SMART Blog

Smart Services has been providing independent agents with proactive, fast, and expert technology services since 1991.

Is It Possible to Encrypt the Entire Internet?

b2ap3_thumbnail_encrypt_the_internet_400.jpgMany websites around the world are still suffering from the nasty little bug called Heartbleed that we covered last month. This prompted over 30,000 TLS/SSL certificates to be revoked and reissued, but many of them were reissued with the same keys. If this was going to happen, why revoke and reissue them in the first place? They're still just as vulnerable as before, since Heartbleed could have leaked those same keys weeks ago.

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IT Security Could Cost You Your Job!

b2ap3_thumbnail_lock_it_down_400.jpgIn December 2013, retail superpower Target was the target (hehe) of a massive data breach that could have affected as many as 110 million customers. On Monday, May 5, 2014, the CEO of Target, Gregg Steinhafel, announced that he would be stepping down, no doubt a result of the chaos that engulfed his company in the aftermath of this data breach. Target's CFO, John Mulligan, has stepped in as interim CEO until the position is filled once again.

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Make Your Chromebook Shine With These Two Easy Tips

b2ap3_thumbnail_chromebook_tips_400.jpgMobile devices are designed for different purposes than the big, bulky desktops are. The Chrome operating system of the Google Chromebook is a perfect example of this - it looks like nothing but a browser with a keyboard. Sure, it can't do everything a real computer can do, but it sure can do a lot more than some people give it credit for.

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Save Money and Go Green with These Printing Tips!

b2ap3_thumbnail_change_it_400.jpgHow much paper and ink does your company use every week? Every month? Every year? More importantly, how much does this wind up costing your company in the long run? According to a study by 14 year-old science fair wiz Suvir Mirchandani, it was discovered that his Pittsburgh-area school district could reduce ink consumption by 24 percent and save an average of $21,000 a year by simply switching fonts. That's half of what the average American's annual salary is!

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Internet Explorer 8 Zero-Day Vulnerability Found, but Not Patched

b2ap3_thumbnail_vulnerability_microsoft_400.jpgWith the world still on edge about the recent vulnerability found in most versions of Internet Explorer, another one has been discovered, this time in Internet Explorer 8. This bug allows a hacker to execute malicious code when a user opens an infected email or webpage.

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The Most Expensive Paper You’ll Ever Buy… or Not

b2ap3_thumbnail_digital_paper_400.jpgIt's no surprise that technology is taking over our lives. It's everywhere; from the workplace to every inch of our homes, new technology exists where it wouldn't have twenty years ago. Bluetooth-connected kitchen appliances allow their owners to turn them on and off from a distance. Cars can connect to the Internet. Google has produced glasses that allow you to browse the Internet. There are tons of innovative, new inventions that have had a huge impact on the way small business owners manage their workplaces, but nothing can compare to the significance of being able to receive text files from anywhere in the world via email and fax.

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Don’t Be Taken by the Cloud Computing Trend!

b2ap3_thumbnail_cloud_mind_400.jpgIt's the nature of trends for people to want to capitalize on them, which means that many sellers of what's trendy may have little experience working with the trends that they're selling. As a business looking to take advantage of the latest technology trends, it's important that you're not bamboozled by a smooth talking technology marketer with no depth.

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Fake App “Virus Shield” Dupes 10,000+ Users!

b2ap3_thumbnail_app_security_400.jpgThere's nothing quite like the feeling of getting scammed, and the scammers of today love using technology to rip you off and leave you with that sinking scammy feeling. The best way to avoid scams is to be proactive and know what to look for. New to your list of scams to be on the look out for are fake apps.

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3 Internet Dangers That Can Harm Your Kids and What You Can Do About Them!

b2ap3_thumbnail_protect_your_kids_400.jpgThe Internet is a powerful tool. Another powerful tool is the circular saw. You wouldn't give your kid a circular saw and let them use it without any supervision. In the same way, you shouldn't let your kid use the Internet unsupervised and without any training.

