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Stay Scam Safe with our top tips

Telephone scams, which target both business and residential customers, are always a nuisance. Here are some top tips to help you stay scam safe:

Don’t trust the number on the display

Scammers are able to present numbers to make it appear like they are calling from the company they are claiming to call from. A legitimate company will always be happy for you to end the call and call them back.

If you answer a call and it is an automated message giving you the option to press a key to call back: don’t!

You have no way of verifying what number you will then be connected to. This leaves you unable to verify if you are being connected to the organisation or company that the call claims to be from. You may also end up with a large bill – many scams use this method to route you on to a premium rate number which generates charges that go straight into the scammers pockets.

If you do decide to call a company back, ideally call from an alternative number

If this is not possible then it is best to wait a while before using your line to dial out. Scammers have been known to keep lines open so you think you are dialing out to the legitimate organisation, but instead are still talking to them. They have even been known to play dummy dial tones down the line.

Never allow these callers to talk you through installing anything on your computer

Deep Blue and many other companies do, on occasion, use remote desktop facilities to carry out work on customer’s behalf. We will never contact you out of the blue to do this. This is only ever done on a prearranged basis. If remote works are needed we will agree a date and time with you in advance and give you details of the engineer who will be contacting you.

Deep Blue will never call you asking for immediate payment over the phone

If an invoice should fall overdue we will send notification to the registered accounts contact advising them of this, along with details on how they can pay.

Deep Blue will never threaten to immediately cease your service due to payment or usage issues.

We always endeavour to work with our customers to resolve issues before they reach the point of having their service suspended. On the rare occasions that we do have to suspend a service we always provide written notice of this before it happens, along with details of how to prevent this from happening.

Use the resources available to you to Stay Scam Safe

If you are using a landline: make sure you have registered for TPS. This can’t stop all nuisance calls getting through to you but it can reduce the number. For customers on the Horizon platform, the blacklist can be used to block nuisance numbers. Check with your provider to see what kind of fraud protection services they have in place.

At Deep Blue we work with our carriers to provide a range of added safety services on our lines as standard. These services monitor your call traffic and can alert us to any suspicious activity. They can even automatically apply temporary call barring to limit your exposure should you get hacked or scammed.

To discuss your telecoms, contact us at theteam@deepbluetelecom.co.uk or on 0333 240 9100. If you would like to know more on how to stay scam safe, the Met police have a number of resources available like their Little Booklet of Phone Scams.

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Changing Communication Provider – It’s easier than you think

How crucial is telecommunications to your business?

The fact is that having the ability to make and receive calls, access data and line of business applications, and get online is crucial for every small business. And so is value for money!

You should closely monitor how your communication systems are performing, and whether or not you are getting the best deal you can for the best service in the current market. If everything isn’t as it should be, it may be time to change!

A good time to move

With the switch off coming, the chances are you are already thinking about reassessing your telephone supply, and potentially making the move.  

A good rule of thumb for all small businesses is to begin assessment of your communication systems a couple of months before your current contract is due for renewal, particularly if looking at alternatives to a traditional analogue line service. And to never forget that date!

Did you know that you can tell us your renewal date and we’ll remind you when the time is right, providing a no obligation quote, so you’ll have everything you need when it’s decision time.

Where to look for help

Our services are built bespoke to you and designed to make your business communications easier to manage, administrate & cost.

Our team will ensure that you get exactly what you need right now with the capacity to grow as your business does.

Take a look at our services here

Here at Deep Blue we look after the complicated side of things, so you can focus on what you do best, your business.

Call our team to discuss your requirements 0333 240 9100.

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HELPFUL GUIDE: Upgrade to the new Collaborate App

Support for the old version will cease on 31st July 2022. Please ensure you have upgraded before this date.

Be aware that interoperability between the old and new clients is poor, so once you are happy with your new client, please remember to remove the old version of Horizon Softphone and Collaborate from your device(s).

Please choose your required format.

iOS

This client is for Softphone and Collaborate users using an Apple mobile phone or tablet device running iOS. The download link will take you to the app listing in the Apple App Store.

Android

This client is for Softphone and Collaborate users with a mobile device running Android. The download link will take you to the app listing in the Google Play Store.

PC

This is the desktop client for Softphone and Collaborate suitable for users on a laptop or PC running Windows.

