Unannounced Apple Features For iOS 15!

Apple announced iOS 15 back in June at WWDC, but lacked to mention an important feature that can help us all when it comes to traveling and even other cool features Apple didn’t go into.

Redesign of Maps App

The redesign of the Maps app was mentioned, but it was not put into detail what would be happening other than a nice refresh. One cool thing that is happening with the Maps app is that now it will factor in weather conditions! BGR.com goes into detail about how the Maps app will be able to let you know the weather conditions, such as a flash flood warning, into it’s suggested route.
Not clear how many weather events the app will be capable of alerting Apple users about. It’s a smart addition either way and can help travelers stay warned or find other paths if there is a weather alert in that area.


Here is an example of what to expect when you are using Maps on iOS 15.

Drag-and-Drop Across Apps

The iPad has had it’s ability to drag-and-drop documents, texts or pictures between apps. Now, iPhone has it’s turn!  If you are going back and forth between Messages and Photos to share pictures from an event with coworkers, you can now drag-and-drop the from the Photos app to the Messages app.

To test out the new feature:
Open the Photos app and view your recent photos.
Don’t tap on a picture to open it full screen, instead place a finger on the photo and start to drag your finger across the screen.
Don’t lift your finger when the thumbnail starts to float over the rest of the photos, then switch back to the messages app.
You’ll see a green circle with a + sign in it show up on the thumbnail indicating that you can lift your finger and the photo will be placed in the text field, ready for you to send.

Real Time Snow or Rain Alerts From The iPhone Weather App

Now the Weather app is making it’s comeback. Apple now is having the Weather app alert when snow/rain is getting close to you! It will alert you on your phone a few minutes before it starts and then it will alert when the rain/snow is almost finished.
Once you’re running iOS 15, you can turn on the new precipitation alerts by opening the Weather app, then tapping the three-line icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
Next, tap the circle icon with the three dots in the top-right corner of the screen followed by Notifications.
Slide the switch next to My Location to the On position and then tap Done. If you have more cities added to the Weather app, you can also turn on alerts for each one.

We will keep you updated on more features about iOS 15 as more details unfold!

Cyber Security Practices We Should All Do- Staying Protected

Cyber security is one of the most talked about subjects in the technology field.
Having your business data secured is crucial, but there are ways to stay protected.
We’re here to help you keep your data protected with these security practices we should all do to ensure cyber security!

Changing Passwords/Password Strength

Password safety cannot be stressed enough! Changing your passwords every 60-90 days will allow your information to stay protected. With that, your cyber security will continue to increase.

Not only will changing your password help, but also make sure it is STRONG. Adding symbols, numbers, and making sure the length is 8 or more characters will help keep the password strong. In the example presented above, pa$$word1a has a stronger password strength than password1 (please don’t use example above for your next password).

Webroot has given some greats tips for creating a new password. Using a phrase and incorporate shortcut codes and acronyms will keep the password strong while being able to remember your favorite phrase or saying. Some examples are 2BorNot2B_ThatIsThe? (To be or not to be, that is the question) or ABT2_uz_AMZ! (About to use Amazon).  Unique passwords are harder to break through than weak and simple passwords (please do not use any examples given above).

When selecting a password, do not use any personal information! Using personal information can lead to hackers knowing the answers to your security questions.

Examples of personal information to not use:
Your name
Age
Date of birth
Child’s name
Pet’s name
Favorite color/song

Don’t Use The Same Password For Everything!

Using the same password for multiple logins will cause a bigger issue than you may think. Having the same password for your banking, company sites, or even for your email will allow hackers to get into multiple accounts rather than just the one they got into.

Having different passwords will increase your cyber security to allow your data to be protected. It seems hard at first, but having that variety will allow not only your companies information to stay safe, but your own personal data will continue to stay protected.

Using A Password Manager

A password manager is program that allows users to store, generate, and manage their passwords for local applications and online services. It assists in generating and retrieving complicated passwords, storing the passwords in an encrypted database or calculating them on demand.

Having this will alleviate having to write your passwords down on a piece of paper.  Writing your passwords on paper or even putting them on a Word/Google document will create an easier passage for hackers to get into your information.

