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Posted by S2C Staff on 01 May 2017 01:44 PM

What Impact Will the Repeal of Online Privacy Laws Have on You?

Online Privacy Law 2017

The recent repeal of an Obama-era law that would have required Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to obtain users’ permission before sharing their personal data with marketers and other third parties has created dissent within the technology sector. Not surprisingly, major ISPs like AT&T and Comcast backed the repeal effort, arguing that the law was unfair and that they would have been subject to stricter controls than companies like Facebook and Google. Consumer advocates believe the repeal will be detrimental to online privacy.

The repealed law, which was passed in October 2016 and included new rules created by the Federal Communications Commission, had yet to go into effect, so consumers probably won’t notice much difference. ISPs have been in the practice of monitoring network traffic – which means they can see which devices you use and which websites you visit – and sharing that information with third parties such as advertisers. An overview of how this might affect you follows.

Is This Repeal a Big Deal?

Many consumer advocates involved with internet privacy issues believe this is a big deal. The new FCC rules would have created much stronger privacy protection for internet users. The law, which was passed just before President Trump’s election, would have required ISPs to get a clear go-ahead from users to share personal data – including precise location information, financial data, health information, Social Security numbers, app usage history, as well as information on the users’ children. In addition, the new legislation would have allowed users to protect less sensitive personal data such as email addresses.

Why has the New Administration Repealed It?

The new FCC chief, Ajit Pai, has said that the repeal would help level the playing field, citing that the new rules would have benefited “one group of favored companies over another group of disfavored companies.” He vowed to protect consumer privacy through a “consistent and comprehensive framework.” This response did little to reassure advocates of internet privacy rights. A group known as Fight for the Future issued a statement decrying Congress’ move, saying “…they care more about the wishes of the corporations that fund their campaigns than the safety and security of their constituents.” This group has launched a billboard campaign to identify the members of Congress who backed the repeal.

What Can You Do to Safeguard Your Data Online?

Some privacy advocates are recommending that consumers use a virtual private network (VPN) to hide their browsing history and data from internet service providers. A VPN can also mask your location. If you wish to explore this option, be aware that VPNs are linked to service providers, which means it is incumbent on you to find a VPN whose privacy policies match yours. There is software available that also can hide your location and identity. These solutions have their issues, too. Some broadcasters – like Netflix – block VPN users from accessing their content. Software that hides your location and identity might slow your browsing down somewhat.

Internet privacy has been a hot issue for some time. These latest moves are likely to keep the topic in the headlines in the months ahead.

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Whats New in Technology for April 2017
Posted by S2C Staff on 19 April 2017 11:53 AM

Free Up Space on Your iPhone

If you keep a lot of data on your iPhone without a periodic cleanup, you’ll reach a point when you don’t have available space for the apps you want to access most. The default settings in your phone contribute to the overload in many instances. In some situations, you can free up storage by overriding these defaults to better suit your needs. For others, you’ll need to better manage your storage capacity. Here’s how:

