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CTN Solutions has been serving the greater Philadelphia area since 1997, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Google Password Checkup Tool Works to Keep You Secure

Google Password Checkup Tool Works to Keep You Secure

Imagine a world where there wasn’t a singular dishonest being. Passwords would simply vanish from our everyday lives, as we would not be paranoid of a breach or other forms of cybercriminal activity. The harsh reality is this will never come into being. Even worse, the cybercriminals don’t just skim for lack of passwords. Instead, the dishonest criminal goes even further; they take advantage of common or recurring passwords. So how do you know if your password practices are leaving you vulnerable? Google is here to help. 

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Tip of the Week: Some Google Search Tips to Help You

Tip of the Week: Some Google Search Tips to Help You

For many tech-savvy individuals, the expression “Google it” is a well-tested, and approved, method to researching. Are you getting the most out of Google search? Today, we share useful tips on how to better optimize your Google search queries.

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Tip of the Week: Optimize Your Chrome Browser

Tip of the Week: Optimize Your Chrome Browser

Google Chrome is much more than just any old web browser; it’s the most popular web browser in the world, being installed automatically on Android smartphones and the browser of choice for countless desktop users. Today, we want to help you get the most out of your Google Chrome web browser.

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Google Knows Where You Are: Here’s How to Stop Them

Google Knows Where You Are: Here’s How to Stop Them

Late in the summer this past year there were several articles written about how Google would continue to track the location of a person’s smartphone after they had chosen to turn off their location settings. A Princeton researcher corroborated those claims for the Associated Press, traveling through New York and New Jersey with locations services off only to be tracked the entire way. Today, we will discuss this issue, and tell you what you need to know to keep Google from tracking you wherever you go.

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Prioritize the Protection of Your Google Account

Prioritize the Protection of Your Google Account

Chances are you have a Google account, whether it’s for business or personal use. It’s more accessible today than ever and provides a solid way to gain access to important features and accounts. Considering how much can be done with a Google account, users forget that they can put their security and personal data at risk. Here are some ways that your Google account is at risk, as well as what you can do to fix it.

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Clearing Up Some Chromebook Confusion

Clearing Up Some Chromebook Confusion

Chromebooks might be simple, but they aren’t as limited as you might think. They might once have had restrictions, but more recent models are much more capable of accomplishing just as much, if not more, than any of their previous iterations. Here are some of the most common misconceptions that people have about Chromebooks.

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The G Suite Just Got Smarter

The G Suite Just Got Smarter

With the recent overhaul of Google’s G Suite productivity software products comes a new way to keep your business data secure. We’ll go over some of the major changes introduced in the updates, including the integration of artificial intelligence.


Google’s new services and integrations are openly competing with software like Microsoft, Slack, and Atlassian. We’ll take a closer look at some of the changes made through Google’s G Suite overhaul.

Gmail Upgrades
Google services have changed considerably over the years, but one that hasn’t seen a significant change since 2011 is Gmail. The new designs provide several new functions including a snooze feature that can remove an email from an inbox for a specified length of time. Another feature is Smart Replies which can provide users with A.I.-generated replies to an email with just a click of the mouse. In particular, this is helpful for the mobile app.

In addition to these new features, more focus is being placed on some others that haven’t been as focused on in the past. Google has built several new plugins for its Gmail Add-ons from 2017. If you’re looking at your new Gmail, you can find these options by clicking on the vertical strip of icons in the upper right-hand section of the Gmail interface. There are now plenty of third-party apps that integrate with Gmail, like Trello and Boomerang, as well as several Google products such as Google Keep, Google Calendar, and Google Tasks.

Inside G Suite
If you’re using the latest version of the G Suite, chances are you’ve noticed some changes to the interface itself. There are more integrations with third-party software than ever before, all to help your business improve collaboration and cooperation between departments or individual users. There is new functionality between Hangouts Meet and video conferencing solutions like Microsoft Skype, as well as interoperability between several other applications. These include smart features for Google Calendar and Microsoft Exchange Resource Booking, as well as Google Sheets integration with ERP and CRM solutions.

