Technology

How to Develop a Career in Cyber Security

The internet and technology are here to stay, and the impact and role they play in our daily lives just keeps growing. With this increased use of technology, there are now great demands for people to work in the field of cyber security. New risks and issues pop up daily, and we must be able to fend them off and stop them from causing serious issues. Becoming a cyber security professional can be a great career move.

Cyber Security Defined

Cyber security, also referred to as computer security, is the concept of keeping computers and other technological devices secure from harmful elements. This may include stopping hackers, preventing a virus or securing data so it can be transferred safely. Almost anything you do online has an underlying aspect related to security. For example, when you go to look at your UAB school account, you probably have to enter a username and password. These two things help to secure your information so that nobody else can access it unless you give them specific permission to do so.

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Security, though, can get complicated because the people trying to steal information or otherwise cause harm are becoming more advanced as the attempts to stop them become more advanced. If your personal information from your UAB account were to fall into the wrong hands due to a major security breach, major issues could result for you and the school. Nobody wants to see this happen, so this is where a security specialist would step in.

Steps to a Career in Computer Security

You want to begin with a solid education in computer science. There is really no way to specialize in cyber security unless you understand the basics first. Security is complex, and this requires a good foundation in skills like programming. You try to build up a solid base by getting at least a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree, like one from Marysville that specializes in cyber security, can really give you that start you need in the field, and Marysville’s cyber security masters program is now online, which makes it even more convenient.

You also should enter the field, working in entry-level positions to give you a good working knowledge of computers and practical experience in putting your skills to use. You should start working even while still in school. You need that experience in order to get hired in a cyber security positon. Employers can be very strict about requirements, so you may want to do a check of what employers are looking for in computer security personnel, so you can build the skills you need and gain the experience they require.

There is no doubt that the field of cyber security is growing and has a real need for qualified professionals to fill key roles. However, unless you have the education and work experience required, it will be very difficult to ever secure a job in this field. It takes some work, but in the end, it is very much worth it to get a job where you can help protect others and put your computer knowledge to work every day.

6 Steps to Identifying and Stopping Loyalty Point Theft

Theft is nothing new, but the ways crooks are stealing things in the digital age can be truly surprising. Cybercrime is evolving every day as hackers develop advanced techniques to pilfer our personal accounts and financial information. One way they’re doing this is through loyalty point theft.

Loyalty point theft is easy money for cybercriminals since consumers do not keep close tabs on their earned airline miles or hotel point in the same way they watch their bank accounts.

To make things even worse, frequent flyer miles and other loyalty program points are essentially unregulated currency, with a total value larger than the GDP of some small countries. Meaning they are as good as money and can be used to purchase electronics, groceries, gift cards and much more. Often consumer points are stolen and resold on the dark web for a fraction of the price. Believe it or not, even mobile gaming virtual currencies are being targeted!

Thankfully there are ways to protect your loyalty points against malicious hackers. Review some of the suggestions below to see how you can boost your cybersecurity and keep your points out of the hands of cyber crooks.

A Few Pointers to Keeping Yours

Don’t Get Hooked: It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book and still one of the most effective. Phishing scams are regularly used to loot account information such as email addresses and passwords. Consumers are tricked into sharing their password and sign-in credentials through bogus login pages or spam emails asking them to divulge personal information.

Improve Your Passwords: Your spouse’s name and birthday aren’t enough to protect your cybersecurity against savvy hackers. While your clever password might not be guessed by friends or coworkers, it’s no match for automated brute force attacks which can decode passwords through trial and error. Instead of using weak passwords, use more complicated passphrases to protect your points.

Check Yourself: As mentioned before, most people don’t keep close track of their mileage or hotel points in the same way as their credit or checking accounts. This is why loyalty point theft often goes undetected for weeks or even months. Sadly, many consumers are unaware of the theft until it’s time to book that next vacation. Not to mention that, if you are unaware of how many points you have, how can you be sure of how many points you’ve lost? Remember to check your points regularly.

Contact Your Provider: Should you not have any loyalty point theft protection, it’s best to contact your credit card, airline, hotel or point provider as soon as you know you’ve been targeted. Many companies will refund your points if they are stolen (but not all, so be sure to read the terms of agreement). The provider will also be able to tell you if your account has been compromised in other ways.

