Security Checkpoint Google Authenticator

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Security Checkpoint Google Authenticator App: Join us as we bolster security in our Google Account using MFA and an Authenticator App. We prefer and demonstrate Authy, but you’re welcomed to use the official Google Authenticator or another trusted app like Microsoft Authenticator or Cisco Duo.

Security Checkpoint Google Passkeys

QR Code Icon Security Checkpoint

Security Checkpoint shows you how to setup a Google Authenticator App for better security on your account. It’s quick and easy, so why not join us?

Security Checkpoint – is a new series of web videos where we go through and improve our digital privacy and security one step and one minute at a time. These are all great security and privacy practices. You can follow along as Alan goes through his digital life and cleans up data and access.

Need help with your company’s cyber security? Contact us now to see how we can help!

If this post helped you improve your digital security and privacy please like, subscribe, and click the YouTube bell. You’ll be the first to know when we have more tips on Security Checkpoint for twitter and other digital services.

Security Checkpoint Google Passkeys

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Security Checkpoint Google Passkeys get us all one step closer to our goal from earlier this year to have secure simple sign ins.

Security Checkpoint Google Passkeys

Annoyed by passwords? Yeah we are too. What if I told you there’s already something better. It’s both more secure and easier to use? What is this magic? Simple, they’re called Passkeys and we highly recommend you use them with your Google account as we show here.

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How is this even possible? Well you can see what we said earlier this year about Passkeys, or go right to the source who’s developing them.

In short, Passkeys use your computer or smartphone device’s built-in security along with a biometric face or touch scan to make more secure multifactor authentication. So forget reusing your pet Fluffy’s name to protect important data. You weren’t still doing that right? Right?

Security Checkpoint – is a new series of web videos where we go through and improve our digital privacy and security one step and one minute at a time. These are all great security and privacy practices. You can follow along as Alan goes through his digital life and cleans up data and access.

Need help with your company’s cyber security? Contact us now to see how we can help!

If this post helped you improve your digital security and privacy please like, subscribe, and click the YouTube bell. You’ll be the first to know when we have more tips on Security Checkpoint for twitter and other digital services.

Security Checkpoint Google 2SV

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Enable Google 2SV for Multifactor Authentication

Security Checkpoint Google 2SV can be enable for proactive protection on your Google account.

Google’s 2 Step Verification or Multifactor Authentication adds another layer of security to your Google account that will prevent more hacking attempts than simply using a password.

As we covered previously, authentication is proving you are who you say you are. Therefore, doing it several ways gives us a higher degree of confidence it’s actually you not some unauthorized punk snooping around.

Like other authentication systems it can be: something you know, something you have, or something you are. In the case of Google 2SV we are using a password (something you know) and a smartphone authenticator app or yubikey (something you have).

Security Checkpoint Google 2SV

google search engine on screen
Photo by Sarah Blocksidge on Pexels.com

Security Checkpoint – is a new series of web videos where we go through and improve our digital privacy and security one step and one minute at a time. These are all great security and privacy practices. You can follow along as Alan goes through his digital life and cleans up data and access.

Need help with your company’s cyber security? Contact us now to see how we can help!

If this post helped you improve your digital security and privacy please like, subscribe, and click the YouTube bell. You’ll be the first to know when we have more tips on Security Checkpoint for twitter and other digital services.

Security Checkpoint Google Enhanced Safe Browsing

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Enable Google Enhanced Safe Browsing

Security Checkpoint Google Enhanced Safe Browsing can be enable for proactive protection when using Google Chrome or Gmail. Sounds good to us! Be aware that you are trading some privacy for the extra protection though. If you want the official terms and conditions see Google’s page here.

With that awareness this is a great time to remind you of a website called Terms of Service; Didn’t Read or tosdr.org. You can see their entry on Google Chrome. Before you get outraged at their “D” grade ranking be mindful that most commonly used services or technologies get an “E” ranking.

