Infradapt Blog

This is some blog description about this site

Technology Addiction is a Very Real, Very Scary Thing

Technology Addiction is a Very Real, Very Scary Thing

Technology has become essential to workplace functionality and personal productivity, but while the long hours spent glued to our tech during the workday are a necessity, the time we spend at home with our personal devices is definitely voluntary. However, more and more people - children especially - are finding it harder to let their devices power down.


This is the hallmark of technology addiction, or Internet addiction disorder (IAD). While it isn’t yet officially recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), IAD caught the attention of health professionals in the 1990s and 2013 saw the addition of Internet Use Gaming Disorder to the DSM-5.

What Makes IAD a Problem
Many of the features and trends that are widely taken for granted in applications today - autoplay, in-app purchases, and even notifications - are actually undermining our self-control. Instead of being able to set down the device and move on to something else, these tactics have made it so that we feel compelled to compulsively check these devices.

After all, you never know what you may miss if you don’t check right now.

Of course, needing to use technology for work and being addicted to technology are two very different things, but that doesn’t change the fact that children and adults alike have increasingly presented the warning signs of this addiction in their personal lives. That’s right - as much as the attachment to technology has stereotypically been framed as a young person’s problem, it can affect adults just as easily.

In a poll, 66 percent of parents felt that their teens were investing too much time into using their mobile device. No real surprise there, right? However, the same poll measured that 54 percent of children believed that their parents were checking their own devices too frequently as well.

Symptoms of IAD
IAD has a few warning signs and symptoms that present themselves in the behavior and mood of the person affected. Repeatedly checking for incoming text messages or updates and excessive social media use are common behaviors to keep an eye out for in your loved ones, and possibly in yourself.

Those afflicted with IAD also frequently feel euphoric while using their technology, and when they aren’t, often feel restless. IAD sufferers are prone to social withdrawal and experience diminished interest in activities not centered around a gadget. Some schools have even implemented technology fasts, where students have gone without their precious devices for a week. Teachers have noted that these students often exhibit physical symptoms of anxiety while their devices aren’t accessible. Students will reach for a device that isn’t there, all the while shaking and sweating.

How to Reduce Addictive Tactics
Above, we mentioned how many modern applications have features that encourage this kind of pervasive presence and dependence. To avoid these affects, it is probably best that these features are deactivated for non-essential applications.

Notifications are some of the biggest culprits of encouraging persistent use, so if the information isn’t essential to your professional or personal life, you don’t need an app trying to get your attention. Ask yourself: do you really need to be informed that your energy has been refilled in that mobile game you play more than you should? At the very least, using the mute notifications feature will help keep your attention from being pulled away when it shouldn’t be.

Many of the same apps that spam you with notifications are also the ones that encourage users to make those tempting in-app purchases that give the user an edge, or more frequently, extend the amount of time you can use the app before you have to wait again. This is most common in the free versions of these applications, so if you insist on using the app, it is more economical in the long run to just bite the bullet and pay for the app itself.

What piece of technology can you not bear to be without? Share it with us in the comments.

Continue reading
0 Comment

Is Your Cloud Solution Actually a Money Pit?

Is Your Cloud Solution Actually a Money Pit?

The cloud has proven to be an extremely useful tool for the modern business. Not only does it provide anywhere-anytime access to applications, processing, storage, et al; it also delivers those products as a service, allowing you to budget for recurring costs rather than major upfront ones. This provides your organization with functional, supported, and secure computing environments that eliminate a lot of the support costs that traditional computing environments require. It sounds like a perfect scenario for small and large businesses alike, but things aren’t always what they seem, as a lot of cloud users have found that they have incurred several hidden costs by using cloud platforms. Today, we take a look at these hidden costs.


A study from Research In Action polled 468 CIOs about their cloud usage and the costs associated with them. Many admitted that cloud investment was one of the largest expenses their organization would have from a technology point of view. The study went on to find that while a majority of CIOs considered the “hidden” costs of this technology, much of the concern is alleviated by the reputation of their vendors. Some of the potential problems they considered include:

  • Having to put forth more effort to properly manage vendors, and their corresponding Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
  • Bottlenecking and the impact poor cloud performance could have on brand perception, productivity, and customer support.
  • The increased cost of solving complex problems inside cloud environments.

Are these concerns justified? Sure, but they are hard to measure. Many businesses just haven’t developed a system to properly quantify the perceived loss in revenue tied to cloud inefficiency. In fact, most companies don’t have updated, automated methods in use to track and manage their cloud performance.

Costs of Scalability
Many organizations also run into cloud cost overruns when dealing with the scale of their cloud platforms. Costs associated with over-provisioning (buying too much), under-provisioning (buying too little), management, and administration of cloud hosted environments present costs that may not look significant up front, but over time can have negative effects on the overall profitability of a business. Understanding the amount of space/processing you’ll need to meet your organization's needs is almost always going to be a fluid situation, but understanding how they affect your business’ bottom line is crucial to mitigate unwanted monetary responsibilities or cost overruns associated with the cloud platforms you utilize.

Going Too Far
Cloud platforms are nice, but you don’t have to look much further than your personal situation to see how the ease of use these platforms provide can get expensive pretty quick. For the individual, costs add up quick thanks to cloud-based streaming media and other platforms that come in a subscription model. You’ve got Netflix, Spotify, Hulu, and many, many more that are relatively cheap. Microsoft Office 365 is exceptionally useful and affordable, providing unparalleled value for about any computer user. The more you subscribe to, the more costs add up, which is why you’ll want to design, and stick to a dedicated plan to avoid overextending yourself, or your organization.

Utility computing in the cloud, whether it be applications, storage, processing, or some other form, is extraordinarily valuable, but only if you understand how to avoid paying more than you should for your cloud assets. The knowledgeable technicians at Infradapt can help you come up with cloud deployment strategy, while also helping you avoid cost overruns typically associated with these assets. Call us today at 800.394.2301 to learn more.

Continue reading
0 Comment

Tech Term: Computer Forensics, Defined

Tech Term: Computer Forensics, Defined

Pop culture gives us an impression of what cyber investigations look like. Official-looking people, in impeccable suits, typing away at terminals and analyzing the data scrolling past them on their heads-up displays. In reality, computer forensics (as they are actually called) are a little less dramatic, and much more serious. For today’s tech term, we’ll dig into the field of computer forensics.


What are Computer Forensics, and What Are They Used For?
Computer forensics can be defined as the application of certain specialized techniques to locate and analyze the information on a computer or computer system, protecting it for use as evidence in a trial. Once the requisite warrants have been acquired, a forensic technician is tasked with isolating the device from outside influence by disconnecting it from the Internet before copying every file and poring over their contents for evidence.

The investigator must make a copy of these files so as to preserve the original evidence. Accessing a file can be enough to change it slightly, potentially rendering their evidence inadmissible.

Computer forensics can be leveraged in a wide variety of cases, as any given device may contain evidence of a crime to be, or that was, perpetrated, as well as effectively be the scene of the crime itself. An investigation dives deep, not only focusing on the presence of files, emails, or other documents pertinent to the case on the device, but also on an analysis of these items’ metadata, as it reveals when data appeared on a computer, when it was edited and saved last, and who the user was that carried out these actions.

These methods have been used to crack cases involving a dirty laundry list of crimes, as this sample of their uses suggests:

  • Intellectual Property Theft and Industrial Espionage
  • Employment Disputes
  • Bankruptcy Investigations
  • Inappropriate Email and Internet Usage in the Workplace
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Forgeries and Fraud Investigations

Alternative Sources of Analysts
Of course, law enforcement are not the only bodies that maintain and utilize computer forensics labs. Six major companies, including Walmart, American Express, and Target, have accredited laboratories, and there are countless other independent labs that have not been accredited. These in-house labs can often outperform traditional law enforcement groups, as they are better able to keep their solutions on the cutting edge.

In fact, these labs are often recruited by law enforcement to assist in solving crimes. Target’s labs have announced in the past that they have assisted with “felony, homicide, and special-circumstances cases” on a volunteer basis for years, a spokesperson claiming in 2008 that a full quarter of cases worked by Target’s laboratory had nothing to do with the company.

How Does Your Technology Compare?
If you want a team on your side that will take as much care to protect your solutions as a computer forensics team does to track down cybercrime, give Infradapt a call at 800.394.2301.

Continue reading
0 Comment

Monitoring and Automation Make for a More Secure System

Monitoring and Automation Make for a More Secure System

Information technology, in many ways, is a necessary evil. Sure, modern businesses more or less require it to remain competitive, but it also opens up your business to a multitude of threats. Maintaining your security is made much easier with automated monitoring tools. Today, we’ll discuss how to use these tools to protect your business.


The Situation at Hand
Let’s face it, there is a mammoth amount of cyberthreats out there that could potentially infiltrate your business during your daily goings-on. What’s worse, it only takes one to find a weak point in your security and cause you and your business no small amount of trouble - and as though that wasn’t enough, this mammoth amount of cyberthreats is always growing and adapting to be more effective.

Frankly, unless your entire staff is devoted to maintaining the business’ security, it is highly unlikely that your business can keep up with the threats to it.

Unless…
There are a few solutions to this quandary - the first of which being the monitoring services that a trusted MSP like Infradapt can provide. With the assistance of top-of-the-line automated tools to help detect and identify threats to your security, our team can ensure that your business remains safe.

Why Automation Helps
One of the reasons that our automated tools are so effective is that the slim chance of human error on our end is effectively mitigated. Rather than having our eyes trying to detect the minute warning signs of impending issues or threats, we have systems and software that utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning to catch threats before they darken your door, so to speak.

As a result, you can devote less of your valuable time, energy, and focus on keeping threats out, and more time on innovating and optimizing other, income-generating parts of your business.

If you would like assistance in setting up an automated system or would like to discuss our monitoring solutions a little further, please give us a call at 800.394.2301.

Continue reading
0 Comment

ALERT: Change Your Twitter Password, Says Twitter

ALERT: Change Your Twitter Password, Says Twitter

Twitter is recommending that all 336 million users change their passwords as soon as possible due to the discovery of an internal security flaw. While the issue has been fixed and no data breach seems to have taken place, Twitter is clearly taking this situation seriously.


On Thursday, May 3, it came to light that there was an internal log upon which an undisclosed number of account passwords were recorded without any protection. As a result, this unknown amount of passwords can no longer be considered secure, even though there is no apparent evidence that any data breach has occurred.

Twitter uses a process called hashing to protect their passwords, as many companies do. However, a bug created a log of passwords before they were hashed, leaving them fully legible. This bug has since been resolved.

In response to this situation, Twitter is being proactive and recommending that all of its users change their passwords, just in case. To do so, log in to your account in your browser, access Settings and privacy, and from there, Password. It is also a good idea to enable two-factor authentication by accessing Settings and privacy, clicking into Account. Once there, click on the “Set up login verification” button and follow the instructions. You will find yourself on a Login verification screen, where you can activate the means to generate another authentication code.

While disaster seems to be averted this time, you should not hesitate to change your password as soon as possible, and makes sure that all of your online accounts have strong passwords in place. For more information about keeping your identity safe online, call the IT professionals at Infradapt at 800.394.2301.

 

Continue reading
0 Comment