patch comes in the form of a software update. 

There are many reasons it’s essential to stay on top of updates, but digital security is one of the most important. Cybercrimes are steadily increasing, and businesses are a favorite target for hackers. Companies store sensitive data ranging from customers’ credit card numbers to intellectual property, and this data is incredibly valuable. Hackers can encrypt this data and demand a ransom for the decryption key, use a known vulnerability to take your business offline, or conduct any number of other malicious schemes. 

To add or remove features

Software updates are also issued to add new features, remove outdated features, and improve functionality. These updates can enhance the user experience and offer your company better tools for productivity and efficiency.

To offer new integrations

Updates can also be issued to make the software more compatible with popular programs. For example, Onehub recently updated its file-sharing and cloud storage platform to integrate DocuSign. This allows Onehub users to get electronic signatures from clients quickly and easily. 

What are the risks of not installing updates promptly?

It’s important to install software updates as soon as possible. We’re all guilty of hitting the “install update later” button when we’re in the middle of something, but consistently putting off updates can have significant consequences.

Data breaches

The biggest risk of not staying on top of software updates is a cybersecurity attack. Updates act as a data safeguard, ensuring a malicious individual can’t easily steal sensitive business information or hold your data for ransom. 

Once software has a known vulnerability, it becomes a favorite target for hackers because they already know exactly how to exploit it. There’s no time-consuming guesswork involved. Even after a software company releases a security patch, hackers will still target these programs. They know that many people, especially employees, don’t bother to update their computers or software. 

A good digital security plan can help employees understand the importance of data safeguards such as regular software updates.

Lower productivity

Not installing software updates also means your company is missing out on great new features that could dramatically improve collaboration, productivity, or efficiency. This risk is often overlooked since you’re unlikely to know what you’re missing out on. But competition among businesses is tight, and if your competitors are benefitting from faster, better tools, your business could fall behind. 

Unusable software

Installing updates ensures that your software stays compatible with your operating system and the other programs it interacts with. If you’re behind on updates, you may find that some or all of the features of your software stop functioning. 

Lost time

The longer you put off computer updates, the more updates you’ll need to install. If you stay on top of updates, you most likely won’t have to wait very long for a single one to install. But if they’ve been piling up for months, it may take ages to complete all the updates. During that time, you’re essentially out of commission work-wise. 

This is especially frustrating if your software has stopped working and you need it updated ASAP so you can meet an important deadline. You resign yourself to restarting your computer, anticipating a brief, single update, and instead, you have three months’ work of updates being installed in succession. It’s an easy situation to avoid; simply make software updates a regular part of your work routine.

Ensuring your business software stays updated company-wide

Choose cloud-based software

Cloud-based software such as Onehub doesn’t require users to install updates. Every time you log in, you’re accessing the most up-to-date version of your cloud software. This makes it extremely efficient and more secure since there’s never any delay in installing vital security patches. 

Allow automatic updates

Many devices and software have an option to install updates automatically. Allowing automatic updates means you don’t have to worry about remembering to check for or install updates. If you choose to do manual updates, it’s helpful to pencil them into your work schedule so you don’t forget.

Create a digital security plan

The best way to ensure software and devices are being regularly updated company-wide is to create a digital security plan. The plan should cover common cybersecurity threats and effective data safeguards such as regular updates, strong passwords, and two-factor authentication. Make sure employees know they are responsible for keeping their work devices updated, as well as any personal devices that they use for work.

Onehub can keep your company’s data secure while providing first-class business tools for collaboration and productivity. Try Onehub for free for 14 days!

7 Browser Extensions to Increase Your Work Productivity

Thanks to extensions, browsers aren’t just for navigation anymore. Extensions are add-on features that extend the capabilities of your browser. Extensions fall into many categories such as productivity, communication, fun, and security. 

Onehub was founded on a passion for business productivity, so it should come as no surprise that we love finding new tools to help us get the job done. We’ve put together a collection of browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome that we think you’ll love. Though we’ve focused on the two most popular internet browsers, nearly all offer extensions, and many of these add-ons are available on multiple browsers.

Safety first

Before we dive into the list, let’s talk about safety. 

Chrome and Firefox both do a good job of reviewing extensions before adding them to their respective web stores, but there’s always a possibility that some bad apples sneak by. Before you download any browser extension, even ones on this list, always do your due diligence to ensure it meets your (or your company’s) standards for security. 

Check the permission requests

Many apps need certain permissions to function correctly. Always review the permission requests to determine if they align with the app’s purported functionality. For example, the NicCage extension requests access to your website data so it can replace web images with pictures of Nicolas Cage. That makes sense, relatively speaking. If this extension requested the ability to open files downloaded on your computer, that would be a red flag. 

