How to Prevent Phone Hacking

Traditionally a headache reserved for celebrities, smartphone-hacking concerns have crossed the VIP vs. everyone else blood-brain barrier and are now a legitimate concern for anyone who owns a cell phone.

The Security Risks of Phone Hacking

But is this really a serious problem for us regular folks? Are our voicemail messages so interesting that someone would invade our privacy to listen in? Before we go barking up the narcissism tree, it’s best to examine what phone hacking is and whether you really need to worry about it.

There are many types of phone hacking methods, ranging from hacking into a live conversation or into someone’s voicemail, and to hacking into data stored on one’s smartphone. While the fear of the unknown can keep anyone on edge, the person most likely to hack into your live conversation or voicemail will be someone that you already know, and in today’s mobile world, phone hacking continually grows as a security issue. As people increasingly store sensitive data on their mobile devices, the opportunity to exploit privacy weaknesses becomes more tempting to unscrupulous frenemies, exes or the occasional stranger.

The Security Risks of Phone Hacking

There is a cottage industry of phone hacking software, ostensibly developed for legal uses, but that can be easily abused by anyone (password crackers aptly named John the Ripper and Cain and Abel are two examples). Opportunistic hackers can wreak havoc with data deletion or install malicious software that gathers bank account logins and confidential business emails. So, how can you make things tougher for hackers?

How to Secure Your Phone From Hackers

If you want to be proactive, there are several measures you can take to protect yourself against phone hacking, most of which involve common sense. In addition, there are advanced methods to ensure that your phone is as secure as possible (without losing its full functionality). For example:

Basic Phone Security Tips

For casual phone users, adhering to the basics is a great place to start when it comes to blocking simple hacking efforts:

  • Never leave your phone unattended. Keeping your phone with you at all times while in a public place is the first, best rule to follow.
  • Change your phone’s default passcode. Your phone likely comes with a simple, predictable default password, and those who know can use this to their advantage. Change your code to something more complex, and resist the usual “1234,” “0000” and “2580” codes that are commonly used.
  • Manage your Bluetooth Security. Avoid using unprotected Bluetooth networks and turn off your Bluetooth service when you aren’t using it.
  • Protect your PIN and Credit Card data. Use a protected app to store PIN numbers and credit cards, or better yet, don’t store them in your phone at all.

Advanced Ways to Prevent Phone Hacking

If you’re still worried about hacking, there are further steps you can take to protect yourself. However, taking things too far will defeat the purpose of having a smartphone at all.

  • Avoid unsecured public WiFi. Hackers often target important locations such as bank accounts via public WiFi that can often be unsecured due to relaxed safety standards or even none at all.
  • Turn off your autocomplete feature. By doing this, you can prevent stored critical personal data from being accessed.
  • Regularly delete your browsing history, cookies, and cache. Removing your virtual footprint is important in minimizing the amount of data that can be harvested by prying eyes.
  • Have an iPhone? Enable Find My iPhone. By turning the feature on in your settings, you’ll be able to locate your phone if you misplace it before the hackers can lay their paws on it.
  • Use a security app that increases protection. For Android owners, Webroot offers the all-in-one Mobile Security for Android app that provides antivirus protection and allows you to remotely locate, lock up and wipe your phone in the event you lose track of it. For iOS users, Webroot also offers a free secure web browser for increased mobile security on your iPhone and iPad.

Remember—if the thought of hacking has you tossing and turning at night, you can just turn the phone off, remove the battery and hide it under your pillow for some sweet lithium-ion induced dreams. Or, you can double down on securing your mobile devices with mobile security solutions offering secure web browsing and real-time defense against phishing attacks.

Webroot Smarter Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity Education Resources, Tips/Articles

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6 Tech Mistakes Every Growing Business Should Avoid

We count down some all-too-common tech mistakes – the kind that can damage a growing business, and even stunt its growth for good.

Buying tech for your business is pretty exciting. It’s a chance to drive faster growth and innovation. To do more, in cooler, smarter ways.

That said, it’s also absolutely terrifying. There’s the purchase cost, the hassle of implementation, the new security concerns – and the knowledge that if you make one big mistake, it could have a devastating effect on your bottom line.

So, be forewarned and forearmed.

Here are 7 tech mistakes too many growing businesses make…

1. Not taking security seriously.

These days, every business is a potential target. So, make sure your firewalls are in place, your antivirus is up to date, your data and files are in a secure location and you’ve the power to shut down compromised devices at any time.

A security breach could bring your business to a halt, stunting your growth And even more damaging, if customer data is compromised, it could irreparably harm the relationships and reputation you’re working so hard to build.

When talking IT in the cloud, there’s a common misperception that it’s not secure because you can’t physically see where your data being stored. Don’t be fooled. One of the biggest benefits of cloud IT is that companies (think Google and Microsoft) can use world-class security experts (the kind only companies like this can hire) to protect their apps and servers.

