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August 10th, 2016

2016August10_Virtualization_CAlthough merely mentioning the word ‘virtualization’ has the power to make people’s eyes glaze over, its value and relevance can’t be denied. Since VMware first launched their workstation client in 1999, the industry has seen steady expansion and engulfed a number of legacy network solutions. Network virtualization isn’t entirely new, but Verizon and AT&T’s commitment to offering these services means they’re suddenly far more accessible for SMBs. We’re here to explain what that means.

The overarching theme of virtualization is combining hardware and software resources into one large, communal pool where individual servers and workstations can pull as much as they need, rather than allocating them inefficient individual puddles that either go dry, or unused. In a workstation model, this is realized in the form of minimally equipped endpoints that access much more powerful software and hardware resource pools via web browser.

When it comes to network virtualization, it’s quite similar to virtual private networks, or VPNs. Developments in cloud and software functionalities allow administrators to eliminate time-consuming and micromanaged VPNs while achieving the same swift and secure connections between servers, workstations, and other network-enabled devices residing in physically separate networks. VPNs are like pumps between each of your network ‘puddles,’ individual pieces that require individual maintenance. Network virtualization is like installing one pump with on/off switches on each outbound pipe.

This means that setting up a VPN for the addition of a satellite office is as simple as inputting a few simple pieces of information to gain a world of seemingly local network possibilities. In another example, rather than recabling your office when one department becomes too cumbersome to fit on one switch or hub, connections and protocols can be expanded and redefined by a software client.

With the increasing popularity of any service with the word ‘virtualized’ in it, telecom carriers Verizon and AT&T have begun offering this service to clients. Whether it's because your business has a growing list of locations, or because your local network needs the flexibility to grow swiftly without waiting for costly hardware and software expansions, these services have you covered.

Both Verizon and AT&T will offer three ways to manage your virtualized network: locally, from the cloud, or a hybrid combination of the two. Once you’ve decided on a framework and deployment strategy, make sure to take time with the transition. Established networks are complex and messy ordeals, and it’s better to start migrating those puddles over time rather than all at once. Instead, move them one-by-one so any problems that arise can also be dealt with one-by-one.

Although consumer-level companies like AT&T and Verizon are offering this service, not just anyone can hop on and start getting the most out of a virtualized network. It takes expert configuration, deployment, and most importantly maintenance. With 24/7 coverage of your network, we eat, sleep, and breathe cutting-edge technology. Call us today and we’ll bring your SMB into the age of virtualization.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

August 9th, 2016

2016August9_AndroidTablet_C"Insufficient storage available", we all dread to see this message popping up right before taking a picture or installing a new app. Limited storage on Android device is frustrating to say the least. But it doesn’t have to be if you know how to manage storage space wisely. Here are some tips on how to free up space on your device ensuring the message doesn’t rear its ugly head.

1.Buy a microSD card

The easiest fix is to buy a microSD card, if your device is compatible that is. Do keep in mind that you cannot use the extra storage for apps or system files but only for music, videos, photos, and other media files.

2.Erase apps you don’t really use

Downloading apps are like snowballs, because before you know it there are too many of them and your device just freezes over. If that’s the case, simply delete the ones you don’t need. Deleting an app doesn’t mean it’s gone forever, you can always download it again. Normally, gaming apps take up a huge chunk of storage space. You can go to Settings > Storage and tap Apps to see how much space each app uses so that you can decide which apps to get rid of, for now.

3.Clear app cache

Apps that remain on your device will still have loads of cached files, so it might be a good time to do some spring cleaning. Don’t worry since clearing app cache will not delete important files on your device. Go to Settings > Apps then go through each app to clear its cache. Or if you want to erase all the cache in bulk, you need to go to Android’s recovery mode and choose to wipe the app cache. Since each Android device is different, you’d better google to see how to enter the recovery mode for your model.