Evaluate the creator

If a company developed an extension, check out their website. Do they seem reputable? A badly designed website and copy that’s full of grammatical errors are signs that a company isn’t legitimate. 

Individual developers create many extensions, so the lack of a website shouldn’t automatically deter you. You can make a security judgment for these using the other tips on the list.

Read the reviews

What do people have to say about the extension? It may seem counterintuitive, but look for extensions that have both good and bad reviews. It’s impossible to please everyone, so if an extension with many downloads has only glowing reviews, that’s a bit suspicious. Check the dates of the reviews. Were they all published on the same day? Do they sound similar? If so, they’re from bots or someone paid to write good reviews. 

Stick to browser-recommended extensions

If you aren’t comfortable evaluating the security of extensions, you can check for extensions created by or recommended by your browser provider. Firefox has a list of extensions it recommends after putting them through rigorous security checks. Chrome allows you to filter your extension search “By Chrome,” so you only see add-ons it has developed.

Browser extensions for work productivity

Fireshot 

Fireshot allows you to take full webpage screenshots. You can highlight important areas of the page such as confirmation numbers, add notes to the screenshot, and save it as a PDF with links or as an image. There are countless ways this can be handy in your own work, and it’s also a great feature to recommend to clients. If they’re having a technical issue with your website, you can have them use Fireshot to capture it for you. This speeds up the troubleshooting process immensely and saves your customer the hassle of trying to explain what type of error is occurring. 

“I’m super grateful to FireShot for providing an excellent screenshot service with cropping capabilities and the choice to save a document as an image or a PDF! I use it regularly and rely on it for my business. It’s wonderful!” — Christine Bode 

Available for Chrome and Firefox

TickTick

The TickTick browser extension allows you to keep your to-do list organized. It syncs across all your devices, and its deadline feature ensures due dates never sneak up on you. It’s simple to add notes to tasks, drag and drop to reorder your priorities, and convert Gmail messages into tasks. It’s got all the features you need to keep your workload organized so you can focus on the tasks at hand. 

“I love TickTick! It is the best to-do list/task tool I have found and I’ve tried A LOT of them. It is basic, but has enough features to make it incredibly useful. Other tools such as Evernote, etc. are too much for a basic task list (I use those for other items) and Google Keep/similar tools do not provide the organizational structure I need. At first I didn’t care for the deadline options, but I actually really enjoy it now, as it keeps items that are further out away from view and helps me focus on the priorities at hand.” — Jana Ferguson

Available for Chrome and Firefox

Impulse Blocker

It’s not entirely your fault that you can’t pull yourself away from a site to focus on your work. Websites are designed to be “sticky” so they hold your attention for as long as possible. With Impulse Blocker, you’ll never log onto Instagram for “just a minute” and find yourself still scrolling two hours later. When you need to focus on your work without the siren call of your favorite websites distracting you, just add them to your block list and decide how long you want to pause access.

“I think it’s the cleanest site blocking extension I found so far, really easy to add and remove sites, has timed pausing, and it’s perfect for when I have trouble procrastinating and need nudging back to work.” — FunnyBunny581

Available for Firefox

Dark Reader

Staring at a computer screen for hours each day takes a serious toll on your eyes. Dark Reader applies a dark-colored theme to webpages to reduce eye strain. This allows you to work as long as you need to without having to take breaks due to the eye irritation and tension headaches caused by a too-bright screen. 

“One of the best dark mode extensions I’ve ever used. Excellent contrast, immediate satisfaction guaranteed. It’s one of the only dark mode extensions to work well with Google Docs, and I couldn’t be happier, 10/10.” — Epsyle Factkin

Available for Firefox and Chrome

Current

Productivity isn’t always about powering through task after task. To do your best work, you have to manage your stress levels. Current helps with this by serving up a microdose of mindfulness every time you open a new browser tab. It provides mindfulness tips, guided breathing, and short meditations perfect for taking the stress out of your workday. 

“Such a great idea! I practice meditation every day but having these little breaks at work is wonderful. Well designed and the speaker’s voice is nice.” — Marriki Eva

Available for Chrome

RoboForm Password Manager

By 2022, the average internet user will have approximately 300 online accounts that require passwords to log in. We know you would never reuse the same password for multiple accounts, so that’s a lot of passwords to try to remember. RoboForm manages your passwords for you, so you only have to remember one master password. It will also generate unique and complex passwords to keep your accounts more secure. RoboForm saves you time at work by ensuring you never have to go through the password reset process or manually enter your passwords every time you login.

