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Six Apps That Make Life Easier

It is easy to get overwhelmed when there are so many apps available. So which ones are worth downloading? Here’s a list of six apps that will make your life easier: 

Evernote

Evernote is an app that you can download onto your phone or computer. It allows you to capture any information that you may need, like notes for work or recipes for dinner. The great thing about Evernote is that it will save all of the things that you put in there, even if your phone crashes. You can store anything from notes to recipes, photos and even voice memos. You can download Evernote on your iPhone or computer for free.

Evernote is perfect if you are always taking notes for work or just want to get organized. It’s great because it will save all of the things that you put in it, even if your phone crashes. You can download Evernote for free or upgrade to the premium version for $4.99 per month, which means that articles that are saved into the app will be there forever instead of disappearing after 30 days.

Pocket

Pocket is an app that you can download onto your phone or computer, and it allows you to save anything that you may want to read later on.  It’s great for saving recipes, funny stories and even travel guides when you’re going somewhere new. You could also use Google maps to find the place that you want to go and then save it into pocket so that if your internet stops working suddenly while traveling, you will still be able to follow the map offline. Pocket allows you to store travel guides for when you are traveling or funny stories that you would like to read later. Pocket saves things from the internet for free, but they do have a premium version if you would like extra features like getting rid of ads or saving more than five articles at once. You can download Pocket on your iPhone or computer for free.

Calm

Calm is an app that can be downloaded onto your phone or computer. The great thing about the calm app is that it will give you different sessions based on what you are looking for. You could use it when you are wanting to fall asleep or if you are feeling stressed out during the day. All of the sessions are guided, so there isn’t anything too distracting happening while trying to relax. There are over 100 different sessions to pick from in the Calm app, which means that there should be something in there for everyone! Some examples of sessions include mindful breathing, getting rid of anxiety and even imagining yourself somewhere relaxing like a beach or park. Calm offers their full version starting at $12.99 per month, which gives users access to an assortment of different meditations and soothing music. You can download Calm for free, but there is a premium version if you want extra features like playing soothing music during your sessions.

Airtasker

Airtasker is an app that allows people to either offer or request services from others in their community. Some of the categories for this app include cleaning, babysitting and even fetching specific items at a store. This is a great application if you need help doing errands around your house or if you’re looking for someone who can watch your dog while on vacation. You can use Airtasker for free by just putting up an ad about what it is that you are wanting to do so other users will see it when they check out the app. It’s also helpful because users have the option of viewing how many positive reviews a person has gotten before deciding whether or not they want to accept their job offer.

RunKeeper

RunKeeper is an app designed for tracking different types of workouts. Some of the categories for this app include cycling, running and even walking outdoors. This is helpful because it tracks your progress while also motivating you to keep going with positive feedback from the app. Runkeeper allows users to track their route while they exercise so that they can see how far they have gone and what type of workout they did each time. RunKeeper offers a premium version starting at $9.99 per month which includes additional features like more detailed graphs and advice from professional trainers for all levels of athleticism. You can use this application on your phone or computer for free by just downloading it from the website but there are extra features if you want them available through a monthly subscription plan.

Conclusion

These are just a few of the apps that are out there right now that can make your life easier. Once you have downloaded them to your phone, they will be readily available for whenever you need them. These applications can help people with busy lives by doing everyday tasks like grocery shopping or getting errands done in less time. These apps might not be completely necessary but can still make things simpler if you end up using them.

 

The Fight Against Ransomware

What is Ransomware? 

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts the victim’s files and holds them hostage, demanding a ransom for their decryption.

The Increasing Threat of Ransomware

Ransomware attacks have been increasing in scope and frequency over the past few years; one recent estimate suggests there were more than 150,000 new ransomware samples in the beginning of 2017 alone. Because of this rising threat, many security companies are releasing tools to help the user decrypt their files without paying these ransoms, but it has seen limited success because users typically only care about recovering their own data. Many files that are encrypted with the same key can be reversed. It is common for the encryption to be cracked in a few days or weeks

Types of Ransomware

These shorter-lived ransomware samples account for only a small fraction of all ransomware attacks, however; most ransomware encrypts victims’ files using asymmetric (public-key) cryptography. This type of cryptography requires that the attacker demonstrate knowledge of the decryption key without revealing it to anyone who does not possess the corresponding private key. This type of encryption is much more secure than other types because it protects against things like antivirus software and file recovery utilities.

Ransomware authors often release “cracked” versions of their malware after a few months so they can cash in on users whose files were lost at an earlier time before their decryption key was known. This delayed decryption process is often done as an alternative revenue stream, but it can also encourage victims to pay the ransom because they will only need to do so once (instead of for every file that needs decrypting).

