Category: Technology

Categories: Technology



2019 is seeing the world in which we live rapidly progress towards a Jetsons vision. Oh sure, we’re still awaiting the flying cars that are mega overdue by now. But the rapid technological integration we’re seeing in our homes is making the smart home a reality, with 2.3 million dwellings in Australia recorded as having a smart home device or component within them.

Yet despite how easy George & Co made it seem, the reality is that jumping head first into a full blown smart home can be a very dumb idea indeed. Not because a smart home can’t be great, but because beyond the sleek TV spots and glitzy online ads, building a smart home can be a lot of trial and turmoil.

That’s why it’s essential you’re aware of these 6 facts before buying smart home devices.

1.Not All Devices May Work with Your Current Home Setup

A smart home sounds terrific when seeing the latest gadgets on the shop floor, but once you get them home it may be an ordeal to get them up and running. Beyond going through general hurdles like ensuring you’ve the latest software and compatible technology,  you may also need to call the electrician to help get a device installed.

That’s all fine if you’ve the cash on hand and are ready to invest accordingly in a smart home.  But it is just something to keep in mind if you consider the price of a smart home mini device is less than $100. This may sound great at the shop but it can be a gateway to a big bill.

2. Not All Devices Will Work Together

For generations various quarters of the tech world have been going back and forth in debate. Apple’s iOS vs Android, Sony’s Playstation vs Microsoft’s Xbox, and so on. Debates like these are nothing new and have been raging since the Microsoft vs MAC wars of the 1980s, and the Nintendo vs Sega battles of the 1990’s.

While our technology is forever evolving, there is a common theme here. Not all technology will automatically sync perfectly with other devices.

This is a really critical thing to understand if you’re planning on buying a smart device not for your home, but for a family member of friend as a gift. Ultimately it’s ideal to first establish what devices are compatible with a home, and then select a device from there.

3. Electricity Bills Can Climb

The introduction of a number of new devices to your home can be great fun. It can also make your life easier – except for when it comes to paying the electricity bill! This is something many people don’t appreciate until they get their next bill and the nasty surprise hits.

Adding a small personal assistant device to your desktop is unlikely to really drive up your bill. But if you have added a number of new devices, and used them inefficiently this can become a big problem.  A common mistake here is when people invest in smart lights.

It’s really great to be able to control the brightness of your lights with a mobile or tablet device. But if you forget to switch them off it’s going to burn energy. Even if smart lights can be far more efficient and affordable over time compared to traditional light bulbs, money wasted is money wasted.

4. The Need for Extra Security Inside and Out

You wouldn’t be OK with someone peering into your windows at night or listening to your family conversations. But a smart home can create this vulnerability in more ways than one. Already there have been scandals surrounding a home device’s ability to listen in on what you’re saying when you don’t want it too.  

There are methods out there to address this and prevent it, but total peace of mind may prove elusive. Especially because the reality is the more devices you connect in your home the more vulnerable it can become to external attacks.

By no means does this make it likely – yet like having a banking app on your phone can give you extra anxiety if you lose it and worry about what some thief may be doing with it – anyone who does want to rig up their home with wall to wall smart appliances should also consider investing in upgraded security too.

5. Regular Upgrades May Be Required

Because the smart home as a concept is still in its early days – more on that in a moment! – the way in which the industry evolves remains something of a ‘wait and see’. But just the same as we upgrade our phones and computers every couple of years, it’s important to be mindful of this when it comes to any smart home gadgets you may be too.

Sure a big ticket purchase like a smart fridge can be purchased with the expectation it shall be with you for many years to come. But even in cases like this, the ability for your device to stay functioning within your smart home in the future could depend on it having ongoing software support and updates available.

To avoid needing to buy a whole new home few of smart devices every couple of years it’s really important to research devices and their manufacturer’s reputation for technical support before buying.

6. Recognise It’s Still Early Days

Devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home are nice to have, but it’s difficult presently to regard them as essential requirements in the home. In certain instances such as working underneath your car then having a voiceless way to communicate can be really handy. But how often will you find yourself doing that day by day?

The reality is right now there’s few instances where you will really need hands-free operation over just using your phone or tablet regularly. The same applies to many smart devices generally. They are nice additions, but not yet essential or offering a ‘killer app’ advantage.

Being Smart About It

As technology progress its undoubted our homes will get smarter, and our need to have smart devices in our home will become definite. And there’s no reason at all anyone passionate about the possibility of making their home smarter needs to wait right now.

