You just never know when you’re going to be the victim of a crime, that’s one of the worst things about it: that surprise element. But if you own a PC, laptop or smartphone you could be putting yourself at risk from any number of cyber attacks if you’re not putting into place adequate protection.
So many of us use our phones and devices to access our bank accounts, payment platforms and store our personal details in files in our documents folders, notes, and emails.
It’s no wonder that hackers have an easy time finding what they need to steal our identities and wreak havoc.
But, you don’t have to make it easy for them, in fact, there are several easy, smart measures you can take to ensure that your laptop and phone stay safe from prying eyes and stop the advances of a would-be cyber criminal.
We’ve rounded up, from top bloggers and experts, some of the best ways to keep yourself safe:
Laptops and PCs
The most effective way to prevent anyone gaining access to your computer files is to install effective anti-virus software. Not just install it but update it regularly and run check-ups on a weekly basis.
While free software is available, the most effective type will probably come with a price tag but since you’re buying peace of mind, it’s usually a worthwhile investment.
If you use Windows, make sure you install updates regularly and switch on that firewall for extra protection against malware.
Always back-up your files and keep your desktop clean, if you’re a Mac user get on Setapp to tidy away anything that contains your personal details. A tidy desktop makes it harder for hackers to go straight for what they need.
More of us are finding that our phones are being hacked but again there are ways to remedy this and make yourself less vulnerable. As with computers, make sure your software updates are carried out regularly, they shore up any holes that might make it easy for someone to sneak into your personal data.
If you’re downloading an App, make sure it’s verified and well reviewed before you install it. Android phones are not quite as strict at the vetting process as Apple, so be vigilant.
Be vigilant too with open WiFi networks and avoid wherever possible, they are often used to mine your phone for data and rarely work.
If your phone is physically stolen make it a challenge to access your data. Always have a passcode in place with a six-figure number. On many smartphones, you can erase data remotely after your phone disappears so make sure you know how this works and get it done as quickly as you can. Use any tracking features to try and locate it before reporting to the police.
By putting in a few simple measures to protect yourself and your data, you’ll be in a great position to fend off any cyber attacks. Be wise, back up your data and make sure to stay vigilant.
Security technology has come a long way since padlocks and safes. Recently, a number of gadgets have been developed that have revolutionized the security industry. Here are just a few pieces of security tech that could help to safeguard us in the future.
Facial recognition technology
Facial recognition technology is already being implemented in our mobile phones as an alternative to using a password. It’s thought that this technology could eventually replace all passwords – already banks are using it to help customers access online banking. This technology can also be used to check people against ID to ensure that they are who they say they are making it a good screening method for businesses. Companies such as https://www.jumio.com/trusted-identity/netverify/ can help you implement this technology if you currently run a business. This could help you to keep out frauds and prevent a data breach.
It’s possible to do away with a regular lock and house key and instead introduce a smart lock. This could allow you to open the lock using your phone. This could be used in conjunction with fingerprint scanning or facial recognition technology so that if a thief gets hold of your phone, they cannot enter. It could also allow you to lock and unlock doors remotely – this could be useful for unlocking and opening a garage door when in your car. It’s worth reading online reviews such as this onehttps://uk.pcmag.com/august-smart-lock-homekit-enabled/ in order to find the best smart lock for your needs and budget.
Drones are more than a toy – these flying machines have found all manner of purposes from DIY aerial photography to monitoring crops. More recently, they’ve also found use as remote flying security guards. Drones can record footage and scan the perimeter of a building or event more easily and more quickly than a human. Human personnel can then be deployed if a breach is detected (some security companies have gone so far as to fit speakers to drones so that they can alert the criminal in the act!).
Similar to facial recognition technology, heartbeat-scanning technology is thought to be another future replacement of passwords. By simply wearing a bracelet around your arm that scans your heartbeat, you could use this technology as a unique form of identification. This could be used to gain access to companies or as a form access control for festivals and events.
