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Google Apps for Work

What is Google Apps?

Google Apps is a cloud-based productivity suite that helps teams communicate, collaborate and get things done from anywhere and on any device. It’s simple to set up, use and manage, so your business can focus on what really matters.

Millions of organizations around the world count on Google Apps for professional email, file storage, video meetings, online calendars, document editing and more.

Here are some highlights:

Business email for your domain

Looking professional matters, and that means communicating as you@yourcompany.com. Gmail’s simple, powerful features help you build your brand while getting more done.

Access from any location or device

Check email, share files, edit documents, hold video meetings and more whether you’re at work, at home or in transit. You can pick up where you left off from a computer, tablet or phone.

Enterprise-level management tools

Robust admin settings give you total command over users, devices, security and more. Your data always belongs to you, and it goes with you if you switch solutions.

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Heartbleed: Misinformation spewith!

The Heartbleed “virus”, “malware”, “whatever gets made up” has been the topic of a lot of misinformation from both local media and techie alike.  Security expert Steve Gibson takes a few minutes to explain what it is and what it is not:

The lesson is, create strong passwords and change them periodically.  One of the best ways is by using a secure password manager like LastPass to manage all your passwords in a secure way that is easy to use and understand.

Blackberry Balance: The Answer for BYOD?

The scene is familiar… Employees want to use their the own device for work and IT managers want to ensure that corporate data is secure.

It looks like Blackberry 10 has introduced a solution that should make everyone happy: Blackberry Balance.  Balance allows for the creation of a separate Work partition that can coexist with your personal life without the risk of data co mingling with each other.  You control the personal side of your device while IT can secure and control the work side.  Such a balanced solution should make many happy.

Check it out for yourself:

Backing up your Android’s mail: An important chore

Editor’s Note:  I originally wrote this for DroidDog in 2010.

Admit it.  You are guilty.  Personal and professional emails that you send and receive from associates, friends, and family buzz between your Android device and the Google servers with ease, and you rarely, if ever, think about what would happen, if someday, that relation ship were to fail.

All that data is stored in “the cloud” on Google servers in what some consider the most state-of-the-art, redundant and reliable network of data centers located all over the globe.  Your personal data is syncing with out a hitch.  After all, if you can’t rely on what is arguably the largest, most talent richof cloud providers in the world, who can you rely on?

A quick Google search — yes, I understand the irony — reveals that there are plenty of people, who, like you and many other Android users, thought that their data was safe with Google – only to find that their sense of security was false.  With just a little planning, research and sweat, you can avoid a similar fate and further protect your data.  In order to minimize the chance of data loss, I have my Google-based email synced and backed up on two redundant off-site locations (other than Google’s own network).  Firmly place your tin foil hat on your head and take a short journey with me…

I own a small hosting and web design/consulting business and rent server resources from a data center.  On that server, I have installed getmail along with a few custom configuration files based on those described by Googler Matt Cutts‘ blog posting. The files tell getmail where to pull my email from; in this case, from the Gmail servers, using a secure IMAP connection.  Each config file also tells getmail which folders to retrieve from (eg. “Inbox”,“[Google Mail]/All Mail”, “[Google Mail]/Sent Mail”, etc.);, to only get “unseen” messages; and in which format to store the messages, if not Maildir, then the native Gmail format, Mbox. Getmail runs every hour from a cron job and stores all new messages in the format of my choice: Maildir on my server.  The mail is then encrypted and backed up nightly with all my other data on an off-site server using Duplicity.

I know, I know… not everyone has a shiny tin foil hat like mine that reads “Caution: Geek Below!”  That does not excuse you from protecting your data.  There are many more less intense, more GUI based options to protect yourself.  Here are just a few:

While not an exhaustive list of options, these give you a taste of the many ways that you can help keep your Android phone and the tightly integrated Google services that you rely on working together with the peace of mind that should the impossible happen (think Titanic) you have enough life boats to carry your email data to shore.

So, what is your excuse for not backing up now?

Via DroidDog

Google Green?

Google is many things… an advertising company, an ISP, email provider, a cloud pioneer and even a mobile phone maker (almost), but one thing it is not is an energy waster.  To prove that, they recently unveiled Google Green – The Big Picture, a website that highlights the many ways that Google uses its brain power to reduce its power consumption and environmental impact on our planet.  Through the use of non convectional data center and physical plant design and operations Google has reduced the carbon footprint that you, as a customer, use to nearly zero with a final push with its carbon off set program reaching zero.