Provided they pursue it with these 6 facts in mind they can be pioneers! But for anyone else out there wondering whether they are behind the pace in not yet having a state of the art smart home? You’re not late, if anything you’re early!

And meantime, don’t forget about all the amazing fun you can have with tried and true technology. We may not yet have flying cars, but we’ve a whole ton of amazing gadgets on hand today that people could only dream of just a few short years ago.

​Finally, for anyone who is determined to get a gadget (or a whole ton of them!) setup in their smart home but is having trouble? My team and I are always available to arrange a house call to assist you with installation. Give us a call on 9555 6684 or email service@horizontechcs.com.au to book in a time.
 

Until next time, happy teching!

Paul & the Horizon Tech Team

Categories: Technology

It’s impossible to get much done today in business and fun without an online connection. From day by day work, to social media, to keeping up with live stats while at the footy, an online connection is essential. But the reality is, the rise of the online era has also created new and complex security threats.

Ones that can not only threaten your computer, but also the security of critical things like your bank accounts, family photo albums, and even your whole daily life when identity theft is involved.

Fortunately, while these threats are real, there’s many steps you can take to build up a really good defence against them. Read on right now for 9 of them.

Understand Its Not Any One Solution

This first step is often really hard for people to understand, and I get it. Protecting your security is definitely complex, and looks can deceive. All the apps put out by security providers look really slick! With all their bright shiny colours and clickable buttons, it makes you feel like you’ve got a nuclear arsenal at your disposal to deter threats.

But my team and I see the reality all the time. Someone comes into the store with a computer that has a really bad security breach, and often it happens at the worst possible time for a user. We get a ton of people coming in on late Friday afternoon, previously getting all set to call it a week at work and relax – but then their computer catches a devastating virus.

So we always say recognise at the start computer security is complex, and requires many steps. Once you’ve got this understanding down, you can begin to implement a great strategy with the following.

Get Antivirus and Malware

The first step to protecting your online identity is ensuring you’ve good antivirus and malware programs installed. As detailed in 7 Incredibly Common Computer Security Issues last week, you do not want to have too many programs installed. But it’s also important to recognise the value of what we in the industry call layered security.

Having an all-in-one program that guards against antivirus and malware may sound good (and sure, is better than having nothing). But actually it’s unlikely to be as good as two separate programs. So search out two programs you feel would be a good fit for you, and activate them!
While it’s no guarantee they will guard against every single threat (more on this to follow) they will be on the frontlines and help shore up your computer against any attempted attacks online.

VPN

For anyone really looking to oomph up their online security a VPN can be a great option. You may not feel it is essential, but it can offer an extra layer that makes it even harder for a cyber attack to find success on your computer.

There’s a variety of VPNs out there, and whichever you choose is can come down to personal preference and other factors like ongoing costs. If you’re keen to implement a VPN right away though, our team here has always felt Tunnelbear is a good starting point given you can trial it out with the first 500mb for free to see if it’s right for you.

Change Passwords Regularly

Look, we get it. You’re really busy, and you rarely win much time free – so don’t wanna spend it on tedious tasks. My team and I understand this. We love what we do, but we do believe in the ‘work hard, play hard’ adage, and so once Sunday rolls round a Netflix binge or long session at the gym is the go over us being in the store.

But ultimately  password security is critical, and that means being ready to change them regularly. For those who want to do so manually, using a password generator and then a secure place to store your passwords can be a good match. For those who want an all-in-one solution, Dashlane can be a good option.

Lock Down Who Uses Your Devices

Nobody is suggesting you can’t let your grandmother make a call on your phone. But it’s important for your online security that you be careful in circumstances where you phone could be out of sight and vulnerable.

This can easily happen when you’re out on the town, a friend – or maybe a smoking hot new friend you just met – may ask to borrow your phone to text a friend or snap a selfie.  And sure, it’s maybe unlikely anyone using your phone for a duck face selfie is a master hacker. But if you left your banking app open and they notice, a few moments of inattention could cost you thousands.

Be Careful with Syncing

Alongside being mindful who you let use your phone and ensuring you’ve good passwords, be careful when syncing your content like web browsers and emails across multiple devices. It’s all well and good to have a really strong security setup on your desktop computer at home, but if your laptop has no antivirus and malware protection and you regularly shop online, your otherwise good security strategy could quickly come undone thanks to your laptop’s vulnerabilities.

Always Update Promptly

I completely understand why my clients feel tempted to skip doing updates on their computer. When you’ve got a report or assignment due in 10 minutes and a pop up shows up saying ‘It’s time to update’ – you don’t have time to spare as the computer shuts down and updates. Oftentimes this means people will click the big red x and dismiss the update altogether.

