How to prevent Zoom bombing

Zoom bombing is a thing now that Zoom has become the go-to service for holding online classes and meetings/conferences. It’s when someone who is not invited to a meeting, joins in and is inappropriate or disruptive. There have been incidents where people have been showing offensive, racially charged imagery among other things. Zoom is hard at work making its streams harder to intrude on but until everything is secure, here are a few things meeting organizers can do to prevent Zoom bombing.

Change password

In an attempt to keep meetings secure, Zoom now adds a password automatically to all new meetings that are created/scheduled. Only participants with the password can the meeting. The password is a simple numeric code so it’s a good idea to change it to something unique and to use a different password for each meeting.

Make sure the passwords you use are not created on any sort of pattern e.g., don’t start going through the list of your favorite characters from a TV show.

Communicating passwords

It might be convenient to send passwords with the invitation yo a meeting but participants you send the invite and password to might unknowing share it e.g., in screenshots. It’s a good idea to withhold a password until it’s time for the meeting to start. This is obviously far less convenient but it may help avoid disruptions later on.

Screen participants

This again means more work for meeting organizers but it can help in the long run. Make sure you screen the participants that join the meeting before you allow them in. By default, Zoom has enabled Waiting rooms for all meetings but it might be hard to check every single participant. You can have participants add something to their names each time they join e.g. their university registration code. This will allow you to screen them more easily. Advise participants to use their real names and not aliases or random nicks.

It can also help to have participants RSVP if they will be attending a meeting so that you know what the total number of participants will be. There is also an option to ‘Lock Meetings’ that will prevent more people from joining once the meeting is locked. This is useful but counterproductive if your participants are struggling to come online on time e.g., students who work. Use your best judgment with this feature.

Keep it secret. Keep it safe.

Encourage all participants to keep everything about a meeting secret. Don’t share links to a meeting on Facebook groups or chat groups. Again, this adds a layer of inconvenience since posting a link in one place makes it easier to communicate en-masse. In that case, you can create a WhatsApp group where only the admin is allowed to post and add people who will be attending meetings regularly. Share links in the group and caution everyone from sharing it outside the group.

Try to be the central source of information for a meeting link so that other participants don’t end up asking others for it, who might share them over an unsecured channel.

Go on the offensive

If despite everything, your meetings are being bombed you probably have a mole on your hands and you need to figure out who it is. Depending on the number of participants you expect, break them down into smaller groups and invite them to different meetings. Check which of those meetings are bombed and you might be able to figure out who is leaking the information.

The post How to prevent Zoom bombing appeared first on AddictiveTips.

Streamlined, Fully Customizable Web Scraping with Zenscrape (Review)

The digital age all but demands your business tap into big data to remain competitive, but web scraping tools can be difficult to wield effectively. After all, websites are constantly deploying more advanced countermeasures against bots, including IP blocking, CAPTCHA, honeypots, and more. Even as the nature of web design evolves to favor dynamic content presentation, basic scrapers are increasingly befuddled searching for simple HTML buried under elaborate JavaScript wizardry.

Web Scraping API: Hassle-Free Data Extraction

But with Zenscrape, none of those challenges are insurmountable. In fact, effective web scraping has never been easier–and you don’t even need to know how to code. So, how does it work? We explore Zenscrape’s customizable, streamlined SaaS offering in our review below.

What is web scraping, and how can it help your business?

You may not need this primer on web scraping–after all, since you’re on this page, there’s a fair chance you’re already in the know. But just so we don’t leave anyone behind during the course of this review, let’s cover some of the basics.

In essence, web scraping is the process of parsing and collecting data that is publicly available on one or many websites. You’ve probably already heard about Google’s “spiders”, which “crawl” all over the internet to assess what sorts of information websites are serving up to potential visitors. This amalgamation of data allows Google to make intelligent decisions about which search results to return. (It’s the same process that brought you to this webpage after typing in “best web scraper api”!)

