5 Tips for Businesses Feeling Overwhelmed by the Digital Age

The digital age is both a scary and amazing time. Gone are the days of offices full of business cards, letters and filing cabinets. We now live in a world where every convenience is at our finger tips. But, for some business owners, this can be an intimidating time. Trying to keep up to date with all the latest online systems, buzzwords and ideas can be challenging. Especially if you’re trying to run a successful business at the same time.

To stay on top of the game, follow these 5 tips and start embracing the digital age.

Make Use of Social Media

Did you know that 1.8 billion people in the world are active users on Facebook? That’s over a quarter of the world’s population. Never before have businesses had access to such a captive audience, all in one remote place. Stay ahead of your competitors and get your business on social media now. Whether you decide to make use of Facebook’s paid business solutions or just use the network to increase your online presence, you’re sure to notice the dividends of making use of the world’s top social network.

Create Amazing Content

You only have one chance to make a first impression and, in most cases, the internet will be the first place that potential customers will come into contact with your business. Ensure that you have amazing content on your website and social media pages to make that first impression a great one and convert those site visits into profit.

Use Interactive Marketing Campaigns to Build Engagement

Wow your consumers and ensure that they don’t forget your business by making use of creative, interactive digital marketing campaigns. Take a leaf out of companies like Nike’s books, and ask your fans to spread the word about your business through fun online photo challenges or competitions. This is the new future of digital marketing.

Switch to Mobile

Ensure that your website is optimized for easy mobile viewing. Mobile traffic is now the biggest traffic source on the net. Not just that, but Google now favors websites that are fully optimized for mobile viewing. Making the simple switch to mobile optimization will give you more chance of appearing on potential customer’s search engines. From a user’s point of view, it also makes your site easier to navigate, meaning potential customers are more likely to stick around and convert their visits into sales.

Hire a Virtual Assistant

To avoid wasting precious time on mindless online tasks, why not outsource some of your most tedious workload to a virtual assistant. Having a virtual assistant is a great way to save money on having an extra helping hand in your business. It’s a widely known fact that employees cost much more than just their salary- having a remote worker enables you to cut these costs and keep on top of the jobs that don’t physically need to be done in your office. Most virtual assistants are highly competent in social media marketing and can be a particularly valuable asset in this field.

The digital age is constantly changing and evolving. However, start small and begin by applying these 5 simple tips to your current business practice and enjoy the benefits of this new business revolution.

Unique Social Media and SEO Analytics Data Tools

New analytics tools can help you increase efficiency with social media marketing and Search Engine Optimization. Regardless of the products you sell and the market you serve, need the tools. Using the tools can help you expand your market and make more profits. Check out the following cool social media and SEO analytics data tools, as well as how you can use to help you stay ahead of the competition.

1. Alexa – Monitors traffic

Alexa enables you to track your global web traffic as well as those of your competitors. It is, therefore, a must-have tool since it converts information into competitive value thereby enabling your business to compete favorably with other companies in the market. With the Moz toolbar, you can easily see any other website’s Alexa ranking. The tool enables you to spy on the backlinks of other players in the market, keywords, traffic among many other aspects.

How to best utilize this tool: since comparing similar sites in your niche is useful, obtain data from noticeable competitors and sites rankings to get an overall picture of the situation in the market. Improve on your weak areas and learn from other successful actors in the industry

2. TwentyFeet – collects social stats

TwentyFeet is an Internet-based dashboard designed to gather social stats from Facebook, Twitter, bit.ly and YouTube, in one place. Whenever events are initiated, this handy tool pings you. It is, especially helpful for small businesses or when you do not want to spend a lot of money and would like to track common social media sites.

How to benefit from the tool: If any social media stat generates public interest, you have a chance to capitalize on the same. You can then figure out how to take advantage of the opportunity.

