67 Keyboard Shortcuts to Help You Work More Efficiently [Windows and macOS]

keyboard shortcut key

Finding new ways to work faster and more efficiently is a top goal for most employees. There’s no shortage of work productivity tips available online, but most of them focus on ways to manage your time better or improve your focus. That’s helpful information, but it does require some personal effort and discipline to reap the benefits. 

Sometimes you want something fast and easy to help you. How about a productivity tip that just involves pressing some buttons? 

Keyboard shortcuts are keys or a series of keys that prompt a program to perform a specific action. For example, ctrl + F is a well-known shortcut that allows you to search a website or document for a keyword. 

There are many lesser known keyboard hacks that can help you work faster. You may not realize it, but every time you move from the keyboard to your mouse, you’re losing precious seconds. Not only do these seconds add up quickly, you’re also breaking your focus each time you make this switch. 

We’ve compiled some of the most helpful keyboard shortcuts for:

  • Navigating Windows and macOS
  • Microsoft Word and Excel
  • Gmail and Outlook
  • Chrome and Firefox Browsers

Once you learn these, they quickly become second nature and enable you to work more efficiently. They’re also great to know for those times when your mouse inevitably dies and you can’t find a battery anywhere.

Keyboard shortcuts to navigate your computer

ActionWindowsmacOS
Create new folderCtrl + shift + NShift + cmd + N
Minimize a windowWindows key + DCmd + M
Close a windowAlt + F4Cmd + W
Open task managerCtrl + shift + escCmd + option + esc
Save fileCtrl + SCmd + S
Open fileCtrl + OCmd + O
Print documentCtrl + PCmd + P
Undo last action Ctrl + ZCmd + Z
Switch between programsAlt + tabCmd + tab

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft programs

The same basic shortcuts that work in Microsoft programs will also work in other programs such as Google Workspace apps. If you’re using a Google app (Docs, Sheets, etc.), press ctrl + / to open the shortcuts window. Check the bottom of the window to see if it has an option to enable compatible shortcuts. If so, toggle this option on.

All Microsoft programs

ActionWindowsmacOS
Open new fileCtrl + NCmd + N
Copy text or graphicCtrl + CCmd + C
Cut text or graphicCtrl + XCmd + X
Paste text or graphicCtrl + VCmd + V
Select all contentCtrl + ACmd + A
Insert a linkCtrl + KCmd + K
Undo/RedoCtrl + Z/YCmd + Z/Y
PrintCtrl + PCmd + P
Bold/italics/underlineCtrl + B/I/UCmd + B/I/U

Word

ActionWindowsmacOS
Undo/RedoCtrl + Z/YCmd + Z/Y
Move one word to the left/rightCtrl + left/right arrowOption + left/right arrow
Move to the start/end of a lineHome/EndCmd + left/right arrow
Move to the start/end of a documentCtrl + home/endCmd + fn + left/right arrow
Extend selection one character to the left/rightShift + left/right arrowShift + left/right arrow
Extend one word to the left/rightCtrl + shift + left/right arrowShift + option + left/right arrow
Extend selection to the beginning/end of a lineShift + home/endCmd + shift + right/left arrow
Extend selection one line up/downShift + up/down arrowShift + up/down arrow
Extend selection to the start/end of a paragraphCtrl + shift + up/down arrowCmd + shift + up/down arrow

Excel

ActionWindowsmacOS
Hide selected columnCtrl + 0Up arrow + 0
Hide selected rowCtrl + 9Up arrow + 9
Close workbookCtrl + WCmd + W
Insert new worksheetShift + F11Fn + ctrl + F11
Move selection to the rightTabTab
Move one cell to the leftShift + tabShift + tab
Hide selected columnCtrl + 0Ctrl + 0
Hide selected rowCtrl + 9Ctrl + 9
Minimize workbookCtrl + F9Cmd + M
Insert new worksheetShift + F11Fn + ctrl + F11

Keyboard shortcuts for Gmail

To enable keyboard shortcuts in Gmail, click Settings > See all settings and scroll down to keyboard shortcuts. Click “Keyboard shortcuts on.”

