We picked a few of our favorite products to give you some Christmas gift ideas.
If you need some gift ideas but are less than tech-savvy, don’t stress. We came up with a list of our favorite products and why we think they’re great for everyone on your list.
Our favorite things:
- Microsoft Surface Pro 3
- Microsoft Band
- Xbox One
- Roku 3
The Surface Pro 3 is “the tablet that can replace your laptop”. It is all about convenience combined with functionality. It has Windows 8.1 pro, multiple ports, the ability to run programs like Word and Excel and a 12-inch display. Remove the snap on keyboard and it operates as a tablet. It weighs only 1.76 pounds which is light enough to take anywhere. It also has the Surface pen. One of our favorite features is the fact that you can open a blank OneNote document and jot down ideas with the click of the pen, even in sleep mode.
The Microsoft Band is another product that can help you with gift ideas. Think fitbit, plus more interactivity. Features include calorie and sleep tracking, incoming call notifications and heart rate monitoring. There are also additional health and productivity features. You can get guided workouts and set goals. The Band also lets you stay connected in ways other fitness bands don’t; specifically, it comes with Cortana with Windows 8.1. (See a previous post to get to know Cortana). You can receive email, text and social media notifications. This is perfect for anyone who could use help balancing all areas of their life.
Here is what we think if a phone is one of your gift ideas. We are not a house divided; we love both the iPhone 6 and the Windows Lumia phones. Both phones have great resolution, lightning-fast connectivity and thousands of apps to choose from. They have revolutionized the way we use our phones for pictures and videos. The iPhone has the iSight camera with Focus Pixels. The video features are 1080p HD at 60 fps, slo-mo at 240 fps and time-lapse video mode. The Windows Lumia phones have a wider lens with megapixels ranging from 5 to 20. Personal preference is what it is important. If the recipient needs extra organization or personalization (Cortana and customizable tiles come in handy here) we say go for a Lumia phone. If convenience is important (Apple Pay is great for that) then go with the iPhone 6.
Next up is a great gift for gamers and technology lovers alike: the Xbox One. To quote its makers, “Xbox One delivers an all-new gaming and entertainment experience that will transform how you play”. It has a 1080pHD Kinect sensor and adapts to the way you play. There is also less waiting and better performance with Xbox Live. This is the best of the best. Not only will you get a high-quality gaming experience, you also have TV, movies, sports and music in one place.
Rounding out our list of great products is the Roku 3. This is a great item for lightening fast streaming and making your tv “smart”. It is has the standard Roku features. There are 1800+ channels and a remote with a headphone jack. This model has been updated to include great new features. It streams 5x faster than previous models. It also has a motion control remote for games and multiple ports (Ethernet, USB and MicroSD slot). This is a great gift for someone looking to update their entertainment experience.
That completes the list of our favorite things. If any of these products are on your list of gift ideas, we think you’ll have some very happy loved ones. For help with all of your new gadgets, call trueITpros at 678-534-8776.
Find out how to protect your computer from CryptoLocker – and why it is so important to do so.
CryptoLocker has emerged on the scene as one of the most destructive (and expensive) viruses out there. The world of technology is constantly evolving and people learn more and develop new programs. With that constant change and development brings more developed and intrusive viruses. CryptoLocker is a ransomware program that was released in September of 2013. It targets all versions of Windows. The program will encrypt certain files and them inaccessible to the user of the computer. In order to get the code to decrypt your files, you will see a payment program appear on your screen. The program will prompt you to send a ransom. The amounts reported have ranged from $100 to $300, but some users have reported being forced to pay up to $700 to get the encryption code. If you don’t pay the ransom, your encryption key will be deleted and you will no longer have a way to access your files.
Ransomware programs are not new, but CryptoLocker is more destructive than most because it involves a time factor. The payment program will give you a deadline you have to make the payment by. Some users have had 72 hours and some had 4 days. The deadline will vary. This time sensitivity makes finding a solution, like taking your computer to a professional, more critical, or you will risk losing your files. On top of worrying about this program, users should also be wary of copycat programs. There are ransomware programs in existence that will demand money to decrypt your files, when in reality that have not be encrypted at all.
The CryptoLocker virus comes in the form of an email. The hacker will send you an professional, realistic email that looks like it is from a reputable source, such as FedEx. Prevention is key when it comes to this virus. Do not open an email if you are 100% positive you know the source. Backing up your files is also the only way to prevent losing everything on your computer. If your computer becomes infected, but you have backed up your files, the problem is less serious.
For more information about viruses like CryptoLocker and how to protect your computer, call the professionals at trueITpros at 678-534-8776 today.
