Friday, 29 January 2016

LG Amends Data Theft - A Problem Affecting Millions Of Android Phones

LG has amend a security flaw in an application preinstalled on millions of its Android G3 smartphones that researchers found could be used to steal a variety of data. The application, called Smart Notice, is a type of multifunctional widget, and it's capable of managing contacts, notifications, weather, and traffic alerts. The researchers from BugSec and Cynet, two computer security companies, found that they could attack a person’s phone by sending them a contact with malicious JavaScript contained in the name field, according to one video. Once the code was on the phone, any information stored on its SD card, such as private images and chat logs, could be stolen. “Now,the root cause for the security problem is the fact that Smart Notice does not validate the data presented to the users,” BugSec and Cynet wrote in a blog post on Thursday. So the researchers went further to discover a variety of ways to trigger their malicious code and carry out actions, such as opening a phishing site that tries to steal a person’s Gmail credentials or prompt a person to download a remote access trojan. “With a little tweak, we were able to load external scripts from a remote host and ‘refresh’ our code every few seconds, giving us the ability to have active command and control over the LG phone and send new payloads,” the companies wrote. It was also possible to conduct a denial-of-service attack that could only be stopped by doing a hard reset of the phone, they wrote also.

The Five Tips You Need to Make a Big Career Change

Maybe, i don't know.You may be feeling dissatisfied at your job, somehow it can be tempting to consider changing careers altogether. Maybe the job you thought would make you happy; causes you nothing but stress, and you're dreaming of taking on a new career path. Now, for this path the problem is, making a complete career change, especially going from one industry to another. This can be a huge challenge without any doubt, somehow it can be even harder to get to the interview stage when you have work experience but no industry experience, and starting over could mean taking a pay cut as well. So for this facts you may be thinking of how you can make sure a major career transition is right for you. Now, relax and never worry much, here are five important tips from career coaches and experts to help you make a major career change the right way. 1.Try it out: Before taking the leap to change careers and risk getting into a career that is no more suited to you than your previous career, you need to do some reality testing by conducting informational interviews with people in the field that you are considering. Also, you can further this step by volunteering in the field that you are interested in or shadowing someone for a day to find out what the profession is like on a day-to-day basis.So You will have a much better idea of whether or not this is a good fit for you by trying a field out first." – Cheryl Palmer, certified career coach and president, Call to Career. "Now, no one can say that switching from one career to another is not stressful and risky. So you need to ensure your financials allow for the time of transition and that you are making the move when the rest of your life is relatively stable and calm. For example, probably it would not serve you well to make a major career change while you are going through a divorce or you have a very ill family member. So you are to be prepared to allocate the mental energy necessary to handle the transition smoothly and successfully." – Leigh Ann Errico, founder and principal, LA Errico & Partners 3.Take advantage of your network: "For this path, the best tip for making a complete career change is to utilize your network. Surely you will benefit from personal introductions from people who can vouch for your character, work ethic and skill to someone who probably wonders why they should hire someone who has no industry experience. Additionally, getting access to the hidden job market via your network is invaluable." – Jessica Sweet, career coach, 4.Work towards your new experiences: "A career change is all about an opportunity to repackage existing skills and abilities for use in a new and exciting way. So while you may clearly see how your experience will help you in your new career, you may have to lead others through a conversation to help them understand why you are making the change. One effective way to do this is to articulate with clarity what your past experience has meant to you and how it adds specific value in your new career." – Erica B. McCurdy, managing member, McCurdy Solutions 5.Make the transition in steps: "If it occurs that you're having trouble with a major transition lets say, you move from being an accountant to a fashion designer — consider doing the two-step. First, find an accounting job in the fashion industry, preferably with a small firm. After a year, when they are comfortable with you, begin applying for openings as a fashion designer within the same company. Employers are very much likely to take a chance on someone they already know. So this can actually be faster than trying to do the entire change in one great leap, because career growth is often incremental rather than transformational." – Joni Holderman, founder, Thrive! Resumes

