15 Dec

Gooligan Malware Haunts Android Devices

It is the largest single theft of Google accounts ever reported. And if you own an Android 4 or 5 phone, it has likely already affected you. The Gooligan virus, running rampant in third-party app stores, promises to keep wreaking havoc until developers find a way to shut it down. To help your business avoid malware catastrophe, read on to learn what we know about Gooligan so far.

 

It is estimated that since Gooligan’s August 2016 appearance, the malware has infected more than 1.3 million Google accounts — one of the largest single thefts in recent history.

With the range of personal data available in Google accounts, it is interesting to note that Gooligan’s purpose isn’t to steal the valuable information; instead, it’s to distribute advertising fraud. With as much as $320,000 a month going into the pockets of Gooligan developers, it is obvious that the ploy is working.

 

How Gooligan is Moving Through the Internet

 

Consumers are falling prey to the virus when they attempt to download a fake app from a third-party app store. Instead of getting the program that they were promised, they inadvertently allow the Gooligan malware to root into their Android OS and take control of it. Once in control, the virus downloads apps using your Google information. These apps are infused with ads that belong to Gooligan developers, bringing them a never-ending stream of income.

 

Where Gooligan Came from and Where it’s Going

 

Gooligan appears to be a variation of the 2015 Ghost Push malware, which was also wildly successful at infecting Android users. Google is currently working with Android engineers and Internet security firms to quelch the malware; they believe that through cooperative efforts, it will disappear from public attention. As it is, those who have updated Android versions of 6.0 or greater are not affected by the malware.

You can lower your chances of contracting the Gooligan malware by downloading apps only from Google Play and checking your system through the security firm Check Point to ensure your Android hasn’t already been infected.

 

For more information on Gooligan and how you can protect your company, contact us at 1-866-BIT-WISE or sales@eitnetworks.net.

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18 Oct

What Makes Google’s Pixel so Special?

This year, Google announced its grand entry into a market largely dominated by major companies like Samsung and Apple with the production of its first smartphone — the Google Pixel. Although it sports a design similar to the iPhone, Google is planning to offer distinct features that will enhance the user experience. What are they, and will they make Google Pixel stand out from other smartphones?

 

A fantastic smartphone camera

 

When purchasing a smartphone, a good camera is one of the must-haves. And in this area, Google Pixel does not disappoint, as it has one of the best smartphone cameras on the market. With a 12.3-megapixel rear camera, the Google Pixel can capture high-quality photos in both bright and poorly-lit environments. For selfie enthusiasts, Google’s smartphone also sports an 8-megapixel front camera, which is much more powerful than the iPhone 7’s.

 

Long battery life

 

Due to the complex programs that run on them, many smartphones are unable to offer long battery life. But this isn’t a problem with the Google smartphone. The Google Pixel can last for as long as 13 hours with extended internet use. What’s more, just a short time charging yields hours of potential use. Experts say that with only 15 minutes of plug-in time, the phone will operate for up to 7 hours.

 

Robust specs

 

One of the weaknesses of Microsoft’s smartphone was its mediocre specifications compared to other handheld devices at the time. Pixel users will find no problems here. To compete with the iPhone, Google Pixel is starting strong with a 1080p screen, 1.6GHz quad processor, 4GB of RAM, and a minimum of 32GB of storage space. Additionally, because it runs with the Android operating system, Pixel can comfortably outperform many other smartphone models.

As for its design, the device looks a lot like the iPhone, but comes in three distinct colors amusingly named “really blue,” “very silver,” and “quite black.” Learning from the missteps of previous companies’ smartphone efforts, Google Pixel has focused on borrowing only the successful elements of prominent smartphone developers to ensure a bit of market share from the beginning.

 

One of the best contenders in the market

 

Apple and Samsung phones may still be the cream of the crop, but Google’s entry is quickly catching up. With pricing in line with the iPhone 7 (USD$649), Google is certainly confident in its hardware. We suppose only time will tell whether Google has reached a smartphone breakthrough or if it will flop like so many companies before them.

 

We at EIT love all things technological. While we are not in the business of selling or maintaining smartphones, we can definitely offer advice on which phone will work best for your needs. If you are looking for technological advice or are interested in a professional managed services provider, contact us at 1-866-BIT-WISE or sales@eitnetworks.net.

