New Features of iOS 11

Coming Fall 2017, iOS 11 is going to continue offering everything we know and love about Apple with a few upgrades, of course. Check out what you can expect with Apple’s latest software update this autumn.

What to Expect from Apple’s Newest iOS Update

Subtle Design Changes. Expect minor superficial updates like bolder text and a redesigned lock screen and control center. Your calculator and phone dial screen will also appear cosmetically different, with customization options and a wider range of settings.

Smoother Siri. Siri’s voice is more natural and more intelligent in iOS 11. She will adapt more quickly to your preferences and syncs that information across all of your Apple devices. She’ll also be able to translate English into different languages!

Hop from App to App. Switching from apps and keeping track of everything you’re working on at a glance is going to be easier. The App Switcher (which is similar to Mission Control on the Mac) allows you to launch and switch to apps with ease.

Find Files Fast. The Finder-style Files app allows you to manage all of your files, no matter where they’re stored. You’ll also be able to drag and drop content like links and images from one app to another (on the iPhone and iPad).

Pay Your People. Messages will be upgraded to support a person-to-person Apple Pay feature that allows you to pay contacts directly through iMessage (no Venmo required).

Add The Freshest Apps. The revamped App Store will file games and apps separately, making it easy to find what you’re looking for. There will also be a “Today” section that features the freshest content on a daily basis, making it easy for you to find what’s new and next.

Other upgrades include:

  • One-handed keyboard
  • “Flick” option for typing numbers and symbols
  • Searchable handwriting and document scanning in Notes
  • Lane guidance, speed limit information, and indoor maps for malls and airports in Maps
  • See what your friends are listening to and share music through Apple Music
  • Portrait and Live Photos with improved capabilities in the Camera app
  • Do Not Disturb will prevent interruptions when you’re driving

Stay tuned to PCS for the most up-to-date information on iOS.

Posted in IT

New Features of Exchange 2016

Microsoft Exchange is a business class communication system that integrates email, calendars, and other tools together to make collaborating and messaging a simple and effective process. Forged in the cloud, Microsoft’s newest update to Exchange combines multi-role servers with a focus on enhanced hybrid solutions.

In addition to simplifying the architecture of the software, Microsoft has made a number of other improvements to Exchange. See what’s new in the most recent update.

  • Sorting made easy. This upgrade makes it easy to search and find what you’re looking for in your inbox. Plus, Exchange will create customizations that are personal and helpful to you in ways you never thought possible.
  • Upgrades to security and compliance. Your data is more protected than ever with Exchange 2016. Data Loss Prevention (DLP) covers more sensitive information, offering you better protection. Additionally, enhanced auditing features make reporting and integrating with third-party tools easier.
  • Improvements to server roles. In Exchange 2016, the mailbox server role works with the Edge Transport server role to simplify installation and management.
  • Send huge files with ease. Sending large attachments is easier than ever with the Modern Attachments feature. Instead of being physically attached to an email, large attachments are stored on OneDrive for Business. The email you send contains a link to where you can find the attachment in OneDrive so you’re able to send emails quickly without having to worry about zipping files.
  • Collaborate more effectively. Versioning headaches are a thing of the past. Now it’s easier to collaborate with your team on documents of all sizes.
  • Connecting is quick and easy. MapiHttp is the default protocol for Outlook to connect with Exchange 2016. It’s more efficient than Outlook Anywhere and more stable than those flaky Wifi networks that exist anywhere and everywhere.
  • Access information anywhere, any time. Exchange 2016 makes integrating all of your data on each of your mobile devices easy, from phones to tablets, desktops, and the web. Whether you’re in a meeting across the country with a client or you’re in your home office sharing files with your team, you can always access what you need.

See what else Exchange 2016 can do for you. Contact PCS today.

Posted in IT

Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency for Businesses

Cryptocurrency is an encrypted, decentralized digital currency that is transferred from one person to another confirmed in a public ledger in a process called mining. No government issued money backs the numbers in the ledger – instead, Bitcoins, the most common type of cryptocurrency is traded. Transactions take place without the need for an intermediary.

What are the benefits of using Bitcoin?

Bitcoin can be purchased for dollars, Euros, etc., making it easy to use from anywhere in the world. Your Bitcoins are stored in a digital wallet, and you’re able to purchase anything from anywhere at any time.

Other benefits of using Bitcoin include:

  • Fees are lower than traditional banking institutions.
  • Your account can’t be frozen.
  • There are no prerequisites or limits.

Who maintains the Bitcoin ledger?

No single company or government entity controls the Bitcoin ledger. Maintainers, or people around the world who maintain the ledger, are sent a message each time a Bitcoin transaction is made. They each have a copy of the ledger and update it when they receive a transaction, but sometimes the ledgers show different balances. When this happens, a vote occurs by having each Maintainer solve a mathematical puzzle. The first group to finish this “mathematical race” determine how the Bitcoin ledger should read.

How is theft prevented with Bitcoin?

A signature is required with every Bitcoin transaction to confirm that the transaction is legitimate. This serves the same purpose as signing a check, but uses cryptography to prove ownership.

How is money created?