How You Can Browse With Incognito Mode In Chrome For Android

Arguably Chrome’s incognito mode is the perfect way you can use to browse the Internet without leaving a trace of where you went. Incognito mode is excellent for checking out sites that you don’t want anyone to know you visited or if you want to search a topic, and you prefer that it should not be tied to your Google history. But in this case, it’s not total privacy for all Internet activity, as ISPs and other sites can still track you. But no worries, here’s how to use incognito mode and the possible benefits. How it works: When you start browsing with incognito mode, the sites you visit won’t be saved to your device history, nor will Chrome sync them to your Google account. So as far as Chrome is concerned, what happens in incognito mode stays there. But in any case, this doesn’t mean prying eyes can’t see you. Incognito mode won’t prevent your Internet Service Provider, employer (if you’re browsing on a company network), or the sites themselves from viewing your activity. Only there won’t be a record on your device of any files you downloaded, however the files themselves will still be saved to your phone or tablet. Incognito mode is useful, but it’s not an invisible mode. How you can launch Incognito mode: For you to get started, open Chrome and select the overflow button (three vertical dots) on the top right of the screen. Then you select New incognito tab. And from there you’ll see a new browser tab with a spy-style icon to let you know that you’re now in incognito mode. Now, i want you to be in notice that managing your incognito tabs will be slightly different depending whether or not you’ve chosen to merge tabs and apps. So in that case, if you’ve done so, when you touch the square navigation icon to launch the multitasking menu, your incognito tabs will be listed alongside other apps. Else, they’ll be stacked together in a group just to the right of your regular Chrome tabs. You can touch the number icon on the top right to switch between regular and incognito tabs. Now, i want you to also, keep this in mind that incognito tabs stay open permanently just like regular tabs. so you will have to close them if you want them to go away forever. Then.. if your apps and tabs are merged, the fastest way to close them all is to touch the Close all incognito tabs notification. And they will all vanish at once.

Social Media for Your Business: 2016 Marketer’s Guide

Social media networks are the unique resources for businesses of all sizes that are looking for a place to promote their brands online. And even more better, the platforms themselves are free to use, but they also have paid advertising options specifically for brands that want to reach even more new audiences. But just because your business should be on social media, that doesn't mean your business should be on every network. It's important that you choose and nurture the social platforms that work best for your business so that you don't spread yourself too thin. Now, if you want to create a successful social strategy, you need to get yourself familiarized with how each network runs, the kinds of audiences you can reach and how your business can best use each platform. We profiled the top social media platforms so you can learn more about them and market your business better. Facebook: Facebook as we all know, is the biggest social network on the Web, both in terms of name recognition and the total number of users. With more than 1.55 billion active users, Facebook is a great medium for connecting people from all over the world with your business. And Facebook is not only the biggest network, but it's also the most versatile one. In the 12 years since it launched, Facebook grew from a simple website where college students could keep in touch into a multifaceted Web and mobile social platform where anyone can connect with not just their friends and family, but also with celebrities, organizations, businesses and more, thanks to the Pages feature. Okay if we are to consider the fact that Facebook has a wealth of options for any type of organization, it's a great starting point for your business, regardless of your industry. You can use it to share photos, videos, important company updates and more. Additionally, Facebook can be more low-maintenance than other social networks — whether you post several updates a day or only a few a week won't make much of a difference in terms of what your fans will think of you. Twitter: Twitter is another social network where you are able to post mostly anything. With Twitter, you are able to share short (140 or fewer characters) text updates, along with videos, images, links, polls and more. You can also easily interact with other users by mentioning their usernames in your posts, so Twitter