How to Protect Your Data in the Cloud: Checklist for SMEs

Protecting our data in the cloud requires strategy. As cloud adoption rapidly increases among SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and professionals, we find our business’ core operations effective, efficient and agile, improving our customer service.

We can’t deny that the cloud services offered to us have enhanced our infrastructure. Whilst we are provided with enumerable ways to maximise the resources, particularly for anyone who wishes to venture a new business can scale and reduce their overhead and maintenance costs.

However, as we enjoy the seamless collaboration and business agility, we must also be aware of the security, privacy statements and compliance requirements. Whether we use the cloud for online storage, web hosting or app development, our knowledge (and applying the checklist) to secure our data, will save us from data theft, breaches, and even downtime.

Identification and Authentication – It’s highly recommended to use a formidable authentication method when accessing accounts such as the two-factor authentication from the cloud service. Always remind everyone to use strong passwords for different accounts. Tight security such as using your fingerprint or a digital certificate to prove the person’s right to access any information will also help to secure data. Staff should regularly change their passwords when accessing cloud services and immediately delete users’ accounts after contractual projects are completed.

Cloud Administration – Appoint a competent and technically skilled administrator to oversee the cloud, who understands the basic features. Create policies on accessing accounts when they use it. For the whole department, you may conduct security awareness training to help them establish a good routine in handling data and passwords.

Data Protection – List down the data you want to store in the cloud and assess them regularly especially if these records should be kept there for long-term. You can also make Hong Kong’s Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (PDPO) as your reference and avoid sharing data to unintended parties. If you need to give permission to a staff to access your personal data then make sure you regularly check if they still need access. If not, immediately change the user’s accessibility usage.

Service Continuity – Keep a direct and regular communication with your cloud vendor, so you can contact them in case of security issues. You may develop a contingency plan or a business continuity plan as an alternative if by chance your data will be inaccessible. You should always have an exit strategy for termination procedures if you wish to discontinue the cloud services subscription. Most people, who have become cloud dependent, should still always backup your data in the cloud and within their local network.

Terms of Service, Security and Privacy Policy – While it can be daunting to read the overwhelming pages of TOS and privacy policies of service providers, it is important that you know how your data is stored, transferred, and protected. Find out how the cloud vendor responds to incident reports and their SLAs for data protection. There might be some changes in the terms of service and privacy over time, so make sure you are updated with any new information.

Mac Productivity: Apps That Can Make A Difference In 2014

The use of Apple’s Mac computer has seen a significant growth in the past few years, and if the investment note on Apple from Needham analyst Charles Wolf is to be believed, Mac shipments have surpassed the PC market for the last 5 years.

And it’s not just the hardware part enjoying the increase in demand; a recently published report reveals that Mac App Store and iOS App Stores combined accounted for $10 billion sales in 2013, placing themselves above casino big guns Caser and MGM and the credit company Discover.

Apple also labelled Mac App Store as the fastest growing PC software store three years ago.

Today, there is a plethora of applications in each Mac App Store category, but if you’re specifically looking for options that convert previously daunting tasks into a breeze and make a difference in your productivity, here’s a complied list of apps that will fit into your workflow:

1. Gesture-based apps

Apps that automate certain tasks through the use of gestures can be utilized several times in a day. These applications are pretty useful when you want to take a quick screenshot, execute shortcuts in different windows, move the folders to a second monitor, play and close certain apps and a lot more.

BetterTouchTool, JiTouch and MagicPrefs are some examples of such Mac software. Most of them extend the capability of the Mac’s Magic Trackpad, Magic Mouse and Multi-Touch MacBook Trackpad, enabling Mac consumers to use finger(s) swipe, finger(s) tap and finger(s) click for performing several actions.

2. Text-expander apps

Text-expander apps allow you to create short abbreviations of the content you regularly type, and the software does the expansion itself. For example, if you receive a lot of emails during holidays, you could configure ‘whr’ with the expander, which can be turned into: Thank you for the request. We will be back after a week and will respond as soon as possible. This means you can execute and complete several commands with a few keystrokes.

