Tech Tips for Techs: Outlook Signature Creation

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I recently had a client ask me how to input photos and hyperlinks into  his Outlook signatures, to make them stand-out better. I realized this is an often-overlooked art that should be well-known.

In order to recreate the steps necessary for this blog, I am using an Exchange account with Outlook 2010. Your results might vary.

In order to edit and create signatures, in Outlook 2010 you can browse to:

File –>Options –>Mail –>Signatures. 

This opens a window that allows you to create and edit your signatures. Let’s start by creating a new signature. 

Set up the normal text you need in the signature. As you can see, the options you are given is very similar to Word. You can modify the color, font and size of all text. Input everything you need and, once done, you are ready to insert hyperlinks and really take your signature to another level.

The first step is to download all of the photos you need in your signatures. Many professional social media sites give you links that they prefer you to use. Microsoft also gives you links and a brief tutorial here as well.

Once you have the photos downloaded, you can insert them into your signature. Click on the “insert picture” link, navigate to your photo, and insert it into your signature.

Sign1Once your picture is in the signature, click on it (you will see blocks appear around the picture) and click the hyperlink button.

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This opens a new window that allows you to type the hyperlink you need to input.

sign3The middle area does not matter what it is set on. You just to have to ensure you are choosing the first option on the left “Existing file or Web Page,” and then type the address properly in the address bar. Once you do that, you will have a clickable link in your signature!

A couple of things to note about Outlook signatures: The type of signature creation I am reviewing with you is only for users who can read HTML emails. If the client to whom you are sending an email cannot read HTML for their email (i.e. if they are using Outlook Web Access), then they can only see Plain Text.

Plain Text is a type of view that does not allow for pictures, or any editable features, such as colored, specialized fonts. I would also recommend creating a signature that you can use for Plain Text, should you need it. This is just a standard signature with no color, no special fonts, no pictures or hyperlinks. You can then pick and choose what signature to use. This is convenient to ensure any formatting you create always stays current with your brand.

Also, once you input the pictures, you do not need to save them on your machine, as once you input them into Outlook, Outlook takes the pictures and saves them into their AppData. If you set up your signature and test, be aware that if you are testing with an account that cannot send the email back in HTML, it will break the links.

One example is if you set up the links, then send to your Gmail account, and respond via Gmail on a smartphone, it will send the email back and the formatting will show the name of the picture, and NOT the picture itself (hyper-links will still work, but you won’t see your photo)

See below for an idea of what this looks like when you receive a reply that is not formatted in HTML:

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Pictures can be in any format that is acceptable for pictures (.gif, .jpeg, .png), and when you add them to your signature, it really enhances the look and marketability of your brand!

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Silk Road 2.0: The Latest in the Cybercrime Fight

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Most consumers have probably never heard of the stuff I am going to discuss here, however, it’s very important for the security and health of the Internet. This week police forces made a great breakthrough against what is considered the “black market” of the Internet. Seventeen arrests were made in cooperation between US and European forces, in relation to the Silk Road 2.0. This is a secret cache of websites that runs off the Tor Network, a specialized network that is not searchable via common search engines. The websites that were shut down total around 400. Most of them dealt in illegal drugs and weapons.

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The Tor Network, sometimes just called Tor, is a very dark place within our Internet world. It was originally set up by the US to assist people fighting against oppressive regimes, however, it is now overrun with illegal sites, including ones that do more than just selling illegal drugs and firearms. It includes sites for child exploitation, and it is a place where extremist groups (such as ISIS and Al-Qaida) operate, so it is constantly targeted for shutdown through all specialized cybercrime sources. To get to the Tor Network (which I am not going to explain here), you have to set up specialized proxies and VPNs to re-route your traffic and find these sites.