Google Calendar also now has smart scheduling capabilities that make it even easier to stay organized. Thanks to machine learning, Google products can now take advantage of real language processing to display only the most relevant information. As the interface learns from the user, it will be able to better serve them.

Another great feature is the use of Team Drives. You can create more collaborative environments for your organization’s departments, allowing them to take advantage of Docs, Sheets, and more in all new ways. Google explains this as giving “more granular control” over your organization’s content.

Does your business want to get the most out of its productivity suites? CTN can help. To learn more, reach out to us at (610) 828-5500.

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Tip of the Week: Managing Gmail with Labels and Filters

Tip of the Week: Managing Gmail with Labels and Filters

Gmail is a great way to take advantage of business email, but do you know all of the ins and outs of how to use some of its finer details? Today’s tip is dedicated to going over some of the more useful features of Gmail, like filters and labels, both of which will be helpful in controlling your inbox.


Labels and Filters
Gmail helps you keep your messages organized through the use of labels and filters. Basically, you can assign rules that will apply to any messages that you receive. By effectively using filters, you can make browsing your inbox more efficient, as well as consolidate similar messages with little effort.

For example, a filter could be used to assign a label to any message that holds “quarterly report” in the subject line. These labels would then be applied to any incoming messages that have that specific criteria.

Creating a Filter
To create a filter in Gmail, just follow these steps:

  • Click the down arrow in the search bar. You can then select specific details that you want to include in your search criteria.
  • Select the criteria that you want your filter to seek. Once you’ve done so, click on Create filter with this search.
  • You’ll then be provided with several options, one of which will automatically mark your conversation as important. Be sure to select the option to Apply the label.
  • Next, select the drop-down menu that’s labeled Choose label. You can then create a new label or one that has already been made.
  • Once the filter has been configured, select the Create Filter button.

Creating a Label
You can also apply labels to your messages, but in order to do so, you first need to make the label. You’ll be able to both apply labels as you receive messages, or apply them to existing messages. We’ll walk you through the process:

  • In Gmail, click on the More option on the left side of the screen.
  • Next, select Create new label.
  • Provide a name for your label and create it.

Now all you have to do is apply the label to your messages.

  • First, open up the message you want to apply the label to.
  • At the top of your screen, select the Label button. You can add a label to any group of messages provided you have selected them all before you click the label button.
  • You must then select each label you want to add. You can also create a new label at this point if you need to.

To learn more about how to take full control of your Gmail inbox, be sure to keep a lookout for similar articles from CTN’s blog.

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What's It Mean When Online Traffic is Concentrated to a Handful of Apps?

What's It Mean When Online Traffic is Concentrated to a Handful of Apps?

The Internet is always changing, and anyone who has been using it for a while has experienced this change for themselves. While it might be strange to think about, the latest statistics have proven that the current changes to the Internet are some of the most significant--especially for businesses. “Online business as usual” will be significantly different moving forward.


Forrester issued a report that claims Internet users spend about 85 percent of their time on mobile devices with applications, while about 15 percent is spent in the web browser itself. This shift mainly started around the beginning of 2014. The shift happened when people began accessing the Internet primarily through mobile apps and devices rather than through desktop computers.

In other words, people aren’t spending as much time sitting in front of their desktops, and are instead switching to browsing the Internet on their mobile devices. While this might seem like a good enough reason to shift your online efforts to mobile apps, another claim from Forrester suggests you should do the opposite. This is because people spend 85 percent of their time on mobile devices are using only five apps, including the most popular apps of them all: Facebook and Google.

While Net Neutrality is under fire by legislation influenced by special interests, the suggestion that most of the computing going on is through a small number of applications tends to prove that the freedoms we enjoy online are threatened. The reason: only a handful of companies own these popular mobile apps, which would put all of the power in the hands of a select few, completely changing and controlling the current state of things. Business2Community describes it like this: “This reality on the commercial web is now being revealed as we are witnessing the rise of a duopoly. Google and Facebook. Today 90 percent of all advertising growth on digital is coming from these two companies.”