4.Make use of the cloud

Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, iCloud and more. You name it. These are services that allow you to send your media and document files to the cloud and free up space on your device. Google Photos gives you unlimited storage for both photos and videos. The only limitation is that the size of the photos must be smaller than 16 megapixels and less than 1080p for videos. It also has an option that allows you to delete files that have been sent to the cloud. In order to do so, open Google Photos app and go to Menu > Setting, then hit Free up device storage and all the backed-up files will disappear from your device.

But for privacy’s sake, note that by using these services, you’ve granted the cloud service providers access to your files. Make sure you know which photos or videos you should sent to the cloud, since the cloud is essentially other people’s (or in this case, your cloud service provider's) computers. It’s best that you keep naughty photos to yourself.

5.Stop storing and start streaming

Unless you are heading somewhere with no internet connection, there’s no need to store all your music files on your device. Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music, Napster, Tidal are some examples of music streaming services you can use, at a certain price of course. So if you’re a fan of freebies, Plex might be another viable option. Plex is a media server software that runs media content from a personal library and streams them on your device.

6.Add external storage

This option might be a little bit bulky and might require prettiness to give way to functionality. External storage comes in two forms: a plug-in drive similar to USB flash drive, and a wireless media hub. The first one enables you to download files from your device to your PC so you can have some more space left on the device. Or you can just stick the plug-in drive to your device and play files from it directly. Wireless media hubs like Western Digital MyPassport Wireless or Ravpower Filehub can be used to backup your files and let you access them wirelessly. Noted that you cannot play DRM-protected music or videos with this external storage--only your own media files.

Dealing with limited storage is just one of the numerous issues regarding Android devices. Compared to its iOS counterpart, Android gives users a lot more flexibility, which means there are many more functions to be explored. Why not get in touch with us today? Our experts are ready to advise you on how to boost your overall productivity.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic android
August 8th, 2016

2016August8_SocialMedia_CAlthough some view Facebook as a strictly social platform reserved for selfies and political rants, its $350+ billion market value screams otherwise. While it isn’t something you should be shoveling money into, it probably is a sales avenue you’re neglecting. Aside from purchasing ads, there are a host of FREE ways to go about improving your SMB’s Facebook page. We’ve listed six of our favorites here.

Use video whenever possible

Recently, Mr. Zuckerberg himself was caught opining about the value of video in social media. And while there hasn’t yet been any news about newsfeed algorithms giving preference to video, it’s definitely a safe bet when compared to texts and graphics. Facebook Live is an excellent way to engage your subscribers, and there are several ways to leverage it for increased profitability. Whether it’s an Ask Me Anything segment or a promotional announcement, hit that record button more often for more engagement.

Facebook only promos

While we’re on the topic of promotions, make sure you’re creating some that are only available through Facebook. If you’re simply reposting those from your website or e-commerce store, it’s harder for followers to justify maintaining any interest in your page. Use Facebook Live or a pre-recorded video to introduce a better-than-usual discount on your products or services. The key here is getting customers to actually visit your page, so make sure it’s not a coupon code or a link they can just pass on to friends. Ask the first 100 viewers to post their email address in the comments section of the video. If their increased dwelling time doesn’t make a lasting impression on them, it probably will make an impression on their Facebook newsfeed algorithm.

Facebook CTAs: use them and update them

Unbeknownst to most, the ‘call to action’ button on your business page can be edited to display more than a dozen different messages. Experiment with the different messages and where they link to. You’ve probably stared at the CTAs on your .com page for hours, hoping to come up with a hard-hitting sell -- why wouldn’t you do the same on Facebook?

Don’t just link to yourself

The most insightful page will always be the most valuable one. If someone has already liked your page, they know you exist and they have a decent idea of what you sell. Make sure to take a break from posting links to your site, and include relevant news and information that relates to your field. If your merchandise is videogames, inventory updates aren’t going to provide much value to your followers. Post third-party reviews of items you stock or industry news that readers will find interesting.