The Silk Road 2.0, a notoriously dark area within Tor, was set up in October after the original Silk Road was shut down and the owner arrested. (Not everyone agrees with the latest shutdown.) As a consumer, there is not much needed to protect yourself from the Silk Road. It is not a location that targets consumers. It is really a place for black market activities. You should be aware of where your family members go online. You should also be aware of similar things with your staff, if you own a business. There are many nefarious locations on the Internet that you need to be aware of so you can protect your family and/or your company.

First off, ensure that your antivirus is up to date on all machines in your home and office. If you have a special router, ensure its firmware is up to date and all passwords have been changed from their default settings. In addition, you can download tools to help review where your family or staff goes online. You can also put proxies in place to prevent people from stumbling onto bad websites.

Here are some great sites to protect your children from dangerous sites online:
http://www.onguardonline.gov/topics/protect-kids-online and
http://www.netsmartz.org/Parents.

If you need help setting up similar protections for your workplace — or if you even want to manage (or block) the time your employees spend on social media (or other adult sites) – feel free to call our experts at Everon. We are just a phone call away: 1-888-244-1748.

 

Tech tips for techs: Are you unable to access Options in Office 365 OWA?

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In this TechTip, I’m going to try and save someone the headache that’s plagued me for over a week by providing the TL;DR solution to an oddity we came across in Outlook Web App (Access) for Office 365. If ever you find yourself getting a 403 “Sorry! Access denied!” error when trying to get into OWA… check this first:

- Log into MOP as an admin
- Get to the Exchange Admin Center
- Click Permissions -> User Roles
- Highlight the Default Role Assignment Policy, and then click Edit

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- Scroll to the bottom of the list, and verify that MyBaseOptions is checked. (If not, check it and click save.)

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When a tenant is provisioned inside of 365, there are a default set of options that get set – and sometimes this process doesn’t complete or finish correctly. That having been said, sometimes we see weird oddities within 365 that aren’t explainable by a service outage, which turns us to checking the obvious things that we take for granted as being set or configured appropriately.

Sharing documents with other users within Office 365′s OneDrive for Business

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Welcome back. As you can tell, there have been many of articles lately surrounding Microsoft Office 365 and its offering. We have been really focused on getting out information regarding this product, as this is something that is taking off like wildfire. Even though it has been around a while, companies are starting to realize the value in a cloud/hosted solution, because of the expenses saved from not having to have a server, and the convenience and security of having everything automatically backed up. So today, we will be discussing another function within the Office 365 product: sharing files and folders with others, within your company.

This article is going to give a brief overview of utilizing 365′s OneDrive for Business application to share data.  As this is a 10,000 foot view of this feature, please feel free to contact an Engineer at Everon for more information after reading this article, or respond via the website, Facebook, or our Twitter feed.

1) You will want to create a new folder that you will keep the “shared” files in.

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2) Make sure the new folder is “checked” and then click the “…” and select share.

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3) Select the user you would like to share with and select their level of permissions.

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4) Now, the user will get an email with the link of the folder which they can click, or they can log into their own OneDrive and on the left hand side they will see the selection for “Shared With Me”.

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Tech Tips for Techs: How to change CD key for Windows 7

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Sometimes you will need to re-add your CD key to Windows 7 or change your Windows 7 CD key. This process is actually really straightforward and fairly easy to do.

1: Change Product Key through Windows

You can change the Product Key in Windows 7 by navigating the following: Start -> right-click Computer -> Choose Properties. If you scroll to the bottom of the page where it says that Windows is activated, there is a link to Change Product Key. If that link is unavailable, proceed to step 2.

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2:Change Product Key through the Command Prompt

Click on the Start Button and type: CMD.EXE into the “Search Programs and Files” Field in the Start Menu. The Start Menu will show CMD.EXE at the top of the Menu.

Right-Click the CMD.EXE file and select “Run as Administrator”.

In the Command window type: slmgr.vbs -ipk product key and hit Enter (the product key should be located on a sticker on the top of the computer)

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To Activate Windows after changing the Product Key, type: slmgr.vbs -ato

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