All of these changes don’t necessarily change the fact that you’ll be able to use the Internet to create your personal or professional image. You’ll still have websites, forums, email, and all of the things that users have seemingly taken for granted. It’s just the fact that nobody will listen to what you have to say without Facebook and Google to send users to your website. It’s also important to take into account that online content isn’t always created specifically for mobile, so if you fail to jump on this bandwagon, you are sure to lose influence as the Internet changes and evolves.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, saw a vision of a utopia where the world was changed for the better by the Internet. He described the web as “an open platform that would allow everyone, everywhere to share information, access opportunities, and collaborate across geographic and cultural boundaries.” Anyone who uses the Internet today probably cannot see what Berners-Lee was talking about.

To a business owner, this continuous change represents a thrilling challenge that you have to overcome in order to succeed. In a way, it’s not so different from any other technology that your business relies on. Technology changes suddenly and unexpectedly, and it’s up to you to ensure that such changes don’t end your business. To learn more about how you can take preventative measures against unexpected changes in your IT infrastructure, reach out to us at (610) 828-5500.

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Warning: Google Docs Hit With Phishing Attack

Warning: Google Docs Hit With Phishing Attack

On Wednesday, several users found themselves the victim of a convincing phishing attack. The attack was designed to look like an invitation to view and edit a Google Doc, and is designed to steal your Google credentials and spread through your contacts.

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Google Throws Down the Gauntlet for Hackers to Breach Their New Phone

Google Throws Down the Gauntlet for Hackers to Breach Their New Phone

There are many ways to fund a project, but one of the more interesting ways to do so in today’s web-centric culture is through crowdfunding. It’s been so effective that even major companies like Google are using it to their advantage. Google’s latest project encourages users to hack into the Nexus line of mobile devices to collect potential vulnerabilities, with the promise of prizes for those who are successful.

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Sorry, Windows XP Users: No More Google Chrome Updates for You

b2ap3_thumbnail_chrome_support_ending_400.jpgIt’s been quite some time since Microsoft cut the cord on Windows XP support, rendering it insecure and incredibly risky to run in a professional setting. This was quite a blow to both PC users and business professionals, but it’s about to get even worse for the antiquated operating system. Now, even Google is cutting support for their web browser, Google Chrome, for older operating systems from both Microsoft and Apple.

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Tip of the Week: View Your Current Google Sessions for Optimal Security

b2ap3_thumbnail_google_sessions_400.jpgLogging into an account only to find out that you’ve been hacked can be a real hassle. If you’re wondering why and how this could have happened, you’re in luck; some accounts, like Google, record when and how the account is accessed, and finding out how is as easy as checking out your security settings. Here’s how you can see who is accessing your account, and how.

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Tip of the Week: How to Search the Web Without Typing

b2ap3_thumbnail_drag_to_search_and_others_400.jpgHow fast are you at finding the information you need using Google Search? In today’s data-driven world, knowing how to effectively use Google is actually a marketable skill. Did you know that there are ways in Google Chrome to search for what you need that take less time than typing your query in the search bar?

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5 Nifty Google Easter Eggs You Might Not Realize Exist

b2ap3_thumbnail_chome_easter_eggs_400.jpgGoogle is the world’s most popular search engine, and it’s grown so outrageously popular that there’s even a verb named after it; “to google” is to search for something on the Internet using Google. However, to this day, Google continues to surprise the public with fun Easter eggs, hidden functions which provide a level of entertainment to the user.

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Tip of the Week: 8 Ways to Perform Better Google Searches

b2ap3_thumbnail_google_seach_logo_400.jpgGoogle is the world's most popular search engine, but sometimes it just can't find exactly what you're looking for. This is because Google utilizes algorithms, which don't crunch data the same way that humans do. What we might think is common sense doesn't qualify for Google. Thankfully, there are several different ways you can narrow down Google's search results.

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