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.
A Refresher Course
Our September issue begins with a "refresher course" in Malware. We throw this term around frequently, and it covers many threats that can impact your PC and data. So, we present a recap of what is lumped under the term "malware" and steps you can take to harden your defenses against possible infections. We also debut a new desk phone from Zultys, our Unified Communications partner, featuring a 7" screen for those using Skype or other video conferencing tools. Plus we discuss new tools from Zultys to improve business collaboration. Microsoft is working on DaaS - Desktop as a Service. This is really nothing new if you were into computers in the 60s - a centralized source for your programs and such - only now it is positioned as a Cloud-based service. We explain what Microsoft is up to in our coverage. Google also makes news with the G Suite, trying to take Microsoft Office head-on for dominance in the workplace. And, speaking of workspace, Facebook Workspace brings social media into the office to promote team knowledge exchange and group collaboration, and we have details.
Google's browser dominates market
In our August SIMformation, we look at how Google's Chrome Internet browser is far outpacing Microsoft's Edge and Internet Explorer and Mosaic's Firefox in total users. Is this good or bad? Plus, we look at five areas the IT security experts say are the targets for the "bad guys" and why cybersecurity must be of utmost importance to any individual and company. If "123456" is your password, you better thing about changing it, as that is #1 on the list of 50 most exposed passwords. We have the full list of 50 just so you can check to see if you made the list or if your password is more secure than these. As an alternative to passwords alone, we look at a USB security key as an additional two-factor authentication check and how that has proven to benefit companies. And, as the march to the Cloud continues, we look at security issues for hosted software in the Cloud and what you can do to protect your data in these situations.
Finally, we take a moment to introduce our newest product offering. SIM2K is now an Epson Brighter Futures partner, so we can offer educational discounts on Epson products like their innovative interactive projectors for use in classrooms. Schools, school districts and other educational agencies can qualify for the Brighter Futures program, so please contact us for more information on Epson products and Brighter Futures.
IT safety while on the road
Our July issue of SIMformation offers some tips for your computing safety if you are traveling this Summer – from being sure your anti-virus is updated before you leave to running a virus scan when you get home before re-connecting to a network, and other tips inbetween. We discuss the pros and cons of "the old (device) is still working.." and why sometimes updates and replacements make more sense for the long haul on expenses rather than keeping old, out-of-date equipment. Windows 7 continues to hold market share over Windows 10, so the IT industry sees Microsoft attempting to push users away from Windows 7 even though the out-of-support date isn't until 2020. We look at why storing sensitive passwords in a web browser is not a good practice, and finally, we discuss how you can sync all your files between Chromebooks and Android devices through Google Cloud.