Examples of Text-expander software tools include Typinator and Presto. Both these apps will make you appreciate how time saving text-expanding apps can be, and the former one also come with handy options to define cursor placement and store the library of your saved abbreviations in the cloud.

3. Remote software apps

Remote control software for Mac can be a blessing in disguise when you’re not in front of the system but want software to access certain files and folders. Some of the offerings even let you drag and drop files between two desktops as well as stream media over a smartphone or a tablet.

SimpleHelp, LogMeIn and GoToMyPc are a few of the handy Mac remote tools with screen sharing functionality. These options also work great for Mac users behind the firewall shield, as they work around the firewall to establish a connection to a remote computer. However, security is not an issue as the software is backed by advanced encryption codes.

4. Focus-based apps

There are instances when you can get distracted from work… This isn’t a problem for a few minutes (you do need a break), but it can lead to a loss in productivity if it happens for long periods.

Self-Control and TrackTime are two such useful applications, blocking out distracting websites for a certain amount of time, allowing you to be productive when it matters most.

What are your favourite Mac tools to stay productive? Feel free to leave comments.

Technology Used for Businesses in Natural Disaster Zones

As so often happens, for businesses located in natural disaster zones, its technology to the rescue—before, during, and after disaster strikes. As the game is usually won before it begins, and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, the technology a business applies in advance is by far the most valuable. Many solutions can be met through metro Ethernet in these areas. Continue reading “Technology Used for Businesses in Natural Disaster Zones”

Way to Download YouTube Songs Using FLVTo Downloader


Sometimes it so happens that you are in love with a video song that you wish was not available on your device. You don’t want to log on to YouTube or any other video song library, search for the song and finally play it every time you want to hear it. So, you wish there were a Downloader that would help you at such times.

FLVTo perfectly suits your need. It is just the tool that you would need to download the YouTube songs and play it on your device. The question is how can you download a song using the FLVTo player? Well, here’s your guideline to download your favorite video using the FLVTo downloader.

  • Whatever kind of music you are looking for, youtube is the perfect place to begin and end the search. You will find all kinds of music available on this platform
  • Now let’s see you have finally found the video you love. Remember, YouTube has a lot of versions of a particular song. Try and find the one that is authentic and pretty much looks like the one you were looking for.
  • Once your search for the song ends, you can begin the process of downloading it using any of the convertors or downloaders.
  • It works a little different for FLVTo. So lets get started about how it happens with this one
  • Once you have the song, the authentic one, that you are planning to download, click on the share tab that is seen below
  • On clicking the share button, you would get a link, the YouTube link. Now, you need to copy this link. This is the link to the video you have just been watching
  • A brief introduction on FLVT0! It is a YouTube to mp3 convertor that will help you get a song file that can be played across devices. After all MP3 is a format recognized by almost all devices
  • So, you need to go to to get your YouTube file converted to mp3 format
  • In the download tab, paste the YouTube link you just copied. You will see a convert to MP3 tab just below the place where you pasted the download link. Click on it to begin the conversion
  • After a single note is downloaded, the tab will show up again. You will need to press it for another note to get downloaded. A note would come up asking if you want to run the file or save it
  • Click on save for the download to finally begin. It will get saved on the default path that you have mentioned. Make sure to change the path in case you want it saved in a different place
  • Now you can copy that file to your iPod, iPhone or any player and get started
  • Nothing can keep you away from your favorite music
  • You can even download flvto converter to save time on online downloads, that is if you wish to


Hi-Tech Gadgets Boost Productivity And Change Lives


Hi-tech gadgets have a strong impact on our lives. With innovation and creativity new devices are being created which are transforming our lives by making our tasks simple and easy. Smartphones have revolutionized the way we communicate. With the advent of smartphones, it has become easier to stay in touch with our loved ones. We can broaden our network and develop important contacts through social media. With new tech gadgets, it has become easy to find solutions to our problems and work efficiently. The list of most useful gadgets includes laptops, gaming devices, GPS systems for cars and tablets.

