Unique & practical must-have gadgets for back to school and more

Light Show Bluetooth speaker, a durable wireless camera, connecting to the Internet without a nest of wires and a multi-use charger that starts your car are among the few top picks.

When we think back-to-school, we think of pens and pencils, notebooks and backpacks, and even tablets and other gadgets. Here are a few less obvious items to consider adding to the pile.

Speaker with light show

Earbuds are a natural must-have for walking around campus and tuning out what’s around you. But when back at the dorm or chilling out with friends, you might just want to fill the room with sound. The prescription for that is the portable Creative Halo wireless speaker and two-way speakerphone.

Read more below or also at Troy Media. [Read more…]

NETGEAR AirCard instant mobile hotspot for 15

netgear-aircard-785s-overviewIf you’re frequently on the road and travel with a lot of gadgets or with a family who needs Internet access and Wi-Fi is not always around, then the NETGEAR AirCard 785S 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot might just be a viable solution.

If you’re frequently on the road and travel with a lot of gadgets or with a family who needs Internet access and Wi-Fi is not always around, then the NETGEAR AirCard 785S 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot might just be a viable solution.

The AirCard 785S is an ultra-portable device, about the size of a smart phone measuring 4.3” x 2.7” x 0.6” and weighing only 127g. It connects to the TELUS LTE/4G network through a micro SIM, which in turn allows up to 15 wireless devices to securely share the data connection and giving them all 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity.  Read Full Review…at Canoe Tech Blog.

Linksys Dual Band Router and Gigabit Switch get your wireless home network up to speed

1 Linksys stacked Router on topEDMONTON, AB, Dec 21, 2014/ Troy Media/ – Your household has made it through the year, but somehow the Internet connection is not as responsive as it could be; in fact, it’s brutal even doing a Google search. You’ve added new devices, with more likely to come by Christmas morning.

Your original router was great when you got it but now barely serves its purpose: it’s time to step things up a notch.

Just what the doctor ordered

The Linksys WRT1900AC Dual Band Gigabit Ethernet Router along with Linksys WRT 8-Port Gigabit Switch (SE4008) might just be what the gadget doctor ordered.

Instead of a single antenna, the Linksys WRT1900AC router has four. This allows you to position the router for maximum signal strength, of course, but also allows you to position each individual antenna to help minimize areas in your home void of a good signal.

And rather than just sending out a general signal, the router, through its own proprietary BeamForming technology, can single out a specific device and boost its signal. This can be handy particularly for that one device, maybe your laptop that always seems to get a poor connection in the living room. READ FULL ARTICLE at Troy Media.

Maintaining cyber security can’t be casual

EDMONTON, AB, Jan. 23, 2013/ Troy Media/ – It is better to be the spider, or at least aware of the spider, than the fly on the worldwide web. Use caution on the internet to avoid being inter-netted and fear, good healthy fear that has been keeping us safe since we first walked upright, is the key.

But despite warnings about vulnerability issues, attitudes still seem to be lax when it comes to online security – even by those that have already been personally victimized.

Siber Systems, Inc., a leading developer of software productivity tools for consumers and businesses and maker of password manager RoboForm, discovered this dangerous behaviour in a wide-ranging study.

Of the over 700 adults surveyed in November and December 2012 in the U.S., and European countries, nearly 30 per cent have had a fraudulent experience with an online account. Of that number over half have had their email hacked; 23 per cent have had a security breach with online shopping and 29 per cent had been affected by a breach in a social media account. Sadly, an alarming number, 79.2 per cent continue to use a site linked to an account that had been compromised. Even more staggering is that 60 per cent of the participants are convinced that online companies are careless with regards to security of customers’ personal information with 57 per cent singling out Facebook as being their least trusted site.

People are not unaware of the problem; they just don’t seem to care. According to Bill Carey, VP of Marketing with Siber Systems, it’s just that there is a huge disconnect between a person’s perception of risk and what they’re willing to do to protect themselves and their valuable information. Just look at the volume of info added to Facebook each day.

In fact, more than half of the respondents (under the age of 45) feel that security is the responsibility of the operator. This seems short sighted if they don’t trust the operator to begin with. Nevertheless, it seems this “totally-not-my-problem” attitude is a major factor in computer users not improving their own personal security practices.

One way of reducing the probability of being compromised can be as simple as proper password practices and use of a password manager. This includes creating passwords that are not easy to guess, having longer passwords that may be harder to crack and different passwords for personal and business use. Even the proverbial “mother’s maiden name” commonly used for years in the banking industry as part of identification verification can easily be found by searching family tree sites or more popular social media sites.

Occasionally, that too, is not enough. Just look at what happened last June when a password file containing 6.5 million LinkedIn passwords were leaked and posted on a Russian hacker site.

And, even when companies do enhance their security, for example by adding two-step login verification, almost a quarter of the survey respondents balked at the idea and 13 per cent indicated that the process was too complicated. On the flip side, 42 per cent indicated they would be more inclined to trust a company with their personal information.

Users can also improve the security of their data by keeping their software updated and current – many companies regularly update or patch their software when vulnerabilities are discovered. The same goes for operating systems like Windows, all iterations, and Mac OS X.

It’s also a smart idea to use anti-virus protection and malware checkers from companies like Kaspersky, Intego and Symantec.

How many times does one need to be victimized before they will actually do anything about it? There’s no guarantee that taking these precautions will prevent a breach, but it should reduce the probability.

Greg Gazin is a Tech Columnist, Small Business and Technology Speaker and Senior Editor at Troy Media. He can be reached at Gadgetguy.CA on Twitter @gadgetgreg or you can find him on Empire Avenue at (e)GADGET1.

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