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Time to Check Out The Fitbit Versa

By George Rosenthal

Fitbit has launched its new watch, the Versa. Priced at around $199, the Versa is designed to compete with the Apple Watch, and at its core, it does just that. The Versa performs well as a smart watch as well as a fitness tracker. It works with Apple, Android and Windows devices.

The watch features Fitbit Today so you can check your daily health statistics and check them against your goals. There are also guided move reminders and breathing sessions. Fitbit fans will notice the Versa has a different look than the older and more expensive Ionic. It has a wider, square face with metal finishes. It is sleeker and thinner than the Apple Watch and comes with a standard rubber band with more strap options.

The touch screen is more responsive than the Ionic. There are three buttons to handle shortcuts for music controls, notifications, exercise start times and alarms. All buttons are customizable to your individualized preferences.

Is Your IT Security Training Effective Enough?

Educating end users on the importance of security within your organization is an up-hill battle for most small businesses. Ask an IT professional how effective their training processes are and you’re sure to get a mixed bag of responses.

Some things work for some people and don’t for others.

Mandatory, irregular IT security training seminars don’t always make a connection. Hosting half day or day long training sessions can bore people to death and cut into your bottom line by pulling employees away from their workstations for an extended period. It security training Presentations need to walk a fine line between presenting hard policies and detailing the repercussions of violation while being lighthearted and keeping the room interactive.

Are you worried your IT security training isn’t hitting the right cord with your employees? Here are a few tips.

New Apple iPad Promises to be a Learning Experience

By George Rosenthal

Apple has launched its new 9.7 inch iPad.  Strongly focused on the educational market, the newly updated device is now available at Apple stores and is being shipped to schools.  Priced at $299 for students and $329 for consumers, Apple is attempting to supplant Google-powered Chromebooks used by many teachers.  According to research from FutureSource Consulting, sales in the K-12 mobile PC market for 2017 saw strong upticks in sales for Google and Windows devices, and declines for Apple’s iPad. 

Apple is hoping a new selling point, the addition of Apple Pencil support to this lower-end device, will spur interest and sales.  Previously the Pencil was available only the higher-end iPad Pro Tablets.  Apple has priced the Pencil at $89 for students. They envision kids to use the Pencil for art projects and similar school work.

The company has also boosted device storage for the educational models. 200 GB is available to help students work with and maintain bigger projects. Others will find the standard models start with 50 GB. 

Evaluating the Latest Public Cloud Security Statistics

Today, nearly every IT professional is using cloud service in their operations. Most users employ a hybrid model, mixing public and private clouds to store data within their organization.

A recent statistic released by McAfee questions public cloud security, stating that 25% of businesses who employ a public cloud service have had confidential data compromised.

The statistic was included in McAfee’s annual Cyber Security Report, released ahead of the RSA Security Conference in San Francisco.

While 97% of businesses employ some form of cloud storage, up from 93% in the same study last year, only 69% trust their data in the cloud.

Among confidential information stored in the cloud, customer information is the most common, reported in 61% of organizations. About 40% of companies store internal documentation, payment card information and personal staff data in the cloud, while 30% of users rely on the cloud for intellectual properties, healthcare records, competitive intelligence and network pass card storage.

Should Small Business Worry About the Facebook Scandal?

Facebook is working to restore its image with users following the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, in which information on up to 87 million users was collected through a third-party application and passed on to a political consulting firm to help influence voter opinion.

The public outcry following Cambridge Analytica has caused users and businesses to leave the platform and stock prices to drop. Tesla & Playboy are among the businesses that have dropped Facebook altogether, while countless others have pulled advertising through the platform.

Analysts estimate that anywhere between 60% and 80% of small businesses have a presence on Facebook, with over half of all small businesses posting on Facebook every day.

Just as a business vows to protect any user data that flows through their payment systems and website, they also have a responsibility to safeguard the data of their customers who value them enough to like them on Facebook. If a massive data breach were to occur on Facebook, the responsibility would fall on Facebook; not the individual brand. However, some can’t help but feel guilty by association.

Should you go running for the hills and pull your business from Facebook? We don’t think so.

Managing IT Operations in a Small Business: Tips to Make Your Life Easier

Small Business IT ManagementIt’s better to work smarter rather than harder, especially when the two roads take you to the same place. In many cases, that holds true for managing IT operations. For small businesses, maintaining and stabilizing infrastructure can keep you up at night especially when you lack the time and resources to gain control of your IT.

Regain your composure with these helpful tips for small business IT management from the experts at ThrottleNet.

Popular Online Scams: Protecting Yourself from the Most Common Internet Security Threats

While cyber security has evolved quite a bit over the years, and assailants are taking advantage of more conspicuous ways to sneak into your network undetected, the “same old, same old” remains a risk to your business and personal security.

In this blog, we summarzied some of the most common internet security threats that everyone should be aware of, along with tips to protect yourself.

8 Changes in Cyber Security You Must Be Aware Of

New technologies are changing the way companies think about cyber security and how they protect their business from everyday threats. At the same time, many cyber security issues we’re already aware of are becoming smarter, making the landscape that much more difficult to navigate.

Recently, Cisco released its 2018 Cyber Security Report, which discusses the latest advances in the security industry and how organizations can protect themselves against mounting cyber security issues. It also includes benchmarking data from 3,600 Chief Security Officers highlighting the challenges their organizations face regarding changes in cyber security.

The full report is a must-read for anyone who has a vesting interest in protecting their business, but we’ve provided some of the cliff notes in this blog entry.

Can Apple Reinvent Home Music with HomePod?

Apple believes music begins at home.

It’s why they are launching the HomePod, to bring you a new musical experience right in your living room or, for that matter, any space you want it.

HomePod will be available in early February. Apple claims it can definitely rock the house.  Don’t get confused. The HomePod is not an Amazon Echo or Google Home device in a different package. While it can serve as a home assistant, the difference is in the sound.

The tech giant says the HomePod is the ultimate music authority. It actually brings together Apple Music and Siri to “learn” your taste in music. It works through a combination of Apple’s engineered audio technology and advanced software said to deliver the highest-fidelity sound throughout the room.

The device features Apple’s A8 chip. The company claims it is the biggest brain ever in a speaker.  HomePod comes with seven beamforming tweeters designed with a precision acoustic horn that focuses sound for directional control. Sound will be consistent from anywhere in the room no matter where you are sitting.  Those who like a lot of bass will appreciate the high-excursion woofer with a custom amplifier. HomePod uses an advanced algorithm that continuously analyzes the music and dynamically tunes the low frequencies for what should be a smooth sound.

The Advantages of IT Automation & How It Can Help Your Business

IT automation is catching on as a commonly accepted practice by IT professionals to cut down on repetitive processes performed in both datacenters and cloud deployments.

Through automation, software is used to create instructions and processes that replace or reduce the degree at which humans are involved with managing an IT system.

In theory, just about every IT task can be applied some level of automation, but does not replace the need for humans to manage network infrastructure. Automation just makes managing IT easier. Automation is a method of enhancing how IT systems operate and making the most our of key personnel within your IT team.

How can your IT services benefit from an automated approach to IT?