Example use-cases

So how can web scraping help your business? Let us count the ways! Actually, that’s probably way beyond the scope of this article, so let’s just zoom in on a few possible use-cases:

  • Comparison shopping – Imagine you’re selling a specific product on your webstore, and are considering running a sale. In order to know how deeply to cut prices, it will help to know what the competition is doing. You can spend ages manually searching other online stores, or you can use a web scraper to do it for you. Better yet, why not have the web scraper constantly monitor your competitors, alerting you in real time as their prices and inventory rise and fall? That’d be one heck of an advantage.
  • Tracking stocks – You run a financial advisory site, and your visitors need up-to-date information on specific stock movements. Do you hire a massive team to monitor the marketplace, or do you let a computer do it for you? Obviously, the latter is (far) more efficient and productive. Such is the power of a web scraper!
  • Managing your reputation online – People have been talking about your business, but odds are you’re not going to be a fly on the wall of every public forum where reviews of your outstanding service take place. Similarly, one of your customers may be venting about a problem that you could solve–if only you knew they were venting on that Facebook group or subreddit. With a web scraper, you essentially have a radar constantly scanning the Internet for mentions of your brand, allowing you to paint a clearer picture of what people are saying about your business, and where they’re having those conversations.

Why Zenscrape is awesome

With a little imagination, it’s easy to dream up all kinds of uses for web scraping. So why should you choose Zenscrape specifically? In a word: usability. The visionary minds behind Zenscrape understand that you have a massive need for data, but may not have an advanced IT degree or the budget to hire someone in-house who has one.

To wit, Zenscrape promises incredible results without demanding you write a single line of code. So how does it deliver on that claim? We investigate below.

The Zenscrape API

Let’s start off by saying something that may seem entirely contradictory to our previous claim: if you’re looking to perform DIY web scraping with Zenscrape’s API, you’ll need to know some coding. But just bear with us a moment–Zenscrape’s business model is tailored to people who want their cake, and to eat it, too.

Speaking less poetically, this means that Zenscrape provides deeply customizable tech in the form of their API; but more importantly, they offer comprehensive support to help you use and get the most out of that tech. You tell them what you want it to do, and they’ll pull the levers and squash the bugs behind the scenes to make it happen. It’s dead simple–and requires zero coding knowledge to communicate your needs.

So with our technophobic jitters firmly in check, let’s talk tech for a minute.

Under the hood

Essentially, it starts with your API key, which is automatically generated for you and can be rotated as necessary. From there, your website or app can invoke the Zenscrape API with a simple GET request. The base URL to which you’ll target that request looks like:

https://app.zenscrape.com/api/v1/get?apikey=APIKEY

There are a few parameters which define where and how your scraper collects data, including:

  • url – Where on the web you want to source your data
  • location – Where you want to locate your Zenscrape proxy (more on this later)
  • render – Using a headless browser is extremely useful for cutting through UI “fluff” that stylizes most modern web pages, and getting to the raw HTML data you need. This option counts against your request volume (more on this later)
  • premium – Some websites are particularly hard to scrape, and using local proxies can help you get around common countermeasures to prevent bots like Zenscrape from collecting data. This option also counts against your request volume
  • keep_headers – Another optional parameter designed to dodge common stumbling blocks like cookies and user agents

Once you’ve got your target set (we’ll use http://toscrape.com as an example), output will look something like this:

<!DOCTYPE html>

<html lang="en">

    <head>

        <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">

        <title>Scraping Sandbox</title>

        <link href="./css/bootstrap.min.css" rel="stylesheet">

        <link href="./css/main.css" rel="stylesheet">

    </head>

    <body>

        <div class="container">

            <div class="row">

                <div class="col-md-1"></div>

                <div class="col-md-10 well">

                    <img class="logo" src="img/sh-logo.png" width="200px">

                    <h1 class="text-right">Web Scraping Sandbox</h1>

                </div>

            </div>

            <div class="row">

                <div class="col-md-1"></div>

                <div class="col-md-10">

                    <h2>Books</h2>

                    <p>A <a href="http://books.toscrape.com">fictional bookstore</a> that desperately wants to be scraped. It's a safe place for beginners learning web scraping and for developers validating their scraping technologies as well. Available at: <a href="http://books.toscrape.com">books.toscrape.com</a></p>

                    <div class="col-md-6">

                        <a href="http://books.toscrape.com"><img src="./img/books.png" class="img-thumbnail"></a>

