BlackBerry: tablets dead in five years

Hand holding mobile smart phoneMr Heins said that “In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore. Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.”

Tablets have powered Apple and increasingly Samsung to huge profits, so Mr Heins’ suggestions will be met with incredulity in some quarters. But diminishing profit margins on iPads could also indicate that the market will become less attractive over time.

For the rest of this article click HERE!

Cell-ebration! 40 Years of Cellphone History

cell phone lightsToday’s mobile movement is all about efficiency and multitasking. But with the first cellphone in 1973, you could place a phone call and get a workout at the same time. After all, the phone weighed 2.5 pounds.

The cellphone turned 40 on Wednesday, April 3. Its creator, Martin Cooper, 84, placed the first mobile phone call on the streets of New York City — he phoned his rival, Joel Engel, head of research at Bell Labs. You can imagine how cheeky that exchange was.

For the rest of this article click here!

Apple’s mobile dominance is done for now, analyses find

CUPERTINO — Apple (AAPL) has dominated the mobile device market since basically inventing the sector with the iPhone and iPad, but tablets running the Android operating system will overtake the iPad in 2013 much as smartphones utilizing Google’s (GOOG) offering already have, according to a study released Tuesday.

The study by IDC reported that Apple’s majority in the tablet market will end in 2013 for the first time since the iPad was introduced, with the Cupertino company’s share of the market expected to drop from 51 percent in 2012 to 46 percent in 2013. Android devices will grow to 48.6 percent of the market in 2013, the study concluded, because the preponderance of smaller devices running Google’s operating system have proved extremely popular.


For the rest of this article click here!

Five things that jeopardize battery life

Batteries are awesome. Mix a few chemicals together and you have a chemical reaction that when encased can be used to power nearly anything and everything. There are a number of different kinds of batteries out there, and when it comes to Lithium-Ion batteries, commonly found in mobile phones, there are many factors that can cause them to be less efficient.

Here’s the top five battery life killers:

  1. Exposure to extreme heat/cold. Leaving your device in the car during a hot day, or frigid night can and will reduce the life of batteries. You should be careful not to expose your device to these extreme conditions.
  2. Moisture/Humidity. While most places in the US, Australia, the UK and Canada don’t have high enough humidity to noticeably affect battery life, rapid or sudden changes in moisture can and often will affect battery life. If you’re traveling from say Phoenix to Singapore, you should ensure there is a charge in the battery (above 40%) and to remove it from the device before traveling. This will help reduce shock due to an extreme change.
  3. Incredibly bright screens. High quality displays like those found on the iPhone and most new Android phones have amazing image quality. Some are also super bright. If you have your brightness cranked, you will notice fast battery drain which could lead some users to think their battery is functioning poorly. If you turn your screen’s brightness down, you will have  increased battery life, which means less drain.
  4. Data is fast…at draining batteries. 3G and 4G data connections are great, as you can surf the Internet at speeds that rival current high-speed landlines. The only problem is that coverage in most places can be a little spotty. The way most phones are set up is If you have mobile data turned on, the phone will be always searching for a connection. This constant action, especially when you don’t have 3G coverage, will drain the battery, and make most users think that their phone’s battery is dying. When not in use, turn off data connections.
  5. Full discharge/recharge. Yes, believe it or not, phones with a lithium-Ion battery (nearly all new smartphones) will see decreased battery life if the user keeps doing full cycles – using the phone until it dies, then recharging it. Lithium-ion batteries work best when you keep them charged, fewer full cycles results in longer battery life. In other words: ABC (Always Be Charging). Combine this with tips three and four, and you will increase your battery’s life.

If you’d like to learn more about caring for your phone, please contact us.

Mobile security battle, which OS is #1?

Smartphones are one of the most important devices of the past decade.Their popularity has allowed billions to go online without a computer, while simultaneously providing managers and employees a tool to help them stay productive while away from the office. If you are in the market for a new phone, you should be sure to compare the security of the different devices.

Here’s a comparison of the security of the four most popular mobile platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry.

The ability to encrypt your phone (make the data unreadable without a key) is an important feature if you use your phone to view or store private or secure documents. Users of Android 4.0/4.1 and iOS can encrypt their device using a password. Users of Windows phone 7/7.5 have basic encryption built into the device, however, it doesn’t meet the encryption requirements of many organizations. On-device encryption will be introduced in Windows Phone 8.

