Christmas is a time for merriment and letting your hair down – so use Christmas business tips we’ve put together below to ensure your business is still standing when you return from the Christmas break!

1. Don’t forget your Out of Office reply!

Nobody likes to shout into an empty chasm and wait for weeks for a response. It only takes a few minutes to set up and then both you and your contact know what the score is during the Christmas break. Just don’t be too descriptive of your alcohol-orientated plans during your time off, keep it professional!

Need some guidance on how to set up an Out of Office response? Click here for Outlook help.

[av_image src=’http://webserver848.cloudapp.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Out-of-Office.fw_.png’ attachment=’34161′ attachment_size=’full’ align=’center’ animation=’pop-up’ link=” target=” styling=” caption=” font_size=” appearance=”][/av_image]

2. Ensure your systems are being monitored

Computer Gremlins are real, and have a habit of getting their hands on your important business tech when you’re not around. It’s not a good idea to rely on blind faith when it concerns your essential systems over the Christmas break. Work out a rota for keeping an eye on any systems that will be left running, or you’ll risk returning to work to find corrupted data & lost business. You can contact our CURA Support team to benefit from 24/7 monitored support via the Premium support plan, and achieve absolute peace of mind.]

3. Change your passwords

Your children have great names, your favourite band rocks (well that’s subjective), and dates of birth should always be celebrated – just never in password form. Ever. It’s always a good idea to refresh your passwords regularly. Notice how it said the plural passwords? That’s because you also shouldn’t use the same password for all your business software and accounts!

The Adobe password hacks last year proved that a wide number of business IT users still don’t think much of creating secure, difficult to guess passwords – and instead favour simple ‘123’ or ‘abc’ combos. If you use the same password for all your software and accounts, you risk opening the doors to hackers who will not only damage your IT infrastructure, but potentially distribute your truly embarrassing password choice.

Need some guidance on how to create secure passwords? Click here.

[av_image src=’http://webserver848.cloudapp.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Password.fw_.png’ attachment=’34181′ attachment_size=’full’ align=’center’ animation=’pop-up’ link=” target=” styling=” caption=” font_size=” appearance=”][/av_image]

4. Plan ahead

Put together a summary of what has and hasn’t worked for you this year. List the processes that could be improved, the systems that should be quicker, and the software that kept on crashing, and send it over to our Application Intelligence team to analyse. You should never feel locked down or unable to move to better, more powerful systems – and for many businesses the New Year is the right time to upgrade. We regularly find clients who think there are no alternatives to their specific, essential business software – which makes it all the more satisfying when we find powerful, contemporary solutions that are perfectly suited to their work!

We can help your transition into the contemporary software climate with minimal interruption to your work. Conquer your frustrations!

5. Scrutinise dodgy email

Christmas time is rife with businesses flogging advertising emails, making it the perfect time for spammers and malicious email to sneak in amongst the masses and infect your machine. Be scrutinous when it comes to any unexpected email – look out for typos, hyperlinks, download requests and untraceable brands or companies. Whack them straight into your spam folder where they belong and fight the good fight against one of the most arbitrary technology hassles in existence!

[av_video src=’https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8rlkeQgbtU’ format=’16-9′ width=’16’ height=’9′]

6. Online Purchasing

You no doubt have to buy more gifts than you want to – but that’s just the nature of Christmas. To cap the pain however, don’t tick ‘remember my password’ on any online purchasing sites such as Paypal or Amazon. You just may find someone else had an accidental field day with your hard earned cash if not.

This also applies to In-App purchasing on devices such as iPads, Kindles, tablets, Xboxs, and PlayStations. Some of the latest Minecraft texture packs are brilliant, but you don’t want to find your kids have bought them all on your card!

7. Relax!

It’s been a busy year – so after you’ve followed our Christmas business tips, prepared your Christmas dinner, and planned your gifts, put your feet up and have a fantastic Christmas!

[av_image src=’http://webserver848.cloudapp.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Chrimbo-Message.fw_1.png’ attachment=’34221′ attachment_size=’full’ align=’center’ animation=’pop-up’ link=” target=” styling=” caption=” font_size=” appearance=”][/av_image]