                    </div>

                    <div class="col-md-6">

                        <table class="table table-hover">

                            <tr><th colspan="2">Details</th></tr>

                            <tr><td>Amount of items </td><td>1000</td></tr>

                            <tr><td>Pagination </td><td>&#10004;</td></tr>

                            <tr><td>Items per page </td><td>max 20</td></tr>

                            <tr><td>Requires JavaScript </td><td>&#10008;</td></tr>

                        </table>

                    </div>

                </div>

            </div>

            <div class="row">

                <div class="col-md-1"></div>

                <div class="col-md-10">

                    <h2>Quotes</h2>

                    <p><a href="http://quotes.toscrape.com/">A website</a> that lists quotes from famous people. It has many endpoints showing the quotes in many different ways, each of them including new scraping challenges for you, as described below.</p>

                    <div class="col-md-6">

                        <a href="http://quotes.toscrape.com"><img src="./img/quotes.png" class="img-thumbnail"></a>

                    </div>

                    <div class="col-md-6">

                        <table class="table table-hover">

                            <tr><th colspan="2">Endpoints</th></tr>

                            <tr><td><a href="http://quotes.toscrape.com/">Default</a></td><td>Microdata and pagination</td></tr>

                            <tr><td><a href="http://quotes.toscrape.com/scroll">Scroll</a> </td><td>infinite scrolling pagination</td></tr>

                            <tr><td><a href="http://quotes.toscrape.com/js">JavaScript</a> </td><td>JavaScript generated content</td></tr>

                            <tr><td><a href="http://quotes.toscrape.com/tableful">Tableful</a> </td><td>a table based messed-up layout</td></tr>

                            <tr><td><a href="http://quotes.toscrape.com/login">Login</a> </td><td>login with CSRF token (any user/passwd works)</td></tr>

                            <tr><td><a href="http://quotes.toscrape.com/search.aspx">ViewState</a> </td><td>an AJAX based filter form with ViewStates</td></tr>

                            <tr><td><a href="http://quotes.toscrape.com/random">Random</a> </td><td>a single random quote</td></tr>

                        </table>

                    </div>

                </div>

            </div>

        </div>

    </body>

</html>

If that made your eyes glaze over, don’t worry about it. (For the record, this is just the HTML that constitutes the body of a relatively simple website. A “real” site will yield more complex, dynamic results). With the Zenscrape API properly configured, your website or app will be able to pick out the important bits, and return useful results over time. And, getting to that point is where Zenscrape–as a SaaS company–really shines. Let’s explore their service offering further…

Zenscrape Services

You don’t have to know how to manage APIs directly to get advanced functionality out of Zenscrape; you simply need to have a goal in mind, and their expert team will take care of the rest. For any data that you could possibly want to parse, Zenscrape will happily construct a custom solution for you. Here’s a rundown of their most popular packages:

Automated Sales Intelligence

If you run a business, you already understand the value of market research. Zenscrape aids in this endeavor by helping you collect hard data, enabling you to assemble smarter customer segments. Datasets can include contact information for the customers of both your business and those of your competitors, among others.

Brand Monitoring

We’ve touched upon this already, but it bears mention how deeply Zenscrape can delve into the perception of your brand. Scraping everything from social media conversations to site reviews can help you construct a clear impression of where your brand messaging and customer support is succeeding, and where it can be improved. Zenscrape will work closely with you to define the most important metrics, and build out your API to track them.

Review Aggregation

Part and parcel with brand management is review aggregation. Not everyone will think to write reviews directly onto your site, but may do so on public forums like Yelp, Google, and others. Zenscrape will help pull all of those reviews together, allowing you to display them where they are most needed: Your storefront.

Price & Product Monitoring

Don’t let the market run circles around you! With Zenscrape, dynamic price, inventory, and product feature monitoring helps you build and retain your competitive edge. If there’s room to expand your margins, Zenscrape’s data-driven approach will help you achieve it. Monitor your market in real time, visualize your standing amidst competitors, and make more accurate predictions with Zenscrape.

Hiring Data

One of the most sophisticated ways to understand emerging markets is looking at hiring trends. Zenscrape gives you a summarized view of even the most crowded job boards and career pages. This can also give you valuable insights into the strategies of competitors as they grow or attenuate certain departments.

Machine Learning

Building reliable deep learning models requires data–and lots of it. Zenscrape helps you train your machine learning model by accumulating vast troves of highly targeted data of any type.

