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June 19th, 2017

Over the years phishing -- a social engineering attack that uses seemingly innocuous emails to trick victims into giving away personal information or clicking a malicious link -- has grown in sophistication and scale. In order to put a stop to these scams, Google has made some security enhancements for Gmail. Here how the new anti-phishing features work.

Machine learning Google is approaching email security the same way they’ve been developing their products, with machine learning technology. Phishing scams usually follow a predictable pattern when you analyze them. Knowing this, Gmail experts developed an algorithm that analyzes phishing and spam patterns and updates Google’s security database in real time.

When the same phishing attempt is made, Gmail flags potentially dangerous messages and sends them through Google’s Safe Browsing feature, where message links and file attachments are tested for malicious activity. According to Google, around 50 to 70 percent of emails that get sent to Gmail accounts are spam and phishing emails, but with the new detection algorithm, Gmail can block 99.9% of them.

Click-time warnings Google has also added precautions for suspicious links. When you accidentally click on an unsolicited link in a message, Gmail will redirect you to a security page titled: “Warning -- phishing (web forgery) suspected.”

Although Google does not completely block access to the link (in case of false positives), it advises you to be extremely careful if you do decide to proceed.

External reply warnings Another enhancement focuses on securing reply messages. The Gmail feature warns users when they are about to send a reply to an address that is not in their contact list or company domain. This small improvement is designed to prevent users from giving away sensitive information to third-parties.

Every Gmail user can take advantage of these new security controls today, but it’s important to keep in mind that these can’t replace security awareness. Even Google has mentioned that these features are complements to existing security systems and best practices. Being able to identify what is or isn’t a scam can go a long way in protecting your business.

Google is adding machine learning technology in almost all of their products. To find out where they’ll apply it to next, get in touch with our experts and stay tuned for more Google-related posts.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic google
May 15th, 2017

Have you noticed how your G Suite applications have been making smart suggestions to you lately? Relax, you’re not being spied on by cyber criminals; it’s just G Suite’s machine learning algorithm making task suggestions based on data gathered from your most frequent activities. Machine learning capabilities are integrated into Google apps not only to strengthen security but also to improve workflow and increase productivity.

What ‘machine learning’ does

Like a trustworthy assistant, machine learning anticipates logical next steps to your tasks. For instance, it might suggest Docs or other apps, launch apps, schedule meetings, or manage your email based on your habits.

For example, if you're using Google Sheets to track employee performance, the "+Explore" button in the bottom right of the screen can help reveal subtle trends. The machine learning that powers this function doesn't just analyze written data, it can also help you find the best image layout and settings. Aside from providing you with useful insights, this function also helps format and design your file.

Increased productivity

Working on an office productivity platform that is capable of suggesting apps may not seem like much. But since the average worker allots plenty of time doing routine tasks -- such as launching apps, searching and downloading files, and sorting email -- having a smart tool that makes sensible suggestions never hurts.

The machine learning-enabled Quick Access function predicts the file you want to open based on your recent activities and interactions within the Google environment. Google Drive’s search function is a good way to locate a file you need to work on, but as many users know, searching unsorted files and messy folder structures can cause an inconvenient amount of delay.

Greatly reduced spam

Managing email is a tedious task that demands a couple hours of your day, every day. There are many email management apps you can use, and although they’re worth your money and effort, sometimes all you need is a highly efficient spam detector.

Because of its machine learning capabilities, Gmail spam detection currently has an accuracy rate of 99%. This means virtually no spam in your inbox and a reduced exposure to malware-laden email. Another way Gmail users can save time is through Smart Reply, a feature that suggests possible responses to emails you receive. Google is currently working to improve Smart Reply’s responses so that they’re more accurate and less generic.