When you print, scan, or copy a document at home or in the office, it might look like any other document to your eyes. But, unbelievably, data on the page make it possible to track almost every document you’ve ever scanned, printed, or photocopied back to you.
Your printer logs everything
All modern printers keep some form of log. Depending on the make and model, the logs can be highly intrusive and even go as far as indefinitely retaining full copies of all material.
Printer logs can be a substantial and unexpected privacy risk, especially if they contain sensitive and personal information. This is a significant risk when disposing of or selling old printers, as people are rarely aware of how to wipe or destroy the hard drive safely.
For those with loved ones who are interested in gaming, Christmas is almost always a hard time of year. With an industry like this, it can be impossible to know what’s best when you don’t have any experience, and this leaves a lot of parents stuck in a rut. To help you out with this, this post is going to be exploring some of the most popular gaming options out there, along with a rundown of their features and benefits over their competitors. With this in mind, your job should be a lot easier this Christmas.
The Xbox One X
Since the release of the Xbox One, there have been two revisions to make the console a lot better. Now, this has left the world with the Xbox One X; a console which is claimed to be 40% more powerful than any other on the market. Using this power, the One X is able to handle 4K rendering, along with incredibly high-quality textures in the games you play.
The Xbox One X may be the most powerful out there, but it is also the most expensive, and this will be a serious turn off for a lot of people. Along with this, games aren’t transferrable, and future updates could come with steep costs. It is always worth being aware of changes like this, as they could impact your experience in the future.
The PlayStation 4 Pro
Like the Xbox, the PlayStation 4 Pro is the most powerful console Sony has ever made. Boasting 4K performance, this little console has loads of performance under the hood, and a lot of games work extremely well with it. The Pro’s GPU is significantly more powerful than the older model, and this is where all of the new juice comes from.
This console is a little cheaper than the Xbox but doesn’t have quite the same level of performance. Along with this, games will be equally as locked down, and a lot of people will struggle to have fun with the restrictions they have. This can make it impossible for a child to get their hands on the games they’d like to pay.
The Nintendo Switch
Nintendo has had a long history of taking the gaming industry by storm with a weird and unique concept. The Switch is no exception to this, and is one of their oddest designs to date. Offering the chance to have a handheld or desktop console, this option is great for those on the go, especially when kids are involved. A lot of people are very excited about the lineup for this product. Of course, though, you’ll need to make sure you’re getting what the kids want.
Somehow, over the years, Nintendo’s prices have barely moved. Instead, as they have made improvements, their prices have stayed the same, and this makes some of their goods incredibly good value. The Switch falls into this category, even though the games will all be locked to a single device. Thankfully, the portability of the device makes not being able to share games much more forgivable.
A Simple Phone
Nowadays, almost everyone has an extremely powerful phone in their pocket, and this is a market which a lot of parents or gift-givers won’t consider. Games, like Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire, have been designed to run perfectly on these devices, and don’t lack the excitement regular video games provide. This sort of option is great for parents who don’t want to invest in a television alongside their console.
The Mighty Computer
Finally, as the last option to consider, a lot of people don’t see a computer as a gaming device, nowadays. In reality, though, this sort of machine is perfect for gaming, and will often outperform all of the consoles on this list. With new processors and GPUs coming out all the time, there is good reason to think about this sort of option. For a child, this sort of experience could be too intense, and a console would be much better. But, for adults, games like CoD and Battlefront will be much better on PC.
Hopefully, this post will give you everything you need to start your Christmas console shopping for this year. A lot of people find themselves struggling for ideas when their friends or family members are gamers. With this list in mind, though, it should be nice and easy to start making the right choices in this area. Of course, they will probably give you some idea, anyway.
These days, children can be extremely technologically advanced. Whenever you are out and about, you will often see some very young children, toddlers even, playing on their parent’s smartphone. Some may even have their very own smartphone or tablet device themselves. Lots of people think that introducing children to technology in this way at an early age is good for them. It gives them the chance to develop some useful tech skills that will help them in later lives and getting to know tech from an early stage can keep them safe when online.