Custom Solutions

All of the above service categories are merely popular suggestions of what you can do with Zenscrape. The actual breadth of possibilities is truly endless, and their support team is ready to help you craft the perfect web scraper for your needs. With Zenscrape, technology is no longer a limiting factor in gathering the data you need to accelerate your business.

Simply reach out to Zenscrape for a free consultation call. Together, you’ll brainstorm your goals and solutions, from which Zenscrape will return some sample data after a few days. Once you’ve fine-tuned your requirements and agreed to the quote, Zenscrape will build out the perfect solution and begin returning your precious data in short order.

Zenscrape’s Data Extraction Tool

So we’ve talked at length about what you can do with the Zenscrape API (plus what you can ask their all-star customer service to help you do), but what if you’re looking for a simpler solution? Enter the Zenscrape Data Extraction Tool.

The cure for the common code is a GUI, and Zenscrape has expertly crafted a streamlined data extraction tool that runs primarily off mouse-clicks, rather than keystrokes. Getting started scraping has really never been easier–once you log in, you’re greeted with a single unassuming button that simply prompts “Create Scraper”.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll enter a nickname for your shiny new bot, then input the URL you want the scraper to target. Let’s use Yahoo Finance as an example, with the goal of monitoring Dow Futures.

After a couple seconds, Zenscrape will fetch data from Yahoo Finance, presenting all on-page elements precisely the same as any human visitor would see. From there, we want to “add a selector”, which is a fancy way of saying “choose some data on the page you want to monitor”. Give it a nickname, specify the type of information (in this case, it’s text), then select the page element that displays the value of the Dow Futures.

Finally, we need to configure how your Zenscrape bot exports the data it collects. Obviously, we want to turn it on, so select an “Active” status, choose your preferred file format (we’re using Excel), then specify the time interval in which Zenscrape re-checks Yahoo Finance for the Dow Futures. Once this is done, hit save!

After giving your bot some time to work its magic, navigate to “Results” in the sidebar. You’ll find a list of all the scrapers you’ve created, plus a handy “Download All” button. Once you click this, you’ll harvest all that sweet data Zenscrape has been diligently collecting for you, in an easy-to-parse format that you can use as you like. Simple, right?

Pricing

Zenscrape is customizable, right down to the payment plans. By default, there are five payment tiers, though it is possible (and encouraged) to negotiate a more tailored subscription.

Free

When Zenscrape says “free”, they mean it. There’s no upfront cost, no trial period, nor any obligation to provide payment information for them to keep on file. You don’t get the incredible onboarding of the other tiers, but with 1,000 monthly requests (limit 1 concurrent request), JS rendering, geotargeting, and all the standard proxies, a knowledgeable user will be able to get great mileage out of the free plan if limited data scraping is required.

Small – $8.99/month

The smallest paid tier is a significant step up. You get 50,000 monthly requests and can run any number of them concurrently, plus JS rendering, geotargeting, standard proxies and premium proxies. Just keep in mind that running those proxies counts against your total monthly requests (standard=5 requests, premium=20 requests). If the numbers alone weren’t enough, you get concierge onboarding, which is in our opinion where the real value lies in Zenscrape’s SaaS offering.

Medium – $24.99/month

The most popular tier, you get a ton of horsepower for a modest monthly price. We’re talking a quarter-million monthly requests, JS rendering, geotargeting, and every available proxy. The higher request limit means you can be more aggressive with your proxy usage, allowing you to parse much more difficult-to-obtain data. As with the Small tier, you get customized onboarding to best meet your needs.

Large – $79.99/month

Enough to cover the needs of most SMBs, the Large tier offers everything in the Medium tier, but raises the monthly cap to a staggering 1,000,000 requests.

Very Large – $199.99/month

Got a truly data-hungry business? Consider the Very Large tier, which gives you ample headroom to perform the most sophisticated scraping en masse. The monthly subscription fee isn’t insignificant, but represents a 50% discount over the Medium price point at 3,000,000 requests. What’s more, the concierge onboarding becomes even more valuable as your scraping scales.

Zenscrape pricing

Conclusion

At this point, it’s clear to see that Zenscrape is whatever you need it to be in terms of collating data from the web. Its sophisticated API helps you plumb the depths of your market and brand, allowing you to improve the value proposition of your business to your customers. However, Zenscrape has also made it easy to get up and running without advanced coding knowledge, with their streamlined Data Extraction Tool. Whether you’re comfortable with DIY scraping or require customized consultation to build out the perfect data collection system, Zenscrape has you covered at a competitive price point.