But this can create a big security risk for your computer when browsing online, so what I always suggest is a compromise. It’s totally OK if you don’t have the time right then and there to do the update, but look to schedule the update for a later time – or if there is the option to do so – set a alarm in your phone to run the update later on in the day when it’s convenient for you.

This way you don’t have to disrupt what you’re doing then and there, but still have timely updates.

Check Credentials When Using eCommerce

Trusted websites like Amazon are usually OK for online shopping, but it’s always good to be a little careful when buying from a new website for the first time. If you are in any doubt there’s a couple of questions you can ask and questions you can take to check out the website:

  • A quick google of the website can help draw up user reviews and other people experience.
  • It’s also worthwhile click the about us or contact us page.
  • A authentic business will have no issue providing you an email or a phone number so you can get in touch with them direct.

Finally if they are an Aussie business, you can even look for an ABN or ACN displayed on the website. While in and of itself these things won’t guarantee a business is legitimate, if they have these components it’s far more likely it’s the real deal, and a perfectly safe place to shop online.

Be Extra Careful with Cryptocurrency

Like so many tech workplaces, my team and I talk about cryptocurrency now and then, and there’s a variety of views on it here. But everyone can agree on the following:

  • Many people feel it has a lot of potential
  • It is also now increasingly available as a payment method online
  • It can be used for theft and criminal activity

Regarding the last point, it’s always been this way with new technology when you think about it.

After all, while today Amazon has made Jeff Bezos the richest man in modern history, in the 1990’s many people felt buying something online was a surefire way to get your credit card information stolen by some scammer from the old side of the world.

All up, there’s so many different crypto wallets, exchanges, and payment avenues out there that providing specific security advice would require a whole book beyond a blog post! But in short: look to do some research and ensure you maximise security if buying and using crypto online. You absolutely can use it with low risk, but it’s important to understand how to do so to stay safe.

Counter Strike Quickly

As outlined earlier, even a really strong security setup can occasionally become vulnerable. It’s just the reality of technology, and why even intelligence agencies like the CIA can occasionally get hacked.

And like a driver who avoids changing a flat tyre, the longer you go forward with an issue the greater the risk they’ll be serious and long lasting damage to your online identity.  The real key to building up good security is also having a plan in place if something does go wrong, and ensuring you’re ready to counter strike and address the threat.

So if you do feel a security issue has arisen on your computer, be sure to get in touch with our team pronto. We have the expertise in-house to identify threats, address them, and help you guard against another attack happening again.


Until next time, happy teching!

Paul & the Horizon Tech Team


Categories: Technology, Uncategorised

In 2018 there were 258 million shipments of personal computers around the world. By any measure that’s a whole ton of new tech getting powered on for the first time. And while it’s no secret our tech gadgets continue to grow their presence in our lives day by day, unfortunately that also means security risks grow alongside them.

This is bad news not only for those new computer owners, but everyone. Given viruses and bad practice can pose a threat to other computers too, via corrupted files, emails, and via other avenues.

So let’s look now at 7 incredibly common computer security issues, and some steps to address them.

1. Installing Multiple Antivirus Programs

This is unquestionably one of the biggest mistakes my team and I see, but it’s easy to understand why it happens. Many people think ‘one antivirus protection is good, but two is better, right?’ – wrong!

When one antivirus program is installed it’s free to roam about and defend your computer, doing so without being restricted or interfered with in the job it needs to do. But when two or more are installed, they can begin to obstruct the proper operation of all antivirus programs.

So it’s indeed a good move to read widely and consider which antivirus program is the best for you. But once you’ve decided pick one, and use only one.

2. Stuffing    Up Antivirus Protection in Other Ways

Let’s look at really direct ways you can stuff up your Antivirus protection:

  • Uninstalling your antivirus
  • Failing to update your antivirus
  • Even just accidently switching off your antivirus!

Doing any of the above –  and certainly all of the above –  can cause you a ton of trouble. While most virus programs have a warning installed that will notify you via a pop up if it encounters an issue, if the program has been disabled you’re unlikely to get a heads up.  

That’s why there’s no need to worry daily about this, but it’s good to do a quick check once a week and confirm your virus protection remains all systems go. That way you can be sure even if your antivirus program does encounter an issue, you’ll be sure to pick up on it pretty fast.

