We’re currently experiencing high levels of support requests during this worrying time and we want to assure you that we’re doing everything we can to put our efforts into helping those clients that need it most.
Many people are now preparing to work from home when perhaps they didn’t need to before. With this move comes a certain amount of isolation and vulnerability to the other “nasties” out there that are not medically virus related. We’ve set out some of our thoughts and learnings from working for so long in the digital industry, hopefully this will help you or your business to stay safe in the current climate.
Firstly, we’ve seen a rise in criminal cyber activity with increased phishing emails designed to play on current COVID-19 fears and push people into making mistakes. Please be extra vigilant to be able to identify seemingly professional emails leading you to a cloned login page attempting to steal passwords. Even users of multifactor authentication (2FA) are being targeted and it’s unwise to consider yourself immune to phishing just because you use either SMS messages or a physical key to gain access to secure information.
Pay extra attention to attachments in emails or compromised websites and keep all operating systems and security software updated and patched. Constantly backup your data and test your disaster recovery plan. Ransomware can delete or encrypt your files that can then be synced to your backup in the cloud – often with the target unaware for months until the ransom request arrives. We recommend physical copies of critical data stored offline as well as cloud-based storage. Use backup software that can copy your data incrementally saving time and bandwidth.
If in you are in doubt, please ask us for advice.
Many of our clients rely on our digital solutions to run their business. Please let us know if you experience problems accessing our systems. We can investigate temporary server boosts to help speed up processes if required.
We understand how important it is for our school websites to be easy to update and be available for the latest information regarding the virus and how it is affecting schools. We are also aware of the availability needed for the website if the school is asked to close. Websites are the hub of information for students and teachers who need an easy way to distribute homework.
Our ecommerce websites may become even more popular with people opting for home delivery rather than leaving the house. We’re focusing our efforts on our clients with online stores that can help them retain some cashflow when the footfall starts to slow down.
We’ll be actively promoting some of the local based companies ecommerce websites we’ve produced over the next few weeks on our social channels so please support them where possible.
If any member of any household has a persistent cough or fever, everyone living there must stay at home for 14 days and we will ensure the Fish Media team have all the tools required to perform their roles with minimum disruption.
As a small digital team working in an isolated office, we have the luxury of deciding where we work but will follow government advice and work remotely from home where required. We are currently experiencing high call levels as the need for our support grows during this time. Our Voice Over IP (VOIP) phone systems are diverted to our mobiles and any voicemail messages are instantly alerted to us – we will do our best to get back to you as soon as we can. Please leave a message out of hours for any emergency issues and please bear with us at this time.
We have a Virtual Private Network (VPN) setup from our homes to access the office and webservers remotely. This encrypts the data transmission and ensures we can access all our systems as if we were working from the office. If you need any advice on what you could be doing to make remote working safe and secure for your employees, please let us know.
Positive mental health
We’d also like to state that we know from experience how isolating it can be to work from home. The use of social media can be both a blessing and a curse. For mental wellbeing we feel it’s wise not to constantly engage in the often incorrect and hear-say posts about the virus and concentrate on the social aspect of connecting with others.
Video calls (Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp) can provide greatly needed interaction in a time of isolation and we encourage everyone to reach out to those family, friends and colleagues who you know might be suffering in silence.
Don’t forget to exercise, self isolation doesn’t mean you can’t go for a walk or drive to a park. Eat healthily and try to resist the urge to break into that second pack of custard creams with every cup of tea.
Supporting each other
We ask larger companies to consider the small suppliers that will be facing cashflow issues and to ensure payments land without the extra need for chasing. Luckily all our clients are extremely fair in these matters, but we know there are many that take a different approach to payment terms.
We are prioritising those clients most at risk at this time, we are currently experiencing a high demand for our services (it’s nice to be needed!) and we will continue to prioritise existing clients and live projects that need our attention. Urgent issues will be addressed immediately and non-critical or new feature requests will be scheduled into the studio.
We and our families will continue to support local small businesses. Our thoughts turn to our community and especially the local pubs that provide so much social interaction. Each independent will need to look at ways to keep cash flow coming in and look at ways of providing services in a different manner. If we can help – even if it’s just purchasing their products or free digital advice, we gladly offer this.
Your business and livelihood are important. Your health, family and friends are more important so look after yourself and each other and we’ll get through this patch of uncertainty.
Love, the Fish Media team.