Updating Your Antivirus

Your antivirus is used to prevent, scan, detect and delete viruses from a computer. But what happens when you don’t update your antivirus?
There are always new viruses developing and keeping your computer clear from them are important. When you don’t update your antivirus, it won’t protect against the newest threats, leading it to believe that it is nothing to worry about. You might not be as protected from cyber security risks as you might think. Even worse, your device could be at risk of the latest threats that your security product is not yet aware of.  Making sure you are updated on the latest software could relieve all stress in not knowing whether or not you are protected from any threats. This will continue to add that extra layer of cyber security you need.

Installing Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-Factor Authentication is a security technology that requires multiple methods of authentication from independent categories of credentials to verify a user’s identity for a login or other transaction. Having that extra layer of protection will allow your data to be protected while making it difficult for any malicious attacks to happen.

Once you login, you will get a prompt on your phone asking if it is you with the name and address that is trying to login to your account.  When you see the pop-up, you have to click accept or deny.  After you accept that it is you, you will be let in! This is just another layer of cyber security that will help protect your data. DENY any user that is not you logging in!

Phishing Training

Keeping up with your phishing training is IMPORTANT! Malicious attacks are happening within your emails. Clicking on one bad link could lead to a data breach. Knowing how to identify a phishing scam could not only impact your company data, but also your personal information. Phishing training allows you to see simulations of different ways a threat email can come through for you to identify.

Identifying an email could seem harder than you think. Hackers have been able to make it so users think the email is coming from someone reputable within your company. We have broken down the ways to identify phishing emails in our post “Phishing Emails – Ways To Detect and Prevent Attacks,” but having an added layer of security by taking phishing training will decrease your chances of malicious attacks.

For more information or need help getting set up, contact PCS!

Microsoft Issues URGENT Security Warning … Update Your PC Immediately!

Microsoft is urging Windows users to immediately install an update.
Security researchers found a serious vulnerability in the operating system.
We’re here to help you better understand what is going on and how to update your system!

PrintNightmare

The PrintNightmare flaw is a major security risk for enterprises, where print spoolers are used on Windows machines. Microsoft considered it serious enough to rush out a patch last week. The researchers announced in late May that they found vulnerabilities in Print Spooler, which allows multiple users to access a printer. They published a proof-of-concept online by mistake and subsequently deleted it, but sadly not before it was published elsewhere online.

Microsoft warned that hackers could exploit the vulnerability and be able to install programs, view and delete data or even create new user accounts with full user rights.

Who Is Affected?

Anyone using Windows 10 and earlier are affected! Microsoft urges that everyone using Windows should update their systems IMMEDIATELY.

How To Update Your Windows PC

Updating is simple and fast!

  1. Select the Start button
  2. Select Settings
  3. Update & security
  4. Windows Update

This will help update your computer to the most recent Windows update.  Below is a picture example on how to update your PC.

Microsoft also released a patch for Windows 11. Its newest operating system, due out soon, is currently available to beta testers.

For help on updating your system, contact PCS!

Phishing Emails – Ways To Detect and Prevent Attacks

Phishing has become one of the most common methods of cybercrime. Despite how much we think we know about scam emails, people still frequently fall victim.
We’re here show you how to detect a phishing email.

phishing scams

Message Is Sent From A Public Email Domain/Misspelled Domain

Sometimes, the hacker will try to use the same information as someone higher up in your organization (such as a president or manager) and use the same credentials but different domain. The one part to check specifically is the email domain. If the email is not recognizable, don’t click on anything!

One example is if the email is allegedly from PayPal, but the domain of the link does not include “paypal.com,” that’s a huge giveaway.  Looking at all your sources will help you identify what is legitimate and what is a malicious attack.

Make sure you are checking ALL parts of the email (not just the display name). Many of us don’t ever look at the email address that a message has come from, but rather just look at the display name. Hackers will use that against you by using the real sender’s picture and name that they are trying to impersonate. Looking into the email address that is sending you anything helps with being able to identify if it is legitimate or if it is a phishing email.