3. SE Ranking – tracks rankings

With SE ranking, you can monitor your other businesses’ search engine rankings on any specified region. It allows you up to 5 projects per site. Using this tool, you can generate detailed reports on your primary competitors, including information on their traffic forecasts, average positions, and website visibility. You can also collect data on the first page of your tracked question and organize them by prominence.

How to best utilize the tool: The tool provides brief data on prominent websites for your search query. So, if you want to track any aspect more, simply use “main competitors” tag to investigate about the aspect.

4. Organic Research – spy on competitor sites

Organic Search shows you the marketing strategies that work for your competitor’s websites and how to apply the same to your site. It allows you spy on competitor sites, and observe how other businesses in your industry rank organically, and identify their most effective keywords and hence enable come up with ways of optimizing your website

How to use the tool: Identify best-performing competitors. Spy on their websites (to obtain crucial information on the strategies that work for them) and use similar strategies to optimize own your site.

Use the above cool social media and SEO analytics data tools to take your business to the next level. Find out what strategies are derailing your efforts, and learn from your competitors. The tools will help you collect data quickly and use the same to improve your marketing campaigns.

9 Benefits of Mobile Apps You Didn’t Know About

The worldwide market for mobile apps has been expanding over the last half a decade or so, at a pretty frenetic pace. This, however, has not come as a surprise – since most of the contemporary smartphone applications do, in their own way, make the lives of users just manageable and more enjoyable. If you are not yet a believer in the merits of having mobile apps on your phone, the following arguments might transform you:

1. You get to save more time – A lot, actually. The lifestyle of an average corporate professional is rather hectic, and not always does a person have the luxury of being in front of a desktop/laptop connected to the internet. Accessing web pages via the mobile browser can also be unduly time-consuming (particularly if the network is weak). If you need information on specific issues, using a fast mobile application belonging to the appropriate category would be the best option.

2. You can promote your products/services better – Hiring the services of a professional mobile application development company can improve the visibility of your business as well. You have the opportunity of promoting products through QR codes in engaging corporate apps. If you are careful enough about including all the visual branding elements (logos, symbols, etc.) in the app development graphics, the brand-presence of your products/services would become stronger too.

3. You can make regular tasks less complex – There are plenty of custom mobile applications, which help users to draw up reports, make involved calculations, and perform intricate research analyses with consummate ease. Most of these apps come with the property of chart and/or graph-creation as well. No longer do you need to slog for hours while preparing a quarterly report – a mobile app can do the task accurately, and much quicker.

4. Apps are fun – According to studies conducted by practically every noted application development company, gaming apps enjoy really high popularity levels. Buoyed by this fact, professional app developers are constantly coming up with new and interesting ideas, which can be implemented to make standout games for smartphones. Right from educational games for toddlers, to action, arcade and strategy games for teenagers – there are numerous mobile apps in all categories.

5. You get personalized services – You can get all the health, diet, finance updates and other important information from the web – but how can you be sure what would be exactly relevant for you? This is yet another point where sophisticated mobile apps prove to be of great value. There are customized virtual fitness coaches, diet planners, daily task schedulers, and even personal budget trackers. In almost every walk of life, you can have mobile applications as your companion.

6. You get greater value from your mobile features with apps – With the domains of different app development making rapid strides – the native functionality of contemporary smartphone apps has become remarkably high. Many of these applications can be used with the in-built camera of handsets, while there are others that make use of the GPS and other location-based features on your smartphone. Without a set of well-selected applications, you are not likely to get the fullest value out of your expensive mobile set.

7. You can use apps offline too – Not all of them, of course – but there are many mobile applications that do not require internet connectivity. In particular, most of the gaming apps and storytelling apps for children work perfectly well offline. Before purchasing any application, you can easily ascertain whether it would function offline (or in a weak network), from the online app stores.

8. You can subscribe to push notifications – Smartphone apps make it much easier to keep track of all the events, functions and other activities happening around you, on a real-time basis. While shopping at the local mall, you can get notifications about attractive discounts that might be being offered there. If you are planning to dine out with your family, a location-based mobile application can bring to you the address, directions and user-reviews of the finest restaurants in the locality. All that you need to do is stay wary of too many promotional mails.

