Archive Monthly Archives: December 2017

5 Reasons Why You Need to Make the Switch to Microsoft Office 365

5 Reasons Why You Need to Make the Switch to Microsoft Office 365

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If you run a business, chances are that you’ve thought about moving to an online productivity suite. The two most popular in recent years is Google’s G Suite and Microsoft’s Office 365. Touted as “innovative” and “the next big thing,” Microsoft’s productivity suite is a revolutionary concept when it comes to operating systems and computing. But why should you choose Microsoft over the other guys?


Change Decision Making Concept

  • It’s cloud-based. Doing all your computing in the cloud means that you always have access to your files as long as you’re connected to the Internet. All of Office 365’s tools will work on any PC/Mac, tablet, or smartphone. With O365, you can use the online versions of the productivity suite, or install them to your device. 
  • It’s secure. Whether you’re using the version of O365 installed on your machine, or the cloud version, you’ll get the best level of security and encryption. The same set of Rights Management Services applies to both. None of your files can be accessed without the proper user credentials that are set up and monitored by Microsoft Azure. This provides the best security and control over your Office 365 data. 
  • Data is backed up. Microsoft’s Office 365 offers its own form of checks and balances, 24/7 support that’s always on-call, and OneDrive to store all your files. But it’s always a good idea to have an extra layer of protection by using a Managed Services Provider (MSP) who can monitor your backups and add an extra layer of security if your data is compromised or lost.

Office 365 offers major advantages over others. As with anything worth doing, there are pros and cons when moving your operations to the cloud. However, there are some major advantages when using the Microsoft Cloud:

  • You can work anywhere. If you have an internet connection, you can use your data from anywhere and on any device. You can check emails, access files, and work on a project all from the same place – even if that place happens to be the other side of the world.
  • Easy collaboration between coworkers. How many times have you had multiple people working together on the same project only to have one version go missing. With Office 365 you can avoid this. Collaborators can work on the same file and get changes in real time. You can also share files as links right from OneDrive, rather than as attachments.
  • Access to the latest versions of programs. Imagine having access to the most current versions of Word, Excel, and Outlook without having to pay extra or reinstall programs. All the most recent versions of everything in the Microsoft Office Suite are available with an Office 365 subscription.
  • Great security features. How secure the Cloud is for you depends on what security measures you have in place. With Office 365, there are quite a few built-in security features to keep your data safe. These include:
  • Encrypted email. Only the intended recipient can read an email.
  • Data loss prevention. O365 checks and ensures that sensitive data (like your social security number) doesn’t get sent out via email.
  • Mobile device management. You can control Office 365 on your employees’ phones, and protect company information.
  • Advanced threat analytics. O365 learns and protects company data, and alerts you of suspicious activity on the network.
  • Subscription-based model. You must pay a monthly or annual subscription for your Office 365.
  • If the Internet is down, your data is down. Because Office 365 is cloud-based, if the Internet goes out, you could be without access to your data. Plus, if you have a slow connection, working with a cloud-based system isn’t ideal.
  • Most people don’t use all of its features. Most users don’t use everything that Office 365 has to offer. They only use email, file storage, and access to Office programs. This isn’t a terrible thing, but it means you’re paying for features that you aren’t using.
  • Microsoft throws in some great extras. Office 365 comes with 1TB of storage space in Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage service, free web hosting and the tools to use it, and a full 60 minutes of Skype each month for making landline calls.

Microsoft Office 365 is a very good example of not only what a cloud service can be, but what more businesses are turning to for their cloud needs. Cloud computing is becoming a big part of more companies’ tech strategy, and Office 365 is an excellent way to jump into the cloud.

Our IT experts can walk you through your Office 365 set up. Give Parkway Tech a call at (336) 310-9888, or email us at, and we’ll make sure you get the full benefit of this great service.


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Customize the Ribbon Bar in Microsoft Outlook 2016

Customize the Ribbon Bar in Microsoft Outlook 2016

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How many emails do most business people send each day? Email is the most popular form of business communication and it’s going to increase according to the 2014-2018 Email Statistics Report, by The Radicati Group.

