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Why You Should Never Use A Free Email Address For Your Business

The message is clear: email is king. Many clients and customers choose to communicate primarily by email and as you know, it gives a fantastic ROI in your marketing strategy…unless you’re using a free email like Hotmail, Gmail, or even your internet provider. If that’s the case, you’re losing business each and every day.     It looks unprofessional: Imagine if banks used free email accounts – you’d never feel comfortable giving them your personal details let alone any money. How people perceive your business is what makes your business. Without that professional touch, you’ll appear temporary and fly-by-night. It puts your credibility into question and sends the message that you’re not serious about doing business – or worse – that you’re prepared to cut corners.It erases your experience: Newer, fledgeling businesses often start out with a free email address. The address clearly communicates that they are new and have little experience, and are perhaps testing the waters in a new direction. They’re not even remotely proven yet and are firmly within the hobby zone.  Continuing to use the free address once your business moves into the professional arena means you’ll struggle to build momentum and any experience will be negated.It’s forgettable or inappropriate: Your business success hinges on being memorable enough to gain referral custom and results from your advertising. Unfortunately, free email addresses are by default filled with hard to remember clutter, for example – bobsplumbing_1965@hotmail.com or milkshakes_mybabby@gmail.com.Neither of these roll off the tongue is appropriate for business or can be remembered without a high likelihood of typos and bounce back. Branded email addresses such as bobs@joesplumbing.ca make running a profitable, scalable business much easier.It’s not permanent or safe: When you use a free email address you are at the mercy of the email provider. They may close down operations or cancel your account for any reason. These types of accounts are also often hacked and leaked on a global scale. When a better internet or email deal comes along, you’re still stuck using the old address because it’s printed on your business cards, car lettering and flyers.Some will agree to keep the address open for a fee, but you’ll lose the control and flexibility you need to grow your business. With your own domain name, you own it and can move it to a new business-grade email service easily. You’ll also have complete master control over the addresses within your domain, resetting passwords and creating/closing accounts at will. Give us a call at 403.332.3676 to set up your branded business email.
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Wi-Fi EasyMesh Certification Will Allow Mesh Hardware Interoperability

 
Mesh networks use multiple routers and satellites to boost Wi-Fi performance across large areas, such as big houses. Until now, one generally had to buy in to a single system – one couldn’t use a Linksys Velop mesh on the same network as a Netgear Orbi mesh, for example.Now, looking to drive interoperability standards into whole-home setups that lean on multiple access points, the Wi-Fi Alliance has launched a new program called Wi-Fi Certified EasyMesh.According to a new report from PCWorld, the new program, targeted to homes and small business environments that use mesh-style, multi-access point setups, is designed to enable service providers to create those networks using a wide range of interoperable devices from different suppliers/brands.“Wi-Fi EasyMesh offers both service providers and Wi-Fi users a consistent approach to multiple AP solutions,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance. “Wi-Fi Alliance is delivering a standardized solution to a market-leading product category enabling a strong ecosystem for interoperable, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED devices.”It includes easy setup for device onboarding and incorporates network intelligence. With EasyMesh, the network will self-optimize and self-organize, says Kevin Robinson, vice president of marketing at the Wi-Fi Alliance. The network collects information about the environment and uses it to make decisions about how to optimize the network, he says.Though several whole-home WiFi products have emerged that support multiple access points and software and analysis systems that tie them together, the push with the EasyMesh program is to establish baseline, multi-vendor interoperable standards that can drive scale into this growing segment of the WiFi market while still giving individual vendors room to innovate, Robinson said.There are currently no EasyMesh-certified products available yet as certification testing has yet to start. However, a mix of product and chip suppliers, industry organizations and service providers voiced their support in today’s announcement, including AirTies, Arris, Assia, Broadcom, Marvell, MediaTek, Intel, Qualcomm Atheros, Quantenna, CableLabs, and Liberty Global.
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New ‘USB Restricted Mode’ in iOS 11.4 Limits Law Enforcement Access

