Lock down your Smartphone

Where would we be without our mobile devices? We use them to keep track of our busy work and home lives. We use them to navigate traffic and circumvent construction hold ups. We use them to connect with clients and communicate important business dealings. Can you even remember a time when you conducted business chained to a desk?

 

Businesses rely heavily on mobile devices, especially smartphones, to keep track of business calendars, client data, and to communicate with consumers on a daily basis. So keeping that vital device safe and secure is critical. Let’s look at some of the ways you can lockdown your device and keep your sensitive information private.

 

Today, smartphone users have a multitude of ways to lock and unlock their phones including face scans, fingerprint presses, PIN codes, location detection, and the list goes on.

  • iPhones – Currently, iPhone users have the option of Touch ID fingerprint scans and a PIN code, which these days has to be six digits long (ramped up from the former four digit code). The next generation of  iPhone will offer some sophisticated face recognition tech as well as.
  • Android phones – For these versions of smartphones there are more manufacturers and models to consider, and thus more variety in options. For example, the fingerprint sensors and PIN codes are standard virtually everywhere now. The Galaxy S8 from Samsung was one of the first major flagships to introduce iris scanning as an option. Overall, most Android handsets also support pattern unlock, which is slightly more convenient than a PIN, with a smaller number (including the Galaxy S8) offering their own take on face recognition too.

 

Almost all smartphone locks have been hacked, so try to follow some simple rules researched and recommended by the Guardian to increase your security.

  • Install the most recent software updates to maintain the most recent security fixes.
  • Be warey of the Apps you install.
  • Be sure to lock your device whenever it is not in use.
  • Plan ahead and have tracking capabilities on your phone in case it is stolen or lost.
  • Don’t leave online services unlocked.
  • Be wary of public or open WiFi.
  • Review your Apps often and get rid of the ones you no longer use.

 

Call M&H Consulting for any IT issues 1-(866)-964-8324 or visit our website at http://www.mhconsults.com

Tips for Using the iPhone 7 for Business

In our blog last week we covered some of the positive features that the iPhone 7 has for business owners. If you own an iPhone 7 and want to use it for business and pleasure here are a few tips to get you started.

  • Water Resistance Warning- While we wouldn’t recommend throwing your iPhone in a pool, you don’t have to worry as much if you spill a drink or drop it i a puddle any longer. Look for the warning on the handset that tells you when moisture has been detected and wipe off the liquid to ensure no damage is caused.
  • Improve the Sound – If you use your phone for business and need sound for videoconferencing and important client contacts you will enjoy the better sound. Tech Radar’s top tip: while the sound is good, if you’re listening in a kitchen plop the iPhone into a large bowl and you’ll get some really powerful audio coming your way.
  • Make your Notification Screen Matter – According to TechRadar, you can add all kinds of widgets – traffic information, news, weather forecasts, favorite contacts, OpenTable or TripAdvisor searches, recent conversations. Tom’s guide mentions further that the iOS 10 gives the Today screen a new home and new look for any iPhone, but you’ll want to customize what appears on that screen once you get your hands on a new iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus. From either your lock screen or home screen, swipe right to see the Today screen. By default, it will include widget showing current weather conditions, upcoming calendar events, headlines from the News app, Siri app suggestions and Maps destinations for upcoming appointments.

Stay tuned for more iPhone tips to help your business stay in touch while you are mobile.

 

 

 

 

iPhone 7 and Business

If your business is often mobile, you probably are faced with using tablets, laptops and, of course, smartphones. Now that Apple has released the iPhone 7 you may be wondering if it is a good choice for your business. Here are some excerpts of what business users are saying about the newest member of the Apple product line. Keep in mind that your business needs are specific to your industry and trade.

According to Business News Daily, the iPhone 7 is, “the best iPhone for work yet. Mobile workers will love its superlong battery life, and everyone else will appreciate the phone’s speedy performance; roomy, 5.5-inch display; and sleek, waterproof design. But depending on how you use your phone, the lack of a headphone jack on the iPhone 7 Plus (starting at $769) could be a tough pill to swallow.”

Features you May Enjoy for Business:

  • Design – The iPhone 7 is slim and sleek, with nice rounded edges that rest comfortably on the palm. It’s available in the usual Silver, Gold, Rose Gold and Black, as well as a glossy new Jet Black option.
  • Display – The display is a huge 5.5 inches with bright beautiful colors. Many business users are disappointed that there is no split screen to allow for multitasking as other smartphones are offering.
  • VideoConferencing Ability – Business users are pleased that the iPhone 7 comes with front and rear facing cameras and sharp front facing 7-MP conferencing ability.
  • Battery Life – We all complain that our phone dies before we quit work for the day but the iPhone 7 boasts a longer battery life. Tests show almost 11 hours of full use battery life.

Summer Dangers – Laptops

Summer is in full swing and that means being outdoors more often, traveling and if you are lucky, working poolside. All of these things are wonderful unless you are a laptop. Even though your business or personal laptops may seem pretty sturdy and tough, it is a fairly delicate piece of machinery that can be damaged by high heat, water, and viruses.