ActionWindowsmacOS
Add CCCtrl + shift + CCmd + shift + C
Add BCCCtrl + shift + BCmd + shift + B
Create new email (opens in new window)DD
Send emailTab + enterTab + enter
Add linkCtrl + KCmd + K
Mark as read/unreadShift + J/UShift + I/U
Go to next/previous emailK/JK/J

Keyboard shortcuts for Outlook

Outlook allows you to choose the keyboard shortcuts you want to enable. You can use the Outlook, Gmail, or Yahoo shortcuts. The ones listed below are for Outlook. To change your shortcut settings, click the settings icon and type “shortcuts.” Click “Keyboard shortcuts” and then select the style you want to use.

ActionWindowsmacOS
Create a new emailNCmd + N
Send emailCtrl + EnterCmd + return
Reply to messageCtrl + RCmd + R
Insert linkCtrl + KCmd + K
Create new folderCtrl + EShift + Cmd + N
Mark as read/unreadQ/UCmd + T/Shift + Cmd + T
Open email in new windowShift + enterCmd + O

Chrome

ActionWindowsmacOS
Open new windowCtrl + NCmd + N
Open new tabCtrl + TCmd + T
Move to next/previous tabCtrl + tab/shiftCmd + right/left arrow
Close current tabCtrl + WCmd + W
Close current windowCtrl + shiftCmd + shift + W
Show or hide the bookmarks barCtrl + shift + BCmd + shift + B
Open the downloads page in a new tabCtrl + JCmd + shift + J
Move cursor to the address barCtrl + F5Ctrl + F5
Save current page as bookmarkCtrl + DCmd + D

Firefox

ActionWindowsmacOS
Open new windowCtrl + NCmd + N
Open new tabCtrl + TCmd + T
Close current tabCtrl + WCmd + W
Close current windowCtrl + shift + WCmd + shift + W
Show/hide the bookmarks barCtrl + BCmd + B
Move cursor to the address barShift + enterShift + return
Save current page as bookmarkCtrl + DCmd + D

Keyboard shortcuts are a simple way to be more productive at work. If you really want to go for the gold, try Onehub’s powerful business software. It will keep you organized and on track no matter how busy work gets. Sign up today for a free 14-day trial.

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.

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!

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

The Pros and Cons of FTP for Secure Business File Sharing

File transfer protocol (FTP) turned 50 this year. In the fast-moving world of technology, that’s an eternity. File sharing looks much different now than it did half a century ago, but some companies are still using FTP to share their business files.

Is it time to say goodbye to file transfer protocol, or is it an oldie but goodie? That depends on a few factors. Before reading the pros and cons of FTP, answer these questions to help you get a better understanding of your file-sharing needs:   

  1. Does your business routinely share very large files or entire directories?
  2. Do you share files that contain sensitive information such as financial details, customer data, or intellectual property?
  3. Are you, your team, and your clients tech savvy?
  4. Do you have an in-house IT team?
  5. Does your business involve collaboration within your team or with clients?

The pros of FTP for file sharing

Move many large files at once 

If your business requires you to share huge amounts of data (think gigabytes, not megabytes) at once, FTP is a great option. Companies specializing in design such as engineers, architects, and graphic designers often have extremely large files that are impossible to transfer via email and slow to share via HTTPS. Using FTP is a big advantage in these situations because it can transfer large files more quickly. 

Transfer multiple file directories at once 

File transfer protocol doesn’t usually have the file size restrictions you see with email and other file-sharing programs. This means you can transfer multiple file directories at once, saving you from the time-consuming process of sharing these files or folders individually. FTP also facilitates a faster transfer speed while doing this than many FTP alternatives.

Never lose file transfer progress 

With FTP, you never have to worry about losing your transfer progress if you get disconnected from the network. FTP will automatically reconnect when the network is available and pick up right where it left off.

The cons of FTP for sharing business files

Not secure

With cybercrimes steadily on the rise, protecting your business data is more important than ever before. Unfortunately, FTP falls short in this area. Considering it was invented in the 1970s, before cybersecurity was a real concern, that’s not surprising.