is a great way to quickly connect with people all around the world. (The platform has more than 320 million active users worldwide and is one of the top 10 websites in the United States.) Because of its wide reach, Twitter is not only a great way to market your business but also an effective channel for handling customer service. Lets take for example, if you maintain an active Twitter presence, customers who are also active on the platform will seek you out to express concerns or share their praise. If you have an interesting content, Twitter is also a great tool that you can use quickly to spread the word. Retweeting and sharing other users' content is incredibly simple, hashtags help boost posts, and if a user with a lot of followers retweets you, your content has the potential to go viral. But with Twitter, it's important to remember to find balance — don't simply share your own links or media; make sure you are also sharing a lot of interesting, relevant content from other Twitter users and from around the Web so your audience doesn't think you only care about what your business is doing. Pinterest: This platform is made up of digital bulletin boards whereby users can save and display content they like in the form of pins. Users create and organize their boards by category. So, for example, as a personal user, one might have a board dedicated to food, where they pin recipes; another board dedicated to photography they find interesting; and so on. Pinterest is very visually oriented (every post has to be an image or video), and like Facebook, it is also fairly low-maintenance in terms of post frequency. However, keeping your boards organized and search-friendly can be time-consuming. Pinterest is also more of a niche network than Facebook or Twitter, so in that case it may not work for everyone. Pinterest's users are primarily women, and popular categories on the site are DIY projects, fashion, exercise, beauty, photography and food. That never mean to be that businesses outside of these categories can't succeed on the platform, but it does make it a great marketing tool for businesses that do work in those areas. So in your case, if you can find ways to connect your content to Pinterest's audience, then go for it. The platform also has a series of special types of pins called Rich Pins, which brands can use to add special information to their pins, like product details and even location maps. Instagram: Instagram, just like Pinterest, is a visual social media platform based entirely on photo and video posts. The network, which Facebook owns, has more than 400 million active users, many of whom post about food, art, travel, fashion and similar subjects. Instagram is distinguished by its unique filters and photo and video editing options. This platform, unlike the others, is almost entirely mobile (there is a Web version, but you can't take photos or create new posts on it, and other functions are limited as well). Instagram is another platform where more artistic niches excel, so again,so how it may not be the best fit for your business, depending on your industry. So if now you want to succeed with Instagram, it's important that the person running your account has a good eye for detail and has at least basic photography skills, so that the photos and videos posted to your account are high-quality. And don't be discouraged if your industry is underrepresented on Instagram; if you can find the right hashtags to latch onto and can post intriguing photos, you will most likely make it work. Tumblr: Tumblr is without the most difficult social media platform to use as a business, but in anycase it's also one of the most interesting networks. Tumblr allows several different post formats — including text posts, chat posts, quote posts, audio posts, photo posts and video posts — so you're not limited as to what kind of content you can share. As with Twitter, reblogging (reposting other users' content) is very quick and easy, so if a user with a lot of followers shares your content, it's possible to go viral fairly quickly. However, what sets Tumblr apart more than anything is its audience, which is less like a pool of users and more like one big tight-knit community full of smaller subcommunities. Currently Tumblr hosts more than 200 million blogs, and the majority of these blogs are run by young people (half of Tumblr's visitor base is under age 25). But this means that businesses that don't cater to young people's interests or aren't relatable to young people in some way are not poised for success on the network. Now, ohe good news is, there's a subcommunity or fandom for almost every niche and interest you can think of, so a successful marketing campaign is possible if you use Tumblr correctly.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