ighlighted first by the Russian software security experts over at Elcomsoft, the upcoming iOS 11.4 update seems to include a new ‘USB Restricted Mode’ that limits access to iOS devices by law enforcement tools like the GrayKey box, by automatically disabling the Lightning connector if an iPhone hasn’t been unlocked for 7 days (via MacRumors).Iphone lock
According to Elcomsoft’s official blog, once an iPhone or iPad has been updated to iOS 11.4 and it hasn’t been unlocked or connected to a paired computer in the last 7 days using a passcode, its Lightning port becomes useless for data access and is only limited to charging.In its developer documentation, Apple notes the new mode is meant to boost security on iOS devices: “To improve security, for a locked iOS device to communicate with USB accessories you must connect an accessory via Lightning connector to the device while unlocked – or enter your device passcode while connected – at least once a week.”The experts say the feature made its first appearance in the iOS 11.3 Beta, but was later removed from the final release.
“At this point, it is still unclear whether the USB port is blocked if the device has not been unlocked with a passcode for 7 consecutive days; if the device has not been unlocked at all (password or biometrics); or if the device has not been unlocked or connected to a trusted USB device or computer. In our test, we were able to confirm the USB lock after the device has been left idle for 7 days. During this period, we have not tried to unlock the device with Touch ID or connect it to a paired USB device. What we do know, however, is that after the 7 days the Lightning port is only good for charging.”
While the new feature may not prevent tools like the GrayKey box from being used on an iOS device all together, it does however severely limit the amount of time that law enforcement officials have to get into a passcode locked device.
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14 Easy Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Computer

 That’s right. It's Spring, which means Spring Cleaning. Set aside the brushes and mops. Grab a liter of soda and get a comfortable chair. Put on your problem-solving hat, and get started. The goal: To make your computer faster, more efficient, and more reliable for all the work you’ll be doing to wrap up the school year.Here’s what you need to do:
  1. Make sure your firewall is working. Windows comes with one built in. Maybe Mac does too. Leave it active. It’s under Control Panel>Administrative Tools. Sometimes, they seem to turn off by themselves (I have no idea why). Check to be sure it is active.
  2. Defrag your computer. To quote Windows, Fragmentation makes your hard disk do extra work that can slow down your computer. Removable storage devices such as USBs can also become fragmented. Disk Defragmenter rearranges fragmented data so your disks and drives can work more efficiently. Never mind all that geek speak. Here’s what you need to know: Run Disc Defrag by going to Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Advanced Tools.
  3. Run Spybot or a similar spyware programs. Spybot is free, which is why I like it, and I’ve had good luck with it. Download.com says this about Spybot: The program checks your system against a comprehensive database of adware and other system invaders. The Immunize feature blocks a plethora of uninvited Web-borne flotsam before it reaches your computer.
  4. Run Ad-aware once a week to keep malware off your computer. It has a stellar reputation and is also free (although there’s an upgrade that you can pay for).
  5. Keep your antivirus software active. If you’re paranoid like me, run an antivirus scan weekly to be sure nothing is missed.
  6. Sort through your My Documents files and get rid of those you don't need anymore. It's intimidating, like a file cabinet that hasn't been opened in months--or years and is covered with dust, even spider webs. Do it, though. If you don’t, every time you search, the computer must finger through all those unused and worthless files. It doesn’t understand the difference between ‘unused’ and ‘important’.
  7. Back up your files to an external drive or cloud storage. If you have an automated system, skip this. If you don't, consider getting Carbonite or similar. If you use Windows, try their backup program. It's easy to find: Click the Start Button and search 'backup'.
  8. Empty the trash. Don't even look in it. If you haven't missed a file by now, it won't matter if you throw it out.
  9. Learn to use that program you've been promising you would. Evernote is a great example. Use it (and you won't be sorry) or delete the email from your best friend exhorting you to. Move on.
  10. Go through your programs and delete the ones you no longer use. Here's what you do:
  • go to Control Panel>Programs and Features
  • peruse the list and pick the programs you downloaded by mistake, meaning to use, or used to use and no longer do
  • uninstall
  • don't look back
  1. Update any software that needs it. I don't mean BUY a newer version. I mean click the free update that's been nagging at you (Adobe Reader and Windows, for example)
  2. Clean the junk off your desktop. Put it in folders or create a folder for 'Working on'. Don't know how to create a desktop folder? Right click on the desktop and select 'New>folder'
 
  1. Clean up your Start Button. Remove shortkeys you no longer use (with a right click>delete). Add those that have become daily go-to sites
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