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Feb 04, 16

"It's still not clear how, but a disproportionately large number of websites that run on the WordPress content management system are being hacked to deliver crypto ransomware and other malicious software to unwitting end users.

In the past four days, researchers from three separate security firms have reported that a large number of legitimate WordPress sites have been hacked to silently redirect visitors to a series of malicious sites. The attack sites host code from the Nuclear exploit kit that's available for sale in black markets across the Internet. People who visit the WordPress sites using out-of-date versions of Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader, Microsoft Silverlight, or Internet Explorer can then find their computers infected with the Teslacrypt ransomware package, which encrypts user files and demands a hefty ransom for the decryption key needed to restore them."

Keep an eye on your sites folks. It's not clear how this is happening, but it might not hurt to check on the .js files in your Wordpress install.

Feb 03, 16

As a remote worker, I use quite a few of these, but not all. The ones I use all the time?


As well as things not on this list:

Google Drive

I may have to take a look at a couple of others on this list though.

What apps help you work remotely? What does your list look like?

Feb 01, 16

"Whether we like it or not every lawsuit now has ESI and IT is responsible for helping protecting ESI."

This is one of those things that I don't think the legal industry truly understands. IT's job is first and foremost about keeping all the technology running and proiding useful solutions to business needs. Keeping track of data for potential litigation is not a huge priority. In fact, most people in IT would not even think about it unless directed to do so by the legal department.

So make sure you've communicated with them and come up with a process by which they can do what is needed. Don't assume everyone else spends their days thinking about eDiscovery. They don't.

Feb 01, 16

If you're like me, you might have utilize more than one cloud storage service. I use Google Drive most often, but I also use Dropbox and Box too. MultCloud is a service that allows me to tie them all together in one place. MultCloud does more than just provide a single log-in for all of the cloud services that I use. It also allows me to move files between services with a simple drag-and-drop.

By connecting your cloud storage services through MultCloud you create a single dashboard page on which you can view and access the files within all of your cloud storage accounts. To move a file between the services you just select a file from one service and drag it to the other.

This actually looks pretty cool. I might just have to check it out to help manage my various cloud accounts, some of which are work accounts and some personal. Working remotely means having stuff filed all over the place sometimes.

Has anyone out there used MultCloud or anything like it?

Jan 28, 16

This is interesting. I've published a few items on LinkedIn out of curiosity, and I could see some benefit in terms of getting likes/comments and potential getting your LinkedIn profile in front of some secondary connections based on those. On the other hand, I have seen a lot, and I mean a lot, of people "publishing" nothing more than marketing pieces on LinkedIn. That really does create a platform that doesn't prove anything about your level of expertise. If someone wants to know about my level of expertise, I would much rather they come check out what I write on my own site, rather than seeing my stuff mixed in with 100s of other peoples marketing messages.

What has your experience with publishing on LinkedIn been?

Jan 28, 16

"Until a year or 2 ago, the best-known program for creating and using encrypted container files was TrueCrypt, which was open source and widely supported with millions of users. Then the project was abruptly shut down. No one quite knows why, but rumours persist that the developers were formally discouraged from maintaining something that could allow law enforcement agencies to intercept information.

Luckily, the project now lives on in the form of VeraCrypt, which is based on the TrueCrypt code. It's still open source and it's still free, and it works just the same. It includes some minor new features, some bug fixes, and ongoing support. And it will work with your existing TrueCrypt container files if you have any."

Anyone used this fork of the Truecrypt code? I'm definitely going to check it out soon for some archived data I've got laying around. At least when I get home and have a chance.

Jan 23, 16

"Out in Atlanta, GA, Christina Lee and Michael Saba have been receiving a lot of knocks on their door for the past 11 months. These visitors all have one thing in common: they're looking for their lost/stolen smartphone. At least 12 visitors have shown up at the couple's Atlanta home, many with police officers, looking for their missing devices. The problem is that those lost iPhones and Android devices are not with Christina or Michael, meaning those device-location tools are wrong."

Oh man, that must suck.

Jan 23, 16

"Shodan, a search engine for the Internet of Things (IoT), recently launched a new section that lets users easily browse vulnerable webcams.

The feed includes images of marijuana plantations, back rooms of banks, children, kitchens, living rooms, garages, front gardens, back gardens, ski slopes, swimming pools, colleges and schools, laboratories, and cash register cameras in retail stores, according to Dan Tentler, a security researcher who has spent several years investigating webcam security.

"It's all over the place," he told Ars Technica UK. "Practically everything you can think of.""

Yikes. It's frightening how many people have webcams in use for security and leave them completely open for anyone to access because of the lack of built-in security. This is only going to get worse as we connect our homes to smart devices that are not secure. Imagine how many non-savvy consumers might have locks, garages, etc. connected to the internet and open to being hacked?

It's important that we get this right.