Planning a purchase

You can gift gadgets to your loved ones on special occasions. These days the gadgets come in new fashion trends and are extremely sleek. The youth considers it a fashion statement and loves to flaunt the new gadgets which they own. Before you buy a gadget:

  • You should spend money on a device that you will use the most.
  • You can avoid the add ons which are very profitable for the sales person.
  • Searching for coupon codes can help you to save a lot of money.
  • Remain updated about the release dates and plan your purchases accordingly.

Points to note

As you plan the purchase you need to lay emphasis on:

  • Making an eco-friendly choice.
  • Energy efficient gadget can be the perfect choice.
  • Ensure about the warranty and expected lifetime of the gadget.
  • Sell kindle fire to acquire a new generation device.
  • You can surf the internet to obtain competitive prices of various user-friendly gadgets.
  • Select a top rated and durable device.
  • Take your budget into account and focus on the need.
  • Opt for gadgets that are safe to use.

Introduction of iPhones

The biggest change which an iPhone has brought about is that it has made internet accessible from all locations. We can access emails from all locations and the apps have transformed our lives to a great extent. With the iPhone, we can take pictures, download music from the internet and play engaging games. The touch screen of the phone is highly responsive. With few swipes of the finger, you will be able to navigate the phone easily. With the device, you can easily check the weather, e-mails and stocks. The billions of apps that have been introduced can be easily downloaded. You can post pictures on social media easily and interact with your near and dear ones.

Utilities of tech gadgets

Tech gadgets have been devised which can make your travel easier. Certain tech gadgets can help you to remain healthy while you travel. Few gadgets are very useful for students. Web cams are very useful for personal interviews. Portable chargers are the right device which you will need if you are travelling. A blue tooth handset can help you to pace during an interview and helps you to remain connected while keeping your hands free. The notebook is ideal for jotting down new ideas and maintaining the minutes of a meeting. A printer can prove very handy. Sell kindle fire and remain honest with the buyer.

As gadgets are an important part of our life, it is important to cover them. The insurances cover the devices against theft, damage or loss. In most cases, a discount is offered if more than one gadget is covered. Gadget insurance is a cost-effective choice of protecting gizmos for losses during travel. Before you buy a gadget it is important that you conduct a thorough research. You can seek the advice of a knowledgeable person. Make sure that you look beyond the outer appearance of a device and assess its durability.

Author Bio: Steve has a smartphone which is highly functional. He has planned to sell kindle fire and replace the previous phone with a new one.

The University of Tomorrow Will Not Look Like it Does Today

It’s hard to believe that using a physical textbook in a lecture hall will soon be a thing of the past for individuals pursuing higher education. 

Meeting an instructor in person and jotting down notes in a traditional notebook are no longer the only, or ideal, approach for students enrolled in universities. Furthermore, as
eTextbooks and other enhanced instruments become prevalent, all of the mentioned scenarios may soon be considered obsolete as technology continues to be the primary vehicle of change in the world of higher learning.

The Future of the American University
Change is inevitable and necessary. This couldn’t apply more to universities in the country. As the economy recovers from disastrous conditions and studies reveal the nation’s overall inability to compete internationally more emphasis is placed on making things easier and accessible from every angle, an increasing number of developments that revolutionize higher education are becoming more evident.

More schools are offering online courses to fit the needs of working high school graduates, single parents, and retirees. Multimedia materials are being incorporated into classrooms to enrich students’ learning experience. Moreover, officials in higher education are working together to revamp the majority of curriculum content in universities in order to keep students up to date on current information in their chosen field of study, as well as expand their thought processes.

Those who aren’t able to adapt with these transformations will surely get left behind. Staying current on the trends affecting universities is crucial, especially if you, or someone you know, plan on pursuing higher education.

Technological Advancements in Higher Education
• In the age of iPads, laptops, and Smartphones, it’s proven that no other generation of young adults have been so fully immersed in a digitally rich environment as the current one.