If you’re still concerned about privacy and think twice about using Google Chrome, you can use Brave Browser (which is based on the same underlying technology) and respects your privacy to the tune of a grade “B” on tosdr. Firefox also has a “B” grade and if you’re feeling really nerdy or adventurous you can get a modified version called Waterfox that has an “A” rating!

However if you still want to use Google Chrome and don’t mind sharing a bit more of your data and browsing with Google then Enhanced Safe Browsing is a great way to bolster your security!

google search engine on screen
Photo by Sarah Blocksidge on Pexels.com

Security Checkpoint – is a new series of web videos where we go through and improve our digital privacy and security one step and one minute at a time. These are all great security and privacy practices. You can follow along as Alan goes through his digital life and cleans up data and access.

Need help with your company’s cyber security? Contact us now to see how we can help!

If this post helped you improve your digital security and privacy please like, subscribe, and click the YouTube bell. You’ll be the first to know when we have more tips on Security Checkpoint for twitter and other digital services.

Security Checkpoint Google Session Security

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Using Google Session Security Checkup

Security Checkpoint Google Session Security shows us the importance of managing sessions on our digital accounts. Many people have a Google account for work or their personal lives.

Services like Google make things more convenient to you by allowing you to stay logged in longer. Because usability is fundamentally at odds with security this convenience can leave you vulnerable. Fortunately Google also makes it super easy to see and fix by signing out old sessions.

Remember: “When in doubt, log out.”

google search engine on screen
Photo by Sarah Blocksidge on Pexels.com

Security Checkpoint – is a new series of web videos where we go through and improve our digital privacy and security one step and one minute at a time. These are all great security and privacy practices. You can follow along as Alan goes through his digital life and cleans up data and access.

Need help with your company’s cyber security? Contact us now to see how we can help!

If this post helped you improve your digital security and privacy please like, subscribe, and click the YouTube bell. You’ll be the first to know when we have more tips on Security Checkpoint for twitter and other digital services.

Inflation Doughnut Economics and iPhones

Pexels Stock Photo of iPhone

Inflation, Doughnut Economics and iPhones: In a world where everywhere you turn there’s inflation, how do we save money? And what do the new Apple iPhones have to do with these larger economic, social, and political trends? What about implications for your own tech and digital security?

iPhone
Photo by Soulful Pizza on Pexels.com

Inflation

It seems like everywhere you look prices are going up. We are seeing this in technology as well. Monthly fees for line-of-business software rise. In our hobbies it shows like the recent rate hike announcement from Sony for Playstation Network subscriptions.

For the last year we’ve seen lots of massive layoffs in the tech industry. The social media company and platform formerly known as Twitter has slashed 70% of its workforce. All this happened since changing ownership about a year ago! In my gardening hobby I’ve learned the value of carefully pruning plants to yield better fruits. But there’s a major difference in pruning and the business mantra “cut your way to growth.” Especially when the latter is more of a hatchet job or dismemberment plan.

The sane and empathic response requires our hearts to break. But instead the calculating optimization algorithms driving the economy are in charge of these decisions.

Is Capitalism the Problem? What about Communism?

Let’s start this weighty discussion with some humor from the 1980’s with comedian Yakov Smirnoff:

Smirnoff jokes about “In Soviet Russia…” as one of his trademark standup routines. For example: “In America, your job determines your marks. In Soviet Russia, Marx determine your job!”

Before we segue into the more serious part of this post we want to remind you we are aware of who we are, where we are, and why we are. We acknowledge you are in a different place and anything we discuss has nuance and value for you. You are welcomed to disagree based on your personal beliefs or values. That’s okay. You have worth regardless of whether we agree or disagree. We also recognize that the US is a republican democracy with recent leanings towards authoritarianism. Our economy is a mixed economy that trends towards being more free market capitalist in most instances.

It’s the Stupid Economy

Moving right to the big idea: something’s wrong with our economy. I think that’s a rather uncontroversial empirically observable truth. It may be objectionable to those who are currently wealthy enough to benefit from the status quo. But even those of you in that group must see the writing on the wall. If the economy doesn’t work for most of the people in it, it becomes volatile.