Email Is Poorly Written

When it comes to crafting phishing messages, scammers will often use a spellchecker or translation machine. It will give them all the right words but not necessarily in the proper context. Noticing poorly written emails will usually mean that it is coming from an outside source and it’s a spoof.  Keep an eye on poor grammar and spelling errors.

Message Has a Sense of Urgency

Phishing emails have a tendency of not only having grammatical errors, but it seems like they always have a sense of urgency. Hackers know that an email that seems urgent receives a little more attention to others emails that can be thrown into the back burner. Criminals know that we’re likely to drop everything if our superiors email us with a vital request. Taking the time to actually look at the email domain and how the email is typed out, you will see that it is a malicious attack and not anyone within the company.
Knowing the difference will help not only you, but the company itself with avoiding a data breach.

Suspicious Links

Sometimes when phishing emails are sent, you see either a button or a link that is attached. You can spot a suspicious link if the destination address doesn’t match the context of the rest of the email. Unfortunately, when a suspicious link is hidden behind a button, it is hard to determine if it is legitimist or if it is a fraud. Looking at the email address and identifying if it is real will help with determining whether it is legitimate or not.

Ways To Stay Protected

One way to make sure you’re alert and aware of phishing attacks is educating yourself is phishing training. Phishing training will allow you and your employees to detect phishing emails and understanding what to look for. With simulations, you will be able to identify many different ways that a phishing attack can occur and ways to prevent a data breach for your company.

For more information about phishing training, contact PCS!

Cyber Security – It’s Not A Choice Anymore … It’s Necessary!

Malicious attacks have spiked throughout the years and cyber security has been discussed in so many ways.
Throughout the pandemic and employees working from home, companies have been targeted and attacked with many different methods.
Hackers don’t take a day off, so we’re here to help you stay protected.

Malicious Attacks – How Often Do They Happen?


According to Embroker, in 2021 cyber attacks happen every 11 seconds. That has increased through time, but it will continue to rise through time. It was said that in  2020, 155.8 million individuals were affected by data exposures …

Impact and Severity of Cyber Attacks

Cyber attacks can impact businesses and organizations in many ways – from minor disruptions to financial losses. Every consequence leads has some form of cost. Malicious attacks can impact your business weeks, if not months later.

Your business may suffer in these areas:
Financial losses
Loss of productivity
Reputation damage
Legal liability
Business continuity problems

Costs of Cybercrime

According to the FBI, the cost of cybercrime in the US was $3.5 billion in 2019, as stated by Colbalt. The cost could be much higher if it remains unnoticed. In 2020, the average business cost of a cyberattack is $3.86 million and it takes over 200 days to detect the breach (IBM). Statistics show that cyberattacks projected to hit $6 trillion in annual loss in 2021, which has doubled since 2015. (Cybersecurity Ventures).
Cybercrimes can cost enough to shut down small businesses if it remains unnoticeable or the malicious attacks are not safely resolved.  The average ransom demand is over $100,000, which continues to grow over time. Over a third of all companies attacked with a ransomware attack, end up paying that price, resulting, on average, in a 16-day downtime for the attacked firm. The percentage and increase of cost continues to rise through the years as hackers continue to learn and grow.

How To Prevent Malicious Attacks

Here at PCS, we help you with all your cyber security needs. With Managed Endpoint Protection/Next Generation Antivirus, Advanced E-mail Security/Phishing Training, and Multi-factor Authentication, it would be a challenge for malicious attacks to happen.

For more information or to make sure your company is protected, contact PCS!

More News From Microsoft About Windows 11

Microsoft has released more updates and info about Windows 11. Here is what to expect!

Start Menu Moved

The start menu is no longer at the bottom left of your PC desktop.  Don’t worry, you can move it back!  The redesign of the iconic Windows menu is now in the center of the screen rather than the corner.  It allows you to quickly see pinned apps, as well as a few recommended apps based on what you’ve used before.

Windows 11 also is coming with productivity shortcuts. If you  have multiple apps and windows going at once, you can hover over any window to reveal different options for organizing your screen. Maybe it’s two windows side by side, or one big window with a few smaller ones floating next to it. Click on the configuration you want, and your windows will “snap” into that shape.

