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VersaTrust has been serving the Texas area since 1997 , providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Machine learning boosts productivity

Did you know that the applications you use learn something new about you every day? If you’re using any of the G Suite applications, their machine learning algorithms -- a set of mechanisms that study usage patterns -- derive data based on your work patterns and frequently used files, and then make sensible suggestions accordingly. Don’t worry about your system’s security, as this is just part of Google’s efforts to enhance the overall user experience.

What ‘machine learning’ does

Like a trustworthy assistant, machine learning anticipates logical next steps to your tasks. For instance, it might suggest Docs or other apps, launch apps, schedule meetings, or manage your email based on your habits.

For example, if you're using Google Sheets to track employee performance, the "+Explore" button in the bottom right of the screen can help reveal subtle trends. The machine learning that powers this function doesn't just analyze written data, it can also help you find the best image layout and settings. Aside from providing you with useful insights, this function also helps format and design your file.

Increased productivity

Working on an office productivity platform that is capable of suggesting apps may not seem like much. But since the average worker allots plenty of time doing routine tasks -- such as launching apps, searching and downloading files, and sorting email -- having a smart tool that makes sensible suggestions never hurts.

The machine learning-enabled Quick Access function predicts the file you want to open based on your recent activities and interactions within the Google environment. Google Drive’s search function is a good way to locate a file you need to work on, but as many users know, searching unsorted files and messy folder structures can cause an inconvenient amount of delay.

Greatly reduced spam

Managing email is a tedious task that demands a couple hours of your day, every day. There are many email management apps you can use, and although they’re worth your money and effort, sometimes all you need is a highly efficient spam detector.

Because of its machine learning capabilities, Gmail spam detection currently has an accuracy rate of 99%. This means virtually no spam in your inbox and a reduced exposure to malware-laden email. Another way Gmail users can save time is through Smart Reply, a feature that suggests possible responses to emails you receive. Google is currently working to improve Smart Reply’s responses so that they’re more accurate and less generic.

Google applications are handy office tools perfect for businesses that require anywhere, anytime access to their files and apps, as well as constant collaboration with colleagues. There’s more to learn about G Suite and similar platforms that might just be what your business needs. Call us today for recommendations.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

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Customize your PDFs with Google Drive

Google Drive has become the go to cloud-based solution for many small businesses. There’s plenty of storage, it’s easy to organize, and collaborating as a team on one document is even simpler. However, when it comes to PDFs, people aren’t aware that it can do so much more. While Drive has a lot of built-in PDF features already, there are third party apps that you should really know about. So before you print out that PDF form to sign, check out these five different ways you can customize your PDFs in Google Drive.

Save PDFs to Google Drive

Google Chrome’s PDF viewer can do much more than just read your PDFs. Like other web browsers, Chrome lets you save web pages as PDFs by going to the Print button at the bottom right of the browser and Save as PDF. However, if you’re logged into Chrome, you can save PDF files into your Google Drive. To do this, go back to the printer tab, click Change and, if you scroll down, you should be able to find the Google Cloud Print section, where you can Save to Google Drive. This will save you some time from having to go to your Google Drive and manually uploading the file from your local disk.

Convert docs into PDFs

If you have a Google Doc that needs to be sent out as a PDF, you can do that without using any third party applications. On your doc, go to File > Download as > PDF Document (.pdf).

Google Drive scan and search

With Android devices, you can access a Google Drive app feature that is normally unavailable on the iOS. Google Drive on Android gives you the option to scan a document with your phone’s built-in camera and lets you convert it to a PDF. Once scanned and saved to your drive, the contents of the document are searchable by using Google Drive’s search tool. Unfortunately, handwritten documents cannot be detected. Only typewritten text is searchable within Google Drive. This feature is great for scanning and recording receipts, certificates and signed official forms. To create scanned PDF documents in Google Drive you have to:
  • Access the Google Drive app on your Android phone.
  • Select the plus (+) button on the screen to create a new project.
  • Choose Scan. This will open your phone’s camera application.
  • Take a picture of your document. From here, you can choose to rescan the page or create another PDF file.
  • If you’re happy with the scanned document, tap the checkmark button to save to Google Drive.

Electronically interact with PDFs

While PDFs are compatible across a wide range of platforms, they don’t give you the option to edit. Luckily, third party services like Kami or HelloSign allow you to electronically interact with a PDF document. Kami is a Google Drive extension that enables you to draw, highlight, strikethrough, underline, and add text and comments on your PDF. On the other hand, HelloSign gives you the ability to add check marks and signatures to your PDFs. Consider these add-ons if your business needs to edit some PDFs.

Merge PDFs

If you want to combine several PDF documents together, we recommend using PDF Mergy. This is another Chrome add-on that allows you to simply right click on any selected PDF files and Open with > PDF Mergy. Your selected PDF files will be immediately imported to the third party party application. You can also rearrange the order of the PDF documents as well as add more files from your drive. Select Merge, if you’re satisfied with the changes, then you can either save the new PDF to your local disk or back in your Google Drive.

