Voice Recognition Tool- Say What?!

Posted by Theresa Hietpas

Dec 3, 2015 9:00:00 AM

microphone_icon.jpgTalking instead of typing!

If you have an iPad, Android tablet, or smartphone, you may have noticed a little “microphone” symbol on your keypad (usually to the left of your spacebar or on the number row). If you haven’t tried it yet, you should.  It’s an alternative to typing text that will change the way you interact with your phone.

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Topics: Communications, Smartphone, applications

Genius Smartphone Apps

Posted by Theresa Hietpas

May 14, 2015 10:00:00 AM

A Genius in Your Pocket

The number of Smartphone users keeps increasing each year. But are you aware of all the things it can do for you? There’s more computing power in that device than existed ten years ago, and some of the things it can do are nothing less than magic.  Here are just a few:


For those times when you need to make a copy of something or scan and email a document,  or even fax back a reply, there’s Genius Scan+.  Genius Scan, by The Grizzly Labs (www.thegrizzlylabs.com) is available on Android and iOS, and even Windows.  There’s a free version and a $6.99 “Plus” version that is worth every penny. Just use your camera to snap a photo of the document. Genius scan overlays it with a grid to make sure it knows what you intended to scan, use your finger to adjust the grid if necessary, confirm the shape of your document, and it automatically adjusts the perspective to straighten out the text, enhances the document to make it easier to read, and in just a second or two, you have a perfect copy.  With the “Plus” version, email your document or save it to your favorite cloud service automatically. 

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Topics: Microsoft, Apps, Smartphone, Android, Office 365, Workflow, applications

What The Heck is Google Wallet?

Posted by Eric Torres

Sep 20, 2011 10:43:00 AM

Google Wallet LogoHow many of you have more than $50 in your pocket right now? If you’re like me, you rarely ever have cold, hard cash in your pocket. Just about every purchase I make is used with a card. Well, for some of us, that is about to change. Soon you will be able to pay for everything using your smart phone. Wait a minute…what? Want to pay for something? Walk up to the register, have the clerk check you out, and then tap your phone to the front of the register. The register picks up some data on your phone, and the bill is settled. No sliding a card, no pulling out cash, just tap your phone to the register and you’re on your way.

All of this is made possible thanks to technology called Near Field Communication (NFC) and Google Wallet. This week, Google Wallet became available to the public, and provided you're in the right place, you can use it to pay for your goods.

How does Google Wallet work?
Let’s start with the basics. Google Wallet is an Android application. It’s a free download and you can add the details of your credit cards so that it stores all the basics that you need to make payments – your credit card number, expiration date, name and the CCV security code on the back.

Google Wallet works by communicating with the checkout terminal when you go to pay for goods or services. Tap your phone to the register and your phone sends wireless data to the store and your products are paid for. There's no cash involved.

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Topics: Google, Communications, Apps, Smartphone

3 Ways Mobile Devices Become Infected with Malware

Posted by Eric Torres

Jul 26, 2011 9:39:00 AM

mobile securitySocial engineers have been using various dirty tricks to fool people for centuries. Social engineering, the art of gaining access to buildings, systems or data by exploiting human psychology, rather than by breaking in or using technical hacking techniques, is as old as crime itself and has been used in many ways for decades.

For the past several years online, social engineers have been trying to fool unsuspecting users into clicking on malicious links and giving up sensitive information by pretending to be old friends or trusted authorities on email and social networks.
And now that mobile devices have taken over our lives, social engineering is an attack method of choice to gain access to a person's smartphone or tablet.

Here are three examples of current cons being used by criminals to get inside your mobile device.

Malicious apps that look like legitimate apps

One example is the case of a popular and legitimate application Android users were purchasing that caused a virtual "steam" to appear on the screen of a smartphone. You could move your finger to scrape the virtual steam off, people love this sort of thing, although it served no real purpose.

But a malicious application that looked exactly like the virtual-steam application was created and many were conned into purchasing that one, instead of the authentic application. From a users perspective it is very hard to distinguish between an app that is legitimate with an app that turns out to be malicious.
What users ended up with was an application with unwanted things behind it. In some cases, the malicious application activated an SMS message from the victim's phone that was sent to request premium services and the user was charged. The attacker, meanwhile, would delete any return SMS messages acknowledging the charges so the victims had no idea they were being billed.

The best advice, don't install applications that come from un-trusted sources.
Malicious mobile apps that come from ads

In some cases, legitimate applications on a smartphone run bad advertisements. If the user clicked on the ad, they are taken to a web site that tricks the victim into thinking their battery is inefficient. The person is then asked to install an application to optimize the battery consumption, which is instead a malicious application.

Our advice is the same as with PC’s, be leery of any advertisement that is asking you to install an application.

Apps that claim to be for "security"

Another new mobile attack vector is a ZeuS malware variant that actually originates with an infected PC. When a user visits a banking site from an infected computer, they are prompted to download an authentication or security component onto their mobile device in order to complete the login process.

The attackers realize that users are using two-factor authentication. In many cases that second factor is implemented as a one-time password sent to the user's phone by the banking provider. Attackers were thinking: 'How can we get access to those credentials?' Their answer is: 'Attack the user's phone.'
The way this ruse works is once the PC is infected, the person logs onto their bank account and is told to download an application onto their phone in order to receive security messages, such as login credentials. But it is actually a malicious application from the same entity that is controlling the user's PC. Now they have access to not only the user's regular banking logon credentials, but also the second authentication factor sent to the victim via SMS. In many cases, people thought they simply were installing security applications, or in some cases, a security certificate.

Mobile devices, pure and simple, are hand-held computers and should be treated as such. The best way to protect yourself is to be cautious of not only the applications you install, but the links you click on in the web browser. If asked to download a file, application or security certificate, be leery and only download from trusted sources.

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Topics: Phishing attacks, Communications, Browser, Malware, Apps, Smartphone, Android

River Run Tech Blog: Mozilla Labs Concept Mobile Device

Posted by Eric Torres

Sep 24, 2010 2:17:00 PM

Mozilla Labs, pieced together with the help of the community, designed this amazing mobile phone concept named “Seabird” as part of the Mozilla Labs Concept Series. The concept is nothing short of incredible. The entire tech blog world is currently talking about it, and with good reason.

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Topics: Concept, Communications, Firefox, Smartphone, Browsers

5 Useful iPhone Apps For Business Networking

Posted by Eric Torres

Jul 12, 2010 7:15:00 AM

Who says that Blackberrys should dominate the business market? Aside from being pretty cool and fun to use, iPhones can also lend themselves to the business world. In fact, the App Store is bursting at the seams with useful apps for the suit-wearing, executive iPhone user. But which ones should you go for? Which are a waste of time? Click the link below to discover five of the App Store's most useful iPhone apps for business networking.

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Topics: Communications, Apps, Smartphone

How Much Sensitive Information is Stored on Your Phone?

Posted by Eric Torres

Jan 7, 2010 10:21:00 AM

If you carry a smartphone (or even just a "semi smart" model with text messaging and email), you might be surprised at how much someone phone could find out about you by examining the contents of your phone. "It's like a computer," says the forensics specialist in this article, but that's not quite right. The iPhone he was talking about is a computer, albeit a small one. Today's phones have faster processor, more memory and more storage space than our desktop machines had a short fifteen years ago. Raise your awareness by clicking on the article below.

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Topics: Communications, Apple, Apps, Smartphone, Android, How To

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