Why you need a password manager

Have you ever stopped to think about how many online accounts you have?  15, 20, 100?  It seems that websites whether they are for online shopping, news, real estate, banking, or social media need an account for you to participate. I started counting the number of accounts that my wife and I share. We are approaching 25 accounts just in our shared digital notebook.  Of course, with each new account you need to pick a username and a password. How often do you choose a new strong password versus using that old go-to password? It turns out that despite our best intentions to think of a new password research shows that most Americans tend to reuse the same password for online accounts.  Over time our online presence continues to grow and so do the number of accounts that we have, so how should we handle them? Today, many people still use their mind, old-fashioned pen and paper, browser saved passwords, a password file on their smart device, or password managers.  If you are still okay with using browsers, your mind, or your pen and paper consider how secure the online world has been and will continue to be. Both Target and Yahoo had separate data breaches in 2013. Yahoo’s data breach affected every single one of their accounts (3.3 billion in 2017). This year Facebook had 87 million users affected by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, did you change your passwords? As technology changes, so do hackers and their abilities to crack passwords, perpetrate cyber-attacks, and use your account data for their benefit.  I’m not trying to sell you a...

It’s Time to Buy a New Laptop

  Click…pause…wait…click…click click click click CLICK!  Sound familiar?  For a small businesses, PCs and laptops are some of their most important tools.  If your tools aren’t functioning correctly it can lead to lost productivity.  A typical laptop should last three to five years before it needs to be replaced.  This is dependent on the quality of laptop that was originally purchased, what it gets used for, and how it is cared for.  Once you are outside of that three to five-year time span, repairs and upgrades are likely to cost as much or more than the laptop is worth. Even if your laptop was top of the line when you purchased it, you have taken good care of it, and it seems to be running well it may still need to be replaced.  The software company that created and maintains the programs that you use will release regular feature updates and bug fixes.  While the software will be backwards compatible with hardware to a point, eventually you will find it is not running well on your older laptop. When looking at purchasing a new laptop, it is best to stick with the known brands like HP, Dell, and Lenovo.  They are more likely to be of higher quality than a no name brand.  Also, local IT professionals such as ReadiTech, will be able to service them.  Look for a laptop with a warranty of at least one year and consider extending that to two or three years.  This will cost more up front but may save you in cost of repairs and downtime over the life of the computer....

STEM Education and why it’s important to ReadiTech

What is the next big thing in education? Could it possibly be STEM education? I think so. STEM is a program that blends four subjects – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – into a seamless program that helps prepare students to be competitive in a growing, global workforce. DRN ReadiTech is dedicated to bringing excitement and increased knowledge to area students in the areas of STEM. This is one of the main reasons we started our tech camp in 2017. Our team of technology experts enjoy sharing the opportunities there are to work in a STEM career, specifically technology, even in rural areas. According to the U.S. Department of Education, only 16 percent of high school students are interested in a STEM career and have demonstrated a proficiency in mathematics. DRN ReadiTech would like to keep students interested in STEM careers by exposing them to the all the different ones available. As the demand for the next technology development continues to grow so will jobs in STEM. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that employment in occupations related to STEM is projected to grow to more than 9 million between 2012 and 2022. In 2015, there were nearly 8.6 million STEM jobs in the United States, and that number is growing every year. In fact, STEM job growth in the past 10 years is three times that of any other field, but by 2018 it is projected that 2.4 million STEM jobs will go unfilled. These statistics show that it is important that we keep students interested in STEM careers. Is a STEM career right for...

Artificial Intelligence

“Terminator”, “the Matrix”, “iRobot”. These are 3 of my top 10 favorite movies and the common link between all of them is Artificial Intelligence. I have had an interest in Artificial Intelligence for as long as I can remember. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has existed in Hollywood for decades, but it is shocking how advanced it is becoming in the real world. We have all asked Google for directions to a restaurant, or we have asked it to look up the phone numbers for plumbers in our area, but thanks to Google Duplex we will soon be able to use Google’s AI technology for so much more. We can simply ask Google to schedule an oil change for Friday between 10 and noon. Google will then look up where you have gotten your oil changed previously, it will then automatically call that place of service on the phone and schedule the appointment for you. How good is it? The technology is so good that the person on the phone doesn’t even realize that they are speaking to a computer. In fact, in an effort to get ahead of some ethical and philosophical pitfalls, Google is going to have its AI system identify itself so that people know that they are not talking to an actual human. IBM has decided to take their AI technology one step further they have sent Watson to medical school. Watson has spent the past few years analyzing medical data, and at this point it is very close to being better and more efficient than an Oncologist at determining care paths for cancer patients. During recent...

Top Five Ways to Spring Clean Your Tech

With the warm days and fresh air arriving, spring cleaning is well underway. While decluttering closets and washing baseboards seem almost automatic this time of year, have you thought about tidying up your technology? If not, you’re not alone! At ReadiTech, technology is always top of mind so I’m here to pass along my top five musts for your spring cleaning. 1. Disable bloatware applications. Your cell phones and computers often come preloaded with many applications you do not use and do not need or bloatware applications. Go through the applications and programs installed and free up some much-needed space. 2. Unsubscribe to those mailing lists. We all know exactly what I’m talking about. You bought one thing, one time five years ago from a website and now you get a million unwanted emails about their sales and offers. Most of these emails come with an option to unsubscribe so you don’t receive them anymore. You can often find this option by opening the email and scrolling to the bottom. You’ll usually find it in small print, so look carefully. 3. Take the trash out. Speaking of email, you probably have more than you need! This is a great time to go through your email and delete any emails are not needing. Check your inbox, junk, trash, and sent folders. Delete what you don’t need and organize the remaining emails into descriptive folders. Checking your email is less overwhelming when it’s clean and organized. 4. Backup your valuable files. Whether it’s pictures of your family or important financial and tax records, we all have files we couldn’t bear to...