Tag Archives: Chrome

New ad blocker technology means faster page loads—but what about us?

06 Apr 16
lverbik
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If you’re doing business online, then you probably know about ad blockers and have accepted the fact that they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. And, as if there aren’t enough obstacles to selling online, there’s a new beast on the horizon that takes ad blocking to another level: It’s called Polaris and it’s a new ad blocking technology embedded in its own Opera browser.

Unlike what we’ve faced in the past with ad blocking extensions in Chrome, Firefox and other popular browsers, Opera’s new ad blocking technology is native—at the web engine level—meaning that it’s more powerful and insidious to get around. Developed by techxperts at Harvard, the technology maps out a sequence for downloading a web page’s info bits, resulting in fewer network trips for the browser, and thus, faster page load times. For businesses that advertise online, it is a little worrisome.

Why is this happening, why!? It’s about improvements to page loading speed. We all know there’s nothing more exasperating than waiting for a page to load. We will sit patiently for about 2 seconds and if it goes beyond that, we’re freaking out and writing complaint letters to the technology companies—or cussing out the computer and getting up to grab a sandwich so we don’t have to deal with watching the spinning “page loading” icon.

Even more than that, people are sick of the bloated online ads that not only suck up bandwidth to load up, but oftentimes obstruct the content you’re reading and refuse to close down when you X them out. Or the ads with the unsavory DOWNLOAD buttons that, if clicked, could send you a virus. Tracking and privacy are also concerns.

So you can’t blame the world if it wants to block ads. Remarked one spokesperson for Opera: “Ad-blocking technology is an opportunity and a wake-up call to the advertising industry to pay attention to what consumers are actually saying.” This means that it might be time for businesses to create better ads—relevant, engaging, non-annoying ads. They might be the only ads that get through if the future of ad blocking is anything like Polaris.

Opera boasts that, with its Polaris ad blocker, their browser runs, on average, 45 percent faster than Google Chrome with Ad Block Plus extension, and 21 percent speedier than Firefox. That makes it enticing enough to worry about.

You probably don’t need to worry about Opera blocking your ads yet since it is a relatively unknown and unused browser compared to Chrome and the other top names. But as it is the way things are going to increase internet speeds, one should take heed and begin to look at the types of ads you’re creating—making them sleeker and smoother and more unobtrusive. And possibly at other avenues that don’t rely so much on ads, such as inbound marketing.

PCWorld has a more detailed techy explanation on the story…

Put the Zip Back into Google Chrome

23 Mar 16
lverbik
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Like the old story of the frog that gradually, unwittingly gets itself boiled in a pot of water, users of the Google Chrome browser may not realize they’ve been cooking in their own accumulated data bits, suddenly finding one day that their browser is operating super slowly or crashing all the time. Because Chrome is the most widely used, popular browser on planet Earth, it’s worth mentioning these easy tips for putting the zip back into your Chrome.

Of all the techy problems you can have, slow browsing is probably one of the most annoying, in our humble opinion. You’re fast, brilliant, efficient, productive—yet you can’t get this darn page to load up so all your work comes to a screeching halt.

Don’t be the frog—don’t simmer to death in a slow Google Chrome browser. Here is a three-pronged philosophy for getting Chrome back to optimum speed:

  1. Clear Your History Often

If you’re like most people and you might be since the average person is like most people, then you don’t even think about the accumulated history gathering in your cache. For every visit you make to a website, that browser data is stored in a virtual storage bin. Over time, the bin gets stuffed with bits of information that sucks up memory and causes your software to struggle to get things done. This can be easily remedied by making a habit of clearing your data history and cache periodically. Give yourself a reminder alarm to clean it out every month; it’s simple and can make a big difference.

  1. The Fewer Plugins, the Better

Again, the average user probably isn’t even aware of how many plugins they’ve downloaded over time. If your Chrome browser is running slowly, it might be time to check this. Just type “Chrome:plugins” into your browser bar and it will reveal all your plugins currently in use. Even if you are not actively using them, each plugin will load and remain operational, thusly clogging up your browser with unnecessary software data bits. Simply uninstall or disable those you do not use. Feeling lighter? Good—there’s one more tip.

  1. Clean Up Your Extensions

Here’s another one you’ve probably been collecting each time you see a cool new thing to add to your Chrome experience. Pinterest, Hola, Pockets, WOT, Last Pass—the list goes on. You may have extension overload. Just type “chrome://extensions” into the browser to see your collection. Now which ones are you still actually using? Get rid of the rest, and this—combined with steps one and two above—will start to free up memory and create a leaner, faster cheetahlike Chrome. And that means a less annoyed, more productive, more efficient you.

Contact Techno Advantage for additional IT advantages to learn better smarter ways to get things done.

Why and How to Get Password-Smart NOW!

18 Aug 15
lverbik
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It seems the more we advance technologically and the more we rely on the security of our online accounts, the harder it gets to keep them secure. As fast as new protection is created, hackers find ways to crack the code. How to keep your passwords secure as your front line of defense? We need to be smart about it. Here are some ways:

  1. Change your flippin’ passwords! An online survey reported in a Dell Power More article found half of all passwords were more than 5 years old! A whopping 77% had not changed their password in at least one year. And even scarier, 21% use passwords they created more than 10 years ago! Come on, people.
  2. Don’t use duplicate passwords on multiple accounts. The same article states that 73% of you are doing this. You must realize that when a hacker cracks your password code, they then have access to ALL of the accounts you are “protecting” with that password.
  3. Use password management tools, like Last Pass, or those built into browsers like Chrome. Though this is not 100% safe from a hack attack (as we experienced a couple of months ago), it is still one of the best ways to add a strong layer of protection to your accounts and allow you to need only remember one master password.
  4. Be random. The more random the password, the more secure. People often create easy to use and remember passwords like Il0vemyd0g! but thieves know these patterns and can quickly generate these passwords to gain entry to your accounts. Using nonsensical passwords is a strong protection. Some password management tools like last pass will even generate them for you.
  5. Use two-step verification (aka two-factor authentication). They may be able to get past a password, but if you have two-step verification required, this means you must also provide a second bit of personal data to access your account. It might be an email or text sent to you with a code. This type of tool is good especially for sensitive accounts like banking and credit cards.
  6. Use password recovery. You’re going to need a lot of passwords if you’re the average user with 24 online accounts. And many companies will make you change your password frequently. You’re going to forget–let’s just agree to that. So use password recovery options to retrieve them. Some let you validate an account through a code sent to you via text message or a phone number you call to give personal information only you would know. Always think in terms of backup when it comes to securing your accounts.

We’ve got to be smart to outsmart our foes. It takes a little extra effort, but well worth the peace of mind knowing your precious personal data is safe. We hope these tips will give you new ways to combat the enemy.

What other tools or ideas do you have to protect your online accounts? We’d like to share those here. If you need help setting up a secure online defense, talk to us at TechnoAdvantage. We’re in the business of helping you do business smarter.