What You Should Know About the LastPass Breach

As you may have recently heard, LastPass (a popular password management software used by millions and recommended by KiteTech) was the recent target of a data breach involving customer data. This news release contains more information about what happened.

Virtually all businesses these days have some digital footprint, so any of them, especially those who deal directly with sensitive personal data, could potentially be targeted for data compromise. That said, KiteTech takes very seriously the trust our customers put in us and the importance of your personal data, and we want to make sure you are fully informed about what happened and what you should do about it.

What happened?

A threat actor was able to copy a backup of customer vault data from the encrypted storage container which is stored in a proprietary binary format that contains both unencrypted data, such as website URLs, as well as fully-encrypted sensitive fields such as website usernames and passwords, secure notes, and form-filled data. These encrypted fields remain secured with 256-bit AES encryption and can only be decrypted with a unique encryption key derived from each user’s master password. The master password is never known to LastPass and is not stored or maintained by LastPass. The encryption and decryption of data is performed only on the local LastPass client.

Out of an abundance of caution, LastPass is still requiring all users to reset their master passwords.

LastPass has provided the following instructions for resetting your master password:

“To reset your master password, please visit and click on “I forgot my password”. You will be guided through the process of resetting your master password, which will require you to verify your account using either your email address or a recovery one-time password.”

What should you do about it?

  1. The first thing we recommend is that you immediately change your Master Password in LastPass. While the Master Passwords were not compromised, all LastPass encryption is derived from the Master Password. Changing the Master Password will “re-key” the Password Vault with new encryption.
  2. Equally important, make sure that Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is enabled on your LastPass account. We recommend that you enable MFA on all of your accounts anyway, but if you do not have MFA enabled on your LastPass account you are at extreme risk for your passwords being compromised.
  3. We also recommend you change the passwords of each account you have stored in LastPass. Again, it appears that passwords were not fully compromised in unencrypted form, but it is prudent to be abundantly cautious and change your passwords (after you have changed your Master Password). LastPass is advising that the likelihood of the threat actor decrypting this data is slim, but we do think it is in your best interest. We understand this can be a time-consuming task. We would recommend prioritizing any credentials that protect financial data (banks, insurance, etc). For accounts that do not protect sensitive data, you may choose to change those as you access them during the normal course of use.
  4. Lastly, be on the lookout for phishing attempts related to this compromise. With LastPass not storing the Master Password, the only source of that password is you. It is important to remember that LastPass will never call, email, text, or send you a link requesting your Master Password.


While data breaches are always a worrisome subject in the realm of cyber security, the steps listed above will help you remain secure. By using a strong, unique master password and utilizing multi-factor authentication, you are doing your part in staying protected.

As always, if you have any questions or further concerns, KiteTech is here to help. If you’re already a current client, feel free to reach out to your account manager for further discussion. If you’re not currently working with Kite Technology and would like to learn more about how our Managed IT and Security Services can help you operate more effectively and secure your business, please contact us to schedule a conversation. We’re here to help!

Dillon Fornaro

Dillon Fornaro

Security Engineer
Kite Technology Group

Tips for Staying Safe from Cyber Attacks

As the world around us becomes increasingly digital, it has never been more crucial to know the cyber threats that we face and how to avoid them. Threat actors are continuously looking for any vulnerabilities in our systems that they can exploit. Make sure that you are staying aware of the dangers out there and taking steps to strengthen your security posture. Here are 4 tips that you can leverage for staying safe from cyber attacks.

Tip #1: Avoid Being Tricked by MFA Fatigue

MFA fatigue is when a threat actor persistently attempts to log into an end user’s account using legitimate credentials until the user approves the MFA request on their phone or authenticator app. The constant request to approve the login is used as a tactic to annoy the end user and trick them into approving the login to stop the requests.

If you aren’t currently attempting to log into the service where the request is coming from, always choose to deny and change your password to stop the requests.

