Covid-19 and the Impact on Businesses

Covid-19 CoronaVirus

Due to the nature of Covid-19 and the fast pace changes which are occurring, we all have to adapt and prepare for an unknown duration of interruption to our private and working lives.

As a business, we are as prepared as much as we can be and do not foresee any interruption in service during this period. All our servers are colocated and the backbone provider has assured us of ample support during the time ahead.

Be aware of the potential for an increase in Malware, Spam and Scams

Experts at the NCSC have revealed phishing attacks exploiting worries over COVID-19. There are numerous examples of cyber attacks worldwide since the Coronavirus outbreak.

On 16 February, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned of fraudulent emails sent by criminals posing as the WHO. This followed a warning from the US Federal Trade Commission about scammers spreading phishing ‘clickbait’ via email and social media, as well as creating fraudulent websites to sell fake antiviral equipment.

Individuals in the UK have been targeted by Coronavirus-themed phishing emails with infected attachments containing fictitious ‘safety measures.’ According to Proofpoint researchers, such attacks have recently become more targeted, with greater numbers focusing on specific sectors like shipping, transport or retail to increase the likelihood of success.

There is a strong possibility that people who begin working from home, could be using computers which are not as up to date, as their work machines. Our advice is to check that any devices you use are patched and fully up to date and running anti-virus software. Out of date software is an easy target and with an increase in criminal activity, it is important to ensure your systems are as secure as possible.

Software to Help those Working from Home

If you are not using G-Suite, you might benefit from some of the following tools which can aid communication with staff, friends and family.

  • WhatsApp (reliable messaging and secure, perfect for friends, family and business)
  • Trello (perfect for organising personal and commercial tasks)
  • Team Viewer (a handy tool for remote access of computers for customers, friends or family)
  • File Sharing (DropBoxGoogle Drive) – If you need access to work files / or to collaborate with others, these are handy to use.
  • Slack (a collaborative tool with 5GB space free. This can help you collaborate with others effectively.)
  • Workplace (a new tool by Facebook and similar to slack)
  • ToDoist (a handy little tool to create actionable to-do lists. For G-Suite customers, you can also use the built-in Tasks app)

All of these apps have FREE versions, you can use to help whilst working from home.

Use your time at home to perform tasks you don’t normally have time for

Now is an opportune time to think about getting on with business once the mayhem passes. Over the coming weeks, here are some of the things we would encourage site owners to consider. 

  • When was the last time you backed up your website?
  • When was the last time you updated it?
  • Have you audited your website to check for compliance?
  • Are you legally entitled to email existing customers and do you have the right consent logged?
  • Have you looked at your work calendar and considered events and meetings which may need to be adjusted or postponed?
  • Plan offers, incentives, meet-ups and events for the future. Your customers (we all) need to spread positivity amidst panic and alarm.

Website Notices and Information for your Customers

Now is a good time to be thinking about the impact on your business and how you will communicate with your customers during a potential lockdown. If you have websites which have been created by us or others, now is a good time to be planning messages for your websites and/or social media channels. Even, if the messages are not released yet, preparation is key, especially IF you need any help from W.E.B.S Ltd to implement any changes. Please remember, we have lots of clients and are seeing an increase in demand for notices and adjustments to websites.

Customers using WordPress and Joomla (or other CMS websites) are able to post updates themselves. If you need help with specific alerts, popups, mail outs etc, let us know by raising a support ticket.

Google – Offer to Existing G-Suite Users

Customers who use the G-Suite platform should now, can use the Hangouts Premium service free during this period.

The paid version of Hangouts Meet will be free until July 1. Some of the Premium features businesses and schools can benefit from the most during this time include:

  • An increased limit of 250 participants per call.
  • Live streaming with an increased audience limit of up to 100,000 viewers within a domain.
  • The ability to record meetings and save them to Google Drive.

This will assist businesses who need to connect with large amounts of people online with an option to save meetings for others to view at a later time.

Support Response Times

At the moment, we see no increase in support times and will try to avoid any unnecessary delays to support tickets. Obviously, staff illness can impact response times but this is likely to only be a short term impact if noticeable at all. I would ask all customers to use support tickets rather than e-mail, especially during this time, due to an increase in overall e-mail activity. We can support more efficiently in our ticket system.

Projects / Ongoing Developments

Current project work is as yet un-affected although a small increase in project timescales is a possibility. If any of our developers contract the virus, they will need time to recover. Overall, the impact on projects ongoing is negligible and we have options to bring in extra developers if needed.

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