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24 May

The Exciting Features of Android 6.0

Android Marshmallow has been one of the most anticipated software updates for Android users. Dubbed by Google as “the sweetest, smartest Android version yet”, it was first unveiled at the company’s I/O conference under the codename Android M. So what features do you look forward to when your tablet finally updates to Android 6.0 version? Read on.

 

Now on Tap

 

Google’s digital personal assistant is being made more efficient in giving you quick answers and in figuring out what you may want to do next. Now On Tap can be activated by pressing on your tab’s home button, which works for both onscreen and the physical button. A short animation or a card will appear that will give you quick information based on the context of what is currently on your screen. For example, you are chatting with a client regarding a new restaurant, Now on Tap can give you directions to the restaurant, its contact information or Yelp review. This deep-linking technology also includes shortcuts to apps on your tablet and is also applicable to voice searches. It’s designed in a way that it appears when you need it and disappears so you can resume what you were previously doing.

 

Android Pay

 

With the increasing popularity of mobile payment, Google is trying again after the dismal performance of the Google Wallet. The latter is being changed for peer-to-peer payments only, while Google Pay allows you to pay for both in-store and in-app purchases. Google’s newest mobile payment system lets you purchase goods from 700,000 participating stores by using your tab’s NFC technology. Also, checking out in mobile shopping apps is a walk in the park using Android Pay.

 

Doze

 

Don’t you just hate it when after a few hours of taking the tablet off the charger, you’re left with just 2% battery life? With the Doze mode in Android 6.0, it promises to make your tablet last even longer. This new power-saving feature uses a lot less power than the current Standby mode. In Doze mode, your tablet hibernates when you put it down for a lengthy period. That means your tab will not be disturbed by power hogging apps, but will still be receiving incoming messages, phone calls and important alarms.

 

Redesigned App Drawer

 

Marshmallow comes with a new design for the app drawer – that part in your tablet where all your installed apps are located. A search bar at the top makes it even easier to find an app. Google also remembers your app-opening frequency or periods and can make suggestions on what apps you might want to use. Instead of scrolling left and right, the app drawer now scrolls up or down which is reminiscent of older Android versions.

 

Android for Work

 

This may not be a very appealing addition to many but for those who bring their tablet as a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) device at work, this is definitely sexy. Android Marshmallow improves the way it handles security, notifications, VPNs, access and storage. So much so that one device can be used for both home and work purposes.

 

Fingerprint API

 

This update may not be all that apparent, but now your Android tab comes with support for a fingerprint reader. This allows you to unlock your tab and its apps, and also to easily verify payments.

 

App Permissions

 

Now you can have greater control over the security and privacy of your tablet by approving permission requests on a need-to-use basis. Previously, these apps required carte blanche permission to look at parts of your tablet you actually didn’t want them to. With Android Marshmallow, WhatsApp may not ask for permission to access your photos until you try to take and send one. However, keep in mind that some apps may not function optimally if you restrict it to resources that it actually needs.

 

Not sure how to proceed when it comes to app permissions? Having problems in updating your tablet’s software? Or are you finding it difficult to integrate your BYOD device with technology at work? Get in touch with one of our experts to assist with any of your technology issues. Contact us at 1-866-BIT-WISE or sales@eitnetworks.net

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14 Jan

Google and Password-Free Logins

Passwords such as “Password123”, “Mycomputer” and the classic “123456” can pose a very real threat to small and medium sized businesses everywhere. Easy to crack and hack, if your staff are logging in to company accounts with over simplified passwords, they are putting your business at risk. Adding to the danger, phishers also know that people are always the weakest link in a security chain. To address these issues, Google is trialing a new way of logging in, but what is it and how does it work?

 

So what exactly is Google’s master plan for squaring up to malicious phishing attempts and the perils caused by easy-to-crack passwords? The tech giant is currently trialing a new login option for Google account users. This will let anyone who has enabled the option to log in using their smartphone, completely eliminating the point at which you would normally enter a password. The system uses your phone to verify your identity by sending you an alert that gives you the option of whether or not to log in to your account.