Has our review piqued your interest in Zenscrape? What data drives your business? Reach out to us in a comment below.

The post Streamlined, Fully Customizable Web Scraping with Zenscrape (Review) appeared first on AddictiveTips.

How to hold a Skype video conference that anyone can join

Skype has changed course over the past years focusing less on video and audio calls, and more on adding a social aspect to it. It’s come at a cost that has become rather obvious in the current circumstances. With so many people forced to work from home or learn from home, there has been a rise in demand for an easy to use video conferencing tool. Zoom has become exceptionally popular as a result since Skype is lacking in the area.

The problem is, Zoom has its own set of problems and security is the worst of them. Skype hasn’t been able to meet most requirements but it seems to be stepping up. A new feature has been added that allows users to hold a Skype video conference that anyone can join.

Users do not need Skype installed and they do not need any type of account. All they need is a link to the call.

Skype free video conference

Visit this link and click the ‘Create a free meeting’ button.

You will get a link that you can copy and share with anyone. There’s also a ‘Share invite’ button. If you click it, you will be able to send an invite via Outlook or Gmail.

The link can be opened in any browser. By default, the website will attempt to open Skype if it is installed. If you do have the Skype app installed, you can open it and join the meeting. If you do not have the app installed, you can dismiss the notification to open the Skype app.

On the website, you will see a ‘Join as guest’ button. Click it and enter a name that you will use in the video conference. Allow your browser access to your mic and camera, and you’re in.

Skype vs Zoom

Skype has had a video conferencing feature for a while but it was bound to its app. That makes it a little difficult for people without Skype accounts to join it. This new feature will make it easier for everyone to use Skype. You can still use the Skype app while others continue to use it from their browsers.

Compared to Zoom, this new Skype feature does not work with the call scheduling feature that it recently rolled out. It comes out on top because its links are a bit more random. It’s come out that Zoom’s links are a bit predictable making it a little easier to predict them. Zoom is now working to actively improve its security so it should be safer to use very soon.

The post How to hold a Skype video conference that anyone can join appeared first on AddictiveTips.

Secure, Cloud-Based Identity Management with Teamstack (Review)

HR is a challenge, but in the digital age where decentralized teams work asynchronously across actual hundreds of apps–each requiring a separate login–securely managing credentials can become paralyzing. Enter Teamstack: the automated, cloud-based identity management tool trusted around the globe by startups and Fortune 500 companies alike.

Secure, Cloud-Based Identity Management with Teamstack

So, what can Teamstack do for you? Put as simply as possible: it reduces the logistical overhead and risk involved in ensuring each member of your team has access to the mission-critical apps they need, when they need it (and not a moment longer).

Whether you’re onboarding a new hire, saying goodbye to former team members, or restructuring working groups on the fly to fit new projects, Teamstack has you covered. You’ll always have full control over who has access to what, and in real time. Imagine: provisioning and authentication made easy, without the need for expensive IT solutions or a bloated HR department.

If that caught your attention, let’s take a closer look at Teamstack.

Short on time? Here’s Teamstack in a nutshell

Like any solution you’ll actually use, Teamstack operates on the cloud. Here, you have a central location where you can choose which users go in what group, then set group permissions to access the apps they’ll need to complete the project at hand. What’s more, Teamstack fully integrates with over 500 of the world’s most-used apps, including G Suite, AWS, and Slack (with new apps added on a regular basis).

While Teamstack’s streamlined interface is simple to use, it offers incredible depth of customization. With a single click, you can customize multiple authentication factors, provisioning, and even SAML-powered password-free logins.

Running a small startup on a shoestring budget? Teamstack is available to you 100% free of charge and obligation. Everyone else from SMBs to Enterprise enjoys competitive rates and customized packages. Whatever the case, you’ll find friendly faces and knowledgeable minds at Teamstack Support ready to address your needs.