Ransomware as a Problem 

The most common form of ransomware uses bitcoin as its “currency” and operates through a command-and-control server; these servers make it easy for anyone with a computer and internet connection to generate new ransomware samples and inject them into incoming network traffic. They can even create variants by changing existing binary files slightly or uploading entirely different executables that have been compiled from the same source code base. It’s difficult for security researchers to purchase all the necessary tools on the black market, so many anti-ransomware tools have been developed in a way that can be easily cloned and customized to target new variants.

Ransomware authors often combine their malware with information-stealing trojans, so users must defend against both threats at the same time when it is active on their computer. The risk from these two types of malware together is enormous because they can steal login credentials for online banking accounts, social network profiles, and other sensitive data that could lead to significant financial loss or even identity theft. To add insult to injury, ransomware will continue encrypting files until its “job” has been completed (e.g., if a user’s administrator account is encrypted by CryptoLocker, any non-administrator file shares will be inaccessible after reboot).

Current Trends in Solving Ransomware Problems 

Many security companies have developed new approaches to help protect users from ransomware, but these tools are often not worth the cost because they only work on a single version of one threat family. Most new protection tools also rely on behavior blocking techniques that have proven unreliable in the past. Some tools offer dynamic analysis features that can detect unknown malware by placing it into a virtual machine and carefully monitoring its behavior, but this technique cannot reliably stop ransomware because it takes several minutes for most samples to encrypt files (and many will exit before then). Behavior blocking methods like whitelisting (approving known good executables) and blacklisting (blocking known bad executables) can be effective for stopping ransomware; unfortunately, neither method is reliable enough to be used without expert oversight in mission critical environments.

Ransomware authors often evade traditional antivirus software, but many security companies have developed powerful tools that can reverse the unpacking of the contents of malicious files. These tools are not effective for all ransomware variants because some pack their executables using more advanced techniques (e.g., polymorphic code, self-modifying code). Some researchers have proposed novel defense strategies like creating “vaccine” files that contain harmless dummy data instead of personal documents so they will not be encrypted during an attack, but key generation algorithms used by newer ransomware variants render this method ineffective after a few days or weeks.

One recent entry into the ransomware arena is a new family of ransomware that leverages on-the-fly encryption to avoid detection and sandboxing techniques used by security companies. It also uses a different distribution channel than traditional ransomware because it can be directly downloaded from some websites as a Windows executable file instead of being installed by other malware first. Many computer users have been tricked into infecting themselves because they were told they needed to update Adobe Flash (which is not true in this case).

What You Should Do Next!

The good news is that most ransomware authors are lazy and will reuse existing source code when creating new ransomware families. That means security companies can focus their efforts on analyzing only the few hundred known ransomware families and adapt generic detection techniques developed for each one of them to new variants. Protect yourself from ransomware attacks and call Bayshore Interactive today for a free network assessment at 321.710.0920.

 

4 Ways Technology Can Transform Your Business

You have probably spent months planning your business. There are four things that technology can help with. They are reducing your overhead, improving communication, enhancing security, and network monitoring. If you use these four things, then IT can help you grow in the future when compared to other companies.

1. Reduce Your Businesses Overhead 

Buying inventory-tracking equipment will help you save money. If you buy only the inventory that you need when you need it then your costs will be lower because there is less excess stuff. It will also free up money that can be used for other investments. Inventory-management systems allow employees to monitor their own reordering schedules based on the current inventory levels, so they won’t buy more than is needed. For example, if one employee works in the produce department stocking shelves and he notices that he is getting too many onions, then he can order more efficiently by ordering more before the reorder point. When employees can monitor their own reordering schedules, this helps reduce labor costs. Knowing how many employees you will need for the next rush hour also reduces costs and boosts productivity.

2. Improve Your Communication and Collaboration

One way is to use video conferencing like Skype and Google Hangouts allow you to chat face-to-face with clients and colleagues across the country, even the world. This takes out the need for awkward phone conversations where misunderstandings might happen — as long as your internet connection can handle it, of course! And if your computer can’t, just use a remote desktop service such as logmein that lets you gain access to any computer from anywhere in the world–perfect for those times when you forget to bring home work documents on a flash drive! Instead of storing important files on your computer, you can put them in the cloud. That way they will be safe and no one has to worry about backing up their files. Cloud computing is when your data is saved and then synchronized to other devices.

You can get the latest files that you need right on your phone. Lastly is to use instant messaging services such as Google Talk, Skype or MSN Messenger that allow you to send a quick message to a colleague instead of calling them over the phone or sending an email that might require a lengthy response time. For instance, think about how much easier it is for the head of your department to pick up an urgent request from you by being able to send out an instant message rather than having to wait until he gets back from his lunch break to respond to an email.