Protect Your Identity: Loyalty plans are great, but they can heighten the risk of identity theft. Some hackers will take the damage further when accessing your account by stealing your credit card numbers, name, address, email, contacts and in some cases, even your social security number. Yikes! This is why it is absolutely vital to protect your information from the get go.

Spread Awareness: Plenty of people use loyalty points yet are unaware of the threat posed by black hat hackers. Cybercriminals thrive in our blind spots, which is why it is so important to spread awareness about online protection.

Hopefully these tips have inspired you to work harder to defend your cybersecurity. Remember that hackers, for the most part, aim for easy targets. By educating yourself about online consumer best practices, you can greatly reduce the likelihood of digital theft.

10 Tools to Up Your Company’s Bottom Line

Are you ready to boost your business’ bottom line? We’ve got a great roundup of small business tech tools that can help save your company time and money and make you more productive. Check out this simple guide to ten of the best tools to boost your bottom line.

perspica-improves-your-bottom-line-e1470851527322-1Big Data Analytics Software

According to Business News Daily, it’s time to invest in software that will provide you with real time big data reporting and analysis. Big data analytics is best for remarketing campaigns. Find a tool that will integrate into current business intelligence and analytics applications you have, so that you can make the data you currently have work for you.

Cloud-Based Phone System

Use a cloud-based phone system, so that any business calls go directly to your smartphone. Such systems allow callers to reach you on mobile devices via call routing. Make sure to look for services that offer the features you need, like automated menus and voicemail to email.

Communications Hub

If you’re having trouble keeping track of where all your conversations with colleagues and partners are happening, it might be time to invest in a unified cloud communications hub that will keep everything in one place, so that it’s easy to find. With communications hubs, emails, instant messages and contacts will all appear in the same interface, boosting company efficiency and productivity. Most communications hubs allow you to make free video calls, as well as calls to landlines and mobile phones. Some hubs even include your social networks in the interface.

Financial Software Suite

Use a cloud-based, integrated financial solution to stay organized when you’re dealing with finances, invoicing, accounting, payroll, payments, budgeting and taxes, according to SunTrust.com. Many of these solutions also offer mobile apps, so that you can easily check your finances on the go. Make sure that you do your research and find one that specifically works for your company’s size, needs and wants.

Web Conferencing Service

Web conferencing is a great method of communication, especially for companies that include remote employees, clients or partners that want to increase productivity while slashing travel time and costs. If you’re interested in a video conference tool, consider checking out a service like BlueJeans.

In-Store Analytics System

Keep track of foot traffic and in-store customer interactions with an in-store analytics system. This type of software is great for small retail businesses. This tool will include Bluetooth-enabled devices to transmit data between mobile phones and tablets, so that you can keep track of your performance metrics. If you want to see the number of customers coming into your store on a daily basis, as well as conversion rates, this type of system is the perfect way to see your customer statistics and make educated decisions about your small business.

Online Payment Networks

Are you still using paper checks to pay your employees? Paper checks are an incredibly inefficient way to send payments. You waste money on postage, envelopes and invoice stationery. Using an online payment network instead will save your company time and money and boost your bottom line. These networks are secure and affordable and allow you to send and request money to and from your bank account. These networks usually don’t involve credit cards, so you will likely save plenty of money on transaction and service fees.

Project Management Software

Do you waste time and resources by working on projects in several different applications? An all-in-one project management software platform can help save you time and money. It also allows you to coordinate with your team members, so that you can work collaboratively on the same projects. These apps let you assign tasks, view the progress of your colleagues and employees, send notes and consolidate everything into one platform. Many apps also include built-in performance metrics to keep tabs on the efficiency of your team.

Screen Capture Software

Screen capture software lets you save images and videos from your desktop. You can save all the visual content you need with just a click, whether you want to capture the entire screen or just one segment of the screen. Most of these software tools have a built-in screen capture, but you should make sure to use tools that include annotation and editing capabilities to customize your images and videos and make them ready to share with your colleagues, clients and partners.

Social Marketing Platform

As a small business owner, it is essential that you build your social media community. However, building this community can be time consuming. With a social media marketing platform, you can easily monitor all your social media conversations, as well as boost engagement and share only the content your audience really wants to see.

So there you have it! Now you know about all the tools you need to boost your company’s bottom line.