Tip #2: HTTPS Does Not Mean the Website is Safe

HTTP is an internet protocol that is used to communicate to a webserver from your browser. When you browse to a website using HTTP, all of the data requests that are used to communicate to the webserver are in plain text. HTTPS is the secured version of that protocol. This means that the network traffic from your local browser to the website is encrypted and cannot be deciphered without the appropriate key.

However, the big takeaway is just because the traffic to a website is secured by HTTPS, does not mean that the website is safe. Always confirm by double checking the URL and be sure to research the legitimacy of the website before entering any credentials.

Tip #3: Keep your Operating Systems up to Date

Whether it’s Windows, Mac, or mobile device, keeping the operating system up to date is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your data. These updates contain security patches for your device, which are used to fix the vulnerabilities in the operating system that are commonly exploited by threat actors.

It’s understandable that updating can cause some hinderance during your workday. To combat this, be sure to schedule these updates during your off hours so that it doesn’t cause any interruption and you can ensure the device is secured.

Tip #4: Implement a Call-back Procedure for Financial Transactions

Whether it’s a wire transfer or a credit card transaction, handling this type of data can be scary. You want to confirm that when you are processing these types of transactions, the money is coming and going from the correct place and person. This is why it’s important to have a call-back procedure in place to confirm the person is who they say they are, and that the communication is legitimate before moving forward.


These are just a few of the many steps that you can take to stay safe from cyber threats. While, the threats that endanger our security will never be eliminated, there are fortunately many strategies that you can use to mitigate them. Taking the time to stay informed on the latest security best practices will go a long way in protecting you and your business. 

If you’re not currently working with Kite Technology and would like to learn more about how our Managed IT and Security Services can help you operate more effectively and secure your business, please contact us to schedule a conversation. We’re here to help!

Dillon Fornaro

Dillon Fornaro

Security Engineer
Kite Technology Group

6 Microsoft Outlook Features for a More Organized Inbox

Microsoft Outlook has been around for decades now, and in that time has established itself as the most widely used email application in the professional workplace. Anyone reading this article almost definitely either uses Outlook actively at their current job or has used it in some capacity in their career.

Outlook is great for sending, receiving, and organizing emails, and many people use Outlook for years with just these most basic functions, and it serves them well. However, there are a wealth of features in Outlook that can help you save valuable time by better organizing information and automating tasks.

In this article, we are going to review 6 Microsoft Outlook features that you can start using today to organize your inbox and be more productive. Though there are many more features that we could cover, these 6 provide a good starting point in using Outlook more effectively.

1. Categories

This first feature, aptly named “Categories”, allows you to classify messages in your Inbox and other folders into different categories.
When viewing emails in your Outlook list, you’ll notice on the Ribbon at the top of your screen, there is a Categorize button that looks like this.

(Note: You can also access this button if you right-click an email, as well as within a single email if you double-click it to open it in a new window).

By default, Outlook has several Categories already created, named for the colors associated with them. If these work for you, then great! But Outlook allows you to go deeper and customize the Categories. To do so, click on the “All Categories…” menu option.

On the screen that follows, you can click any Category you want, rename it, assign it a different color, and even assign a Shortcut Key, which allows you to quickly set a message to that Category by using the keyboard shortcut you choose from the list. You’ll also notice that you can create brand new categories from this same screen.

In my example, I renamed the Green Category to “Informational”, the Blue Category to “Technical Requests”, and I also created a brand new category called “Blog Articles”. I also assigned a different Shortcut Key to each of my categories so that when I am in my email list, I can quickly press this keyboard shortcut to categorize them accordingly.

Now, once we know how to set Categories, we also need to know how they can be used.

When you set a Category on an email, you’ll notice it appears at the top of the email directly under the Subject line.

If you want it to show up in your list view, go to the View tab on the main screen, click on View Settings, and click the button for “Columns…”.

Then, find Categories on the list on the left (Available Columns), and click the Add > button so it appears on the right (“Show these columns…”).