But is it really such a good idea to introduce young children to technology at such an early age? It is important to remember that there are some dangers associated with it.
One of the main worries about letting your kids loose on smartphones and tablet devices is that they might damage the expensive appliances. Kids can be very clumsy, and your phone or tablet might easily slip out of their hands and smash on a hard floor. Or, your kids might press something they shouldn’t and they could delete a lot of important data. But there are ways to protect your devices. Firstly, invest in a good quality cover that can protect it against physical damage. Secondly, make sure everything is backed up. In this video, Casey explains exactly how to back up your iPhone, and this process isn’t too different for Android phones. Once backed up, all your data and information is safe and secure.
There is a growing problem with obesity currently in a number of Western countries. And the problem is becoming increasingly serious with children. A few parents are wary about letting their children spend a lot of time with technology because it encourages a sedentary way of life. When they aren’t exposed to technology, they will be much more inclined to play outside and lead an active lifestyle. So, if you are already worried about your child’s weight, it might be a good idea to wait a few years to introduce them to these technologies.
Another health issue that many parents associate with children and technology is sleep deprivation. The screens on all laptops, smartphones, and tablet devices emit a soft blue light that isn’t visible when you are looking at the screen. However, even though you can’t see it, the light is definitely there and can play havoc with melatonin, the hormone that helps us sleep. As a result, if a child is on a device too close to their bedtime, they will find it much harder to fall asleep. Plus, they won’t sleep as deeply as they should do, and will suffer from broken sleep through the night. So, if you do introduce your child to tech, be sure that you have a cut off point in the early evening. That way, they aren’t playing on games right up to bedtime.
Whether or not you do introduce your child to tech at an early age is up to you. But it’s good to weigh up both sides of the argument!
When making a website about a business or simply as a matter of your own pleasure, it should be an extension of your personality and what you believe in. Unfortunately, not everyone is a tech junky, who knows the latest and greatest ways of achieving exactly what they want out of a website. Often, we’re lead by the nose, and we simply try to put convenience before total customization. We want to be able to make the website feel personal and somehow connected to us, so the brand and or image is properly projected. It’s also fun to build something from scratch and be able to say that your website is utterly of your own making. There are definite benefits to both options but how do they relay out into the real world?
Branching out the responsibility to people with the relevant expertise to create your website is the route that most people choose to go down. However, there is always another way than palming this off to somebody else. HTML is still in use, and contrary to what many people thought a few years ago, is far from dying out. In fact, many people are learning how to make basic and advanced coding using this method by using various companies like Training Connection. Here you’ll learn how to make build a website, how to lay down the foundations and fill the structure in with different and completely customizable options. You can also make your website completely compatible with the latest smartphones as well as make it fast, reliable and responsive for people on the commute. CSS3 is the platform you’ll be learning, which will help you to create complex page layouts as well as add interactive features your viewers will like.,
Hosting websites are big business nowadays. The main platforms that are available to the public for free as well as in a charged advanced package are brands like Wix and WordPress. You are locked into their mainframe, and you function as an independent website, but you’re still technically connected to the web host. So, its always better to get the general understading of pros and cons of each available platform in order to avoid future issues. For example, you can find useful information about features and pricing in this Wix review.You can contact a plethora of web designers either from companies or freelancers, to use these platforms to make you a website. Together with this, they may teach you how to use the various functions, buttons, keys, and links so that you can do basic editing by yourself. This route is very easy but more expensive than going it alone on HTML. However, it’s also much less time consuming and the web hosts are a great way to boost your social media rating as they have integrated systems that will launch your website on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Going it alone and doing everything on your own gives you absolute autonomy. However, the learning curve is sometimes too steep for some people, so keep the option of getting a website made for you open. Web hosting is a hot topic, and many people use them for their website because it’s simply easier, more accessible, but you must be willing to have it cost more. Learning to code will help you in the future, and you’ll be able to understand how to correct and modify certain elements of your website whenever you wish
There are various different types of computers that you can purchase for personal and business use. Some have different power levels, processing capabilities, and storage space. It’s important that you make the right choice when you buy a computer as it is an expensive investment. A top computer could cost you well over a thousand dollars, plus any extras that you might need to purchase such as word processing software. So, let’s look at some of the different computer systems that you can get your hands on.
