Android Oreo Promises Less Battery Use, Adds Picture-in-Picture for Business Multitasking

This week Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) released Android 8.0, and this time named for a crowd pleasing favorite of the dessert world, Oreo. As Android continues to mature, the changes are not going to be as dramatic. There are some visible changes, but more important are a couple of tweaks under-the-hood designed to improve performance.

On the blog announcing the availability of Oreo, Sameer Samat, VP of Product Management Android and Google Play, said, “The latest release of the platform… is smarter, faster and more powerful than ever.”

New Features

What makes it smarter is a picture-in-picture feature so you can see two apps at once, which can come in handy when you are on a video conference call. Notifications have also gotten smarter, with dots identifying new updates for apps. This lets you take quick action for security updates or other options with apps you use most.

The speed comes from the way Oreo boots up. According to Samat, it can be up to twice as fast on Pixel. In addition to fast boot times, Autofill lets you login more quickly to your apps (with permission). And Instant Apps teleports you directly into new apps without installation.

If you are a small business outside of the office using your smartphone or tablet to work remotely, all of these features will make you more efficient. But the last improvement, which makes Oreo more powerful, extends the life your battery while ensuring the security of your apps and device.

Oreo extends the battery by minimize unintentional overuse from apps in the background, which are notorious for draining the power.

The security is improved with Google Play Protect. This feature will let you lock and wipe your device remotely, as well as locate it with Find My Device. It also checks on your device and applications for “harmful behavior.”

Android Oreo Promises Less Battery Use, Adds Picture-in-Picture for Business Multitasking

When Can You Expect The Android Oreo Update for Your Device?

The Android ecosystem is a fractured one, which makes it difficult to gauge the availability of new updates across all vendors. In the blog, Samat said, Pixel, Pixel C, Nexus 5X/6P and Nexus Player have entered carrier testing, rolling out in phases soon (no exact date). But if you own these devices and you can’t wait, you can update them now by going to the Android Beta Program page set up by Google.

As for other vendors, Essential, General Mobile, HMD Nokia Phones, Huawei, HTC, Kyocera, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sharp and Sony are scheduled to launch or upgrade their devices. The end of 2017 and beyond are the expected dates.

Images: Google

This article, "Android Oreo Adds Picture-in-Picture and Other Business Friendly Features" was first published on Small Business Trends

Lack of Cybercrime Awareness to Blame: 45% of Small Business Owners Have Fallen Victim to Cyber Attack But They Didn't Know It Happened

Think your small business is unlikely to fall victim to a cyber attack? New data from Nationwide suggests that mindset could be a mistake.

Lack of Cybercrime Awareness to Blame

In fact, 45 percent of business owners have been victims of cyber attacks that they didn’t actually know were attacks, according to the Nationwide survey, which featured responses from more than 1,000 business owners. More specifically, just 13 percent of business owners in the study said they knew they had fallen victim to cyber attacks. But when business owners were given a list of different types of cyber attacks to choose from, that number jumped up to 58 percent.

What this suggests is that cyber attacks are much more prevalent than a lot of business owners think. You might assume that something like unpatched software or a phishing email isn’t a big deal. But it could lead to major consequences for your business.

Additionally, 76 percent of the business owners surveyed said they think cyber attacks are unlikely to affect their businesses. And 41 percent think that cyber attacks impact large businesses more often than small businesses. But data suggests that small businesses are almost as likely as their larger counterparts to fall victim to those issues.

“Nationwide’s annual survey reminds owners to focus on managing what they can control,” said Mark Berven, president and chief operating officer of Nationwide Property and Casualty. “The world is only getting more complicated, and the elements outside our control that have the potential to inflict great harm on businesses are increasing. An owner can’t control if a hacker will target their business in a cyberattack, nor can they control the weather, for example. What an owner can do is prepare — and that’s where we and our agent force can help. There is no time like the present to create a plan to prepare and protect your business for the future, and whether you’re a Nationwide customer or not, our Business Solutions Center serves as a great resource and starting point.”

There are things your business can do to try to prevent those attacks, or at least minimize the impact. One of the best things you can do is hire cybersecurity experts to focus solely on this area. However, just 37 percent of the businesses surveyed said they currently have at least one such employee. That same percentage of business owners also said they have a succession plan in place for their business, suggesting that both of those strategies are under-utilized by businesses.

“The key takeaway from our annual survey of business owners is that it’s critical they continue to prepare for growing threats against their businesses,” added Berven. “This is important not only for the viability of their businesses, but the overall health of the economy. Our survey uncovered alarming discrepancies in how business owners think versus how they behave. For cybersecurity best practices specifically, there exists a 33 percent gap in awareness versus action; a vast majority of business owners (83 percent) believe it’s important to establish security practices and policies, yet only 50 percent say they have established security practices to protect sensitive information.”