3. Having Bad Passwords

Many people find it hard to make up and remember lots of passwords. And sure‚ the average person has to have a passwords given how much of our life is digital these days. It’s also a fact many professionals in the technology space are totally silent on this. They’re always saying ‘pick strong, secure passwords’ – instead of actually offering people assistance in doing so.

This is why I always recommend my clients use a password generator. It makes it easy to generate super strong passwords in just 1 click of the button. Then once you’ve made a password, I recommend using a password generator to store them.

Be sure to always use two-factor authentication when possible. Yes, it can be a bit of a pain having to occasionally sign in on your computer with your phone. But the benefits of this are huge as it makes it a whole lot harder for anyone to breach an account if they don’t have your phone.

4. Sharing Your Logins with Other People

We get how this can happen. Your friend may have forgotten what email they used to sign up to Stan, and they’re just dying to see the latest episode of Billions!. This is understandable, but however you slice it sharing logins is never a good idea. Because that one friend may leave your password lying around scribbled down on a piece on paper.

Then someone else gets it, they share it, and suddenly your Netflix account is getting toyed with from somewhere on the other side of the world. So never share your passwords. The exception to this is family accounts that are commonly available on streaming services and other software.

In these cases you will need to share a password with multiple people, but be sure each of them understands not to pass it on.  

5. Failing to Sign out Across All Devices

You may do most of your emailing at home. But if you sign into a friend’s phone to send an email because your battery died this can be a problem. That’s why signing out of remote devices is always wise. Simple as that.

6. Following Bad Links off Social Media

It’s amazing how many people fail to understand this. Facebook may be a secure website, but just because a link is displayed on Facebook doesn’t mean it’s secure. Of course it can be hard not to click that sensational headline. C’mon now, you know the sort of ones we mean:

‘ELVIS FOUND ALIVE AND RUNNING A YOGA STUDIO’


‘DO POLAR BEARS ACTUALLY MAKE GOOD PETS?’


‘IS CHAIN SMOKING ACTUALLY HEALTHY FOR YOU?’

For that reason social media websites usually have a notice like ‘Warning, you are now leaving Facebook and going to an external page’. But maybe people in a rush to read about Elvis’ pet polar bear that chainsmokes just click through that window without a second though.

And that’s where danger can strike. But there is a way to still seek out that link you want while also checking if its safe.

In future if you have any concerns about the link copy it and go to Google and type in the address first (ensure its in the search box and not in the top bar or otherwise you will just automatically go to that site).

As well as a search result with the website itself you are likely to get a number of other posts (such as message boards, spam warning websites, and other returns) that will let you know whether the website is safe or not.

7. Not Locking Your Computer

If the rise of social media has taught us anything, it’s people who forget to sign out of their digital devices shall have friends post cheeky content on their behalf. There are at least 33 people in the world who are right now licking their wounds.

But while we can all have a laugh at a good social media prank, failing to sign out of your computer or secure it via lockscreen can be incredibly dangerous. While this has always been the case, it has become a much bigger issue in recent years as so many people do sensitive things like banking online, and oftentimes save their passwords in the browser while doing so.

That’s why setting up a lock screen and screen timeout is really important. You can set it to a time that suits you, but 1 minute is usually good. That means if you stop typing away or usually the mouse – like if you’ve just stepped away to take a call or grab a coffee – your screen will lock, and anyone who comes along and tries to gain access will need to enter your password first.

Strong and Secure

At best, a security issue on your computer can be akin to leaving your front door unlocked at night. Unnerving once you discover it, but not so bad if you got away with it. At worst a security issue can bring a world of misery to your life. Especially if a security breach goes beyond damage to your personal computer alone, and you become the victim of identity theft.

That’s why it’s always important to get your computer checked out if you’ve followed the steps above and step have any concerns. My team and I are always ready to work hard and fast to fix things for you. We also take a proactive approach, helping fix the issue. We’re also at the ready to assist setting up the software you need to help prevent any issues from happening again.

We can help you. Bring down your affected computer. We’ll get you back on track

We can also help you if you feel you’ve been the victim of identity theft. It doesn’t matter if it has already happened, we can help you take steps to secure your accounts again and also offer advice on how to undo any damage done.

Until next time, happy teching!

Paul & the Horizon Tech Team

Categories: Software, Technology

You are about to finish your document when suddenly, your PC freezes and automatically restarts. If this problem keeps on happening, it will ruin your everyday work. To stop suffering from this problem, you need to know the cause of the problem before fixing it.

 

There are 4 Types of System Freeze Issues

1. Hang

Whatever you run on a PC, it hangs up and needs to be restarted to recover.

