2017 was a year of incredible new devices like the iPhone 8, iPhone 10 and the iMac Pro, Large software updates and overhauls such as High Sierra and the Windows 10 creators update. Windows withdrew its support from Windows Live Mail and Mac moved to a 64bit Operating system, ending support for a suite of older 32bit programs. Cryptocurrency hit the mainstream, with thousands of early adopters made into millionaires (although at the time of writing this article, Bitcoin, the frontrunner in digital currencies has dropped 30% overnight!).

With all this change, much of it unexpected, here are My Tech Guys top 5 tech changes we think we can expect in 2018!

 

 

Virus tech gets smarter

As seen in our separate article this month about malware, Scammers across the globe are finding new and different ways to separate us from our money, to mine our information and to lock down our files by encrypting our systems. Currently, we have computers in every week that have done nothing worse than opened the wrong email attachment, visited the wrong website, of clicked on the wrong link. In 2017 we saw a large growth in the number of these malicious email attachments, bunk websites and bad links, and expect a lot more to come in 2018! Steps such as making sure your programs are up to date, your spam email are being properly marked and unopened, you have a pop-up blocker installed and you are visiting the right websites for things like drivers, screensavers, and Google Chome plugins are important to keeping your computer, data, and wallet safe! Any questions and we are just a phone call away!

The Mainstream adoption of digital currency

Digital currency utilizes Blockchain technology, a very practical solution to the problem of trust between two parties that do not know each other, exchanging funds online. Whereas before people needed an intermediary like a bank or PayPal to “guarantee” each party in the transaction, Cryptocurrency and the blockchain act as a middleman to enable peer-to-peer transactions with no need for an additional party. The blockchain is essentially an encrypted peer-to-peer ledger of records, that everyone involved keeps a digital record of that is mathematically guaranteed. While nothing is ever totally ‘hack-proof’, blockchain represents a huge leap forward compared to our current data security technology as, unlike a centralized database, there’s no one single point of failure. In 2017 Bitcoin, the leader in the Crypto marketplace, went from being a shady internet phenomenon to the mainstream news as people looked harder into the tech behind the coin.

Large companies and banks are already silently investing and hedging into this new technology and 2018 will be the year that more large institutions adopt blockchain technology and if the price of these Cryptocurrencies can stabilize, we predict the big players like Amazon and eBay will start to have a digital currency option in their checkouts. As for My Tech Guys, it may be a few years yet, but we are certainly paying attention.

Two new VR stores in the Comox Valley alone

When Virtual Reality first hit the mainstream in the late 90’s, you could don a stiff headset and immerse yourself in a world of large polygons and poor quality “photorealism”. There was such a delay that most people, rather than finding themselves in a virtual world akin to the 90’s movie, Lawnmower Man, found themselves in with a headache.
Since then the technology has come a long way. Running on the new range of graphics cards with Pascal architecture from manufacturer Nvidia, devices such as the Oculus Rift and the Vuse, offer a lag and latency free, VR experience, creating immersion like never before. In addition, it’s not just for gamers.
You can load a 3D sculpting and painting programs to create amazing 3D works of art, you can run through detailed space flight simulators, deal with your fear of heights and take a tour of museums the world over. VR could also serve as a cost-effective and engaging tool for rehabilitation of stroke and brain injury victims. According to the company MindMazeto, immersive virtual-reality therapy created can help regain motor and cognitive function faster than with traditional physical therapy. In the next year, we are excited for the new ways this technology will blow our mind.
In the last 2 months alone, two different Virtual Reality Stores have opened in the Comox Valley alone. These establishments offer a huge range a suite of programs for all ages so we encourage you to test the waters for yourself!
For information on the two businesses’ hours and prices, visit facebook.com/CVVREX/ or spacesvr.ca.
Action on Corporate Data Breaches

Uber – 81,000 Canadians data breached
Equifax – 8000 Canadians data breached
Nissan – 1.1 Million Canadian data breached

In 2017 we heard that a startling number of Canadians have had their data leaked or hacked into online. One thing is clear, companies are not doing enough to protect our data. Everyone knows there is an inherent risk of putting our own data online that you may not know is that companies that we deal with on a regular basis “offline” have kept their data online. Even with some level of security, this data does get breached by hackers who have made a business of stealing and selling information.

On September 2, 2017, the Government of Canada published proposed “Breach of Security Safeguards Regulations”. The proposed regulations relate to the provisions in Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”), which are not yet in force. During 2018 and beyond, the PIPEDA provisions will require an organization to notify affected individuals, and report to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (“OPC”), as soon as feasible, regarding any data breach which poses a “real risk of significant harm” to any individual whose personal information was involved in the breach.

The government drafted those requirements, however, in large and broad terms. They cannot practically come
into force until regulations are in place to prescribe a proper format for breach notifications. The proposed new
rules do just that and bring Canada in line with other regimes around the world in the context of increasing
regulation, including the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which is set to come into force in May
2018.

This coming year we will inevitably see more data breaches of various types and even hear about more of them due to this new legislation. Data security is a growing field as is our understanding as to how to protect against it. Companies can now buy insurance to cover themselves against the fallout of data breaches and are becoming a little more savvy about the digital environment. Just keep in mind any data you keep on the cloud or give to a company, is in extreme cases, accessible to others.

Future Tech

The way we interact with technology has changed dramatically in recent years, and is still changing! Thanks to smartphones and tablets, we can carry out a whole range of tasks while out and about by simply by touching a screen. Mobile web usage has increased to the point where, in 2017, it overtook web usage by desktop computers. Google has also confirmed that searches on mobile devices using the search engine outstrip those made from desktop computers and workstations.

We’re also treating out devices like old friends, talking to our devices, using voice searches via Siri and other similar voice recognition systems. Estimates suggest that, by 2020, 50 percent of all searches will be voice searches, and around 30 percent will involve no screen whatsoever. In 2017, Apple released it’s newest Apple watch, which is able to place and receive calls without needing a separate phone unit, finally realizing many 80’s kids dreams of being Dick Tracy. As a result, all kinds of businesses are gradually integrating their products with the likes of Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. For example, Alexa is being integrated into BMWs from 2018.

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