Mac

This is the desktop client for Softphone and Collaborate suitable for users with Apple Mac’s running OSX.

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Connectivity+ Vouchers

The Connectivity+ Voucher scheme is offering funding of between £2,000 and £12,500 to help local businesses cover the cost of upgrading to faster, more reliable digital connections or broadband.

As a company based in Wetherby and providing services to many businesses in the surrounding area, we know all too well how inconsistent broadband speeds can be around here. An office at one end of the street may be enjoying superfast fibre, while just a few doors down, they may be getting by on a 3 Mbps ADSL connection.

We’ve worked hard over the years to try out many ways of delivering connectivity to our end users and we are pleased with the improvements we have been able to offer to many local companies. But we know that many of these solutions come at a cost and, particularly in the current climate, this may leave faster broadband still out of reach of some businesses.

This is where the Connectivity+ Voucher scheme comes in.

These vouchers are designed to help cover some of the costs of upgrading your connection.

Vouchers can also be used to cover other costs associated including:

  • The actual cost of the installation i.e. the cost of the physical connection, including excess construction costs to reach a network
  • Hardware related to facilitating the connection e.g. a firewall, router, receiver/antennae (for wireless connections)
  • Virtual servers and software licences (subject to limitation of upfront costs only)
  • Internal ethernet network cabling
  • Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony
  • Consultancy/project management cost to install a connection – capped at 25% of the value of a voucher

They can even cover some, or all, of the cost of the first year’s rental of a connectivity solution providing the first year is paid to the supplier in full at the start of the contract.

To find out more about what options may be available to help your business take its connectivity to the next level, call 0333 240 9100 or email the team@deepbluetelecom.co.uk

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Employee Leaving – seven things to remember

An employee leaving is often a stressful time – and if it’s not a happy split could cost your business thousands in lost revenue or expenses. Here are seven tips you can take to protect your business and make the employee leaving as hassle free as possible.

1 Numbers

Did the leaver have a DDi? Don’t miss a call by recording a voicemail message to say it’s no longer in use or forwarding the number on. Learn how to do this for Horizon, InBound and iPecs.  If the employee leaving was part of any Hunt Groups make sure to edit these.

2 Email

Change the password on any email accounts the employee leaving had access to. Consider how you are going to manage the closing of that email address. Shutting it down too quickly may result in customers and suppliers not being able to reach you, or worse, new business opportunities being missed. Use options like forwarders to send any emails to alternative addresses and auto responders to let people know that that email is no longer in use.

3 Infrastructure

If the leaver was involved in the management of your telecoms systems, IT infrastructure or any other technical systems you have, make sure these are reviewed. Change login details, review user permissions and update security settings. Find out how to make changes to your Deep Blue provided services at our knowledgebase.

4 Portals

With workers moving away from the traditional office environment, many systems now have online portals. These can be accessed anywhere at anytime. Take time to review portals to make sure that they are up to date and that only those who should have access, do. To find out how to manage your Deep Blue provided services visit our knowledgebase.

5 Suppliers

Suppliers are the lifeblood of many companies. If the leaver dealt with your company’s suppliers make sure they are updated. Tell them of the employee leaving and who their new point of contact will be. You can update your Deep Blue approved contact by completing our Contact details form.

6 Training

Arrange training for new staff so they are ready to take over from the employee leaving. At Deep Blue we provide free refresher and new starter training on Horizon and InBound. Specialist training on other systems with one of our highly trained engineers is also available. To learn more or to book email theteam@deepbluetelecom.co.uk or call 0333 240 9100.

7 Leaving do

Plan the party safe in the knowledge that everything else is taken care of (whether you invite the leaver is up to you….)

As business communication specialists Deep Blue are available to support you – whatever the situation. Not yet a customer? Speak to us today about moving your services to Deep Blue.

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Phone Hacking – an unexpected cost to businesses

Think of phone hacking and you probably think of news reports of newspapers gaining access to the phones of celebrities and politicians to gather information. What you may not think of is criminals hacking into the phone systems of businesses.

Once access has been gained to a company’s network, this can be used to illegally route calls, either to make international calls or even to generate revenue from premium-rate numbers, all at the expense of the hacked company.