Google applications are handy office tools perfect for businesses that require anywhere, anytime access to their files and apps, as well as constant collaboration with colleagues. There’s more to learn about G Suite and similar platforms that might just be what your business needs. Call us today for recommendations.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic google
April 17th, 2017

2017April17Google_CGoogle’s cloud platform G Suite has been getting a lot of attention from businesses recently. It’s an incredibly powerful tool that enhances collaboration, boosts productivity, and cuts IT costs. And just when you thought it couldn’t any better, Google releases monthly updates for their cloud software. To save you the trouble of looking through pages of patch notes, here are some of the most useful upgrades in 2017 so far.

Shared file storage for teams The Team Drives feature, publicly released in March, is Google’s take on team file sharing. Like many cloud platforms, users can store documents, photos, and other files in the cloud and share them with colleagues. The big difference, however, is that content ownership and file permissions are managed at the team level. This makes it easy to give access to team documents for new members and allow teams to retain important files should the original creator of the document leave the company.

Mobile management for iOS For those who access G Suite via iPhones and iPads, Google has developed Mobile Device Management services. This feature enables companies to secure personal iOS devices without intruding on an employee’s private information. When the “Basic” security option is enabled, for instance, administrators can prompt users to implement a lock screen, wipe data from compromised devices remotely, and keep track of device inventory.

Form templates G Suite’s Forms function helps you quickly create professional-looking online forms and surveys by giving you access to 100 different file templates to work with. And once you load any of them, you can simply customize the form by dragging and dropping new design elements or removing any unneeded sections.

Centralized search In February, Google launched Google Cloud Search, a tool that allows employees to search across all G Suite products such as Drive, Gmail, Docs, Calendar, Contacts, and Sites. The feature takes into account file-sharing permissions, meaning users can access only documents they’re allowed to see.

In addition to retrieving documents, Cloud Search can function as a digital phone book, displaying employee contact information and team schedules with a simple search query. And when viewing a contact’s information in the search results, G Suite gives you the option to start an email, phone call, or Hangout session.

Instant references and citations The Explore function, found at the bottom-right corner of every G Suite document, suggests relevant research material -- like journals, articles, and published papers -- for your reports or essays. A few months ago, Google further enhanced this feature by adding the ability to automatically create footnotes and bibliographies -- in any citation style -- when you use content from a recommended source.

We’ve merely scratched the surface of G Suites updates. And with more powerful upgrades set to be released in the coming months, you need to stay abreast of Google developments to make sure you don’t miss out on time-saving features. If you want to be the first to know what new improvements G Suite has to offer, contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic google
March 20th, 2017

2017March20Google_CWith Google’s newly introduced tier, more users are expected to get drawn to the search engine giant’s cloud platform. In an effort to promote Google Cloud Platform, Google revitalized its offering by improving their free-trial cloud platform service. Is it time for competitors such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure to rethink their strategies?

What’s included?

With 15 new services in total, Google’s ‘Always Free’ Cloud Platform provides users with 5GB of Regional Storage (US only) per month; one f1 micro-compute instance that comes with the requisite virtual machine features; various web applications and mobile backends; NoSQL database; messaging and streaming data services; and loads more.

Not to be confused with the ‘Always Free’ tier, the ‘12-month, $300 free trial’ tier slightly differs from the former with a consumable $300 credit, which can be used for any Google Cloud Platform products such as Google Compute Engine, Google Cloud Functions, and Google Stackdriver. This free credit is given upon sign-up and is valid over the course of the 12-month trial period; previously, it could be used only within the first 60 days.

The catch

The ‘Always Free’ tier has usage limits and is subject to eligibility and requirements, which include an upgraded billing account and a good Google account standing. There are also regional restrictions, with many of the associated Google Cloud products and services being offered only in Google’s us-east1, us-west1 and us-central1 regions.

Other providers

Google’s cloud platform services and tier offerings are similar to those of leading cloud providers in the market, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. Like Google Cloud Platform, AWS also offers a free tier (‘AWS Free Tier’) and a 12-month free option. Google’s noticeable advantage is the free virtual machines -- something that Amazon does not, or is yet, to offer.