2. Not keeping backups.

A burglary, a fire, a computer crash… any one of these is a headache for your business – but if you lose data that’s not backed up, it’s a potential catastrophe.

Whatever your size, it pays to pay attention to disaster recovery. Work out an efficient way of backing up your critical data before you need it. Better yet, consider cloud storage to make your data available on any device and ensure it will still be there if a disaster happens. Servers usually don’t survive floods or fires.

3. Not planning for the future.

Your set of Excel spreadsheets might seem like a fine way of tracking customers now, but what about in a year’s time when your customer base soars?

For the smaller business, not thinking about scalability is a big mistake. Whether it’s your business voice service, productivity apps, customer relationship management tools, wireless plans – whatever – you need to know your tech will grow with you, simply, quickly and without harsh penalties or capital investment.

4. Not doing your research.

There’s speed, and there’s carelessness. However agile your business aspires to be, research is a crucial stage in any tech investment.

Spend a little time analyzing exactly what you need, and exactly what each competing product or service will deliver – you’ll almost certainly save yourself a lot more time (and money) somewhere further down the line.

When budgets are tight, tech upgrades can be the first casualty. Witness the number of businesses still on Windows XP – which retained an 11% market share in 2015, despite Microsoft dropping support for the operating system a year before, leaving it unpatched and vulnerable to new security threats.

5. Not upgrading when you should.

Upgrading your tech may be a hassle, but it’s a whole lot easier than dealing with the fallout of a security breach. And that’s just one example. Eking more life out of any aging software and infrastructure than it’s designed for is a fast track to inefficiency and cost.

6. Trying to go it alone.

As you try to deliver the tech your growing business needs, it’s easy to grow a whole new department – which needs to be housed, equipped and paid.

But today – thanks to the cloud and managed services – there’s another option. You can outsource some or all of your tech burden to an expert partner, helping you keep your own business lean, even as its revenues swell.

How to avoid the mistakes – a handy recap…

1. Think Cloud and as-a-Service.

2. Take security seriously.

3. Backup. Backup. Backup.

4. Plan to scale.

5. Don’t skimp on the research.

6. Upgrade when you should.

7. Ask for help.

That’s it.

Watch out for these mistakes, and equipping your business with the technology it needs should at least be a little less scary – but no less exciting.

Have questions? Not a problem. We are happy to help!

We can have one of our professional engineers meet with you to strategize and execute the best solution to suit your business needs. Email us at or give us a call at 732-780-8615 to get more information, or to schedule an appointment with one of our trained professionals today!

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Phishing Scam Poses as Office 365 Alert

A new phishing campaign is underway pretending to be from the “Office 365 team,” warning recipients that there has been an unusual amount of file deletions occurring in their account.

The phishing scam, shown below, pretends to be a warning from the Office 365 service that states a medium-severity alert has been triggered. It then goes on to say that there has been high amount of file deletions occurring in their Office 365 account and they should review the alerts.

Office 365 Phishing Email

If you click on the “View alert details” link you will be brought to a, very real looking, fake Microsoft account login page that prompts you to login.

Since this page is hosted on Azure the site is secured with a certificate signed by Microsoft. This adds legitimacy to the scheme by making it appear as a Microsoft-sanctions URL. Azure is increasingly being used by scammers for this purpose.

When you enter your password the email address and password is sent to a web page that is controlled by the attackers. This page saves the credentials and the phisher later retrieves them.

Once you login with your credentials you will be redirected to a legitimate Microsoft Portal where you will be prompted to login again.

In the past we have advised users to closely examine phishing landing pages for suspicious domains. Scammers are now getting even trickier by hosting pages on Azure.

For Microsoft accounts and logins it’s important to remember that the login forms will be coming ONLY from:


If you are presented with a Microsoft login form from any other URL – avoid it!

Abrams, Lawrence. “Phishing Emails Pretend to be Office 35 ‘File Deletion’ Alerts” Bleeping Computer May 2019

Approximately 1 MILLION CYBERATTACKS are attempted a day and on average compromised credentials aren’t reported until 15 months after a breach.

Be careful. Be educated! We offer tools that monitor your credentials and raise awareness so that you and your employees will learn to avoid the pitfalls that put your company credentials at risk.

Give us a call to further discuss how we can help in protecting your business against cybersecurity threats, and how we can make technology work for your business.

Call 732.780.8615 or email

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Dont Use Public Charging Stations

The port that you use to charge your smartphone is the same one that you can use to transfer data. Hackers know this and have devised ways to steal data from travelers looking to charge their phones and tablets at free charging stations in public spaces like airports, coffee shops, and hotel lobbies.

