The level of internet-related thievery has never been higher. This problem is like cancer and can strike anyone. Like car theft, the bad guys will strike those who are careless, gullible or just plain stupid. In other words, if you leave that MacBook Pro in visible sight on your front seat while shopping at the mall, you're tempting fate.
The same can be said about cyber crime. If you leave your windows unlocked, don't be surprised if you have unexpected visitors. One of the biggest problems I run into is businesses that get hacked and want to know how it happened and how to avoid it. Don't think that your business is not big enough to be targeted. Most smaller businesses don't need to worry about being targeted ransomware but large businesses, and government public sector organizations need to be very vigilant.
The bad guys rely on their prey to be careless. That means don't write your passwords down and put them under a kleenex box, or in a book on your desk. Businesses also need to make sure that their employees never insert any kind of USB zip drive devices or visit the types of sites (porn and free stuff) that are notorious for malware and viruses.
Permissions are the other big problem that most people overlook. Out of convenience, many folks grant site permissions as it's much quicker to gain access using your log-in credentials from another site (FaceBook, Google, Yahoo, etc). The problem is if you're compromised, it's not for just one site. For that reason, minimizing permissions and utilizing 2-stage authentication is the my wise advice.
It goes without saying, but never click on links in e-mails unless you trust the sender and know it's really from them. Just because you recognize the name of the sender is not enough. The bad guys hope you don't know about being able to run your mouse over the name of the sender to see the actual e-mail address. That's because while the senders name is usually legit, their e-mail is always bogus. I was notified that there is currently a Netflix scam so bad, the police are warning the public. If you ever get a warning e-mail that your account has been compromised or suspended, do not click on any provided links.
The same holds true for virus or malware warnings. If you ever get one, never click ok to "fix it". One of the only negatives to me moving from iOS to Google OS and my Samsung S8+ is I periodically get popups asking me to download cool applications for my S8+. Sometimes I will get a virus/malware warning telling me to click to fix. The first thing I do is close the browser. I then re-open it and clear the cache. Problem solved!
There are all kinds of scams but the most common ones are the ones that are easiest to avoid. Over 40% of small businesses will be impacted by cyber crime.
At last estimate, there were about 45 Class Action lawsuits leveled at Apple over their "Battery Gate" fiasco. That does not include Apple's legal woes in other countries. This, combined with weak sales on the newer iPhone 8 and X models has many Apple stockholders deeply concerned.
If you missed all of the excitement, we covered it in older blog posts. Several of my colleagues also explain the issues pretty well. Here are a few links that explain why Apple is in trouble with the government and their iPhone owners. Everyone with an iPhone 6, 6s or SE should immediately have Apple replace their batteries. Even if your phone has not exhibited battery problems, this will likely speed up your processor and undo Apple's throttling.
Apple quietly fixes battery glitch without notifying users.
Apple stores overwhelmed for their $29 battery offer.
Remember, this all came to light when a Reddit user discovered when replacing his original battery, his processing speed picked up substantially enough to notice. When Apple was confronted with this, they amazingly confessed. They did not come out and say that this was done to stimulate sales on newer models as many folks believe.
Apple said the reason for the software feature was added was to prevent unexpected iPhone shutdowns, not to encourage users to update to a newer iPhone. They apparently figured that while a phone with this "software" will take longer to launch apps and would display lower frame rates, it would also be less likely to randomly reboot.
"As we told our customers in December, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades," Apple said in the statement.
The next few months should prove interesting. Apple's legal problems with Qualcomm, their processor manufacturer, forced them to begin buying Intel Chips instead. I'm still puzzled as to why Apple would rely on their biggest rival, Samsung, to provide their AMOLED screen displays on the iPhone X and future models. These screens are far superior in brightness and resolution to Apple's old school LED displays.