Many of us take our laptops for granted which can be dangerous if your personal and business data is on the device. (Hopefully you are backing up and have a plan to protect your information.) Here are some things to consider regarding safeguarding your laptop this summer.

  • Avoid Extreme Temperatures – Laptops can handle temps up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. After that temperature the device will shut down and damage can be caused to the drive and your data. Never leave your laptop in direct sunlight. This means do not leave your device in the car where temps can reach well over 100 degrees. In addition you may want to try using a cooling stand that can protect your device when you are in warm temperatures.
  • Avoid Water – While it may seem relaxing to work on your laptop at the beach or by the pool be sure to keep the device away from water. It’s not uncommon for water splashes to get into the machinery and cause problems. Liquid-proof keyboard covers are a good idea to help avoid these problems.
  • Avoid High Humidity– When the dew point reaches the high levels it is not just uncomfortable for humans but can be a problem for computers as well. Many laptops can experience electrical problems when the humidity is very high, such as 80 percent. Don’t work outside with a laptop on days like this, or you could fry your PC.
  • Avoid Condensation – When items move from a cool air conditioned area to a hot, humid outdoor climate, condensation can occur in the device. Avoid this by allowing your laptop to acclimate to the weather. Shut off your laptop when moving from between temperature extremes.

 

 

Laptops for Business

 

Finding the right technology for your business needs can be tricky work. There are so many choices out there for software, hardware and office tech that it can become overwhelming without some direction. In today’s blog we are discussing work technology in the form of the much beloved business laptop. We will look at the options out there as well as some things that you may want to consider before making your purchase.

 

According to PC Mag, business owners are looking for something that is durable, secure, powerful, light and has the battery capacity to last through an entire work day. Things to consider, then when researching the best business laptop for your needs are:

 

  • Storage – How much storage you need for your files, presentation or security software? Do you use multimedia presentations or merely need access to files?  
  • Memory – The right amount of memory allows you to keep more programs and windows open while you work.
  • Graphics – Make sure your laptop has the right type of graphics and displays for the needs of your company.
  • Connectivity – Getting connect to the web through a wifi location when you are on-the-go is important for business travelers. Choose a laptop that has options for how easily and how securely you can connect.
  • Battery Life – Most business laptops come with options of battery. No one wants to be on a long business trip only to stop every few hours to recharge. You can choose between the number of batteries and cells. The higher you go, the heavier the device will be so you need to decide if the battery performance is worth the weight.

 

Resources – Click on the following links if you would like to continue your laptop search and are looking at rankings.

 

PC Mag Top Laptops 2017

 

The 8 Best Business Laptops to Buy in 2017

Top 10 best business laptops in 2017

Are you Cyber Aware While Mobile?

As Americans, we love our mobile devices because they are so portable and easy-to-use. Unfortunately, smartphones, tablets, laptops, e-readers and iwatches are just as vulnerable to cyber attacks as desktop machines. With the expansion of capabilities and wider range of uses of mobile devices, there have also been an introduction of new security risks. Let’s look at a few steps you can take to be cyber aware while on your beloved mobile device.

 

  1. Security – Keep your mobile device locked with encryption features such as a pin, password, complex swipe, or other security option should it be lost or stolen.
  2. Monitor Apps – It is always advisable to stick with official marketplaces when installing an app in order to avoid spyware, malicious software or other viruses. Some apps ask for access to a camera or messages. Evaluate whether you really need those. In addition, remove apps that you no longer use.
  3. Consider Anti-Virus Software – An anti-virus package may be your best bet at defending against cyber crimes. You wouldn’t operate your desktop without appropriate protection so don’t do it with your mobile. In addition, make sure your system is regularly updated with the latest security features.
  4. Jailbreaking – This activity, while it may help you gain access to specific apps also strips away some of your mobile security.
  5. Bluetooth and WiFi – Disable both of these features when you are not using them because cyber criminals can track your movements when you are in range.
  6. Hotspots – Sure, doing work at a coffeeshop may sound cozy but it can give criminals access to your device and key accounts such as your email, and financial information. Consider using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) if you need a secure connection on-the-go.
  7. Getting a New Device – Consider wiping the data on your mobile device before disposing of it. Keep in mind if you have used rooting or jailbreaking, your device may not respond to the wiping.

 

Call M&H Consultants for more information on training your employees on how to be “Cyber Aware While Mobile”.

 

Spring Cleaning of Your Mobile Device

Yep, it is that time of year again – spring cleaning time. It’s not just for your house either. This is a time when, we here at M&H Consulting, encourage all computer users to clean things out and get organized. Spring is as good a time as any to get this done. Many times we focus on desktop and laptop clean outs. Today we have a few suggestions for spring cleaning your beloved mobile device – you know that thing in your hand that you can’t seem to put down.

Take a few minutes to take these clean out tips. Happy Spring Cleaning!