Called juice jacking, hackers modify charging stations with hardware designed to install malware on your phone or tablet. Just plugging into a compromised charging station can infect your phone.

Both charging ports and charging cables can be used to deliver malware. So it’s not your lucky day when you find a power adapter left behind in an outlet or a cable dangling from a public charging port. While that cable or power adapter may have been left by an absentminded traveler, it may also be a lure set by a hacker. And once a hacker has access to your phone, he or she can control it without your knowledge and steal your data.

4 Ways to Prevent Juice Hacking

Fortunately, it’s really easy to protect yourself from this type of hack.

  1. Use a data blocking adapter: If you use a data blocking adapter, like the PortaPow 3rd Gen Data Blocker ($6.99, check price on Amazon), you can plug into public USB ports with your existing cable.
  2. Use the electric outlet, not the USB port: Always use the electric outlet and your charger rather than the USB port at charging stations.
  3. Invest in a portable charger: Skip the public charging stations and use a portable charger, like the Anker PowerCore II Slim 10000 ($35.99, check price on Amazon).
  4. Make sure you don’t give data access to an unknown device: When an iphone connects to a computer or other device that wants to access data, you’ll get a pop up asking if you want to “Trust This Computer?” If you select “Don’t Trust,” you an charge and your settings and data won’t be accessible. If you’re concerned that you may have inadvertently given access to an untrusted device and want a clean slate, go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Location & Privacy. For Android phones, you’ll get a pop up or a notification that says “Charging this device via USB.” Under “Use USB for,” make sure you’ve selected “Supply Power.”

    The hazards of plugging into a rental car

    When you rent a car these days, it’s likely that it will come equipped with an infotainment system that will interface with your phone for calls, texts, music, navigation and more. Once you’ve connected, these cars may store your personal information.

    The data collected may include your phone number, call and message logs, streaming music service account information, locations you visited using the navigation system, and more. Simply unplugging your phone won’t delete the data stored in the car. You’ll have to delete it manually.

    When you return your car, make sure you upair your device.  Find the System Settings and/or the Bluetooth Setup menu and delete your device. Then, find the factory reset option and perform a factory reset on the infotainment system.

    Kantra, Suzanne. “Why You Should Never Use Public USB Charging Stations” Techlicious/Travel, Phones and Mobile, Tips & How to’s: May 2019

    Posted in: Tech Tips for Business Owners

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11 Secrets That Will Make You More Secure on the Internet (Part 2)

Hacked accounts in the news, endless robocalls, online ads that eerily seem to read your mind. Do I hear Alexa and Siri gossiping about your secrets? It almost feels like paranoia is a totally appropriate reaction.

Last month we posted the first 5 tips that will help make you more secure. Here, we will post items 6 through 11. Let us know if you have any questions about how to keep yourself and your data safe. We are always here to help! Read on…

6. Stock Browsers are Bad Browsers

At least if you’re very serious about privacy. Safari sends data to Apple and you better believe Chrome sends info to Google. If this is part of your threat model, ditch them both and go with Firefox, which is the most secure of the mainstream browsers.

For super-duper security and privacy, here are some recommended extensions:

  • HTTPS everywhere: This is a must for everyone. Forces sites to encrypt your connection whenever possible.
  • Ublock Origin: Great, customizable ad-blocker. Do not install if you love ads.
  • Cookie Autodelete: Prevents tracking. Not for everyone. Very secure, not-so-convenient.
  • Multi-Account Container: This makes each tab operate as if it was a separate browser, preventing those eerie recommendations that seem to read your mind. Not for everyone.
  • Track Me Not: It runs random Google searches in the background to bury your real searches in a haystack of noise. Only needed if you’re very privacy conscious and have a puckish sense of humor.

For your smartphone, it’s Firefox again, unless you want super-security and don’t mind a convenience hit; then go with Firefox Focus.

And at the super-extreme outer edge we have the “Deluxe Snowden Package.” You’ll need Qubes and Tor (Pro tip: be careful with those exit nodes.) And you cannot afford to be tracked by your phone. Get a Faraday bag — or put it in a martini shaker. Yes, seriously.

Browser secured. But that’s not going to help much when the data leaves your computer and heads out there into the big bad internet. How do you keep your online activities secure and private when they’re out of your hands?

7. Dig a Tunnel

Your ISP can see every site you visit when you’re online at home. And so can the marketers they sell that info to. If a connection isn’t secure, hackers can intercept your traffic and mess with you. And using public WiFi is like making your poor little phone have unprotected sex with very unattractive strangers. How the heck do we stay safe from all these prying eyes and barbarians at the digital gate?

It’s called a VPN and I’ll go so far as to say everyone should have one. Basically, it creates an encrypted “tunnel” between you and your VPN provider, protecting your internet activities from visibility and attacks. Your ISP now only knows you’re connected to the VPN, and nothing more. Hackers can’t break through the encryption to monkey with your data. And public WiFi gets a much-needed condom.