Your screen should look something like this.

Click OK to accept your changes, and when you get back to the list view, you’ll notice the colors corresponding to the Categories you choose will appear in your list of emails.

2. Follow-Up Flags

The next Microsoft Outlook feature called “Follow-Up Flags”, is another way to help stay organized by marking messages, particularly in the case where there is some action needed from you in response. You aren’t always able to answer every email or do every task immediately, so you can use Follow-Up Flags to keep track of when you need to respond. This way you can plan your days and make sure you don’t miss any follow-ups.

Like Categories, you can add a Follow-Up Flag either from the Ribbon under the Follow Up menu, or you can right-click the message and get to the same menu.

From there, you can choose either a preset flag, or you can choose a custom. For example, if I wanted to mark something that needs a follow up tomorrow, I would choose the Tomorrow flag.

When you add a Follow Up Flag to an email, it shows a yellow highlight in the list so that you can quickly visually identify it.

There are additional options you can access if you choose a Custom flag. As you see here, you can choose a Start date, Due date, and even set a Reminder at a certain date and time. These are all intended to help you keep a timeline and not miss any obligations.

The flag feature gets especially useful when you see how it integrates with Tasks in Outlook, which is accessed by clicking the Tasks icon  in the same row as the Mail, Calendar, and Contacts icons.

Every time you mark an email with a flag, it shows up in your Tasks list with the information you specified in the flag. As you process through your emails, if you add flags to the items that need follow ups, you can refer to this Task view for a running to-do list where you can check items off your list. In either the email list view or the Task view, if you click on the flag icon on a particular item, that item will be marked as Complete and will then no longer show on your active Task list.

3. Arrangements

The next feature, called Arrangements, is a View option that lets you show your list of emails under different organizational headers. To access Arrangements, go to the View tab in the Ribbon. There you will see the top of the list of available Arrangements, and if you click the expand arrow, you will see even more options.

By default, most Outlook clients are set to the “Date” Arrangement which lists emails chronologically by the date they were received, but you can choose any of these other options that might be useful to you like Categories and Flags which we’ve already discussed. The below screenshot shows my list under the Arrangement of “Categories”, and you’ll notice there is a different header for each of the Categories I’ve set. (The top of my list, which isn’t visible in the screenshot, displays all the messages that have no Category applied).

You can quickly switch between the different Arrangements and observe how they change your list to see what might be useful to you.

4. Searching

Another important and robust feature in Outlook is the Search function, which can be accessed from anywhere in Outlook on the very top Title bar. Once you click the Search box, another ribbon appears with many different options for refining different search criteria.

Again, you’ll notice options here for the first two topics discussed in this article: Categorized and Flagged. You can use this to quickly find messages with a particular Category or Flag applied, and you can also combine these criteria together for a more specific search. Maybe you want to find messages with a specific Category that you have Flagged for follow-up, like this message.

Another nice thing about the search function is that you can search inside a single folder, a set of folders, an entire mailbox, and even in all the mailboxes you have open in your whole Outlook. This way, no matter how you choose to sort your emails, you can quickly find all messages with your chosen criteria.

When you run searches, your criteria are saved and able to be recalled later, so you can click the “Recent Searches” button and choose a set of criteria you’ve used recently. This can be useful if need to do the same searches frequently.

There are many other options available in the Search ribbon, so I encourage you to be curious and try different things out.

5. Quick Actions

These last two features are designed to help you save time by eliminating clicks in your workflow, so it makes sense that they both have “Quick” in the name.

The first, called “Quick Actions”, are buttons that appear in your email list when you hover over emails, and offer a quick way to do certain things to your messages. By default, when you hover over a message, you will see a Delete button and a Flag button, like here:

You can use these Quick Actions buttons if you prefer, or you can change them by right-clicking an email and clicking “Set Quick Actions”.