 2. Random Hang

The system often becomes unresponsive at regular intervals of time. You need to restart the PC to recover hard drive data.

 3. Generic Freeze: The system turns unresponsive, but later on, it automatically turns to normal functional state without troubleshooting.

 4. Single-app Freeze: Freezing occurs abnormally while you attempt to start a game, a particular program, or a heavy browsing website.

 

Causes why PC keeps on Hanging

 1, Multiple Apps Running

 Without your knowledge, you are multitasking work with your PC. Usually, you open too many tabs and programs to finish the task. There’s nothing wrong with multitasking because it is a sign of your dedication. However, opening too many programs on your PC may run low on resources because the memory is used by a number of applications.

 You can still practice multitasking by running one program at a time and choose sites that you need as of the moment. It is also important to learn which program that takes too much space on your RAM so you know how many programs and sites to open.

 2: Driver Issues

 Outdated or damaged drivers affect the performance of desktop and laptop. Usually, users find it hard to figure out that their drivers have problems or are outdated.

 The only solution for this is to update your driver or fix it. If you are not sure about how to fix the driver, it is advisable to seek the help of a computer specialist (like HorizonTech).

 3: Operating System Issues

 If you’re not knowledgeable about fixing a desktop or a laptop, let an expert do the job to ensure you won’t add more damage to your device. To avoid OS issues, make sure that all updates are installed.

It is important to keep your system updated. Keep a legal copy of the operating system and always run a legal copy of Microsoft Windows to be able to download updates. If you are using Windows 10, the update option is automatically turned on.

 4: Excess Heating Up

 Sometimes, the device gets too hot and it is the reason why the computer freeze. If you frequently hearing any abnormal noises coming from your computer recently, such as a high squealing, it could be an indication of a damaged fan.

 To fix this problem, hire a service of a computer specialist to ensure things will be done well.

 5: Hardware Misconfiguration

One of the major reasons behind computer freeze issues is hardware misconfiguration. This issue may occur due to a misconfigured hardware component that you recently added to the computer.

 Another reason could be the hardware component you added recently may be incompatible with the computer. If this problem occurs, remove that hardware and then test whether the computer is running smoothly. If the hardware is not compatible, find an alternative. You can ask a computer expert to help you find compatible hardware for your PC or laptop.

6: Insufficient RAM

If your device freezes at regular intervals of time, the reason could be an insufficient RAM. In order to run the system smoothly, the RAM should be considerable.

The major files that eat up PC storage are the applications and 3D games installed on the device, thus makes the system bulky and hence causes system hang issues.

It is also probable that the motherboard, CPU, or Power Supply may not be working appropriately. If these issues occur, upgrading RAM or reinstalling Windows OS may be the solution.

 7: BIOS Settings

 Modifying BIOS settings can cause serious issues on your device- it put the system in the freeze mode. By overclocking system processor or RAM may cause instability problems. If this is the cause of freezing, you need to reset the BIOS settings to default. This can be done by removing CMOS and putting it back after several minutes. Make sure BIOS firmware is timely updated to prevent such issues.

8: Power Issues

 The computer power supply unit could cause a system freeze. It should be efficient enough to deliver sufficient voltage to the system. No matter how powerful computer with the latest processor, sufficient RAM, GPU and advanced motherboard, but it has an inadequate power supply, the system will freeze.

To prevent this, install an uninterrupted power supply unit that can handle low voltage issues and keep the system running for some time even if there is no power. Ask a computer expert to install a power supply unit properly.

 9: External Devices

 Faulty USB or external devices such as a mouse, keyboard, USB camera or gaming console connected to the computer system can cause frequent or random reboots. To resolve the issue, remove connected devices to check if the system works normally without those, or to figure out which device that causes freezing. It is also important to update the USB device drivers to prevent such issues.

 10: Hard Drive Malfunction

 Don’t ignore the clicking sound coming out of the CPU because it is a sign that your hard drive has a serious problem. To resolve this issue, you can run a diagnostic check to examine the hard drive and execute appropriate workaround thereafter. If you have difficulties in finding a solution, go to the manufacturer’s website to get the troubleshooting method.

 There is a chance that all of your important files may be deleted after fixing the hard drive malfunction. But don’t worry, you can recover all the data that were accidentally deleted using a hard disk recovery tool.

 11. Serious issue with Windows

 It is also possible that corrupted Windows is the reason why your computer keeps on freezing. To solve this problem, follow the basic troubleshooting steps for your version of Windows. Visit the Microsoft support page to understand the method.