Here are some interesting statistics highlighted in the Report:

  • The average number of business-related emails both sent and received will rise from 121 each day today, to at least 140 each day in 2018.
  • Workers receive an extra 13 emails a day on average now than in 2011.
  • By 2018, 97 emails will hit inboxes each day, at an average of 12 emails every working hour.
  • It’s expected that 43 emails will be sent each day, at an average of five an hour, or one about every 10 minutes.

And, if you do email marketing add a lot more to these numbers. Sending emails can take up a lot of time and be really frustrating if you have to go searching for hidden commands buried in mouse clicks, buttons and tabs. That is unless you customize the Ribbon Bar in Outlook 2016. When you place the commands that you use most often in the Ribbon Bar, you can save time and increase your productivity.

Before you begin, make sure the Ribbon is displayed. The Ribbon in Outlook 2016 is hidden by default to give you more vertical space, so you’ll want to change this. Here you can see that the Ribbon Bar is missing:

To show the Ribbon, click on View. You’ll see a little pin in the upper right. Click it and now your Ribbon will always show in Outlook (unless you decide to hide it again.)

You can personalize your Ribbon to order the tabs and commands the way you want them. You can also hide those that you don’t use often. For some basic directions on customizing tabs on your Ribbon click here. We’re going to go into more detail below.

Note that when you customize your ribbon in Outlook, these changes won’t be visible in Excel or PowerPoint. If you want to make the same customizations in your other Office applications, you must open each of them to make the same changes.

Let’s say you use email forms all the time in your communications. There’s a command for this that you can add to your Ribbon Bar: Open Outlook and click on the File tab.

On the Sidebar to the left of your screen, click Options.

In the Options window, click Customize Ribbon.

In the Customize Window, highlight Home Mail tab.

Next, click the New Group button at the bottom of the window.

The New Group option will appear.

To reorder where the New Group option appears, left-click it and drag it into the position you want.

If you prefer, you can rename this option so it’s more descriptive. Highlight the option by left-clicking your mouse and click Rename.

You’ll be presented with a number of options, in the Display Field enter the new name for your option.

Click OK and your option will be renamed.

Now it’s time to add the command to the new button. Go to the Choose Commands dropdown menu.

Select All Commands.

Next, scroll down until you find the Choose Forms command.

Make sure the custom button you created is highlighted.

Click the Add button.

The Choose Form command now appears under the new button you created. 

If you want to create a custom icon for your new command, open Form Email.

Next, click on the Choose Form option, and click Rename.

Next, click on the Choose Form option, and click Rename.

Highlight the icon you like and hit OK.

Click OK to close the window and try out your new Choose Form button on the Ribbon Bar.

Your Choose Form window opens and you can select the template you want. 

Highlight the Email Form you want to send and select OK.

Highlight the Email Form you want to send and select OK.

Want to Add a Command to a Custom Group? Here’s How:

Say you want to put the Spelling & Grammar command in its own group on the Message tab.

  • Open a new email. Go to File> Options> Customize Ribbon
  • In the list on the right, verify that a “New Mail Message” is expanded and select the Clipboard Group.
  • Click the New Group button at the bottom.
  • With “New Group (custom)” selected, click Rename, and key in a name for the group.
  • From the list on the left, select the Spelling & Grammar command.
  • (If the command that you want isn’t here, use the “Choose commands from” dropdown list at the to: All Commands.) Click Add.
  • Press OK and your command should show up on the default Message tab when you compose a message.

Now, Let’s Add a Command to a Pre-Defined Group:

We’ll add the Print Command to the “Move” Group on the Home Tab.

  • Select File> Options> Customize Ribbon
  • In the list on the right, make sure that Home (Mail) is expanded and select Move group. 
  • Click New Group at the bottom.
  • With New Group (custom) selected, click Rename and give the group a name. An example might be “Move & Print”.
  • From the list on the right, select Print.
  • If the command that you want doesn’t show in this list, use the “Choose commands from” dropdown list at the top: All Commands.
  • There’s also a “Quick Print” command which immediately sends the selected message to your default printer without any additional prompts for settings.
  • Press the Add >> button.
  • Set the “Choose commands from” dropdown list to: All Tabs
  • Open the list at the bottom until you see the group that you’re editing. Make sure you also expand this group.
  • On the right, verify that your newly created group  “Move & Print” is selected.
  • Add all the commands that you wish to keep from this pre-defined group to your newly created group by clicking the Add >>button.
  • Now, select the pre-defined “Move” group and click the << Remove button.
  • Click OK to close the dialog box.
  • Your command should now show up on the default Main tab of Outlook within the “Move & Print group.