This gives you a few other options to change one or both of the Quick Actions that display, or you can disable one or both of them entirely by choosing “None”. In my example, I chose to keep Delete as #1, but changed #2 to Move (moves message to another folder of my choice)


6. Quick Steps

Quick Steps are kind of like Quick Actions but accessed differently and offer many more options for automation. While Quick Actions perform a single action from the short list of available actions, Quick Steps can perform multiple actions of different kinds to the selected message.

From your list view, in the Ribbon you will find an entire section for Quick Steps. Start by clicking the expand arrow at the bottom-right of that section to bring up the Manage Quick Steps dialog box.

I use Quick Steps to quickly move emails to certain folders in my mailbox, so the only ones that appear for me in this screenshot are basic Move actions. To add a new Quick Step, you can click the New button, where you’ll see a list of preset options to get you started, or you can choose Custom to start from scratch.

To dive deeper into Quick Steps, I’ll demonstrate creating a more complex one with multiple steps.

Suppose my goal is to have a button that I can click that will do the following:
1. Apply the “Technical Requests” Category to the message.
2. Set an Importance level of “High”.
3. Create a new Meeting.
4. Move the message to the “Kite Tech” folder.

To start, I choose New > Custom to get a blank Quick Step. At the top, I name my Quick Step “Technical Requests”.
Then, one-by-one, I add the actions I want to take, and click the “Add Action” button each time to begin a new action.
For my first action, I choose a “Categorize message” action, followed by the appropriate Category.
My section action is “Set importance” with the option of “Importance: High”.
My third action is “New Meeting”. Here, there are a lot of options I can choose, like the meeting participants, subject, and location. In my case, I’ll leave all these blank so that each time I get a blank meeting request and can fill in whatever information I want.
And finally, my fourth action is a “Move to folder” action with the proper folder selected, called “Kite Tech”.

If I want, I can even assign a keyboard shortcut to activate the Quick Step, as well as a tooltip to provide a description of what the Quick Step does when the mouse hovers over it.

Once I click Save, the new Quick Step is available in the ribbon, and all I need to do is select one or more message that I want to apply it to, and either click the Quick Step, or press the assigned keyboard shortcut. All these steps would have taken me several clicks and concentrated effort, and by using a Quick Step I have made it effortless.

As a busy professional, it is likely that your inbox gets extremely busy, even overwhelming at times. If this describes you, then I hope you can use these Microsoft Outlook features to help you stay organized and keep your mailbox and busy schedule under control. Outlook is full of features that help with productivity, so as you become more comfortable with the features I discussed here, be curious and find others so that you can continue to learn and improve.

The team here at Kite Technology is passionate about helping users and organizations leverage technology to improve their productivity and operate more effectively. If you would like to learn more about how KiteTech’s Managed IT Services can help you boost your company’s performance, reach out to schedule a call! We look forward to learning more about your company’s needs and learn how we can help you meet your business objectives. 

Daniel Gilbert

Daniel Gilbert

Chief Operating Officer
Kite Technology Group

Microsoft OneNote: 10 Tips to Level Up Your Notetaking

Play Video about Microsoft OneNote: 11 Tips to Level Up Your Notetaking

Microsoft OneNote, a notetaking application included in the Microsoft 365 suite of apps, has become an essential productivity tool for businesses today. However, many people have yet to take advantage of OneNote’s capabilities and potential value at work. 

As a digital notebook that you can access anywhere, anytime on multiple devices, OneNote can serve a vital role as you gather, organize, and share information needed for your daily work. As the name suggests, it is intended primarily for taking notes, but this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what you can accomplish with OneNote.

In this video and article, I’ll share 10 OneNote features and tips that you can use to help you improve the quality of your digital notetaking and maximize the value and productivity gains you get from this awesome Microsoft tool.

1. Organize Sections & Pages

OneNote files are organized like this: each OneNote file is called a Notebook, inside Notebooks are Sections, and underneath those Sections are Pages. You can open multiple Notebooks and quickly switch between them, so you are free to organize your notes however you see fit.

