Month: October 2017

Tech Terms: Apple Pay

Apple Pay is a mobile payments service and digital wallet app that utilizes Near Field Communication (NFC) to initiate secure payment transactions between contactless payment terminals and Apple iOS devices like the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch.

Apple announced Apple Pay on September 12th along with the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch, but the service wouldn’t be available for actual use by customers until later in October. Upon its release, Apple Pay is expected to work with most major credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard and American Express, and will be accepted at more than 220,000 locations.

How to Use Apple Pay
Owners of Apple devices that support Apple Pay can use the service by first adding one or more credit or debit cards to their device. The device can use its iSight camera to capture the card’s information and add it to the Passbook app, or the card information can be entered manually.

Apple Pay can then be used by holding the device near a contactless POS (point of sale) transaction processor while placing the user’s finger on the Touch ID, which prevents unauthorized use of the iPhone by others to purchase goods or services.

Security and Privacy Features in Apple Pay
Apple Pay utilizes a number of security technologies to ensure the security of it transactions. Instead of the credit or debit card number being transmitted or stored on any remote servers, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in a dedicated chip in the device known as a Secure Element.

This Device Account Number is transmitted along with a transaction-specific dynamic security code when processing a payment, so the actual card information is never transmitted to the merchant or card processing service.

Apple Pay ensures privacy as well by only storing recent purchase information in Passbook. The actual details of transactions are not stored on Apple servers, in the cloud or anywhere else, according to Apple.

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Tips & Tricks: Bring up the system information window

This is so much quicker than digging this out the traditional way… Just press Windows + Pause/Break and the System Information panel will be ready to go. This might be the only use for the Pause/Break key you will ever find, so enjoy it!

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month Week 3: Today’s Predictions for Tomorrow’s Internet

Smart cities, connected devices, digitized records, as well as smart cars and homes have become a new reality. Week 3 will remind citizens that their sensitive, personal information is the fuel that makes smart devices work. While there are tremendous benefits of this technology, it is critical to understand how to use these cutting-edge innovations in safe and secure ways.

What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

According to Gartner, the IoT is defined as: ” is the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment.” More and more of our devices are connected to the Internet, but most users do not really think about the security vulnerabilities. This includes everything from kids toys to appliances. Many companies rush to get their devices to market and do not take into consideration user’s security. For example, CloudPet’s, “The database behind an internet-connected cuddly toy exposed the account information of over 800,000 users, while a database of over 2 million voice recordings of children and their parents was stored in a way which left them easily searchable on the internet.” So, how does this affect you?

 

 

Tech Terms: Android Mobile Security

Mobile security applications for Google’s Android platform help protect Android smartphone and tablet mobile devices from malware threats as well as unauthorized access following accidental loss or theft of the device.

Additional security features frequently offered by Android mobile security apps include securing data on the device, VPN connectivity for protecting data in transit, scanning websites for potential phishing schemes or other fraudulent activity, helping users locate their device if lost or stolen, and more.

Android mobile security applications are available from Google as well as well-known third-party security vendors such as Lookout, Avast, Kaspersky, Symantec and Qihu. 

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Tech Terms: Android Codenames

Android versions (codenames) are used to describe the various updates for the open source Android mobile operating system. Android versions are developed under dessert-inspired codenames, with each new version arriving in alphabetical order with new enhancements and improvements to the Android SDK.

Android Versions
Here’s a snapshot of the Android updates that have already been released as well as at least one currently in development.

  • Cupcake (v1.5)
  • Donut (v1.6)
  • Eclair (v2.0)
  • FroYo (v2.2)
  • Gingerbread (v2.3)
  • Honeycomb (v3.0)
  • Ice Cream Sandwich (v4.0)
  • Jelly Bean (v4.1, v4.2, v4.3)
  • KitKat (v4.4)
  • Lollipop (v5.0)
  • Marshmallow (v6.0)
  • Nougat (v7.0)

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Tech Terms: Acronym

Technically, an acronym is a word that is formed by combining some parts (usually the first letters) of some other terms. For example, modem is the acronym derived from modulator/demodulator and FORTRAN is the chosen parts of the words formula translator.

Acronym Versus Initialism
In everyday speech, the term is also used to refer to initialisms, which are combinations of letters representing a longer phrase. For example, CRT is an initialism for cathode ray tube.The difference is that an acronym is pronounced as if it were a word rather than just a series of individual letters.

Newsgroups, chat rooms, and e-mail have spawned a rich set of acronyms and initialisms for common phrases. 

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Tips & Tricks: Close Current Program

Close the current program Typing Alt + F4 will close the program that is running. This is useful as it saves you time mousing over the “X” and clicking. 

On a Mac you can close Programs with Command + Q

Tech Terms: IT Outsourcing

IT outsourcing is a phrase used to describe the practice of seeking resources — or subcontracting — outside of an organizational structure for all or part of an IT (Information Technology) function. An organization would use IT outsourcing for functions ranging from infrastructure to software development, maintenance and support. For example, an enterprise might outsource its IT management because it is cheaper to contract a third party to do so than it would be to build its own in-house IT management team. Or a company might outsource all of its data storage needs because it does not want to buy and maintain its own data storage devices. Most large organizations only outsource a portion of any given IT function.

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