Pin to top function

When you find the post that keeps followers coming back for more, why bury it beneath more recent and less popular posts? Click the arrow in the upper-right corner of the post and select Pin to Top. This will keep it above everything else and impossible to miss for anyone visiting your page. It could be anything we’ve already discussed in this article: promotions, videos, popular third-party content -- anything timely and relevant.

Be personal

Lastly, use your company’s Facebook page as a place where followers can engage you on a personal level. There are countless opportunities for stiff, formal business language and attitudes, but social media isn’t the place for that. Post fun, behind-the-scenes photos of your business, respond to comments in a conversational tone, make jokes -- anything that sets your page apart from your customer service accounts.

Facebook may be free, but that doesn’t mean a profitable page is a walk in the park. For all the latest tips, trends, and features, you’ll need an expert. Exploiting social media for your bottom line is a slippery game, but it’s one we play every day. For a partner who can turn your ‘Likes’ into dollars, contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Social Media
August 5th, 2016

2016August5_Office_CPhoning your boss to justify why you couldn’t make it to the morning meeting is pretty bad, and going through this on a regular basis is even worse. But imagine being able to manage all your appointments and never miss a single one again -- fortunately, the wait is over. Introducing Bookings, the latest service from Office 365 that helps you make, manage and remember your appointments. Take a look at four reasons why you should give it a whirl:

Visibility

Bid adieu to the days of scribbling on post-its and frantically going through your schedule to find out where you’re heading for lunch. Microsoft Bookings provides you with a unique webpage that is compatible on both desktops and mobile devices. Here, customers can select times and dates based on current availability -- simply enter contact information and then book it! The system fully automates the process of managing your appointments.

No more rain checks

Microsoft believes that “Businesses can avoid last-minute cancellations by controlling how much advanced notice is required to make a cancellation.” That’s why immediately after making the appointment, a confirmation email is sent to the customer along with a reminder email before the appointment time. The web page also offers a rescheduling service;simply click on the link on the confirmation email and pick a time that you’re more comfortable with.

Synchronization

Once completed, the booking is then synced to a centralized calendar where businesses are given the option to reschedule, cancel or re-assign the appointment to other staff members as they see fit. If you do decide to re-assign it to staff members, Bookings offers a nifty feature known as “split view.” This shows which staff members are booked at which times, and you can compare everyone’s schedules side-by-side. The appointments are synced not only to your calendar, but to the staff members’ calendars as well. Moreover, this versatile system accommodates Office 365, Outlook.com, and even Google Calendar, so users can keep whatever calendaring service they prefer

Double duty

Appointment-setting might be the primary goal of Bookings, but the system can also be utilized to build a company’s customer list. Once customers input their information into the system, it automatically creates contact entries for those customers. The contact card contains personal information such as name, address, phone number, and email addresses. As companies grow, they can add more staff members as well as create additional booking pages for free. Furthermore, staff members aren’t required to have Office 365 subscriptions to be a part of the service.

Efficient tech resources aren’t enough to maintain a successful business anymore; in order to really stand out from competitors, comprehensive appointment management is required. Feel free to give us a call if you need any questions answered or issues addressed We’re more than happy to help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Office
August 4th, 2016

2016August4_HealthcareArticles_CEase of access, legibility, and accuracy are all key factors when you’re maintaining important business records. They’re even more important when it comes to the tracking of medical patients’ information. And thanks EHR, you no longer need to shuffle through reams of paper files, attempt to decipher doctors’ messy handwriting, or wonder if the data is up-to-date.

EHR stands for “Electronic Health Record” and a lot can go into getting your practice ready for one of these data-sharing, network-connected, enterprise-wide information systems.

One of the primary concerns when it comes to the actual physical setup of your EHR system is the computer hardware. You and your IT department - or perhaps a Managed Service Provider (MSP) with experience serving healthcare organizations - will need to assess how users can best connect to the system and then access and input information.

This brings to the forefront the decision about what kind of workstations to install, so let’s have a quick look at the 3 options your team should consider for working in an EHR environment.