Now, no more searching for commands in Outlook 2016 when you need them. Follow the same processes with other commands you use most often. Doing this will save you so much time in the future. You can also do this with the Ribbon for other Microsoft products like Excel, Word and Powerpoint.

There are a lot more ways you can customize your Microsoft Outlook and other Office products. The experts at Intelice Solutions will be happy to share them with you. Simply contact us at: 

Phone: 301-664-6800 



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Why Do I Need Antivirus Software?

Why Do I Need Antivirus Software?

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You may be thinking to yourself, “I don’t need antivirus software. I don’t go to any sketchy websites or click on shady pop-ups.” While that does help cut down your risk of getting a virus that doesn’t mean you are 100% safe. Many viruses now are found on legitimate websites that have been corrupted, and you could unknowingly be putting yourself and your computer at risk. The adage “it’s better to be safe than sorry” holds true in this case. Think about all the valuable data on your computer that you use every day; wouldn’t it be a huge inconvenience if you lost access to it all because of an entirely preventable virus?

Antivirus software

Types of Attacks

There are several types of viruses and attacks that your computer may be vulnerable to. The first of course is the typical computer virus. You could end up with this by clicking on the content of unknown or questionable origin. Computer worms are another type of attack that usually attacks the network as a whole, but may still deposit malware onto your device to spread it throughout the network. Trojan horses are when the user thinks that a download is legitimate, but is a virus in disguise. Some viruses appear to be updates or downloads from reputable websites so it can be difficult at times to know what is fake and what is real. Antivirus software can warn a user when a virus is within the download, but can’t stop the user from downloading the file if they so desire. Spyware is a virus that doesn’t actively change anything on your computer, but instead steals data and information for use by a cybercriminal. Messaging applications are common carriers of viruses, so it is essential to have an antivirus software that will warm you when your emails or IMs are carrying fake links or attachments. Bots are also a standard way for cybercriminals to drop viruses and malware onto your computer, by remotely hacking into your computer. Antivirus software will warn you when someone is trying to hack into your computer. And finally, beware of rootkits that are buried deep in your computer hiding other viruses and malware from your immediate view.

Safe Surfing

Using common sense on the internet and browsing carefully will get you far, but it can’t protect you forever. Not every type of virus or malware attack is easy to spot and therefore having antivirus software is necessary for the times when you couldn’t tell if something was corrupted or that someone was hacking into your device. Often, companies will set up your computer with an antivirus before it reaches you and when you first start it up, it will get you to sign up for the antivirus already pre-installed. This is how some companies make extra money. However, you don’t need to use the antivirus software that is preloaded. You can choose another service if you want. There are many good antivirus software on the market to fit any budget.

Some of the Best Antivirus Softwares

All Windows 10 PCs come with Windows Defender. This is an excellent all-around software that fights off the most run of the mill viruses and threats. The benefit of using Windows Defender is that it already comes on your computer and offers a proficient level of protection. It is comparable to other software available from third parties. It also has a user-friendly dashboard where you can check on things like the overall health of your device, parental controls, antivirus settings, and scan results.

Norton Security is an antivirus software that has been around for a very long time. It is a trusted name with an excellent reputation for antivirus protection. The basic package starts at $49.99 per year, and the premium package is $109.99 per year. All their packages are a great value, and the one best for you depends on things like how many devices need protection and if there are children that will be using said devices.

McAfee is another popular option. They have a basic package that starts at $59.99, and they go up to $99.99. This software offers excellent protection while managing to stay more affordable than some of the more dominant antivirus software.

Avast has a good basic free option that consumers often take advantage of. Their 1-year subscription is $59.99 and includes a two-way firewall so that viruses already on your PC can’t get back out onto the internet and spread to another network or device. It also comes with parental controls and several other features.


Antivirus software is an essential tool when using the internet. There are people out there wanting to steal your information, wreck your computer, or just cause general chaos. Don’t give them the opportunity to do so; protect your computer.


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