From this new service tier, one can surmise how competitive the cloud market is. Google’s generous offer of a $300 free trial credit was apparently not enough to persuade users of competitors’ services, particularly those who have been using Amazon’s platform, which explains the new and improved ‘Always Free’ tier.

It’s easy to become complacent in choosing the best cloud provider as there are a lot, but even though there are many similarities among the services offered by Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, some cloud platforms fit certain businesses better than others. Looking for a cloud platform that's perfect for your business? Call us today for professional cloud advice.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic google
March 1st, 2017

170px_shutterstock_357803567The newest tool launched for business customers is Google Cloud Search, which allows users to search across G Suite products such as Drive, Gmail, Sites, Calendar, Docs, Contacts and more with ease and efficiency. It was previously known as Springboard and was compared to something like Google Now for enterprise workers.

Google Cloud Search is designed for larger corporations where different groups and individuals have access to different files. This search engine respects file-sharing permissions, so users can only access what’s available to them, whether that’s company-wide resources such as a policy manual, team projects or documents only they are able to see.

On top of retrieving work documents, Cloud Search also acts as a directory service that allows users to look for their colleagues’ contact information, while simultaneously viewing the events and files they have in common. When viewing a contact’s information in the search results, users will be able to click and start an email, phone call, or a Hangout.

Much like Google Now, Google Cloud Search utilizes a card-style design that presents information to you, whether you’re accessing the search service through your phone or laptop. Google Search also takes advantage of machine intelligence to highlight information it thinks you need to know. In these “assistant cards”, Google Cloud Search will reveal recently accessed files, meeting reminders, notes and more.

Adding machine intelligence to enhance its productivity tools has been Google’s recent focus; this goes hand in hand with the G Suite rebranding. In fact, the company announced a number of machine-powered features such as “Quick Access” in Drive that predicts which file you need before you even begin typing. According to Google, this reduces up to 50 percent off the average time to locate the right file.

The goal of this predictive search service via Google Cloud Search is to offer a productivity boost for G Suite users. Google notes in this blog post announcing Cloud Search, that workers spend 20 percent of their week searching for and consolidating information; the new service aims to reduce that figure. Google Cloud Search is now rolling out to new customers using G Suite Business and Enterprise editions, Google plans on introducing more features and will integrate with third-party applications.

By knowing how to leverage the latest technologies to your advantage, not only will you get a leg up on the competition, you’ll also streamline work processes and drive greater revenue. For further questions or more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email anytime!

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic google
February 13th, 2017

2017February13_Google_CDid you know that Google offers more than just Gmail, Maps and YouTube? Although indispensable to the lives of smartphone users the world over, these apps aren’t everything the search engine giant has to offer. A quick browse through Google Play will introduce you up to a host of apps that can make your life easier. “Window-shopping” at the Google store, however, means inundation from a slew of fluff and productivity-destroying entertainment apps, and you might not have time for that. But we do, so make room on your device for these four useful Google tools.

Chrome Remote Desktop

This cross-platform app provides a tremendous benefit in terms of support. If you need remote assistance, you can grant someone temporary access to your desktop and revoke access once the issue has been resolved. The other benefit is being able to access your own desktop from any of your mobile devices (smartphone, tablet, Chromebook) to work on files or use programs. Simply install the Google Chrome extension, assign a pin for remote access, and start sharing.

Trusted Contacts

It’s a dangerous world out there, which is why location-sharing apps such as Trusted Contacts are heaven sent. With Trusted Contacts, you can request a location from, or share yours with, a contact who's also using the app. Location sharing has long been part of most apps with a GPS functionality, but what sets Trusted Contacts apart is its ability to send a person’s location even when offline. In instances when a person’s location is requested and there’s no answer within 5 minutes, the app automatically sends the contact’s last known location.

Google Handwriting Input

Typing on smartphones isn't easy for everyone, and that’s why enhancements such as Swype are a welcome feature to touchscreen keyboards. Google Handwriting Input works like Swype, but is more flexible and doesn’t require precise strokes. You can ‘handwrite’ your IMs and text messages, perform searches, and even create emojis, using your finger or a stylus. This app may not seem like much, but it can be quite useful for those who communicate in languages with special characters.