Desktops

The first option is to install desktop computers which will be fixed to one location, hardwired, and stationary. Since they’ve been used in business for so long, the main advantages with desktops are that they’re low cost, installation & support are relatively simple, and there are numerous well-established vendors to choose from.

The drawbacks with desktops are that they take up more space than laptop computers, usually require the purchase of additional equipment in order to enable voice- or handwriting-recognition programs, and, since they’re stationary, every room requiring access to the EHR software will require its own workstation.

Laptops

The second option is to employ laptops which give you and your staff more flexibility. The advantages include easy connection to both wireless and traditional local area networks, better maneuverability to allow patients to see onscreen information, and portability should you need to move with the patient from one area of your practice to another.

One distinct disadvantage of using laptops is that they can be quite heavy, especially when carried numerous times throughout the day. Also, in terms of maintenance, repairs tend to be a bit more expensive with laptops, and you may need to send them to an off-site shop to be fixed.

Tablets

Offering even greater mobility than laptops are tablets, which are just as powerful as desktops and laptops but in hip, hi-tech, handy portable form. With tablets, users can move from room to room easily, inputting data with a digital pen as if they were writing on a paper chart or dictating to an application that accurately transcribes speech directly to the patient’s EHR.

The shortcomings associated with using tablets in an EHR setting include the learning curve that comes with new technology, such as writing with a stylus; handwriting programs that may not recognize all medical terminology; touchscreens that are prone to scratches; and the additional costs from either repairing or protecting against damage.

An Electronic Health Records system can provide enormous benefits to your organization by allowing for easier data entry, quicker data recall, and improved data accuracy. So after you’ve gauged interest among your staff, created an EHR budget, organized an EHR leadership team, and established an implementation plan, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty of hardware.

If you’re unsure about which direction to go with your EHR workstations, give us a call today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Healthcare
August 3rd, 2016

2016August3__MicrosoftWindowsNewsAndTips_CThere’s no such thing as perfection. This is especially true for Windows 10. While it’s highly praised for the removal of annoying functions in the previous Windows, still, there are a number of new issues to address: from the Window Updates that don’t function properly to the disappearance of the DVD player app. But read on, we have the solutions to your problems.

1. Decreased storage space

You might not be aware that after the upgrade to Windows 10, the old version of Windows isn’t deleted but is kept in the C:/ drive by the name of windows.old, which eats up a huge chunk of your disk space. Microsoft makes it this way just in case you change your mind and want to go back to your previous version. However, if you’re sure you want to permanently delete it, just follow these steps:

Click the Windows Start button and search for the Disk Cleanup app by typing cleanup. The drive selection box will appear, choose the drive your OS is installed on (the default drive is C:/drive), then wait for Windows to scan your system. Afterward, a box will pop up.

At this point, the system might present you with a list of files to delete, but if that’s not visible, select the Clean up system files option on the bottom left of the window. Windows will then present you with another box with the option to delete Previous Windows Installation(s). Tick the option and click OK, then click Delete Files to confirm your decision.

2. Updates that don’t work

First off, check if you’ve upgraded to the Windows 10 Fall update. If the problems still occur, download and run the Windows Update Troubleshooter, then restart the system and try to update again.

If that still doesn’t work, check that System Restore is configured (see number 3 below) and create a restore point. Type Window+X and select Command Prompt (Admin), type net stop wuauserv and hit Enter, then type net stop bits and Enter. Then open Explorer, go to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution and delete its contents including any sub-folders. Restart your PC, open Windows Update and click Check for updates.

3. System Restore isn’t enabled

In Windows 10, the System Restore isn't enabled by default. To turn it on, go to the Start Menu and search for Create a restore point. The System Properties box will appear. From there, choose the system drive and click the Configure button, then select Turn on system protection. Use the slider to set an appropriate amount of maximum disk space (about 5GB should be enough). Note that the update to Windows 10 version 10586 turns this off again so make sure to turn it back on after you update.