BlackBerry users can encrypt their phones manually, or if they are part of a business network, the administrator of that network can set encryption on all devices. Mobile OSs, minus Windows Phone 7, and Android 2.X and earlier, have strong enough encryption to meet the needs of the majority of organizations.

While your devices can be encrypted, you should be aware that the encryption is done when the phone shuts off and powers on. If you constantly leave your device on, encryption is less effective.

Remote wipe
The ability to remotely wipe a device in case of loss is a must for many professionals. Users of BlackBerry, iOS and Windows Phone have built-in options to remotely wipe their phones through a cloud service. BlackBerry uses BlackBerry Protect, iOS uses a feature of iCloud called Find my iPhone and Windows Phone uses the Windows Phone website. Android is a bit different in that the OS doesn’t have a built-in remote wipe option, but there are apps available. With all of these systems, you log in to a website and can either lock or wipe the phone.

You should be aware that remote wipe is a last resort solution, you will loose all of your data and information. If it’s not backed up, there is no way to get it back.

All devices have options to set a password or passcode to unlock the phone after it has gone to sleep. You can also set how robust the password protection is, or which form of pass protection you use to access your phone. In truth, there are more passcode options on mobile devices than most desktop environments.

Some systems have a few extra options, like the ability to trace a pattern code or using your face to unlock the phone. The stock setting of sliding to unlock should not be used by any user. At the very least you should have a four digit numerical pin to unlock your phone. If you don’t have a password on your phone, features like encryption and remote wipe are more or less useless, as your data can be easily accessed anyway.

Most security threats to mobile devices don’t come from losing your device, rather they come from apps. All mobile OSs have a place where users can download apps for their phones. Some of these are more secure than others. As BlackBerry is largely business oriented, the apps on the store are too and must meet a certain level of security before they’re posted on the store.

iOS apps are only available to download from the App Store, as part of iTunes. This allows Apple to be stringent with their rules; apps on the App Store must meet Apple’s requirements or they won’t be allowed to be sold on the store.

Windows Phone follows a process similar to Apple’s and BlackBerry’s. The developer submits their app for review, Microsoft tests the app and then either puts it on to the store, or rejects it. With the lower number of users, fewer malicious apps make it onto the store.

Android follows a more laissez faire process. Almost every app is allowed onto the Google Play store, which in turn has turned Android into a bit of a hacker’s delight. Google does monitor apps, and has started to remove malicious apps, but there are still more of these on Google Play than other app stores. That being said, the store is a lot more secure than it was even a year ago.

While OS developers tout the security and safety of apps on their app stores, each has had malicious apps make their way onto the stores. The ideal thing to do is to restrict what apps can be downloaded onto company phones by having an approved app list.

Email security
The security of email, the most common form of business communication on mobile devices is an important issue to be aware of. All mobile platforms support encryption used by the major email providers. If your company uses Microsoft Exchange or a similar server, any encryption applied at the server level is supported on the mobile level. Personal services like Google automatically encrypt email.

Device management
If you have implemented a Bring Your Own Device policy (BYOD), or issue mobile devices to employees, you need to be able to manage these devices. BlackBerry devices can all be managed by an administrator with apps, updates and security issues pushed to the phones by the administrator. At this time, the other systems support remote management, however, device management has to be done through third party solutions.

Each mobile system has pros and cons when it comes to security of related devices, and each new version brings with it better security. In truth, the devices themselves are fairly secure. To ensure a secure mobile device, multiple features and apps need to be utilized by both the user and, if necessary, the administrator/IT manager of your company. If you have questions regarding the security of your mobile device please contact us, we may have a solution for you.

Published with permission from Source.

Lost your phone? Follow these tips.

The smartphone has managed to become so integrated into our daily lives that we take it with us everywhere we go. When we don’t have it with us, we may feel out of touch and like we’re missing something. What’s even worse is patting your pockets, or checking your bag only to find your phone has gone missing.

Here are four things you should do before you lose your phone and three things you should do when you lose it.