There are various types of desktops that you can get on the market right now. The benefit of having a desktop is that they tend to be more powerful. They also usually have faster processing speeds and larger memory storage capacities. As such, you can store TBs of your data on a desktop making it the perfect home computer system. As well as this, a desktop often has a large enough screen to be used as another device for video entertainment in your home. Expect to pay a few thousand at least for a decent desktop.
The best desktops can connect wirelessly to another device in your home. This means that you will be able to play your music, watch shows that you might have downloaded on your desktop on your TV and forward search results directly to any smart system in your home.
It’s worth pointing out that desktops also tend to have disk drive systems, something that tends to be quite rare on your typical laptop.
Laptops come in all shapes and sizes and the type you choose will depend on what you’re going to use it for. A gaming laptop isn’t just for gaming. Gaming laptops often have seriously fast processors, crystal clear displays and avoid lagging issues when online. As such, they are very powerful machines but can be pricey with costs often reaching beyond five thousand.
An all in one laptop covers all the bases and may or may not have a disc drive. It will, however, be fast enough to stream shows online and have at least 2TBs of data. According to laptop.review, most modern laptops now have at least 4tbs for storage with a much smaller memory.
Finally, there is the notebook. Used mainly for surfing the web and word processing, this laptop is a fantastic choice for basic uses, and typically, they are considerably cheaper. A few hundred will be enough to pick up a typical laptop, perfect for surfing the web, watching videos and working.
Last but not least, you may want to consider purchasing a hybrid. Exactly as it sounds, a hybrid is a mixture of a tablet and a laptop often with a keyboard that does disconnect. The benefit of this type of setup is that you can use the device in multiple ways whether you just want the screen or a full laptop. However, you should be careful buying these as they are often nowhere near as powerful as your typical fully functional laptop.
Podcasts can be considered another type of blogging, and can be just as full time. Everyone can make their own podcasts nowadays about anything they love or find interesting. Yet even when you’re blogging you’re going to need some essential equipment, so it’s the same for going bigger with your recording activities. It can often feel like a closer way of interacting with your audience, and your friends and family as well as you can invite on special guests. So feel free to run your own podcast, but what technology do you need to record and edit your own audio show?
There’s three staple things you’ll need to create a podcast worthy of upload:
A Good Microphone
If your computer comes with a built in microphone, you can use that to start off with. However, if you want something more durable and long term, USB microphones make the whole recording loop a lot easier to monitor. This is because you’ll often be able to see the sound levels in wave format on your screen.
If you need some comparisons for the best models, look here, and keep an eye out for entry level microphones as they’ll be best to start and get to grips with. Microphones don’t have to be necessarily complicated however, but are a little bit of an investment so it’s good to know what you’re buying.
A Recording Device
Use your own computer or have an external method of recording. It’s often easier to just use your computer’s built in software if you have nothing else and want to get started straightaway. However, this does mean your files will be harder to find and more easily corrupted as computers are not specialised for this activity long term.
Invest in an external device if you want to try making a podcast long term. These devices will keep your files safe in a format that’s ready to edit, like a WAV. file. They also won’t corrupt your data with trying to store it in a compatible way after being recorded.
Reliable Editing Software
Editing software can be found at many places across the web, but make sure you’re downloading a safe file, and that your software is easy for you to use. You could try something like audacity, which is easy to get to grips with and is completely free.
