Businesses hit hard by malware
G Suite tackles Office
In our May issue we look at Google's new push with G Suite to make this office productivity software something for the Enterprise user, seeking to topple Microsoft Office. New AI tools like voice recognition and virtual assistants have been added to G Suite, and we have details. We also look at Android "Bubbles" – allowing apps to open in small inset windows on a smartphone so users can multitask without closing one app to use the second. Apple and Qualcomm have settled patent issues, which may pave the way for 5G chips in iPhones, experts say. Microsoft has released an updated schedule for Windows product updates and confirmed January 14, 2020 as the day Windows 7 will be officially "retired." And, malware continues to plague the IT industry, as seen by the city of Baltimore being shut down by a ransomware attack, and the "bad guys" are getting more sophisticated in the tools they use. We have more on their exploits in this issue.
Is your information at risk?
In our April issue of SIMformation we look at the revelation that Facebook left user passwords on a network server in an open (not encrypted) file. Any of the 20,000 Facebook employees on their network could have accessed this data and done whatever with it. So, is your information at risk and what steps can you take to guard your personal data? We have tips. In the "just desserts" category, a scammer has been sentenced for bilking Google and Facebook out of more than $100 million by issuing phony invoices. At least there is some justice out their for the "bad guys." We also look at Apple's decision to table their Air Power wireless charger product, and discuss on-line privacy and a poll from Malwarebytes on how people feel about their on-line actions - where do you compare? Finally, we discuss the concerns in the IT industry that Ransomware is being used to cover other hacks and exploits, as the "fix" for ransomware is often "wipe and reload" meaning all old data, logs and files are erased before re-loading backups. Some experts believe that this plays into the hands of those people doing more than just looking for some bitcoin ransoms. We have the full story, plus our usual wrap-up of news you can use.
A look at the Tech Crystal Ball
We kick off 2019 with a look at some of the top trends in the forecast for technology. Naturally, security tops the list, along with AI, the Cloud and blockchain. There is speculation that Cortana, Microsoft's digital assistant, may be going away as Siri and Alexa have shouted her down. Firefox is adding a data breach notification to its browser when there is the possibility that the user's e-mail and credentials have been obtained by a hacker. We discuss artificial intelligence as it applies outside the tech world, specifically for "self-driving" cars and what programming choices may mean in the real world. Finally, we have some tips on add-ins for Microsoft Office that may be a help to you Word, Excel and Outlook users.
Plus, Be Sure Data is Secure
In our October SIMformation, we share a discussion on smartphone addiction and how that is re-shaping how we communicate, be entertained and work, It is certainly "food for thought." We also cover how many people believe that storing information in the Cloud makes it secure, yet often it is copied on the PC leaving it vulnerable to data loss, especially for those in a regulated industry. There is a new scam out there that says you have looked at porn and includes a password you used at some time (if it appeared in any of the Yahoo or other website hacks) then attempts to shame you into paying up. We discuss encryption options to overcome this. Also, we have some tips and tricks to improve your Windows 10 experience, discuss some alternative Internet browsers if your privacy is of utmost concern, and look at using a passphrase, rather than a password, for your logins and if that is any better remembered and secure. Finally, we look at the rising cost of a data breach.