While you still have your phone

  1. Put your contact information on your phone’s lock screen. On Android, go into Settings, select Security followed by Owner Info. Put in your info and tick the box at the top of the window. For iPhone users, you’ll need to create an image with your contact information. When you have an image, plug your phone into your computer and put the photo in iPhoto. From there select Settings followed by Wallpaper. Pick the image you created and select Home. You’ll notice it show up on your lock screen.
  2. Install a tracker app. Tracker apps allow you to take control of your phone from a remote location (not your phone) and do things like wipe the memory, turn on the ringtone and GPS. For Android users, Android Lost and Wheres My Droid are both good apps. For iPhone users, Find my iPhone is the best app, and should already be on your phone. If you have a Windows phone you can simply log in to My Phone and click Find a lost Phone.
  3. Put your contact info in the phone. Many people who find a phone will turn it on and try to look for the owner of the phone, why not help them out and put called “Me”, or “In case of emergency.” Be sure to include another phone number and email so people can contact you.
  4. Backup important information. You should be backing up your data for this reason. Luckily most smartphone operating systems sync with the cloud, so be sure to turn on syncing to ensure important information and contacts are backed up.

When you lose your phone

  1. Call and text it. Before you activate the tracker app, try calling your phone and sending a text from another phone, maybe someone will pick it up or see it.
  2. Activate tracer. When you can get to a computer, log in to the website the tracker uses and use some of the options. The first thing you should do is turn on the GPS and see the phone’s location. If that doesn’t work, try sounding the ringer. As a last resort, wipe the memory.
  3. Contact the Police. If you’re worried about the information you have on your phone, or have reason to believe it was stolen, you should contact the police. It’s a long shot, but people have been known to also turn in lost cellphones to police stations, so it may be worth a visit.

It isn’t fun to lose a phone, but if you take steps to minimize the possibility of losing all of your data, you could be back up and running on a new phone in no time. If you’d like to learn more about securing your phone, please contact us.

Published with permission from Source.

Keep your smartphone secure

The smartphone has become one of our most beloved devices. Like a favorite pet, we take it everywhere with us, show it off every chance we get and even use it as a way to conform or stand out. No matter which brand you have, you probably have important information stored on your phone, and should be taking steps to ensure that it’s secure from prying eyes.

Whether you have an Android, iPhone or Windows Phone 7, here are two tips to keep your smartphone secure:

Lock your screen
If you have data or information on your phone you would like to keep secure, the first thing you should do is lock your screen. Most smartphone users lock their phone with a 4 digit number combination, but it’s recommended you use a password for higher security.

  • On Android. To establish a password on your device go to Settings and select Security. Press Screen lock. On Ice Cream Sandwich, you have six options for security, with the least secure at the top and most secure at the bottom. Many users select Pattern or Password. Enter the password twice and press Confirm.
  • On iPhone. Select the Settings app followed by General. From there select Passcode Lock and turn it on. You’ll be asked to set your passcode and confirm it.
  • On Windows Phone. To set a passcode go to the home screen of your device. Open Settings from your Application list and select Lock & Wallpaper. Press Password, enter your password and then press Done.

It’s recommended that you set a password that’s unique. Don’t use your birthday, address or phone number. At the same time, you have to make it easy to remember. If you’re having trouble coming up with a password, this video by Mozilla is a big help.

Enable remote wipe
While passwords and other security codes will go a long way in preventing others from accessing your phone, it often isn’t enough. The next step in device security is to set up the ability to remotely wipe your device.

  • On Android. At this time there is no native remote wipe option on your phone. You’ll have to download an app from the Play store. The apps work by using a push service – you “push” the commands to your phone from another source i.e., a website. When you install the app, you’ll have to register your phone and access it from a website.
  • On iPhone. The iPhone has remote wipe capabilities which can be accessed through iCloud. On your device select Settings, iCloud and turn on Find my iPhone. If you lose your phone log into iCloud and select Find my iPhone. From there you’ll be able to remotely wipe your device.
  • On Windows Phone. If you lose your phone you can remotely wipe it by going to the Windows Phone website, logging in and selecting My Phone. From there you’ll be able to wipe your phone.

Even if you don’t have confidential information on your phone, it’s a good idea to, at the very least, set a solid passcode on your phone. Adding the ability to remotely wipe your phone will ensure the information won’t be viewed by other people. If you’d like other ways to keep your mobile phone secure, please contact us.

Published with permission from Source.

BYOD: The Ups and Downs for your company

Smartphones have been a part of our personal lives for a while now. It’s no surprise then that we are starting to also use them for business purposes. In fact, many of us already check our work email on our personal device. As smartphones become more powerful and popular, employees are wanting to “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD). Is your company prepared for this?

When employees use their own device for work, it can be hard for their company to manage what the user is doing, after all it’s a personal item. Add to this the growing number of malware programs aimed at stealing information from devices, and you’ve got an issue that’s not going to go away anytime soon.

