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An Oasis feature, Technology Today is designed to provide some technology insight - some you know and some will be new.
A resolution for the New Year – acquire tools which bring information and communication to your finger-tips. One
might be inclined to dismiss more technology in their life. Consider for a moment the gains in your ability to
be up-to-date and communicate rapidly rather than the loss of any personal touch which might occur. Your sheer
ability to be more informed and to touch others quicker will further impress those around you.
Whether it be an updated mobile phone or a move from a desktop, laptop to an iPad, Surface or Note – get a device
you can carry with you. Keep it charged and equipped with whatever software (app) that you use. Most mobile devices
come equipped with calendar, texting, email and other productivity tools; further there is an app store with
millions of other applications – some free and others for a fee.
Short story – for years my Aunt would not update her flip phone. Then a chance article she read showed the features
of the new smart phones. Last week the latest LG Android equipped smart phone arrived FedEx. At her figure tips
is email, texting, weather reports, calendar and more, not to mention the latest calling ability – and she is 84!
Fulfilling this resolution will not only give you gains in your productivity, it will show those around you that
when it comes to technology, you are "with it"!
Mobile Adoption Worldwide
This year, the number of mobile devices that are actually in use is expected to surpass
the number of people on earth, with 7.7 billion mobile phones and tablets compared to 7.1 billion people.
Already, there are more than 1.4 billion smartphones in use around the world, which is coming very close to surpassing
the number of PCs at 2 billion. In fact, there is one smartphone for every 4.5 people on the planet, and an additional
1.8 million smartphones are sold every day. That’s five times more than the number of babies born each day!
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Few things will disable a computer system faster than a nasty virus hitting an under-protected system.
Today it is essential that you have installed on your systems good spam and virus protection software – and
ensure that it is updated and running all the time. Also it is recommended that you run a malware scan frequently
to protect against or eliminate possible threats. These treats can come from a variety of sources, chief among them
is; email, software downloads and malicious websites. In many cases you may not even know your system is being
infected. Some software viruses do not destroy or disrupt your system – they simply are there to use your system
when needed – for sending mail or other malicious activities.
Most of us have some form of spam and virus protection already installed. Some of it paid for and others are basic
version downloaded at no charge. If your current approach is working then just insure it is up-to-date and perhaps
perform a Malwarebytes scan occasionally to catch other malware lurking in the recesses of your hard drive.
For those acquiring new systems or searching for a protection solution, beware of the purveyors of protection software
that use the FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) approach to sell you – well known among these are Norton and Best
Buy. While it is important that software authors are paid for their hard work – today there is good protection
software available from reputable firms.
The following Resource section contains a list of links to PC, Mac and mobile security software available to you
for no charge (premium versions with more features are available for an added price).
After 25 years of innovation, still the most trusted antivirus in the world
If you haven’t heard of AVAST, we’re only the most trusted name in antivirus, actively protecting
more than 200 million PCs, Macs and Androids. So many people trust us because we’ve been protecting
devices and data for 25 years, in over 40 languages (more than any other antivirus solution), on
every populated continent in the world.
Free Download for PC
Free Antivirus for Mac. Protect yourself from Mac-specific malware with our
light, fast, award-winning antivirus.
Free Download for MAC
Protects you from malicious attacks and helps locate your lost/stolen device. Helps locate a
lost/stolen device via its cellular network, GPS, and/or Wi-Fi.
Filter Contacts - lets you filter people you don't want to contact you via call or SMS messaging.
Monitor Data Usage - breaks down your data usage so you can avoid overages and save money.
Free Download for Mobile
Use Microsoft Security Essentials to help guard against viruses, spyware, and other malicious
software. It provides real-time protection for your home or small business PCs.
Microsoft Security Essentials is free* and we designed it to be simple to install and easy to use. It
runs quietly and efficiently in the background so you don't have to worry about interruptions or
When using Windows 7 or greater we combine the use of Windows Security Essentials with Avast.
Industry-leading scanner detects and removes malware like worms, Trojans, rootkits, rogues,
spyware, and more. All you have to do is launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free and run a scan.
Free Download for Malwarebytes
Back in the day, the phone company was known to charge a price which limited the amount of time one could talk
to a relative or friend far away. Think of the changes which have occurred - we can now talk with anyone, anywhere
and in many cases as long as we want, as often as we want. Conversation from the US to Israel on a cell phone
sounds like you are next door! Communication is evolving.
With this evolution, it is hard to believe we might think that the art of communication is being compromised, what
with all the new software and devices we hear about every day. One might conclude we are losing the personal
touch, and that people, especially younger people, have simply lost the ability to communicate. I challenge
this - it is simply not true. We in fact communicate much more and with a greater number of people than
ever – we are just doing it differently.
Afifi Shriners uses several forms of communication to stay in touch, including; website, email and Facebook.
And there is another benefit – images and video in real time. It used to be that video conferences were rare
and expensive. Now with the latest smart phones you can visit with a friend or relative on a real time video
call in the palm of your hand. Perhaps you have heard of FaceTime, Google Hangouts or Skype. It is not as
good as speaking face-to-face, but a good substitute when you can’t.
Many today might believe that with all the electronics and devices we are losing the personal touch – not
so, we are just evolving. Whether its email, text messages, iMessage, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp,
Talko, or software and services we have not heard of yet – be assured it is here to stay.
If there were a tip, it would be - embrace the new technology. Just be sure that if someone you know sends
you a message, reply to them promptly. Even if to say, "I received your message and will get back to you
soon" - do it! Changes in technology should not negatively impact communication, nor eliminate the acts
of common courtesy toward our fellow man. You might even score some cross-generational respect along the way!
* Greater than 500 million registered users (Tieba, Weibo and WeChat, while not listed as resources are based
in China and each have over 500 million registered users).
See this link
for a list of top communication software.
An Internet browser is software used to view websites on the Internet – sometimes known as; Chrome, Firefox,
IE or Internet Explorer and Safari.
Everyone has their preference or reason for using a certain browser. However, with website technology
changing rapidly there is one thing all of us should do periodically – check to make sure our Internet
browser is up-to-date. There is no charge for browser updates and using the latest release will help
provide better security, speed and viewing pleasure.
Click to see which browser version I have
The following are links (URL's) for the major browser update websites. Use these links to update your
current browser or download a new and different browser:
Note: Some browser updates may require updates to your operating system.