In the example here, my Notebook is called “Paddy’s Pub”, my Section is called “Personnel”, and my Pages are called “Dennis”, “Charlie”, “Mac”, and “Dee”.

After you decide how your Notes will be structured, there are additional features that you can use to further improve the organization of your Notebook. 


First, you can color-code your Sections by right clicking the Section tab and going to Section Color to choose a color. Maybe I want my HR-related stuff to be blue, my operational stuff to be red, and my sales stuff to be green.

Then, you can create sub-pages by right-clicking on a page and choosing Make Subpage.

You may want to do this to group related pages under a common master page, like in my example where I put certain employee-specific pages under that employee’s page.

2. Use Page Templates

OneNote includes several pre-built page templates you can use to introduce formatting to your pages for specific purposes. If you go to the Insert tab on the Ribbon, then click Page Templates, the Templates pane will appear on the right where you can see all the templates available. Click the one you want to try.









When you select a template, a new page will be created in the current Section. Play around with different templates to see what is available and what might be useful for you.

Once you land on a template you want to use, you can rename the new page and move it wherever you want.Shown here is the template called “Detailed Meeting Notes”, which I renamed to June 2021 to help me run this month’s staff meeting.

3. Enable Rule Lines

By default, pages in OneNote are completely blank white. But have you ever tried to take notes on a blank white piece of printer paper? It’s much easier to stay organized with notebook paper that has horizontal rule lines, so you don’t end up slanting your writing.

To enable rule lines, go to the View tab on the Ribbon, and click Rule Lines. If you click the dropdown arrow, you will see other options, like wide-spaced and grid lines.





If you like using pages with rule lines, you can click the Rule Lines dropdown and select the option Always Create Pages with Rule Lines.

4. Use Docked Windows

Docked Windows is a feature that allows you to keep a certain OneNote page on your screen while you browse other content, like web sites. Go to the View tab on the Ribbon and click New Docked Window.

When you do this, you will notice the page you currently have active will appear on the right side of your screen, and everything else on your screen will be pushed to the left side. You can resize your docked page as you want, up to half of the screen. Then, you can move other windows in and out of the left side of the screen, and they will automatically size to the edge of the docked OneNote page. This is particularly helpful if you are working on taking notes that require research online, or in online meetings where you want to see the video feed while still being able to take notes.

5. Incorporate Outside Data

One of the features of Microsoft Office that has always been highly attractive is the ability to integrate files from its different programs so that they work together. OneNote is no different; you can include other kinds of files directly on your notes page in line with your text. Spreadsheets are particularly useful to include in notes pages because you can use Excel features like formulas and conditional formatting.

To include an Excel spreadsheet in your notes, go to the Insert tab on the Ribbon and click Spreadsheet. You can either choose an existing spreadsheet or create a new one. If you choose to insert an existing Spreadsheet, you will need to choose a Spreadsheet and then you will see the below dialog box, asking if you want to Attach File, Insert Spreadsheet, or Insert a Chart or Table. If you choose Attach File, it will create a copy of the spreadsheet and show that on your page so you can open and see it. If you choose one of the other options, the data will be pulled live from the existing Spreadsheet, so edits you make there will reflect in OneNote.

In this example, the bar uses a spreadsheet for inventory management where they can keep track of items they have in stock and Excel helps them calculate how much they will need to pay to restock.

6. Record Audio and Video

Sometimes you want to include more than just text or numbers. Among many other forms of multimedia, OneNote allows you to record audio and video files and include them on your notes page.

To record Audio or video, go to the Insert tab on the Ribbon, and youwill see the Record Audio and Record Video buttons. Click either to get started.


You will notice the Ribbon change to a Recording tab with other controls, and at this point your recording has started (assuming your microphone and/or camera are configured properly). You can pause and resume your recording, and when you are done you can click Stop and then play your recording to ensure you got it right.