What Exactly is BYOD?
BYOD came about when businesses began to assign laptops to employees for use at home or on the road. Companies quickly came to realize that the laptops were not as secure as the desktops at the office, and that employees were also using the laptops for personal use. To address this, companies introduced security measures and procedures to keep data on the laptops safe, while limiting personal use. This worked well until the introduction of the smartphone, which has now given employees the ability to access their office data on their personal devices, and has moved them off the machines provided by the company. Because of this trend, companies are being forced to examine or implement a BYOD policy.

Pros of BYOD
The most obvious benefit of BYOD is the fact that the cost of the the technology is shifted from your company to the user. Think about it: no more costly hardware upgrades and minimal to nonexistent upkeep costs, thus bringing about significant savings.

The next upside to BYOD is user satisfaction. If your employees are allowed to use their own devices, they’ll generally be more satisfied with the systems they’re using, because they’ve already made the personal choice to buy that particular device.

There are some ancillary advantages to BYOD as well, including having employees on the most up-to-date systems, as many employees will buy newer, or top of the line models. The other advantage is that the usually slow update cycle can be exterminated, employees will be in charge of keeping their devices current, not the company.

Cons of BYOD
As with all stories, there are two sides to this one. The biggest disadvantage of BYOD is that you’ll lose control of the hardware, and employees will generally be more reticent in allowing other employees to use their device.

Another major issue to overcome is usage policies. As employees will be using their own device, it’ll be harder to tell them what is considered acceptable use. As opposed to when employees are using company devices you can implement a fair-use policy.

The final negative side of BYOD is of what happens when an employee leaves your company? If they’ve been using their own device it can be a chore to get the data back, let alone establish who owns the data in the first place.

So What Can I do?
If you take a step back and observe, you’ll notice that smartphones are becoming more and more mainstream, and while in the short term you could say no to personal devices at work, it won’t work in the long term. It would be beneficial if you developed a BYOD plan that clearly states your expectations, and has a usage policy regarding network and data use. You don’t have to implement it right away, but it’ll help to have the plan ready, for when you do decide to allow employees to use their own devices. You could also set up a trial with some employees, observe how they get on with the devices and reevaluate your position after the trial period.

You should also establish a set point of security measures that are not optional. This is particularly important for companies that operate under set data security mandates, e.g., mandates regulating data storage in relation to point of sale and credit systems. Methods of increasing security include software that must be installed, and basic security measures such as a locked screen, or regular data backup.

It is also important to establish a process for when an employee leaves your company. Set up a policy regarding who owns what data and the steps to be taken at the end of employment. If your employee uses a device with a removable memory card, you could set up a partition – mini non-physical hard-drive within the larger physical hard-drive – on the card where data from the business is to be stored, allowing for easy access and retrieval.

Should your company go BYOD, or abstain? Be aware that this is a major trend and in the near future employees will start to push to use their own devices at work, if they haven’t already. If you’d like help setting up a BYOD plan or more information concerning security measures, please contact us.

Published with permission from Source.

Managing Mobile Devices for Business

As mobile devices become more multifunctional and versatile, an increasing amount of businesses are seeing the benefits of including smartphones in their day-to-day operations. However, mismanagement of smartphone work usage, and improper handling of these resources, could cause problems if you’re not careful.

Using smartphones for business purposes can indeed lead to increased efficiency and improved productivity, but if left mismanaged and unregulated, smartphone usage can cause more trouble than it’s worth. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of mobile devices:

  1. Formulate a Specific Policy For IT: One common mistake many businesses make is that they lack a policy specifically for the use of mobile devices. This is where you determine whether employees can use their own personal devices for work or not, indicate reimbursable expenses and other costs, and control networks where business-purpose devices can connect to.
  2. Have a Security Action Plan: Data security is a major issue for any IT device, especially one that employees can take outside of the office. It is then imperative that any device used for business has the proper security to protect it from online attacks, and remote access features that allow it to be completely wiped, or “bricked” if said device is stolen.
  3. Consider Developing Your Own Applications: Customized applications that employees can use for their business needs can prove to be much more secure, and more efficient than other third-party apps. As they’re made specifically for you, you can be sure that tasks done through mobile devices and the corresponding output are better tailored to fit into your organization’s work flow.

If you would like to know more about how to better manage the use of mobile devices for your business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’d love to sit down with you and discuss a possible blueprint that addresses your business’s specific needs.

Published with permission from Source.

Website Security Test