The Five Simple Ways to Give a Slow Laptop or Desktop a Quick Boost

Do you have a slow running laptop or PC? And i suggest you may be thinking that's just because it's old.And for that reason you need to replace it with a shiny new one? No... in this case, that's just not the best idea, there are lots of things you can do to keep your machine running as fast as possible. Sometimes it's as simple as tinkering with start-up programs or defragmenting the hard disk, but there's always the chance you might need to get stuck in and upgrade the RAM, or switch out old hard drives for superfast solid-state drives. So, in order to prove all the above stated, here are your 5 wonderful, and affordable, ways to squeeze every ounce of performance from your old PC or laptop. 1. How to speed up a laptop or PC: switch to SSD: One of all the best ways to rejuvenate a laptop or PC is to install an SSD. Now, when we installed modern SSDs on everything from old Lenovo ThinkPad laptops to dusty old AMD desktop PCs, the results were worthwhile – boot times are a fraction of previously, and even the most frugal of processors feels more sprightly with an SSD working alongside. Because there are no moving parts in SSDs, the read/write speeds are far superior to older optical (spinning disk) hard drives. So for this fact, buying one won’t break the bank, but you might have to compromise a little on storage space, as SSDs still cost more per GB than mechanical hard disks. Now, before you worry about finding your old Windows disks . You need to be in picture that it's much easy enough to clone your old disk and existing Windows installation onto your new SSD. So to do that, you can download a free program such as EaseUS Todo Backup Free 8.9, and cloning your old HDD onto a speedy new SSD is a fairly simple affair. But if it occurs that you can't replace your HDD easily, never give up – it's often possible to clone your operating system to an SSD connected via a USB 3 (or Thunderbolt) adapter. We've had great results moving an iMac's OS from the difficult-to-replace internal HDD and onto an SSD with a USB 3 adapter. 2. How to speed up a laptop or PC: upgrading your RAM Maybe in your own case, you want a little more performance for multi-tasking, but don't want to shell out on an SSD then a cheaper option is to start looking at some RAM upgrades. Now if you’re running on a system with under 2GB of RAM, sticking an extra few gigabytes in won’t cost you too much and can make all the difference. Combine a RAM upgrade with an SSD, and it's safe to say that your old PC or laptop won't feel quite so old anymore. 3. How to speed up a laptop or PC: CCleaner More often, though, even the fastest hardware can get bogged down – there's no point shelling out for pricey SSD or RAM upgrades if your Windows installation is cluttered with tens or hundreds of programs and apps which you never use. So,in this case, before you reach for the credit card, the first thing anyone with an ailing computer should do is to make sure it's not clogged up with unnecessary data. Over time, various scraps of code build up like digital cobwebs, slowing your machine down. Fortunately, there are so many utilities designed to hunt down and remove unwanted files and extensions. One program we particularly recommend is CCleaner. This free piece of software scours your hard drive for all the pesky files hogging your disk space, including temporary files, internet cookies and unused registry files. An added benefit is the 'Registry'. (A tab that allows you to scan and fix redundancies or other problems in your PC's registry archive, helping improve speed). In the 'Tools' tab you can also uninstall programs, disable startup programs, find out what kind of file takes up the most space on your drive, and even locate duplicate files. How to use: Step 1 (1) Once CCleaner has been downloaded and installed, start the program. By default, CCleaner opens to the 'Cleaner' tab. (2)Step 2: From here, you can fine/switch to the elements you want to clean out. You can choose specific programs or OS components to scan, and even which files you will like to remove within. Step 3: Okay more, if you're happy with the scan, hit the “Analyse” button to see how much space you could free up. After the scan is complete, make any further adjustments, and then click 'Run Cleaner' to remove the files. 4. How to speed up a laptop or PC: Windows ReadyBoost Now, if you're using Windows Vista or later, you maybe able to speed up your computer with an inbuilt function called ReadyBoost, which allows you to use an external flash drive to give your computer a little extra memory. This is something of a last resort, however – upgrading your RAM or moving to an SSD will make a much bigger difference. Essentially, ReadyBoost attempts to act as a turbocharger for your system's RAM. It will use a section of a USB flash drive's memory for caching, increasing the random read access speed of the hard drive, and helping regularly-used applications to open more swiftly. But in any case, there's still debate as to the effectiveness of this method. And more, you should bear in mind that it's generally only considered useful if you have less than 2GB RAM and if your main system drive is a mechanical HDD rather than an SSD – solid-state drives are much faster than even the quickest USB 3 flash drives. How you can do that: Step 1: First plug in a flash memory device - we would recommend a medium-sized USB (at least 2GB). Step 2: The Autoplay dialogue box will pop up asking you what you want to do with the drive. Then select the 'Speed up my system using Windows ReadyBoost' option, which will open another window where you can select the amount of space on the device to allocate for boosting. Step 3: Microsoft recommends using at least as much USB space as you have RAM, but here, we will suggest using the whole thing and reserving the drive exclusively for speeding up your computer. Step 4: Once you have selected your desired amount and confirmed the settings, the box will close and your computer will automatically detect and use the drive whenever it's plugged in. 5. How to speed up a laptop or PC: hard disk defragmentation Do you have an old mechanical HDD? If yes, this tip is for you. (SSDs don't suffer from defragmentation, so you needn't bother with this step if you have one of those.) One of the most common problems with long-suffering HDDs is disk fragmentation. With repeated use, the information on your hard drive can become scattered, meaning the computer has to work harder to find it. By performing a disk defrag, you can neatly reorganise all your information, which can significantly improve your computer’s overall speed. How you can do that Step 1: You can find the Disk Defragmenter by going into the Control Panel, navigating to ‘System and Security’ and then looking under administrative tools. Step 2: By using the buttons in the window, you are able to analyse your disk to see how fragmented it is currently, or just run the process straight away. You will need to perform this for every drive in your computer, so make sure you run the process on all your hard drives.

