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Mobile applications “Apps” and tools are great, aren’t they? Mobile applications that make our lives easier, and help us make time feel like it is going just a bit faster when we are waiting at the doctor’s office, or in line for our favorite coffee.  Which apps and tools should you use to help keep your life, computer and professional world safer and more secure? We’ve got the answer, and it is direct from our techs, the team that has a passion for keeping themselves, and others, safe in the online world.

cartoon of a mobile application

For the Travelers

If you love to travel internationally, our tech, Arnold, recommends checking out Mobile Passport. This app can cut your customs and border wait time from around one hour to 5-10 minutes.   And, if you are traveling

Network Engineerwith family, or a big group, that saved time can mean more fun, and less stress all around. The app is free and is applicable at three cruise ports and 25 airports.   There are four steps to set up the app, which includes setting up your profile, answering a few questions, submitting to Customs & Border Patrol and following the Mobile Passport Control signs within your location. The added bonus is that you are able to set-up profiles for your entire family, which absolutely comes in handy!

Password Reset?

How many passwords do you have? And how many do you remember? If you are like us, you have created more passwords than you can count, and remember only those that you use most often. The others that always leave your mind when you need them. Our techs can relate, and use a password vault to avoid that situation. Audrey, Stephen T., and Jonathan have a few suggestions for you to check out:

  • mSecure: A free app that lets you store and manage your passwords. mSecure will also generate random passwords for you (always great!).
  • LastPass: There is a free version and a Premium version ($3/month). LastPass’ free version includes being able to store and manage passwords, along with a password generator. The premium version includes file storage, which lets you store things like insurance documents and passports.
  • Dashlane: There is a free, Premium ($4.99/month) and Premium Plus version ($9.99/month). All three versions store and manage your passwords, the paid versions offer additional storage, dark web monitoring, and credit monitoring.
  • KeePass: This is a free, opensource password manager. It stores and manages your passwords.

Account Protection

Two factor authentication (2FA) helps you protect yourself while online, and since we are all online a lot, an app focused on 2FA can save you time and keep you protected. One of our techs, Kyle, likes Authy. This mobile application goes beyond passwords and helps protect you from hackers that like to take over your accounts, like Facebook and Gmail. It’s a free app, and can really help keep you protected, and can help prevent those unwanted spam emails from being sent from your email account!

Check Your Status

If you’re like us, you are probably on Wi-Fi a lot, perhaps nearly all the time! If you are, it’s worth checking out WiFiman. A free app that basically helps you find the least crowded channel for your Wi-Fi access point, let’s you run speedtests and analyze the devices connected to your current Wi-Fi connection. It basically checks to determine the fastest Wi-Fi option for you. And faster Wi-Fi means being able to complete work (or access games) faster.

In The Office

Our tech, Keith, has been using OneNote more and more lately. OneNote is a digital notebook. You’re able to keep all your ideas, thoughts and info in one place and take it with you….you know, without the paper notebook. OneNote can help you organize your thoughts, draw out ideas or write notes, record audio notes for yourself and share notebooks with others. And, OneNote comes with Office Lens, which is the built-in camera within OneNote. If you happen to be jotting notes down on a whiteboard (or a regular notebook), for example, you can take a picture, crop or enhance the photo and add it to your OneNote notebook. You are also able to save that picture as a PDF and share it with others.

OneNote is included with Office 365, which David recommends using in your professional life. It includes the suite of Office products in one place. And, if you’ve used a Microsoft product in the past, like Word, you’ll have no trouble adapting to Office 365. Plus, there are a few more bells and whistles, which are extremely helpful!

Speaking of bells and whistles, check out Microsoft Flow. This tool connects your favorite apps to each other and can automate tasks for you. Flow is an impressive tool, that can handle a lot  but can also be a bit  overwhelming

A Few Extra Tips and Tricks

The team also wanted to share a few other tips and tricks that aren’t apps or tools but can save you some time. What can we say, when we start sharing info, we like to share as much as possible!

  • Ethernet Cables: We know, Wi-Fi makes you mobile. What if you call the help desk, pop the Ethernet Cable in. It’s much easier for the help desk to help you.
  • Pin It: If you use an application or website, frequently, Justin says pin it to your taskbar. It’s pretty easy. When you are in the app, or on the website, right click in the taskbar and select “pin to taskbar”. That creates a shortcut for you, making it easier to launch the app, or website, in the future.
  • Siri, Find a Shortcut: Siri Shortcuts, you are able to set-up workflows for yourself with custom voice activation. You can ask Siri to email you the last photo you took, or set-up a custom command.
  • Tips for Safari: If Safari is your browser of choice, check out 1Blocker if you would like to block ads and cut data load time. And, if there is a certain website you visit frequently from your phone, create a home screen shortcut by choosing the Share icon and selecting “add to home screen”.
  • Stay Alert: Unfortunately, hackers try to ruin your experiences on your computer, mobile device, and the internet. Steve says read those error messages or informational messages that you receive, don’t just ignore them. Call the help desk – if you aren’t sure, they would prefer to help with a simple question than a major problem caused by ignoring a message. Trust us.

Keyboard Tricks

Take a Shortcut: Michael’s favorite short cuts are:

  • Copy = CTRL + C
  • Paste = CTRL + V
  • Undo = CTRL + Z
  • CTRL + SHIFT + T = reopens the window you accidentally closed in Chrome
  • CTRL + SHIFT + N = puts you in incognito mode.  It is great for logging into a second Gmail account, SSO or other web accounts, without logging out of your main/primary account

Yes, we know that was a lot of information. Ask our tech team about mobile applications “apps” and tool recommendations, they get to talking. Not only because they like what they are using, but they want to help our customers save time and stay safer online. We’re happy they shared and hope you find value in a few of these tips too!