If you’re confident with what you do, you can use a mixer for your post production effects. These can be used to make a show intro if you’re so inclined, and can create some special effects if you have a themed show or want to dabble in the art of audio mixing.
Creating your own podcast couldn’t be easier with the modern world. Everyone can be their own mini celebrity with online culture, and as long as you have a few listeners you’re in business and everyone can make their own podcasts nowadays about anything they love or find interesting, especially with the help of Music Critic’s Top 10 Best DAW Recording Software of 2018 review for new software for recording! Of course it can always be done for yourself, as it’s another blogging platform, and is a good way to express your creative freedom.
Safeguarding your health is absolutely crucial, especially for those who aren’t exactly getting younger! That being said, the younger you are when you start, the better. Here are some smart ways to look after your health for a great quality of life:
Live A More Balanced Lifestyle
Some people think to protect their health, that they need to eat clean, exercise every day, and do every little thing they can. While this level of commitment is admirable, it isn’t necessary. It’s much better to live a balanced lifestyle, with the odd glass of wine and food with friends. Make smart choices 90% of the time and have fun. When you have fun, studies say you will live longer!
Track Your Health
Fitness trackers are a brilliant way of measuring how fit you really are. There are plenty of brands around today, so it depends on the sort of look and features you think will be best for you. Just some of the features you can enjoy include sleep tracking, finding out your cardio fitness level, comparing yourself against similar people in your demographic, your heartrate, and more. You can really improve these way!
Invest In Lifesaving Equipment
Did you know that mature adults are more at risk of suffering from cardiac arrest than other people? Anybody can suffer at any time, but there are ways that it can be prevented. Equipment is becoming more advanced, and having some of it in the workplace or at home could really prevent the worst from taking place. The infographic below can give more information.
New communication technology is constantly making the world feel smaller. At the time, the invention of the telephone revolutionized the way that people worked. Contact was no longer limited to people in the surrounding area and communicating with people that weren’t nearby meant days of traveling. These days, we have the capability to collaborate with people all over the globe at the touch of a button and it has drastically changed the way that businesses operate. The ease of sharing information and the availability of technology means that the traditional office set up is quickly becoming obsolete. You might not realize it yet because most businesses still have a physical premises, but more and more people are starting to turn to virtual offices instead. You no longer need to fill your office with employees from the local area. Now you can employ people from all over the globe and have them work remotely.
People have a lot of reservations about the idea of people working remotely but most of them are unfounded. The myth is that people will be less productive if they’re working from home because there are too many distractions and no authority figures to motivate you. For some people, this is probably the case, but most people tend to be more productive if anything.
Recent studies by the Harvard business review show that people that work from home are, on average, far more productive. There are a few reasons for this, and they aren’t what you would expect. Most people expect there to be more effective communication between employees that are in an office together, but the truth is, people become more complacent. When employees are working remotely, they tend to put more effort into effective communication and work together a lot more effectively. Teams that don’t interact face to face that often also tend to make better use of their time when they do, so even though they work closely a lot less often, they are infinitely more productive when they do. Better use of technology is another benefit of working remotely. When you’re part of a virtual team, you rely far more heavily on technology than people that meet together on a daily basis. As technology becomes increasingly important, the employees that are better equipped to use are the ones that will thrive.
When it comes to distractions, people’s preconceptions are way off. When you’re working remotely from home, you aren’t distracted by any of the other people around you. In a rigid office environment, people are often looking for distractions but in a more relaxed home environment, people can concentrate a lot easier. Remote workers also, on average, work more hours than office workers because they aren’t limited to an eight hour work day.
One of the main benefits of a virtual team is that it massively reduces your overheads. Instead of needing a large office that can house all of your employees every day, you just need a much smaller space for the occasional team meeting.