Microsoft Won’t Confirm Which CPUs Work With Windows 11 … Yet

Microsoft is making another attempt at clarifying the minimum requirements for Windows 11, as stated in their blog post.  The post is clear that Intel 6th Gen Skylake and earlier CPUs, along with non-Zen AMD processors, will not meet “principles around security and reliability and minimum system requirements for Windows 11.”  That lines up with the company’s original statement that Windows 11 would require Intel 8th Gen Coffee Lake or Zen 2 CPUs and up, but there is some hope for Intel 7th Gen Kaby Lake and Zen 1 users.

Where it gets a little confusing is the first Inside build of Windows 11 won’t require TPM 2.0 or specific CPUs.  Microsoft will be paying attention to users with Intel 7th Gen CPUs and AMD Zen 1 CPUs to see if they’re getting the performance that Microsoft is looking for, especially when it comes to reliability and security.

Download Windows 11 As A Free Upgrade Later This Year

Windows 11 should be available around the 2021 holiday season.  It will be a free update to owners of Windows 10 PCs.  There are some hardware requirements, such as a newer processor, four gigabytes of RAM and at least 64 gigabytes of storage. Microsoft has a PC-checker tool you can use.

Support on Windows 10 Software

If you don’t decide to upgrade, Microsoft confirmed that it will continue to support Windows 10 until October 14, 2025.  If you choose not to upgrade, you may lose opportunity on security settings that will continue to keep your PC and data safe. We highly suggest taking the opportunity to upgrade immediately when it is available.

We will continue report as more details unfold!

Data Loss – What Is It and What Can You Do To Stop It

Data Loss
What exactly is it?
How can you avoid it?
We’re here to go over everything you need to know about preventing data loss to help keep your information safe!

What Is Data Loss?

Data loss is exactly what you think it is. Whether your information/back-ups are accidentally or maliciously deleted from your system, important data is lost. This might happen when a malicious internal user gains inappropriate administrator privileges, or when an external party seeking to do damage to your company’s reputation hacks into your system. It could be thanks to poorly configured backup jobs or other settings. In addition to these human causes, hardware failure or theft can also account for data loss.

What Can You Do To Protect Your Data?

iland is a cloud service provider of secure and compliant hosting for Backup as a Service (BaaS).  iland’s Insider Protection, guards you against straightforward deletion of all backups and even more sophisticated attacks. The service will assure that a copy of your backup is always available!

Internal or External Threat Protection

Insider Protection enables you to recover a full backup of deleted data! Instead of deleting your backup files, hackers may choose to corrupt or encrypt your backups. This would replace any recovery points you may have causing you to instead use damaged backups. With Insider Protection you will have access to backups that the attackers did not, giving you the confidence you need during a disaster recovery event.

How It Works and How To Recover

With iland Insider Protection, backup files that were deleted maliciously or accidentally are kept in an air-gapped directory. This directory will only be accessible to iland technicians! Backup files that were deleted will remain in this isolated folder for seven days and can be saved to be transferred back to you once you are ready to restore data. Your files will not go away until after seven days of isolated storage.

If you fall victim to a breach like a ransomware infection, the data protected by iland would be untouchable and could be trusted to restore critical data after an attack, easing your mind and reducing your downtime.

 

Contact your PCS Account Representative today
to add this increased security to your current iland cloud storage!

Microsoft Confirms Windows 11 – Everything You Need To Know

Microsoft has FINALLY released their newest version of Windows … Windows 11! Also knows as “the Windows that brings you closer to the things you love” as Panos Panay, Microsoft’s chief product officer said.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said “Today marks a major milestone in the history of Windows, It’s the beginning of a new generation.”
We’re here to give you the break down on what to expect.

Windows 11 Coming This Fall

Microsoft announced that Windows 11 will begin shipping to customers this fall, and Windows Insiders can begin testing a preview of it this week.  Windows 11 will be a free upgrade for Windows 10 users, as long as your current PC is compatible with Windows 11’s new system requirements.