The prices of goods and services are rising. The stock market volatility harms your retirement options. Many people experience wage stagnation. Maybe you cannot afford child care. Or medical expenses leave you in debt. The economy is certainly struggling. In the entrepreneurial spirit, these pain points can also be opportunities. We will acknowledge too that this economy itself is doing well by the current metrics. Notice inflation has largely been under control from its peak in the summer of 2022.

How can it possibly be true that the economy is doing well and inflation is down, but I’m still paying more at the gas pump?

Smirnoff’s jokes are referenced because we are thinking that both capitalism and communism are out dated and poorly serve humanity’s needs today.

Regardless, we remain very hopeful and optimistic about our shared human future. We can make changes and better serve people today while succeeding in business. Does that sound good to you too? Then let’s get started!

Doughnut Economics

Kate Raworth quips in her book Doughnut Economics: “These citizens of 2050 are being taught an economic mindset that is rooted in the textbooks of 1950, which in turn are rooted in the theories of of 1850.”

There’s a lot to this new economic theory, but we’ll summarize and link you to the author herself explaining it in less than 8 minutes.

Doughnut Economics

Doughnut Economics comes from the above diagram that is a literal game changer. It invites us to think about the economy and our relationship to it differently in these ways:

  1. Change the goal – from GDP to the Doughnut (above)
  2. See the big picture – instead of self-contained markets we have embedded markets in a larger whole
  3. Nurture human nature – from rational economic man to social adaptable humans
  4. Get savvy with systems – from mechanical equilibrium to dynamic complexity
  5. Design to distribute from growth will even the playing field to distributive by design
  6. Create to regenerate – from growth will clean it up to regenerative by design
  7. Be agnostic about growth – from growth addicted to growth agnostic

There are no externalities as Herman Daly would say, your model is just not big enough.

Inflation Doughnut Economics and New iPhones

Okay, what does any of this talk of inflation and doughnut economics have to do with iPhones? Surprisingly quite a bit.

Earlier this week Apple announced the latest iPhone models in the 15 series.

iPhone 15 New features

There are a number of cool new features on the latest iPhones. They have better cameras, dynamic island on all new iPhones, and our personal favorite a USB-C charging port.

We’ve been following the news that lead to the USB-C port for a while now from the European Union. Cheers mates! This is welcomed news for everyone! Now there’s no more “hey do you have a charger I can use?” Only to get let down with a response like, “oh, sorry I don’t have an iPhone.”

It also means less tech waste or trash. And while we’re on that note there’s an important thing to say about your old phone, actually several. No matter if you’re getting the shiny new titanium iPhone Pro you’ll still want to hear how you can turn your trash into treasure.

End of Lifecycle Tips

All good things in life must come to an end at some point. So for a smartphone, a wise person will evaluate the full lifecycle of the phone.

Pricing has a lot of catches to look out. Some of us joke about the “Apple tax” because they charge more for their products than competitors. They also tend to provide better long term value.

Here’s my personal example: I have an iPhone Xr I purchased 5 years ago. There’s a slight bit of battery degradation due to normal use. Otherwise it’s in good condition.

It was $800 when I purchased it. So simple math says that $800/5 years = $160 per year.

While it’s hard to do a direct comparison with Android. There’s a lot of options and variables so we’ll compare to Google’s Pixel 3 from 2018. Google does featured support for 3 years, which is also better than other Android device makers.

At the same price of $800/3 years = $267 per year. Expect worse with Android makers that don’t support their devices as well as Google does.

There’s a very similar prospect with Windows PC’s (especially laptops) compared to Apple MacBooks which last much longer on average.

Trade-in Tips

Here’s where your proverbial trash becomes treasure, but there’s a few warnings to be aware.

You’ve likely also seen those cellular company commercials with antiques roadshow themes talking about trading in your old device. This is generally a good idea if you do not plan to use them anymore. If you want to sell them to another person online like on craigslist or ebay, that’s a good option to get more money.

