Ben Spector

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How to Setup Face ID on your iPhone

Posted by Ben Spector on 17-Feb-2019 15:35:25

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People hesitant about using Face ID might have skipped setting up this feature when they initially got their iPhones. If you were one of them and you have since changed your mind, here is how to setup Face ID in iPhone X, XS, XS Max, and XR.

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Topics: mobile, security, face ID, apple iphone

How to Use the Clipboard’s History and Syncing Features in Windows 10

Posted by Ben Spector on 17-Feb-2019 15:23:46
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The Windows 10 October 2018 Update soups up the Windows Clipboard with new history and syncing features. Here is how to enable and use these features.

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Topics: windows 10

4 Things You Might Not Have Known about Microsoft Teams

Posted by Ben Spector on 17-Feb-2019 14:57:27
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To help facilitate communication and collaboration in businesses, Microsoft offers a solution called Teams. Although it is a relatively unknown offering, its popularity is expected to grow. Here are four things it helps to know about Teams.

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Topics: microsoft teams, Collaboration

How to Customize the Startup Pages in Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge

Posted by Ben Spector on 27-Jan-2019 15:27:29

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If you have several websites you visit every day, you can configure your browser to automatically open those sites when you launch your browser. Here is how to customise the startup pages in Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.

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Topics: chrome, edge, google

Just Because a Mobile VPN App Is Popular Doesn’t Mean It Is Protecting Your Privacy

Posted by Ben Spector on 27-Jan-2019 14:49:15

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A study of the top free VPN apps available in Apple’s App Store and Google Play revealed that some of them might not be protecting your privacy as promised. Find out what the researchers discovered.

Using free public Wi-Fi networks at airports, hotels, and restaurants is convenient when traveling for business, but it can be risky. If you connect to an unsecured public Wi-Fi network, you run the risk of having hackers eavesdrop on your electronic conversations.

In theory, you can use a virtual private network (VPN) app to protect your privacy and data when using your mobile device within public Wi-Fi networks. In reality, that might not be the case if you are using a free mobile VPN app.

study of the top free VPN apps available in Apple’s App Store and Google Play revealed that most of them have no formal privacy policies or unacceptable ones. Plus, many of them are from obscure Chinese companies that deliberately make it difficult for people to find out anything about them. Equally concerning is that these apps often lack adequate customer support.

How the VPN Apps Were Selected

Researchers at Top10VPN.com selected the apps to study by searching for “VPN” in the App Store and Google Play for both the United States and United Kingdom sites. (Top10VPN.com is a VPN review site run by Metric Labs, an online security and privacy education company.) If a paid app appeared in the search results, the next one was selected. The top 20 VPN apps in each store at each site were listed, giving a total of 80 apps. Many of the apps appeared more than once in the list, so duplicate entries were removed. The end result was a list of the top 30 free VPN apps.

What the Study Found

For each app, the researchers investigated several elements, including the app company’s privacy policies, ownership, and customer support. One of the most concerning findings is that 86% of the apps are provided by companies that do not have any privacy policies or unacceptable ones. In regard to the latter, some of the companies have generic privacy policies that do not include any VPN-specific terms or policies that lack important details about data collection practices — both of which can give users a false sense of security. Other policies note that the companies track user activity and share it with third parties. Several policies even explicitly state that the companies collect and share users’ personal data with China.

Another troublesome finding concerns the companies providing the apps. “Our investigation uncovered that over half of the top free VPN apps [59%] either had Chinese ownership or were actually based in China, which has aggressively clamped down on VPN services over the past year and maintains an iron grip on the Internet within its borders,” said Simon Migliano, the head researcher at Top10VPN.com. Chinese legislation now forces local VPN providers to register with government authorities and obtain a license to operate. This is likely why some app privacy policies state that users’ personal data might be shared with China. For example, the privacy policies for the VPN Master, Turbo VPN, and SnapVPN apps state that “Our business may require us to transfer your Personal Data to countries outside of the European Economic Area (“EEA”), including to countries such as the People’s Republic of China or Singapore.” China’s VPN legislation coupled with the prevalence of Chinese hacking groups makes using VPNs provided by companies with links to this country risky to use.

The study also found that many of the top 30 apps have questionable user support. Specifically, 64% of the apps did not have dedicated websites for their VPN services. Several apps had no online presence whatsoever beyond their listings in the app stores.

Furthermore, 52% of the customer support email addresses specified in the app store listings were personal accounts (e.g., Gmail or Hotmail accounts). When the researchers sent emails to all the apps’ customer support email addresses requesting assistance, 83% of the emails were ignored. The emails were sent from the official top10vpn.com address and did not hide the researchers’ true identities.

You can find the details about all the apps investigated in the “Free VPN Apps: Chinese Ownership, Secretive Companies & Weak Privacy” report.

A VPN App Can Be Invaluable If You Pick the Right One

A VPN app can be invaluable if you use your mobile device within public Wi-Fi networks. It can protect your privacy and data if a network is not secured properly. However, when selecting a VPN app, it is important to do research and carefully evaluate the candidates, especially those that are free. If you need assistance selecting a safe VPN app for your mobile device, get in touch.

 Free Whitepaper: How to spot Phishing Attacks

 

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Topics: mobile, apps, anti virus, Communications, cybersecurity

Edge Computing 101

Posted by Ben Spector on 13-Jan-2019 11:51:45
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When cloud computing was introduced, there was a lot of confusion about what it was. Similarly, there is a lot of confusion about the current IT trend of edge computing. Here are the basics.

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Topics: edge computing, cloud telephony, cloud computing, business tips, small business, IT Support

Reputation Jacking: Another Trick Up Hackers’ Sleeves

Posted by Ben Spector on 13-Jan-2019 11:41:29

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Reputation-jacking is on the rise. Discover what reputation-jacking is and why cyber criminals like to use it when attacking businesses.

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Topics: business tips, data protection, business, Business operations, cloud computing, cyber attacks, cyber threats, cybersecurity, data breach, Email Solutions, helpdesk, IT Support, security

5 Noteworthy IT Trends That Will Affect SMBs in 2019 and Beyond

Posted by Ben Spector on 12-Jan-2019 15:09:26

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The IT industry is constantly changing. Because there are so many changes, it can be hard to discern which ones are most important. To help highlight the changes deserving attention, here are five IT trends that small and midsize businesses should know about.

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Topics: budgets, desktop pc, business tips, outsourcing, data protection, IT strategy, data storage, computer security, windows 10, technology, small business, solutions, office 365, microsoft office, MSP, IT Support, IT Services, helpdesk

Are Your Employees a Security Liability or a Security Asset?

Posted by Ben Spector on 12-Jan-2019 14:03:05

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While many companies realise they should provide IT security training, they often do not know where to begin. If your business is one of them, here are some suggestions to get you started.

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Topics: computer security

SMBs are Still Common Targets in Ransomware Attacks

Posted by Ben Spector on 17-Dec-2018 12:06:21

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Topics: cybersecurity, security, computer security, ransomware

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