Two Simple Smart Ways to Unroot Your Android Phone

Do you have a rooted Android device and more, you want to unroot it so that you can update it to Android Marshmallow? No worries, thankfully it isn’t as difficult as you may have first thought, and even more better, you can do it without having to delve into Android’s system BIOS. But first, when you are doing anything to your Android device, make sure you backup your data. Because unrooting will wipe out data from your phone, so anything you want to keep hold of,you will need to give it a back up into cloud storage or onto an SD card/PC. Now.. without going too far here is how you can do that. How you can unroot Android: Using SuperSU Much more better, the simplest way to unroot your Android handset, SuperSU is a free-to-download app for rooted devices. Here’s how to unroot your phone via SuperSU. (1)Download and installed SuperSU from the Google Play Store (2)Launch SuperSU and go to the “Settings” tab (3)Scroll down until you see “Full unroot”, tap it (4)You’ll be asked to confirm that you want to completely unroot your device, then you tap continue (5)Once done, SuperSU will close automatically. Restart your Android device (6)When your device has booted back up, uninstall SuperSU and you’ll be the happy owner of one completely unrooted Android device. How you can unroot Android: Using ES File Explorer To me, i can say that am not too sure if you have any idea about how great ES File Explorer is for a file explorer app, but it’s great. So great, in fact, you can unroot your phone using it if you know what you’re looking for. Thankfully, with this little guide, you’ll know exactly what to do. Now we go... (1)Download and install ES File Explorer from Google Play Store (2)Launch ES File Explorer and tap the menu button (3)Scroll down to “Tools” and then turn on “Root Explorer” (4)Grant it root privileges if prompted (5)Back on the main screen, navigate to your device’s root folder and you’ll find this as “/” in explorer (6)From root, navigate to “system” > “bin” (7)Find the “busybox” and “su” files and delete them. If you can’t find them, move on to step 8. (8)Navigate back to “/” and open the “app” folder (9)Delete superuser.apk (10)Restart your Android device (11)At this point your device should reboot unrooted

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The Six Tech Tasks Your Small Businesses Should Outsource

More than clear, outsourcing can be a great way for small businesses and startups to take care of tedious tasks while also boosting productivity and saving money. You see, by outsourcing technology-related necessities, small business owners and employees can focus on more important responsibilities, like sales, customer service and more, without hiring more in-house employees. But whatever the case is, not every area of the business should be outsourced. Handing off the wrong tasks to a third party will eventually hurt your business more than it can help. So regardless of that, here are the six tech tasks experts say small businesses should outsource. 1. Infrastructure: Looking at infrastructure as a service (IaaS) — outsourcing equipment such as hardware, servers and network systems to an infrastructure provider — can save businesses millions of dollars in costs and labor. Now, consider the fact that to construct your own infrastructure is neither cheap nor easy. It will require not only a large budget to purchase and house the equipment, but also heavy maintenance by highly skilled IT staff. So with this reason, by outsourcing IaaS, startups and small businesses can cut their budgets, as the infrastructure service provider owns the equipment and is responsible for running and troubleshooting the systems; then users will simply have to pay on a per-use or subscription basis. Transitioning from a data center to an infrastructure-as-a-service provider proved to be one of the best moves we made for our business," said Tim Maliyil, founder and CEO of AlertBoot Mobile Security, a global service provider for mobile device management and end-point protection. IaaS made it easier for AlertBoot to deploy new services without facing a huge financial barrier. Maliyil went further to carry out an estimate which reads that AlertBoot would have saved more than $7 million if IaaS had existed when the company was founded. 2. Cloud hosting: Cloud computing gives your businesses the chance to access information anywhere, anytime, using any compatible device. Hosting a cloud system in-house is costly, and can pose security risks if the technology is outdated. By outsourcing cloud technology, small businesses can focus on using the cloud, as opposed to maintaining it. Outsourcing cloud services has helped AlertBoot stay competitive, Maliyil said. "In an effort to remain financially independent and profitable, all the technology we use for our operations changed with the times," he pin pointed. 3. E-commerce site design Now, if you're not already seriously skilled at website development, you should with no reason, consider outsourcing the design of your e-commerce site to ensure that it looks great and runs smoothly and efficiently. By doing so, you can keep customers from experiencing problems while browsing and purchasing items they like. Else, that's a big issue that could keep customers from returning to your online store. "The first tech task small business owners should outsource is their e-commerce website design development," said Lisa Chu, owner of kids' formalwear retailer Black N Bianco. "Designing and developing a professional and reliable modern e-commerce website takes years to learn." According to Chu, you may be able to build a functional site yourself, if you want a legitimate e-commerce business, your website needs to be top-notch. "A new business owner should never invest all of their time ensuring the HTML, JavaScript and CSS are integrated correctly," Chu said." It's very time-consuming, and your morale will be dead by the time you have a working website. Outsourcing your website design and development is the best option because it will cost you a lot less than hiring from your local website design firm." 4. Website updates: Along with building a well-crafted site in the first place, it's very important that businesses keep up with their websites, too, which can be an entirely different job. Okay, with that, there's a lot to monitor to ensure that your site stays up to date with the latest tech trends and changes, so outsourcing these tasks can help you maintain a strong Web presence without getting in the way of other important tasks you need to complete, said Michelle Colon-Johnson, founder of book publicity company 2 Dream Productions. "One of the most important tasks that I suggest that a small business owner [or] startup outsources is the updating of their websites," Colon-Johnson said. "Every day, people are creating and improving systems to run more efficiently." 5. Cybersecurity: Most IT service providers will usually tell you that your data is safe, but businesses should also outsource additional cybersecurity, according to Cedric Leighton, founder and president of Cedric Leighton Associates, a strategic risk and leadership management consultancy. Leighton said it's smarter for businesses to outsource cybersecurity experts than to rely on IT vendors' guarantees, because there's no single company that can truly guarantee data safety. ­ "IT vendors are not cybersecurity experts," he said. "Their job is to sell you IT services, and you have to remember that many IT networks were built with security as an afterthought." 6. Two-factor authentication: Two-factor authentication is a particular type of security that requires users to have two forms of identification in order to access data, like bank accounts and other confidential information. Typically, it's in the form of physical identification and a security code, or a combination of two completely separate security codes, such as a password only you know and an access code given to you. So, according to Leighton, anyone who deals with sensitive data, such as bank accounts or patentable technologies, implement two-factor authentication to help IT providers govern access and keep their systems better protected. "Two-factor authentication is also something that should be set up by a professional who knows the software applications the business wants to protect," Leighton said further.