5 Dental Marketing Strategies For Long-Term Growth Of Your Dental Practice

Running a dental practice can be one of the most personally and professionally rewarding things that an individual does. If you’re interested in making the most out of your dental practice, it’s important to know that implementing a solid dental advertising campaign can empower you to realize the objective. There are several business-building strategies that you can incorporate into your marketing campaign to ensure that you attain a substantial return on investment (ROI). Here are five of them:

1. Optimize Your Content Marketing Platform.

As noted by Search Engine Land, content marketing is the practice of creating, publishing, and sharing content for the purpose of building your company’s online reputation and increasing the brand’s visibility in the online sector. When you implement this strategy consistently and correctly, you can attract a lot of attention to your brand while simultaneously ensuring that your target market understands the distinct value and purpose of your product line.

The content marketing process is two-fold. The first element involves developing excellent content. There are several different types of content, but some of the more common forms include blog posts, web articles, and YouTube videos. There are numerous ways to optimize content, including through the use of textual elements that enhance scannability. Because most online readers scan content rather than reading it in entirety, it is important to ensure that all of your posts, articles, and videos can be looked through quickly. Some of the textual components you might make use of to optimize scannability include:

• bullet points
• numbered lists
• headers
• subheaders
• calls to action

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO). 

Like content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) is an effective advertising technique that can be employed to make your brand more visible in the online realm. The SEO process is all about utilizing various strategies to ensure that your content becomes increasingly visible across online platforms such as the search engine results pages (SERPs) of Google, Bing, and Yahoo. There are numerous SEO techniques that can be used to facilitate this process. Some of them include:

• target market research
• link building
• keyword analysis

3. Social Media Optimization (SMO).

Yet another marketing technique that you can use to promote the success of your dental company is social media optimization (SMO). This technique involves using various strategies to make your brand increasingly visible through popular social channels like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. This strategy is immensely effective in a contemporary world where millions of people across the globe regularly log into these channels to shop, promote a cause, socialize, find business partners, etc.

4. Online Reputation Management (ORM). 

Dental company owners who really want their businesses to become successful should make online reputation management (ORM) an integral component of their marketing company. This strategy is important because it involves limiting negative feedback about your dental company so that your brand retains a positive, pristine image online. Without ORM services, your online reputation many suffer, thereby adversely impacting your company’s bottom line.

5. Web Design And Development.

One final technique that should definitely be a part of your dental company’s marketing strategy is web design and development. This strategy is empowering because it ensures that you always have an innovative, information-rich website through which prospective customers can learn more about your brand. Digital developers work with dedication and precision to cultivate holistically excellent websites that will accomplish this objective. In addition to optimizing the visual appeal of the website, the digital team will use responsive web design techniques to ensure that the company’s pages are cross compatible.

Finding The Right Digital Firm 

Once you realize that having a strong marketing campaign in place can help your dental company grow, you may be ready to get the advertising process underway. The best way to accomplish this objective is by hiring a team of digital experts to do it for you. They are some companies such as Solution21 out there that provide all-in-one services including website design, SEO, and SMO.

By finding the right digital firm, you will gain access to comprehensive marketing strategies as well as excellent consulting services. To ensure that you locate the ideal digital firm, make sure that the company you select possesses all of the following attributes:

• great online reviews
• a good Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating
• competitive pricing
• stellar customer service

Don’t Delay: Obtain Excellent Marketing Services Today!

If you run a dental company and want it to be successful, now is the time to attain excellent marketing services. You can use some or all of the strategies outlined in this quick reference guide to ensure that your advertising efforts yield a great return on investment (ROI)!

10 Quick Things for the New Aspiring Blogger

There’s a misconception that you need to have a Ph.d in rocket science if you want to be a successful blogger, well it’s not so.

Infact, before trying out all those so called “rocket science” methods, there are some pretty novice tips and tweaks which sound and are simple, but they’ve a pretty solid impact.

  1. Design

You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on your blog Design. Just get a simple theme, but work on making it look unique.

Most blog templates allow ultra-customization. So the same theme can have infinite number of layouts. Just let your creativity flow, use what you got and make your blog stand out.

Use Sidebars, Custom Widgets and stuff, basically anything that adds to the look and feel of your blog and you’re done.

  1. Don’t focus too much on “anything”!

There are bloggers who focus on Content, and there are other who focus on looks, and again some others who focus on backlinks.

The secret is, not to focus on anything, but to focus on everything.

Let your time be divided into small fractions for every bit of the aspect. Just because someone says “content is the king“, doesn’t mean you can ignore backlinks, or the looks. This applies to each aspect of it.

