Technology
For Advisors With An Android Phone Or Tablet, Here’s How To Turn On Android’s New Remote Lockdown Feature
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 16:04

Tags: android | phones | privacy; security

A new remote lockdown and data-wipe feature for Android phones was released by Google today that is free and very important to financial advisors.  

 
The remote lockdown and erase feature is now built right into the Android operating system and managed from your Google account. Here’s how to set up this feature to protect data on your phone.
 

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Start by going to android.com/devicemanager. If you log into your Google account, your phone or tablet should show up there. In case you forgot, you were prompted to set up a Google account the first time you used your mobile device. Assuming you did that, your device’s current location will show up on Google Maps when you input the URL above. Note that the lock and erase options are greyed out because they are not enabled.  

 

 Now locate the Google Settings App on your Android phone. I spent a half-hour looking for that app. It’s NOT the silver “Settings” icon. Google Settings is actually an app. It’s a green icon with a white lower case “g.”

  

     Choose Android Device Manager from the list of items in the Google Settings App.

 

In the Android Device Manager, check the  box to enable the lockdown feature.

 

In the Android Device Manager, check the box enable the feature. (This will not remotely lock or reset your device; it will just enable the feature allowing you to remotely lock and reset your device if you lose it.) When you enable the feature, a screen pops up on your phone where you can activate the administration of the remote lock feature from your Google account. 

 

 

On a device other than the one you're setting up for remotely locking, log into your Google account and point your browser to android.com/devicemanager. Now the lock and erase options are no longer greyed out because they are enabled.  

 

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Google Outdoes Microsoft Office By Making Quickoffice For Android And iOS Free To All; Edit Microsoft Office Documents For Free Using This Mobile Platform
Thursday, September 19, 2013 17:16

Tags: google | microsoft | productivity

Google today said Quickoffice, will be free for everyone. That means Android and iOS users can edit Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets, and presentations and not pay a penny. In contrast, Microsoft Office requires a license.   

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Quickoffice was purchased by Google in June 2012 and is expected to be the cornerstone application in Google Apps.
 
Google Apps and other productivity suites are looked on as inferior to Microsoft Office when you need to do special formatting or anything sophisticated in a word processing document, spreadsheet or presentation. Quickoffice is reportedly a significant upgrade and closes the gap in competing with Microsoft’s Office’s complex but powerful productivity suite.
TNW reports that if you sign in to Quickoffice using your Google Account by September 26th, Google will give you an extra 10GB of Google Drive storage for free for two years.
 
Microsoft is under siege but is not standing still. The vast majority of advisors are not interested in switching to Google’s suite because the cost of Microsoft is not that great and switching systems would be such a major headache for their offices. But the competition among Google and Microsoft is getting more heated and, at some point, we are bound to hear about advisors switching to Google’s platform.
 
If you are using Google Apps to run your business, please let us know how that’s going.

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Apple: New iPhone Not Storing Fingerprints, Doesn’t Like Sweat
Thursday, September 12, 2013 08:44

Tags: phones | privacy; security

Apple's new iPhone 5S, which comes with a fingerprint scanner, won’t store actual images of users’ fingerprints on the device, which is good news for advisors.

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Apple’s new Touch ID system only stores “fingerprint data,” which remains encrypted within the iPhone’s processor.

 

If the fingerprint reader stores your fingerprint in a way that can be hacked, that would be a deal-killer for advisors. You would not want your fingerprint available where anyone could get at it, since fingerprint ID will increasingly be used instead of passwords in the years ahead.

 

One work-around, until the technilogy is tested and widely adopted, is to scan your pinky finger or some other digit instead of your index finger.

 

In the meantime, Apple is assuring users the new phone won't store your fingerprint online.

 

 

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The Microsoft Partnership With Chipmaker Intel Has Been Breached By Google's Chrome Operating System
Thursday, September 12, 2013 08:23

Tags: google | microsoft | Operating Systems

New Chromebooks announced this week signal Intel's willingness to broaden its horizons and work with companies like Google, at the expense of its long-standing Windows partnership with Microsoft.  For advisors, it means that Microsoft's hold on your office's desktop applcations will erode in the years ahead.

 

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Most RIAs are still locked into using Microsoft's operating system and its Office suite. However, Google, with its Chrome operating system amd Google Apps suite for word processing, spreadsheets and other core productivity apps has been making an effort to overtake Microsoft's OS and suite, but it has not made much progress in getting advisors to switch to its operatong system and apps. With release of a new generation of Chromebooks using Intel processors, Google has cracked the Microsoft-Intel partnership and Intel is signaling its willingness to support Chrome.

 

In the long run, it's good for businesses to have choices, and Microsoft's grip on business computing will weaken. But until advisors are not reliant on desktop apps using Mcirosoft's OS, they're stuck because apps like PortfolioCenter, Advent Axys and other desktop apps for Monte Carlo analysis, financial planning, and making tax calculations usually run only on the Windows operating system. Still, the slow steady progress of Google in  breaking the "Wintel" alliance is noteable.

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Apple's Latest iPhone Puts Focus Back On Fingerprint Security, Which Would Be Good For Advisors
Tuesday, September 10, 2013 07:10

Tags: phones | privacy; security | security

Fingerprint scanners have long been a way to avoid the need for passwords to authenticate users of computers and other devices, ut it has never caught on. With Apple expected to include a fingerprint scanner on the more expensive of two iPhones it is expected to unveil Tuesday, it could breathe new life into the use of fingerprint scanners on hardware, which would be great for advisors.

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A fingerprint scanner is a really great way for advisors to lock down passwords on their laptop or desktop. I've written before about how you can use a fingerprint scanner with a password manager program like Roboform so that you can simply scan a fingerprint instread of entering keys of long passwords.

 

With Apple today widely expected to add a fingerprint scanner to the high-end iPhone launching today, this technology, which never caught on in the 1990s when it first appeared on hardware, could make a comeback, which will be great for security-conscious advisors. 

 

 

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