4. Privacy violations

Windows 10 faces a lot of criticism over its data-sharing defaults. We recommend you review them from time to time. To change the privacy settings, go to the Start Menu and go to Settings, open the app and select Privacy. At this point, you’ll see on the left-hand side a list of data such as your computer's camera, microphone, account information and so on. Turn off the ones that you don’t want Windows to have access to.

If you use Windows Defender, click the back arrow, select Update & Security, then select Windows Defender, see if you’re ok with the default setting that enables Cloud-based detection and Automatic sample submission.

Another privacy issue is Window Wi-Fi Sense, which is initially designed to get you connected to wireless networks more quickly. But if you’re not comfortable with the idea of sharing your network's wireless credentials among devices you can’t control, you can go to Start > Settings > Network & Internet, then click Manage Wi-Fi settings in the right of the window, tick all of the boxes under For networks I select, share them with my to disable Wi-Fi sense.

5. Windows 10 uses up all the 4G data

Windows 10 uses your internet bandwidth in the background. Follow these steps to stop it from consuming all your cellular data without you knowing: go to Settings and then Network & Internet, select Wi-Fi and then Advanced Options, turn on Set as metered connection. Note that this tip won’t work if your PC connects to the internet via Ethernet.

6. There’s no DVD player app

Strangely, Windows 10 was launched without a DVD player app, which means you can’t watch films on your PC. However, if you upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 8 with Windows Media Center or Windows 8.1 with Windows Media Center, you’ll find a late released DVD app from Microsoft in Window Store for free download. But if you’re not one of the lucky users mentioned above, we recommend you to download VLC Media Player instead. It’s free!

We hope these 6 fixes will help smoothen your experience with Windows 10. But while there are some issues you can cover by yourself, others are more complicated and would better be handled by IT experts. Why not call us today? Our staff is here to eliminate your Windows 10 headaches.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Windows
August 2nd, 2016

2016August2_iPad_CTen years ago, who would have guessed we could run an entire business from a computer the size of a short stack of papers? One example is Apple’s iPad, which doesn’t just unleash your personal productivity, but also holds the key to innumerable creative solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses. And since some companies are still finding their way toward streamlined operations, we’ve compiled a list of our five favorite methods for improving your business with Apple’s tablet here.

Point of sale apps

One of the most popular uses for iPads in SMBs is as a means of ringing up customer purchases. The checkout aisle has slowly been giving way to automation, and with apps like Vend and Revel you can save a great deal of money on expensive point of sale hardware and wasted employee time. From customer relationship management to loyalty programs and gift cards, these apps give your business a polished, professional front end.

Presentation apps

Business presentations are a staple of the white-collar world, and being ill-prepared for one can sabotage your profitability. Although in the past users were generally averse to creating presentations on ‘restrictive’ touchscreens, Apple’s continued dedication to making it possible is evidenced by their Keynote app. Before writing it off, check out the extremely intuitive creation and delivery functions.

Social media management

For better or worse, the number of social media avenues to promote your business are growing every day. Updating and managing each of them individually is tedious, and ultimately a waste of valuable time. Social media managers like HootSuite allow you to manage multiple accounts, schedule posts, and reply to messages -- all from one place. HootSuite even has analytics and campaign plans directed toward small businesses looking to engage new customers.

Remote Access

Mobility is one of the most sought-after traits of any modern business. If you find yourself constantly away from your desk, a remote access app may be your golden ticket to staying productive on the road. Apps like LogMeIn and GoToMyPc give you unfettered access to your designated desktops. This way you can keep working from the cab, home, or airplane, like you never left the office.

Invoicing/Payment tracking

A desktop computer might seem like the ideal place to track invoices, expenses and employee hours, but mobile accounting apps are freeing up business owners to take their company on the road. SMBs with multiple locations or remote workers will love the cloud access afforded to them by the likes of FreshBooks and Outright. CEOs can push data to these apps from their iPad while their accountants review it from the other side of the country.