According to the US Department of Education (USDE), one of the main goals of using technology in school is to close the gap between the tech-savvy experiences that exist outside of the classroom for many students and the conventional, sometimes hum-drum, sphere of education, that they’re familiar with, and thus, eventually close the achievement gap.

Utilizing more technological innovations in college is particularly beneficial to those pursuing professions that heavily rely on tech growth to transform their industries. Examples of these areas of study include, but aren’t limited to, business, engineering, statistics, economics, and medicine.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) states that teachers reported having several vehicles of technology in their classrooms, including computers, interactive whiteboards, digital cameras, and LCD or DLP projectors.

According to The Economist, recent studies revealed that 52% of respondents said that online collaborative tools would make the largest positive impact on higher education while 48% believed the growing delivery software applications and content would offer the best results to students.

Why eTextbooks?
Imagine being able to quickly search your laptop or phone for information that’s relevant to your class assignment, not to mention having more room to spare in your backpack. Experimentation with technology has provided relief among many university students with the introduction of eTextbooks. These features are the digital version of print textbooks that can be downloaded.


What could be easier than turning on your laptop in order to complete your daily reading assignments for one of your most challenging courses? University students no longer have to worry about wasting their time trying to sift through printed pages of information or finding rare textbooks in hit-or-miss bookstores. eTextbooks can easily by downloaded from several websites that specialize in these applications.


Many print textbooks cost more money than students are willing to pay. With eTextbooks, you can often get the same material for half the price of what a traditional book would cost. Some digital textbooks can even be accessed free of charge.

Additional Features

Some eTextbooks also offer enhancements that aren’t evident in paper textbooks. Features often include digital note-taking and color-coded highlighting which can improve students’ overall efficiency.

The future of universities looks bright, especially with technological advancements like eTextbooks on the rise. Take advantage of these kinds of blossoming inventions and find out how they can make your commitment to higher education more successful.

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Competition Promotes Better Services

The telecommunications industry is a competitive sector. There are always special offers and introductory promotions aimed at getting subscribers to switch to another service. The approach that companies have used to increase business has often drawn criticism. Some have even used practices that actually leave consumers unsettled by the whole concept of a telephone when it should be such a beneficial link to family and friends.



TalkTalk has announced the withdrawal of charges for the services it provides to combat unwanted phone calls. It is perhaps in recognition of the bad publicity it has been receiving since it was fined heavily for using that tactic itself to increase its business. The fine dates back to a strategy it used in 2011 when it is said to have been responsible for 9,000 such calls, a figure well in excess of what regulatory body Ofcom would sanction.

The calls came from two call centres that used an automatic dialling system which meant at times there was no one on the other end when the recipient answered the ‘call’; the result was often a pre recorded message if the centre was not fully staffed.

TalkTalk’s response was to sack two marketing companies directly responsible for the tactic but that does not necessarily mean that the consumer is happy with the company’s activities. The Citizens Advice Bureau felt that individuals should be compensated as well as the Treasury coffers being boosted substantially.

Bad publicity

The media has been looking at the whole subject of unwanted calls with the Telegraph recently reporting that TalkTalk was removing all service charges. There are different things that can help; caller ID is exactly that. You will know who is calling unless the caller blocks that information. Of the different methods that telecom companies can use to stop the nuisance TalkTalk uses two; selected number blocking and the barring of calls where the caller’s number is not identifiable.

There have been calls for action in general from regulatory bodies, consumers, charities and legislators in response to the huge number of telephone subscribers who believe these calls are more than an irritation. There are people who are extremely reluctant even to answer a call, if they do not know who is calling.

Effective blocking

A good nuisance phone call blocker is the answer to those unsolicited callers who are often ringing on behalf of companies trying to sell you something. A consumer can always block an individual number, whichever company he or she uses for a line, but that is a very slow way to remove the problem.

The quickest way to remove a large number of callers from causing a nuisance is for each unwanted call being blocked right across the board. In that way everyone is contributing to the build up of a database of numbers that cannot get through to anyone within the system.

Image attributed to Stuart Miles