Google Trips

Organizing business or leisure travel is taxing, and having to use multiple apps just adds to the chaos. Google Trips reduces your travel hassles by putting all data -- such as itinerary, hotel location, available transportation, and other trip-related info -- into one app and letting you access it online or offline. It also provides recommendations on popular attractions, day trips, and things to do based on the itineraries and other travel-related information you’ve stored in your Gmail.

The answer to some of your business’s most pressing needs may be hidden in plain sight in the App Store. We’re constantly on the lookout for process-enhancing apps and tools, so we know which solutions are best for you. Contact us today for advice.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic google
January 16th, 2017

2017January16_Google_C_PHYour own personal assistant is supposed to make life easier. Designed to let you dictate your searches instead of typing them, Google Assistant was made to accomplish just that. While talking to your phone is undoubtedly a convenient way to search for information, it’s not always practical. Fret not; Google’s tech team is working on an enhancement that will let you talk and type to your Google Assistant.

A new type of Google Assistant

Don’t be surprised when a keyboard icon pops up on your Google app one of these days. This is your cue to type in something instead of verbally dictating as you normally would. Once you tap the icon, a text field will appear for your written commands. It may not seem like the most helpful or innovative update on the app, but it presents several benefits.

This update may come in handy when you’re in meetings, when you’re too sick to speak, when you’re in a noisy and crowded venue, or if you prefer to give your assistant precisely worded instructions. If you’re not impressed with this enhancement, consider it a neat alternative that the geniuses at Google offered.

Features of “Search gestures”

Aside from the keyboard icon, a “search gesture” functionality might also be on the way. It would let plus-sized smartphone users perform Google searches right on their device’s home screen… with a simple and swift swipe. Based on recent updates from Google, this feature would provide a reprieve from having to tap the Google search bar at the top, a point of concern for users of large-screened tablets and smartphones. Regardless of what the “Search gestures” feature aims to improve, it’s probably geared at further simplifying the search function across all devices.

Google-assisted wearables

The folks at Google are also reportedly working on integrating Google Assistant on Android Wear devices. Based on the latest Google App updates, an Android Wear Assistant looks to be on the horizon for users of Android’s smartwatch. Among all the reported updates on Google Assistant, this is where speculation runs the highest. If it pushes through, Android smartwatch wearers may soon be empowered to make commands to Google Assistant at any place and at any time – even while running.

Although these updates are still in the early stages, they’re bound to benefit personal and business users once launched. Google’s efforts at pushing these small yet significant changes may mean crucial improvements for your business, too. To maximize related technology at your disposal, get in touch with us now.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic google
December 19th, 2016

2016december19_google_cGoogle recently announced the launch of a new service called App Maker, a software solution for app creation. This new product aims to make the process of creating apps as easy as possible. If you could benefit from in-house app design, we’ve got all the information you need, right here.

Google released App Maker as a full-service solution for businesses that need apps but do not want to hire a developer to fill the role. Business owners can use the drag-and-drop features of the service to bring in data, information, and files from other G Suite apps like Gmail, Google Calendar and the like. This makes it easy to integrate new apps into the existing business infrastructure.

Once the app is finalized and launched using Google's App Maker, it can be managed just like any other existing G Suite app or program. App Maker was designed to create apps that serve a specific purpose in business, such as time-tracking and order-processing.

Although this service is quick and easy for users without programming experience, App Maker also offers more in-depth programming options for those who want to be a bit more creative with a built-in scripting editor option.

Many businesses are looking to go serverless in many of their business endeavors, and with App Maker, Google takes note of that concept and embraces it. Google App Maker is a cloud-based tool, fully integrated with the G Suite of Google product offerings, making it an easy and versatile tool for businesses to use and share with managers, employees, and more.