I'm no genius, but have some advice for Tim Cook. Everyone agrees that Apple's iOS, while not perfect is still the industry's standard. Unfortunately, probably for the reasons above, they have always lagged behind the Android camp as far as screen size, resolution, and processor speeds. Apple needs to go back to their bread and butter. The iPhone 4s/5s/SE chassis was definitely their best. It was pocket friendly and the best one-handed usage experience, bar none. The problem was these devices had a small 4" screen with enormous bezels blocking valuable space. I'd bring out a whole line of SE models. They could offer their current budget version which is an iPhone 6s in sheeps clothing (original 4s/5s/SE housing) as their leader model. A step up might be replacing the original screen with a bezel-less larger LCD screen and possibly the guts of the iPhone 7. The highest end SE model might feature the guts of the iPhone 8 or X, the same AMOLED screen but in 4s/5s/SE body style. Everyone is nostalgic and this would probably help Apple go after the low-medium price demographic.
While I loved my iPhone 6 and 6s+, it was impossible to use them without a case. That's because the wider and thinner design meant danger and was sure to slide out of my hand. The newer models are more fragile, regardless of what Apple claims. All I put on my 5s model was a tempered glass screen saver I still have it sitting on my desk and it looks great.
That's right! The plan is month-to-month and if you buy a Samsung S8 on Verizon's zero interest payment plan, they'll give you $200 off their normal price. I personally use the S8+ and both devices are pretty amazing. Ask me for details.
Does anyone else out there feel that aside from having too small a screen, the iPhone 4S/5S/SE housing were the most user friendly sized Smartphones on the market? They felt great in your pocket, in your hand and offered the best one-handed dialing experience. While the Android camp were making those giant Super AMOLED screens iPhoneApple users could only salivate over, they also made their housings out of cheesy looking plastic.
Apple finally moved to their newer iPhone 6 chassis style which allowed them to grow their screen size from 4" to 4.7". Unfortunately, they flattened these devices out and made them much wider. They retained the metal case and the sex appeal - only if you dared to walk the tight rope without a net (using without case protection).
The latest iPhone models went from metal to glass housings. If I had asked Apple to manufacture a phone that was slippery, fragile, and likely to slide out of my hand, the iPhone 6 and all models after certainly fit that bill. Buying an iPhone 8 or X model and putting a case on it feels like taking a shower while wearing a raincoat.
I found the original pre-iPhone 6 design to be extremely rugged. That meant adding a tempered glass screen saver was the only protection really needed. The body looked high end and was extremely durable. I'm not impressed with the all glass design of the new devices, although I realize Apple did this to support wireless charging.
Does Apple management not read the chat room gossip about their devices? I am not the only one who loved the design of the pre-iPhone 6 models. After all, many folks don't plan to watch Netflix on their Smartphones and would just like to make calls, message, and lightly browse the internet. If I was Apple designer Jony Ivey, I'd bring out an iPhone SE on steroids. The first move would be to replace the stupidly small 4" screen with a larger Super AMOLED or even LCD screen, for crying out loud. Samsung and most of the Android camp lost those space wasting screen bezels years ago. It's time for Apple to adapt to modern times on more than just their Flagship $1000+ iPhone X and do the same. When they brought out the iPhone SE model which was an iPhone 6s in an iPhone 5s housing, I almost bought one but bought the 6S+ instead. I got so disgusted with Apple (before Throttle-Gate) that I moved to a Samsung S8+. I love this device but the reality is it's enormous and I don't watch as much video as I thought I would.
That's why a report that I read from Ming Kuo Chou, my most accurate Apple knowledge source, indicating that Apple would not be doing something new with their SE model concerned me. At this point, that model might be the only reason I would want to come back to Apple. Duh!
Customers looking to supersize their home theater experience are going to love this! Starting February 2, and for a limited time, all customers who purchase an LG G6, V30 or V30+ can get a FREE LG MiniBeam projector from LG, while supplies last!