 In case troubleshooting failed, it is advisable to backup all of your valuable information, and then erase and reinstall Windows.

 12. Software related issue

 Third-party software is the usual suspect of system freeze. Some applications have applications that attempt to perform actions or access resources that Windows cannot read, thus, resulting into hung up and freeze. If this happens for the first time, you must troubleshoot the system as soon as possible and update all third-party software that is installed on your computer.

Testing the RAM is recommended. There should be 10% of your disk space left free on your system.

 13. Computer Viruses

 Don’t underestimate the capability of the virus. Most of the time, the first suspect of most users when PC suddenly hangs is the computer virus. To prevent this problem, install anti-virus software and ensure it is up to date. Free version could eliminate the malware threats. However, the features that it offers are only in limited time. So it is better to purchase anti-virus software because it is a lifetime investment.

Categories: Technology

Today, toddlers can be handed a gadget or device and soon learn how to use it. We think these kids have advanced skills, however, studies have found that electronic devices could affect a child’s brain development, thus aiding in language development delays.

The Cons of long screen time on Gadgets

1. Language Delay in Toddlers

A New study found more evidence proving that children who spend too much time on handheld devices were more likely to have delays in expressive speech, compared to children who didn’t use the devices as much. In an article published by Time, research led by pediatricians at the Hospital for Sick Children in Canada, which was presented at the annual meeting of the Paediatric Academic Societies, found that for every 30 minutes of screen time, there was a 49% increased risk of expressive speech delay. The researchers did not find any other significant conclusion of screen time on other communication skills such as gesturing, body language or social interactions. However, the influence on speech should be investigated.

2. Less Active Play Equals Delayed Development

There are tons of gaming apps (for all ages) available on Google PlayStore and Apple Store. Many of them are free. With that, many kids today would rather spend time playing in front of a screen than playing outdoors with friends. It is important to encourage kids to participate in outdoor activities because they need to exercise their bodies and maintain a healthy lifestyle as they continue their journey into adulthood. If there is a restriction on outdoor activity, there will be delayed development in their physical skills.

3. Not Good for Bedtime

Commonly, kids find it hard to settle and sleep early because they want to linger playing games or watching pre-recorded or live video streams. A collection of researchers at the Kaiser Foundation found that 60 percent of parents do not administer their children’s gadget usage and 75 percent of children are allowed to use technology in their bedrooms. This aids in 75 percent of sleep-deprived children, between the ages of 9 and 10, according to researchers from a Boston College.

4. Not Good for School

Being sleep-deprived doesn’t only affect children’s development, it also affects their performance in school. Researchers found that students from developing countries in Asia scored better in math, science, and reading compared to students from the U.S. who are overexposed to technology.

5. Child Becomes Aggressive

The National Institute of Health (NIH) found that the increase in usage of modern technology can break the old boundaries of family, values, behaviour, and children’s well-being. Some games available online portray sexual content, murder, torture and more violent content, which is not appropriate for kids. Without the guidance of parents, kids can become violent and aggressive.

6. Can Cause Mental Illness

A slang term “iPaddy” refers to kids throwing a tantrum when their electronic devices are taken away from them. Many parents can relate to this scenario, and a study commissioned by online retailer Pixmania could support the belief that gadgets have something to do with the behaviour of kids. The group found that eight out of 10 parents who have children from ages 14 and under said they confiscate gadgets as a form of punishment as their kids are too attached to the devices, and most parents said kids throw tantrums after confiscating a device. To avoid this issue, reassess the extent you allow your kids to regularly use technology before they get too attached to them.

What to do

If you want to avoid the abovementioned issues, as parents set limitations on your child’s everyday usage, especially when using online technology. Monitor the apps and sites they are visiting so you know the content they are viewing and guide them age appropriately.

Based on American Academy of Pediatrics new guidelines, parents should limit the digital exposure for children of all ages. The academy had set a general screen time limit.

Kids over 2 years of age: no more than two hours in front of the TV

Kids age 2 to 5 years of age: screen time should be limited to one hour per day.

Kids age 6 and older: parents should learn to determine the restrictions for time spent using screen, and as well as monitoring the types of digital media that their kids visiting.

Categories: Software, Technology

Health Apps – If you failed some of your New Year resolutions, don’t lose hope. You have trillions of chances to start again!

Health is wealth!

Many Millennials who were in the 30s and above are now health conscious because of their lifestyle and busy schedule (in their work). Due to the increase of stress level (either from work or personal issues), it is very important to many of us to watch out for our health status. Furthermore, as we get aged, there are many changes happening in our bodies, thus making us more are prone to such health issues.