Once you focus overall on your blog, you’ll start noticing the difference.

  1. Ask!

I don’t know how many times this has been said. But ask!

Ask for shares, comments and questions. You get only what you ask for and it’s the truth.

Asking doesn’t make you look desperate;on the contrary, it makes you look like a guy who knows the worth of his hardwork.

And trust me, it works. When you ask for Comments, questions or shares your Social Shares and engagement increases over time, and so does the ranking. And what did you do? Just “ask”, right?

  1. Frequency:

It’s one of the most important things (and also unfortunately one of the most neglected too!)posting 3 posts a day, and then being dead over the week won’t get you readers, or rankings.

Google takes “frequency” into consideration for rankings. Also frequency increases your returning visitors. It gives them a positive vibe about a site which posts content regularly compared to other which posts randomly.

It’s okay if you post just one post every week, but post it “Every Week”. Instead of posting 2 posts this week,and nothing for the next two weeks.

  1. Do not “Build and Email List”! 

What? Have I gone nuts?

Nope I haven’t. And I don’t even mean what I said. (Not literally atleast!)

An E-mail list is a must for a long-term successful blog. But in order to achieve that, a lot of people go over the wall.

You guys start installing popups, re-popups, headers and what not. Overall, the site starts looking shitty.

So either implement just one popup (and try to provide some real value in return of the E-mail ID) or don’t build and Email list at all.

Not having an Email list won’t hurt you as much as kicking and turning off a reader from your site forever.

  1. Don’t “Re-purpose”.

What’s re-purposing?

It’s the act when you read content off Neil Patel, Darren Rowse, Copybloggerkinda sites, come back to your site, and re-write that content.

Doesn’t matter what you think, unless you’ve provided some really “unique” value, it won’t work.

Yeah you can take tips and points from them to include in your article, but “10 ways to get backlinks” doesn’t work anymore.

  1. Prioritize:-

What happens when you start a new blog is, you don’t Prioritize.

For you, Traffic, content, money, it’s all the same. You post content, and wait for all three of them to happen. Well it doesn’t work that way.

You’ve got to prioritize and analyze what should you focus on most. Is it content creation? Engagement? SEO or something else, and then devote most of your time to that aspect.

What this does is, you get atleast one solid aspect on your blog after some time, and after some more time, all the aspects get stronger one by one.

  1. Good Images:-

Again one of the most neglected points.

Pulling images off Google and inserting them and using “paint” to write your headline on the image, won’t work.

There are so many free professional services you can use to create stunning, professional images. Let me name a few:-

  • PiktoChart.
  • Canva
  •  Pixlr.

So get some professionalism up on your site.

Final Words:

Implementing the above tactics won’t cost you even $1, but you can thank me only once you get results.

Do leave a comment or feedback on this piece, and I’d absolutely love if you hit the share buttons (I know you would!)

Choosing Where To Buy Cartridges Online

There is definitely no shortage of online stores that have cartridges in stock. Your choice will be a little difficult because of that. Being a little overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices is something that so many printer owners feel when they want to choose cartridge stores. In order to help you, here is how you have to compare stores and how to choose where you want to buy cartridges from.

Shipping Availability

Let us say that you want to buy printer cartridges in Australia. In this case you will want to buy from an online cartridge store like Printzone.com.au. The online stores that are specialized in cartridges and that have a base in the country where you live need to be considered first. They will normally have the best shipping deals for you and you will not have to wait that much until the cartridges will reach your location.

Prices

Obviously, you will want to be sure that the prices are really good for you. This is one thing that you should never dismiss. It is a shame to see that so many believe that the prices they pay for online deals are higher than in the brick and mortar stores. This is always incorrect. When referring to the price factor, you have to focus on how much you pay but you should never sacrifice quality. Be sure that you will get a great price for what you are interested in getting. Compare different stores and if the price tag is low, see if the quality offered is exactly what you are looking for.

Client Reviews

One of the easiest ways to be sure that you will buy your cartridges from an online store that offers a high quality is to see what past clients say about the shopping experience. For instance, Print Zone allows all clients to write reviews through Trust Pilot. Such a feature is highly important for the cartridge store.

In the event that you cannot find client reviews directly through the online cartridge store, use a major search engine. There is a pretty good possibility you will find some reviews. This is especially the case in the event that there were problems that the cartridge buyer had with the store. Focus on buying from cartridge stores that are going to always have spotless reviews.