On your notes page, the recording will show a timestamped icon that you can double-click and watch or listen. Below is an example of both video and audio.

7. Use Tags

Tagging is a feature in OneNote that lets you assign labels to your notes to classify certain kinds of information. In the Home tab of the Ribbon, you will see Tags has an entire section where there are several controls. I’ll just go over a few of the main ones.

  • To Do tags should be added to tasks that need to be completed, and when added a checkbox will appear to allow you to mark tasks as complete.
  • Important tags display a star next to the tagged data and should be used to draw attention to important items in the notes.
  • Question tags identify unanswered questions in the notes that may need input from others or additional research.

Simply position your cursor on the text you want to tag, then click the tag you want from the Tags dropdown. (Expand the dropdown menu to reveal many other tags).

Here is an example of a list of items that are classified using tags.

8. Share Your Notebook

Of course, you can’t have fun with Microsoft Office if you’re not sharing, so just like all the other apps in the suite, OneNote allows you to share with others inside or outside your organization. 

To share your notebook, go to the File menu (all the way left in the Ribbon) and click Share. You will be presented with the options to add people, decide what kind of permissions you want them to have, and decide how you want to share it. You can also access this menu by right-clicking on the name of your Notebook and clicking “Share this Notebook”.

When you share a notebook with others, OneNote keeps track of a history of changes and who makes them. In this example, you can see the initials of another editor in my company who added an announcement to our meeting notes.

What’s more, if you go to the History tab in the Ribbon, you can click on Recent Edits and choose a time frame to see a timeline of changes on the right side of the screen. Choose the Sort by Author option in the dropdown and you can see changes broken out by who made the change.

9. Password Protect Your Notes

Let’s say you want to share a notebook with a team of people, but there is private information you want to keep in the notebook for convenience but not open it up to the entire team. In this case, you can password protect one or more Sections in your Notebook.

To make this happen, while inside the Section you want to protect, go to the Review tab in the Ribbon and click Password. You can also right-click the Section name and click Password Protect This Section…

Then click Set Password in the right pane and choose a password. After that, anyone who accesses that Section will need the password to access it. (Keep in mind, this includes you, so if you’d rather not need to enter this password, you should keep sensitive information elsewhere).

If you click on the Password Options link at the bottom of the right pane, you will be brought to the Advanced OneNote Options, where you can scroll down and edit some of the behavior of password protected sections.

10. Export Your Notes

Finally, when you are finished building a Notebook, or perhaps have gotten it to a point where you want to publish it and/or share it with a larger audience, you can export your notes to a few different formats. To do so, go to the File menu and click Export. Here you will see that you can export a Page, a Section, or the entire Notebook, and the formats you can use are listed on the right.

Most often, you will probably want to export to a PDF document, so it is in a published, non-editable format. This gives some permanence and presentation to your notes. In some cases, you may choose to export to a Word document (.docx) if you think the recipient will want to continue editing the notes in Microsoft Word.

Choose your settings and click Export, and all you will need to do then is choose a location and file name.

While getting the hang of some of these features may take some practice, once mastered they can really make a difference in your ability to more effectively capture and synthesize the information you need.


As you can see, OneNote is more of an Information Organization tool than a simple note-taking app. There are so many ways that you can use OneNote to improve your productivity and the way you collaborate with your team. The tips I shared today are just a few of the many game-changing features OneNote has to offer.

To learn more about how Kite Technology can help you leverage everything Microsoft 365 has to offer, please reach out to us to schedule a conversation. We would love to learn more about your organization and discuss your business technology needs.

Daniel Gilbert

Daniel Gilbert

Chief Operating Officer
Kite Technology Group

adam atwell

Adam Atwell

Cloud solutions architect

Adam is passionate about consulting with organizations across the country to help them develop and execute a cloud adoption strategy that meets their business needs and future objectives. Adam oversees and manages our company strategy for Microsoft 365 adoption and is responsible for future growth and development inside Microsoft 365 and other cloud technologies.