9. You can make your social connections better – Mobile application tools and concepts are implemented in most cases in a manner that, the resultant apps offer seamless access to Facebook, Twitter and other social media portals for users. Irrespective of whether you have posted a high score in a game, or have come across a new recipe, watched the latest blockbuster movie or participated in any other interesting activity – you can post/tweet about it on your timeline. Similarly, you can keep track of what your friends are doing via mobile apps too.

Since most present-day smartphone applications come with elegant app development graphics and user-friendly interfaces – operating them is not likely to prove challenging, even for those with minimal technical knowledge. Downloading and installing apps from the online stores is a straightforward process, price levels are mostly competitive, and there are plenty of free apps too. The list of advantages that high-end mobile apps have on offer is a long one – if you are not using them, you are definitely missing out!

What gadgets are making athletes lives easier

With the 2016 Olympics in Rio gone by, I think it’s safe to say that, watching it was definitely a certain high for you but behind their ace methodology in performance is discipline, perseverance and unbridled amount of training. Did they wake up one day and decide that they were going to be the best at what they do? Nope. Right now, you may be pumped up to be the best of your abilities, keep fit and run a healthy course of life. Here’s a few gadgets that can help you Ike they made any athletes lives easier.

1. Fitbit:

Any of the fitbit wristband products are beautifully equipped to monitor every aspect of your daily life. Even those activities that we neglect most often and can’t waste a minute to pay attention to on a daily basis. For eg, the calories you burn, the amount of sleep you take, the steps you walk, your heartbeat rate, every minute thing that will affect your performance as a human and as an athlete in the long term. Just like every drop makes an ocean, every single detail makes a better tomorrow for you This device gathers all these following informations needed to function- heart rate, your workouts, all activity and sleep control, smart track through gps assistance, work out goals and summaries. It has a multi-faceted clock face and long battery life. Keep it on when you sleep and it’ll wake you up to silent alarms. The best feature about this is that you can see your progress and alter the next activity at your will. Everything you thought you couldn’t control, is now in just on your wrist and this possible because they are synced to your smartphones. Depending on the fit and choice prices vary. However, it is available on amazon.com

2. Bodymedia:

Like Fitbit or any other wristband, bodymedia gadgets also track physical activity and sleep. However what is different about Bodymedia is that it is not latched onto your wrist but is wrapped around the arm. Along with the functions of the wristband, it has a real-time dashboard, customised workouts but also keeps track of the athlete’s food log. So now along with burning calories, you can figure out how many calories you are intaking as well and this helps to keep you in balance. Up for grabs on amazon for USD 96.99

3. ReeCharge Power Pack:

Are you a cycling enthusiast? With all that syncing of the body perspiration, heartbeat rate, body temperature, calories burnt etc on your fitbit, your smartphone must be running out on its battery. Still a long way of cycling training to go on What do you do? It is attached to the bicycle’s hub dynamo and uses that energy produced while cycling to recharge your smartphone. What’s more? Are you afraid that it is about to rain? Fret not, for this device is completely weatherproof . What more can a cyclist ask for Costs USD 140 approximately

4. Hovding:

This is by far, one of the greatest inventions in the area of sports. It is also known as a❑the invisible helmet’. Its greatest speciality is that it is neither invisible, nor is it a helmet. It is Swedish made and therefore is definitely one of the fashionable gadgets to have around as well The sensors in it detects variation in speed and angles to gauge potential accidents. In case of any accidents, before the athlete makes impact with the ground, the airbag within pops to protect, the most sensitive part of the cyclist, his head. It is said to have three times more shock absorption in comparison to other cycle helmets. Definitely up for grabs on amazon for USD 250-275