Tech trash is a big problem in our industry. One way we can help make a better 21st century is thinking like a Doughnut Economist. My grandparents grew up during the Great Depression which ingrained the idea wear it out, use it up, or do without. But they also became low-key hoarders due to their lack of having stuff in formative years.

We can combine the good of the Depression Era wisdom with our modern needs and sensibilities for a better perspective. We should first recognize our needs and values better. Then look at the bigger picture to move towards sustainable and ultimately regenerative practices in our economy. So certainly use up your resources if you can’t find some that are regenerative. But while you are doing it ask yourself if you can make them last longer. You might be surprised by your own ingenuity!

Smartphone Trade-in Considerations

What to look for in your trade-in deal:

  • What year/model current phone do you have?
  • Do you plan on using it for anything after you get a new one?
  • Do you think anyone else might want to use it? (Check sites like eBay to see what people are paying for it)
  • What condition is your phone in? Scratches, blemishes and broken parts will decrease the trade-in value. Consider getting a new phone you can hold easily without dropping, maybe invest in a case or screen protector?
  • What cellular service company do you use? Are you happy with them? Many times you’ll need to be in a contract with them for a while to get the deal.
  • Where does the trade-in valuation take place? Many deals offer you the convenience of mailing in your old device after getting a new one. But this means you have to trust them fully to value it accurately. Find a trade-in offer in person that way it should be readily apparent to everyone why your phone got devalued.

My estimate is $350 credit with a 3 years plan. This brings a new iPhone 15’s price down from $800 to $450. Then if you average that over the next 5 years you get $90 per year. That’s looking really affordable. Like most adults I use my smartphone for lots of things from running my business to planning my social life.

Save Money and Improve Your Product Lifecycles

At large companies, there are often people who specialize in parts of the supply chain. But as individuals and small businesses the thought might be new. Give yourself some time to mull it over. You will find lots of great new ways to save money, improve value, and eliminate waste.

Do you have a drawer of old technology you don’t know what to do with?

Does your company have a supply closet overflowing with technology?

Do you use out of date technology that connects online but lacks crucial security updates?

Would you like to get more out of your technology investments?

Safely repurposing, recycling or disposing technology equipment and data is also important to your security posture. Make sure that you are not literally dumping a device with access to your bank account. A hacker could find it and have access to your treasure in bank accounts just by combing through your trash!

Be creative; you’ll find lots of ways to get more out of your technology or reuse it. But if you need help anywhere along the way, we’re happy to advise you. You can surprise us, but you won’t stump us. Contact us to see how we can improve your tech lifecycle!

Security Checkpoint MultiFactor Authentication

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What is MultiFactor Authentication and why use it?

Security Checkpoint Multifactor Authentication: easier to use than to abuse. According to some researchers as many as 73% of businesses don’t enforce Multifactor Authentication. Why use MFA and what is authentication anyways? Watch this video to learn and see why it’s worth investing a little time to add this to your work routine to keep many hackers out before they even get started.

Security Checkpoint MultiFactor Authentication image close up of fingerprints on white background
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Pexels.com

If this helped you out contact us to say thanks! You can also subscribe to our channel on YouTube to get some more tips you can’t afford to miss!

Security Checkpoint – is a new series of web videos where we go through and improve our digital privacy and security one step and one minute at a time. These are all great security and privacy practices. You can follow along as Alan goes through his digital life and cleans up data and access.

Need help with your company’s cyber security? Contact us now to see how we can help!

If this post helped you improve your digital security and privacy please like, subscribe, and click the YouTube bell. You’ll be the first to know when we have more tips on Security Checkpoint for twitter and other digital services.

Social Break Digital Business Cards

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Security Checkpoint: Social Break

Ever run out of business cards right before meeting a really important contact? Still waiting on your company or printer to get your business cards ready? Want to have a business contact card ready to hand out to anyone at anytime? Of course you do!

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This video shows you how to make a digital business card with a QR code that you can download to your smartphone and share with anyone to scan.

So the next time we meet at a social event you can share your business and contact info with me. No more excuses!

