Technology & Productivity Weekly

Printer Friendly
Text Size: A A A A

Feb. 14, 2014 Headlines

Three Simple Ways to Be Secure: No WiFi, No GeoLocation, Logout
Google Drive: Seven Tasks You Didn't Know It Can Do
Protect Your Enterprise From Hackers and Zombies
10 Web Site Features That Are Scaring Your Customers Away
Technology Column: Productivity Apps for Your Smart Phone
Open Source Power for Small Business in 2014
Tested: Three High-Performance Laptops

The links at the end of each abstract are to the publisher, publication, or article. Some links may require registration or subscription. Information, Inc. is not affiliated with the referenced publications.


To The Top

Three Simple Ways to Be Secure: No WiFi, No GeoLocation, Logout

Small Business Technology (02/03/14); Ray, Ramon

Security vendor Sophos recommends following three major steps for ensuring small business security. The fist step is to turn off geolocation services and keep these services off. Geolocation data could lead to security vulnerabilities that employees might not necessary be aware of, including sending data to applications without employees' knowledge. The second step recommended by Sophos is turning on wireless networks only when employees need to connect to the Internet. Using Wi-Fi networks only when necessary significantly reduce the possibility of malicious wireless network attacks due to more attempts at tracking networks similar to browser cookies. Finally, Sophos advises employees to log out of all their Web sites and devices once their activity is finished. Remembering to log out will reduce the likelihood of Cross-Site Referral Forgery and Clickjacking attacks. Read More


To The Top

Google Drive: Seven Tasks You Didn't Know It Can Do

Small Business Computing (01/23/14); Bradley, Helen

There are seven tasks small businesses can use in Google Drive that they might not already know. The first is the ability to save a Web page as a PDF; users can install the Chrome browser extension and capture pages, including images and links. Users can recover document versions in Google Drive, through opening a document and clicking "File" then "See Revision History," and then clicking "Restore this Version." File previews are another Drive feature, with ZIP, RAR, PDF, and several other preview formats supported for files with extensions that do not have appropriate applications installed on a desktop. Through Drive's Form tool, users can create surveys or invitations, a useful function for soliciting client feedback. The Research tool provides users with the option to select specific topics to learn more about. Apps can also be integrated through downloading the Pixlr Editor, which allows users to connect with several apps for editing images. Finally, through Drive Spreadsheets, GoogleFinance will provide information about publicly traded stock symbols that are entered in cells. Read More


To The Top

Protect Your Enterprise From Hackers and Zombies

Processor.com (01/24/14)Vol. 36, No. 2, P. 16

"Zombie" attacks, otherwise known as malicious IT attacks, are deployed when hackers gain control of a business' machines and use these machines to their advantage. Security risks still remain a huge concern in enterprises, though businesses can protect their assets through self-education about zombie attacks and hackers. According to Jim O'Gorman of Offensive Security, businesses should implement basic security protocols first. Ensuring these safeguards are in place is a significant step in preventing malicious attacks. Firms should then read as much as possible about different kinds of malicious attacks and implement procedures that will prevent these attacks. O'Gorman advises businesses that maintaining IT security is an ongoing process and there is no "magic bullet" to preventing malicious attacks. However, her recommends businesses design workflow processes with built-in security procedures to ensure the safest possible work environment, decreasing the possibilities for zombie attacks. Read More


To The Top

10 Web Site Features That Are Scaring Your Customers Away

Small Business Technology (01/23/14); Young Entrepreneur Council

According to the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of young professionals, businesses are scaring customers away by using 10 unpopular Web site features. The first feature is pop-up ads, which indicate a business is pushy. Using bad photographs, displaying outdated information, or asking customers intrusive questions are equal missteps. The YEC warns businesses against overselling or having unclear return policies. Businesses should also clearly display contact information and simple pricing tiers. Pages with long loading times are more likely to lose potential customers, and businesses should ensure Web sites are mobile-friendly. Finally, the YEC says stock photos make a site look outdated and unrealistic; instead, use real photographs and put effort into creating a modern and savvy site. Read More


To The Top

Technology Column: Productivity Apps for Your Smart Phone

Bradenton Herald (FL) (01/22/14); Spire, David

There are five mobile productivity apps that are affordable or free for small businesses. The first, Asana, is a useful project management tool for iOS and Android devices. Asana, which is free for up to 15 users on a team, allows users to assign tasks and deadlines. Evernote, another small business mobile app, allows users to record and share notes for a free edition on mobile platforms or a business version for $10 per user. Images and sounds can also be recorded so users can create wiki notes, then synchronize these notes with an account. Any.do Cal is a free tool for Android and iOS devices specializing in calendar functions, while Pocket is a free tool allowing users to save articles or blogs in their mobile browsers for viewing later. The last tool, Doodle, is a scheduling app that is particularly useful for synchronizing meetings with other calendar apps like Google Calendar and Outlook; for $2.99, users can download the app from Apple or Google Play stores. Read More


To The Top

Open Source Power for Small Business in 2014

Small Business Computing (01/22/14); Schroder, Carla

Cloud-based open source software is expected to grow among small business users in 2014. Open source software based in the cloud allows users to select between hosted software and services, as well hosted IT infrastructure, providing SMBs with flexibility and minimal IT administration. Open source providers offer three levels of services: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) via tools like Skype, Gmail, and Dropbox; Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) virtualizing Web development tools; and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) through virtual servers or physical servers that reside at a hosted data center, accessed via the Internet. SMBs might consider outsourcing IT functions to accommodate the challenges of maintaining staff for security, IT infrastructure, and overall IT security needs. Some businesses might already outsource IT needs through solutions like Google Apps, which allow users access to several office applications via the Web. Other hosted options for SMBs include Amazon S3, GoogleDocs, and Swift, however some of these offerings might not meet industry-specific compliance standards. Read More


To The Top

Tested: Three High-Performance Laptops

Inc.com (01/21/14); Brandon, John

There are three top performing laptops businesses can choose from for their computing needs: Lenovo ThinkPad w540, HP ZBook 15 Mobile Workstation, and the Sony Flip 15. These three high-performance laptops include enhanced resolution, NFC Bluetooth connectivity, Intel WiDi for conferencing needs. The Lenovo ThinkPad W540, starting at $1,200, is equipped with a Thunderbolt connection for connecting external drives and transferring data at record speeds. HP's ZBook 15 Mobile Workstation is engineered with 32GB of RAM, an exceptional capacity for a laptop, and includes a DisplayPort for external monitors. The Sony Flip 15 boasts a 2800x1620 resolution and a battery life of five hours, with a display that flips forward and can lay flat similar to a tablet. The Sony Flip includes Bluetooth 4.0 as well as an i7 1.8GHz processor. Read More

 

LAST UPDATED 2/14/2014