When it comes to small- and medium-sized businesses and technology, we’re the experts. And whether it’s security or usability that has kept you from utilizing mobile devices in your business processes, we have a solution for you. Don’t risk exposing your business to unnecessary risks. Contact us today to set up a consultation.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple
August 1st, 2016

2016August1_Security_CSimilar to the shakedowns you see in mob movies where innocent shop owners are forced to pay “protection money,” deploying ransomware is a means of extortion. Computer hackers install it on your network to seize control of your company’s precious confidential data, then demand payment for its safe return.

The way in which these nefarious operators commandeer your information and deny you access usually involves some fairly sophisticated stuff. The ransomware they install on your system is essentially a virus that “locks up” your data, and it can’t be unlocked unless you pay them for the keys.

Some of these data-encrypting viruses are strong, such as the CryptXXX strain. It has been infecting businesses for the past few months, and its latest mutation can’t be quelled by decryption programs found for free on the internet.

Two relatively new types of ransomware aren’t quite as virulent as CryptXXX, but we’d like to bring you up-to-date on them nonetheless. Here’s a look at what they’re called, what they do, and how you can defeat them should your business be impacted.

PowerWare

The first of these recent ransomware varieties is called PowerWare, which also goes by the name PoshCoder. It imitates a more complex ransomware program called Locky, although with less effectiveness.

This spring, PowerWare was discovered attacking healthcare organizations through Windows PowerShell, a scripting application used for systems administration. Fortunately, programmers at hi-tech security firm Palo Alto Researchers were able to quickly create a decryption tool named “powerware_decrypt.py” that unlocks ransomed data with relative ease.

Implementing the fix, however, does call for a bit of technical know-how, so if your IT department is experienced in this area it shouldn’t be a problem. The code that can cure you from PowerWare is published online and is free.

BART

The second new ransomware breed that we should address is called BART. Instead of employing intricate information-encrypting algorithms to take command of your data, BART will stash away your files inside password-protected ZIP folders… and you have to pay for the password.

These infections aren’t hard to identify as the imprisoned files will appear with “.bart.zip” added to their original name (for example, “spreadsheet.xlsx.bart.zip”). Thankfully, not only are they easy to detect, but for antivirus firm AVG, they are easy to decode.

Applying the remedy that AVG has produced requires an unaffected copy of one of the files that’s been locked up. And if you can’t locate one somewhere on your network, a good IT services firm will be able to. The BART decryption tool is also available online at no cost.

The fact is, there are some shady, technologically savvy characters out there who are willing to do us harm. Keeping them at bay takes vigilance. So if your business doesn’t have the resources to stay safe and secure from threats like ransomware - or, in the event that you’ve been hit, you’re not sure how to recover your data without paying the ransom - call us today to talk things over.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Security
July 28th, 2016

2016July28_Hardware_CHardware maintenance and upgrades can consume a big sum of your business’ time and money. But with Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS), a solution in which you pay a Managed Services Provider a subscription fee and let them take care of all your hardware-related issues, including upgrades, maintenance, and management, you can be sure of your hardware functionality and performance. Here are 5 benefits HaaS will bring to your business.

1. Save money

The first reason is simple: money. For SMBs, cash flow is a crucial matter. By shifting to HaaS you can say goodbye to the tedious and costly process of having to buy all the hardware outright. By paying a monthly fee to a Managed Services Providers (MSPs), you can turn a big capital investment into a small, manageable operational expense that leaves you money for other urgent matters.

2. Kiss out-of-date tech goodbye

Given limited financial resource, it’s not easy for SMEs to catch up with the latest technology. In a highly competitive business arena, you cannot win the game with your century old CPU while your competitors benefit from the latest technology. By using HaaS, your MSP has a responsibility to ensure that all of your hardware is capable of handling tasks efficiently, and they will achieve that through hardware upgrades and replacements.