 

During the trial stages, the folks at Google have invited what they are terming “a small group of users” to test out the potential password-free function on their personal Google accounts. The method appears to be easy to use and, if the trial is a success, could offer a far more secure way of accessing an account. By authorizing your phone to let you log in, you are effectively removing the need for a password.

 

To initiate a log in, the testers type in their email address on their PC or Mac. This will be followed up with a notification on their phone asking them whether they wish to log in to their Google account. All they then do is click the “yes” option and the computer will log them in automatically. For anyone concerned about not being able to log in due to their phone having a flat battery, being forgotten at home, or worst case scenario lost, there is no need to worry for the option remains to log in the traditional way by clicking a link saying “Use your password instead” at the bottom of the page.

 

Should the trial go ahead and password-free smartphone authentication becomes the norm, the advantages from a security perspective are clear. As stated above, simple passwords simply don’t protect accounts properly. Should someone – whether a hacker, a dishonest employee with an agenda, a recently fired employee with a grudge, or a competitor – put their mind to it, figuring out poor passwords is really not that hard, especially if they have insider knowledge about the user. Date of birth, favorite football team, an unfortunate obsession with Justin Beiber – these are all things that can be used to crack a password. And let’s not even get started on Password123.

 

The other thing of significant importance is the fact that should password-free log in go ahead, it will stop phishers in their tracks. The phishing ‘business’ is a booming one and those unscrupulous people who contact end users and attempt to extract personal information from them by pretending to be from a trustworthy source could find that their days of stealing passwords are numbered. If the phone becomes the means to log in, the phisher is rendered impotent. There is no password to hand over and of course the phisher doesn’t have access to the phone to click the “yes” button.

 

Google has made a few facts clear to its guinea pigs. The first of which is that the trial works on both the iOS and Android platforms. Users can still log in with their existing password should they desire and Google’s “unusual sign-in” policy remains in place should they detect anything suspicious and need the user to complete an extra step as proof it’s really them.

 

Should password-free, smartphone login be launched it would be a massive step in the right direction towards plugging the security holes that are caused by human error or carelessness. Setting a password such as “123456” might seem kind of dumb, but it’s amazing just how many people do! At the other end of the scale, phishers can be frighteningly convincing and are able to con even the most tech savvy or diligent users out of passwords, credit card details and more.

 

If you’d like to know how we can help you ensure that you are operating in the safest possible security environment, contact us today at 1-866-BIT-WISE or helpdesk@eitnetworks.net.

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02 Oct

A Look at Google Apps for Work

Over the past decade, as technology has continued to evolve rapidly, Google has gone from merely a search engine to a cloud-based application provider. Its famous product, Google Apps for Work, is gaining momentum in increasing its popularity among business owners, as a result of its numerous different applications and overall ease of use.

 

In a nutshell, Google Apps for Work is a cloud-based productivity suite and collaboration software application from Google that gives businesses all the benefits of cloud computing, including flexibility, scalability, and cost savings. Let’s take a closer look at all it has to offer.

 

Gmail

 

Gmail is Google’s webmail service, with over 400 million users worldwide. Although Gmail is available free of charge, you can get extended features for a low monthly fee, including custom company email addresses, unlimited group addresses, 30GB of inbox storage, and 24/7 help desk support.

 

Hangouts

 

With Hangouts, you can have a chat or group chat with your coworkers, start face-to-face group video calling, and share your screen and documents. Accessible via both desktop and laptop computers and smaller devices like smartphones and tablets, Hangouts is a powerful video chat application that is efficient and simple to use.

 

Calendar

 

Google Calendar allows you to stay in sync with your colleagues from anywhere, and on any device. These shareable calendars integrate seamlessly with Gmail, Drive, and Hangouts, so you can easily manage events, view and edit your schedule, and check your coworkers’ availability.

 

Google+

 

Google+ is a social network platform designed to help you connect, share, and collaborate with your team members. You can customize and filter the dashboard’s contents in a way that’s suitable for you.

 

Drive

 

Google Drive is an online cloud storage platform that enables you to store all of your files in one place. These files are accessible from anywhere, at any time, and from any web-enabled device. You can get as much storage as you need, and also view common file formats without having to install extra software on your device.