Note that some sites don’t play well with VPNs, because many bad guys use them. VPNs are pretty cheap (roughly $5 a month) and they’re simple to set up on both computers and smartphones. PIA and NordVPN are recommended providers.

So far we’ve discussed a lot of attack scenarios you’re probably familiar with. But here’s one most people aren’t. And if you’re not protected, it could lead to someone emptying your bank account…

8. The Phone Number is the New Social Security Number

What do you do whenever you get a new phone? Call your cellular provider and have them move your number to the new device. Easy peasy. But what if I called your cellular carrier and pretended I’m you? They move your phone service to my phone. And when I log in to Bank of America with your password, guess who gets the text with that 2FA code? Yup, moi. Shopping spree time. (Hacking the password was easy; it’s was “123456”, right?)

This is called “SIM swapping.” These days people are signing up for 2FA more often, so SIM swapping is happening more often. If you’re doing 2FA with an app like Authy or a hardware token, you’re covered. But some sites (*cough*, *cough*, Bank of America) only offer 2FA by SMS. Ugh. What to do?

Many of the phone companies are now offering to secure your account with a password, so go to their site or call them to get one. People won’t be able to port your number without the code.

And what’s the ultimate-privacy-Jason-Bourne-level-security-tinfoil-hat-conspiracy-theory solution? That’s easy: make sure nobody knows your phone number — not even you. This will prevent both SIM swapping attacks and shady dudes from selling your GPS location. But how the heck do you do it?

Move your current phone number to Google Voice. (You can do that here for $10. Instructions here.) Sign up for a pre-paid mobile plan. (Mint Mobile is dirt cheap and reliable. Join here.) They’ll give you a new SIM card with a new number. You now get all your calls, texts and voicemail through the Google Voice app. And you never give the new SIM card number out to anyone. Yes, this works. You can’t be SIM swapped, you can’t be tracked… and anyone you tell about it will probably assume you’re a fugitive, a drug dealer or utterly insane.

While we’re driving down paranoia lane, SMS text messaging is fundamentally insecure. Switch to an encrypted free app like Signal. But the people you’re contacting need to have it as well. So now you’re an insane fugitive drug dealer who is also having an affair. Remember what I said about security vs convenience..?

We’ve covered a lot of technical stuff, but one of the most important things to do when dealing with online security threats is to change your attitude…

9. Be More Skeptical
 attacks don’t always come in the obvious form of emails from Nigerian royalty. Increasingly, these attacks appear to come from close friends, leading you to click links without hesitation. Using a site like this I can send you an email that appears to be from, well, anyone. And this site lets me do the equivalent with my phone, spoofing my caller ID. Yes, it’s that easy.

Don’t log in to anything important using a public computer or public WiFi without a VPN. Turn WiFi off on your phone to avoid being tracked in retail stores. And sign up for notifications here to find out if any of your personal information has popped up in data breaches.

If giving out personal info is an overwhelming concern for you (everybody say it with me now: threat model) you might want to check out MySudo. Ever wanted a secret identity? MySudo offers you multiple “aliases” — each with their own working phone number and email address. For when you have to give the hotel a number but don’t want marketing calls, when you’re not sure about that person on Tinder, when buying things online, or if you just want to pretend you’re Stringer Bell from “The Wire” carrying a burner phone.

10. Be Wary Of The Cloud And Social Media

Most of us see free iCloud backup as an awesome service. And it is… but also look at it through your security lens: any time you backup in the cloud you are putting all of your data on a computer you do not control. 

The cloud is great for convenience and data loss protection but anything you put on someone else’s computer is subject to data breaches or nosy employees. For most people, the cloud is probably fine. But if you plan on becoming a political dissident or an international celebrity (no, I’m not going to link to the hacked nudes of Jennifer Lawrence but I can’t stop you from Googling them) keep your data on your devices. There’s also a middle path: encrypt files before uploading them.

11. Convinced “They” Are Watching You? Set Traps.

If you’ve got a stalker, an abusive spouse, or live in a country where having unpopular political opinions tends to make people vanish, you’ve got a legit extreme threat model. And I’m here to help.

Whether it’s a despotic government, your boss, or the henchmen of the Illuminati, how do you know if someone already has access to your computer? What if you had a “canary in the coal mine” to warn you?

Canary Tokens allows you to create, for free, files that send you an email when they’ve been opened, along with the IP address of the intruder. Throw one on your desktop with a too-good-not-to-click-on name like “passwords”, “finances” or my personal favorite, “stuff to discuss with therapist” and then never touch them. If you get an email from Canary Tokens, somebody’s looking at your stuff — and it ain’t you.