Customer Support

The last factor we have to highlight is that a really good online cartridge store is going to offer spotless customer support. This is one thing that some people do not take into account but if you have a problem, you have to be 100% sure that you would be able to be properly taken care of. Never buy from a store that offers low quality support. The more support offered, the higher the possibility you will be able to get something great for your printer.

Take your time and always focus on quality. Choose just the best stores and never buy from those that have bad reviews or sub-par customer support.

IT Tech You Need To Start Using Right Now

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There are a lot of things that you want your business to be. You want it to be a key player on the market with a wide customer base. You want your business brand to be trusted, praised and well known. You want to ensure that you are connected to customers, clients and in some cases, employees. All of this can be accomplished, just by using the right tech. The right technology can make your company stronger than ever before. It can fix common problems in your business model that stop your company from reaching the true potential on the market.

Advertising

Let’s start by thinking about advertising. Advertising is one of the key ways you can get customers to continuously use your company. The right marketing can ensure that there are no ‘one and done’ purchases. Instead, you can build a loyal customer base that keeps returning every time you release a new product. Marketing and promotion is important, but the old ways are no longer enough. You need to be doing more and making sure that your business does feel fresh and invigorated. As you might have guessed, we think that tech provides the answer.

In particular, you should look into investing in app development. Through app development, you can give your customers another way to buy and expand your business reach. You’ll be able to make sure that customers have a new way to connect to your business that feels fresh and new. It’s an exciting marketing possibility that you do not want to miss out on. App development is easy, and many companies specialize in it. You don’t need to know anything about coding to get started in this area.

Presentation

The presentation is also important and for smaller businesses, this has become increasingly difficult. Smaller businesses these days are often set up at home. This is great for business costs, but the situation isn’t so rosy when you consider presentation. Advertising that you are running your business from home suggests a few ideas you don’t want to be associated with your company. It suggests that you’re an amateur, small company, and some may even believe you to be inexperienced. It’s possible that none of this is true, but that’s how it looks. This is why you need to use tech to change that perception.

One possibility is to use a virtual mail address. With a virtual address, it doesn’t matter if your company is run from home or not. Your customers and clients won’t be aware of it. You can get cheap prestigious virtual addresses set up online and make your business look like a big player. A lot of companies are already using services like this, so you don’t want to miss out.

Connectivity

Or, finally, you can use tech to stay connected with customers, clients and employees. In this case, we’re talking about video conferencing. Video conferencing is a lot cheaper than your typical business meeting because you don’t have to travel. With the latest tech, it’s almost the same as sitting face to face. It’s a cheap, effective solution to the problem of expensive business trips you need to start using.

New Ways Companies Can Take Advantage of the Internet

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By now, you should have realised what the internet can do for your business. There is no excuse for businesses not fully embracing the internet and everything it has to offer these days. But that doesn’t mean that you can simply do the basics and then forget about it. There are so many ways in which the internet can help you expand and manage your business in a cost-effective way. The options and choices that your business has with regards to how it harnesses the internet are expanding all the time.

There are probably dozens, even hundreds, of ways in which your business could be improved by using the internet better. It’s like a bottomless well of opportunity, so you need to keep coming back to it. There isn’t the time or space to cover every new way in which your business should be using and taking advantage of the internet. So, here are the top ways companies can do that. Read on to learn about the ideas that could change your business for the better.

Be Easily Contactable for Customers

The internet allows your business to become very easy to contact. Gone are the days when large companies had to have a team of people monitoring the phones. Some types of business still do that. But many of them are now much more used to answering emails and responding to questions that are directed to the company via social media. This is where communication between a company and its customers tend to take place right now. That means that interaction is instant. People expect to be responded to quickly, and using the internet properly allows you to do that. It’s much more cost-effective to handle communications in this way too, so it suits everyone.

Go Global Without the Costs

If your ambition is to make your company competitive on a global scale, what are you waiting for? You don’t have to open a branch in a foreign country to start selling in that country. That’s an old way of thinking that has no real relevance to how a business is run these days. All you have to do is ship your products globally and sell them online. As long as your website makes it clear that you will be willing to ship to other countries, then you will attract customers all over the world. There is no need to limit the scope of your business to one particular country or part of the world these days. And the costs of going global are smaller than ever before.