Get the facts about the Microsoft vulnerability – and what you need to do about it
The buzz on the Microsoft vulnerability has been dominating the internet today. If you’re not someone who stays in the loop about the world of coding, software and the like, this is something you may want to do a little reading on. With some help from IBM, Microsoft has patched a vulnerability that has gone unnoticed for almost 20 years. This sounds like a huge deal that everyone should be concerned about – and to a certain extent it is. Microsoft users can be found in almost every corner of the world. The possibility for hackers to invade computers on such a large scale is what makes this Microsoft vulnerability a topic of concern.
This vulnerability showed up in Windows 95 and has existed in every version sense. IBM researcher Robert freedom said the bug is a “rare, ‘unicorn-like’ bug…”. Freeman also says that the bug relies on a vulnerability in VBScript, which came about with Internet Explorer 3.0. In the simplest terms, this means that hackers are able to run codes remotely when users visit malicious sites. It also means that hackers can run codes and gain control without authorized access.
The question everyone is asking (or should be asking) is what is Microsoft doing to prevent this vulnerability from causing widespread issues. For starters, users should know that there have been no reports of hackers taking advantage of this vulnerability. Microsoft has developed a patch that applies to users with Windows Vista and higher. IBM warns that although the Windows vulnerability would be very technically difficult to take advantage of, there could be similar bugs out there. If nothing else, this is a reminder to stay updated about what is going on in the technology world and what you can do to protect your computer.
To learn about downloading the patch for the Microsoft vulnerability or you just want a professional’s perspective on protecting your computer in general, contact trueITpros today at 678-534-8776.
Office 365 announces they are dropping the storage limit for it’s users
The popularity of Office 365 has been on the rise recently due to it’s convenience, accessibility and of course the reasonable pricing. If you’ve yet to jump on the Office 365 train, here’s what you need to know. It is a drive that allows you to share your photos, keep all your documents in one place, share those documents with other 365 users and is accessible from both your smartphone and your laptop. It is especially great for small businesses that focus on working remotely. The need to share documents instantly is critical and Office 365 allows you to do that. Another great feature is that there is an Office 365 Business package that is tailored specifically for small businesses.
No More Office 365 Storage Limits
Previously, Office 365 users who paid for a package were limited to one terabyte of space. Users who need a little less storage space and are operating with the free account are allowed 15 GB of storage space. To the laymen this seems like an ample amount of space, but when you’re storing and sharing a lot of documents in a short amount of time it can quickly add up. Office 365 has announced that the users paying for an account are now allowed unlimited storage space. This announcement is coming just four months after Microsoft made the announcement that storage space would be limited to one terabyte per user. For the Office 365 Business users, the storage space upgrades will begin taking place in 2015. For users of the free accounts the limit remains at 15 GB.
Any way you look at it, this is a huge deal for those of us that rely heavily on document sharing and storage space. Microsoft is one of many companies with an online sharing software that has done away with storage limits. You are now free to share and store to your hearts content. If you’re new to Office 365, call us up at 678-534-8776 and let trueITpros help you navigate it!
Don’t let a scary viruses and malware ruin your Halloween – or your business.
Halloween is here and if your small business relies heavily on computers, there are few things scarier than viruses and malware. For our readers who may not know, there is a difference between viruses and malware. Malware is the blanket term for any software that gets installed on your computer and performs unauthorized and unwanted tasks. Viruses fall under the category of malware. A virus can replicate itself and spread to other computers and is programmed to perform tasks like deleting files or burning up computer memory. The purpose of malware is to destroy your computer, and this task can be done through adware, spyware, and you guessed it, viruses.
viruses and malware
If a virus is just a form of malware, then why do we tend to call almost every malicious program on our computer a virus, when there are so many other forms of malware? The answer lies in a lack of knowledge about malicious software. Thirty years ago when personal computers first started becoming more popular, there was not a lot of information going around regarding malware. During that time there wasn’t a blanket term like ‘malware’ yet. People saw that the programs were behaving similar to human viruses (ability to spread and wreak havoc) so the term was coined. Now that the information technology field has taken off we are significantly more aware of the malicious software programs that are damaging computers.
What does this difference mean for you and your computer? One of the most important reason to know the differences between viruses and malware is because there are different solutions. A virus is a specific subset of malware, so there are programs that can be installed to fit your specific needs. If you’re not sure what type of malware is causing the damage and you install a general anti-virus software, it will either do nothing or just make the situation worse. Another reason to be aware of the difference is that some malware comes in the form of anti-virus software. It all boils down to specifics and knowing that a virus is just a type of malware. Malware programmers take advantage of the fact that most people are not aware of the differences in the types of malicous software. Don’t fall victim to this – educate yourself and be aware of what is going on with your computer.
The truth about viruses and malware can be scary, so call the professionals at trueITpros to help you learn how to best protect your computers!