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3 Ways Cloud Computing is Changing IT for the Better

b2ap3_thumbnail_cloud_hand_400.jpgCloud computing is making everything easier. Companies that operated IT infrastructures of their own before the cloud know firsthand how much easier it is thanks to the cloud. A brief comparison of doing business before and after the cloud will show just how much cloud computing is changing things.

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4,238,983 Records Compromised So Far in 2014… and Counting

b2ap3_thumbnail_tally_it_400.jpg2014 has been a year of technological advancement, but with any kind of advances such as these, there will always be those who want to steal the work of others. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center and , as of March this year, there have been 204 instances of data breaches this year alone. These affected companies are perfect examples of why web protection is important. SMART Services can provide you with this protection and peace of mind. Here are a few of the more unbelievable breaches, most of which could have been easily avoided.

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Urgent: Protect Yourself Against Heartbleed

b2ap3_thumbnail_bleeding_heart_three_400.jpgApril 7th 2014 was a big day for the world, not only because Microsoft ended security support for Windows XP, but because a massive security flaw was found in the OpenSSL cryptographic library. This problem, called the Heartbleed bug, was found by Google Security, and it leaks information from any applications and services utilizing OpenSSL. The problem, however, is not that it was found; the problem is that over two-thirds of the entire Internet contains sites that utilize the OpenSSL/TLS protocol specification. It also doesn't help that this bug has been active since December of 2012.

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You Might Be a Technology Redneck If…

b2ap3_thumbnail_technology_redneck_400.jpgNot too many years ago comedian Jeff Foxworthy became a star with his trademark "You Might Be a Redneck If..." jokes. Rednecks are an interesting breed that do things backwards because they stubbornly believe that it's the best way, and like all of us, rednecks use technology. Are you a technology redneck? Check out our redneck technology list to find out.

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Smartphones and Human Productivity Part 1/2: Networking

b2ap3_thumbnail_social_networking_smartphone_400.jpgWhat kind of phone do you have? Or rather, what kind of person does your phone have? With people relying on constant connectivity and constant communication, do devices have an interface for constant productivity, or is it just a constant distraction? Do all these outstanding new gadgets have the kind of value business professionals claim they do?

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Efficiency is Important for Your Business

b2ap3_thumbnail_business_of_efficiency_400.jpgWhen your business runs efficiently, you will see the positive side effects start relatively quickly. While this seems pretty reasonable to most everyone, there are many business owners that don't know how to best produce the kind of efficiency that will take their business to the next level.

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Can New Leadership at Microsoft Change the Tech World

b2ap3_thumbnail_Satya_Nadella_CEO_400.jpgThe CEO baton at Microsoft has been passed from Steve Ballmer to Satya Nadella, making Nadella the third CEO in Microsoft's well-publicized history. You may not think that this will have an impact on your business, but considering how intertwined Microsoft is with the the global economy, you may be surprised to learn that this move will affect your company.

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Tips to Search the Web like a Pro, Part 2

b2ap3_thumbnail_mastery400.jpgLast week, we shared four tips to help you search the web and find anything that you're looking for. In part 2, we will take a look at additional search tools that will help you refine your searches so you can become a search master!

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Your Guide to High-Tech Holiday Goodies

b2ap3_thumbnail_techgift400.jpgIt's time once again for holiday shopping, and you've got a plethora of technology choices before you. With so many options, it's easy to get confused and grab the first thing you come across. To help you avoid the stress of shopping for technology this holiday season, we've prepared for you this guide so you can be sure that you're purchasing the best item for people on your list.

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Warning: CryptoLocker Virus will Delete Your Data!

b2ap3_thumbnail_crilock400.jpgThe CryptoLocker virus is a new ransomware that began attacking computers via the Internet last September and has now grown to become one of the world's fastest spreading and most dangerous malwares. If your business isn't prepared for CryptoLocker, then your company's data is at serious risk.

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Tips to Search the Web like a Pro, Part 1

b2ap3_thumbnail_goog400.jpgThe Internet is a place of wonderment where you can find almost anything you can imagine, but you have to know how to find it. How good are you at online searches? Anybody can type a query into Google, Bing, or Yahoo, but a simple search like this may not yield the best results.

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