With so much third-party software popping up, Google Drive is becoming a strong cloud-based tool that not only lets you export PDFs but helps you interact with it as well. The next time you have to manage a lot of PDFs, have a go with these underused and underappreciated time saving features. Want to know more Google Drive features to help you around the office? Contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

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Get more done on Google Drive with these tips

When it comes to business data, Google Drive provides flexibility and accessibility for organizations across the country. But whether you’re new to the platform or a long-time user, you may not be using the service to its maximum abilities. If you’re unsure whether or not this applies to you, read on to discover some Google Drive tips you may not be aware of.

Use keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are all the rage these days, and Google Drive is not immune to this phenomenon. Here are a few that are quite helpful.
  • n: rename a selected item
  • d: show or hide the details pane
  • /: search Drive
  • z: move selected item to a folder
  • Shift + s: add a new spreadsheet
  • Shift + p: add a new presentation
  • Shift + t: add a new document
For a complete list of all Google Drive shortcuts, check out the official Google page.

Utilize revisions

Perhaps you want to see the revisions a coworker made to one of your documents. Or perhaps you hate your latest draft and want to recover an older version of it. With Google Drive, it’s all possible. Simply open the desired document, click File>See revision history, and all your revisions will appear in a sidebar to the right of the document. Then click on the revision you wish to see. If you’d like to revert to an older version, instead of your current draft, click on Restore this revision in the right sidebar.

Benefit from Suggesting mode

If you’re collaborating with another person on a document, Suggesting mode allows you to make suggestions to it without actually changing the text. Your suggestions will be seen by the initial writer, and he or she can then either approve or disapprove of them, providing the author the option to choose whether or not to implement them in the final document. To switch to Suggesting mode, click on the pencil shaped icon in the upper right corner of a document. When the drop down menu appears, click on Suggesting (Edits become suggestions).

Share large files

There has likely been an occasion where you wanted to send a very large file to another colleague, friend or family member, and were unable to do so through a free service. Google Drive offers a workaround for this dilemma. To take advantage of it, create a shared folder and upload your file to that folder. Once complete, you can share the file with whomever you wish by right-clicking on it, selecting Share, and then entering the person’s email address of who you wish to share it with. They’ll receive an email with the link to the file, and can access it from there.

Try Google Drive add-ons

Add-ons have become quite popular these days with browsers. And so it is as well with Google Drive. To discover the wonderful world of Google Drive add-ons for yourself, click Add-ons in between Table and Help in the upper menu (above the tool bar). There are plenty of helpful add-ons to choose from, including tools such as writing aids, mind mapping, charts, music notation and more. Once you install an add-on, it will appear in your Add-ons drop down menu.

If you follow these five Google Drive tips, you are one step closer to getting the most out the service. If you’d like to learn how else you can leverage Google’s products to better your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

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Google Drive just got a lot safer

Information security is on everyone’s mind - all too often we hear of a high-profile data breach in the news, and even the smaller scale attacks that don’t make headlines can wreak havoc on growing businesses. So it’s heartening to know that Google places a high premium on security. Their latest move to bolster protection for Google Drive for Work sees the introduction of physical Security Keys - here’s what you need to know.

Google already offers security precautions like two-step authentication, which provides additional protection by requiring you to enter not only your password but also a one-time code received by SMS or similar. This is a crucial weapon in the fight against hackers, since weak usernames and passwords are still be the primary reason for accounts being breached. Security Keys now take things one step further, strengthening your Google Drive account’s coat of armor to an even greater extent.

The Security Key is a physical USB device that is plugged into your computer, and which sends an encrypted signature, instead of a password or other code, to verify your identity and permit you access to your Google account. Crucially, Security Keys are inexpensive - starting from around $6 per unit - and require no additional software for deployment, use or management. Administrators have the ability to track when and where each key is used, as well as being able to disable them if lost and issue backup codes to allow staff uninterrupted access even if they do misplace their key.

Simplifying the login process is also a key part of what Google has tried to achieve with Security Keys. To that end, the first time you use your key to access your Google account on a particular computer, you can opt for Google to remember that device. On subsequent occasions you can quickly sign in using only your password, and without requiring either your key or a two-step authentication code. You can still sign in using your key on other machines, and if a hacker tries to access your account without your key they will also be prompted for a two-step verification code (which, unless they have access to your cell phone, they shouldn’t be able to provide).

Security Keys aren’t an entirely perfect solution, though - there are some significant limitations to the technology. For one, you can’t use them on mobile devices, since they require a USB port to work, and they only allow you to access your Google account through the Chrome browser. Windows, Mac OS, ChromeOS and Linux operating systems are all supported, but if you’re working from your phone or on a browser other than Chrome then you’ll need to continue using two-step authentication. Google says you can mix and match different methods of verification, opting to use Security Keys where they are supported and two-step verification otherwise (or if you don’t have your key with you).

What’s more, only Google Drive currently supports Security Keys - it’s not yet possible to use them with Google Apps, for example. But, while the technology is primarily targeted at Google Drive for Work users, it’s possible to link a single key to multiple accounts, meaning you can use it to access both your work and personal Google accounts. Some users have also queried how much of a safeguard the technology really provides in the absence of an additional PIN code or fingerprint authentication being required for activation, suggesting that a stolen Security Key could be used to access a computer that a user has previously asked Google to remember. But Security Keys do appear to offer at least some additional protection, which will be of comfort to businesses handling sensitive data.

Give us a call to find out how to employ Security Keys and other technology solutions to bolster your protection against network intrusion and data breaches.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

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