Essential macOS High Sierra updates

The macOS 10.13.1 High Sierra update “improves the security, stability, and reliability of your Mac and is recommended for all users.” This is a standard message in most operating system updates, but users seldom pay heed. This time, however, Apple’s latest Mac OS includes a security update that’s essential to keeping your devices safe from KRACK.

Why you should update now

Foremost on Apple’s list of macOS updates is the addition of 70 new emojis. Although this is exciting to some, the most compelling reason to update to the latest OS is the security patch for the KRACK WiFi security flaw.

For those who are unfamiliar, KRACK or “Key Reinstallation AttaCK” was discovered in October by researchers who found a serious vulnerability in almost any device that can connect to WiFi (not just Macs). It compromises WPA2, a standard security protocol that protects most WiFi networks, and intercepts data that passes between a wireless device and the router. This exposes private messages, login credentials, and other sensitive data to attackers.

Aside from compromising your data, a successful KRACK attack could also infect your systems with ransomware and other malware. Updating to the latest OS ensures your device gets the latest security patch needed to shield it from KRACK.

Other relevant macOS updates

Aside from important security updates, the new macOS also fixes a bug that makes Bluetooth unavailable when performing Apple Pay transactions, improves the syncing of Microsoft Exchange messages in the Mail app, solves a keyboard bug with the search feature Spotlight, and improves Touch ID accessibility settings.

The macOS 10.13.1 High Sierra update coincides with updates for Apple’s other line of products, including iPhones (iOS 11.1), Apple watch (watchOS 4.1), and Apple TV (tvOS 11.1), all of which get security and performance improvements in their latest operating systems.

To install the update, launch the App Store, then click the Updates tab. Available updates will appear in the topmost section of the app.

Updating to the latest operating system as soon as it becomes available lets you enjoy a better-performing system and stay safe from the exploits of emerging vulnerabilities like KRACK.

Whether you need assistance with automating your devices’ updates or improving your systems’ overall security, our technicians can provide professional advice. Get in touch with us.

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Apple releases KRACK patch in latest OS

Almost every macOS update comes with a security patch that users often dismiss. If you’ve read about KRACK, then you should know that updating your Mac’s operating system to macOS 10.13.1 High Sierra is extremely important. Here’s everything you need to know about Apple’s latest Mac OS.

Why you should update now

Foremost on Apple’s list of macOS updates is the addition of 70 new emojis. Although this is exciting to some, the most compelling reason to update to the latest OS is the security patch for the KRACK WiFi security flaw.

For those who are unfamiliar, KRACK or “Key Reinstallation AttaCK” was discovered in October by researchers who found a serious vulnerability in almost any device that can connect to WiFi (not just Macs). It compromises WPA2, a standard security protocol that protects most WiFi networks, and intercepts data that passes between a wireless device and the router. This exposes private messages, login credentials, and other sensitive data to attackers.

Aside from compromising your data, a successful KRACK attack could also infect your systems with ransomware and other malware. Updating to the latest OS ensures your device gets the latest security patch needed to shield it from KRACK.

Other relevant macOS updates

Aside from important security updates, the new macOS also fixes a bug that makes Bluetooth unavailable when performing Apple Pay transactions, improves the syncing of Microsoft Exchange messages in the Mail app, solves a keyboard bug with the search feature Spotlight, and improves Touch ID accessibility settings.

The macOS 10.13.1 High Sierra update coincides with updates for Apple’s other line of products, including iPhones (iOS 11.1), Apple watch (watchOS 4.1), and Apple TV (tvOS 11.1), all of which get security and performance improvements in their latest operating systems.

To install the update, launch the App Store, then click the Updates tab. Available updates will appear in the topmost section of the app.

Updating to the latest operating system as soon as it becomes available lets you enjoy a better-performing system and stay safe from the exploits of emerging vulnerabilities like KRACK.

Whether you need assistance with automating your devices’ updates or improving your systems’ overall security, our technicians can provide professional advice. Get in touch with us.

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KRACK patch on macOS High Sierra

Together with a new batch of emojis, the latest macOS update comes with security, stability, and reliability improvements. As usual, Apple recommends that Mac users update to macOS 10.13.1 High Sierra, and with good reason: It includes an essential patch to the recently discovered WiFi security vulnerability, KRACK.

Why you should update now

Foremost on Apple’s list of macOS updates is the addition of 70 new emojis. Although this is exciting to some, the most compelling reason to update to the latest OS is the security patch for the KRACK WiFi security flaw.

For those who are unfamiliar, KRACK or “Key Reinstallation AttaCK” was discovered in October by researchers who found a serious vulnerability in almost any device that can connect to WiFi (not just Macs). It compromises WPA2, a standard security protocol that protects most WiFi networks, and intercepts data that passes between a wireless device and the router. This exposes private messages, login credentials, and other sensitive data to attackers.