Jan 23, 16

"Gustavo Tanaka, co-founder of Brazilian start-up incubator Baobba Lab, put it bluntly: “No one can stand the employment model any longer.”

“We are reaching our limits. People working with big corporations can't stand their jobs,” Tanaka wrote in a Huffington Post blog on Dec. 16. “People want out. They want to drop everything. Take a look on how many people are willing to risk entrepreneurship, people leaving on sabbaticals, people with work-related depression, people [experiencing] burnout.”

It’s not only unsustainable for workers, but also for the companies that employ them. Science has shown a clear correlation between high stress levels in workers and absenteeism, reduced productivity, disengagement and high turnover.

"I think we're at a tipping point in the sense that this is no longer sustainable,” Seppälä said. “We're seeing that approximately 75 percent of workers are disengaged, and it’s costing the economy an enormous amount of money in stress and turnover.” "

There's no question that something is broken. There are lots of things we could blame, the economy, bad management, technology, etc. but the bottom line is that for many people, the typical corporate job just doesn't make sense. There are too many hours, there's too much connectivity, and too much stress. It's not healthy.

Jan 20, 16

"When Netflix still had your typical vacation policy, employees asked an important question:

“We don’t track the time we spend working outside of the office—like e-mails we answer from home and the work we do at night and on weekends—so why do we track the time we spend off the job?”

Management listened. They couldn’t deny the simple logic behind the question.

Back in the industrial age, when people stood on the assembly line from 9 to 5, paying for time made sense. With advances in technology, however, that’s no longer the case. People work when work needs to be done, from wherever they are. There’s really no such thing as “after hours” anymore.

We’re now operating in a participation economy, where people are measured and paid for what they produce. Yet, when it comes to time off, we’re still clinging to the vestiges of the industrial economy, where people were paid for the time they spent on the job. This is a huge demotivator. Netflix realized this, and it changed its policy to reflect the way that work actually gets done."

This is an interesting thing to think about, and something that hits very close to home for me. When I spend parts of my weekends traveling to and from training classes, evenings after teaching answering emails and doing other work, and early mornings catching up on emails from the East Coast before I've even had my coffee, why is my vacation time doled out in the same old fashion that it would have been had I worked in a factory in 8 hour shifts? For that matter, when I'm not teaching, why should I view my work in 8 hour shifts? Because we've always done it that way?

I'm not sure that makes any sense for many of us. Not all, some places still need 8 hour shifts, but for many industries and roles, that just isn't the case. It's about the final product, not time in seat.

Jan 15, 16

"According to research 77 percent of people said that they did not feel that public Wi-Fi was any less secure than their own personal internet connection, 75 percent also said that they wouldn’t curb their activity on public Wi-Fi and they weren’t conscious of anything they may need to avoid doing whilst using it, showing a lack of awareness of the potential risk when using public Wi-Fi."

We are clearly failing to educate people on the risks of using public wifi.

I'm not saying you should never use it, as much as I travel there's no way I could claim that, but be aware of what you do when connected to a public network and plan accordingly. If you're on a public network, like a hotel, and not taking any steps to use a VPN or other type of encrypted connected, then every you send from your computer goes across that network. Someone with a little tiny bit of knowledge can grab a copy of all of it simply by being connected to the network at the same time as you.

So wait to do any online banking or shopping until you're not on a public network, change your passwords frequently, and turn on two-factor authentication whenever you can.

Do you use public wifi networks? How do you keep yourself safe? Let's get a good collection of professional techie tips going!

Jan 15, 16

"Also appearing to be correct were reports that the "hacking" that took place in this instance was of the less hack-y variety and more of the let's-try-the-guy's-old-password-y. "

Yeah so, let's learn a lesson here people. Don't start a new job with the same password you used at your old job, OK?

Yes, using the password to access the Astros data was illegal, but something as simple as not using the same password that you just turned over to the old employer would have thwarted this hacking attempt.

Jan 15, 16

"As employers’ training and development investments wane, we all have to take charge of our development. You can amplify opportunities for growth and learning by cultivating high-quality connections. Look for them inside and outside your team at work and beyond the boundaries of your organization, or even outside your professional life. The great thing about investing in building and maintaining these connections is that everyone wins."

As a professional trainer, obviously, I think businesses who drop training from their budget are doing a disservice to their employees and themselves, but that's no excuse for any one to stop trying to improve themselves. I found this an interesting take on it because I know for a fact that people learn more in groups. I see the results of that in classes all the time.

Typically what happens is even when a business wants to send a couple of folks to training, they may decide they can't have all of them out at the same time, so they'll send one at a time. Other companies will go ahead and just send the team. Guess which ones wind up more involved in class?

There's a lot of value in sitting in the class together and being able to talk about how that would work back in your environment instead of waiting for everyone else on the team to go through training later and trying to remember what you thought way back when. It also gives you, as a team, an opportunity to interact with the trainer that you may not get when attending with a room full of strangers. (Not that attending and interacting with people outside your organization doesn't also provide some value!)

