OGZ Tech-Day: Workflow and Security

Wether much of the world wants to acknowledge it or not, we live in an age dominated by an electronic interface. Our phones act as gateways to information, entertainment and can act as a stand-in payment card. We demand better functionality and best in class protection from our devices and yet we often fail to act on that notion. For todays post I felt it apt that we take a look at some of the applications I use on a daily basis. The featured applications will be work apps and security apps that come highly recommended.

I should note that most, if not all, will be Apple MacOS specific as of this writing. I will make note of the ones that are multi-platform.

First off we have Ulysses. The single best writing application I have ever used. Okay, so I did mention this application in a prior post that talked about the programs I use for OGZ. So if you haven’t read that, I recommend you do. What Ulysses brings to the table is hassle free, minimalistic writing environment that promotes function over looks. It has a superb pairing option for users of WordPress and I find it to now be an essential aspect of my blogging. Comes highly recommended and is well worth the 45USD price point.

Secondly for an extra layer of productivity I can recommend Alfred V3 for Mac. This application is one that I just started venturing into after hearing this one pop up in many a tech video. The premises behind Alfred is to tackle aspects that Apple’s Spotlight touches on and others that it does not. It seems to be faster and much more efficient at what it does, with the premium version touting customized workflows. These workflows can add a whole other layer of support from music control to simplistic password management. This is a godsend for a heavy user who is working with a lot of files or system aspects.

Now the added work flows does run a one time licensing fee of 19£ or 25.63USD. Note that I had to actually use Spotlight to search currency conversion versus Alfred; since I don’t have premium. Curious.

Third up to bat is the VPN service PrivateInternetAccess (PIA). So, living in a post-NotPetya/Goldeneye debut we ask our selves how we can better protect ourselves; not to mention why. VPN’s are a bit of a mystery to most and many don’t see the point in using one. Coming from a standpoint of an anime enthusiast, I can tell you that VPN’s have their perks. For one, you can remotely change your IP address to another country (so let’s say Japan) and then be able to view content that was only available in that country; for the most part.

What a VPN does do best is to provide you with a safe and secure browsing experience. It does this by achieving a massively strong encryption and essentially accessing an IP address that doesn’t represent where you actually are. It makes it much more difficult for adware, cookies or malware to work it’s way into your system; which is a massive win.

There are many VPN services out there, but the one that I personally recommend is PrivateInternetAccess. It is an annual payment of 39.95 for a years worth of coverage and awesome features like 5 device support and unlimited bandwidth. This also means you can buy once and use the service on Mac, Windows, iOS and Android devices.

Fourth and final is my most recommended Anti-Virus application, BitDefender. This one should be a no-brainer and it should be a priority number one. Having something like BitDefender allows you to work and browse with peace of mind. I have been using this product for some time now and I have had nothing but grand service and experience. The company is easy to work with and does a superb job at blocking attacks I never knew where there.

From simple attacks to larger ones, BitDefender stands like a solidly built wall. Sure it can be a bit over protective, but that is better than being under-protected. Normally their Total Secrutiy package runs 90USD but you can actually grab it for 49.99USD, which is an honest steal for what you get. This software is useable with Mac and Windows devices.

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