 

Docs

 

With Google Docs, you and your colleagues can work on the same documents, in real time, allowing for better collaboration and efficiency. You can also leave comments and communicate through a built-in chat box. What’s more, all edits and changes are automatically saved, and you can restore the revision history in an instant.

 

Sheets

 

Google Sheets contains the fundamental functions of the popular Microsoft Excel application. Whether you’re looking to create spreadsheets and charts, perform calculations, or generate pivot table reports, Sheets has all these capabilities and so much more.

 

Forms

 

Creating surveys and forms online has never been easier. Forms allow you to build professional-looking surveys and questionnaires. You can collect answers by sending the URL to respondents. It’s that simple! You can track and analyze responses in real time in order to gain valuable insights from your surveys.

 

Slides

 

With Slides, you can work on a single presentation online with your colleague, your whole team, or even external contacts. You can also control who gets the permission to edit or view the slides with just a few clicks. Again, there is no software installation required.

 

Sites

 

Looking to create an internal website to train your new hires? Want to build a project site for your team? These can be done easily, and without needing any coding experience. Simply choose a template from Google Sites and determine what needs to be put in place to make your website successful.

 

For more information about Google Apps for Work and how you can integrate it into your business, give our tech professionals a call today at 1-866-BIT-WISE.

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09 Jan

Gmail 101: Using Google Tasks

Chances are high that, as a business owner and/or manager, you have a lengthy and difficult-to-keep-track-of to-do list. There is always going to be some task or project that needs your attention, and being pulled in so many directions at once can be tough to manage. If you use Gmail, however, there is a great feature – Google Tasks – and it could help you keep on top of what you need to get done.

What is Google Tasks?

Google Tasks is a sub-feature included in all versions of Gmail. As the name suggests, its main function is to allow you to set up tasks directly in Gmail. With this feature you can create itemized lists, set due dates, add notes, and create tasks directly from Gmail messages.

When you use this feature, you will see a chat-like window appear at the bottom-right corner of the screen. The window looks and functions a lot like a Hangouts chat in that you can minimize it and even pop it out of the Gmail window.

How to use Google Tasks

As we noted above, Google Tasks is a feature of Gmail, and can be accessed by:

1. Going to your Gmail Inbox.

2. Pressing on Mail which is located at the top-left side of the window.

3. Selecting Tasks from the drop-down menu.

When you do this, you should notice the Tasks window open at the bottom-right of the screen, beside any open chats or emails you may be composing. Once you have opened this, you can add a new task by clicking on the + at the bottom right, or by clicking in any blank area in the window. You should then notice a square box appear with a blinking cursor beside it. You can then enter the task you would like to make note of.

Once a task is finished you can tick the box beside it and it will be struck through, indicating it has been completed. You can then click on it and press the trash can icon at the bottom to delete the task from your list.

Other useful Google Tasks features

•Create sub-tasks – If you want to create a task with sub-tasks, simply create each task normally and then press Tab to indent tasks so that they are identified as sub-tasks. Hit Shift + Tab to move any indented tasks to the left.

•Add a due date and notes – Click on a task and then click on the black arrow to the right of the task to assign a due date and add any notes.

•Create new lists – Create multiple lists by clicking on the list icon at the bottom-right of the window and selecting New list.

•Move tasks up or down the list – To change the priority of a task, hover your mouse over the square beside the task name and click on the grey dots, then drag the task up or down.

•Email a task list – You can send a task list to other Gmail users by selecting the list you want to send, then clicking Actions at the bottom of the window, followed by Email task list.

If you would like to learn more about using Google Tasks, or any other Google app please get in touch with us today at 1-866-BIT-WISE or sales@eitnetworks.net.

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19 Dec

Pin it on Google Chrome

Google Chrome is one of the most popular browsers in use today. With steady updates, fast speeds, and the ever useful tabs, it’s difficult to imagine working without it. For users who have the same tabs constantly open, did you know that there is a useful feature in Chrome that allows you to ensure that these tabs are always available?