Digging deeper – Teamstack’s key benefits and features

Teamstack empowers teams and enhances company security within six main buckets:

1. Cloud Directory

Ready to assemble your dream team? Teamstack’s Cloud Directory centralizes your efforts into one secure, convenient web interface. Mix and match user profiles into and out of groups, setting permission levels and authentication methods as needed. You can create blanket permissions across teams, designate group access to specific apps, or both. Worried about security? Don’t be–all user information and passwords are locked behind military-grade encryption, available only to whom you designate access.

Need to suspend a user for any reason (vacation, sick, abducted by aliens)? With a single click, you can revoke access to anyone at any time. What’s more, Teamstack makes it easy to keep track of everyone’s status (Active, Suspended, Invited, Archived) and activity through comprehensive user logs.

As the scope of your project evolves along with your need for various personnel, Cloud Directory automatically synchronizes user data to keep up. Teamstack’s handling of permissions, authentication, compliance, and group management is as fluid and flexible as you need it to be.

2. One-Click Provisioning

Flexibility is one thing, simplicity is another. Teamstack knows this, and puts a heavy emphasis on making everything as easy to use as possible. Whether you’re adding or removing individual permissions associated with user accounts or groups, or making sweeping changes that affect everyone, it’s all handled with the same simple mouse-click. No fiddling around in some arcane backend filled with indecipherable code–Teamstack is 100% visual, and solidly geared towards making busy administrators less busy.

Simply add a user to a group, and watch as the magic of automation instantaneously applies all relevant provisioning. The opposite is also true, you can deprovision users or even entire groups as needed without having to worry about about rogue sign-ins. It all happens instantaneously as well–no need to wait for IT or HR to get around to it.

With Teamstack, onboarding and offboarding have never been so efficient. Imagine streamlining the process down to a measure of milliseconds–what might you accomplish with all that freed-up time?

3. Single Sign-On (SSO)

Gone are the days when dozens of employees must keep track of hundreds of different passwords. With Teamstack, you can connect a single user account to over 500 apps with just one password in an instant. Or even better, you can create a group associated with a suite of apps, the rotate individual accounts into or out of those groups as needed. This removes a ton manual labor while mitigating human error, and thus reduces the risk of sensitive credentials falling into the wrong hands.

SSO isn’t just a boon to cautious administrators, either. End-users have a single unifying portal in Teamstack’s handy browser extension, through which they have ready access to every app needed to complete the task at hand. No more emailing IT to reset forgotten passwords. Truly, Teamstack’s Single Sign-On is your passport to productivity.

4. Multi-Factor Authentication

Some projects entail more sensitive data than others. Too much security across the board will cost you in productivity, while inadequate authentication may cost you even more dearly.

With Teamstack, you have the power to tailor the perfect multi-factor authentication method or methods to suit the application. Individual users and/or groups may need to satisfy any or all of the following to gain access:

  • WebAuthn (FIDO2)
  • TOTP
  • SMS codes
  • Answer security questions
  • Recovery codes

In addition to the MFA methods above, you can further restrict access on the basis of IP address, biometrics, geo-location, and more.

Enterprise-grade security, simplified

Whenever there is a failed login attempt in any context, you’ll know about it. Teamstack is committed to protecting your company with comprehensive incident reporting and audit trails.

5. SAML Applications

What’s better than having a single password for app access? No passwords, which is precisely what Teamstack’s SAML integration allows. Not every app supports this feature, but there are some giants like G Suite, Dropbox, GitHub, Salesforce, Zoom and more.

Once again, access to supported SAML applications are easily configurable with one-click provisioning. Because you completely control who does and doesn’t have app privileges, you can avoid potential security breaches by end-users choosing insecure, weak passwords. Your IT department will be thankful, as well.

6. Form-Based Applications

Teamstack’s browser extension is truly robust, and is able to extend single sign-on functionality even to form-based applications. The experience for the end-user remains the same: simply input credentials, then Teamstack enables seamless access to all assigned applications, form-based or otherwise.

What’s more, Teamstack allows administrators to completely remove the ability for users in a group to view login credentials, drastically reducing the risk of nefarious actors stealing sensitive information. Of course, this can be customized to allow nuanced access to specific group members, as well.

Finally, if you’d rather remove the option for team members to create passwords of dubious security, you can simply generate anonymous credentials for them.

Getting started with Teamstack

Teamstack has an incredibly intuitive interface that virtually anyone can understand at a glance. Even so, we’ll take a few minutes to walk you through initial setup.

