Set a user’s password expiration policy

I often get asked about our customer that is there any way to stop user’s password getting expire on a regular basis in Office 365.We reccomend that not to chnage that setting as it will relax the security settings and complaince.

As an admin user we can make user’s passwords expire after a certain number of days or set the password to never expire. It is also possible to change the number of days before users are notified of password expiration.

This applies to Office 365 Enterprise, Office 365 Business Essentials or Office 365 Business Premium.

Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account.

Go to the Office 365 admin center.

In the admin center preview, go to Settings > Security and privacy and click Edit.

Security & Policy

In the admin center, go to Service settings and then Passwords.

Password Policy Admin Center
If you don’t want users to have to change passwords, select Passwords never expire. If you select this option, users won’t get any reminders anymore to change their passwords.

If you want user passwords to expire, type the number of days before the password should expire. Choose a number of days from 14 to 730.

Type the number of days before users are notified that their password will expire, and then click Save. Choose a number of days from 1 to 30.

Setting Up multi-factor authentication for Office 365 users

Multi-factor authentication helps secure Office 365 Users sign-ins for services beyond regular single password mechanism. With MFA for Office 365, users are required to acknowledge a phone call, text message, or app notification on their smart phones after correctly entering their passwords. They will be allowed to use the services only after this second authentication factor has been validated.

To set up multi-factor authentication app for Office 365 we need to follow the below steps

Sign in to the Office 365 admin center though the Portal

In the admin center, choose users and groups > Active Users.

In the classic admin center, next to Set Multi-factor authentication requirements, choose Set up.

classic admin center

In the admin center preview, choose More > setup azure multi-factor auth.

admin center preview

Find the user or users that you want to enable for MFA. Best Way is search for the user

Check the check box next to the names you chose.

This will reveal two options on the right: Enable and Manage user settings. Choose Enable.

In the dialog box that opens, choose enable multi-factor auth.

Enable Multifactor

The steps to set up your preferred verification method begin on this page.

Once the administrator has configured your Office 365 environment and one or more devices to use a second verification method, then you will now do a two-part sign in. First, you enter your work or school account user name and password. Then you use a second verification method through a phone, a text message, or the Authenticator app. You set up your preferred verification method the first time you do the two-part sign in.

It will display the Additional security verification page, click Set it up now.

Choose Mobile app and receive notification for verification

MFA Setup05

It will take you to the Configure Mobile App Page, Follow the instruction on the page Click on the Contact me button

MFA Setup06

As a next step you need to enter the code which displayed on the mobile app and click on verify

MFA Setup07

Type the mobile number incase to access using SMS verification

MFA Setup08

 

That’s it you are ready to use the Multi-Factor Authentication

Here we go the MFA is Enabled now.

MFA Setup09

Folder Called Unwanted Appearing in Outlook Client

Recently i have come across a user complaining about his emails are getting moved to a folder called Unwanted whereas User confirmed that he didn’t created any folder named such .The users don’t have rules set and when the user moves the mail back to the Inbox, it gets moved back to the Unwanted folder after a while .As a next step we started checking with the user about the other devices which he uses to access the emails there we go … the culprit was not any of the outlook settings it was the mobile device which he uses .

User has a Samsung Galaxy Mobile where he configured the email at the same time. In order to confirm we tried switching off the phone, the mail stays in the Inbox as normal.

During this tests We noticed that Mobile is not picking up the Office 365’s junk folder and is creating a junk folder called Unwanted its own. Finally, we found the setting on the phone where we have to remove the addresses which was for the specific users from the Spam addresses. This is how we did it

  1. Go into the E-Mail app (on the phone)
  2. Press the Menu Key, select Settings, then General Settings
  3. Select Spam addresses and remove any addresses that should not be in there, such as your corporate domain.

Microsoft Planner – Free Planning Tool for SMB

Good News about general availability of Microsoft Planner . Over the next several weeks, Planner will roll out to all eligible Office 365 customers worldwide. This includes Office 365 Enterprise E1–E5, Business Essentials, Premium and Education subscription plans.

All users with eligible subscription plans will automatically see the Planner tile appear in the Office 365 app launcher when it is available for them to use or manually access it through https://tasks.office.com/ . No specific action by Office 365 admins is needed.

Plannner Screenshot

The addition of Planner to the Office 365 lineup introduces a new and improved way for businesses, schools and organizations to structure teamwork easily and get more done. With Planner, teams can create new plans; organize, assign and collaborate on tasks; set due dates; update statuses and share files, while visual dashboards and email notifications keep everyone informed on progress.

In short, Planner is all about structuring teamwork. You can set due dates, and use visual dashboards and email notifications to keep in the loop. Each new plan created in Planner automatically creates a new Office 365 group (Office 365 Groups allows individuals to easily create public or private groups).

What all you can do in Microsoft Planner ?

  1. Create a plans
  2. Add tasks to a plans
  3. Sort tasks into buckets
  4. Add people to your plan

Incase if you folks are getting We’re not ready for you yet – Planner Error

Please make sure that first release enabled in your tenant?