Barker, Eric. “11 Secrets That Will Make You More Secure on the Internet” Barking up the Wrong Tree – Blog March 2019

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Windows Logo Keyboard Shortcuts: The Complete List

The Windows logo key, which is common on most keyboards these days, can be a powerful tool if you know the right shortcuts.

One of the more powerful, and probably least used, set of keyboard shortcuts involves the Windows logo key, which is common on most keyboards packaged with a Windows-based personal computer these days. Table A offers a rundown of these productivity-boosting shortcuts.

Posted in: MS Office Tips and Tricks

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If You’re Not Texting With Android Messages for Web by Now, You’re Doing it Wrong

Google’s answer to iMessages for typing texts on your laptop will save you time.

Nothing is more irritating than bouncing back and forth between your computer and phone while trying to work and text someone. For years, Android phone users had no choice but to use other messaging apps if they wanted to chat with friends from their desktops. But if you didn’t know, you can use Android Messages on your desktop browser to type. Google calls this Messages for Web.

It’s important to note that your phone has to have service and your computer needs to be connected to a Wi-Fi network. (It doesn’t necessarily need to be the same network, though.) If your phone is off, your computer doesn’t have Wi-Fi or your using airplane mode, you won’t be able to use Messages for Web.

Messages is the default texting app for Pixel phones, but there’s also a dedicated app anyone can download from the Google Play store to use instead of the default texting app on non-Google Android phones. It’s easy to use and there’s no penalty from your carrier to switch apps.

As with Apple’s iMessage, Messages for Web lets you carry on conversations from your computer screen. Note that you might have to re-pair your phone with your desktop from time to time.

Make sure your phones’s Messages app is up to date before getting started.

Let’s do this!

How to set up Messages for Web on your computer

  1. Open a new browser tab or browser window on your computer (we recommend a window) and navigate to A QR code will appear.
  2. Open the Messages app on your phone.
  3. In Messages, tap Settings (the three dots in the upper right corner).
  4. Tap “Messages for web.”
  5. Hold your phone a few inches from the QR code you see on your computer screen, making sure it fills the viewfinder on your phone screen.
  6. After you scan the QR code, your contacts will automatically populate on the screen, ready for you to start texting.
This is the QR code to scan with your phone.

A few important tips

Note that the computer you’re texting from won’t save your information unless you toggle on Remember This Computer under the QR code before scanning. If you don’t, you’ll need to pair your devices every time. You’ll only want to save your contacts if it’s a personal laptop or desktop to protect your privacy.

If you do text on a public computer (which is not recommended), make sure to sign out afterward. If you forget, you might get a notification on your phone letting you know that you’re still logged in. You can also bookmark the website so it’s easier to text when you need to.

More than texts

Once you have Messages fro Web set up on your computer, there’s a lot you can do with it. Start by typing in the name of a friend or group and begin texting. You can also add a phone number. You’ll receive texts on Messages for Web just as you would on your phone, and you’ll see a notification banner in the upper right of your screen (and hear a ding) when a new message comes in.

Messages for Web supports much of what you can see and do with Android Messages on your phone. You can send your friends dozens of emojis, GIFs, photos, videos and stickers. You can also enable Dark Mode.

You won’t be able to share your location, send or request funds with Google Pay, use voice-to-text, share contacts or attach a file. You also won’t see predictive text suggestions. However, the time you’ll save typing on your desktop while you work is well worth these few omissions.

Brown, Shelby. “If you’re not texting with Android Mesages for Web by now, you’re doing it wrong” CNET May 1, 2019

Posted in: Android, Mobile Computing, Technology

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12 Google Search Tips Everyone Should Know

Searching the web for information is a skill. Yes, you can enter a term into Google and find information, but by using a few simple tricks, you can quickly and easily whittle down your results to get exactly the information you’re looking for.

1. Find new stories

In general, putting a year or date in your search term will help limit results to more recent entries. However, if you want to limit your results, Google lets you search by the past hour, past year or create a custom date range. You’ll see this option when you click on Tools.

2. Search for a specific phrase

When you’re looking for search results for a specific phrase, put your search term in quotes. For example: “Internet privacy.”

3. Search a specific site

Most websites have their own search function, but it’s often not as good as Google. To limit results to a particular site, you can add “site” and then add the Web address. To exclude a site, put a minus sign before the word site

If you want to find something you’ve already read. Go to Settings> History and then re-enter the original search term.

4. Eliminate a term from search results

If you want to find information about Donnie Wahlberg but you are getting a bunch of results containing Mark Walberg, you can put a minus sign in front of any term you want to eliminate. So type, “Wahlbreg -Mark.”

5. Limit results to search terms in a title

If you want to make sure you’re returning results that focus on a topic, you may want to limit results stories that include the term in the title. Simply put allintitle: ahead of your search term.