What you need to set up your digital business card

  • Your contact info on a webpage. This can be your personal or business website, LinkedIn page, facebook page, instagram, or digital business card.
  • A web browser that can generate the QR Code: We’ve tested Brave Browser (shown in video), Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge. Others may work but we can’t verify that, so if you have a problem try one of those.
  • Be sure to download the QR Code image to your phone so it’s easy to show it off to new people you meet and share your contact info.

If this helped you out while socializing or marketing contact us to say thanks! You can also subscribe to our channel on YouTube to get some more tips you can’t afford to miss!

Be sure that you have the rights and consent to any information you are sharing. If it’s your company you might want to ask your manager or HR to make sure you are sharing public info. If you have your own company or want to promote yourself, make sure the info you are sharing is all available to the public and you’re comfortable sharing it in the first place. A little preparation and respect goes a long way to help everyone’s privacy and security.

Your friendly digital neighbor at Oak City IT

Security Checkpoint – is a new series of web videos where we go through and improve our digital privacy and security one step and one minute at a time. These are all great security and privacy practices. You can follow along as Alan goes through his digital life and cleans up data and access.

Need help with your company’s cyber security? Contact us now to see how we can help!

If this post helped you improve your digital security and privacy please like, subscribe, and click the YouTube bell. You’ll be the first to know when we have more tips on Security Checkpoint for twitter and other digital services.

Security Checkpoint Data Backups UrBackup

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Data Backups with UrBackup on Windows

Security Checkpoint is back with data backups in UrBackup! Data backups are an important part of your digital security plan. Don’t do them yet? That’s exactly why we use built-in tools or free open-source tools to make sure that everyone can set these up. You can’t afford to miss doing these. But like a lot of things, you or your company’s needs may vary so contact us to get setup on a plan that works for all your people and systems!

UrBackup Icon

In this example we show you a Network Attached Storage (NAS) where we sync all our data. If it’s just you and your PC Windows Backup works fine with an external Hard Drive which you can pickup affordably enough. We recommend a drive with capacity at least twice the capacity of your PC. For example if you have a PC with 256GB storage space get a drive with at least 512 GB storage space. Since you can use spinning hard drives that cost less you can certainly buy larger storage and use that.

But don’t take our word for it, check UrBackup’s official documentation.

Security Checkpoint – is a new series of web videos where we go through and improve our digital privacy and security one step and one minute at a time. These are all great security and privacy practices. You can follow along as Alan goes through his digital life and cleans up data and access.

Need help with your company’s cyber security? Contact us now to see how we can help!

If this post helped you improve your digital security and privacy please like, subscribe, and click the YouTube bell. You’ll be the first to know when we have more tips on Security Checkpoint for twitter and other digital services.

Security Checkpoint Data Backups Time Machine

Apple Time Machine Icon

Data Backups with Time Machine on macOS

Security Checkpoint is back with data backups in Time Machine! Data backups are an important part of your digital security plan. Don’t do them yet? That’s exactly why we use built-in tools or free open-source tools to make sure that everyone can set these up. You can’t afford to miss doing these. But like a lot of things, you or your company’s needs may vary so contact us to get setup on a plan that works for all your people and systems!

Apple macOS Time Machine Icon

In this example we show you a Network Attached Storage (NAS) where we sync all our data. If it’s just you and your computer Time Machine works fine with an external Hard Drive which you can pickup affordably enough. We recommend a drive with capacity at least twice the capacity of your Mac. For example if you have a Mac with 256GB storage space get a drive with at least 512 GB storage space. Since you can use spinning hard drives that cost less you can certainly buy larger storage and use that.

But don’t take our word for it, check out Apple’s official guide.

Security Checkpoint – is a new series of web videos where we go through and improve our digital privacy and security one step and one minute at a time. These are all great security and privacy practices. You can follow along as Alan goes through his digital life and cleans up data and access.

Need help with your company’s cyber security? Contact us now to see how we can help!

If this post helped you improve your digital security and privacy please like, subscribe, and click the YouTube bell. You’ll be the first to know when we have more tips on Security Checkpoint for twitter and other digital services.