Top Health Apps for Android Users

Google Fit – Fitness Tracking and OEM Apps
(Usually Free)

Android users have plenty of options. Thanks to developers of many phone manufacturers and Google who developed such useful health apps.
Google has Google Fit and Samsung has S Health, These apps can track users’ fitness, calorie intake, water intake, and other fitness stats. Most of these apps are free, easy to use, and have decent features.

StrongLifts 5×5
(Free with in-app purchases)

StrongLifts 5×5 Workout is another best health app. The app’s goal is to focus mostly on strength training via the StrongLifts system. It features methods to record your progress, a timer, and a bunch of other stuff.
The app has a variety of workouts and training exercises, and available on Google Store. The in-app purchase offers additional content along with what you get in the free app. For users who are looking for more hardcore workout, the in-app could be the best for them.

Runtastic Running and Fitness Tracker
Price: Free / $2.99-$4.97 per month (billed annually)
As the name suggests, it is useful for people who commit to running workout. It includes stats, graphs, exercise tracking, shoe tracker, and etc., has integration with Google Fit and MyFitnessPal. The shoe tracker feature helps a user to know when to buy new shoes. The subscription is inexpensive compared to its competitors.

MyTrainer Dasi
Price: Free
MyTrainer Dasi is a free health app. It works a little bit similar to Lifesum. To use this app, a user needs to enter your age, height, and weight. After completing the details, the app will recommend diet and exercise routines for you. It doesn’t do much more than that. Some part of the app isn’t translated into English.

MyPlate Calorie Tracker
Price: Free / $9.99 per month / $44.99 per year

MyPlate Calorie Tracker has a database of over two million items, including a barcode scanner for quick additions to your tracking. The app tracks your water intake and equipped with Google Fit integration and other helpful features. Unfortunately, just like other apps, its subscription service holds most of the app’s features

Categories: Hosting, Technology

There are plenty of web hosting provider to choose from. With that, it is challenging to pick which of them is the best for your needs. For developers and bloggers, picking the right web host is like picking Mr. Right or finding their true love.

In the age of digital, establishing a reliable website is necessary for both small and big businesses. If you don’t have a website, probably, you are losing great opportunities such as expanding your audience via online, and accomplish different marketing strategies. With the help of a website, it will be easier for your customers to reach you and purchase items.

How to choose a web hosting provider?

There a few things that you need to consider when it comes to choosing the right web hosting provider. There are some questions that you need to answer that can help you to find the right one.

Figure Out What Your Hosting Needs

Most of the time, many girls are guilty with compulsive shopping.When it comes to choosing your website, this behavior should be avoided. Before purchasing a hosting plan, it is better to ask yourself what are the needs for your ideal website.

To help you find out the things you need, here are the questions you need to answer:

  1. What kind of website are you building?

  2. Do you want something common and easy to use (a WordPress blog, perhaps)?

  3. Do you need Windows applications?

  4. Do you need support for a specific script (e.g. PHP)?

  5. Does your website need special software?

  6. How big (or small) your web traffic volume will go further?

 

Determine What Type of Site You’re Building

First of all, you should be aware of your niche, the files including, the images and videos you will upload, and estimate the number of traffic you are expecting because the foundation of your website depends on these elements. If you are sure with the type of website you want to build, you know what features you want to get. There are hosting providers promote eCommerce functionality, while other hosting services boast features best for blogging and search engine optimization.

Choose a Host With Which You Can Grow

It is normal you think ahead of the future of your website so you have a goal. Although thinking about the budget is necessary. However, you need to consider what hosting service is worth investing in.

Estimate the Amount of Traffic You Expect

Usually, many of us are greedy with garnering thousands of traffic. Even in social media, the admins who handle social media accounts for branding are more focus on soaring the numbers of likes. Sadly, with tons of visitors, it doesn’t mean you have targeted the right audience.

Attracting the large amount of visitors matters. However, it is important to reach the right audience because it shows you have reached the potential clients, and you earned a higher return of investment (ROI).

If you have estimated the expected traffic on your website, check the hosting plan if it includes larger file storage.

Beware of unlimited offers

Anyone will be enticed with the phrase “unlimited offer” of some hosting providers. In reality, there are limitations. If you are new to dealing with the services, it is better to ask an expert to guide you regarding the coverage of the plan.