These requirements include:

  • A modern 64-bit processor
  • 1Ghz clock speed
  • 2 cores
  • 64GB drive
  • 4GB RAM
  • UEFI, Secure Book capable & TPM 2.0
  • 9-inch display with 1366×768 resolution
  • DirectX 12 compatible graphics / WDDM 2.x

Display Features

  • Rounded corners
  • New desktop wallpaper
  • Centered start menu featuring applications and “recommended” files such as Word and Excel documents, along with a search box.  The new Start menu drops the Live Tiles that were originally introduced with Windows 8 and opts for more of the typical launcher you’d find in Chrome OS or Android
  • The Windows icon has also been spruced up to be a simple square with four equal-sized panes
  • Windows Widgets: containing news, weather and other information.  The Widgets feature uses artificial intelligence to offer personalized content and it can be shown on the entirety of the screen with a swipe from left to right
  • More performance in browsing the internet in Microsoft’s Edge browser, which will enable longer battery life
  • Updates will be 40% smaller
  • Snap Layouts – allows you to quickly snap apps into the various modes that Windows 11 supports
  • Revamped app store – Panay described as

Microsoft Teams Update

Microsoft Teams, the company’s videoconferencing and chat software, is getting a big update to make it more like a systemwide messaging app. Microsoft revealed an interface that puts chats in standalone windows.  Your frequent contacts will now appear as a pop-up on the start bar. Teams is also getting more videoconferencing features and it appears easier to jump right into a video call.  Similarly to using Facetime or iMessage on a Mac.

Supporting Android Apps From Amazon’s App Store

Android apps will now be supported using the Amazon App Store! Popular apps that people already use on their phones will be available right on the desktop, in the Start menu and more. It is similar to Apple products that support iPhone and iPad apps. However, the Amazon App Store doesn’t offer Google’s popular Android apps like Gmail, Maps and other Google services.  You will need to sign in to your Amazon account to download those apps.

 

We’ll report as more details unfold!

How Important Is Having A VPN Service?

The term “VPN” gets thrown around more often than others when it comes to your access.  Whether it be for business or personal, being told to have a VPN has always been standard protocol on our systems.  But what exactly is it? Where can we use it? What happens if you don’t have it?
We’re here to tell you what you need to know and how it works!

What Is A VPN?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It gives you online privacy and anonymity by creating a private network from a public internet connection.  They mask your IP (internet protocol) address so your online actions are virtually untraceable. Virtual Private Networks  also secure connections to provide greater privacy than even a secured Wi-Fi hotspot.

Why Do You Need A VPN Service?

Having a VPN service is not only important for business settings, but you can also get it for your personal devices!  When you’re on the internet, especially on an unsecured Wi-Fi network, you could be exposing your private information and browsing history.

Imagine yourself being at an airport or even a coffee shop where there is no secured service.  You are browsing through your emails and even working on a big project for work that is due in a few days.  The amount of clicking you do and what is being put into the unsecured network could potentially get into  by a stranger using the same network. Unless it’s a secured network that allows you to put in a password when trying to connect, your information is vulnerable.

Having the ability to not worry about someone else getting into your information is one way to keep your data and your companies data secured.   Especially when most companies are working remotely, you don’t want to have that thought in the back of your mind whether or not someone can access your companies information.

How Does A VPN Protect Your IP Address And Privacy

The VPN essentially creates a data tunnel between your local network and an exit node in another location.  It makes it seem like you’re miles away in another place when really you are home! Having that luxury allows your location to stay private, while also keeping data and information private.  Think of it like a sturdy tunnel that no one can get into.
Virtual Private Networks use encryption to scramble data when it’s sent over a Wi-Fi network and encryption makes the data unreadable.

Without a VPN, your internet service provider can know your entire browsing history. With a VPN, your search history is hidden. That’s because your web activity will be associated with the VPN server’s IP address, not your own.

What A VPN Can Hide

  • Browsing history
  •  IP address and location
  •  Location for streaming
  • Devices
  • Web activity

Where Can You Use Your VPN?

The answer? Anywhere! Once you have it, you can use it to be able to keep your data secured. While traveling, at home, in the office, and even while enjoying a cup of coffee at your nearest coffee shop.  Having the VPN on your laptop, tablet, iPad, and even any phone device will help make sure your information is protected.

Need help with keeping you and your company safe? Contact PCS!