Aside from compromising your data, a successful KRACK attack could also infect your systems with ransomware and other malware. Updating to the latest OS ensures your device gets the latest security patch needed to shield it from KRACK.

Other relevant macOS updates

Aside from important security updates, the new macOS also fixes a bug that makes Bluetooth unavailable when performing Apple Pay transactions, improves the syncing of Microsoft Exchange messages in the Mail app, solves a keyboard bug with the search feature Spotlight, and improves Touch ID accessibility settings.

The macOS 10.13.1 High Sierra update coincides with updates for Apple’s other line of products, including iPhones (iOS 11.1), Apple watch (watchOS 4.1), and Apple TV (tvOS 11.1), all of which get security and performance improvements in their latest operating systems.

To install the update, launch the App Store, then click the Updates tab. Available updates will appear in the topmost section of the app.

Updating to the latest operating system as soon as it becomes available lets you enjoy a better-performing system and stay safe from the exploits of emerging vulnerabilities like KRACK.

Whether you need assistance with automating your devices’ updates or improving your systems’ overall security, our technicians can provide professional advice. Get in touch with us.

Posted in Apple, General Articles B | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

Google My Business now accepts appointments

There are countless platforms that showcase, review and link to small businesses, but few have as much impact as Google does. Although business owners can’t choose where their site ranks in the search results, they can edit information that is displayed and insert some flashy new features.

How to edit your business’s Google listing

When someone types your business’s name and location into Google.com, a “Knowledge Panel” is displayed on the righthand side of the search results with information about your office. If your business doesn’t have a Knowledge Panel, you can change that by opening a free Google My Business (GMB) account.

The GMB platform lets you link to your website, update office information (address, hours, phone number, etc.) and choose which photos Google associates with your company. GMB also gives you data about how many people:

  • Saw your business’s Knowledge Panel in search results
  • Visited your website by clicking somewhere in the Knowledge Panel
  • Asked for directions via the Knowledge Panel

What’s new with GMB?

In the summer of 2017, Google announced that business owners could customize “Posts” in their Knowledge Panel. Posts are made up of a 100-300 word caption, an image and a call-to-action button, such as Learn More, Sign Up, Buy, etc. Posts automatically expire after seven days, which makes them perfect for sales, events and content marketing.

More recently, Google added another exciting feature: the ability to schedule appointments from inside the Knowledge Panel. If your website uses one of the 22 accepted plugins, you can connect it with GMB to make it easier for searchers to book a reservation at your location. Google is in the process of rolling out this feature to gyms, beauty salons and restaurants, but a wider release is on the way.

How do I enable Bookings?

Adding this feature to your GMB page is an easy four-step process:

  1. Log in to Google My Business
  2. Click on the Sign Up For Bookings icon below your business’s profile
  3. Choose your booking provider from the list of approved vendors and sign up on its site
  4. Check back in a few days and start tracking your appointments with GMB!

If your business accepts reservations, this feature will be an indispensable tool for improving your customers’ experiences. For more information on low-cost technology solutions that add value to your business — give us a call today.

Posted in Business, General Articles A | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

Use Google search to schedule appointments

For most people, Google is the first stop when searching for a specific business. And in some cases — like searches for gyms and beauty salons — people are using Google to help them contact the business about an appointment. Now, the search giant has made that possible right from its results pages.

How to edit your business’s Google listing

When someone types your business’s name and location into Google.com, a “Knowledge Panel” is displayed on the righthand side of the search results with information about your office. If your business doesn’t have a Knowledge Panel, you can change that by opening a free Google My Business (GMB) account.

The GMB platform lets you link to your website, update office information (address, hours, phone number, etc.) and choose which photos Google associates with your company. GMB also gives you data about how many people:

  • Saw your business’s Knowledge Panel in search results
  • Visited your website by clicking somewhere in the Knowledge Panel
  • Asked for directions via the Knowledge Panel

What’s new with GMB?

In the summer of 2017, Google announced that business owners could customize “Posts” in their Knowledge Panel. Posts are made up of a 100-300 word caption, an image and a call-to-action button, such as Learn More, Sign Up, Buy, etc. Posts automatically expire after seven days, which makes them perfect for sales, events and content marketing.

More recently, Google added another exciting feature: the ability to schedule appointments from inside the Knowledge Panel. If your website uses one of the 22 accepted plugins, you can connect it with GMB to make it easier for searchers to book a reservation at your location. Google is in the process of rolling out this feature to gyms, beauty salons and restaurants, but a wider release is on the way.

How do I enable Bookings?

Adding this feature to your GMB page is an easy four-step process:

  1. Log in to Google My Business
  2. Click on the Sign Up For Bookings icon below your business’s profile
  3. Choose your booking provider from the list of approved vendors and sign up on its site
  4. Check back in a few days and start tracking your appointments with GMB!

