12 Days of Tech Gifts: Day 8

Amazon Echo 2nd Generation Smart Speaker

 

What:

One of the coolest tech gifts in its price range, the all-new Amazon Echo Plus has a sleeker design and much better sound than its predecessor. The device’s Dolby-tuned hardware delivers 360-degree audio with a more robust bass, while seven built-in microphones ensure that Alexa will hear commands better than ever.

The available fabric finishes for the speaker include include charcoal, sandstone, and heather gray. The speaker comes bundled with a Philips Hue smartbulb, so it’s perfect for smart home beginners.

Where:

Available on Amazon

Who:

This gift would be perfect for college students or someone who wants to begin turning their home into a smart home. For those entertainers in your life, they would thank you for an amazing new gadget that will help them with their future home parties.

Price: $149.99

12 Days of Tech Gifts: Day 7

Apple Watch Series 4

 

What:

The Apple Watch Series 4 is an upgraded model of the classic Apple Watch. This series introduces bigger screen sizes at 42mm and 44mm compared to the traditional 38mm and 40mm.  The series 4 is also the thinnest Apple Watch to date for a more comfrotable and stylish look. With all the features of a smartphone in the LTE cellular capable ones the Apple Watch can be as mobile as you are. The regular model also makes a perfect companion to your phone.

Where:

Apple Watch is available online at Apple, Best Buy and any other major retailer. the LTE cellular capable is available at Sprint, AT&T, Verizon and other cellular carriers. They will require a supplemental data plan.

Who: The Apple Watch is a great gift to anyone with an iPhone.  The watch makes a great fitness buddy or helps others keep in touch. It can also help get you away from your phone by having communication right on your wrist.

Price:  Starting at $399

12 Days of Tech Gifts: Day 6

Anker PowerCore Lite Portable Battery Pack

 

What:

The Anker PowerCore Lite is a sleek battery pack, whose 10,000 mAh capacity is enough to fully charge most smartphones twice and have power to spare. With a full USB port, a USB-C port, and a microUSB connector, the gadget has more connectivity features than any similarly priced rival. It’s a great gift for on-the-go personalities.

Where:

Easy to find on Amazon

Who:

The Anker Power charger is perfect for someone you know that is a traveler.  Whether it be for work or pleasure. This could also be perfect for that person whose phone is always on the verge of dying when they’re out and about.

Price:  $34

12 Days of Tech Gifts: Day 5

Nintendo Switch

What:

The Nintendo switch can easily transition from a mobile gaming device to a home entertainment center by docking it into a station connect to your TV. With innovative Joy-Con controllers, a fun selection of games that includes a hot new Zelda installment, and a cool selection of accessories, the Switch has been a hot commodity since its launch, and for good reason. It’s a great gift for gamers of all ages.

Where:

The best place to purchase this gaming system would be on Amazon.

For Who:

This gift is perfect for the gamer in your life. With the high scale graphics and new games planning to come out on the Switch, this console is perfect. Gamers now are also not tethered to their TV at home and can take their game on the go.

Price:  $299

12 Days of Tech Gifts: Day 4

Apple TV 4K

 

What:

Transform the way you watch TV  with the Apple TV 4th Generation. In the era of Netflix and Hulu TV binge sessions this is the device to do it with. The Apple TV can transform any TV into a smart TV. With  Apples intuitive TV OS you can now download apps onto your TV just like your phone. From games to major network apps. This little box can turn any home into a major theater with endless possibilities.

Where:

Available at any major retail locations like Best Buy, Target, Wal Mart. As well as online at apple.com or Amazon.

For Who:

The apple TV would be essential for every movie buff or TV junkie in your networks of friends and family.  This makes a wonderful gift to any household to take their entertainment into the next century.

Price:  $149

12 Day of Tech Gifts: Day 3

Dyson V10 Cordless Vacuum

What:

The future of cleaning is already here! This lightweight and ergonomically designed vacuum can transform from a floor set up to a handheld, making it the perfect cleaning companion. It comes with a variety of tools for cleaning any type of surface, at home or in your car.  All cordless this vacuum can go an industry leading of 60 minutes between charges.

Where:

You can find the Dyson vacuum at a variety of stores, including Best Buy, Target, Wal Mart. As well as online at Amazon.

For Who:

This would make an amazing fit to the neat freak in your life. Or an amazing housewarming present for any college student that moved away or a young couple that recently moved in together.

Price:  $515

12 Days of Tech Gifts: Day 2

Palm Palm Companion Phone

What:

Taking a break from the big screen is the whole point of this new smartphone. While its only the size of a credit card. The Palm packs a 12 MP camera and a full suite of Andriod apps. Stay connected while also minimizing digital distractions.

Where:

The Palm is exclusive to Verizon. It can be purchased out right or paid monthly by adding it to your plan.

For Who:

This gift is perfect for grandparents who want to stay connected but need something simple in order to do so with no frills of a major smartphone.  This can also be perfect for the business person in your life that needs a way to get away from work on a personal phone.

Price:  $350

12 Days of Tech Gifts: Day 1

Sphero R2-D2

What:

Ever dreamed about having your own personal R2-D2 Droid? Well the future may not be so far far away after all. This specialized tech R2-D2 is fully controllable with your smart device and you can watch it patrol the galaxy (your living room) on its own. This droid can even interact with other Star Wars App enabled droids and react live to the Star Wars saga movies. Perfect for those who want to channel their inner Jedi!