5. Finis Neptune:

So many of us are motivated by music. So are a lot of our athletes.Music is driving force, said to have an impact on our performance and delivery levels. On land, it’s easier for athletes to easily access music while performing. However, Finis Neptune can be secured onto the athletes eyewear gear, like swimming goggles. This special gadget uses bone conduction audio and relays forward the music to the athletes ear without the need to use earbuds. It makes the music louder and clearer underwater. Has 4GB storage, rechargeable batteries and access to music control buttons. This is available online as well as in stores ranging anywhere in between USD 89.99- 119.99

6. Umoro One:

Sick and Tired of carrying too many bottles for a workout session. One for water during workouts and another for a post workout protein drink. As if working out isn’t tiring enough. This is the best bottle to have for those into workouts. It functions like a normal bottle but then with just a click of a button it releases up to 1..5 scoops of your favorite energy drink mix or protein mix into the water. This works perfectly for pre, during and post workout sessions. The ball that releases the protein can be used as a mixer to mix up the drink. It is up for grabs on amazon.com for USD 26.99.

Specific cyber crime threats and how companies are dealing with them

Cyber Security

Cyber security attacks and cyber crime always seem to dominate the news in USA and also in many other countries across the world.

Neither individuals nor large companies are immune to the offensive and malicious attacks that target computer networks, personal computer devices as well as infrastructures. According to a recent survey conducted by Linedata, a distinguished NYSE Euronext listed information technology vendor that provides IT solutions to investment management companies across the world, cyber crime might be the greatest disruptor of business activities in the next six years.

Linedata interviewed IT executives working in 200 reputable companies and discovered that 36% of them were seriously concerned about cyber crime threats. Common cyber crime threats DDOS (distributed-denial of service) attacks and hacking are the most common threats that affect companies. DDOS Distributed-denial of service attacks usually prevent authorized access to internet-based services by jamming communication links with huge traffic.

These effectively prevent users from gaining access to the internet-based services since the affected systems are rendered incapable of handling the huge volume of traffic. DDOS attacks are usually executed using botnets- controlled and compromised computers that involuntarily and simultaneously send messages to targeted servers and/or computers. Hacking Hacking is one of the primary and most common methods of infiltrating networks.

Cyber criminals hack targeted computer systems by injecting specialist software with the primary objective of gaining unauthorized access to systems and networks. Taking administrative control of the targeted systems and networks is usually their secondary objective. These attacks can compromise stored data on individuals’ networks, commercial data, products, sensitive information as well as strategic plans.

Other common cyber crime threats include:

Phishing: where fake emails ask for personal details and confidential information. Ad clicking: allow cyber criminals to remotely instruct victims’ computers to click on certain malicious links. Webcam management: where cyber criminals hijack victims’ web cameras. Screenshot management: allows criminals to take screenshots of the victims’ computer screens without their knowledge. Key logging: situations whereby criminals record everything that people type on their keyboards.

Ransomware: these are malware which lock and/or encrypt valuable digital files. The criminals demand payment of ransom before unlocking the affected files. This is why Ransomware prevention is of the utmost importance.

Examples of companies that have fallen victim Are you aware that there have been several high profile cyber crime attacks on some of the leading companies in America, Europe, Asia as well as Africa?

They include Ashley Madison (one of the leading Canadian companies that provide online dating services) and United Kingdom’s Talk Talk (a firm that deals with broadband and phone products/ services). Recently, JPMorgan Chase, the largest US bank, experienced a case where the addresses, emails, names and telephone numbers of 76 million clients got compromised as a result of a cyber attack. How are companies dealing with cyber crime threats?

The following are efficient and effective methods used by large corporations to deal with the menace:

1. All employees are made aware of cyber crime threats and how fast they are evolving.

They are also educated on the critical roles that they must play in safeguarding the organizations’ data and systems.