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Make the Office Paperless

For business owners that want to go paperless in their office, the internet is what will make this happen. Thanks to online file-sharing platforms and apps, it’s never been simpler for you to get rid of paper in the office. But why should you go paperless in the first place? There are many answers to that question. First of all, it’s obvious that going paperless will make your office and business much greener and more eco-friendly. That’s something that can also appeal to customers. And having to spend less on paper, ink and printers can only ever be a positive thing. So, use software like Dropbox to share documents in the office, you can learn more at www.dropbox.com.

Cut Out the Middlemen

When a business is looking to sell products to customers, there are often middlemen that have to be dealt with. In the past, it has been vital to get the support of chains of shops and supermarkets if you want to reach customers. This is still helpful for a lot of businesses. But the marketplaces is now much more democratic and free thanks to the internet. Those bosses of chain shops no longer have to be satisfied. Instead, you can market your products directly to customers and sell them on your own website. This method brings success to many companies without having their products stocked in known shops, which is a big deal for them. And it could be for your business too.

Managing Finances

Every company needs to have organised and healthy accounts. Without this, the business will simply fail and fall into a financial black hole. Luckily for you, managing the finances of your business has never been easier than it is right now. You can keep them organised using the latest software. And they can be saved in the cloud. This is the very best way to store the company accounts. For a start, the accounts can then be very easily accessed when something needs to be checked or tweaked. But the cloud is also very secure. So, there is no chance of details or sensitive information being leaked or stolen. The importance of this can’t be understated. It’s also easier to borrow money quickly via online outlets like businesslendermatch.com.

Automating for Efficiency

There are some tasks in the office that can be swiftly and easily automated. This takes some of the work out of running a business, which is good for you and the business as a whole. Things like payrolls, supply orders, and stock management can all be automated in differing ways. The time that you save by taking advantage of automation can then be put to better use. You can do more to target customers, improve how the office operates or discuss deals with clients. The time can be spent however you like, and the business will see the benefits.

Better Customer Engagement

The internet is most important because it offers you a way of engaging with people in new ways. This is where social media can be used as a tool to engage with customers on a more informal basis. A company’s social media account can be fun and serious. It can be doing what it has to do to get its message across, while also interacting with people in a fun way. For example, many companies now use social media to host competitions and start discussions. If this is done properly, it can act as a great way to solidify customer loyalty and attract new people to the business.

Raise Awareness Via Shareable Content

Another way in which new people can be reached is via the creation of shareable content. If your business can come up with something that manages to go viral, this will be huge for your business. You have to be able to come up with something that is playful and funny if you want this to succeed though. The more shareable the content is, the more people will see it. And that means large numbers of people can potentially be exposed to your brand. If you haven’t tried doing so before, you should definitely have a go at creating content that can be shared. It could have a big impact on your business.

Spread Your Company Identity Far and Wide

Your company’s identity is probably something that you have worked hard on creating. You want the business to represent a particular set of values, characteristics, and ethics. The internet gives you the chance to repeat your core message and cement the business’s identity. You can spread the message far and wide, reaching huge numbers of people all around the world. That kind of opportunity is not something that is realistic without the help of the internet. Take advantage of all the new marketing and advertising channels that the internet provides you with. Use social media advertising to target particular demographics, and get your message across to them.

The Best Gadgets of 2016 So Far

The best gadgets of 2016 so farIn 2016 we’ve seen another dazzling display of creativity from the world’s top tech companies. From amazing virtual reality devices that have a range of surprising uses around the home, to innovative smartphones that help us play online slots with unparalleled ease, here are the top gadgets that could seriously upgrade the quality of your life in 2016.

It’s virtual reality that’s really creating the most eye-catching headlines in 2016 with products like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and the Sony PlayStation VR all getting in early to try and dominate this new and potentially revolutionary market.

Whilst Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive have dazzled reviewers, it’s probably the Sony PlayStation VR that offers the best bet for being gadget of the year – particularly as the Harmonix Music game for the headset can give us all the chance to turn our homes into a virtual reality disco!

But for those of us who aren’t quite ready to take the leap into virtual reality, there are still plenty of great gadgets to enjoy in 2016. Possibly the most eye-catching smartphone of the year is still the Samsung Galaxy S7 that’s provided the perfect example of what a mobile device should be in 2016.

