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Technology Tips: April 2016 Edition

Skyward IT Services

Network Infrastructure and Security Specialists

Technology Tips: April 2016 Edition


Install Apps on Chrome for Offline Use 

Did you know you can install apps on Google Chrome to use when you aren’t online? Picture yourself catching up on emails while on a field trip even though your phone can’t get service, or updating a Google Drive spreadsheet when the Internet connection is spotty. From Google Calendar to Vine, there are a wide variety of apps available. Some launch an existing webpage, while others run within the browser itself. To check out the apps available for offline use, go to the Chrome Web Store. Use the panel on the left to filter only apps available offline.
Visit the Chrome Web Store Help page for more information about adding apps to Chrome. 


iPhone Hidden Tool – The Level

Calling all iPhone-using builders, designers, picture-hangers, and perfectionists. Did you know your phone is equipped with a level? You can leave your bubble device at home in the toolbox. By simply opening your phone’s compass, then swiping the screen to the left, you will access a trusty level to use at home or on the go. This convenient tool is perfect for maintenance workers or students in a technology class or makerspace


Meet Your Personal Assistant: Dragon  

Could you benefit from a personal assistant? Dragon Mobile Assistant is a free speech recognition app available for Android users. (Dragon Go!, a version with fewer features, is also available for free for iOS.)
Dragon can help you by:
  • Reading your messages, notifications, alerts, incoming calls, and upcoming appointments.

  • Transcribing your emails.

  • Checking traffic and weather conditions.

  • Searching for local restaurants.

  • Sharing your location.

  • Finding your nearby contacts.
Here are some of Dragon’s other noteworthy features:
  • The drive mode sensor automatically switches Dragon to hands- and eyes-free when you hit the road.

  • A customizable wake-up call lets you get creative when it comes to asking your assistant for help. (“What’s up, man?” “Dude, help me out!”)

  • Voice biometrics enables Dragon to recognize your voice, so only you can unlock your phone.

  • Dragon Home software can be purchased for use on a PC or Mac.


Malware of the Month 

This month, we are focusing on malware that’s delivered, not so conveniently, straight to your inbox. Though many of these emails are caught in spam folders, some of them still get through to your inbox. Locky ransomware is one such threat currently making its way around the web. It hides in an attachment and infects your computer when you click to open the file.
The email itself comes in many disguises. A few of its more common masks include emails regarding:
  • An invoice notification

  • A payment slip or payment configuration

  • A tax-related notification

  • A billing statement

  • A purchase order
To avoid Locky ransomware and other malware distributed via email, do NOT open any email attachments or links from unknown sources. Some malware appears to come from trusted sources, but the “sender” is unaware the message is being distributed. If you receive an unexpected email that includes a link or attachment from one of your contacts, do not open it unless you’ve verified that the sender did in fact email it to you. 

“The world is moving, and a company that contents itself with present accomplishment soon falls behind.”
– George Eastman

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