There’s no way to completely guarantee that your business won’t ever fall victim to a cyber attack. But simply assuming that it will never happen isn’t the answer. More than half of businesses have had to deal with some type of cybersecurity issue already. And those attacks are becoming increasingly prevalent among businesses of all sizes.

So explore the different options for preventing or minimizing the risk, depending on your business’s specific needs and resources. And remain aware of the risks and trends involved in the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape.

Image: Nationwide

This article, "45 Percent of Small Business Owners Have Fallen Victim to Cyber Attack Without Knowing It" was first published on Small Business Trends

Lack of Cybercrime Awareness to Blame: 45% of Small Business Owners Have Fallen Victim to Cyber Attack But They Didn't Know It Happened

Think your small business is unlikely to fall victim to a cyber attack? New data from Nationwide suggests that mindset could be a mistake.

Lack of Cybercrime Awareness to Blame

In fact, 45 percent of business owners have been victims of cyber attacks that they didn’t actually know were attacks, according to the Nationwide survey, which featured responses from more than 1,000 business owners. More specifically, just 13 percent of business owners in the study said they knew they had fallen victim to cyber attacks. But when business owners were given a list of different types of cyber attacks to choose from, that number jumped up to 58 percent.

What this suggests is that cyber attacks are much more prevalent than a lot of business owners think. You might assume that something like unpatched software or a phishing email isn’t a big deal. But it could lead to major consequences for your business.

Additionally, 76 percent of the business owners surveyed said they think cyber attacks are unlikely to affect their businesses. And 41 percent think that cyber attacks impact large businesses more often than small businesses. But data suggests that small businesses are almost as likely as their larger counterparts to fall victim to those issues.

“Nationwide’s annual survey reminds owners to focus on managing what they can control,” said Mark Berven, president and chief operating officer of Nationwide Property and Casualty. “The world is only getting more complicated, and the elements outside our control that have the potential to inflict great harm on businesses are increasing. An owner can’t control if a hacker will target their business in a cyberattack, nor can they control the weather, for example. What an owner can do is prepare — and that’s where we and our agent force can help. There is no time like the present to create a plan to prepare and protect your business for the future, and whether you’re a Nationwide customer or not, our Business Solutions Center serves as a great resource and starting point.”

There are things your business can do to try to prevent those attacks, or at least minimize the impact. One of the best things you can do is hire cybersecurity experts to focus solely on this area. However, just 37 percent of the businesses surveyed said they currently have at least one such employee. That same percentage of business owners also said they have a succession plan in place for their business, suggesting that both of those strategies are under-utilized by businesses.

“The key takeaway from our annual survey of business owners is that it’s critical they continue to prepare for growing threats against their businesses,” added Berven. “This is important not only for the viability of their businesses, but the overall health of the economy. Our survey uncovered alarming discrepancies in how business owners think versus how they behave. For cybersecurity best practices specifically, there exists a 33 percent gap in awareness versus action; a vast majority of business owners (83 percent) believe it’s important to establish security practices and policies, yet only 50 percent say they have established security practices to protect sensitive information.”

There’s no way to completely guarantee that your business won’t ever fall victim to a cyber attack. But simply assuming that it will never happen isn’t the answer. More than half of businesses have had to deal with some type of cybersecurity issue already. And those attacks are becoming increasingly prevalent among businesses of all sizes.

So explore the different options for preventing or minimizing the risk, depending on your business’s specific needs and resources. And remain aware of the risks and trends involved in the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape.

Image: Nationwide

This article, "45 Percent of Small Business Owners Have Fallen Victim to Cyber Attack Without Knowing It" was first published on Small Business Trends

Google Warning About Guest Posting - Here's What You Need to Know
When it comes to blogging and link building there are a handful of effective ways to make connections while enhancing your marketing strategy. Outreach emails, exchanging thoughts and ideas, and collaborating are all great ways to broaden your reach and presence within an industry. But like many other long-standing practices, some people have abused the practice of guest posting and raised red flags to Google that there may be too much of a good thing circulating.

Google Warning About Guest Posting

In late May, Google issued a formal warning about shady guest posting practices. In it, they discuss the notable increase they’ve seen in spammy links contained in articles referred to as contributor posts, guest posts, partner posts, or syndicated post.