It also means that you have a much wider choice when it comes to hiring employees. Instead of being limited to the best people in the local area, with a virtual office, you can choose from the best people in the entire world. You no longer have to compromise when it comes to hiring so you can create the very best team possible. By having employees around the globe, you can expand into new markets far more easily because you don’t need to set up expensive new offices every time.
What Are The Negatives?
By this point, you might think that starting a virtual office is a no brainer, but it does have its downsides. One of the biggest problems that people encounter is a lack of expertise. In a traditional office environment, if you have an IT problem, for example, you can head down the hall and find somebody to help you out. You won’t have that when you’re at home working as part of a virtual team. However, remote working is starting to correct those problems as fast as they arise. The experts that offer home IT services can repair most common issues remotely so you still get the benefit of a great IT team without having to wait for them to come out to you.
A good working relationship is important in any workplace because a team that don’t gel well together won’t work efficiently. In an office environment when you’re working together every single day, those relationships are far easier to build. When you’re part of a virtual team and you tend to communicate mainly by email or phone, you feel quite detached from each other and it can be harder to build a good working relationship. That doesn’t mean that you can never create a coherent team, you’ll just have to work at it a little more. When the team does meet in person, you need to put a bit more effort into getting to know one another.
Not being able to monitor your employees as much is another concern that people have about virtual offices. Monitoring their workload isn’t too much of an issue because they will have tangible results to show you but when it comes to their well being, it’s harder to know what’s going on. If your employees aren’t happy, then productivity will drop drastically so it’s important that they’re happy. It’s best to check in from time to time to ensure that they don’t have any major problems that are affecting their work.
So, those are the pros and cons of a virtual office. If it seems like something that might work for your business and you’re going to set one up for yourself, make sure that you remember these things.
Face to face contact is important when you’re trying to build a relationship with somebody. So many virtual teams make the mistake of communicating solely by email but this is not effective. Not only can it be inefficient because you have to wait a while for a response, it also takes the human element out of those interactions. Video calling isn’t an ideal solution, but it’s much better than emailing. You can put a face to a name and get to know each other a little better. While it isn’t as good as meeting in person, it’s as close as you can get.
Establish Clear Responsibilities
In a traditional office, everybody’s roles are fairly clear cut. If you want to know who is handling a certain part of a project, you can just ask. However, when you’re part of a virtual team, you won’t have everybody on hand. You also don’t know how other employees are dividing up their own workloads. That means that sometimes people are unclear about who is doing what and that can seriously affect efficiency. That is why it’s so important to set out clear cut responsibilities at the beginning of a new project. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself dealing with disputes between employees about who was responsible for what.
Choose Employees Carefully
Although a lot of the concerns that people have about remote worker’s motivation are unfounded, that doesn’t mean that everybody thrives as part of a virtual team. Some people will have trouble motivating themselves outside of a rigid office environment. When you’re interviewing employees, you should obviously consider their qualifications first, but their personality is incredibly important. You need to be looking at the tell-tale signs that indicate whether they’re motivated or not. If you employ somebody that can’t keep themselves motivated properly, then they’ll be a weak link in the team and efficiency will be affected. This is an even bigger problem in a virtual team because you might not realize that there is a problem until further down the line.
Keep People In The Loop
One of the biggest downsides of a virtual team is that people don’t always feel like they’re really part of the company. In a normal office, everybody is aware of new hires and other company developments, but virtual employees won’t always know about these things. Putting together a monthly newsletter that keeps people up to date with all of these developments makes them feel more a part of the team which creates more loyalty to the company and in turn encourages them to be more motivated.
This is the most important thing for any virtual team. Although new technology means that communicating remotely is easier than ever, there are still some things that need to be discussed in person. Important decisions about the direction of the company should always be decided at meetings. Another thing to consider is the safety of information. When you’re communicating online, there is always the chance of a security breach. With this in mind, you should always keep discussions about sensitive information in person where possible so you reduce the risk of any security issues.
The virtual office is set to be the future of the workplace so start setting up yours now and stay ahead of the curve.