How to prepare your iPhone and iPad before updating to iOS 10

Apple is releasing iOS 10 for iPhones and iPads on September 13th.  Like previous software updates, iOS 10 offers many new compelling features and improved security for your Apple devices.  Take a little time preparing before rushing into a new major operating system (OS) update.  Often, there are a few incompatibility and technical issues that are only uncovered after the final release to the public.  When it is time to upgrade your iOS device, there are a few steps to take before you get started.

ios 10Can you upgrade your device?
Before upgrading, you need to know if your device is compatible with iOS 10. Apple has identified these devices as upgradable to iOS 10:
• iPhones 5, 5s, 5c, SE, 6, Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus
• iPad Pro, Air, Air 2, 4th Gen, mini 2, mini 3, mini 4
• iPod 6 Gen

Do you have enough space?
It’s a good time to look at your device to see if you have enough space and clean up some storage.  Check under Settings>General>Storage & iCloud Usage to uncover how much storage space is being used and available.  If there’s anything less than about 1 GB, it’s time to remove some older items.  A full list of apps and storage demands by those apps are listed under Manage Storage.  Apps that are using GB’s and hundreds of MB’s of data should be further examined. You can delete songs and some files from this setting. Go through your apps list and delete those unused games and never used apps.  
Clean up media
The biggest storage hogs are your photos and videos.  After a year of birthday parties and vacations, there will be plenty of videos and photos you no longer may need.  Save the good ones, but there is no need to keep everything.  You can use Dropbox or iCloud as a way to regularly store those photos and then permanently delete that media off your iPhone. 

Update Your Apps
Update you current applications before upgrading the OS. Most all App developers update their applications with a major OS update, and you will likely need that update in combination with the OS upgrade.  It can take time to update a dozen or more apps on your device, so do it ahead of time.  This can be accomplished by going to the App Store on your iPhone and selecting Updates. 

Backup everything in iTunes
A non-negotiable element is backing up your device before you start the upgrade to iOS 10.  Many things can go wrong and having a fall back option is critical. I like to do the backup in iTunes with the Encrypted iPhone backup option using a USB cable connection.  This way, most all the passwords I have installed on that device are backed up in the process.  This is also the process I would take before transferring my old iPhone to a new iPhone 7.

Getting started
Finally, make sure your device is fully charged and you can start your upgrade.  Often, it’s best to wait a day or so to upgrade after the release date. With millions of people trying to update, there can be real slow-downs in getting the update. Very rarely, there can be an issue with a major update and waiting a day or so is a safe bet. 

The update can be found under Settings>General>Software Update.  The process can take up to an hour or more, depending on demand.  

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Six Tips for Secure File Sharing in the Cloud

cloud file sharingThe convenience of easy-to-use features for cloud file sharing along with a low price point have made Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and others frequently used by many organizations.  Shared cloud drives are often accessed across multiple devices like your office laptop, smartphone, and home computers.  Sensitive business documents are readily being shared between employees, customers and family members on the same accounts.  Files can be easily spread far and wide. 

It's not that services like Dropbox are inherently insecure, but rather, how people are using them.  Here are six tips to help you stay more secure while using file sharing services.

Use Upgraded Services
There are plenty of cloud sharing services that offer gigabytes of storage for free.  Paid or business versions of these services typically offer enhanced security and disaster recovery features.  Invest in and use the extra security features.

Set Permissions
The more important the information, the more controls you want to put on the documents you are sharing.  You can assign different levels of permissions for folders and documents.  Some information can be read-only, and others can be given complete access.  Sometimes, you may want to create drop-boxes that people can add documents to, but where they cannot see the contents of the folders.  Providing full read-write and open access to your shared folders leaves your documents too open, increasing the risk of potential security breaches.

Use Complex Passwords
Use a combination of at least eight characters - uppercase, lowercase, symbols and numbers - to create a more complex password.  The two most popular passwords are "password" and "123456", even to this day, and are fine examples of passwords not to create.  

Make Passwords
Don't use the same password across multiple sites.  It would be very troubling to have your Facebook account compromised, but foolish to give those same cyber thieves access to your bank, email and credit cards too. 

Multi-factor Authentication
Other security features such as multi or two-factor authentication should also be used.  Services that use this method will send users a message with a one-time access code they must enter before accessing the system.  This is often an option and is typically set up with a text message sent to your smartphone.

Device Auto-locking
Most file sharing services provide round-trip access of your documents on your PC, web browser, iPhone and iPad.  Ensure all of your devices have auto-locking set up to keep all points of access locked down.     