Where:

The Sphero R2-D2 droid can be found at Best Buy, Amazon and the Sphero online store.

For Who:

This gift would be send a Star Wars fan rocketing off into space. This would also be a great gift for the child at hear whimsical adult who loves a tinker toy.

Price:  $129.99

The Deep Web/Dark Web, Should You Be Afraid?

The internet is a vast network of information and social platforms that connects everyone around the globe. It has become a daily part in our lives and changed the way we work and the way we communicate. However, there is more under the surface of the regular internet we use every day.  Beyond the familiarity of sights such as Google, Facebook, and Wikipedia, there lies an unreachable part of the internet that can only be accessed through certain browsers, this is known as the Deep Web, or Dark Web.

While we have all heard of the bad websites and suspicious activity that could go on in the Dark Web, there are also some misconceptions the everyday person does not know. Let’s start shedding some light on the scary “dark” corners of the internet.

What is the Deep Web?

Deep Web and Dark Web are commonly used interchangeably, but they do not necessarily mean the same thing. The Deep Web refers to all web pages that search engines cannot find. This includes the Dark Web; however, it also includes all user databases, webmail pages, registration-required web forums, pages behind paywalls. If you use an online bank account, the password-protected bits are stored in the Deep Web. The common mistake news outlets make is that they confuse the Dark Web with the much bigger and generally harmless Deep Web.

Then what is the Dark Web?

The Dark Web is a subset of the Deep Web in which suspicious, illegal or dangerous websites could be created and used. This is solely due to the nature and anonymity to how these websites can be created and accessed. Almost all sites on the Dark Web hide their identity using the Tor encryption tool. Tor is software anyone can download and is known for its ability to hide your identity and activity. You can use Tor to spoof your location, when a website runs through Tor, it has the same effect.  Just as the end user’s IP address is bounced through several layers of encryption to appear to be at another IP address on the Tor network, so is that of the website. Thus, sites on the Dark Web can be visited by anyone, but it is very difficult to work out who is behind the sites. And it can be dangerous if you slip up and your identity is discovered.

Now there’s a Dark Internet too?

Yes, there is one more subset to the Deep Web, and that is usually defined by the term Dark Internet. This is used to describe further examples of networks, databases or even websites that cannot be reached over the internet. The typical stigma behind the Dark Internet is that it is a boring place where scientists use to store and share all their raw data for research.

Below is a visual of how we can think about the Surface Web, Deep Web and Dark Web.

So, is it Safer?

The internet, whether you or on the surface or in the dark, is well, the internet and hackers are lurking in every corner.  While the dark web can provide anonymity on a level the surface web could never, it is not necessarily safer. Hackers have been known to go in, take passwords and other information from data in the deep web and use it for ransom or other harmful purposes. The Dark web particularly is a free-range host of illegal and wrongful activities and it is not recommended by anyone to visit or take part in.

How Can I Protect Myself?

There is a new wave of Dark Web monitoring that is hitting the market. Many of these tools scan the dark web for your website/company/email domains to see if there is a potential for a password or data breach. These monitoring tools can also alert you and prompt you to change your passwords so your digital life on the surface web remains safe.

ECMSI is happy to help with any questions you may have about the Dark Web. With our new Dark Web ID, we can scan your domain to find out if any of your information or passwords have leaked in the Deep Web. Call us at 330-750-9412 for any questions you may have or fill out the form below to get in contact with us.

 

4 Reasons You Need Better Network Security

As a business person you may not understand all that much about network security. You know it’s important, and you know that a breach can be bad for business, but do you understand why network security should be one of your main priorities? Network security is about more than just safeguarding corporate data, it’s about helping your business to thrive — and you can only do that with the right security in place and the right measures to stay protected.

Your network secures your business

Modern businesses keep and share all of their most important documents, records and data on interconnected workstations and servers both inside and outside your company. If you don’t sufficiently protect your network, it’s as good as sending an invitation to hackers to come and help themselves to that critical information. ECMSI knows how today’s hackers are constantly probing the network security of companies, looking for weaknesses they can exploit to gain access. With our help, you can safeguard confidential data such as customers’ personal details, corporate secrets and more, ensuring that hackers can never compromise it.

Regulatory requirements

Depending on your industry, you may also be subject to regulatory requirements that specify how your network security must be protected and maintained. These policies designed for the safety and security of trusted organizations are compulsory for any company that stores customer data electronically. ECMSI will help ensure to your organization is always one step ahead in meeting these requirements, meaning you avoid any crippling fines that might derail your business progress.

Increased network performance

One symptom of being hacked or otherwise threatened is a slowdown in network traffic that can also hurt your business. With strong network security in place that quickly resolves any disruptions and proactively prevents future intrusions, your network will always be ready to perform. ECMSI can ensure less downtime and reduced lag, leading to better productivity today and bigger profits for you in the long run.

Competitive advantage

At ECMSI we make a point of helping our customers thrive. By creating an effective network security system, we’re providing you with a competitive edge. Consumers place great importance on how companies treat their data – they want to know it’s safe and secure from hackers and other threats. That’s exactly what we do, because we know that when you ensure your customer’s data is always protected, you’ll quickly build a reputation as a trustworthy brand they can rely on.

We didn’t become one of the leading managed services providers of network security by accident. We are leaders because we care about our customers and we know how to protect them. Talk to us today, and we can work together to protect your business and take it to the next level.

Find out if your network is vulnerable to an attack. Get a Free Network Health Assessment from ECMSI today.