The Ping: Hacking Smart Devices

How nice is it to come home to a well-lit house and the cool A/C on a hot summer day? Smart devices seem to be the easy fix for the little things in life with all of our busy schedules taking up so much of our time. While some of these devices are being put into place to help keep our homes secure, we might be inviting more danger in without even knowing it.

Recent studies have found that almost any Tom, Dick or Harry can hack a smart device within 30 minutes. All they need is access to the internet and the make and model of the device in question. “Using these devices in our lab, we were able to play loud music through a baby monitor, turn off a thermostat and turn on a camera remotely, much to the concern of our researchers who themselves use these products.” – Dr. Yossi Oren

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The Ping: Your Smart Device Just Sold Your Data to the Highest Bidder

Ok, we’re going to get a little conspiracy / someone-is-watching-me crazy right now………

If you have a device with a camera that can access – or be accessed from – the Internet, then you may have a physical security problem. Someone may be watching you. Someone may be listening to your sensitive conversations.


You’re probably now thinking, “You’re right, you are going a little crazy!”

How many of your co-workers are walking around with an unsecured Android or iPhone that is listening for voice commands? How many of these devices have been in meetings when you were talking about very sensitive issues?

If you’d like to follow us down the path of paranoia, just do a web search for “hack android microphone.”


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The Ping: BYOD

What’s a Bee-YOD (BYOD)?

What is a BYOD anyway? The next hipster dog breed?

BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device. You’ll normally see this term used in reference to devices that are brought into your office by your employees and contractors.

If you haven’t addressed it yet then now is the time! One of your most important business assets, your data, is walking out the door every day on your employee’s phones. Until you get a grip on how this data is being handled your business is at risk.


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The Ping: Austin’s Sick Leave Ordinance

I’m sure you heard that on February 16th Austin’s City Council passed a sick leave ordinance scheduled to go into effect on October 1st. We, like all the other Austin-based small businesses needed to know how this was going to impact us. This is what we found out:


  • Businesses with more than 15 employees must grant an employee one hour of earned sick time for every 30 hours worked.
  • Businesses with 15 or fewer employees have to provide only 48 hours of paid leave, or six 8-hour days, per year.
  • Businesses with five or fewer employees have until October, 2020 to comply.
  • You are not required to provide more than 64 hours of earned sick time to an employee in a calendar year. All unused earned sick time up to 64 hours must be carried over to the following year.
  • If you already provide PTO to an employee in an amount sufficient to meet the accrual, purpose, and usage requirements then no additional action is required.
  • Earned sick time starts accruing when you hire an employee, or when the ordinance takes effect, whichever is later.
  • Businesses can restrict usage of sick time for the first 60 days of employment
  • You must reinstate accrued sick time for a separated employee who is rehired within 6 months.

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The Ping: Apple iPhone Batteries

Apple iPhone Battery Issue

By now you’ve probably heard the scoop around Apple iPhone batteries. When Apple released update 10.2.1 nearly a year ago, iPhone 6 models started slowing down. It turns out that Apple intentionally slowed these phones to make them more reliable during peak performance. Apple eventually also pushed this update to iPhone 7 models.

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