3. Enhancing Your Security

A firewall protects your data. It is a computer program that allows some people to go through and blocks others. The firewall makes it hard for hackers to get inside the network. If you know how different types of firewalls work, you can set it up so that employees have access but the network is safe from hackers. Next is virtualization, it is when you use different devices for email and other tasks. You can protect these devices with software. This creates a virtual computer on your existing one. This way, you can run multiple operating systems and copy entire hard drives into the “virtual” space without having to worry about losing data if your computer crashes. Lastly, you should use a VPN. It’s a way to make sure your network is secure from outside threats by using encryption. You can also use a VPN to give employees working remotely secure access to your office’s local area network.

4. Network Monitoring 

Network monitoring is one of many services Bayshore offers to keep your business up and running smoothly, no matter what the conditions are. As part of our complete IT service, we provide immediate on site troubleshooting, restoration/recovery and hardware replacement as an integral part of our ‘break/fix’ service for your computer network. Our Network Engineers can quickly identify any problem(s) with your current configuration and offer the most suitable solution based on the client’s individual requirements. Our goal is to give you the best possible advice that will eliminate or minimize disruption to normal operations whether it be a simple desktop issue or upgrading the complete server infrastructure.

Successful companies start by assessing every aspect of their business then determine their pain points and shortcomings. Productive businesses know how to work with employees and what technology to use. You can do that too. Do not spend a lot of money on software or hardware that you don’t need. Instead, look for more affordable options that will get the job done without breaking your bank account.

 

Protect Yourself From Advanced Cyber Threats

Protecting Yourself Online

The best way to protect yourself from cyber criminals is by following basic security precautions, such as frequently updating software and using strong passwords. It is also important not to trust everything you see online—even if it appears to be coming from a trusted source. For instance, hackers may set up fake web pages that appear identical to legitimate ones in order to steal personal information. It is always better to err on the side of caution when deciding whether or not to provide login credentials or other sensitive data over the internet (such as social media accounts). Another option for protecting yourself includes utilizing privacy-protecting browser extensions like uBlock Origin , which can filter out malicious ads and other web traffic that could potentially compromise your system.

Password Protection Protocols 

Hackers are constantly coming up with ways to exploit vulnerabilities in software and hardware, which means it is important to regularly update passwords—especially if you work at a high-profile company or organization that may be targeted by cybercriminals. Furthermore, many people use the same login credentials for multiple accounts, which is another security risk. If a hacker gains access to one account (such as an email), they can often use it to gain entry into others—so make sure you have unique passwords across all of your sites and services .

Threats Beyond Your Home Computer

Cybersecurity threats in the real world come from nefarious actors ranging from hackers to nation-states, but there are many ways they can cause you harm beyond online privacy and security . For instance, ransomware is malware that encrypts important files on a victim’s computer, then demands payment to decrypt them. Similarly, hackers can use cyber attacks on infrastructure systems like power grids and transportation networks as a form of terrorism—and these threats are even more concerning because they could result in physical harm.

Hackers Motives 

Hackers typically want one of three things when they attack a company or individual—data, money, and/or notoriety. When a cyber-attack is performed by nation-state actors like Russia , China , North Korea , Iran , etc., their goal may be to steal data in order to obtain military or economic intelligence. Meanwhile, cybercriminal organizations often demand a ransom to be paid in bitcoin (a digital currency) so that they avoid getting caught—and if their victims do not pay up quickly enough, sometimes the hackers will threaten them with public exposure of their data . Finally, some attackers may target individuals for notoriety and social engineering purposes—such as those who try to obtain access to celebrities’ email accounts hoping to score media attention from publishing personal information .

How Can Your Business Protect Itself?

Many large corporations have more resources at their disposal than individual users when it comes to cybersecurity , which means they are able to spend more money on advanced methods of protection. For instance, companies may use machine learning and behavior analytics to monitor employees’ network activity (and detect suspicious signs like an unusual connection to a foreign country) or invest in intelligence-driven security solutions that utilize threat data . On the other hand, smaller organizations can take steps like regularly updating their software , using multi-factor authentication when available , creating strong passwords using upper and lowercase letters with numbers/special characters (like “x” instead of “ex”), etc.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

Although larger corporations are often targeted by nation state hackers because they have more data to steal, cybercriminal organizations increasingly focus their energies on attacking individual consumers . In fact, ransomware attacks against businesses actually decreased from 2016 to 2017 even though ransom demands increased during that time period—and many security researchers believe this is due to criminals shifting away from big companies and toward home users who don’t understand how dangerous malware can be . Additionally, other types of scams such as phishing emails continue targeting everyone since there’s no guaranteed return on investment if attackers successfully hack just one business or government agency. In closing it is important to report all crimes (online or in-person) so that law enforcement can take appropriate steps to reduce future risks and take the necessary precautions that were expressed in this blog to avoid potential threats.