2. Companies patch operating systems, firmware and software on digital devices via centralized patch management systems.

3. They ensure anti-malware and anti-virus solutions are set to carry out regular scans and automatically update.

4. Companies ensure proper management and use of privileged accounts. Users aren’t assigned administrative access until and unless there’s absolute need. Additionally, they ensure that administrator accounts are only used if and when necessary.

5. They properly configure access controls to files, network share permissions and directories. For instance, if users need to read specific information, they are denied write-access to the particular directories or files.

6. The companies always ensure that macro-scripts from the office files are disabled before transmission via emails.

7. They apply security controls such as software restriction policies to prevent software from executing from certain spyware and malware locations. For instance, temporary folders aren’t allowed to support internet browsers, decompression or compression programs.

8. Companies ensure that all their data is backed up on regular basis. The integrity of backup systems is also verified.

9. They make sure that their back-up systems are properly secured. They also make sure that the systems are disconnected from the networks or computers.

Cyber security attacks and cyber crime always seem to dominate the news in USA and also in many other countries across the world. Neither individuals nor large companies are immune to the offensive and malicious attacks that target computer networks, personal computer devices as well as infrastructures.

According to a recent survey conducted by Linedata, a distinguished NYSE Euronext listed information technology vendor that provides IT solutions to investment management companies across the world, cyber crime might be the greatest disruptor of business activities in the next six years.

Linedata interviewed IT executives working in 200 reputable companies and discovered that 36% of them were seriously concerned about cyber crime threats.

Common cyber crime threats

DDOS (distributed-denial of service) attacks and hacking are the most common threats that affect companies.

DDOS

Distributed-denial of service attacks usually prevent authorized access to internet-based services by jamming communication links with huge traffic. These effectively prevent users from gaining access to the internet-based services since the affected systems are rendered incapable of handling the huge volume of traffic.

DDOS attacks are usually executed using botnets- controlled and compromised computers that involuntarily and simultaneously send messages to targeted servers and/or computers.

Hacking

Hacking is one of the primary and most common methods of infiltrating networks. Cyber criminals hack targeted computer systems by injecting specialist software with the primary objective of gaining unauthorized access to systems and networks. Taking administrative control of the targeted systems and networks is usually their secondary objective.

These attacks can compromise stored data on individuals’ networks, commercial data, products, sensitive information as well as strategic plans.

Other common cyber crime threats include:

Phising: where fake emails ask for personal details and confidential information.

Ad clicking: allow cyber criminals to remotely instruct victims’ computers to click on certain malicious links.

Webcam management: where cyber criminals hijack victims’ web cameras.

Screenshot management: allows criminals to take screenshots of the victims’ computer screens without their knowledge.

Key logging: situations whereby criminals record everything that people type on their keyboards.

Ransomware: these are malware which lock and/or encrypt valuable digital files. The criminals demand payment of ransom before unlocking the affected files.

Examples of companies that have fallen victim

Are you aware that there have been several high profile cyber crime attacks on some of the leading companies in America, Europe, Asia as well as Africa? They include Ashley Madison (one of the leading Canadian companies that provide online dating services) and United Kingdom’s Talk Talk (a firm that deals with broadband and phone products/ services).

Recently, JPMorgan Chase, the largest US bank, experienced a case where the addresses, emails, names and telephone numbers of 76 million clients got compromised as a result of a cyber attack.

How are companies dealing with cyber crime threats?

The following are efficient and effective methods used by large corporations to deal with the menace:

1. All employees are made aware of cyber crime threats and how fast they are evolving. They are also educated on the critical roles that they must play in safeguarding the organizations’ data and systems.

2. Companies patch operating systems, firmware and software on digital devices via centralized patch management systems.

3. They ensure anti-malware and anti-virus solutions are set to carry out regular scans and automatically update.

4. Companies ensure proper management and use of privileged accounts. Users aren’t assigned administrative access until and unless there’s absolute need. Additionally, they ensure that administrator accounts are only used if and when necessary.