FTP security concerns:

  • Your username, password, and files are all sent in plaintext. This means they’re not encrypted, and anyone listening in on your connection can easily steal your credentials and your business files.
  • Many security-conscious businesses use firewalls as a foundational layer of protection from digital security threats. Because of the multiple TCP/IP connections FTP uses, it doesn’t work well with firewalls. 
  • FTP is vulnerable to brute force attacks, and any weak or reused passwords will be cracked quickly. Most FTP clients don’t offer strong password enforcement, so you just have to trust that your employees are following password best practices. 

Difficult to use 

To say FTP isn’t user friendly is an understatement. The interface is overwhelming and intimidating. At first glance (and many subsequent glances), it looks like something only an IT person could understand. This is a serious drawback because it requires training — for your employees and your clients — to use correctly. 

Employees who are used to using cloud file-sharing and storage will not be easily persuaded to use FTP, and the same is true of your clients. Most clients won’t be happy having to use a clunky file-sharing solution when competitors are offering easier alternatives. 

No roles and permissions to customize access

FTP clients don’t usually offer the option to set customized levels of access for different users. Any user with the FTP credentials will have access to everything on the FTP server. This goes against modern cybersecurity protocols which recommend assigning employees the lowest level of access possible based on their job duties. Creating varying permission levels allows you to customize what every user can access. This is a proven digital security  method that lowers your risk of a data breach. 

No audit trails to track leaks

It’s a huge security advantage to be able to see who has viewed, edited, or downloaded a file and when they did it. Audit trails also provide important information for project collaboration such as a history of approvals and edits. Audit trails aren’t an option with FTP, making it difficult to track down the source of a leak or monitor project progress. 

Doesn’t support collaboration

Collaboration is essential for most businesses, whether exclusively between colleagues or between employees and clients. FTP makes it difficult to collaborate on a document with others as there’s no file syncing or version control available. Projects quickly devolve into chaos when people are working on a file in parallel rather than simultaneously or when no one can identify which file is the most updated version. 

Onehub offers the best of both worlds

You can weigh the pros and cons to decide whether you want to use FTP or a browser-based alternative. Or, you can choose Onehub and have modern, web-based file-sharing as well as a secure FTP gateway. 

Onehub user David Winters-McDonald, general manager of MPC Studios Inc., shares his experience with this hybrid file-transfer solution:  

“We decided to use Onehub rather than a traditional FTP server because of the easy-to-use interface and because it was very simple to set up. It was not unusual for us to have to train our clients to use FTP, whereas with Onehub it was all very intuitive… My favorite feature is that file sharing can be accessed through an easy-to-use web interface or through a traditional FTP client. This suits both the tech savvy and the tech novices.”

A secure FTP option

Unlike traditional options, Onehub’s FTP gateway is protected with bank-level encryption. Your username, password, and files are encrypted and transferred over a secure connection, providing your business with enterprise-level digital security protection. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of file transfer protocol without any of the security disadvantages. 

Browser-based file sharing 

Using the cloud for file sharing is a modern solution that supports the way businesses operate today. Remote working and collaborative efforts are the norm now, so teams need a file-sharing option that provides file version control, real-time file syncing, easy remote access from any device, and effective communication tools. 

Try our free 14-day trial to experience Onehub’s cloud-based file sharing and secure FTP option.

6 Tips to Create Strong Passwords & Keep Your Accounts Secure

In 2014, eBay was targeted by hackers. They stole the credentials of three employees and had 229 days of total access to eBay’s network. They used that time to steal the personal information and passwords of 145 million users. 

Breaches like this are becoming increasingly common, so your employees must understand how to create strong passwords and keep their business accounts secure. 

6 best practices to create strong passwords and keep your business accounts secure 

1. Create long, complex, and unique passwords 

It’s no surprise that people often create short, simple passwords; they’re just easier to remember. Unfortunately, they’re also a cinch to crack. 