Usually, after the companies have closed (often at weekends, bank holidays or during Christmas shut down to help avoid detection) the hackers have gained access to the network and called premium rate (09) and special rate (0871) numbers which they earn revenue from. In some cases, this revenue is used to fund organised crime and terrorist activity. Many businesses are unaware that they are liable for any charges generated during these attacks and that getting this money back is a lengthy process.

A case in America that made it to court uncovered an international criminal gang that had access to over 2,500 PBX’s and had illegally routed calls to the value of $55million dollars. Another case of note, and probably the most high-profile UK victim was New Scotland Yard.

The average call charges faced by a company hit by this type of hacking is £10,000.

As you can see by the figures above, phone hacking is a serious crime and in all cases, we advise affected parties to notify the police as soon as the hack is brought to their attention. The called numbers should also be reported to Ofcom and Phonepay Plus.

As with computer hacking, there are measures to reduce this risk of being hit, however as fast as these measures close one door, the hackers find ways to open another.

One of the main ways access is gained is through services such as voicemail which allow you to dial into a network externally, but there are simple steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of this happening. Ensure all ways of accessing your network are password protected (just as you would put a password on your wireless internet network), change these passwords from the system default and ideally update them often, don’t share passwords, make passwords as long and complicated as possible (many hackers have sophisticated methods that can crack passwords 16 digits long) and keep all access codes secure (some victims had calls from individuals claiming to be from telephone companies asking codes to do work on the network or to update their security).

It is also worth considering what kinds of calls you make; does your business need to be able to call premium rate or international numbers? If not, consider call barring features so if your network was compromised, it would be harder for extensive call charges to be built up.

At Deep Blue we take the security of our customers seriously which is why we partner with a number of developers and services to provide additional security to our customers. We use multi-level monitoring systems to track call traffic volumes. These alert us and can even automatically apply outbound call barring should suspicious activity be found.

If phone hacking is something you are concerned about or if you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to contact one of our friendly support staff, 0333 240 9100.

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Nothing is going to stop us celebrating this Christmas!

Prepare your business for the festive break now and avoid the last-minute rush!

It’s the time of year when staff holidays, festive shutdowns and events start to fill up your diaries.

It’s worth thinking about what days and hours your office will be open.

What will you do when the office is closed?

Will you send calls to voicemail, leave a message to say you are shut or do you need to divert your calls for emergencies?

Have you thought about how you will notify your customers of your Festive opening hours?

Will your staff be working from home?

Many of our services offer a range of options to manage your calls during this time. Some like InBound and Horizon can even have schedules created so that numbers divert automatically. See our guide for help with setting up schedules in Horizon and Inbound here

Our staff are happy to talk to you about your options for managing your calls over the holidays. We also understand that you can’t always deal with these things by yourself, which is why we are always happy to help you pre-programme any changes.

We just ask that you please let us know as early as possible.

Contact us on 0333 240 9100 or by emailing theteam@deepbluetelecom.co.uk

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The future depends on what we do in the present…

How we connect in our business has changed dramatically over the last few years and it’s all for the better! With each upgrade, we see faster more reliable speeds.

For something we use so often, it’s hard to believe that we have developed so quickly – long gone are the oversized computers with dial-up connections!

Here’s a brief look at how we have progressed in our world of connectivity.

Past

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)

DSL uses copper telephone lines to transmit digital data. It is painfully slow with max download speeds of 20Mbps and max upload speeds of 2Mbps. DSL strangles the digital capabilities of all but the smallest businesses.

Present

FTTC (Fibre-to-the-cabinet)

With FTTC, data runs at lightning speed through fibre until it reaches the street cabinet. Here it is translated into slow electrical signals passing across a copper cable into your building. Speeds are inconsistent, dropping at peak times, and will tend to max out at 80Mbps.

Future

FTTP (Fibre-to-the-premises)

FTTP brings full fibre directly to your building. With no copper to slow data down, FTTP networks can easily run at gigabit speeds – that’s up to 1000Mbps and beyond – ideal for remote backups, data heavy cloud services and VoIP.

Offering capacity rich and fit for the future connections, with a core network capable of supporting every home, business, school, mobile and public site with unlimited capacity on day one.

Can you get FTTP yet? Call our team who will find out for you 0333 240 9100

Click here to see how you can connect your business to transform the way you work online.