January is the perfect time for businesses to set goals, objectives and action plans for the new year. During this process, it's essential to ask some important questions about your current technology infrastructure. Is my business set up to deliver the success I want to achieve? Do my employees have the proper hardware and tools to work productively. Do they have programs and apps to make them as effective as possible? Have they been trained on the best practices of Internet Security to avoid falling victim to a ransomware attack? Answers to these questions can be a phone call away if you desire. For now, this month's newsletter features a collection of the best small business apps to help you succeed in 2017.
Another Time Saver for You
This may not be an app, but we've got a special page on our website that can save you lots of time this year. We know the normal business person spends a good deal of time searching for tips and tricks for Office software products like Word and Outlook, the best ways to avoid ransomware attacks, the benefits of cloud strategies and more. Well, we've got all that information and much, much more collected in one place. It's called our Resources page and we invite you to give it a try.
FDA Warns that Connected Cardiac Devices Can Be Hacked
While other systems may be faulty as well, the FDA has recently issued a warning suggesting that the St. Jude Medical's Merlin@home Transmitter system may be susceptible to hacking. This device is a home monitor that records a patient's vital signs as tracked by an implanted cardiac device such as a pacemaker and transmits this data online to a network where doctors can view the data. While most health related cyberattacks target medical records, this approach can have serious if not deadly consequences. The FDA explains that after gaining network access, a hacker could "modify programming commands to the implanted device, which could result in rapid battery depletion and/or administration of inappropriate pacing or shocks."
AT&T and Verizon are playing tough with their heavy data users
AT&T and Verizon are taking a stance against their legacy unlimited data customers (those who signed up for unlimited data years ago when it was cheap and never gave up that plan — much to the chagrin of the carriers). AT&T announced recently that it would raise the rates on those customers by $5 a month. Verizon is getting even tougher. They claim to be targeting users of more than 200 GB of data (about 250 hours of high-definition streaming video) and forcing them to either move to a limited plan or face disconnection.
The Best of CES (Consumer Electronics Show)
Normally, we spotlight one product we believe might help your business productivity, but with CES fresh in our minds, how can we offer just one? Here's what PCmag.com shows as the top in each category:
Best Laptop: Asus ZenBook 3 Deluxe
Best Convertible Hybrid Laptop: HP EliteBook x360
Best Desktop: HP Sprout Pro
Best Display: Dell Canvas
Best Networking Product: Linksys Velop
Best Phone: Asus Zenfone AR
Best Smartwatch: Mistfit Vapor
Best Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH5
Best Drone: PowerVision PowerRay
Best Television: LG Signature W OLED
Best Home Theater Gear: Dish AirTV
Best Audio Product: Lenovo Smart Assistant
LA School Pays Large Ransomware Fee for Failure to Backup Data
Los Angeles Valley College had no choice but to pay $28,000 for the key to regain access to their data after suffering a ransomware attack. This news comes as reports show that around $1 billion may have been paid to ranswomware attackers in 2016. "Ransomware is not an act of God," says technology company executive Jonathan Sander. "In most cases it can be prevented by being careful with email and phishing attacks or remediated by having good backups. You have to pay ransomware attackers when you have no way to get back the data they lock up."
Trying to Take a Screen Shot?
Don't you wish some keyboard commands would stay the same? As new operating systems are introduced, some of our favorite keyboard commands like PTR SCR (print screen) don't work exactly as they have in the past. Add on to that mobile devices and you may need a cheat sheet for how to capture a screen shot on all your various devices. Well, we've just done that for you.
Click over to our website to find out how to take a screen shot on any device.