If your business accepts reservations, this feature will be an indispensable tool for improving your customers’ experiences. For more information on low-cost technology solutions that add value to your business — give us a call today.

Posted in Business, General Articles C | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

An easy way to accept reservations online

Over the past year, Google has been giving business owners more control over what information is displayed in the search results. At first, the options were limited, but now Google is opening up opportunities for advanced features that greatly improve customer service.

How to edit your business’s Google listing

When someone types your business’s name and location into Google.com, a “Knowledge Panel” is displayed on the righthand side of the search results with information about your office. If your business doesn’t have a Knowledge Panel, you can change that by opening a free Google My Business (GMB) account.

The GMB platform lets you link to your website, update office information (address, hours, phone number, etc.) and choose which photos Google associates with your company. GMB also gives you data about how many people:

  • Saw your business’s Knowledge Panel in search results
  • Visited your website by clicking somewhere in the Knowledge Panel
  • Asked for directions via the Knowledge Panel

What’s new with GMB?

In the summer of 2017, Google announced that business owners could customize “Posts” in their Knowledge Panel. Posts are made up of a 100-300 word caption, an image and a call-to-action button, such as Learn More, Sign Up, Buy, etc. Posts automatically expire after seven days, which makes them perfect for sales, events and content marketing.

More recently, Google added another exciting feature: the ability to schedule appointments from inside the Knowledge Panel. If your website uses one of the 22 accepted plugins, you can connect it with GMB to make it easier for searchers to book a reservation at your location. Google is in the process of rolling out this feature to gyms, beauty salons and restaurants, but a wider release is on the way.

How do I enable Bookings?

Adding this feature to your GMB page is an easy four-step process:

  1. Log in to Google My Business
  2. Click on the Sign Up For Bookings icon below your business’s profile
  3. Choose your booking provider from the list of approved vendors and sign up on its site
  4. Check back in a few days and start tracking your appointments with GMB!

If your business accepts reservations, this feature will be an indispensable tool for improving your customers’ experiences. For more information on low-cost technology solutions that add value to your business — give us a call today.

Posted in Business, General Articles B | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

Save space with OneDrive’s new feature

Good news for OneDrive users: When your local storage has run out of space, you’ll no longer have to waste time and energy going through all your stored files, reorganizing and deleting some of them in order to get a few megabytes back. OneDrive Files On-Demand has a solution for you.

Microsoft has launched OneDrive’s new feature called “OneDrive Files On-Demand,” which comes with Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. This new feature allows users to transfer files to Microsoft’s cloud storage, thus saving some space on their local hard drive. What’s great about this feature is that you can open and view the online-only files quickly and conveniently as if you’re opening them from your local hard drive.

How to get the new feature

When you upgrade to Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, the OneDrive Files On-Demand feature should be enabled by default. But if it’s not, all you need to do is turn it on by:

  • Opening OneDrive
  • Clicking the cloud icon on the right side of your taskbar
  • Selecting Settings and clicking the Setting tab
  • In the Files On-Demand section, make sure the Save space and download files as you use them box is checked

What do these icons mean?

In the OneDrive folder in File Explorer, you’ll see three types of icons (look at the Status column). Here’s what they mean:

  • Blue cloud: files that are stored online only
  • Green checkmark in white circle: files that are stored locally and will be made online-only when you’re running out of space
  • White checkmark in green circle: files that are stored locally even when you’re running out of space

How to download online-only files

You can download files stored online to your local disk by simply opening them, whereupon a green checkmark will appear on the file. You can also make those files always-available offline (white checkmark) by right-clicking the files and selecting Always keep on this device.

How to upload local files to the cloud

Just right click the files — whether they’re files with green or white check marks — and select Free up space.

Microsoft’s OneDrive Files On-Demand feature is another proof of how cloud technology can help optimize your IT resources. For more ways to make the most of your technology investment, talk to our cloud experts today.

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Get more space with OneDrive Files On-Demand

We truly comprehend the meaning of scarcity when our local disk is running out of space. Trying to sort out which files to keep and which to delete takes time and doesn’t guarantee a desirable outcome. But with OneDrive’s new feature, you can just move them to the cloud and get your storage space back — in just a few clicks.

Microsoft has launched OneDrive’s new feature called “OneDrive Files On-Demand,” which comes with Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. This new feature allows users to transfer files to Microsoft’s cloud storage, thus saving some space on their local hard drive. What’s great about this feature is that you can open and view the online-only files quickly and conveniently as if you’re opening them from your local hard drive.

