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News Letter, BetterWorld Tech Talk!

Monthly tech talk from BetterWorld's Thought Leaders

February 2023, Reston, VA USA




TECH TALK “Insider Tips to Make Your Business Run Faster, Easier and More Profitable”

INSIDE THIS ISSUE:


How Is the Metaverse Going to Have You Had Data Exposed in a

Change Business? Recent Data Breach

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Gadget of the Month Tech Tip of the Month

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Mobile Malware on The Rise Microsoft Ignite 2022 Apps

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Trends in Data Privacy Technology Trivia

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We love technology, and we love helping people.

Give me a call today for a quick (non-sales) chat to find out whether my team and I can help you better secure your data and get more out of your existing Technology!


- James F. Kenefick

Founder & CEO


HOW IS THE METAVERSE GOING TO CHANGE BUSINESS?

The new buzzword around town is “metaverse.” But what does that actually mean for businesses? Is it just something that social media companies need to be concerned about? According to people like Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, the metaverse is coming. He stated that “Life without AR will soon be unthinkable.” Whether that’s a short-term or long-off prediction, companies need to be ready. First comes the understanding of what the metaverse is. Metaverse is a general term – hence why it’s not capitalized like a proper name. The metaverse refers to a collective upgrade of the internet to a 3D virtual environment. This would be a world interconnected between various sites.


These sites would reflect the immersive games that you see today. Did Facebook/Meta invent the metaverse? No. The idea of connected 3D immersive worlds has been around for decades. Several online gaming companies have staked a territory in the metaverse. But their applications are less interconnected. What’s one of the best representations of the early metaverse? It’s a short-lived software called Adobe Atmosphere. This 3D immersive experience included interconnected online worlds.


It also gave people the ability to chat with others. It was a bit before its time, but it shows how the concept of the metaverse has been around for a while. The metaverse is getting attention now because technology has advanced. It has begun to catch up to the needs of such a world. This includes fast internet connections and immense processing power. It also includes a delivery method for 3D that works on most PCs.


Are we there yet? Not quite. But the metaverse is picking up steam. Recently, Microsoft announced a

partnership with Meta. This partnership is to bring Microsoft 365 apps into the metaverse. This means collaboration in an entirely new way. Microsoft notes that 50% of Gen Z and millennials expect to do home of their work in the metaverse in the next two years.


How Does the Metaverse Impact Your Company?

With companies like Microsoft looking at the future of AR/VR, it could be a reality soon. You can expect the metaverse to touch your own company in some way in the next few years. Here’s a preview of what it may impact.


Where to Advertise

When the internet was first introduced, companies didn’t immediately realize its potential. Now, most companies wouldn’t consider operating without a website. It’s a necessity for driving leads and converting sales.


If the metaverse takes off as a new 3D iteration of the internet, it could be just as important. This means exploring metaverse-type advertising in virtual worlds. Also, potentially creating your own VR site or showroom.


How to Service Customers

As the popularity of social media took off, companies realized customers used it to reach out. Seventy-nine percent of consumers expect companies to respond to a social media message. And they expect that response within a day. To address that need, many businesses have a social media presence. The metaverse may be the next step. If people begin hanging out there, they will expect to interact with businesses in that space. Just like they do now with social networks.


This means companies need to be aware of how customers may be using the metaverse as it grows. Adding a question about metaverse used to be a year-end customer survey could be a way to be proactive on this topic.


Employee Training

One touted benefit of the metaverse is its ability to enable more immersive training. This could greatly increase training capabilities for everyone from doctors to forklift operators.

MOBILE MALWARE HAS INCREASED 500% - WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

Cybersecurity researchers uncovered an alarming mobile statistic. During the first few months of 2022, mobile malware attacks surged by 500%. For years, mobile phones have become more powerful. They now do many of the same functions as a computer. Yet, people tend to secure their computers better than they do their smartphones. This is a behavior that needs to change. Over 60% of digital fraud now occurs through mobile devices. That makes them highly risky if proper safeguards aren’t followed.


Use Mobile Anti-malware

Yes, your mobile phone needs antivirus/anti-malware too! Malware can and does infect smartphones and tablets. Ensure that you have a reliable mobile anti-malware app installed.


Don’t Download Apps from Unknown Sources

Only download mobile apps from trusted sources. Do not download outside the main app store. Trusted app stores include places like:

  • Apple App Store

  • Google Play

  • The Microsoft Store

  • Amazon Appstore


Don’t Assume Email is Safe

Many people prefer checking email on their phone rather than PC because it’s so handy. But they have a false sense of security about the safety of emails when viewed on a mobile device. It’s difficult to hover over a link without clicking when on a smartphone. If you see something questionable and want to check the link, open the email on your PC where you can do that.


