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Will E-Signatures and Mobile Devices Change how Insurance is Sold?


e-signatureIn my opinion, yes. The use of mobile phones is bringing about the biggest change in the insurance industry since the Internet.  There are more mobile phones now than cars or credit cards. More than 80% of adults in the US alone own one; half are smartphones that can carry out electronic transactions and can capture an e-signature. People are using their phones to engage with insurance companies. Increasingly, consumers expect to be serviced via any channel. And more than that, they expect to be able to start a transaction through one channel, and complete it in another.

Carriers in turn are developing apps for the growing market segment that wants to use their mobile screen to obtain quotes, check on submitted claims and buy coverage. Regardless of which devices consumers use – and whether the screen is a 17-inch agent’s laptop, 9.7-inch display on a tablet like the iPad, or a 5-inch LCD on a Samsung Galaxy smartphone – application forms and policy documents still need to be signed. Continue Reading

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Testing, Validating Your Backups – 13 Reasons Why You Should Do It


backupToday, most individuals and businesses have developed healthy backup habits.

But despite this, we’re still seeing a steady increase in the number of serious data loss incidents. And what’s really surprising is that there seems to be a new trend of critical data loss amongst people and companies that already back up their data on a regular basis.

Amongst this new breed of data loss incident, the most common variable is a reluctance to test backups. Although most leading backup experts advise their clients to test backups on – at least – an annual basis, people are still neglecting to perform these regular tests.

And because of this, we’re now seeing an alarming trend where organizations have many years worth of backups on file, but have no idea if these backups can actually be restored.

Outlined below, are a number of key reasons why people and companies should test their backups at least once per year.

  1. New computers are constantly being added to networks. And often, we forget to back up these new computers. (This is particularly true in the case of virtual servers).
  2. New applications may be added to your computers, which save data in unusual parts of the hard drive. If you’re only backing up your desktop and “My Documents” folders, you may be leaving some important files unprotected.
  3. There may be some new internal processes within your company which dictate how certain types of data should be handled. Failure to follow these policies could land you in trouble. (Either for privacy, security or performance reasons).
  4. Likewise, there may be new laws or regulations that dictate what you can and cannot do with private customer information. Failure to adhere to these rules could lead to heavy penalties. (Ex: HIPAA, SOX404, PIPEDA, etc…).
  5. Storage is now growing at an alarming rate. Many people are reporting that their file storage doubles in size every year. This rapid data growth means longer backup times, slower recovery, more difficulty finding specific files, and more chances for error.
  6. Now that we’re living in the Web 2.0/Cloud Computing age, we’re seeing a rapid change in the network topology of most organizations. Employees are increasingly moving outside of the internal network, while the datacenter is being reshaped in order to leverage the benefits of public, private and hybrid clouds. If a backup administrator loses track of where these servers fit within the network architecture, they can be accidentally left out of the backup process.
  7. Now that employees are increasingly working from laptops and mobile devices, extra care must be taken to track, administer and secure the backups of these remote travelling devices.
  8. Because organizations are increasingly working in a global 24/7 marketplace, there is less tolerance for downtime. You need to ensure that your backups can be recovered quickly in order to minimize downtime.
  9. Some programs – like word processing or spreadsheets – can tolerate up to a day’s worth of data loss without causing too many problems. And other systems – such as e-commerce databases – have almost zero tolerance for data loss. It’s important to know what your backup priorities are in order to design an efficient and cost-effective backup process that still covers all of your data protection needs.
  10. Often, backup storage can become damaged without anyone realizing it. It’s important to test your backups to ensure that your data can – in fact – be retrieved.
  11. Sometimes you need to recover only a few files, and sometimes you need to recover an entire system. “Bare metal recovery” is one of the trickiest areas of backup. You need practice to ensure that you’re properly prepared… and that you’re able to recover when needed.
  12. The IT industry is known for its high turnover. Would your company be able to restore its servers if you – or another key person – were unavailable?
  13. Too often, we assume that backups can be recovered to the same systems on which it was created. But what would happen if your entire datacenter was destroyed by a natural disaster? How certain are you about your ability to recover in a timely manner?

Of course, this is not meant to be a comprehensive list. If you can think of any other reasons why backups need to be tested regularly, please leave them in the comments below.

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SpyShelter 5.1 Review


Most people are usually unaware of just how many paths of attack spyware creators are taking. When you think virus, you may think of a PC-slowing, pop-up-laden program that simply wreaks havoc on your system. But that’s only the half. Keyloggers and other rouge files can crawl in through the back door and record and steal personal information, potentially leaving you financially crippled.

SpyShelter has long been one of the more noted antispyware/anti-keylogging systems on the market, and version 5.1 was recently released only last week – a beefier system with a much larger signature base, an improved interface, and a greatly enhanced experience for users.

The reason SpyShelter is popular is unfortunately due to the strength of keyloggers. A keylogger is an incredibly dangerous threat because it resides totally in the background of your computer and is nearly impossible to detect unless your antispyware program carries its signature. Continue Reading

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PCRisk.com – Malware and Spyware Removal


By each passing days, the potency and diversity of online threats is increasing and Internet Security is becoming more and more important. Howsoever smart, intelligent and updated security software you are using on your system, you can never be assured that your computer is totally safe and protected.

By each passing days, the potency and diversity of online threats is increasing and Internet Security is becoming more and more important. Howsoever smart, intelligent and updated security software you are using on your system, you can never be assured that your computer is totally safe and protected.

There are a lot of sites including Internet Security Blog, which try to impart awareness about these online threats and the ways and means to protect your system from them.

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Review – BullGuard Internet Security 9.0


The 2011 series of Internet Security Software will be about to be launched by most of the security software vendors. It has become tradition to launch the yearly edition of security suites like clockwork. I am not sure how many functional changes are incorporated in these yearly editions.

At least one vendor has ensured to buck this trend. Bullguard has recently come up with the latest edition of their Internet Security named as Bullguard Internet Security 9.0. It has come after around two years of last major version 8.0 being released. Although in-between, they had also released the minor revision 8.5.

BullGuard Internet Security 9.0 has an impressively simple to use interface. It presents you a simple interface studded with a few icons, which allows you to perform common security tasks like scan, backup and other things with a single click of a mouse button.

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Best Free Internet Security for New Malware – Microsoft Security Essentials


Security Essentials – The Free Internet Security Tool from Microsoft

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) (previously codenamed Morro) is a free antivirus software created by Microsoft that provides protection against viruses, malware, spyware, adware, scareware, rogue security software, rootkits, keyloggers, dialers, worms and trojans for Windows XP (x86), Windows Vista, and Windows 7 (both x86 and x64).

MSE replaces Windows Live OneCare, a commercial subscription-based antivirus service and the free Windows Defender, which only protected users from adware and spyware. It is geared for consumer use, unlike Microsoft’s upcoming enterprise-oriented product Microsoft Forefront.

(Source: Wiki)

Fine, But Which is the Best Free Internet Security Tool

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