Choose a portable content management system

This tip has been advised by most experts because it will help avoid lock-in. At first stage of using the hosting plan, it shows great performance. However, keep in mind the times change, and the technology industry progresses rapidly. Thus, management changes, acquisitions and technology shifts can alter your web hosting plans. With that, ensure your site isn’t locked to any one host and you have planned a back up.

Own Your Domain Name

Founder and CEO of streaming music service Dozmia Nicholas Rubright highly recommends that entrepreneurs (whether start-ups or established companies) should own their domains.

“Make sure you own the domain. That way you can change providers if needed, and own any earned SEO benefits,” said Rubright.

Here are a few tips to choose a web hosting provider. If you need advices regarding web hosting features, feel free to contact Horizontech Computer Specialists.

Categories: Technology

SSL is one of the greatest inventions in the internet! It is now easier to connect to people around the world, and shopping items and any transaction and business services are now just a click away. However, as the online technology continues, progressing, the private details are at risk due to several bad hackers.

There’s a possibility that a website can be hacked. The only way to prevent this problem is to build an effective web security. In order to set up web security, website owners must purchase an SSL certificate.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. It is an ID card that assures visitors that the website they click is legit or it assures visitors that the website is “who they say they are.”

You can purchase SSL from a Certificate Authority (CA). Usually, CA ensures that the companies are telling the truth, its team researches companies, check references, and assures the identity, and encrypts data that protect any information of the visitors. If we talk about encryption, it means a process of securing the data between the owner of the site and its visitors, without compromising the data.

Some companies that offer server also provide SSL. If there’s no SSL, you can use a third party.

How it works?

A shopper wants to purchase an item to a shopping website. There are two computers involved in this transaction: hosting server of the website and the computer of a shopper.

The shopper’s computer will connect to the shopping website and will look for an SSL certificate, and the shopping website will be verified by Certificate Authority. After checking the identity of both, the computer will form an initial connection (it is called the handshake). During this process, both will decide which encryption will be used.

This agreement is used to establish SSL. There are different types of SSL. It’s up to the web owner he wants to appear on web address-it can be a lock icon, a thumbs up, a green browser bar.

If you have questions about web security and web hosting, don’t hesitate to call Horizontech Computer Specialists.

Categories: Technology

Laptops and tablets are prone to overheating, especially during summer. Unlike desktops PCs, laptop hardware components are in close proximity to each other, thus making a restricted space for passive air circulation. additionally, as the computer gets older, the components work less efficiently, causing these components to heat up to high temperatures quickly.

Dangers of Overheating

If the laptop overheats, it can cause serious damage both your body, the intimidate environment and internal hardware. In fact, there are reports that laptops that run at sub-optimum temperatures can scald a user and cause fires.Due to the dangers of this Sony recalled thousands of VAIO laptops due to possible burn hazards in 2010.

Laptops are designed to allow users to work in non-stationary situations such as having no desks or power outlets available, thus giving the users more flexibility in working. However, working with a hot laptop in your lap can potentially cause male infertility, according to a previous report.

If your computer is under constant stress from high operating temperatures, there is a possibility that it will shorten the lifespan of the hardware inside your computer. The heat may damage components such as the motherboard, CPU, and more, thus, leading to irreparable damage and potential data loss.

Sign of Overheating Problems

 

  • You hear loud whirring noises from the running fan

  • The laptop abruptly shuts down on its own

  • The computer is struggling or suddenly freezing when performing basic tasks like opening a new browser window

  • Random error messages are popping up in random programs

  • Lines are showing up on your laptop screen (a sign your video card is overheating)

  • The system is suddenly freezing or you’re getting the dreaded BSOD (Blue Screen of Death

How to prevent overheating

  • Check the Temperature of Your PC/Laptop

 

Fortunately these days Windows comes with its own hardware management program, HWMonitor can be accessed anytime by pressing Ctrl-Shift-Esc>More Details>Performance>Open Resource Monitor – it displays the temperature of the CPU, each of the computer’s cores, video card, hard drives, along with the minimum and maximum values of each temperature.

  • Keep your laptop cool in five ways

  1. Adjust your power settings from “high performance” to a more “balanced” or “power saver” plan.

  2. To keep the cleanliness of your device, use dust remover spray to clean out the laptop’s vents.

  3. Use a laptop cooling pad that has a fan or two.

  4. Keep your working environment or office as clean as possible. You may turn on the air conditioner

  5. Shut down your computer when not in use.

 

Horizontech Computer Specialists are experts in laptop service and repair. If you feel that our expertise is what you need to keep your laptop running at its best possible performance don’t hesitate to contact us at Horizontech for an immediate hassle free, no obligation consultation.