Adding and configuring apps

After signing up for Teamstack, you’ll gain access to your dashboard. Your first order of business should be adding an application to your Teamstack organization. Simply click “Applications” > “Add Application” in the top-right corner. This will bring up a page positively bustling with available applications. (At the time of writing, there are 571 apps, though you can expect that number to be even bigger in the future).

From here, you can narrow the results by category in the left-hand column, or simply navigate alphabetically in the main window. Once you’ve made your selection, you’ll see an array of options to configure the app’s nickname, how access will be handled by type (SAML, Provisioning, Form Based Auth) as available, and finally two fields to enter either Admin or user credentials.

Note: Even if you’re not sure which of the three types you’ll choose, go ahead and enter the credentials to add the app–you can always edit it later. (By default, the app is now “active”, though you can also deactivate it later, too.)

Managing users and groups

Next, you’ll need to associate users with your chosen app. Once again, navigate to “Applications”, then select your app. From there, click “Users” > “Assign” to choose a user from the resultant dropdown menu. Voila! It really is that easy.

Alternatively, you can invite users via email or import bulk data from a CSV file. Both options are conveniently nested under the aptly named “Users” menu option.

Note: There are three user roles you can define: Admins, Managers, and Users. Managers have all the privileges of Admins, except they can’t manage organizations. Users are always beholden to the rules the previous two roles set.

The process is similar for associating entire groups with applications. Go “Applications” > “Groups” > “Add Group”. From there, you’ll see several text fields where you can specify your group’s nickname, a description, plus any miscellaneous notes. If you’re associating this group with an app with Form Based Authentication, this is where you can designate whether users are allowed to see sensitive credentials or not.

Note: By default, all new users, managers, and admins join the “Everybody” group. Like any other group, you can manage which apps are associated with it, and how.

Associating users, groups, and apps

Once you’ve created your group(s), you’ll need to add users. At this point, you may not be entirely surprised to learn that this is yet another simple, visually self-guided process. Go “Groups” > select your group > “Users” > “Add” > select all who apply.

Note: If you ever want to delete a user or group, simply return to the dropdown menu where you previously added these items, click the checkbox next to your query, then hit “Un-Assign” or “Remove”, respectively. Alternatively, you can choose to “Suspend” users to prevent them from logging into your Teamstack organization without deleting their user profile.

Finally, it’s time to assign an application to your newly populated group. Simply click “Groups” then hit “Applications” under your desired group name, then “Assign”.

If that seemed easy, it’s because it is. Teamstack has taken out all the guesswork, so you can focus your precious mental bandwidth on more pressing and productive tasks.

Advanced security settings

With your users, groups, and apps getting to know one another, now it’s time to get into the good stuff. While we won’t provide an exhaustive guide, we’ll hit on some key points.

First, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about Teamstack’s MFA methods. For an exhaustive explanation, check out their handy collection of articles on Security. Otherwise, simply keep in mind that Admins can set MFA for individual users and across entire organizations.

Similarly, you can toggle various security policies on or off for users and applications, though the latter requires an add-on to your Teamstack subscription to use.

Finally, if you have any trouble integrating your SAML applications, check out their page of app-specific guides.

About the browser extension

We’ve already covered most of what you need to know about Teamstack’s browser extension, but we’ll summarize it here for easy reference. First, you’ll want to ensure your users have compatible browsers installed. These include:

  • Chrome 57+
  • Firefox 64+
  • Edge 80+
  • Opera 50+
  • Brave 1.3+
  • Yandex 20+

Note: Internet Explorer and Safari are not, at the time of writing, supported by Teamstack.

Essentially, once users log into the browser extension, they’ll navigate to their own Teamstack dashboard. Here under “My Applications”, they’ll see all the apps you’ve associated with their user account and/or group(s). Clicking on the logo of any of these apps will allow ready access according to the credentials, provisions, policies, MFA methods or SAML-powered passwordless entry you’ve assigned.

Just like the rest of Teamstack’s offering, the dashboard is simple, secure, uncluttered, and just works.

Pricing

Teamstack is available in four tiers.

Free Plan

The Free Plan is exactly that–completely free, so long as your organization has 5 or fewer users. You get integration with one SAML app, 4 FBA apps, plus basic MFA. Even if you’re unsure whether Teamstack is right for you, we recommend you give it a shot because there’s absolutely no obligation–they don’t even collect your payment information “just in case” like so many other SaaS products.