So, if you are being forced to embark on training on your own because of a lack of budget, it can definitely help to not do it alone! This article has some good ideas to help you out.

Jan 14, 16

"A long workday hides many hidden costs. It’s a fallacy to assume that the longer employees work, the more they’ll produce. “Working hours and outcome do not correlate,” Komuro says. In fact, she has observed precisely the reverse relationship among some of her hardest charging clients. As employees scaled back their hours, managers were surprised to see revenue increase. “Some companies even have more revenue after cutting down their overtime hours by 30%.”"

It comes as no surprise that the legal industry hasn't really figured this out. Maybe part of the problem is that people working late into the night make mistakes that then have to be corrected at the last minute, causing people to work until late in the night.

And so on, and so on... ;-)

Jan 13, 16

"So, what’s causing all of this demotivation and downright unhappiness? This is indeed an extremely pressing question that all top companies should be asking themselves. Here at Netguru we make identifying the causes of demotivation one of our topmost considerations, and we’re happy to pass on what we’ve learned."

I've seen all of these at one organization or another, and they are all damaging to the people who work for you.

It also reminds me of something I've seen lately, a slew of blog posts, and the offers of ebooks that promise hacks, or shortcuts, to engaged employees. Here's a thought, why don't you just have an organization that does the opposite of these things instead of trying to find the shortcut that will fix your workforce? Granted, these things are hard word. They require you to actually care about the people who work for you, and think about what they are doing, and where they are going.

Nah, we wouldn't want managers to actually have to manage. Much better to bring in cupcakes, or have interactive retreats, that will be the difference maker for your employees.

Jan 10, 16

"Once again, it appears the only way to make our nation's intelligence oversight committees care about surveillance is to include them in the "fun."

Unfortunately, our elected officials aren't any better than most Americans. It's all fun and games to violate the privacy, or prevent the practice of free speech, or other Constitutional freedoms when it's other people. But when it gets turned around on themselves, suddenly it's the most awful thing in the world.

Jan 06, 16

" You define e-mail address(es) for those you trust and a timeout period. Should something happen to you, the person identified can send a request to access your LastPass vault. LastPass then contacts the owner to make sure everything is okay and starts the timer. If the owner of the vault doesn't respond to LastPass within the timeout period, the requester is given access. It is an optional feature that must be enabled, but it sounds like a good idea to me."

I like it too. I might just be enabling this pretty soon on my LastPass account.

Jan 03, 16

I had occasion recently to interact with some folks who were very keen to tout their "open" office space, and how they were using it to attract recent college grads and encourage collaboration among coworkers. After some discussion about the space, they also pointed out how the organization was also flexible with letting folks work from home when there was a need.

As it turns, out, on the particular day that I was talking to those folks, they admitted that the office was only half-populated, because of the number of folks taking advantage of that flexibility to stay home and get some work done.

As it turns out, if you want to get work done, particularly the kind of work that requires long periods of focused attention, you need to stay home to do that. The office environment, the place where we all go to work, wasn't conducive to working. So in my own thoughts, it occurred to me that if you worked there, you would come to the office to have meetings, but stay home when you needed to focus on anything.

How does that make any sense?

If you work in an open environment, what has your experience been? Do you appreciate the collaborative space, or does your work require you to avoid it whenever possible?

Dec 30, 15

"Our psychology of e-mail doesn't match the reality. We treat them as ephemeral, even though they're not. And the archival nature of e-mail -- or text messages, or Twitter chats, or Facebook conversations -- isn't salient."

It's so easy to fire off an email, comment, or tweet, without thinking about someone reading it years later.

But we should really think about it.

Dec 29, 15

"Myth 4: Individuals learn best when taught in their preferred learning style

People attribute other mythical qualities to their unexceptionally large brains. One such myth is that individuals learn best when they are taught in the way they prefer to learn. A verbal learner, for example, supposedly learns best through oral instructions, whereas a visual learner absorbs information most effectively through graphics and other diagrams.

There are two truths at the core of this myth: many people have a preference for how they receive information, and evidence suggests that teachers achieve the best educational outcomes when they present information in multiple sensory modes. Couple that with people's desire to learn and be considered unique, and conditions are ripe for myth-making.

Why we are teaching science wrong, and how to make it right

“Learning styles has got it all going for it: a seed of fact, emotional biases and wishful thinking,” says Howard-Jones. Yet just like sugar, pornography and television, “what you prefer is not always good for you or right for you,” says Paul Kirschner, an educational psychologist at the Open University of the Netherlands."

In over 4 years of full time training, and years and years of doing IT training as part of support, I've never seen much evidence for learning styles making much of a difference at all in adult learning. Some people want to learn, and others don't. That's a more likely explanation of the differences between what they learn.

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