23 May 2018

Increase Security and Productivity with Windows 10 Spring Creators Update

    The newest Windows 10 update has officially arrived! Hailed as one of Microsoft’s most expertly crafted operating systems, Windows 10 presents the spring creators update. If you haven’t updated your system recently, now is a great time to strengthen security and take advantage of fresh, enhanced features.

    New Privacy Settings for a More Transparent Experience

    • Privacy Settings: The spring creators update allows you to scan through a convenient list of your installed apps and set up permissions for each one. This replaces the complicated process of sorting through your privacy settings.
    • Data Delete Button:  Microsoft has added an easily accessible delete button to erase the data it has collected on users. This is part of the company’s efforts to establish a more open rapport with customers.
    • Password Privacy: This update allows users to set three security questions for a local administrator account, which can be used to gain access if their password is ever forgotten. Previously, Microsoft pushed users to link their Microsoft account with their Windows 10 desktop. But after a major push back from users, the company now delivers local account recovery.

    Innovative Features for Increased Productivity

    • Timeline – This feature showcases a timeline of tasks that you were previously working on, allowing you to easily recall documents you were writing, links you were browsing and messages you were responding to.
    • Near Share – This feature is Apple’s AirDrop for Microsoft users. It lets you share files with nearby computers and has amplified security to prevent spam.
    • Focus Assist – A “Do Not Disturb” feature for when users need to answer important emails or Skype calls.

    Cool features aside, the most imperative reason for running a software update is safety. Older software will continue to have weak spots that cyber criminals can override, while new software helps to safeguard your important documents from these threats. The free spring creators update can save your system from a costly attack.

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    09 May 2018

    Things You Should Know Before Building a Smart Home or Office

      Fantasy has become reality for those who have always dreamed of a digitally powered living space. “Smart” homes and offices are equipped with network-connected products that control features such as temperature, lighting and security. “Smart” homeowners can turn off the coffee maker and check on the pets from anywhere, simply by using their internet enabled device.

      What was once a frill for the tech-savvy wealthy is now a viable option popular with families and business owners. There are some key points to consider when creating your own smart space. Here is our guide for optimizing this technology to meet your needs.

      Is a Smart Space in Your Budget?

      Home and business owners must first figure out how much it will cost to create their AI-based ecosystem. Consider the essential items that your space needs and the extras that you might want but don’t require. For example, an air quality sensor will likely surpass a smart tortilla maker on a list of necessities.

      Google Home vs. Amazon Echo

      Is it Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa who can manage your calendar, order a pizza and set the thermostat the fastest? Both of these AI-powered smart speakers are flying off the shelves and have different designs and skill sets to offer. Google Home is a better option for regularly answering questions. Amazon Echo is better for controlling in-home devices.

      Making the choice between the two comes down to personal preference. Do you use Gmail and Chromecast often? You may pair well with Google Home. Do you like Amazon Fire TV? You may prefer Amazon Echo.

      Home or Office Compatibility

      Before building your smart space, ask yourself if your peripherals are compatible. Is your office already equipped with app-operated smart lights? Products such as Philips Hue lights have built-in Alexa support, making the transition to Amazon Echo a breeze.

      Smart Space Privacy

      When you connect your space to a smart system, your daily habits and those of your co-workers or family are being shared with tech companies. Amazon and Google make money by selling you things and understanding your lifestyle helps them to do so.

      If you want to minimize the amount of data collected on you, start by making shrewd choices about which rooms your smart technology will be located in. Get into the routine of regularly scrubbing voice command data and turning off your device’s microphone and camera.

      Smart Space Security

      A major concern for smart space creators is preventing the loathsome home hack. Sprinklers and smart fridges are more susceptible to hacks when they are connected to a vulnerable network. Encrypting your wireless router and implementing virtual private network (VPN) software can help protect you.

      Have more questions about building your ideal smart space? Contact our experts!

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