              

Many of our customers are looking for ways to reduce expenses while increasing their productivity.   Now more than ever may be the time to start looking at Google cloud products.  Not only can you reduce your own costs of doing business you can save the environment at the same time.  We offer full Google product set up and integration services that can help you reach that goal.  If you want an estimate on how we can help you reach the cloud, submit a ticket today!

In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives

Few outsiders get an opportunity to pierce the guarded armor of Google known as simply “The Plex” to most.  However, Steven Levy is one of the few non-Googlers who has been granted what seems to be unprecedented access to The Plex and many of those who call it home, including the two that started it all:  Co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

From dorm room to global data centers, In The Plex, gives readers a glimpse into where one of the youngest, yet prolific and profitable companies around came from and where it may be going.   Levy, known as a tech journalist and Wired Senior Writer, uses his unique non-tech prose to take geeks, want-to-be geeks and the generally curious on journey through the early days of two college students who set out to index and present the world’s information to the young billionaires who run the company that seems to know more about you than you do.

In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives

In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives

So, for anyone (from the geek to non geek) who has ever had a dream, an idea or just a hint of what they wanted to do but were regularly told that they could’t, I suggest you take a look at In The Plex.

You will be glad you did…I am.

 

Google Releases Latest Transparency Report

Google, often known for it secrecy and “big brother” like tendencies, rather than it openness,  has released its latest Transparency Report.  According to that report, Google has removed 1,110 items from Google Groups by Court Order and received 4,601 requests for user data and fully or partially complied with 94% of those requests.

 

Read the Entire Report.

Android Trojan: GGTracker

Lookout Mobile Security is reporting a new Android based Trojan that purports to be the Android Market tricking users into downloading malware that will create SMS messages at a premium charge.

 

Image Courtesy Lookout Mobile Security

Image Courtesy Lookout Mobile Security

 

To learn more about this new malware and avoid being dupped yourslf, read more at Lookout’s post.

 

Via:  Lookout Mobile Security

Better DNS Servers (Part 2)

Image of a Computer VirusSome may remember my post in February of 2010, “Better DNS Servers for faster browsing” in which I briefly described what DNS is and how it may impact your surfing speed.  While I still recommend OpenDNS (See my posts:  OpenDNS: Better, Faster, Safer? and OpenDNS Protects Surfers from DNS Flaw) for many of my customers who are looking for a good method to keep the internet somewhat “family safe” with some malware filtering, I recently went on a quest to help those customers who needed a more robust malware filtering solution.

Several DNS solutions have cropped up since the OpenDNS opened its doors in July of 2006 with the mission of making the internet a safer place for families and business while increasing the reliability and speed at which that internet is delivered.

Some of the more popular newcomers to the DNS space include: Google Public DNSNorton DNS,  DynDNS.com Internet GuideDNS AdvantageComodo Secure DNS and ClearCloud DNS (currently in beta).  Each offers a varying level of user defined filtering and features (none of which are yet at the level of OpenDNS’).

After testing the feature set, speed and privacy policies of each, I am now recommending DynDNS.com Internet Guide to my customers who are looking for a higher level of security filtering with a good mixture of granularity and category control.  Internet Guide is powered by DynDNS.com world class DNS services and Barracuda Networksweb filtering appliance and BarracudaCentral.org security portal.  This combination has proven to provide the level of security that my customers want at an inexpensive price (FREE for basic).

Internet Guide offers:

  • Advanced Phishing and Malware filtering
  • Typo Correction
  • Fast and Reliable Resolution
  • Dynamic DNS Service (DDNS)

So, if you are in the market to add another layer of security to your home or small business network then DynDNS.com Internet Guide may fit the bill.  If you need more information or consultation on setting this up  for you, your family or business, we are always just a sales ticket away!

Backupify Offering a Free Year

Backupify is offering one year free for the Pro 100 plan for those who simply ask (using pro code savegmail)!

The cloud based backup solution uses Amazon Web Services’ S3 service to backup you Google account Email, Docs, Calendar and other Googlified data. So, why the generosity? According to their blog post, it seems to be in direct response to this weekend’s Google Account reset for an estimated 150,000 accounts.

Hurry, this free year ends March 1st. So grab yours now!

Update: Google’s voice on the weekend’s issue: http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/gmail-back-soon-for-everyone.html