Google Collabrates With Movidius to Bring Machine Learning to Future Mobile Devices

A new partnership between Google and chip maker Movidius is much able to change the way your phone looks at the world. According to Movidius, Google is going to be licensing Movidius' latest flagship chip, the MA2450, along with the accompanying software stack. The chip has 12 cores, and is capable to perform low power, advanced computer vision processing. A possible use for this could be Google’s Project Tango. So Google is partnering with Lenovo on a smartphone that would be able to sense where it is, how it's positioned, and what’s around it, which gives way for many new software opportunities. Now, Movidius said that it is going to be specialized in “low-power machine vision for connected devices” which makes it suitable for phones or other mobile devices instead of Google’s driverless cars. In essence, technology like facial and spatial recognition and being able to interpret and learn from this data is the type of thing Google would love to do with its forthcoming devices. Further more, during one demonstration at CES, Google’s Johnny Lee showed off how you could measure a room using a prototype Project Tango tablet and then shop at Lowes for furniture that would fit. Important note: Google is very large on machine learning. In essence, the concept is that computers and software should get more smarter over time—forming relationships between large sets of data and contextualizing information. An everyday example is Google Now, which anticipates your schedule, commute, and other details about you. So putting this into notice, Google is going big into hardware, as it will surely have another Nexus phone this time, and recently it posted several jobs for a new VR division. This partnership includes Google agreeing to contribute to the Movidius neural network technology roadmap, which should benefit both of the companies.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

