• This is docSAFE

    docSAFE is the clever way to work. For anyone working with a client base – those in the professions, creatives – in fact, just about any kind of business – you’ll wonder how you managed without it before. It’s contemporary and innovative but surprisingly simple. docSAFE is a client portal – an online office with lots of functionality and clever stuff.

  • In the Cloud

    Working in the cloud is a concept. You are simply accessing a portal online and giving your clients secure access to do the same. In the portal you can store and work on documents, exchange information, collaborate, sign things off online – all in highly secure, backed up environment. It works across all your devices and even has its own mobile app.

Author Archive

Why is docSAFE better than email?

If you send emails to clients – and we all do – there will be times when the content is confidential and it is vital that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Sometimes we might not be aware of how sensitive data is, especially from a client point of view. Email is great for small talk, arrangements and quick communications but it is not secure and highly susceptible to human error. How many times have you sent information to or received information from the wrong source? I am regularly wrongly emailed client documents by a highly intelligent, trusted professional simply because I have a very similar name to his client. It is completely understandable but it could have any number of repercussions. A client portal is a cloud-based safe. The documents go in (added by you or your client), the recipient is notified and they are then retrieved. It is also subject to several layers of top-level security. Signing online is another more efficient way to exchange and complete documents – and usually, anything requiring a signature is subject to some sort of security requirement. We offer a highly encrypted online signing facility that has saved many thousands of hours by turning legal documents round in seconds. No more waiting on the post or queuing to send things by special delivery! For the sake of your practice, your reputation and your clients’ trust, switch from email to a secure client portal before it is too late. We can help, advise and support a quick transition to a much safer and more professional way to communicate.

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Cyber trends for 2019

Juniper Research has estimated that cybercrime could rise by as much as 175% over the next 5 years and, of course, as hackers get more sophisticated and determined to succeed, so must we make sure we are doing all we can to make life difficult for them. Why be an easy target? It’s not just large-scale organisations like banks and hospitals that are the targets for cyber crime.

Hackers infiltrate every level of business to add links and diverts to other websites, they compromise your client data (could your business afford even a sniff of that?) and generally cause trouble whilst they are poking around your systems. There is much in the news about wide-spread attacks, one of the latest being the new energy smart meters that we are being urged to introduce to our homes. It is anticipated that these could be a relatively easy target – which brings all sorts of other, mass consumer, digitally connected devices into question. However, many hackers go for the low hanging fruit which means they will enjoy easy pickings and wreak havoc within businesses who aren’t protecting themselves sufficiently.

We are reading about botnets, swarm networks and hive nets to name just a few of the ways our systems are being targeted. The level of complexity is such that it is hard to put into words for a savvy IT business, let alone the man in the street. It’s complicated and, most importantly, it’s not going away anytime soon. We work very hard to make sure that docSAFE is protected under multiple layers of security and this is something we have always done to stay ahead of the game. We are always updating, improving and building the layers we employ – to protect your data and also all the data you hold on clients, suppliers and your staff, for example. This isn’t just for GDPR – it’s for business survival!

“Given the benefits of the networked world, the move to digitalisation isn’t going to slow down. It’s important we realistically assess our dependence upon cyber and the potential consequences of a disruptive attack. Maintaining physical backups or other redundancies, changing operational processes, and even keeping less data can reduce the impact of a successful attack.” says Suzanne Spalding, former DHS Under Secretary, USA.

It is expected we will see more ransomware – malicious software that blocks access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid. Crypto-jacking – the practice of taking over a device or network of devices to operate a crypto mining operation (a digital or virtual currency that is used and operated independently of a bank) and other such attacks.

Talk to us and make sure you don’t fall victim to any cyber crime this year.

 

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Why docSAFE works for every business

