Last week we discussed the consequences of allowing your systems to pass their end of life and continuing to use them. One of the larger issues is the increased potential of malware on your machines. Not only can this affect your desktops, but it can spread to the whole network. With malware attacks not slowing down, is this really a chance you can afford to take?

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Now that you know what EOL (end of life) means, let’s discuss what that means to your business. Previously mentioned in The Ping: End of Life, allowing end of life software on your network can leave you susceptible to malware and allow your company software to lose the ability to obtain updates and upgrades on either a server or desktop platform.

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With every Microsoft product you purchase there is a known EOL, or End of Life. Simply put, it’s an expiration date for your software or licensing. The most common reason is due to advancements and/or changes in technology that lead to your current purchases becoming obsolete. That is not to say that the software or devices that you recently purchased aren’t advanced for their current life cycle, but at one time we also believed that Windows 95 was so advanced we couldn’t imagine we would ever need a new operating system again. Fast forward to 2019 and we are 8 OS versions past Windows 95 with Windows 10.

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We’ve talked a lot about what you can do on a smaller scale to keep your home and personal IoT (Internet of Things) devices secure, but what about your home network? While it might not seem like it, your home has its own network infrastructure. Most people assume that if their network is up and running and they can connect to the internet, then everything is okay. Like your car, assuming that it is running fine is not the best way to handle it. You need to maintain your network and check up on it regularly. So you are probably asking, what exactly does that entail?

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It is probably safe to say that the majority of us carry around some type of smart device. Whether it is an iPhone, Galaxy, Pixel, Note, or Jitterbug, these devices play a huge role in our daily lives. We use these “phones” more for interacting with the internet than to talk, on the phone, to real live people. We routinely access almost all of our personal information including email, social media, and even confidential information such as banking or business from them. Not to mention our phones often act as the “remote control” that gives us the ability to control the smart devices in our IoT (Internet of Things) network (i.e. lightbulbs, garage doors, security systems, etc.). What’s true is that most of us have setup a screen unlock code or pattern to access our devices, apps, and data in an effort to secure our information. We also rarely let it out of our sight in order to feel like the information is safe, but that’s really not the case.

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With the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life a personal assistant surely would come in handy, right? While this may not be fiscally responsible, maybe a voice assistant would be. In our last article, The Ping: Voice Assistants, we discussed how a voice assistant can manage a lot of your needs. Things such as the weather for the day, the traffic to work and your grocery list. However, sometimes just managing your house is what you need the most help with. Are you aware that they can do that too and what they are really managing?

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We have all seen those commercials with an actor speaking to a voice assistant and making jokes.  They seem pretty catchy and entertaining and elude to ultimately resolving all of their day-to-day issues. While that seems like it would be life changing, do we really know how these devices work?  What can they do?

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So you might have heard the buzzwords “2FA” or “Multi-factor Authentication” thrown around a lot lately. The use of 2FA has become increasingly popular over the last few years. Apple has started prompting their users to activate this more advanced form of security. Your child’s Xbox Live account is now also prompting them to activate and use 2FA. Software you use at work, particularly credit card processing software, may also require card access or a 6 digit code. So that begs the question: what is multi-factor authentication?

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How Does Email Work?

Creating and sending an email may seem like a magical process that happens all on its own, but it’s actually a little more complicated than that. So how does it work? To get an email to your intended recipient, you send an email from your server to their server via the internet. This is done using SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol). Seems simple, right? It doesn’t stop there. In order to ensure the safety of that email’s contents, your everyday applications use TLS (Transport Layer Security) to send that email securely across the network.

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*Special Alert* – Apple FaceTime Bug

Occasionally news crosses our desk that immediately make us want to forward it to friends and family as a warning. This is one of those…

What is the problem?

“A significant bug has been discovered in FaceTime and is currently spreading virally over social media. The bug lets you call anyone with FaceTime, and immediately hear the audio coming from their phone — before the person on the other end has accepted or rejected the incoming call. Apple says the issue will be addressed in a software update “later this week”.”

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