6. Using an image to search

Click on Camera in search bar to use a saved image
choose upload or paste image

See a recipe you’d like to make but don’t know what it’s called? If you have the image saved on your computer or open in another window of your browser, you can use it to search using Google’s image search. Select the image and drag it into the search bar on the Google image search page and Google will find similar images and make the best guess or upload from your image files.

7. Searching for local results

Most of the time your search engine will know where you are. If it doesn’t, or you want to search in another location, you can add a zip code to the end of your search. Or, under Search tools, you can select your location

8. Finding appropriate content for children

Turn on SafeSearch, which you can find under the settings button. This will filter out explicit results. You can also lock on SafeSearch with your Google ID and password.

9. Finding a product

If you’re looking to purchase a product, type in the product name or type and click on Shopping. On the left side, you’ll be able to sort by price, whether the prodcut is available nearby, the color, brand and more. You can also add a price range to your search term by adding the minimum price followed by two periods and the maximum price. For instance, you’d type: Laptops $200..$350.

10. Solve a math problem

Kids checking up on their math can type a numeric equation into the search bar and get their answer. You can also get quick number conversions by inputting the conversion factors, like liters to cups or dollars to Euros.

11. Get immediate results

Google prepackages relevant information on frequently searched topics. So, you can simply type in a flight number to get flight status, a tracking number to track a package, the name of a sports team to get the score, a stock ticker symbol to get the current stock price and weather to get the forecast.

12. Get help in a natural, manmade or humanitarian disaster

When a crisis occurs, Google creates SOS Alerts. These special search results make emergency information more accessible by listing resources (Emergency phone numbers, mas of affected areas, etc.), showing updates from local, national and international authorities, and providing links for donation opportunities, among other listings. If you’re using the Google app and turn on location sharing for the app you’ll automatically receive SOS alerts in your area.

Kantra, Suzanne. “12 Google Search Tips Everyone Should Know” Techlicious, April 17, 2019

Learning how to best navigate the internet is very helpful and time saving. But first and foremost, please be cyber safe.

Approximately 1 MILLION CYBERATTACKS are attempted a day and on average compromised credentials aren’t reported until 15 months after a breach.

Be careful. Be educated! We offer tools that monitor your credentials and raise awareness so that you and your employees will learn to avoid the pitfalls that put your company credentials at risk.

Give us a call to further discuss how we can help in protecting your business against cybersecurity threats, and how we can make technology work for your business.

Call 732.780.8615 or email

Posted in: Mobile Computing, Tech Tips for Business Owners

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Top 5 benefits of the OneDrive Mobile App

In an era of rapid digital transformation, how we work is changing. Work does not solely revolve around an office space. Tech-savvy millennial and information workers expect to be productive even when they are working remotely- be it at a client’s location, a cafe, their home (on the porch in the sun preferably 😉), or while traveling. This means that they need to stay connected, updated and access and share their corporate content especially when beyond the walls of the office.

Install for iOS and Android and try each benefit as you read.

Let us look at the 5 key benefits of the OneDrive mobile app – especially when on the go:

1. All your files at your fingertips

Stay connected to all your files from anywhere and any device, with the OneDrive mobile app. You can upload, preview, edit and co-author in native Office apps, share, delete and recover files directly from your mobile devices.  You can even mark files and folders for offline access to make them available when you do not have an internet connection; when you are on a flight and need to work on your files on your iPad or Android tablet.

The OneDrive mobile app serves as an interface to access your individual work files and team files across Office 365. You can also keep tabs on file activities and manage multiple accounts in the same app – be it for work (business) and life (consumer).

Finally, with automatic camera backup, OneDrive ensures that critical business media captured on a mobile device stays backed up and secured within your organization.


Stay connected to all your files from any device. Edit, share, access photos and take files offline while on the go.

2. Scan to boost your productivity and capture 
A major “wow factor” of the app is undoubtedly the built-in scanning capabilities that allow you to digitize content, while on the go. The power of Microsoft Office Lens is built right in to assist with dynamic image correction for whiteboards, documents and business cards along with converting them to easy-to-read PDF format. This enhanced capture experience with multi-page scan capabilities allows you to crop, add filters and annotations directly to the image.

Scan multiple pages with OneDrive mobile app.

Real life usage scenarios could include scanning and sharing interesting print articles or marketing research at trade shows or resumes at recruiting events and job fairs as well as capturing business cards and expense receipts when traveling to customer conferences. It’s fast, clean and if associated with a meeting, you’ll be prompted to share the scan with all or select attendees.

In the words of Cox Automotive , “Someone from the marketing team was out at an event and used the scan feature in the OneDrive mobile app to quickly upload photos direct to the right folder for the event. Team members back in Atlanta, GA, were able to grab those pictures in real time and use them to create content immediately.”- Lynee Willison, Senior Manager, Cox Automotive

Also, if you save a scanned document or image to a shared library in SharePoint, you can choose metadata properties as you upload. An example being, a Firstline worker can photograph a piece of equipment while on field inspection, enter the condition, equipment id, and other important attributes – all from their phone.