  • Update – Make sure your OS is running on the most recent update. “Without doing these upgrades and updates you really lose a lot of the functionality in general of the device as they continue to upgrade and add new features,” according to David Lingenfelter, the information security officer at Fiberlink, an IBM company about mobile device maintenance in a corporate environment.
  • Delete Unwanted or Unused AppsUnused or unwanted apps can chew quickly through your battery and your data. These apps can also be communicating through the web or exposing you to viruses?
  • Organize your Apps – It may seem like a little thing, but organizing the apps into business and personal can save you time.
  • Remove Photos and VideosThe biggest space-hogger on many phones is the camera roll, especially if you take lots of videos. Clean those out and transfer them to an online storage service, cloud backup or some photo app to make your mobile run faster and more efficiently.
  • Use a Cleaning App – There are powerhouse apps that clean out your Android device. It removes junk, it improves performance, and it keeps your data safe from harm.
  • Lock It Down – Once you have given your mobile device a thorough cleaning go through the security to make sure it is up-to-date. Is your password strong and do you have anti-virus protection?

 

The Future of Mobile 2017

Wouldn’t it be great if the tech industry had a crystal ball and was able to see what was coming in the future of our industry? We would be able to see things like new threats such as: spyware, ransomware and malware that threaten our networks. We would be able to see the newest gadgets that are yet to be invented that will save us time and money. . . and some that might help save our world a little. The future is pretty exciting and nerve wracking at the same time.

One area that we can almost predict, or at least see where the trajectory is headed, is the future of the mobile industry as it relates to internet use. According to Zenith’s new Mobile Advertising Forecasts, mobile devices will account for 75 per cent of global internet use next year. The mobile proportion of internet use has increased rapidly, from 40 percent in 2012 to 68 percent in 2016, and Zenith forecasts it to reach 79 percent by 2018.

It is no surprise that mobile use has grown so much and will continue to expand as the penetration of the mobile market has dispersed across Western Europe, Asia and North America. In 2012, just 23 percent of people in our 60 markets had a smartphone, and four per cent had a tablet. Smartphone penetration has now reached 56 percent, and increase of 2.4 times over four years. Zenith forecasts it to rise to 63 percent by 2018. Tablets are more of a luxury item and have not spread nearly so widely: they are owned by 15 percent of people in our 60 markets now, and Zenith expects them to reach 17 percent penetration in 2018.

Due to these major growths in mobile use, marketing and internet use via mobile is expected to overtake desktop advertising in 2017, increasing its share of global internet advertising to 52 percent from 44 percent this year. In 2018, it is expected for mobile advertising to account for 60 percent of all internet advertising.

If your company does not have a mobile plan in place or needs to beef up your current plan, call M&H Consultants to talk about the future of mobile for your company.

Tech Life Hacks (Pt. 2)

This post is a continuation of the two-part tech hack series. We will be provide the second set of tips to make your life with technology more simple! If you would like to learn about these hacks, follow along.

To maintain the life of your phone charger:

This tip is a common one that can be applied to any charger, not just that of your phone. Take apart a clicking pen and use the pen’s spring to wrap it around the top of the charging cord. This will help keep the wire from bending and breaking out.

In case you lose your phone:

Here is a tip so simple that you’ve probably not thought of it before. In your note section, type your name and contact information and then save a screenshot of it. Change your lockscreen to the screenshot image, this way, if it gets lost, someone will know how to return it to you.

Picture Taking:

Taking pictures with one hand, especially when it is a selfie, can be difficult and cause your hands to cramp. Solving this issue is very simple. Once you have gotten into the right pose or gotten the phone in the right position, use the volume buttons to snap the picture.

For charging your phone:

Charging your phone can be a tedious process, especially when you are in a rush and need it to charge quickly. The best way to charge your phone quickly is to set it on airplane mode while it is on the charger.

For “resetting” your phone:

Many times, when your phone has a hard time connecting to a signal, or has a glitch, we shut off the phone entirely or reboot it. An easier way to do this is to set your phone on airplane mode for a minute. This will help your phone to connect to a signal.

If you haven’t read the first post on this series, click here to check it out.

Tech Life Hacks (Pt. 1)

Technology can be complicated and understanding them can require a lot of work. Because of this, there are many tech hacks available to help make our technology experience easier and our overall lives easier through technology. Since there are so many hacks available, we have split these lists into a two-part series. Here is the first set of tips to help you get through your technology uses; stay tuned for the next set!

For quick browsing:

Type on “CTRL” and “Enter” at that the same time after typing a domain on the URL bar and the “.com” will appear.

For capitalization purposes:

Highlight a word or phrase and press on “Shift” and “F3” at the same time to switch the capitalization through lowercase, all uppercase and first letter capitalization. Unfortunately, this hack is only useful for PC devices.

For slideshow presentations:

When saving PowerPoint presentations, try saving it as “.PPS” rather than the standard “.PPT”. By doing this, you will be able to skip a step and automatically open your presentation as a slideshow whenever the file is opened.

For your headphones:

To keep your apple headphones handy and safe from getting tangled all up, stick them onto your macbook while doing work. Confused? Well, apparently the Headphones are able to stick onto macbooks like magnets.

To help you differentiate between left ear bud and right ear bud, and skip the misplacing process that can be uncomfortable, try painting or marking each ear bud with different colors.

Test these hacks out and stay tuned for the next set!