What is Chrome’s Pin Tab feature

When using Chrome’s tabs, you will notice that tabs open from left to right. When you browse the Internet, you likely open the most used or important sites first, which means they will open to the left. The problem with this is we often have so many tabs open that it can be tricky to find or quickly navigate to the tabbed sites we use the most.

One way to solve this problem is by pinning these to the tab bar. When you do this, the tab will be pinned to the left-hand side and made smaller. This makes it easier to find your important tabs and keep these sites and tabs more organized.

How do I pin tabs?

If you would like to pin tabs:
1.Open the site you would like to pin in a new tab.
2.Right-click on the tab.
3.Select Pin Tab.

This will shorten the tab to just the site’s icon and move it to the far left of the tab bar. Pinning other tabs will also move them to the left, beside the other pinned tabs. Any new tabs will be opened to the right of pinned tabs.

It is important to note here that because the pinned tabs are smaller any live tabs, such as Gmail’s unread message counter, or Facebook’s chat reminder, will no longer be updated. For most tabs this is not an issue, but for tabs like Gmail you will have to physically click on the tab to check if you have any new emails.

How do I unpin or move tabs?

You can unpin tabs by right-clicking on the pinned tab and selecting Unpin Tab. You can also move the order of pinned tabs by clicking and holding on the pinned tab you would like to move and moving it left or right. As you do so, you will notice other tabs change order.

If you would like to close the pinned tab, either unpin it first and then press the X at the right-hand side of the tab, or right-click on the tab and select Close Tab.

Looking to learn more about using Chrome? Contact EIT Networks today at 1-866-BIT-WISE or sales@eitnetworks.net and we can show you how to enhance your business functions.

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20 Nov

Google Calendar Gets a Big Update

For many business owners with Android devices, Google’s Calendar app is one of the most useful to have installed. With the update to Android 5.0, the company has also been updating their apps to make them not only look better, but more useful too. This has led to a new version of Calendar being launched with some great new features.

The idea behind the new Google Calendar

According to Google, the new Calendar app has been designed to truly help make lives easier. With the older version of Calendar, you have to take time to copy and paste information like location, phone numbers, and details into each event. This leads many users to simply skip adding important information when they create new events on their mobile devices.

With the latest version of Google Calendar, Google aims to make the creation of events and addition of information far easier. To do this, the new app has some useful features including:

Events pulled from Gmail

These days, when you book a flight or confirm a meeting, etc. you usually receive an email with a confirmation number and some contact information. In the new Calendar, events like this will be pulled automatically from Gmail emails and added to Calendar, along with relevant information.

For example, if you book a flight to attend a conference, you will see a new Calendar entry added with the flight information. Beyond this, events will be updated in real time, so if there is a delay with the event or you are sent an email update, Calendar will update this information automatically.

Assists

This new feature allows you to quickly and easily create group events. Now, when you create a new event and begin to type in information, Calendar will make suggestions based on what you are typing.

For example, if you want to set a meeting with John at Starbucks around the corner you can start typing: ‘Meet’ and Google will come up with a list of suggested events. Tap Meeting from the drop-down menu and this will pop up in the text box. The drop-down menu changes to allow you to select more options, such as With. Tap this and enter the first letter of a name, and then select who to invite. The drop-down menu will change again and allow you to select a location by simply typing a few letters.

From the demo we have seen, this works quite well and definitely speeds up the creation of events.

Schedule View

This is a new view that has been designed to provide you with an in-depth view of the events you have scheduled. According to the Google blog, this view “includes photos and maps of the places you’re going, cityscapes of travel destinations, and illustrations of everyday events like dinner, drinks, and yoga.”

Essentially, this view makes it easier for you to see what is going on at a quick glance. Many mobile users find Schedule View particularly useful as they do not have to navigate their main calendar, which can be tricky to read when you have a wealth of events planned.

How do I get the latest Google Calendar?

As of the writing of this article, the app is available on the Google Play store for all Android devices running Android 4.1 and higher. You should be able to get the app by updating the existing Google Calendar app. If you do not have the app, you can find it by searching for Google Calendar from the Google Play Store app.

If you are interested in learning more about Android, contact us today at 1-866-BIT-WISE or sales@eitnetworks.net to see how our systems and experts can benefit your business too.

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