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Author Archives: Ty Hedden

Use this Site to Check for Email Breaches

Want to know if your information has been breached? Check out Have I Been Pwned:


Created by Security Developer, Troy Hunt, this FREE resource allows anyone to see if their information has been put at risk. I had my colleague, Meghan try it out with her personal email and two breaches came up:

1) The May 2016 Linkedin breach which resulted in the leak of 164 million email addressess and passwords
2) The 2013 Tumblr breach with resulted in the exposure if 65 million accounts

Data breaches are rampant so, when it comes to protecting yourself (or your organization) user education is a must. Arrange for some basic security awareness training and implement a safe computing policy.

Not sure where to start? Set-up a network assessment with a Dolphin.

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Pomodoro Productivity
Pomodoro Productivity

Simple Pomodoro is a simple time management Chrome extension that allows you to quickly set a timer for tasks. Just install the extension here and set the timer (in five minute increments) while working on a task and it will pop up when your time is up.

The Pomodoro Technique® was created by Francesco Cirillo following his search to improve his own study habits. The concept is simple: use a timer to break your work into focused time blocks separated by a 5-minute break. Each 25-minute work block is called a “pomodoro.” After 4 pomodoros, take a longer break. Watch this video to learn more.

Will getting that report finished really only take ten minutes?  Need a little push to get through your email backlog in twenty minutes? Try Simple Pomodoro.

Pomodoro Productivity 1

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Get a Glimpse with Gympse
Get a Glimpse with Glympse

Meeting up with somebody and want to keep them abreast of your location and ETA?

Glympse allows you to share your current location in real-time with anyone you choose via email, SMS, Facebook or Twitter.

Recipients don’t need to download the app to view and your location is shared for only as long as you specify.

No more confusion or sending multiple texts on your ETA. Let Glympse do the work.

Available on iPhone, Android and Blackberry.

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Convert Text-to-Speech with Speakit! for Chrome 1
Convert Text-to-Speech with Speakit! for Chrome

Busy but want to get an article read? Need to do some multi-tasking while staying productive? Have an article read aloud to you with SpeakIt! for Chrome.

Simply install, highlight the text that you want read on any web page, right click and choose SpeakIt! You can even pause playback.

To change SpeakIt! settings, right click on the SpeakIt! icon and select options. Set your default text to speech engine, volume, speed of playback, etc.

Now, get back to work!

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Will you be swayed by Sway?

Have you been using PowerPoint for years? Are you interested in trying an alternative Microsoft presentation app? If so, check out Sway.

Last year Microsoft launched Sway. If you are familiar with Prezi and similar presentation tools you’ll be right at home with Sway.

Sway is Microsoft’s digital storytelling app. It’s best used for presenting ideas onscreen rather than to an audience. Sway presentations are backed up on the cloud and easily shared or embedded in websites. And, it interacts with other Office documents. You can create an outline in Word before importing it. Or, you can upload Powerpoint presentations to ease the transition.


Sway is available on iOS, Windows 10 and on the web.

THE POD (written by Ty Hedden)

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Get Smarter with Smart Lookup

Microsoft Office 2016 has a handy new feature called Smart Lookup.

Powered by Bing, Smart Lookup can bring up word definitions, Wikipedia articles, or web search results from content within Office applications like Outlook, PowerPoint and Word.

Try it out.Get Smarter with Smart Lookup 3

Within Word highlight a word or phrase or press L, right click, and choose Smart Lookup. Once the tool is enabled, the highlighted term will appear in the Insights panel. The Insights panel contains an explore panel which reveals basic search results and a define panel that provides a definition.


Get Smarter with Smart Lookup 2

Before using the new feature, you will be prompted to review the policy policy and click the big Got it button.

Happy looking!

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Flash Alerts on your iPhone

There are three common options for mobile notifications: ring, silent and vibrate or a combination of the three. But there is one more option: the notification light which alerts me to unread texts, incoming or missed calls.

The iPhone doesn’t have a standard notification light, so what options do iPhone users have?

You can actually set your flash to act as a notification light. Here’s how:

Settings > General > Accessibility > LED flash for Alerts and simply slide the button to On.

iphone flash

Image: Conner Forrest/TechRepublic

The LED will flash three times when you receive a standard notification and it will flash non-stop along with an incoming call until the call is answered or ended. Now you don’t need to wake your phone to see if you’ve missed anything!

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Be Proactive in your Malware Defense

Ty Hedden

I love being proactive. Identifying and dealing with risk before disaster strikes is a huge part of my everyday job at Smart Dolphins. My routine risk management work is mostly technical. I ensure routers are secure, backups are working and security policies are in place. Being proactive with machines is a process. It can be structured and planned, made to be repeatable and scalable.

But businesses are not powered by computers; They are powered by people. Computers only do what we program them to do, and usually they do exactly what we tell them to do….For better or for worse. Ask a computer to email a file and it will email a file. Ask it to run a virus disguised as an email attachment and it will happily oblige.

While an antivirus will catch most threats, it is only one component, and should not be seen as our primary protection. The best protection is not technological but behavioural. Knowing how to safely handle a questionable attachment is key.

Being uncertain and opening  a malicious attachment could have big ramifications. In the case of crypto-ransomware like Cryptolocker, it could result in losing data on your computer, even data on your company’s server. In these cases, we fall back to closely monitored backups immune to such ransomware but there is always a cost in terms of both wasted time and lost productivity in a data restoration. Such small slips that can result in downtime which are preventable if you know what to do.

We’ve always focused on maintaining well-secured networks, but today more and more threats are targeted at people, not computers. If you’re picturing careless employees surfing nefarious websites on their lunch breaks, you are somewhat mistaken. I haven’t met anyone yet that can’t improve their computing habits and reduce the risk they carry on their business network.

Join me for lunch at one of my future lunch and learns and let’s talk about tools and habits you can use to become a malware and computer security savvy user.

Check out our events at: www.smartdolphins.com/culture/events/

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Dolphin Ditty: Safe Computing Habits

Learn some basic safe computing habits by Ty Hedden.

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Highlight an Entire Sentence

Pod Pointer

Sometimes a sentence just isn’t right. Well, if you are using Microsoft Outlook or Word, you can quickly remove or paste over an entire sentence.


Simply hold down Ctrl and click on the first word of the sentence and voila!  You can now remove the entire sentence or press Ctrl v to paste new content.

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