If you think that App Maker is the right solution for your business app creation needs, contact us for guidance in the process of generating your first app for your business using Google's App Maker.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic google
November 14th, 2016

2016november14_google_cGoogle recently announced and enacted changes to its search tools. The change is primarily to prioritize mobile. In other words, the search tool is now mobile-first. The question then becomes, why is Google changing its search priorities, and what does this mean for businesses and users? Here are some more details about why Google is prioritizing mobile searches.

Google search is a tool that works through the use of ‘bots.’ These bots are responsible for trawling through the web and sorting and categorizing websites based on the content, location, and other factors associated with the site to give users the most relevant sites possible to their searches. Google has long used the same algorithms and search tools for all search platforms.

However, the newest Google search updates will move Google in a new direction, creating an entirely different mobile-only search index for people performing Google searches on mobile devices. This separate mobile search index is becoming the primary search index for the Google search tool. Basically, this means that mobile users are going to get the most frequently updated search results and that people who use desktop search tools will see different search results that are possibly not as well-filtered.

The primary reason for these changes is simple. Google has found that the vast majority of the searches performed with Google were performed on mobile devices. Because there were so many people using Google search on mobile devices, Google wants to make the user experience on smartphones and tablets as responsive as possible.

Another reason for the mobile-first priority is that people searching Google on mobile devices often look for quick info about business hours, addresses, or the weather, or for immediate answers to whatever other questions they might have. Google wants to ensure that these users get what they need when they need it. And of course, a mobile-first search tool will help ensure that the sites that do appear in a mobile search are optimized for mobile devices so that they load quickly and correctly.

With these facts and reasons in mind, you can better understand why Google search is transitioning to a mobile-first platform and how this may affect you and your business. To make sure your business is ready for this transition, contact us for further help and guidance.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic google
October 17th, 2016

2016october17_google_cSmartphone development is a tough market to break into. Microsoft tried with its Windows Phone, but that was a fruitless venture. This year, Google plans to have a go in the same market with the Google Pixel, a smartphone that looks every bit as promising as the latest iteration of the iPhone. Though it’s success is still unclear, here are some features that users can look forward to.

A fantastic smartphone camera When purchasing a smartphone, a good camera is one of the must-haves. And in this area, Google Pixel does not disappoint, as it has one of the best smartphone cameras on the market. With a 12.3-megapixel rear camera, the Google Pixel can capture high-quality photos in both bright and poorly-lit environments. For selfie enthusiasts, Google’s smartphone also sports an 8-megapixel front camera, which is much more powerful than the iPhone 7’s.

Long battery life Due to the complex programs that run on them, many smartphones are unable to offer long battery life. But this isn’t a problem with the Google smartphone. The Google Pixel can last for as long as 13 hours with extended internet use. What’s more, just a short time charging yields hours of potential use. Experts say that with only 15 minutes of plug-in time, the phone will operate for up to 7 hours.

Robust specs One of the weaknesses of Microsoft’s smartphone was its mediocre specifications compared to other handheld devices at the time. Pixel users will find no problems here. To compete with the iPhone, Google Pixel is starting strong with a 1080p screen, 1.6GHz quad processor, 4GB of RAM, and a minimum of 32GB of storage space. Additionally, because it runs with the Android operating system, Pixel can comfortably outperform many other smartphone models.

As for its design, the device looks a lot like the iPhone, but comes in three distinct colors amusingly named “really blue,” “very silver,” and “quite black.” Learning from the missteps of previous companies’ smartphone efforts, Google Pixel has focused on borrowing only the successful elements of prominent smartphone developers to ensure a bit of market share from the beginning.

One of the best contenders in the market Apple and Samsung phones may still be the cream of the crop, but Google’s entry is quickly catching up. With pricing in line with the iPhone 7 (USD$649), Google is certainly confident in its hardware. We suppose only time will tell whether Google has reached a smartphone breakthrough or if it will flop like so many companies before them.

Want to stay up to date with the the latest Google developments? Contact us today and we’ll bring you up to speed.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic google