As another relatively quiet hurricane season comes to a close, some are breathing a sigh of relief. Maybe not so much here in South Carolina where we have had devastating losses because of Hurricane Matthew. Two major disasters in as many years is a lot to go up against. Add in the wildfires in the Upstate region and our little state has taken quite the beating recently. Unfortunately this does not mean that we’re due for a break. In fact, it’s a great time to ensure that we’re ready for the next disaster that will hit us, whatever and whenever that may be.
In January of 2013 I was on site at a client troubleshooting a problem regarding the printing of invoices from the company’s business software. I discovered at this time that electronic invoicing, an existing feature contained in their software suite, had not been configured for them and therefore they printed and mailed each invoice on a daily basis. I was taken aback – something so simple and easy to configure with huge residual benefits was not set up by their vendor. We quickly configured the settings and the employees took the extra few seconds to collect email addresses from their clients, which they had not done before. This client has realized significant savings since we helped them implement this simple but effective change.
As an example let’s assume the following:
It seems that we’re never quite caught up. Always running behind, late for a meeting, dinner or the next thing on our schedule. At work we have multiple “got a minute” meetings every day that turn into 20-30 minute conversations, or more. In-between, we redirect our attention every time an email comes in or a message notification pops up on the smart phone. Meanwhile, the computer on the desk never seems to be fast enough. There is just never enough time to get through everything we need to get done.
Cybercriminals are never at rest. Any time their methods become thwarted or made more difficult to navigate, they move on to something else. The latest trend to affect macOS and iOS users is to inundate users with iCalendar invites that contain the same spam that in the past has gone out via emails. Additionally, shared iPhoto invites will contain images of these same spam advertisements. The kicker with either of these is that denying the shared request confirms that the accounts are active and encourage the spammer to send more and more unwanted ads.
Luckily, there are ways around the issue. First, let’s take care of the iCalendar.
Log into iCloud.com with your AppleID credentials.
Click the Calendar and then the Settings icon on the lower left of the screen.
Select Preferences and then Advanced.
The default setting for Invitations is set to “in-app”. Change this to e-mail.
From here it’ll be easier to manage the spam by deleting it either manually or by creating a rule to automatically erase it. All this will be done without confirming that your account is live and in use.
Unfortunately, there is no such option for Photos but the spam can be prevented by going to Settings, Photos and disabling iCloud Photo Sharing.
Most of us already carry one in our pockets. No, this isn’t the beginning of a riddle. I’m referring to smart phones, though much of this also applies to tablets. We’re not saying whether you should or shouldn’t carry a tablet in your pocket, however.
Note: We only cover iOS, typically, but some of these can be applicable to other mobile operating systems. Android simply has too many different versions and it’s extremely difficult to keep up with. We also do not feel that it offers a sufficient level of security for the data that it contains.
A fellow business owner recently asked me how he could better use his phone to increase his productivity. While this is a difficult question to answer directly due to industry specifics, there are many apps that can help bridge the gap. In addition to apps, which we’ve covered here, simply using more features of the base operating system of your device can already be a big help.
Here are a few tips:
- Stay up to date on OS updates. They frequently contain security fixes that help keep the bad guys at bay.
- Organize existing apps by category into folders to save time from swiping back and forth between pages upon pages of icons, many of which are likely unused. This brings us to the next point…
- Delete apps that don’t get used. They take up storage and “desktop” space. Not only will this make your phone faster and easier to use but decluttering in one area can help spur the same in other areas of life. More focus = higher productivity.
- Review privacy settings periodically. Many apps ask for access to your phone’s GPS, address book and other resources. Make sure that you’re not granting access for anything more than necessary for each app to work. Do the same for loved ones, kids especially. The sad reality of the world we live in is that people will prey on the most vulnerable. Enabling Location Services for photo/camera apps and social media is a great way to end up with a stalker.
- Clear out cache for text messages. On iOS, it’s possible to automatically delete messages older than 30 days or 1 year instead of saving them indefinitely. Sending many pictures back and forth (as we tend to do) can eat up space quickly.
- Looking for a setting or an app that has gone Waldo? Just swipe down or to the right on the home screen and start typing into the search box. It will begin to filter results immediately.
- Work at night or in the dark? Enable Night Shift from Settings or swipe up to enable it from Control Center. This setting will adjust the color temperature of your display to be easier on the eyes.
- Be sure to configure the “Find iPhone” app. This assist with finding a lost phone or help authorities locate a stolen one.
These are just a few of the basic tips that we think can help you get the most out of your device. Have a tip you’d like to share or questions on one of the above? Let us know via our Contact page or on Twitter (@spestech)