It’s hard to imagine a business that wouldn’t benefit from docSAFE. With the MD’s accountancy background it was originally designed for accountants – and then gradually opened up to other professions. We challenged ourselves at docSAFE HQ with the notion that it actually works for everyone, regardless of sector. Quite simply if you communicate with the outside world then docSAFE is your greatest ally in terms of efficiency, professionalism and security. For efficiency docSAFE streamlines many processes that you might spend a long time on ordinarily. Helpful things – like merging and zipping multiple documents into one neat pdf – right through into providing online signing. Online signing is hugely popular with our clients. It allows them to send a document to the client portal (securely of course) with an automatic alert to announce its arrival. The client signs (within the portal) and you are alerted on its updated status. This not only saves hours of meeting time but it also gets an important job done within the safety of docSAFE, never leaving it to jump on an email or get accidentally mailed to the wrong person. For professionalism, showcasing the security and functionality of the system gives your business an edge. No more bog standard Dropbox or WeTransfer for large files. Instead you direct your clients to a personalised, branded space where they can collaborate, sign, review and update documents – from anywhere, 24/7. For security, there is nothing else quite like it. docSAFE has layers and layers of security of all kinds to make it as fortress-like as possible. 2 factor authentication, security keys and much more. We understand the way businesses can be compromised and how much of a risk this can be, especially when you hold contact information and sensitive data on staff, suppliers and clients. Hacking is no longer the province of the big corporates, we have helped small businesses who have been targeted in a number of ways for a whole host of reasons. So in a nutshell we decided to let docSAFE loose on all businesses, of all kinds, in all sectors. Try it for yourself.

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Re-thinking your work practices

The start of a new year is always good time to re-assess and test your business processes and practices. Are they fit for purpose? Do they do everything you need them to? Are they secure? Do they cover your business in terms of compliance? Are they easy to use? Is there a regular, onerous task that could be improved?

One of the main reasons people switch to docSAFE is for the layers and layers of security. We are constantly adding state of the art and innovative solutions that will protect your data, keep your client and staff information safe and make sure hackers can’t get in to your systems. We are increasingly seeing hackers targeting all kinds of smaller business – not just the household names. They can find a way to access your most important and sensitive information, including your personal data and finances.

It is more important than ever that you take steps to prevent this – for you, your staff and your clients. Our exhaustive approach to security formed part of our recent ISO 27001 accreditation.

Signing online is a game-changer. You can speed up so many operations by asking your clients to sign online and it’s perfectly legal. docSAFE offers a full audit trail and it also automatically reminds your clients to sign anything they’ve overlooked. You can also see, at a glance, which documents are outstanding.

Signing online saves valuable time and allows you to organise face-to-face meetings for when things really matter. There’s no substitute for getting together with a client but we just believe signing documents isn’t one of them!

Working in the cloud, storing your information remotely so you can access it anywhere, anytime, has proved incredibly popular since we launched docSAFE many years ago. Not only can you get to any file but you can collaborate, share, back up and give select access to documents as you require.

Keeping your documents in the cloud is an intelligent way to store everything too. If you have problems with your computer hardware and your data is stored remotely, you can just access it from another device.

Sometimes we can’t see how a new way of doing things so it’s worth investigating options, viewing demos, attending events and talking to other people in your sector to see what they use and how it benefits them. You can also ask us for more information.

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Why ISO is right for us

docSAFE is now ISO27001 accredited and – as the proud family – we are very pleased. The whole point of an external body looking at what you do and how you do it is a huge sanity check. You can get caught up in your own bubble, especially if you create a product or service that is successful in a particular sector – for us it’s professionals (accountants, solicitors, financial services and some education). You focus on the product and how you develop it, keeping ahead of trends and requirements, motivated largely by client requests and needs. To have a completely independent organisation with the authority and standards of ISO go through your processes and systems and give it the green light is important to us. We worked together over a fairly long period of time, refining and enhancing until we had ticked every last box. It’s not the ISO accreditation we are proud of, it’s the end result and our clients’ satisfaction. After all, that’s all that really matters. But it doesn’t hurt to get it checked and approved externally by an organisation who has no interest in your business – beyond helping it improve.

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Client-driven improvements to docSAFE

There is a great story about a brand new American university where the building was created from scratch according to detailed architectural plans. It was furnished and populated with a fresh intake of students. The interesting part of the tale is the fact that the architects intentionally left out the creation of any pathways. The whole campus was grassed and the pathways were created naturally by the students over the course of the first term. After the tracks in the grass had been worn away, so the pathways were built. We really enjoy this analogy as it reflects our own culture. We have created a carefully planned secure hub in docSAFE – it ticks all the boxes and offers a highly functional system used by thousands of professional firms and their clients. However, we listen to clients to update, refine and improve docSAFE. We have also set up a brand new forum in the latest version of docSAFE for clients to feedback their thoughts and requests. Our latest developments are as a direct result of client requests – enhanced messaging and more detailed permission levels. If you would like to know more about those and docSAFE in general, give us a call and we can set you up with a demo of docSAFE and talk you through its direct benefits. And we’ll listen carefully  to your thoughts too.

