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March 23rd, 2012

Firefox is one of the most popular Web browsers available. It has become especially popular with the business crowd due to powerful add-ons that make business related browsing easier. There are a large number of useful add-ons out there, and it can sometimes be tough to see what’s best. Don’t worry, we are here to help.

At first look, Firefox is a fairly simple browser. Where it really shines though, is in the wealth of add-ons available for all users. If you were to compare different users’ browsers, it is highly doubtful they would look the same. There are some useful add-ons for small business users that can help make your life easier. Here are our top five:

Make Add-ons Compatible With New Versions of Firefox Firefox is on an aggressive update schedule. It feels like only a few weeks pass in between each new rollout, and this can pose a problem if the developers of the add-ons don’t keep their add-ons up to date. To solve this, install the Add-On Compatibility Reporter. This useful add-on will disable version checking, allowing the add-ons to continue working. If you have an add-on that won’t work, you can send a report to the developer. It is recommended that this is one of the first add-ons you install.

Speed Dial Speed Dial is an add-on that allows you to quickly access your favorite, or most visited sites. You set your bookmarks up to show via Speed Dial, which will show current thumbnails of the website. From there you can click on the thumbnail to go to the website. This is particularly useful if you have pages you visit on a regular basis and wish to navigate to them quickly.

OutWit Docs This add-on is for those managers who have a ton of documents on their computer and want to quickly find one without closing or minimizing Firefox. Think of having a version of Google for your docs - you enter a query into the search bar, and up comes the results with thumbnails so you can easily pick and open the document you were looking for.

Google Global An interesting add-on that allows you to see where your website, or any website for that matter, will show up according to the local Google page rankings. This is great for quickly viewing your presence in other regions or countries. However, this add-on will only work when on a Google search results page.

Screengrab If you are preparing a presentation or need to take a screenshot it can be a bit of a chore, especially on a Mac. With Screengrab you can take a screenshot of just the visible part of the browser or the whole page. This will save time from having to take multiple screenshots and then stitching the images together to gain one image.

These five apps are just the tip of the iceberg, there are many more on the Firefox Add-ons page. If you would like to know more about Firefox or other Web browsers, please contact us.

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Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
Topic Browsers
March 10th, 2012

Security is important for all businesses, and many go to great lengths to keep their business secure from threats. Sometimes there is a security issue that you can’t control. This recently happened when Google was caught bypassing the security settings of Apple’s default browser, Safari.

As many news sources are reporting, Google was discovered to have bypassed the security settings of Apple’s default browser, Safari. If you are to believe the many news articles, what Google has done is a big issue. But what did Google actually do, and how does this affect your business?

What Did Google Do?
Google was caught using software to trick Safari’s security settings into allowing third-party cookies. The cookies placed by Google were used to track users’ internet behavior with the idea of providing personalized ads targeted to the users. Google stressed that no personal data was recorded.

Why would Google do this?
Safari is set up to block all third-party cookies — cookies usually used by advertisers placed on a user’s hard drive that don’t have the same URL the user is looking at. Since the majority of Google’s ad services don’t operate under the Google URL, Google needs to use third-party cookies to track users. In other browsers, when a user signs into a Google Account, third-party cookies used by Google’s ad services are automatically placed. With Safari, the cookies are automatically blocked.

To get around the established security, Google took advantage of a known loophole found in 2010 by putting a form in some pages that tricked Safari into thinking the user had agreed to let Google’s Ad services track them.

What Does this Mean to Us?
In all honesty, not very much. Google has said that they are removing the forms from the websites and cookies from the browsers. Apple has said they are working to stop all third party cookies, but no updates have been released as of March 1.

What Can We Do?
To ensure that third party cookies are blocked in Safari, go to:

  1. Safari – Preferences, or hit “Command” + “,”
  2. Select Privacy
  3. Select which level of cookies you would like to block

You can also set your browser to never allow cookies. The downside to this is you will find yourself having to log into a site each time you go to it in a new window. Another strategy is to clear your cookies regularly. In the same tab you set your cookie preferences, select: Remove All Website Data

If you would like to learn more about protecting your organization, or if you have questions, please contact us.

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Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Browsers
January 25th, 2012

For those of you using Google Mail or Gmail, chances are you’re familiar with the “stars” feature, which serves as a visual reminder to follow up on certain messages or mark their importance. You may not know, though, that you can use different types of stars. To do so, click on the Gear icon in the upper right corner of the screen, click Mail Settings, and on the General tab look for the Stars section.

You will see many different types of stars that you can cycle through. Drag the stars between the lists that you want to use and in the order you prefer. Another neat trick is to use the name of the star to filter messages. Simply hover over the star to learn its name (i.e., “red-bang”), then use the “has” prefix to filter by star name. For example, typing “has:red-bang” in your search box will show all messages with that star name.

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Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Browsers
January 23rd, 2012

With the recent release of the Nexus 7 tablet, a powerful 7 inch tablet available at half the price of the iPad, many users are really starting to consider Android tablets as serious alternatives. Android tablets are made by different manufacturers but all run the Android OS. One of the main features of the OS is easy navigation with the use of a touch screen and various finger movements.

Here are the most common touch-screen motions that will have you navigating your Android tablet like a pro in no time. Note: these tips will work for most versions of Android but are optimized for Android 4 or higher – Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean.

Vertical scroll
The vertical scroll is used to browse lists or websites. When you open a website or list that’s longer than the screen, you can scroll down by putting one finger on the screen and moving your finger away from your body. To scroll up you move your finger towards your body. If you want to scroll quickly, flick your finger up or down and lift it off the screen. The faster you flick, the further you will scroll. Tapping the screen will stop scrolling.

Horizontal scroll
Horizontal scrolling is used to navigate your apps screen, turn a page in an e-book reader and to move to the different home screens. From the main home screen, place your finger on the screen and move it to the left or right to view your other home screens. If a website is too large for your screen, you can view more of it by using the same action. As with vertical scrolling, the quicker you move your finger, the faster you will scroll.

Zoom
Some apps like Google Maps, Web browsers and document readers will allow you to zoom in to view the page or map better. To zoom in, place two fingers on the screen – most people place their fingers like you would on a keyboard – and move them apart. When you move your fingers apart, you should notice the screen zoom in e.g., in Google Maps, the map will zoom in to show a smaller section. To zoom out, or view more, place two fingers on the screen and bring them together. If you do this on a website, you’ll be able to see more of the site.

If the list, website, book or document you’re looking at doesn’t really scroll very far, try rotating your tablet to the left or right so you’re holding it more like a book. When you rotate the tablet, your screen should also rotate into Landscape mode, which makes your viewing area wider. Should your screen not rotate, open Settings and select Display. Locate Auto-rotate screen and tap it. If there is a checkmark in the box, it means your screen will auto-rotate. To learn more about your Android tablet, or if you have any questions, please contact us.

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Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Browsers