Hackers can crack a simple and commonly used password such as “password123” in approximately .29 milliseconds. An account with a password like that might as well not even have one. In contrast, a long, unique, and complex password such as “DOfi8!ryODoyEsNe8b” would take about 1 trillion years to crack. No one’s got that much time to spare, so your account is much safer. 

A strong password has a minimum of 16 characters and includes a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. It also has to be unique. Without the unique factor, it’s entirely possible to have a terrible password that follows all of these guidelines (e.g., Iloveyou1234567!). 

If you combine a solid password with smart cybersecurity practices such as keeping your devices updated, you can rest easy knowing your accounts are about as safe as they can get. 

2. Sentences or phrases are better than single words

It’s quick and easy for single-word passwords to be compromised. Never make your password a single word, even if it’s “disenfranchisement” or something similarly long. Hackers can use dictionary attacks to crack this using software that tries all the words in a dictionary or other word list successively until it finds a match. 

3. Don’t include personal information in your passwords

The amount of personal information that’s readily available on social media and other public websites is staggering. It’s no trouble for a hacker to find out your full name, date of birth, partner’s name, pet’s name, etc. This type of information should never be used in your passwords.

4. Use two-factor authentication to render stolen passwords useless

Two-factor authentication is a method of account verification that requires a password and a second piece of information to complete your login. The second factor is often a PIN, a security code sent to a mobile device, or security questions. For more advanced 2FA, the second factor could include biometrics such as voice or facial recognition. 

Two-factor authentication provides an added level of security for your accounts, and it should be used with any business accounts that offer it. Some users find 2FA frustrating because it adds additional time to the login process; however, this extra step takes less than a handful of seconds. The reward is well worth it as 2FA seriously ups the security level of your accounts by rendering stolen passwords useless. 

Because some employees find the extra step of two-factor authentication frustrating, they may opt not to use it on their business accounts despite company policy. Onehub addresses this issue with our Advanced, Data Room, and Unlimited plans. Administrators can require two-factor authentication across the entire account to ensure secure, stress-free cloud storage and file sharing. 

5. Encrypt stored passwords

One drawback of having unique and complex passwords is that they’re difficult to remember. If you’ve created a document to track your passwords, make sure it’s encrypted. Encryption makes your text unreadable to unauthorized people who don’t have the decryption key. 

The type of encryption you use matters, too. For example, Onehub uses 256-bit encryption to protect data both in transit and at rest. This is the same level of encryption used by banks and the CIA. Cracking it would take approximately 27 vigintillion years, which is longer than our universe has even existed. 

6. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts

You’re probably tired of hearing this, but 51% of people keep doing it, so it bears repeating — do not reuse passwords. None of your accounts, personal or professional, should ever share a password. If your password is stolen or hacked, you can minimize the damage by keeping the breach to one account. 

Onehub is all about security. We offer two-factor authentication, 256-bit encryption, and strong password requirements. We can keep your passwords and other business data safely encrypted and stored within your Workspace for easy access. Try us out for free for 14 days!

How to Maintain a Human Connection With Clients While Social Distancing.

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way many companies interact with their clients and partners. Whether you’ve moved from a brick-and-mortar store to online sales or switched to zoom meetings with clients instead of an in-person visit, you’ve added some physical distance in your business relationships. 

It can be difficult to keep up the same level of customer care that your business once provided. Though all reasonable clients and customers will understand the need for this change, it still has a powerful subconscious impact on their view of your company. It’s easy for them to feel like they’re out of the loop on project updates or that their issues are not a top priority anymore. 

In an interview for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow explains that the pandemic has created “an opportunity to have [a] longer term, deeper relationship with consumers.”  

To build this relationship, you have to find ways to add a human touch to your socially distanced client experiences. 

Be more empathetic.

It’s not accurate to say that there’s a silver lining to this pandemic, but this collective crisis does mean it’s easier to empathize with others. Rather than a personal crisis that may be difficult to relate to, there’s a universal understanding of the trials and stresses COVID-19 has created. 

It’s likely some of your clients are dealing with sick family members, an unemployed spouse, or an “office” that’s surrounded by barking dogs and screaming children. Keep this in mind if you have a client who’s late sending an important file or hasn’t responded to your emails promptly. 