When ledgers are balanced through solving math problems, money is credited to their account. This acts as an incentive to having more Maintainers present. Every time someone wins the lottery to choose the next transaction in the chain, new Bitcoins are created out of thin air and added to that person’s account. Money is randomly distributed to the users who solve the problems.

Is Bitcoin money unlimited?

No. As of 2041, Bitcoins will stop being produced in this way, and Miners will only make money on the fees associated with transactions.

How is transaction order determined?

Unlike cashing traditional checks, determining the order in which Bitcoins were exchanged can be difficult to determine. Network delays can cause transactions to display differently all over the world. To keep everything fair, new transactions are entered into a pool of pending transactions. From there, a mathematical lottery is held that determines the order in which they enter the queue, creating a Transaction Train. A Cryptographic Hash is used to produce problems that need to be solved that connect transactions in a train, determining which is to come next.

To learn more about how Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrency can benefit your business, contact the experts at PCS.

Posted in IT

How to Prevent Ransomware

Imagine logging onto your computer only to find that you can’t access any of your files. You inbox contains an email that demands a payment for the return of your files. This type of hack uses ransomware to access your information and hold it at ransom, and it is an all too common threat that exists for internet users. Get a better understanding of what ransomware means for you and your computer and how you can best deal with a crook utilizing ransomware to access your information.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a malicious software that prevents you from accessing your data, preventing you from accessing the data through a block or encryption. The user in control of the ransomware threatens to delete or publish your data unless a ransom is paid.

How does ransomware work?

The most common type of ransomware uses a Trojan disguised as a legitimate file used to trick you into downloading the software.

How can I protect my data from ransomware?

Be sure that your computers security software is up to date. Conduct regular scans of your computer to ensure that nothing suspicious has been downloaded.

What should I do if I receive an email containing ransomware?

First and foremost, don’t pay the ransom. In most cases, you won’t get your files back, regardless of how much you pay. Instead, remain calm and avoid clicking on any links or attachments included in the email. One of the most common methods of ransomware delivery is through spam email saying that a package couldn’t be delivered to your address. Read the email carefully, inspecting things like spelling, URLs, and of course, the email address of the sender. Report the email as spam and delete it immediately. For added precaution, run a security scan of your computer to ensure nothing fishy has been downloaded.

What should I do after a ransomware attack?

Once you have cleared your computer of the ransomware infection, update your operating system and perform a backup of your hard drive. Keep this backup in a safe place so that you have your files on hand in the event of another attack. Install updated security software and conduct scans regularly to check for suspicious software.

Keep in mind that new ransomware appears on a regular basis, so it’s important to always keep your computer and security software updated to protect yourself from the latest variants. Be cautious when you receive a suspicious email, particularly if they contain links or attachments. For more guidance on ransomware best practices, contact the experts at PCS.

Posted in IT

How To Spot Phishing Emails

Phishing emails are everywhere, from your personal account to your CEO’s inbox. Often, these emails can take on the appearance of a harmless email, but in reality, unsuspecting victims the world over have been taken advantage of by carefully crafted, fraudulent emails. Learn more about how to protect yourself from internet fraud by understanding the tell-tale signs of a phishing email.

  • The URLs included don’t add up. If the email you receive contains links, check to see that they match the domain of the sender or the site that they say they link to. If the URL structure is completely different, it’s probably a fraudulent email trying to obtain personal information or gain your trust. Additionally, keep an eye out for similar URL structures. The link may look similar to a domain that you already know and trust – for example: could be the website of a lawyer you trust, but the fraudulent party could utilize, hoping that you won’t notice the slight difference in URL structure. Make it a priority to look closely at any URLs emailed to you.
  • Grammar is lacking. When you receive an email with poor grammar or misspelled words, you can safely assume it’s an email phishing for your information. Before any large corporation sends out a mass email, several sets of eyes check it for grammatical errors, proper syntax, and any legalities that need to be addressed. If you get an email with more than one error, it’s probably not from the corporation it’s claiming to be from.
  • Personal information is requested. Any email that requests personal information such as bank account logins, credit card numbers, or social security numbers should be ignored. Legitimate companies have secure login systems in place that require a password and answers to specific security questions – they will never ask for your personal information via email.
  • There’s an offer that’s way too good to be true. If someone on the street approached you and told you that they had a check for you from a distant relative for a huge sum of money, would you believe them? The same scam happens on the internet. Any email you receive making extremely big promises is guaranteed to be a scam. On a similar note, if you receive an email telling you you’ve won a contest you’ve never entered or won something without having taken any action, you can assume that’s a scam as well.
  • Scare tactics are used. Some phishing scams take to instilling fear into user as an alternate to the “you’ve won!” route. If you receive messages that contain threats that are unrealistic from a government agency you’ve never heard of (for example, “The US Bank will seize your assets if you don’t reply within 24 hours”), someone is probably trying to scam you for information. Carefully read the email – if you’ve never heard of or dealt with the institution that is going to “come after you,” you know it’s a phishing scam.

If you receive any email that doesn’t read quite right to you, it’s probably a phishing scam. Trust your gut when it comes to funky emails. It’s usually in your best interest to report it as spam and avoid acting on the request.

Posted in IT