“The extension works great! I had an issue with recent and popular boxes not populating. Emailed support and found it was something in my desktop settings that was causing the problem. I have been a long-time user and am very pleased with Roboform including the great support team.” — Bob Higgins

Available on Firefox and Chrome

Laser Cat  

Sometimes the best way to boost your productivity is to take a break. When you need to power down for a few minutes, Laser Cat provides quality mindless entertainment by blasting lasers at anything you want on a webpage. According to reviewer Hiland Hall, Laser Cat can also land you a new job. 

“This was really helpful in a job interview once. I used Laser Cat in a presentation and they loved it so much they offered me a job on the spot.” — Hiland Hall

Available for Firefox and Chrome

Improve Business File Organization and Collaboration With Document Control

What is document control?

Document control is a standardized system of file management within a business. Document control sets protocols for the lifecycle and use of documents, from creation to deletion and everything in between. With proper management, employees will always have access to accurate and up-to-date information at any point in a document’s lifecycle. 

Document management is important for most companies, especially for highly regulated industries such as healthcare or industries such as engineering or architecture where precision is of the utmost importance. Document control helps businesses stay compliant with legal requirements and reduces errors.

Even companies that aren’t operating in heavily regulated or precise industries can reap the benefits of document management such as quick file searches, up-to-date information, and improved collaboration. While standards for document control apply to both physical and digital files, we’ll focus on digital files in this article since this is the predominant method of corporate document storage today. 

The risks of poor document management

Employees waste time searching for files

The larger a company is, the more complex the task of document control becomes. An enterprise-level organization can generate thousands of new files each day, which quickly turns to chaos without organizational parameters. 

On average, employees spend nearly two hours each day searching for files due to ineffective file management. When employees finally give up searching for the document they need, they often resort to recreating the file from scratch. The time employees spend searching for documents or duplicating work is a huge waste of company resources. 

Higher chance of errors

Working from an outdated iteration of a file is easy to do when there’s no standard for version control. Without proper document control, your company risks making costly mistakes. For instance, if an architect developed blueprints based on an older version of a file with inaccurate measurements, it could cost the company millions and even endanger lives. When accuracy is essential, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. Employees should be able to immediately identify the most up-to-date version of a file so they can complete their work with total confidence. 

Ineffective workflows and collaboration

In addition to wasting employee time, poor document control also inhibits collaboration. Without consistent rules governing approvals and revisions, document collaboration can get messy. Document control ensures that when a file is approved, everyone working on it knows. When revisions are made, efficient document control makes it easy to identify versions and what changes have been made. 

How Onehub supports document control

Implementing document control protocols can streamline your file management and make your business more efficient and profitable. Onehub’s robust business software can help you create an effective system to govern your business files and document worfklow.

Document creation

Document control standards for new files may govern things like where certain types of documents are stored, file naming conventions, document formatting, and access levels. 

Onehub facilitates fast and easy document creation with its Microsoft Office Online and Google Drive integrations. Users can create new documents directly in the Onehub platform, so they don’t have to switch between multiple applications to get the job done. 

Document approval

Document control improves workflows by standardizing the approval process. Each type of document should have a designated person in charge of approvals, and it should be clear to all involved parties when a file has been approved. Onehub makes this simple with one-click approvals and automatic notifications. 

Document revision

Documents can spend a lot of time in the revision process, so it’s important to have a set of standards to control this phase. The biggest hurdles in the revision stage are identifying the most current version of a document, ensuring that updates are synced, and viewing what changes have been made. 

With Onehub’s automatic file versioning, it’s always clear whether you’re looking at the first iteration of a document or the third. Our automated file syncing means that changes are synced across devices in real-time so employees are on the same page no matter where they access the file from. Users can view or restore all changes within a file, and it’s easy to identify who made those changes. These features make document control simple and team collaboration seamless. 

Document access

Companies often handle sensitive information about employees, customers, or finances that could cause a lot of trouble in the wrong hands. For your company’s digital security, assign every file an appropriate level of access. 

As a general rule, provide employees with the lowest level of access possible. You don’t want to inhibit their productivity with parameters that are too restrictive, but you need to ensure that confidential business information is protected. 

Onehub provides administrators with granular control over roles and permissions to make it quick and easy to customize individual access at the file or folder level. You can grant, modify, or revoke an employee or client’s access to a document with one click. You can also use the “preview as” feature to ensure you’ve set the correct permission level for a file. 

To see all the ways Onehub can support your company’s document control procedures, sign up today for our free 14-day trial