Offer DetailsEligibility & Limitations
Only peasants stand in line at stores. Dr Wireless can seamlessly move your numbers over, whether you want to use your current device, or take advantage of Verizon's BOGO offer makes no difference. If you tried the rest and are ready for the best, just complete our application and "pass me the monkey"! We'll take it from here...
By now, everyone knows that Apple got busted for covertly sending over a software update that included a nasty surprise. It slowed down the processing speeds of iPhone models 6, 6S, SE and 7 series devices. I have covered this issue in multiple previous blogs. The two things that really steamed me about this were, 1) It was done covertly under the guise of a "software update". 2) These were not discontinued models but current models being sold today by both Apple and all of the wireless carriers.
When Apple admitted to this, they initially thought offering their $79 battery for $29 would make this problem go away. Well, after 24 Class action suits were filed in the US and who knows how many internationally, Apple's in more trouble than they bargained for. I personally could not even make an appointment at my local Apple store because they were so backlogged, they were not even setting future appointments at that time. On the positive side, there's a rumor that Apple is running out of the replacement battery for the 6+ model and is upgrading those for free to the 6s+.
The main reason to replace batteries on these models is not just for extra time before it goes dead, it's because replacing the battery also un-did the speed throttling of your processor. Apple just announced that it will not be necessary to install a new battery to get your original faster processor speeds back. They are releasing new iOS 11.3 that brings new features. Buried in the list of features is the fact that it offers battery management features. One is the ability to turn off the "Power Management" feature.
Dr Wireless has been offering T-Mobile service since they were known as VoiceStream. They did not always have the greatest domestic coverage as they have today. They did always beat the daylights out of all the other carriers in regards to overseas roaming and long distance calling costs though. They did this by offering unlimited 2G/3G data and texting in 140 countries including Korea for FREE on all plans. What is exciting and different here is T-Mobile is offering FREE Voice calling and high speed data for FREE from February 7th - March 20th.
Here's their deal...
"We’re rolling out the magenta carpet for customers traveling to PyeongChang for the 2018 games! From February 7 – March 20, T-Mobile customers roaming in South Korea with Simple Global will receive unlimited talk, text, and high-speed data at no extra charge!"
If you are not already with T-Mobile and are interested in seamlessly moving your number and device over, contact Dr Wireless for assistance.
you guys would just listen to what the public wants and stop the proprietary crap. My iPhone 6s+ worked fine, although I had noticed a substantial dip in battery life and processor speeds. I later found out these "problems" were covertly (and intentionally) pushed out in the guise of an innocent iOS software upgrade. This was actually discovered by a Reddit user quite accidently. Apple came up with a lame excuse that it was a "battery preservation" measure to keep these devices from shutting down. My interpretation is they were aware of having a battery defect and decided to keep it quiet. Some of my wireless analyst colleagues feel that Apple doomed the iPhone 8 series by releasing the X model just one month later. All of the wireless carriers have been running BOGO deals on the iPhone 8 models so this is likely true. Maybe what Apple did was to help push iPhone 8 sales. In my case, what Apple did backfired! Instead of upgrading and buying an iPhone 8 or X, I decided it was time to take another walk on the Dark Side and try the Google Android Platform again. Boy, am I glad I did.
I actually love my Galaxy S8+, but not right out of the box like an iPhone. The default Samsung keyboard was awful. Fortunately, Google's GBOARD is awesome, and now my default keyboard. Apple's SIRI may have been revolutionary 5 years ago but couldn't carry Google Assistant's, Alexa, or Cortana's bags as far as functionality goes today. Now I have a whole team of virtual assistants working for me. What I have come to realize is even though the S8+ is a dream phone with a beautiful 6.2" Screen, I miss the days of my iPhone 4s and 5s models. These were far more pocket friendly, and afforded me true one-hand use. The Apple iPhone SE was a weak attempt to keep this body style alive. Apple took their 5S and put the guts of the 6S along with the 6S camera technology in it. Word is they are going to introduce a new SE model with the guts of the 7 series which is a good start. The reality is the public could give a rats ass about whether their devices has an A8, A9 or A10 processor. They want a device that makes calls clearly and shoots good quality pictures. My iPhone 6S+ did all of that until Apple slowed it down and tried to convince me I needed to upgrade. The only thing I hated about my iPhone 6S, aside from the huge screen bezel was the thin case. It always felt like it would slide out of my hand without a case on it. I have large hands and it never felt comfortable. There was something about the square sides of the older style that made if appealing and less likely to fall out of your hand.