7 Steps You Need to Take to Better Your Small Business Security

Presently small businesses are the new big target for cyberattacks. While the large corporations generate a lot of news when their security is breached, cyberattacks can do much harm against small and medium businesses. Cybercriminals are typically looking for customer contact information, which includes emails, credit cards, valuable intellectual or proprietary information or health data. That turns any company with such data a potential target, regardless of its size. Add in the growing trend of using remote devices with apps, commonly referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT), to improve business processes, and there are multiple points of entry for the entrepreneurial cybercriminal. Means of attack Cybercriminals can attack in a varieties of ways. In a blog post for the National Cybersecurity Institute, Carolyn Schrader, founder of Cyber Security Group Inc., The following means were listed as the top threats for small businesses in 2016: 1.Growth of mobile malware. 2.Data theft from IoT devices. 3.Cyberespionage. 4.More cybercriminals due to expansion and creativity of Internet underground. 5.Extortion attacks from stolen data. 6.Ransomware on the IoT. 7.Hacker mercenaries. 8.Stolen data aggregation. While it's unlikely that all these eight attacks would happen to any single company, a small business's best defense is to be prepared for any of them. Knowing that the potential threat is the first, and most significant, step to implementing security measures. Security measures: Some small businesses can't afford their own IT departments, but they can minimize their risk with the right training and technologies. The first step is to teach employees best practices for digital security. So with that here are seven simple ways to make your small business safer. 1.Keep personal Web browsing at home: Your lunch hour may be a great time to catch up online with friends and family, but your casual Web browsing can introduce all sorts of problems into the company equipment. "Viruses run rampant through social network posts, so stick to your own computers for personal information," Brandon Saumier, a Virginia-based IT specialist, said in one 2013 Business News Daily interview. 2.Use proper data management systems: Printing passwords, using sticky notes as reminders and improperly storing company data are fast ways to get the company fined or to get employees fired, Saumier said. "This is applied twice for companies that require compliance with regulations like HIPAA and FISMA," he said, referring to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002. "An audit can come at any time, so only use company-approved document- and data-management processes." 3.You should always use secure connections: With the increased use of cloud computing, mobile devices and Wi-Fi hotspots, employees are connecting with the company network outside the office more than ever. And in anycase, public Internet connections at locations such as cafes, parks, restaurants and airports are anything but secure. Instead, use collaboration and Web-conferencing technology that works only over secure connections such as a virtual private network (VPN). "It's a smart, simple security practice," Eric Geier, founder of NoWiresSecurity, wrote in a PCWorld article. "Because the VPN encrypts your Internet traffic, it helps to stymie other people who may be trying to snoop on your browsing via Wi-Fi to capture your passwords." 4.Require passwords for everything: Now, working on this reason,it's very advisable that passwords be used for more than just the company email server — use them wherever confidential data is accessed, such as when you're sharing documents during Web-conferencing sessions. Change the passwords frequently, too, to ensure that only those employees who should have access do have it. Consider investing in password management software, which requires employees to remember only one password, but still automatically generates strong passwords and changes them every 30 to 60 days. 5.Lock your computer screen always: Leaving your computer unlocked is just the same as leaving your Social Security card or driver's license on your desk when you go to lunch, said Michael Fimin, CEO of IT auditing software company Netwrix Corp. Unintended disclosure is a serious issue. "More than 38,000 records were exposed in 26 incidents due to employees' errors, such as misdirected emails and confidential information accidentally posted on companies' websites," Fimin said in one recent Netwrix blog post. 6.Open up(speak out) if something is wrong: If a malware infected one computer it can quickly spread to others, so it's best to catch it early. "By reporting issues as soon as possible, it's easier to contain and mitigate the problem before it can spread throughout the organization," said Vann Abernethy, field CTO at NSFOCUS, an anti-DDoS firm. 7.Teach and initiate your security policy: For a security policy of any type to work, it must be managed.So with this sense employees should understand the repercussions of violating security policy, including the tools and processes that have been put in place to protect company assets, Abernethy said. This is especially true of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies. In a blog post on NowSecure, author Erica Lucas suggested two methods for enforcing your policies. The first is, have the employee sign the terms of a BYOD after teaching them the details of the policy as well as some best mobile security practices. Secondly, monitor the access to your networks to ensure compliance. So by instituting best practices for computer security, you can build better awareness among employees. This will protect not only your data, but that of your customers and clients, building trust and enhancing working relationships all through.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

LG Promises to Fix G4 Bootloop Issue

At last, all LG G4 owners who have been complaining about a persistent bootloop problem will finally get some relief. The company has officially acknowledged that defective hardware is to blame, in particular loose contact between some components. LG released the following statement to Android Authority: LG Electronics has been made aware of a booting issue with the LG G4 smartphone that has now been identified as resulting from a loose contact between components. So customers who are experiencing booting issues with their LG G4s should contact their local carrier from where the G4 was purchased or a nearby LG Service Center eg.( for repair under full warranty. And also customers who purchased their G4 devices from non-carrier retailers should contact an LG Service Center with the understanding that warranty conditions will differ. LG Electronics is committed to providing the highest standards of product quality and customer service and apologizes for the inconvenience caused to some of our customers who initially received incorrect diagnoses. The issue is apparently affecting numerous regional and carrier-branded units. It reached a fever pitch when a petition was launched, asking LG to admit the problem and fix it. How does it affect you: If you have an LG G4 smartphone and you’ve experienced this issue, then you now have a way forward. So your first stop is the carrier if you have a branded model, otherwise you will have to reach out directly to LG support. It’s often best to document the issue as specifically as possible to ensure that the company will attribute the problem to your phone.