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The move towards the smaller supplier

Many things in life come full circle – flared trousers and vinyl records for example. Back in the day, before the supermarket giants landed, we enjoyed the attentions of our local shopkeeper who served us exactly what we needed with individual attention and knowledge of our buying habits and lifestyle. Just like the re-emerging popularity of these service-led traditions, we believe many business sectors will follow this pattern. Certainly in IT and business systems, much of the market-share gained by the big brand names are as a result of the buy out of smaller, specialist-knowledge businesses. At Online Practice, we have been developing docSAFE, our flagship secure portal product, for decades: refining, improving and adding functionality. We have responded to the requests and enquiries from our professional UK client base to create a product that does what is needed, and more. We are all at the mercy of some of the larger corporations, it is inevitable that we have to use their services – such is their market domination. But, where avoidable, we would always choose the smaller supplier with its attention to detail, where our custom counts for something, where our requests are considered and, often, actioned. In this day of recycled traditions, we firmly believe the smaller suppliers are about to have their day. If you contact us, you’ll talk to a real person, often Mike, the MD and the team around him.

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GDPR – what you need to know

To alleviate some of the worry or concern that the media (and social media in particular) is stirring up around the subject of GDPR, we have found a great resource that outines everything you need to know in an easy to digest format. It is produced by the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) and gives you a link to the different applications for GDPR. So, if you are a GDPR controller, marketer, processor or even the person who looks after the CCTV records, there is a link and checklist to help you work towards compliancy. CLICK HERE FOR ICO GDPR CHECKLISTS There is a lot to know but the key points are that you must have processes and policies in place that serve your organisation’s contacts. You must keep data safe and under control. You need to specify whose responsibility this is. All of this must be accountable and auditable in the case of an investigation. We can help with this through the secure docSAFE framework – we ensure that there is never any reason for information to leave the portal. You invite clients to access, view, collaborate and work within the same platform, with documents never needing to leave – even when they are being signed electronically. What’s more, we provide a full audit trail for accountability and security. This isn’t new to us – we created docSAFE long before GDPR was a twinkle in the government’s eye so we have been working in this way for many years – along with hundreds of our professional clients.

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Secure communications – embedded in everything we do

Secure communications have become bywords for so many things – we define it as making sure that every way you communicate is safe from misappropriation in any form. Your website – you may be quietly thinking that your website wouldn’t be of interest to a hacker – after all, you’re just a medium sized accountancy firm minding your own business. However – hackers do and can access your website for more than just the data. We were asked to look at a brand new client site recently and found hundreds of hidden links that took visitors away from the website. We soon sorted out a new website with extra layers of security to prevent it happening again. Your emails – whether by human error or malicious intervention, data flying around via email simply isn’t secure. Sending sensitive (or indeed any) client information by email is subject to it going to the wrong person or leaving it open for attack. We offer a secure portal where the information stays within the confines of docSAFE – available to be accessed, collected, collaborated on, signed or exchanged – all with complete confidence. Our document exchange system allows you to also send messages, not just exchange files. Ask us more – we build and develop docSAFE like a multi-layered fortress: safe, secure and effective. Your clients will thank you for it.

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Our multi-layered approach to secure communications

Our portfolio of services is all based around security and communications starting with our client portfolio, docSAFE. This allows professionals to manage all of their communications from a central place – like a virtual filing cabinet. We have implemented several layers of security which means that your information is safe – and more importantly for your business, your clients’ data is safe. Mindful of GDPR and its requirements we have included levels of security that mean you will be on the right side of the new government legislation that kicks in on 25 May this year. Regardless of GDPR, it makes good, sensible business practice to protect yourself and your clients from hackers, fraud and misuse of their information so we have been covering these issues for a very long time. In the spirit of ultimate security we advocate a ‘no email’ rule for any sensitive client communications including messages, data exchange, online signing and anything else that, if it left the docSAFE secure space, could be compromised. Risking email is just not safe enough so we prefer our clients to communicate within the safety of docSAFE. As part of the importance we infer on your online presence we also build websites for our clients, who are mostly all professional firms. As you’d expect our websites are robust but beautiful! And whilst you may assume your firm wouldn’t be a target for hackers, you’d be surprised – many small businesses are hacked for all sorts of reasons, some random, some planned. However, any breach has the potential to put you out of business so being prudent and meticulous with your data is vital. Talk to us about any aspect of your secure communications. Our services work in isolation or all together, however you prefer to mange things. We can talk through the implications of change and provide demonstrations of everything we do.

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