You won’t get too much in the way of advanced customer support, but we doubt you’ll need it at this tier (especially considering the extensive collection of guidance articles freely available on the Teamstack website).

Basic

Moving up a tier, you have the Basic package priced at $3 per user, per month. Your Teamstack organization can accommodate up to 25 users, 5 SAML apps, 50 FBA apps, SSO, and full functionality on both desktop and mobile devices. You’ll also get personalized customer support when you need it

Professional

At $4 per user per month, the Professional tier is for companies in need of some serious horsepower. You get 200 users, 20 SAML apps, 100 FBA apps, SSO, desktop and mobile support, plus priority support. Not too shabby for just an extra dollar per unit.

Add-ons

With both the Basic and Professional tiers, you have the option to include the following add-ons, each at an additional $2/user/month:

  • Custom MFA
  • Extended Audit Trail
  • Security Policies

Enterprise

Finally, we arrive at the Enterprise tier, where customization is king, and limitations on apps and users go right out the window. Instead of specific pricing, you work closely with Teamstack support to define your needs and craft custom security policies, codifying it all into an SLA.

Conclusion

Teamstack is something of a unicorn, as far as cloud-based identity management solutions for startups, SMBs, and enterprises go. With robust, flexible, and secure functionality, a streamlined back- and front-end interface and competitive pricing, we wholeheartedly give Teamstack our recommendation.

In short, Teamstack takes what is complicated, and makes it simple. Your business stands to benefit from increased productivity, reduced human error, and greatly improved security. Don’t sleep on Teamstack!

Do you use SAML, FMA, or form-based apps in your organization? How do you see Teamstack making your business run smoother? Got any questions about the service? Leave us a comment below.

The post Secure, Cloud-Based Identity Management with Teamstack (Review) appeared first on AddictiveTips.

Testing for COVID-19: Screening tool to help decide when to get tested

One of the most important tools in the fight against COVID-19 is testing. Tests need to be conducted on the general population, and the more tests that are done, the better the pandemic can be controlled. Unfortunately, this isn’t easy. This is a brand new virus and test kits for it have had to be developed. In the 3-4 months since the virus has spread, there has been significant improvement in how efficient a test is, and production has been ramped up. While there are more testing kits available today than there were a month ago, the world is collectively short. As such, the tests are only being conducted when there is a high chance of someone being infected.

This begs the question of when to get tested for COVID-19. Apple has released an online tool that helps you determine whether or not you should get tested. If you’re worried you’re showing symptoms, try the tool out.

About the tool

Apple’s COVID-19 tool is an online tool which means anyone, on any sort of device, can use it. The suggestions give you a course of action on whether or not you should get tested, or if you should self-isolate, among other things. They are consistent with what the CDC in USA recommends. If you live in a country where mass tests are being done, and everyone is being encouraged to get tested, you should follow your local guidelines over this tool’s suggestions. Get tested if a test is available.

Apple COVID-19 screening tool

Visit the tool in any web browser. It is optimized for mobile browsers. Click the ‘Start Screening’ button.

The tool will ask you a series of questions. These questions are the same type of questions that you will be asked if you were to call the national COVID-19 helpline in your area.

Specifically, the tool asks if you or someone else has one of the five advanced stage symptoms in which case you’re encouraged to call for help immediately. If not, it will ask,

  • What age demographic you fall under
  • If you’re experiencing other symptoms such as a sore throat, aches, fever, etc.
  • If you have any pre-existing conditions
  • If you have traveled internationally
  • If in the last 14 days, you have been in an area where COVID-19 is widespread
  • If you live with or have been near someone with COVID-19 i.e., if you’ve been exposed to it directly
  • If you work in a health care facility or a similar

Once you’ve gone through the questions, the tool will advise you on what the best course of action is. You can still call your local helpline or hospital. They will likely ask you these same questions and provide a similar course of action.

Remember that even if you are not eligible for a test, you still need to remain in lockdown and socially distance yourself. You may not be sick but you could be a carrier nevertheless and you might infect others who are more vulnerable to the disease. Wash your hands regularly, and use hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t available.

The post Testing for COVID-19: Screening tool to help decide when to get tested appeared first on AddictiveTips.