A good perspective to focus on right now is to assume positive intent. Chances are, your client would very much like to move their project along but is having a hard time keeping up with things right now. Assuming positive intent allows you to respond with empathy instead of annoyance. 

Increase communication, and be mindful of your words 

One of the best ways to maintain a strong connection with your clients is to increase your communication. Give them more frequent updates on projects, bids, or fundraisers. This will assure them that they haven’t been forgotten and that your team is still working hard for them.

When emailing clients or customers, keep in mind that it’s difficult to convey tone through the written word. Take a minute to reread your message, looking for language that could unintentionally come across as harsh. Emotions naturally run high during crises like a pandemic, so approach interactions with more care than usual. 

If your clients are comfortable using video calls, try to schedule a weekly call to check in on them and cover any important updates. Seeing each other creates a level of emotional connection that an email or traditional call can’t replicate. If video calls aren’t an option, a phone call is the next best option. 

Emails are great for conveying information, but they generally feel impersonal. You don’t have to replace all of your emails with video or phone calls, but reaching out this way about once a week is a great way to remind your clients or customers that they still matter.

Provide easy-to-use collaboration tools.

If you provide a service that requires a cooperative effort from your clients, it’s more important than ever to provide them with tools to collaborate efficiently. 

On a normal day, your clients probably had a hundred things vying for their attention. The pandemic has added the additional stresses of adapting to remote work, feeling isolated from friends and colleagues, and concerns about the health of their loved ones. Your business has to make it as simple as possible for them to provide the files or information your team needs. If it’s at all difficult, that task is going to get pushed aside.

A great digital Workspace or Client Portal will provide the tools that make it easy for clients to work with you. MossWarner uses Onehub’s Workspaces. Vice President Marcy Kalina says, “It delights our clients to have their own area and provides special value to them.” MossWarner creates customized Workspaces to accommodate the unique needs of hundreds of clients. 

The value of this type of personalized digital space has only increased since the pandemic. It’s a clear sign that your company is invested in your clients and takes their need for easy collaboration and secure file sharing seriously. With an easy-to-use interface and features such as tasks, comments, file syncing, and granular user permissions, your clients will stay engaged throughout every project.

Be adaptable to client needs and lenient with policies.

Now is not the time to strictly enforce company policies that make life harder for your clients. Consider waiving late fees and extending deadlines. You want your clients to feel like you have their backs right now. Penalizing them for minor infractions sends the opposite message.

If they’re having trouble operating within your typical business policies, try to identify an alternative solution. For example, if your client can’t seem to get your team the assets needed for a website redesign, see if they’d agree to give your company temporary access to their file storage. Your team will get what they need to keep the project on schedule, and your client will undoubtedly be grateful that you’ve taken this task off their plate. 

This doesn’t mean your company should allow clients a free pass to ignore invoices or behave badly. Just be open to finding outside-the-box solutions for your clients and extend a little grace and understanding whenever possible.

It pays to be nice.

Your clients are wearily navigating the continued stresses caused by COVID-19. You can deepen business relationships now by maintaining a human touch. Empathy, communication, and (ironically) technology are the perfect tools to make your clients’ lives easier. They’ll remember these small acts of kindness and consideration, and you’ll be repaid tenfold in customer loyalty and referrals. 

Give your clients and your team the gift of Onehub’s customizable Workspaces. Sign up today for a free 14-day trial.

4 Tips for Managing Your Digital Business Records.

What’s the difference between a record and a document?

All business records are documents, but not all business documents are records. 

Think of business records as historical documents. Their purpose is to keep an account of important details about your business, employees, and finances. 

Some records have specific retention periods, either determined by law or based on best practices. For example, the federal government requires companies to keep payroll records for at least three years. 

In contrast, a business document is often a “living” file that is regularly updated or changed. These are the types of files most of your staff will create and work on daily. 

While documents can contain sensitive information, they aren’t subject to legal retention periods or other restrictions. These types of files can include details such as a client’s project preferences, instructions for creating a report, or who’s in charge of bringing dessert to the company potluck.

