Please note that we have updated our terms and conditions which are effective from 1st June 2016.
To read the updated terms and conditions please click here.
This year, Talk Straight will be exhibiting on stand N350 at IP EXPO Mancheater, at Manchester Central on 18 and 19 May.
IP EXPO Manchester is part of Europe’s number ONE Enterprise IT event series, for those looking to find out how the latest IT innovations can drive their business forward. As a Managed Security Service Provider, Talk Straight provides high performance cyber security and expert advice to organizations throughout the country irrespective of size or sector.
Attendance is completely free if you register before 7pm on 17 May. To register now click here.
For more information click here.
The Business Broadband Code of Practice is a voluntary Ofcom initiative to protect business customers when purchasing Business Broadband. The aim of the code is to ensure that Communications Providers are being more transparent during the sales process with regards to the broadband speeds that a business end user might achieve.
All Communications Providers who have signed up to the Ofcom Speed Code of Practice need to ensure that it is implemented by Friday 30th September 2016. Talk Straight already adheres to the code, and believes it is necessary to ensure transparency for all businesses who purchase products from ourselves.
The code can be broken down into five principles which are as follows:
Principle 1 – Transparent and accurate information on estimated downstream broadband
speeds at point of sale
Principle 2 – Detailed information after the sale and on the website
Principle 3 – Manage speed-related problems in-life
Principle 4 – The right to exit the End User contract without penalty if speeds are significantly lower
Principle 5 – Endorse the objectives of the Code through appropriate processes
If you would to like to find more about the code, please follow the below link:
The Talk Straight customer portal provides a range of real-time reports on your telecoms and internet services, 24 hours a day.
It has been developed to improve the efficiency of our service, giving you instant visibility of up-to-the-minute statistics on circuit status, bandwidth usage, latency, jitter and packet loss. The portal contains information at a level of detail relevant to Network Managers but there are also simplified reports, giving an overview of your service in a traffic light format.
Having access to the portal will mean that you’re much more informed about the traffic on your network. You’ll also be able view realtime notifications of service status and raise faults, as well as view open tickets and their resolution progress. To start using the portal, you can register as a new user here or by clicking the ‘log in’ button at the top of the Talk Straight website.
With 74% of small businesses suffering a security breach last year, cyber-attacks are still a clear and present danger and as the threats continue to evolve, it’s important that SMEs adapt their security methods to tackle these new dangers.
David Tindall, our managing director provides some tips on how your business can stay secure in cyberspace. Talk Straight is one of just a handful of Fortinet’s accredited managed security service providers in the UK, bringing new standards in internet security for the SME sector.
According to the 2015 HM Government Information Security Breaches Survey, 50% of the worse breaches within the last year were caused by inadvertent human error. Educating your employees on the dangers and the preventative steps that can be taken will immediately lower your risk of suffering a major security and information breach. Every year, more and more SMEs (63%) provide ongoing security awareness training to their staff, hopefully, this trend will continue. If you’re looking for a good resource to start with, try the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills’ survey report.
The tools to tackle cyber-attacks are worth their weight in gold. The average price of a single breach is continuing to soar, with damage to a small business costing anywhere between £75k and £311k. For a larger business, that cost can rise into the millions. Upgrade and improve your defences and ask your current ISP about managed security services (MSS).
With an established monitoring strategy and supporting policies, your SME will be better prepared. A sudden and irregular change in network traffic is often a key indicator of an attack. Monitoring your web traffic is a useful habit to get into. It allows you to quickly identify unusual levels of activity and take the appropriate action. Your ISP will be able to monitor and alert you to security threats.
59% of businesses expect to suffer more security incidents in the next year. This can be due to a number of external circumstances, but perhaps the most common is that without staying abreast of developments, the ever-changing and evolving nature of cyber-threats can leave your business vulnerable. Be aware of the changes and potential new threats.