While they clarify that guest posting isn’t at all a bad thing when it informs or educates users to another cause or company, they also reiterate Google’s guidelines on link schemes. Link schemes, as referred to as the main intent to build links in a large-scale way back to the author’s site, are a violation of those guidelines when taken to an extreme.

Included in this article were a few specific examples of practices that violate Google’s guidelines:

  • Stuffing keyword-rich links to your site in your articles
  • Having the articles published across many different sites; alternatively, having a large number of articles on a few large, different sites
  • Using or hiring article writers that aren’t knowledgeable about the topics they’re writing on
  • Using the same or similar content across these articles; alternatively, duplicating the full content of articles found on your own site (in which case use of rel=”canonical”, in addition to rel=”nofollow”, is advised)

The warning then goes on to encourage sites accepting and publishing guest posts to ask questions like: Do I know this person? Does this person’s message fit with my site’s audience? Does the article contain useful content? If there are links of questionable intent in the article, has the author used rel=”nofollow” on them?

Quick Dos and Don’ts for Guest Posting

There are always ways to abuse a respected practice, but this warning doesn’t mean you have to abandon your guest posting strategy altogether. Rather, it simply means that content distributors should keep their guest posting practices clean, spam-free, and honest in their intent. To do that effectively, here are a few quick dos and don’ts for your guest posting strategy.

Do be transparent: Be clear about why you’re pursuing guest posts. This might involve you saying something like, “Hey, I think this article I wrote really fits the message of your website well and is something your audience would enjoy.” If you can’t be transparent about why you’re seeking a guest post, then you probably should be pursuing the opportunity.

Do provide quality content: If you’re trying to guest post on another website, it should be your best content. The same goes for featuring guest posts on your website. Remember, Google rewards quality content that provides the best value for users. Low-quality content almost never performs well or is recognized by Google.

Don’t outsource your guest posts: You shouldn’t be sourcing your guest posts from a content farm or broker, firstly because it’s dishonest to the featuring website and secondly because it’s missing the point of guest posting entirely. Write your own guest posts and do them well.

Don’t be spammy about guest posting: Google’s guidelines on this couldn’t be clearer. Don’t keyword stuff or spam the internet with an article by having it published across multiple websites, or it will likely end up marked as spam.

Key Takeaway

It’s always important to remember that you’re trying to build relationships, not just links. While having a featured guest post certainly has its benefits in terms of SEO, it’s also important to pursue opportunities that have a long shelf life. By broadening your network through productive and mutually beneficial relationship, the rest of the link building and guest posting opportunities will follow.

Blogger Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Google Says be Careful of Guest Posting on Business Blogs" was first published on Small Business Trends

Network Segmentation Security Could Save Your Small Business Millions in a Cyber Attack (INFOGRAPHIC)

For small businesses that rely on websites, smartphones and even connected devices, security is quickly becoming one of the top, if not the top priority in the digital ecosystem where they operate. An infographic from network security company Tufin titled, “Making Security Manageable Through Network Segmentation,” will introduce you to a security feature you might not be aware of, network segmentation.

With 43 percent of cyber-attacks targeting small businesses, this is a demographic in need of more ammunition when it comes to fighting cybercriminals. The Tuffin infographic reveals the damage caused by cybercrimes will result in $6 trillion globally by 2021. It goes on to say, 80 percent of the cybercriminals are affiliated with organized crime.

According to Tufin, network segmentation is an accepted practice by security experts and industry regulators. If properly implemented with best practices, it can be a valuable technique. This requires having strong firewall policies and visualizing and enforcing the segmentation by maintaining continuous compliance, tightening overall network security, and avoiding security risks with unnecessary exposure. 

What is Network Segmentation Security?

In layman’s terms, the process of network segmentation creates network segments from a computer network by separating them into subnetworks. So, in essence, each segment is its own network protected with a different set of protocols. By separating each segment according to role and functionality, they can be protected with varying levels of security.

What this means is, an attack on one of the segmented networks will not spread as quickly compared to a single network.

The US-CERT or United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team said, “Proper network segmentation is a very effective security mechanism to prevent an intruder from propagating exploits or laterally moving around an internal network.”

Cyber-attacks are a pervasive problem with no end in sight. And as we become more connected, it is getting increasingly more difficult to protect our digital assets. Network segmentation will not solve all of the security issues small businesses face, but it can be used as one of many tools you can deploy for a comprehensive protection scheme.

Network Segmentation Security Could Save Your Small Business Millions in a Cyber Attack (INFOGRAPHIC)

Images: Tufin

This article, "Network Segmentation Could Save Your Small Business Millions in a Cyber Attack (INFOGRAPHIC)" was first published on Small Business Trends