The picture below was shot with my iPhone 6S+ and the resolution and colors were more than adequate for me. If Apple does bring out a new SE model in the above 4S/5S/SE casing, waterproofs it, and gets rid of the lame waste of screen bezel, I'd probably come back for it. This would also give Apple a better chance of competing with the low-to-moderate priced Androids . After all, not everyone needs an enormous device to watch Netflix on their phone.
Software updates, whether operating system or device manufacturers are normally legit. That does not mean you should immediately download one as soon as you get them. There are many reasons not to do this. Even the "Good Guys" can cause problems unintentionally (as well as intentionally). Before downloading or upgrading anything, here are the types of updates you can expect..
The Good... All of the Operating System and Device manufacturers do push out mostly legitimate Software Updates. Usually these are designed to address bugs with fixes and to eliminate vulnerabilities. Often, new features are introduced. These are generally a good idea to do but never immediately. From personal experience, I have always found it a good practice to Google search and see the results of others first. Even with the best of intentions, with millions of applications out there, it is impossible to immediately test compatibility for all. If Apple releases iOS 12 and you see dozens of people who lost all of their contacts after downloading it, you wait for Apple to "fix the fix".
The Bad... Fake Malware (Scareware) is made to frighten people into buying protection. Typically, you'll get hit one of three ways. A Browser popup warning which will not go away until you clear the browser's cache is the most common. I received one of those yesterday on my Android's Chrome browser. It warned me that my device was infected with a virus and to click OK and then open a link. That is the worst thing you can do. Close the page and clear your cache. The second technique uses website advertisements. Typically, you click on a site that offers a FREE Web scan. It then finds "bugs" and recommends you various downloads to fix them. The most devious technique though is hackers making it look like the messages are coming from your message system or current Applications. In any of these cases, at best, you end up buying software you didn't need. At worst, you do get a virus or malware included in the download.
The Ugly... The proverbial wolf in sheeps clothing. These Software updates are sent out by the manufacturer and are legitimate in that respect. What's ugly though is when everything in these updates is not disclosed. Most recently, Apple released an iOS 10 patch that among other things, slowed down the processors of their SE, 6 series and 7 series iPhone models. This was done covertly and when busted, Apple claimed it was to preserve battery life or prevent freezes. Many of my fellow analyst believe the public is not buying iPhones as fast as Apple would like. What do you think the normal consumer does when they notice their phone is much slower and the battery capacity is diminishing? It may be no coincidence that Apple and the Carriers cannot give away the iPhone 8 series.
Oh, and Apple makes changing the battery as fun and easy as getting route canal dental work. Years ago, I recall having an older T-Mobile application that offered FREE long distance calling to Mexico which I loved. After blindly doing a software upgrade that the TM application pushed to me, I began getting an error message when trying to make my FREE Mexico international calls. It turns out that everyone that did the upgrade also lost this feature. Had I known, I would never have done this software upgrade. This is when I started Googling problems before installing anything. These are rare compared to The Bad and The Ugly problems but they do happen.
The motto of my story is, "If it Ain't Broken, Don't Fix it"! Unless the software upgrade specifically addresses a bug or an issue you are having, don't do it. For example... If the patch fixes a problem with APPLE PAY and you never even use Apple Pay, don't waste your time doing the software upgrade.
Joel Saltzman has over twenty years of wireless industry experience. He is currently CEO and Chief Wireless Analyst for Dr Wireless.