5 Steps to Safeguarding your GMAIL Account

Google’s recent release that hundreds of email accounts based in China have been hacked (including some U.S and Chinese government officials!) causes GMAIL apprehension for many users. The hackers are said to have stolen passwords and monitored email traffic.

CNET’s Sharon Akin shares five ways to protect your GMAIL accounts free of charge are listed as follows

  1. 1.       Two Step Verification:
    1. Sign up for Google’s two step verification process and Google will send you a special code by SMS to login.

WHY? hackers can acquire passwords with a phishing scam or via accidentally exposure

      2:      Have a Strong Password

  1. Choose a UNIQUE password with strong “password strength” (as seen on the password strength meter)

      3:      Enable HTTPS

  1. a.       Logging into the net in an unsecured network (local library, at Starbucks, etc) makes you vulnerable. Enable HTTPS to browse safely.

HOW? Sign in to Gmail and go to Mail settings (upper right) > General. Set “Browser

Connection” to “Always use HTTPS.”

     4: Update Backups

  1.     Add e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and a security question to recover hacked accounts.

HOW? Account settings (upper right) > Accounts and Import > Change password recovery

options.

      5: Check account activity
HOW? 1) Sign in and go to the bottom of the page. 2) Under “Last account activity…” click

“Details” and you’ll see when, how, and where your account is being used.

Social Tools being used in the workplace

Does your company have issues with employees using social media at work?  Its almost impossible to stop now.  Between access through smart phones and through computers there is no controlling the spread of social media.  Instead of trying to stop it, go with it.  Create a social media page specifically for your employees and your company.  Whether it be Facebook, twitter, or google +, create one for your employees to talk to each other. This will increase the level of communicating and decrease the use of personal social media.  Two great social media sites for doing this are Google + and Foursquare.  Google + is similar to Facebook, however you can put your friends in circles and communicate to them circle by circle.  Create google + accounts for your employees and put them in a “co-workers” circle.  Foursquare on the other hand is more of a way to communicate with your employees while they are on the road.  Keep updates on them and keep them in the loop while they are out of the office.  Consumerism of social media will just be a process that companies have to adopt for internal use, and now with all the choices of social media, companies can choose the one that suits them best.  What social media does your company use?

Google’s New Privacy Policy

Starting on March 1, 2012, Google’s new privacy policy will go into effect.  It has been all the talk on the web that Google users will have their personal information stored and saved in Google’s data base for future use.  Google says they will not be collecting anymore data about the users but will be saving it and catering to them more.  Instead of profiling people on their multiple sites such as Gmail, Google chrome, Google plus, and YouTube, they will compile all the information and profile a user that way. It is called Google dashboard.  An example of what they are doing is if you Google “how to knit” the next time you sign onto YouTube there will be videos on how to knit.  If a user does not want their information shared, they simply do not log into their Google account.

Some tips on how to keep your information on Google private are very simple tasks.  The first one mentioned above was not to sign into your account.  If you want to Google something that you don’t want Google to remember is yours, sign out of your account and Google it anonymously.  The next tip is to delete your history.  It simple to do, first sign into your account and go to www.google.com/history.  There is a tab that says removes web history, click that and press ok.  Make sure you are doing this with all your Google accounts including YouTube, Gmail chat, and Google chrome.  Some other sites that Google runs where you can clear your history is anything android, Picasa, rout, Feed Burner, and blogger.  Again this effect is active on March 1, 2012, and will be catering to each individual Google customer.

A workday with no e-mail?

Imagine a work day with no email…

One company in France is going to make this a reality.   Within two years, the firm Atos will ban all internal e-mail from company communications.  Employees will have to rely on communicating via IM or online documents that can be edited by several users at one time.

Atos has 74,000 employees in 42 countries.  The CEO, Thierry Breton estimates that only 10% of the 200 daily emails that his employees receive each day are useful and that 18% are spam.  The Managers at the firm spend 5-20 hours each week reading emails.

Recent studies have shown that overall email use is down among younger people.  These inviduals prefer a faster way of communicating like text messages or IM.

Will other organizations follow?  Is this the beginning of the end of e-mail?

Genwi Helping Businesses with it’s new DIY Application Creator

Genwi’s new DIY app creation on Google’s Android operating system (or now, “Mobile Content Management Server”) is an announcement businesses of all sizes should be excited about. The product boasts to make application creation for the iPad platform “as easy as starting a blog on sites such as Blogger or WordPress.”  Not only would the service be fully customizable while offering start-up templates to get your app started, Genwi has created the system to publish work in real time. “You create once and you publish everywhere — iOS, Android, HTML5,” Genwi’s founder Peter Gurumohan announces. For those businesses with employees that are IT savvy, the service also allows for further customization with programming options HTML5 and CSS and will all be accessed via cloud as well as the ability to integrate with online ad services like Adwhirl, AdMob and DoubleClick, or coupon services.

So how much to create your own firm’s app? The subscription-based tools begin pricing at $99 per month for a basic plan including building and publishing an Android app, iOS app and an HTML5 Web app. If your business has the cash to spend for the professional plan and to landing into iPad app territory,  the price increases substantially to $499 per month.

Google+: Can it Rival the Big Networking Platforms?

Google+ was introduced a few days ago and working at a technology firm, my colleagues and I were eager to check out what the buzz was about.  Although the site is still in its starting phase, the Google+ “project” boasts it will “connect with others” (Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior VP of engineering) different than other existing social media sites. At first, many of the features seem like copies of existing social network features, and as The Guardian’s Charles Author commented, the “new social network lacks the social aspect of Facebook and the speed, and simplicity, of Twitter”, others say certain aspects stand out.  

The site will have the ability to friend family members, friends and coworkers with extras such as “Hangouts”, “Sparks” and “Circles.” The first, hangout, is basically a conversation stream between other Google+ users, similar to a group thread on Facebook mixed with the real time aspect of instant messaging. PC world says that Hangouts “could really put Google+ ahead of Facebook,” calling them “a kind of mashup of video chatting through Gmail, and the old “chat rooms” of the days when AIM was our only chat option.” The second, “Sparks,” relates to Twitter  and Facebook’s News Feed with its interest aggregation via collection of blogs and web articles one can share with connections. Perhaps more efficient (only time and increase in user participation can tell), the add-ons resemble previous sites.  However, PC Mag’s Mark Hachman, said Sparks is “the least developed part of the site so far” and is very clogged with posts.

However, it is the third feature which critics say will separate Google+ from the rest. “Circle enables users to create “circles” or groups, such as a user’s poker buddies, college friends, work colleagues and family members” in a more efficient and effective way than Facebook does (flash to Zuckerberg’s next move- http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/faster-forward/post/facebook-promises-awesome-announcement/2011/06/30/AGstHasH_blog.html). It is different because users are given the option to opt-in sort of situation as opposed to Facebook’s opt-out blocking of people from your streams and shares.

Go check it out for yourself! http://www.google.com/+/learnmore