3. Better maintenance

Buying new hardware isn’t the end of everything. Like most things in life, hardware needs to be taken care of. And most of the time, SMEs lack the proper expertise, knowledge, or even time to maintain it. HaaS solves this problem by letting your MSP do all the hardware management for you.

4. Better scalability for your business

As time progresses, your organization grows and changes, which means the needs for IT equipment changes too. HaaS solutions allow you to scale up or down as your business needs change so you don’t have to stick with unnecessary tools you no longer use.

5. Improve security

When it comes to security, software isn't the only thing that needs to be up to date -- your hardware does too. HaaS makes it easy to update to newer hardware, which is crucial to ensure adequate security. For instance, if you need a more powerful backup and recovery solution, your MSP will help you obtain new equipment as needed.

Thinking about switching to Haas but not sure where to start? Why not contact us today? We provide a variety of HaaS solutions tailored to suit any business’s needs. Tell us your IT requirements and let’s see what we can do.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Hardware
July 27th, 2016

2016July27_Browsers_CWarriors preparing for battle need to ensure they are armed with the best weapons and the strongest armor. The same can be said for businesses today. This means that web browsers that can house multiple windows just don’t cut it anymore; the ideal candidate makes the most out of your precious time instead of wasting it. Gain the competitive edge your company deserves with this list of recent upgrades from Firefox:

Firefox Hello

Introducing Firefox’s very own chat client complete with video chat functionalities. Access this bad boy by clicking on the smiley face on the top-right corner. Google Hangouts users should get the hang of it in no time -- no software download necessary. Technically, you don’t even have to be on Firefox to use Hello; just be sure you’re on WebRTC-supported browsers like Chrome or Opera.

Firefox’s secret interface

Catering to the more tech-savvy users, Firefox’s secret interface gives you a peek behind the curtain into the world of coding. This helps you make adjustments to improve browser performance. Don’t have too much fun, though -- exercise caution at all times!

Customize your Control Panel

Choose which items you want to see, and maybe even discover new ones you might have never known about! Decorate your control panel all you like! Click on the hamburger in the top-right corner and then click Customize at the bottom. Drag and drop desired items into the “Additional Tools and Features” window, and presto!

Assess browser health

Firefox’s Health Reports compiles data on user behavior and overall performance to provide you with comparisons and meaningful tips. Also, the aggregated data reveals various ways to improve your browsing experience. This personalized report consists of figures on browsing data, time spent browsing, crashes, as well as how long it takes to open a new tab (measured in milliseconds, of course).

The master password

‘One can never be too safe’ is the mentality you should have every time you log on. Enter the master password. This acts like a key that unlocks all your vital passwords and information that could be detrimental if left exposed. Create your own by going to the Menu button > Options > Security tab. Then check the box next to “Use a master password” and follow the directions in the pop-up window.

Customize your own shortcuts

If Mozilla’s current shortcuts take too long to master, consider your problem solved. With the help of the Customizable Shortcuts extension, you have the luxury to design your very own shortcut sequences. No more confusion, no more time wasted.

URL Auto-Complete

To spare you the fuss of entering prefixes or suffixes, Firefox lets the new URL auto-complete feature do the work for you. For example, type in “wordpress” in the address bar followed by Ctrl + Enter (Mac: Command + Enter) and voila! Firefox fills in the www and the .com parts. Other variations include “Wordpress” followed by Control + Shift + Enter (Mac: Command + Shift + Enter) for .org sites. For any dot-net sites, you would type the URL followed by Shift + Enter.

Firefox Share

If you haven’t noticed the tiny paper plane icon in the top left corner, then say hello to the new Firefox share button. This enables you to share whatever you want to a multitude of social media accounts. Make sure you’re logged into the accounts you want to send to, and spread the word with a single click. Manage accounts by heading to the Add-ons manager > services.

Improving browser usage is key to acquiring a competitive edge -- a vital component to rising above the rest and achieving success. If you have any questions or are uncertain about any Firefox upgrades, feel free to give us a call. We are more than happy to help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Web & Cloud