Beware of SMS Phishing (aka “Smishing”)

In March of 2022, text spam outpaced robocalls. Unwanted text messages rose by 30%, ten percent higher than robocalls. Many of those spam texts are smishing. Be on the lookout for text messages that don’t quite make sense. For example, getting a shipping notification when you haven’t ordered anything.


Remove Old Apps You No Longer User

Go through your device and remove old applications that you are no longer using. There is no reason to keep them around, potentially leaving your device at risk.


Keep Your Device Updated

Speaking of updates, you also need to keep your device’s operating system updated. Are you using the current version of Android or iOS? Not installing updates can mean your phone has vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities allow hackers to breach your data.


Use a VPN When on Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is dangerous. Most people understand that, but many connect to it out of necessity. Reduce your risk by using a VPN app.


Mobile Security Solutions to Prevent a Data Breach

Don’t wait until your phone is infected with malware to secure it properly. It’s only a matter of time before you are the next victim.


TRENDS IN DATA PRIVACY THAT MAY IMPACT YOUR COMPLIANCE

Data privacy has been a growing requirement ever since the internet age began. So much personal information is flying around through computer networks. Protecting it has become a mandate. By the end of 2024, 75% of the world’s population will have their personal data protected. It will fall under one or more privacy regulations. Privacy requirements hit all sized companies.


AI Governance

AI is running many of the algorithms responsible for keeping data protected. But what happens when there is a problem with the AI? This is the question that AI governance is working to address.


Consumer Privacy UX

A trend that we’ve seen over the last several months is putting more privacy power into the consumer’s hands. Consumer privacy portals tell people what data is being collected, how it is collected, and what is done

with it.


Increased Scrutiny of Remote Employee Monitoring

Monitoring remote employees open a can of worms when it comes to data privacy. Organizations need to ensure that they aren’t encroaching on the rights of their staff.


Data Localization

Increasingly, organizations look at where their cloud data is being stored because the location governs the privacy rules and regulations that it may fall under.


Privacy-Enhancing Computation (PEC)

Data privacy by design is a fairly new term. Using privacy-enhancing computation is a way that AI is helping cybersecurity. By using PEC as a built-in component of software and apps, developers provide value to clients. They address privacy concerns by making data protection more automated.


HAVE YOU HAD DATA EXPOSED IN A RECENT DATA BREACH

There’s a reason that browsers like Edge have added breached password notifications. Data reaches are an unfortunate part of life. And can have costly consequences for individuals. Hackers can steal identities and compromise bank accounts, just to name a couple. Cybercriminals breach about ,800 websites every month with form jacking codes. It has become all too common to hear of a large hotel chain or social media company exposing customer data.

  • Microsoft Customer Data Breach

  • 5 Million Records Exposed in a Student Loan Breach

  • U-Haul Data Breach of 2.2 Million Individuals’ Data

  • Neopets Breach May Have Compromised 69 Million Accounts

  • One Employee Computer Causes a Marriott Breach

  • Shield Health Care Group Exposes Up to 2 Million Records

8 TECH CHECKS TO MAKE

Our technology inevitably comes with us when we travel. Most of us won’t even travel to the end of the block without our smartphones. When you go on a trip, not having your technology there when you need it can ruin your day. Travel smarter and more securely by doing several checks before you go. Use our handy tech travel checklist. It can save you from suffering from lost devices, missing chargers, or a data breach. Don’t leave your devices unprotected. This could mean a breach of your banking app or personal data.

  • Check Your Apps

  • Check Your Cords & Adapters

  • Check Your Power

  • Check Your Mobile Plan

  • Check or Add a VPN

  • Check Your Backup

  • Check Your Device Security

  • Check Your Double-Checks

7 MOST EXCITING APP ANNOUNCEMENTS AT MICROSOFT IGNITE 2022

If you follow Microsoft products, then you may know about Microsoft Ignite. Held annually, it generates many exciting updates and announcements in the Microsoft world. Microsoft held its most recent event last October. Out of the conference came a lot of Microsoft 365 news that can positively impact your business productivity. We’ll go through the highlights below. These may give you some ideas for your next digital workflow upgrade.

  • Teams Premium

  • 360-Degree Intelligent Camera for Teams Meetings

  • Cisco is Now a Certified Devices Partner for Teams Rooms

  • Microsoft Places

  • Hours & Location Feature in Outlook & Teams

  • Loop App Private Preview

  • Microsoft Clipchamp Video Editor



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