Archive for June, 2014:

3 Ways to Extend Your Smartphone’s Battery Life

Posting Date: 06/25/2014  |   Filed Under: Internet, Social Media, Technology  |   No Comments
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You’re in the middle of an important phone call, getting a high score in Flappy Birds, or trying to use the parking finder app to find your car in the music festival parking lot when your battery decides to die. Battery life, or lack thereof, can cause real anxiety among smartphone users. Veloxity discovered smartphone owners experienced anxiety over running out of a charge, resulting in 2.6 charges per day. Battery technology is lagging behind other smartphone advancements, such as a large screens on devices like the Galaxy Note and improved graphical rendering chips on higher end phones. While you wait for an all-day battery to come standard issue on smartphones, consider a few ways to keep consumption down.

System Settings

Turn your screen brightness down, as displays consume the lion’s share of your battery. However, your phone has other system settings that greatly improve battery life. One of the primary settings to target are those that keep your phone constantly active. Wi-fi and Bluetooth features scan for appropriate networks and devices to connect to, resulting in a major battery drain. Additionally, using 4G instead of 3G also contributes to battery drain. Keep your GPS feature turned off unless you’re actively using geolocation and keep your phone plugged in when you use it as a navigation unit if you can. Vibrate and haptic response on a touch screen are also battery drains. Turn them off manually or use an eco mode feature or app to handle that for you.

App Avoidance

Check for offending apps. The primary culprit here are those that push notifications to your phone on a constant basis, or are sending and receiving large amounts of data. Facebook is one app in particular you want to disable to conserve battery life, as it uses GPS and sends notifications to your phone. Tethering apps like FoxFi are another major drain on your battery, even if you use USB tethering instead of Wi-Fi. Consider buying a dedicated hotspot device if you find your battery is draining too quickly when using its data. Most apps allow you to control notifications and GPS settings on an app by app basis, so look through the options available.

Portable Chargers

You don’t want your phone give out in the middle of the day, but you also don’t want to invest in a second smartphone battery. A portable mobile charger is a great alternative, as these units typically give you at least 2,000 mAh, with particularly hefty units going up to 11,000 mAh to charge your compatible devices. You have a wide selection. For example, Mimoco’sBatteryBot is a portable charger that has a cute appearance instead of the black, clean line standard style that many chargers come in.

Smartphone Battery Life

Smartphone Battery Life

Should Your Business be Worried About HIPPA Regulations?

Posting Date: 06/18/2014  |   Filed Under: Security, Technology, Tips  |   No Comments
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The response is most likely yes! In fact many businesses and industries have to comply with HIPPA standards and regulations.

Unsure what HIPPA is and why it’s important?  Here is a quick review:

HIPPA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.  HIPPA was sanctioned by Congress in 1996 with the objective of enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of our health care system.  It also determined the guidelines for the security of vital and sensitive patient information known as protected health information (PHI).

PHI makes each of us rapidly identifiable based on our name; social security number; address; birth date; payment information; and our past, present, and future physical and mental conditions and treatment procedures. Shielding this kind of extremely sensitive information is of the utmost importance for any business that handles PHI including healthcare providers, insurers, financial services, and other health related service.

HIPPA built strict guidelines with the HIPPA Privacy Rule and the HIPPA Security Rules characterizing how this delicate information must be protected. Most healthcare providers and organizations work with a HIPPA compliant hosting provider and data center to safeguard information that is online or transmitted over the Internet. The HIPPA Security Principles fall into three classifications:

•Administrative Safeguards requires the assignment of a privacy offer; an annual risk assessment; employee preparation; workforce security and observance to information access standards for all involved with PHI.

•Physical Safeguards oversee four areas of compliance regulations that include facility access controls; workstation use; workstation security; and device and media controls.

•Technical Safeguards outlines the five areas of technology that defend PHI.  Technology must comply for access control; audit controls; integrity; authentication; and transmission security.

The punishment and penalties for HIPPA non-compliance can be extreme.  The financial ramifications can be as high as $50,000 per violation or more!   If you are concerned about your business meeting HIPPA’s strict standards for technology, please give your local Geeks On Call office a call for a consultation.  We have many owners that specialize in HIPPA compliance and regulations.  While we are not giving legal advice, we can certainly help with your technology.