How to get the new feature

When you upgrade to Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, the OneDrive Files On-Demand feature should be enabled by default. But if it’s not, all you need to do is turn it on by:

  • Opening OneDrive
  • Clicking the cloud icon on the right side of your taskbar
  • Selecting Settings and clicking the Setting tab
  • In the Files On-Demand section, make sure the Save space and download files as you use them box is checked

What do these icons mean?

In the OneDrive folder in File Explorer, you’ll see three types of icons (look at the Status column). Here’s what they mean:

  • Blue cloud: files that are stored online only
  • Green checkmark in white circle: files that are stored locally and will be made online-only when you’re running out of space
  • White checkmark in green circle: files that are stored locally even when you’re running out of space

How to download online-only files

You can download files stored online to your local disk by simply opening them, whereupon a green checkmark will appear on the file. You can also make those files always-available offline (white checkmark) by right-clicking the files and selecting Always keep on this device.

How to upload local files to the cloud

Just right click the files — whether they’re files with green or white check marks — and select Free up space.

Microsoft’s OneDrive Files On-Demand feature is another proof of how cloud technology can help optimize your IT resources. For more ways to make the most of your technology investment, talk to our cloud experts today.

Posted in General Articles B, Web & Cloud | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

OneDrive’s new feature helps you save space

Don’t you just hate it when your PC gives a warning message that it’s running out of space? You’re then forced to go through all your files to figure out which are important and which ones can be deleted. Sometimes you manage to get a few megabytes back, but oftentimes you end up grabbing your external disks. But with OneDrive Files On-Demand, the issue will become a thing of the past.

Microsoft has launched OneDrive’s new feature called “OneDrive Files On-Demand,” which comes with Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. This new feature allows users to transfer files to Microsoft’s cloud storage, thus saving some space on their local hard drive. What’s great about this feature is that you can open and view the online-only files quickly and conveniently as if you’re opening them from your local hard drive.

How to get the new feature

When you upgrade to Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, the OneDrive Files On-Demand feature should be enabled by default. But if it’s not, all you need to do is turn it on by:

  • Opening OneDrive
  • Clicking the cloud icon on the right side of your taskbar
  • Selecting Settings and clicking the Setting tab
  • In the Files On-Demand section, make sure the Save space and download files as you use them box is checked

What do these icons mean?

In the OneDrive folder in File Explorer, you’ll see three types of icons (look at the Status column). Here’s what they mean:

  • Blue cloud: files that are stored online only
  • Green checkmark in white circle: files that are stored locally and will be made online-only when you’re running out of space
  • White checkmark in green circle: files that are stored locally even when you’re running out of space

How to download online-only files

You can download files stored online to your local disk by simply opening them, whereupon a green checkmark will appear on the file. You can also make those files always-available offline (white checkmark) by right-clicking the files and selecting Always keep on this device.

How to upload local files to the cloud

Just right click the files — whether they’re files with green or white check marks — and select Free up space.

Microsoft’s OneDrive Files On-Demand feature is another proof of how cloud technology can help optimize your IT resources. For more ways to make the most of your technology investment, talk to our cloud experts today.

Posted in General Articles A, Web & Cloud | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

Android releases new pairing solution

In late 2016, Apple introduced the iPhone 7 which removes the standard headphone jack and instead offers a Bluetooth connection for your music listening experience. Now, Google’s Android has come out with its version of wireless pairing. Here’s what you need to know about Fast Pair.

What is Fast Pair?

Fast Pair is Android’s new connectivity solution which uses Bluetooth technology and the smartphone’s proximity to let you connect to Fast Pair-enabled Bluetooth devices with just a single tap.

How does it work?

When a Fast Pair-enabled device is nearby, your Android smartphone will automatically retrieve the device’s product image and name from Google’s servers and display it on the screen. After tapping the image, a confirmation message will appear to let you know a pairing has been made successfully.

Fast Pair also comes with useful companion apps. An example would be the equalizer app that comes with certain Bluetooth headphones. It lets users optimize their sound experience whenever using Fast Pair to connect to Bluetooth devices.

Note that Fast Pair only works with Google Play Services version 11.7. And while Google may not have introduced a completely new technology, you can expect a broader range of wireless coverage and faster connectivity as more wireless devices get Bluetooth 5 features.

Does it support all existing Bluetooth gadgets?

Not for the time being; Bluetooth device manufacturers will need to adopt Fast Pair by registering with Android first. Currently, the following headphones are Fast Pair compatible: Google’s Pixel Buds, Libratone’s Q Adapt On-Ear, and Plantronics Voyager 8200-series wireless headsets.

Support for Fast Pair extends back to Android Marshmallow. And as more Android phones are losing the headphone jack, Google has made the right move to support the change in demand.

As the world of technology moves forward, you can expect even more hardware designed to make life easier. And as always, you can count on us to keep you up to date about all of it. If you have any other questions, just give us a call.

Posted in General Articles C, Hardware | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed
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