Why do you need a document management plan for your business records?

Business records could be requested by a governing body in your industry, during a legal trial, or for an IRS audit. If asked to produce these records, it’s in your company’s best interest for you to know exactly how to find them. You never want to be in a situation where you have to tell the IRS or a lawyer that your business records are a mess, and you can’t give them what they need. There are serious fines and other penalties for not properly maintaining records.

Keeping business records organized and in legal compliance isn’t something that happens intuitively. Your company must create a document management plan that covers types of records, how they’re stored, how long they must be kept, and how to properly archive or dispose of them. 

4 tips for managing your digital business records

1. Identify retention periods and disposition methods.

For each type of record your business has, document how long it must be kept and where it should be stored. Consider the legal, administrative, and historical value of the records. The types of records and the legal retention periods associated with them will vary depending on your industry. 

A good rule of thumb is to keep original records such as profit-loss statements, tax returns, property records, and invoices for seven years. However, you’ll want to consult with your accounting, HR, or legal department to find out specific requirements for your business. 

In your document management plan, identify how to handle records once they reach the end of their usefulness or mandated retention. For digital records that aren’t highly confidential, you can simply hit the trash can icon to remove the file from your online storage. If you need to ensure a file is not easily recoverable, you can use software to overwrite the data. 

When disposing of records, be sure to keep a log that names the record and the date it was destroyed. This step is often overlooked, but these details can be vital if a legal issue pops up after the record has been destroyed.  

2. Establish access levels and permissions. 

Most companies these days keep digital copies of their records. This saves physical storage space and makes the files easy to search for. Records that are stored in the cloud have the added benefit of customizable security options. 

Determine a system for identifying the security level required for each type of record. Should only the business owner have access? Does the entire HR department need to access the records? As a general rule, you want to keep access to records as limited as possible to reduce the chances of someone mishandling the file in some way.

Once you’ve established who should have access to which records, determine what type of access they should have. For example, Onehub provides administrators granular control over users’ roles and permissions. You can decide who can view, edit, share, or download documents, and you can revoke this access at any time. To ensure you’ve granted the correct permission levels, you can “view as” each role to see what type of access that role actually has.

Creating distinct access levels for your files is much more difficult if you’re using a physical server. You may be able to password protect folders or a specific record, but you won’t be able to specify how each individual with access can interact with the file. There may be several employees who need to view the file but should not have permission to alter or delete it. That type of nuanced security isn’t available with a file that only has password protection. 

3. Ensure business records are stored and shared securely.

Business records almost always contain information that’s best kept confidential, so it’s vital to ensure your employees understand secure file sharing methods. If you’re using a cloud storage system such as Onehub, employees who have access to records will be able to share them safely without leaving the platform. Your records will be protected by bank-level encryption, and you can add additional security layers such as password protection and document watermarks.

For other file storage systems such as physical servers, carefully consider the security of the file-sharing option you choose. Email is often people’s go-to method, but it’s inherently insecure. FTP is another common option. This method can be more secure than email, though you’ll need to thoroughly vet the security protocols of the FTP vendor you choose.

It’s also important to have a plan for disaster recovery of your records. Whether you store your them in the cloud or an on-premise server, regular backups are a must. Backups ensure that you can retrieve your business records even if disaster strikes.

4. Conduct regular records maintenance.

Once you’ve created your records management plan, establish a schedule for maintaining it. This will keep you aware of any issues before they become serious problems. 

Despite everyone’s best efforts, it’s easy for this type of work to fall by the wayside once employees get busy with customers. A good maintenance plan will check that files are being stored in the proper place (e.g., in the cloud and not on someone’s desktop) and that employees are following secure file-sharing practices. Ensure that old files are being disposed of or archived to keep the storage space uncluttered.

With a solid document management system in place and regular maintenance, your company’s records will stay secure and compliant with legal obligations and best practices. 

Creating, maintaining, and disposing of records is a core part of successful business operations. Sign up for Onehub’s free 14-day trial to see how easy proper records management can be.