You can change how your organization receives Office 365 updates by following these steps.

Important: It can take up to 24 hours for the below changes to take effect in Office 365. If you opt out of First Release after enabling it, your users may lose access to features that haven’t reached the scheduled release yet.

  1. Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account.
  2. Go to the Office 365 admin center.
  3. Go to Settings > Organization profile.
  4. Next to Release preferences, choose Edit.Release Option
  5. To disable first release, select Standard release then Next and Yes to the confirmation. Skip to the last step.
  6. To enable first release for all users in your organization, choose First release for everyone then Next and Yes to the confirmation. Skip to the last step..First Release
  7. To enable first release for some people in your organization, choose First release for selected users and choose Next then Yes to the confirmation.
  8. Choose Add people to add users individually. Search for their names and choose Add.
  9. Choose Save then Close.

To add users in bulk

  1. Next to Release preferences, choose Edit > Bulk add people for first release under the Standard release heading.
  2. Choose Browse to select a file containing each person’s email address.This is similar to how you bulk add users in the admin center.
  3. Choose Next and Close.

We already started using Microsoft Planner . When you guys are planning ?

Force DirSync To Synchronize With Office 365

As Part Of Recent Development Microsoft have changed the steps / method of forcefully changing the password .

Earlier it was done through Logging into the Dirsync Server and Open A Powershell Windows (With Elevated Privileges), Navigate To The C:\Program Files\Windows Azure Active Directory Sync\ Directory And Type The.\Dirsyncconfshell.Psc1 Command. When Done You Can Start start-Onlinecoexistencesync Cmdlet Which Will Force Replication.

When You run latest version of DirSync it slightly changed and you need to run the following commands in Powershell.

Import-Module Dirsync

Start-OnlineCoexistenceSync

You may get the following error very rarely else it usually runs flawlessly. Incase if you ran into this scenario , It’s because the Set-ExecutionPolicy policy is not set for RemoteSigned – (Downloaded scripts must be signed by a trusted publisher before they can be run) . Little about the Set-ExecutionPolicy incase if you are not aware this cmdlet enables you to determine which Windows PowerShell scripts (if any) will be allowed to run on your computer. Windows PowerShell has four different execution policies:

PowerShell Error

Restricted – No scripts can be run. Windows PowerShell can be used only in interactive mode.

AllSigned – Only scripts signed by a trusted publisher can be run.

RemoteSigned – Downloaded scripts must be signed by a trusted publisher before they can be run.

Unrestricted – No restrictions; all Windows PowerShell scripts can be run.

If you’re using Windows 2008 R2 then there is an x64 and x86 version of PowerShell both of which have to have their execution policies set. Check if you have set the execution policy in both hosts?

You can set the execution policy by typing this into your powershell window:

Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned

Once the above comments is executed. You will be able to execute the Start-OnlineCoexistenceSync withought having any error . To verify the status you may execute the  Synchronization Service Manager (miisclient.exe) which is normally  located at C:\Program Files\Windows Azure Active Directory Sync\SYNCBUS\Synchronization Service\UIShell.

Synchronization Service Manager

Remove SkyDrive / OneDrive for Business 2013 from File Open and Save Pages

If users of yours environment want to disable new file open and save pages but want to remove SkyDrive / OneDrive for Business 2013 option from these pages.This can be done by disabling “Show additional places for saving, even if sign-in may be required” option. It’ll remove SkyDrive / OneDrive for Business 2013 option from file open and save pages.

Save as

 

You can also set your local computer as default file save location by enabling “Save to Computer by default” option.

SkyDrive

 

Why should Small Businesses / Startups look for Cloud Computing to Run their Business??

Cloud Solutions offers benefits to companies with any size of business . Be it an organization with 2 people or 200 people .

Question is who can reap more by adopting this to the environment. The answer would be smaller and newer company . The Primary reason would be the reasons for small businesses / startup to opt cloud-based solutions is to get the benefits of big business infrastructure, without having to implement and manage it internally.

Cloud based solutions enables organizations to access services and servers hosted in a enterprise class data center and maintained by the Cloud Service Provider . Companies are finding the many attractions of cloud computing which is very interesting. I would like to add few here .

Cloud Solutions can improve employee productivity – The users can access the services from anywhere . This enables the employees to access documents, emails and applications while they are even away from the office.

This reduces upfront costs/Investment of Hardware & Software – Choosing a cloud-based solution for email, document sharing, web conferencing and CRM reduces the upfront cost associated with starting / running the business. There are no hardwares to buy to setup your infrastructure . This cloud-based model also allows businesses to easily enhance or reduce their use of cloud services according to their needs.

Adoption of cloud service is easy – Best part is no need to install new hardware or software; no IT administration . It is often seamless to the user and No training is required specific to the technology for managing it .

It is secure – Cloud computing can be more secure than a traditional IT infrastructure. Cloud computing covers many of the issues blamed on – security, integration, compliance and so on – often cause fewer problems in small companies that can’t properly deal with them anyway.

Please feel free to get in touch with me in-case if you need any sort of consultancy on adopting cloud services to your environment .