Working from Home with Children

Just a few weeks back, hearing—or seeing!—our coworkers’ kids during a meeting would have been remarkable. Today, it’s all part of a day’s work. With schools and daycares closed the world over, and so many of us working remotely, the lines between work and home have blurred indeed. And while it’s delightful to see a child scurry past our screen, this situation is undeniably tough on parents.

To help our employees balance work and childcare, this week we distributed an internal work-from-home as a parent guide. It’s full of tips and shared practices that we have collected from parents at Microsoft, including making a plan as a family, communicating your schedule with your colleagues, and finding fun ways to keep kids engaged throughout the workday. We thought our customers might find it useful too, so we created a version for you to share with your employees as well.

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Keeping your Video Conference Private

Between social distancing and COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, companies are turning to video conferencing services to get down to business. While these services help you connect, they also pose new privacy and data security risks. Here are some tips to keep in mind before hosting or joining a video conference online:

 

  1. Take steps to ensure only invited participants are able to join your meeting. People may call it “zoombombing,” but it’s a consideration across all kinds of platforms: uninvited people showing up on video conferences. What can your company do to reduce the risk? Some services allow hosts to password-protect a meeting. Others limit access by providing unique ID numbers for each meeting or for each participant. These features may not be enabled by default, so look carefully at what settings are available. If you host recurring meetings, most services allow you to create new passwords or ID numbers for each meeting. That method is more secure than reusing old credentials, so establish that as the policy for your employees.

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Winners

I have had the pleasure of knowing Mike Hall since the early 1970s. Mike grew up in Ithaca, graduated from Cornell in 1968 and joined the US Air Force becoming a fighter pilot. Mike rose to the rank of Major General and led the "Boys from Syracuse" Air Force Reserve unit. He's been the Director of the Tompkins International Airport since 2014. During recent weeks, Mike has been one of our community's leaders in providing valuable insights in how best to deal with this crisis. Mike has been providing the airport staff with some of his thoughts on leadership and the opportunities going forward.
 
 
Let’s start with Air Force Values:
  • Integrity first
  • Service before Self
  • Excellence in all we do

Aspirational!
 
  • No one is perfect.  But when we aspire to selfless values, we are more successful.  
  • We empower and we accomplish.
  • Mission, Unit and Self...in that order.

If you go into business to make money, you will be disappointed. 

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COVID-19 Scams

Not long after the COVID-19 crisis began, there was an significant uptick in unwanted phone calls and emails with all kinds of schemes trying to defraud people. It continues today.  Here is some great information that useful in today's environment as well as at all times. Be safe! 

The New York State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) would like to remind users that malicious actors will use the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to deliver malware, to steal money and/or personal information, or to spy on you through your smartphone’s features. We ask that users remain vigilant to COVID-19 related scams.

As the state with the highest rates of COVID-19 infections, New York is seeing a significant spike in coronavirus scams. These scams are coming in the form of malicious websites, text messages, phone calls, and phishing emails that are being used to infect user’s machines with malware or to  defraud the user.

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