  1. Figure out what is eating up your storage. This way you’ll make informed decisions about what is important to you to keep and what isn’t. Open up Settings then follow General to Storage and iCloud to Storage to Manage Data. This will let you see how much space your photographs, videos, podcasts and music are using. Your apps will be ranked according to how much space they require.
  2. Delete Text Messages. By default, your iPhone stores all your text messages. If you are an avid text user, this gobbles up significant storage space. There are two easy ways to address this – either get in the habit of deleting messages manually, or change the default to delete messages every 30 days. You can do this by going into your Settings and tapping on Messages. Scroll through until Message History pops up. Here’s where you will find the option of keeping Forever, 30 Days or 1 Year. Pick whichever works best for you.
  3. Hone in on Photos. This is where most of us use lots of storage space. Try these tips:
    1. Avoid inadvertently using the Burst mode, which takes a series of super-fast shots (and often happens by accident if your finger lingers just a split second too long on the screen button) by using the volume control button to take a shot rather than the sensitive screen button.
    2. Avoid saving duplicate copies of High Dynamic Range (HDR) photos by opening Photo & Camera in Settings. Scroll to the bottom and deselect the box next to Keep Normal Photos.
    3. Turn offautomatic Photo Sharing in Photo & Camera and manually turn on this feature only when you really want to share pictures.
    4. Rely on the iCloud Photo Library to store your pictures rather than your mobile device and turn off the Photo Stream setting on your phone. Your photos will remain stored on other devices (iPad and/or computer) that are linked via iCloud.
  4. Delete iBooks you are not reading currently and consider consolidating your music collection via the cloud with iTunes Match. You might want to keep your current page-turner on your iPhone, but do you really need your entire library to be duplicated on your phone? You can selectively remove copies from your phone (Delete this copy) without deleting them from your iPad. In a similar way, iTunes Match (less than $24 a year) stores every track you have and lets you selectively download onto your iPhone only when you want to hear specific tracks. There’s no need to have your entire music collection stored on your phone at all times.
  5. Clean up your Browser. If you use Safari, your mobile phone may be storing web history you don’t need. Access Safari through Settings and click on Clear History and Website Data. To clean up Google Chrome, open the app, access History and Clear Browsing Data.

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Firefox and Chrome Security Warnings & Google SSL Mandate
Posted by S2C Staff on 16 March 2017 05:16 PM

What? Not Secure? 

It was secure yesterday?

There is a movement in the Tech world to change how login pages are rated in some of your favorite browsers.

What is the issue?

  • Chrome and Firefox are now showing a small warning about web pages with login forms when the main URL of the website does not have an SSL certificate.
  • Symantec reported at HostingCon Los Angeles on April 5th that in 12 months Google was planning a new algorithm to downgrade all web pages that are not under and valid SSL certificate.

What is the problem with the login box?

The IT community's conflict is that the browser can see the SSL in the embedded login page/box but it does not show that information to the end user.  The browser can also see that the page embedding the login pages/box is not using an SSL.

Because of this, embedded login pages/boxes with SSLs are now caught in the middle of this somewhat controversial movement. Although an embedded login page/box with SSL is secure.

But according to Symantec in 12 months it probably will not matter as Google with try to push the world wide web toward using SSL for all web pages. 

Google Reading Firefox Reading Blog Post About the Topic

Cliff Notes for non-techies

How do I get this warning removed from my website?

IE   No Message - has not been adopted

Your Options

1. Get ahead of the curve and Buy an SSL certificate today and have it installed on your website.

See All Certificates Buy a Cert & Have Us Install It

2. Remove all iframe embedded login pages/boxes from your website and link to a URL SSL secured login page instead. This option may require custom login pages to be built and it will not meet Google's new mandate coming in the next 12 months.

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Posted by S2C Staff on 01 March 2017 01:25 PM

Technology: Oops! Recalling Emails

Perhaps it’s a glaring typo in a business email or a hastily written rebuke that you regret sending, but probably everyone wishes at times we could undo the send button. Depending upon which email program you use, and some other factors, you may be able to recall an email. Here’s how:

  • Recalling a message in Outlook with an Exchange Account is easy if both you and your recipient are using Microsoft Exchange email and you are both on the same server.  You won’t be able to recall messages that you have sent to a Gmail or Yahoo account because once an email has left your server, you have no further control over it. If you and the intended recipient are both Outlook users with Exchange accounts on the same server, here’s what to do:

    1. Navigate to Sent Folder and open the message you want to retrieve.  Make sure you have the Message Tab open, and then click on Action;
    2. From Action, select the option Recall This Message;
    3. You will then have two options: Delete Unread Copies or Delete Unread Copies and Replace with New Message
  • Additional Factors that Prevent an Outlook Recall:
    1. If the recipient gets to the email first and opens it before your recall request is received;
    2. If the recipient’s inbox has a rule that moves your incoming email to another folder;
    3. If the email lands in a public inbox and is opened by someone other than the intended recipient, you won’t be able to recall it;
    4. Recall efforts will not work if the intended recipient is viewing their emails outside the Outlook Desktop Program, for example on their smart phone or iPad or through Outlook Web.
  • Outlook Message Transmittal Delay is usefulfor an Outlook user whouses the recall feature frequently and/or has email contacts that can’t be recalled through a common server. To activate the delay feature, navigate the File tab to find Manage Rules & Alerts.  You then can set up a delayed delivery – up to 120 minutes. This feature also allows you to bypass the delayed feature for specific people and customize the conditions to suit your needs.
  • Recalling a Gmail message can be easy ifyou have enabled the feature that allows you to do so. With Gmail, a little advanced planning can save you from yourself. To do this, click on the Settings (the little gear symbol) in Gmail and navigate to the General tab. Check that Enable Undo is selected, and finally click on Save Change.
  • To recall an email using Gmail (only if you have the above-mentioned function enabled), click Cancel immediately and then click Undo when Cancel appears. You will still need to be pretty fast off the mark for this to work – at least 5 seconds to Unsend by default and up to 30 seconds if you have changed the time allotment in Setting. If you are someone who is likely to use the recall function, increase the time allotment.

Bottom line: there are some recall options for Gmail and Outlook, but there are obvious pitfalls involved in relying on them. There is often a good chance you won’t be fast enough, or that your Outlook account can’t connect with the recipient’s email program. Try to avoid sending a message any time you are angry or upset. Put your message in the Drafts folder and revisit it when you’ve had a chance to recover your composure, or when you’ve had a chance to talk to a colleague.

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Posted by S2C Staff on 07 February 2017 01:49 AM

Major Trends at CES

Major Trends at CES Consumer Electronics Show SEO Website ContentIndustry gurus and eager consumers often face a tough task separating breakthrough trends from over-hyped gimmicks amidst the clamor and marketing frenzy that characterizes the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Opinions vary concerning the products, but here are some of the categories that attracted significant interest at the show.

  • Virtual reality as a corporate tool. VR is not new, but after more than a few years large corporations like Boeing and Ford are beginning to recognize that virtual reality can deliver in the workplace as well as in the marketplace. Sales and marketing pros are increasingly excited about how VR can give potential customers a taste of new product lines. Experts also anticipate that companies will recognize the value of VR as a low-risk training tool to improve workplace health and safety. It’s been a long time coming, but new software upgrades and improved headset design have positioned VR to expand well beyond its gaming origins. Demos using VR in a business setting attracted major crowds at the show, with attendees eager to don headsets and try out industrial/business apps for themselves.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) can now anticipate needs and voice recognition goes beyond mere dictation to allow users to access and link all the various applications – such as customer management and email – to service customers while on the move.  Experts believe we will see more anticipatory AI programs, such as automobile software that records driving routes and calendar information. They also can scan local traffic information to provide alternate route options to avoid traffic delays without the need for driver input.
  • Autonomous driving systems are designed to port airborne delivery drones and large delivery vehicles. It may take a few years for consumers to accept the idea, but transportation experts believe eventually we will see autonomous driving on major freight routes. In the meantime, expect to see more assisted-driving options in automobiles – programs that monitor for signs of driver inattention, issue suggestions for a rest break, and offer dashboard alerts for corrective action if the highway surface becomes slippery or hazardous. Think of these monitoring and driver-assistance programs as a precursor to self-driving vehicles by demonstrating how automation can support safer driving.
  • Inherent connectivity. Increasingly, consumers are becoming comfortable with the increased interconnectivity of the Internet.  No longer will we rely on our personal interaction with visible hardware to provide the technological support for our work and leisure time. As computers have shrunk in size, we have become used to the idea of computer capabilities being embedded into products ranging from phones to automobiles and appliances – capabilities that allow these products to communicate and respond without our prompting. We can expect to see this embedded computing power to improve efficiencies and make our work and home life smoother and more productive.


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