5. They properly configure access controls to files, network share permissions and directories. For instance, if users need to read specific information, they are denied write-access to the particular directories or files.

6. The companies always ensure that macro-scripts from the office files are disabled before transmission via emails.

7. They apply security controls such as software restriction policies to prevent software from executing from certain spyware and malware locations. For instance, temporary folders aren’t allowed to support internet browsers, decompression or compression programs.

8. Companies ensure that all their data is backed up on regular basis. The integrity of backup systems is also verified.

9. They make sure that their back-up systems are properly secured. They also make sure that the systems are disconnected from the networks or computers.

The Best Gadgets for 2016

Gadgets

As we approach the end of another year, it’s hard not to look back and be staggered by the sheer amount of technical innovation that we’ve seen in the past months. High profile releases of new tech like the Samsung Galaxy S6, have been precursors to what is coming in 2016. Many people choose the end of the year and the Christmas Holiday period to purchase their new gadgets for the year coming. If you’re one of those people, then knowing what to buy for 2016 will help you to stay ahead of the tech curve.

Some of these gadgets you can already buy, and some will be available after the New Year, but they all have something in common. They’re all fantastic gadgets that will make life easier, and change the way that you work and play.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

The Note 5 is already available, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be one of the best phablets well into 2016. Samsung’s latest model is the fastest Note ever, with a new curved design, a 16MP camera, and a whopping 5.7inch QHD display.

SAVFY Fashionable Portable Wireless Stereo Bluetooth Speaker

Portable Bluetooth speakers are taking off in a big way. They allow you to take your music wireless, wherever you are in the house. Perfect for al fresco dining, entertaining at late hours, or for listening to music at any time where a small, but high quality solution is needed.

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo is a Bluetooth speaker, a digital assistant, and a search tool, all rolled into one. You can talk to this speaker and hear the news, research for an assignment, or even plan your week. You can search the World Wide Web, and it plays your music too. Fully voice activated, this is Amazon’s vision of the future, and you can buy it today.

Rugged Smartphone Cases

Sometimes the best gadget is the one that protects your gadget. Smartphones are expensive and should be protected. A rugged case might add bulk, but it will save you on insurance costs or even full phone replacement. Otterbox is a trusted brand.

Smart Watches

Smart watches are tipped to be the next big thing. The connect to your cellphone and allow you to read messages, receive alarms, run searches, make and take calls, and they even act as fitness trackers. LG, Motorola, ASUS, Samsung, Apple, and Sony are just a few of the brands offering these products.

SAVFY Portable USB

The size of a lipstick canister, and sporting enough power to charge most modern smartphones. This power bank will keep your gadgets charged, no matter how long the day or night is. If you need more capacity, there are options up to 11000 mAh to make sure you’re ready for any situation.

3D Printer

3D printers for the home are finally becoming affordable. These devices use plastic resins to print out real 3D objects. Toys, jewelry, ornaments… anything you can think of. There are already sub-$1000 printers on the market, such as the XYZPrinting Da Vinci.

Sports Camera

GoPro cameras are made to be taken anywhere, and they take stunning full hi-definition video, audio, and images. They are compact (smaller than the palm of your hand), and can be used in any environment. If you want to capture ALL of life’s moments, then you need one of these best gadgets for 2016.

IoT Devices for the Home

The Internet of Things is already here, and it essentially means that all of your gadgets in your pocket, car, office, and home, will be connected, and sharing data through the cloud. Smarten your home with internet capable appliances like a fridge that tells your smartphone when you’re out of milk, or a garden sprinkler that knows when it’s time to water the grass.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Kids

Not everyone knows that Samsung makes tablets specifically designed for kids. If you have young children. A special kid’s model tablet could be perfect. They’re more hardwearing, they have special software, and they come in kid-friendly colors that stimulate learning and imagination.

With so many great devices out there, it is hard to pick from the best gadgets for 2016. Choose something that will benefit your lifestyle, and you’ll get the most reward from all of the latest technology.