To learn about even more enhanced cloud security, check out our video on the Ease Cloud Workspace.  Our powerful cloud offering provides the ability for everyone in your office to securely work from anywhere, anytime and on any device.  Watch our overview video to learn more here.

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Keeping Your Business Secure Online [Recorded August 2016]

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) and countless other organizations are cyber targets. A data breach can have a major effect on your business - loss of customers, reduced brand reputation, significant financial impact and more. If you think your business is too small to be an attractive target for cyber criminals or you don't have anything worth stealing, think again. 

Watch our recorded webinar to get caught up!

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5 Tips Keeping Your Devices More Secure on the Road

As technology continues to provide increased mobile functionality, so is the expectation for work at all times during travel.  Working remotely from public Wi-Fi locations is now a necessary part of doing business today. Whether it's your sales team using airport Wi-Fi while waiting for a flight, or your creative employees knocking out some work at a Starbucks over lunch, the risks of public Wi-Fi have become a serious threat for companies.

cloud servicesIt’s not just unsecured Wi-Fi that travelers must understand; rather, one of the biggest dangers of traveling is losing your devices.  Last year, EMC and Hartford Hospital were ordered to pay $90,000 to the state of Connecticut when an unencrypted laptop was stolen containing data of over 8,000 individuals.   This is just one example of the financial and security risks that come with increased mobility.

While on the road, it’s import to keep your devices safeguarded, data protected and utilizing a secure network connect when you are sharing information.  Here are five tips to keep yourself better protected when you travel:

Avoid Public Wi-Fi
Whenever you connect to a public Wi-Fi network, any information you send or receive can be easily snatched from the air and inspected.  Protecting your business data from being exposed on public networks is critical, and should never be taken lightly. The best solution is to use a personal, dedicated hotspot or even your smartphone activated as a personal hotspot. This capability uses your cell phone company and data plans over the air, much like your smartphone already, to access the Internet.  

If you must routinely use public Wi-Fi, it is good practice to use a VPN, or virtual private network and work under full encryption. This is a service you can pay for at a cost of about $70/year.

Auto Device Locking
All your laptops, iPhones, and iPads have features that will auto-lock your mobile devices if your device is left unattended for a period of time.  Shorting the window of time this feature turns on will decrease your exposure if your device is left unattended.  Simply authenticating your device with your password or thumbprint quickly gets you going again.   Best plan however is do not ever leave your device unattended, even for a moment.

Activate Drive Encryption
A newer concept for some users, but one of the most important features to have turned on for any device is drive encryption.  This feature secures the flash or hard drive so that if someone steals your device, the stolen drive can’t be placed into another piece of hardware and then accessed. 

Remote Management
Many devices can be securely managed with tracking and remote wiping options.  Smartphones and iPads have particularly good options for this because of their cellular data connections.  Turning on settings like Apple’s “Find My iPhone” accessed with iCloud enables a robust set of tracking and remote security solutions that help any traveler manage stolen device.

Cloud Services
Using cloud services is one of the more secure and best practices for travelers to use.  Mainly, it keeps the data and information securely achieved and readily accessible if the device were ever lost or stolen. Almost all remote cloud services also provide a secure connection, keeping data protected on questionable network connections.  Virtual cloud products don’t keep any data on the local mobile device or laptop; instead, it is securely managed and accessed from compliant data centers which leave no data available for theft or loss.

The challenges and responsibilities have increased for anyone while on the road to keep the data you use secure.  Check out our 90-second video on how our secure cloud offering can help you and your business reduce your costs and improve your security while your team is on the road. Link here.

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Keeping Your Business Secure Online - Lunch and Learn Webinar for August 2016

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) and countless other organizations are cyber targets. A data breach can have a major effect on your business - loss of customers, reduced brand reputation, significant financial impact and more. If you think your business is too small to be an attractive target for cyber criminals or you don't have anything worth stealing, think again.

cyberThe last door left open for these cyber attackers is not the technology, but through your employees. Cyber criminals are aggressively targeting and taking advantage of social engineering as new primary means for vast array of compromises.

In this webinar we will discuss some of the most common cyber threats to businesses today and what can be done to mitigate these issues. 

Who should attend:
Business Owners
Technology Managers
Office Managers

What will be covered:
Common threats
Tactics used in social engineering
Steps in safeguarding client data
Ways to fight online fraud

Where: Online Webinar

When: Thursday, August 25, 2016 from 12:00pm – 1:00 pm

Dave Kile, Senior Vice President, Ease Technologies, Inc.
Matt Schmidt, Vice President, Ease Technologies, Inc.

I'm ready sign me up!


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