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Capture metadata for the scanned image.

3. Collaborate and share on the go with OneDrive + Office

Need to collaborate on files while travelling to work or to a client’s location or flying to another city for a conference? Don’t worry! The OneDrive app has your back.

You can easily create, annotate, edit and co-author documents in real-time with your colleagues. You can also securely share these files with your peers, across departments or an external vendor outside your organization – directly from the app, with a seamless in experience with respect to web or desktop.

Note: To edit and co-auth, simply use the Office Mobile apps; the file remains in OneDrive so you are working with others on the single source of truth.


Share within or outside your organization. Edit, annotate and co-author directly from your mobile.

To quote Chevron ,“I can have 10 people distributed around the world, all working on mobile devices, editing a PowerPoint presentation in real time, without worrying about losing data. When you show people how easy it is to collaborate and share from anywhere, including their trusted mobile devices, and they ask, ‘Where has this been all my life?’ it’s very fulfilling.”- Jeff Jones, Productivity Champion, Chevron Corporation.

4. Save time “intelligently”

Like the main Web interface in Office 365, Microsoft Graph powers the OneDrive app to help you to find files that matter the most to you. Be it, discovering personalized recommended content in “Discover” view or surfacing files that you have recently accessed or shared.

This intelligence also improves the overall search experience within the OneDrive app. Machine learning automatically categorizes and indexes images unlocking additional content “inside” the pictures. So, whether you have scanned and uploaded a bill for a client dinner to expense or a business card, you need not remember their file name and location for future access. All you need to do is search with the text in the images- say “latte” or the information on the business card.


Intelligent search with OneDrive.

With a recent update to the app, now when you take a photo during a meeting, maybe a scan of notes you wrote down or a snap of a whiteboard where you brainstormed project plans with your colleagues, the OneDrive app will automatically prompt you to share the image with the meeting attendees, based on your Outlook calendar.

Automatic promo to share captured notes during the meeting.

5. Protect and manage, by policy, with ease
Admins, this one is for you! We understand how important data governance is to you- which is why you will have the peace of mind with Microsoft’s trustworthy enterprise grade security and compliance. OneDrive encrypts all data, not just on the device and in the cloud but also the data in transit. Also, from the OneDrive admin center, you have the ability to control all aspects of all employees’ OneDrive from storage quotas, to internal and external sharing, to device access.

Admin controls on device access in the OneDrive admin center.If your organization has Intune, you can enforce further controls to manage the app and its respective data.


Mobile application management with Intune and OneDrive.

To summarize, the OneDrive app lets you easily work with your personal and work files when you’re on the go – without compromise to productivity or data security and privacy. Our goal is to make your experience ubiquitous no matter what platform – from Mac and Windows to iOS and Android.
One experience to rule them all! 😊

Pro Tip:

1. For iOS devices, a long-press on the app prompts options like share, scan and access recent files. OneDrive for iOS also supports scan centric Siri shortcuts.

Note: Siri shortcuts only show up after you’ve used the scan feature once.


OneDrive shortcuts for iOS. Scan or take a photo with Siri.

2. OneDrive is natively integrated with the Files app on iOS allowing you to access, upload, edit, and save your content to OneDrive or SharePoint Libraries from apps that support Files app integration. You can also tag and favorite your OneDrive and SharePoint files from within the Files app.

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OneDrive integration with iOS Files App

Kirti, Ankita. “Top 5 Benefits of teh OneDrive Mobile App” Microsoft Support, April 24, 2019

Posted in: Cloud Computing, Mobile Computing, Tech Tips for Business Owners

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11 Secrets That Will Make You More Secure on the Internet (Part 1)

Hacked accounts in the news, endless robocalls, online ads that eerily seem to read your mind. Do I hear Alexa and Siri gossiping about your secrets? It almost feels like paranoia is a totally appropriate reaction.

In 2018 alone, data breaches exposed four-point-five billion records to hackers. Three months into 2019 and another two-point-seven billion are already illegally available for sale. But hackers aren’t the only problem…

We’ve all read about the 50 million Facebook accounts involved in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. And another 30 million were exposed in October of 2018. Oh, and in September another 7 million had private photos revealed. Of course, Google knows every search you’ve made (yes, even in incognito mode) and tons of other stuff about you. And in 2014, hackers released a lot of not-so-clothed pictures stolen from celebrities’ Apple iCloud accounts.

Oh, and don’t forget that your internet service provider has a list of every website you’ve ever visited at home – and they sell that info to marketers. Some retail stores now track how often you visit and which aisles you spend the most time in. Three-hundred bucks to the right shady individual can buy me your exact location at any time. And nobody wants their credit info leaking. But it already has. Multiple times.