If you are unfortunate enough to suffer a cyber-attack, reacting properly and swiftly can save your business time and money. Do you have protocols in place? If so, do your staff understand them? Offsite back-ups and mirrored servers are just a couple of methods you can utilise to help prevent irreversible loss of data.
Scott Pickard joined Talk Straight as a Customer Technical Support Apprentice Engineer via Estio Training a year ago and is due to complete an Advanced Apprenticeship for IT, Software, Web and Telecoms Professional in November 2015.
He was invited to attend an Apprentice Inspiration Event hosted by LCF Law in Bradford and was asked to sit on the panel with other apprentices. The aim of the event was to bring the benefits of apprenticeships to the attention of local companies. A “question time” session gave companies the opportunity to ask the apprentices questions, giving them a better understanding of how the schemes can benefit both businesses and young people.
Scott, an apprentice in the Customer Technical Support Department at Talk Straight was joined by an apprentice joiner, electrician, two apprentices in law and one in social services. All the apprentices agreed that there needs to be an increase in awareness amongst young people as to the availability and variety of apprenticeships. Many people make the assumption apprenticeships are based on traditional practical jobs such as plumbing and joinery, however the event clearly showed that is no longer the case.
Apprenticeships vary from level 1NVQ to level 5NVQ and can take anything from 1 to 4 years to complete. Generally apprentices spend 1 day of the week doing college work, or in Scott’s case a total of 12 weeks off-site at Estio Training.
Scott said “The good thing about doing my apprenticeship is that it has broadened my horizons. Before, I was focussed on wanting to work in software development, whereas now I have realised that actually there are lots of interesting roles within IT that I would like to pursue further.”
On 1 July Ofcom made some regulatory changes that meant we changed the way our customers are charged for calls to Non-Geographic Numbers (NGNs). The changes are designed to make the cost of calls clearer.
Calls made to 084/087/09/118 numbers across the UK will change from their current RRP structure to a split between a service charge and an access charge:
Welcome to Garry Drage who has just joined us, filling a newly created position with responsibility for driving sales for Talk Straight’s Direct Business and Mobile Channel. Garry has a wealth of knowledge in the mobile market having previously been Regional Sales Manager for 7 years with 02 Direct and before that held various sales roles with Orange. Garry had responsibility for staff split across 02’s Acquisitions and Account Management teams for the North of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. With a background of taking worst performing sales teams to best performing sales teams, Garry is looking forward to keeping up his track record in taking the Talk Straight sales teams to the next level of excellence.
Garry is a keen kayaker and mountain biker and is married with three daughters.
As a corporate sponsor of the Leeds Rhinos, Talk Straight’s own David and Hayley spent the day at the Headingley Stadium to learn about what a typical day’s training is like for the Rhinos.
Leeds Rhinos hold the event once a year over the summer months to provide fans old and young with the chance to meet the team and get a taste for the gruelling training they have to undertake.
Participants learn how to warm up, tackle, pass and finally kick for a goal. The day can be tough, but luckily Dave and Hayley survived to have lunch with the Rhinos afterwards! Take a look at the pictures to how they got on on the day.
On Sunday 12th July, Talk Straight and Schools Broadband ran the Leeds 10K in aid of Childnet with our runners coming in with an average time of 1 hour!
Childnet is a charity that works directly with children and young people to equip them with the right knowledge and information to help them stay safe online. The charity works with young people from the ages of 3 to 18 as well as parents, carers, teachers and professionals; sharing e-safety advice and finding out about their real experiences online and the positive activities they are undertaking.
As a specialist ISP to education, we help schools make the most of online learning by protecting pupils from any inappropriate content that appears on the internet.
In 2014 we raised over £500 and with our donations matched by the Talk Straight directors we raised over £1,000 in total. We are looking to achieve this in 2015 and are just a short way off meeting our target!
There is still time to sponsor us using our Just Giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/Schools-Broadband-Talk-Straight/
Any donations large or small are always appreciated