However, the new Moto Z has also given us an exciting glimpse into a possible modular mobile future. This visionary device has just been unveiled and has impressed many thanks to the way that it can use accessory add-ons such as speakers, batteries and even a projector for extra entertainment facilities.

Such features would have many benefits in the gaming world whether it’s for an immersive game of Mobile Strike, or even just checking out the online slots at the Coral site whose Centurion game would definitely look great on the big screen.

Seeing as Facebook have recently allowing us to take and upload 360° photographs, it’s become clear that our gadgets will have to improve their photographic capacities beyond just being able to do the occasional face-swap.

And although there’s been a flood of gadgets that have looked to take on the 360° photograph craze, for those who are seeking something a little more exciting, then the Double Robotics gadget is a good bet as it can take 360° videos without it looking like it’s been taken from the inside of a fishbowl!

So whether it’s catching up with the latest virtual reality developments, or giving your online slots games a makeover, there are many great gadgets that can supercharge your life in 2016.

5 Video Conferencing Apps Your IT Teams Will Love

These days, communication needs to be instant. Whether you’re at your desk or working from a quiet, corner café elsewhere, staying in touch is crucial. That’s where apps and tools come in. With a lot of new technologies and names popping up, exploring the many ways you stay connected to everyone else on your team while you’re on the go is a must. So take a long look at the following cloud-based solutions for you:

Skype

It works on mobile, has tons of other users across the globe, and is free, so long as you and your contacts have a Skype account. With over 299 million users according to Search Engine Journal, you won’t have a problem reaching out to the rest of your contacts, old and new ones. Also, it’s one of the most long-running video chat apps in the industry so nearly everybody knows how to use it by now. That also means you get less down time, especially if you need a to set up a handy communication tool for your staff. If you want a tool that allows you and your team to circumvent distances and beat deadlines that much faster, this might be the add-on you need to get you and your pals through the day.

Oovooovo

There’s something to be said for the convenience of apps that work together. That’s what you get with Oovo. You can log on with your FB account, so no painful ‘I can’t remember my password’ moments or the woebegone experience of having to deal with a 10 to 20-minute hassle just to remember or reset your password. Another one of its great features, though, is that it links up with your Facebook contacts and your phone, merging your contacts together so it’s easier to talk to a friend or reach out to any of the names on your contact list.

Tango

If you’re just looking for something simple, sans the bells and whistles, then this is a nice option to consider. You don’t need a password, so password-impaired folks have a good reason to rejoice. Just enter your phone number, email address, and your first name, and you’re good to go. It’s free for iPhone and Android users and even for those on Windows. Want a bit of fun and need something to keep your hands busy while you talk to friends? You can play tic-tac-toe with friends while you discuss the latest developments on Game of Thrones or just play darts and bet on who wins. This isn’t ideal for business calls, though, so you’ll need to look elsewhere if you need that in the bag.

Blue Jeans

If you want something that’s better suited to business calls, you can hardly go wrong with Blue Jeans among all video conferencing apps for IT. If you’re looking for an app that’s easy enough so you won’t have to stress your IT experts out, then this fits the bill quite nicely. It works with iOS and Android and has nifty features that allow you to attend your meetings wherever and whenever you are, whether you’re on mobile, an iPad, laptop or desktop unit. It’s designed to allow you to do more than just put in a token participation in any meeting. With features that make it possible for you to take the controls and use it to do page by page reviews or to share or revise a particular document or section, collaboration doesn’t have to be done through insanely long email threads or chats any longer. If you want something reliable and professional, this is a standout choice to have on your list.

Facebook Messenger

You use it every day and is perhaps one of the best tools for getting in touch with family and friends. Like most choices on this list, it’s also free and easy to figure out, which is an advantage for users everywhere. It’s great for keeping your up with your personal contacts. It’s not, however, the best choice for business meetings, says Digital Trends. Adding your work colleagues and even your boss on Facebook can be dicey. If you tend to rant on your wall a lot, stay on the safe side and keep work contacts out. That way, you won’t have to worry about any backlash or repercussions from anything you put on your own wall. Also, if you want to use messenger to contact work mates, seeing your wall and all the updates as well as newest posts for the day can distract you from your goals. Before you know it, it’ll already be nearing noon, half the day will be gone and you still wouldn’t be halfway through your list of contacts.

So if you’re looking for tools to help you stay connected without putting too much effort and stress on your IT team, take a hard look at these choices and choose the best one.