Feeling a bit “1984” over there, Winston Smith? Okay, let’s take a breath. Don’t start folding your tinfoil hat just yet.

There is one ironclad rule on our side: Nobody can abuse information about you that they don’t have. Which is why we need to take security and privacy more seriously. Because it’s on us. And so I present you with what could be titled: Internet Security and Privacy: The-More-Than-You-Care-To-Know Edition.

I’d like to single out Michael Bazzell for his fine work that I drew a fair portion of this info from. He spent years at the FBI’s cyber crime division and was a consultant on the first season of Mr. Robot. His incredibly thorough books are, The Complete Privacy & Security Desk Reference and Hiding from the Internet: Eliminating Personal Online Information.

We will cover everything from fundamentals like good passwords all the way to the paranoid level of aliases and burner phones.  

So what’s the first step?

Know your “Threat Model”

Security and privacy are different. Security is somebody breaking into your online accounts. Privacy is someone having personal details about you.

And then there’s the “security/privacy” vs. “convenience” trade-off. It’s pretty much axiomatic that more secure means less convenient.

The answer is to think about your “threat model.” Ask yourself (non-rhetorically): “What am I afraid of? And how much am I willing to do to prevent it?” Are you more concerned about security or privacy?

Know what you want to defend against and you’ll know what measures will be vital.

1. Get Frozen

No, not the Disney movie. You need to get a credit freeze. It’s the best defense against identity theft. The best time to get one is yesterday. Or sooner.

Many of you are saying: “Yawn. I did that a long time ago with all three credit agencies.” To which I would reply, “Actually, there are 6 credit agencies.”

So fill out the forms for Equifax, Experian, Transunion, Innovis, NCTUE and Chex. There’s an excellent overview of the whole deal here.

And if you have young children get a credit freeze for them too. Kids are a big target because their credit is not only “clean” but also their reports are unlikely to get checked for, oh, about a decade or so. It would be awful for little Jimmy to be $300,000 in debt by age nine. More info on credit freezes for kids here. 

2. Full Disk Encryption, Firewall, And Backups

This trio is critical for your computer. Full disk encryption keeps your data safer and a firewall protects you from some online attacks.

Backing up means if anything happens to your computer you won’t lose your data. You have to do this regularly, but it’s easy to automate. Think of it like homeowner’s insurance for your digital life.

The most important part of smartphone privacy is limiting app permissions like location data, contacts, etc. And don’t download sketchy apps.

Important point: This is something that comes up again and again and we tend to put it off. But it’s vital. In fact, many experts say it’s the single most important thing you can do to increase security…

3. Updates Are Annoying. Do Them Anyway.

Don’t put those updates off.  Most of them are security-related. Apply updates ASAP. It often feels like
it’s doing nothing but you’re forgetting that when it comes to security, “nothing” is a wonderful thing and “something” is very bad.

Routinely update all your devices. Desktop, laptop, smartphone, firmware on routers, etc.  Enable automatic updates on any device that offers it.

After any update, check your settings. When new features are added they often default to the least secure options. And sometimes updates even turn on options you turned off.

Additionally, there’s a way to increase security and make updates less cumbersome at the same time…

4. Apps Are Not Pokemon. Stop Collecting Them.

If you don’t use something regularly, delete it. Smartphone apps, computer software, browser extensions, etc. This reduces “attack
surface.” The more software you have, the more points of failure you have. More things that can have vulnerabilities. More potential rogue software doing things it shouldn’t do.

That said, this does not appy to your antivirus and malware protection — especially if you’re using Windows.

5.  Your Passwords Bring Shame Upon Your Family

The most common passwords are embarrassing: “The top two slots have been left unchanged for the fifth year in a row. They are, maddeningly,‘123456’ and ‘password.‘

Learn how to create great passwords. Check it out! “How to create Passphrases

Guard your primary email account with your life!  If I can get into that, I can go to most every site you frequent and request a password reset. Hacking one account gets me all of them. And I’m not speculating here. This is exactly what happened to Wired reporter Mat Honan.

Wherever possible, use two-factor authentication (“2FA”) But it is best to use an app-based system instead.  If SMS is your only choice, it’s definitely better than nothing. A helpful list of all major sites offering 2FA is here.

And finally, what if you want ultimate security (but not necessarily privacy) for that precious primary email account? Try Google Advanced Protection. Then nobody can get into your account without a password and a physical USB key. And it works. Google instituted it for all employees. How many phishing-based hacks have they had since then? Zero.

Barker, Eric. “11 Secrets That Will Make You More Secure on the Internet” Barking up the Wrong Tree – Blog March 2019

Posted in: Tech Tips for Business Owners

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