How You Can Fix Windows Update If It Gets Stuck When Using Windows 10

There are a lot of ways you can use to fix Windows Update if it decides to stop working Windows Update in the general sense chugs along a quite merrily in the background of Windows 10, but most time it will begin to download available updates and then, seemingly at random, decide to stop working. So if that happens and Windows Update gets stuck, the next thing that will come to your mind is how you can solve the problem. Now, in that case, there are a number of easy steps you can take. 1.Be patient: Sometimes updates may be large and require a long time to download. If a particular update is stuck at, lets say, 75% for an hour or two – don’t panic. However, there may be an issue if that figure doesn’t shift overnight. 2.Run Windows Update troubleshooter: This is going to automatically detect problems with your system, which can take a few minutes to complete. You can google it and download it, after that you then click on Advanced Settings and you’ll find an “Apply repairs Automatically” option. From there you run the troubleshooter and it should hopefully clear up the problems causing Windows Update to get stuck. 3.Use System Restore: at this point, if your computer still did not respond when installing updates, you can run a System Restore. This will revert your PC to an earlier point in time. To access System Restore simply type System Restore into the search bar and select “Create a restore point”, which will take you to System Protection in the System Properties window. From System Restore you can pick an appropriate point to revert to. After you’ve gone back to an earlier restore point, you can then try installing the updates again as normal. 4.Delete files in Software Distribution: A big thanks to The Windows Club, which involves a little more interaction with your computer’s system settings. It does not cause any damage to your PC – you’ll only really be deleting temporary Windows Update files – but we will recommend setting up a System Restore point before delving any further. Now, for you to do this, you will first need to stop Windows Update Service and Background Intelligent Transfer Service. Type win+x to bring up the WinX menu, and from here select Command Prompt (admin). There are two commands you’ll need to type: ( stop wuauserv) ( stop bits). You then press Enter after you type each of these. This will turn off Windows Update Service and Background Intelligent Transfer Service. Next, you’ll have to delete the files in C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution. So, to do this.. you go to the appropriate folder, select all of the files and press Delete. If the files are in use (and can’t be deleted) you’ll need to restart your PC, so turn off the two Windows Update services and then try to delete the files again. After the folder has been emptied, you either restart your computer or manually turn on the Windows Update services. To do this, bring up Command Prompt (admin) and type: ( start wuauserv) ( start bits) So now, you run Windows Update and you’ll find that your PC needs to download a number of updates, which can take up to a few hours, depending on your system and connection. After all the updates have been installed, Windows will schedule a restart time, although you can always restart there and then you are done.

Five Things You Can Do That Proves That You Have a Great Business Idea

Are you ready to take over the world of entrepreneurship? In order to find startup success, you need a great business idea. But a winning business idea is more than just something you're excited about or good at — you have to make sure your idea is actually valuable. If your business idea is eager for success. Here are 5 things you can do to have a business success 1.You should be able to explain your idea in the simplest terms: Some times your business may solve a complicated problem, but you should be able to explain it in simple terms so that anyone can understand it, said Kris Duggan, CEO of goal management company BetterWorks. Duggan suggested using what he calls "the grandma test." "In some cases when you typically hear someone pitch their idea, it's usually chock-full of important-sounding jargon that rarely makes sense," Duggan said. "But when you think about your new business idea, and you ask yourself, 'Can it pass the grandma test?' In other words, would your grandma understand what you do? Perhaps your business is solving a complicated problem, but early on, come up with a way to explain it that makes sense to the everyone." 2.Set your price point: According to Charlie Harary, the founder and partner of investment firm H3 & Co., he said that while there are many ways to solve problems, great business ideas do it in a way that is less expensive than what the market will endure. "Once you have determined that you are solving a legitimate problem in a scalable way, you need to determine not only the value that it delivers to the world, but what people would pay for that value," Harary said. "Once you determine the price, then you can assess if your solution is businessworthy or not." 3. You need to test your idea: You will never know if your business is viable until you test it on strangers. "And in this case you don't just need to test it on friends only, who will be too polite to tell you the truth, but with honest people who would make up your ideal target audience, and then listen to the feedback," said Lisa McCartney, chief "PLYTer" at educational math board game company PLYT. " "So if your target sample is saying (your idea) is fantastic and (asking) where can they get it, you know that you're onto something, but if they are less than enthusiastic, then you know that is never as good as you thought." 4. You need be open to advice: If you're a kind of person who is not open to changing or adapting your idea to fit what your customers will want, your business idea might not be worth pursuing. "You need to consider the fact that success happens when you are willing to listen and consider others' advice," said Angie Yasulitis, CEO and managing partner at YaZo Marketing and Business Development Strategies. "Most good ideas take some tweaking to get to market. Being closed-minded could kill a business ." 5.Go for what people can pay for: "An idea is just an idea until you have a paying customer attached to it," Schroter said. "So for this reason anyone can discredit a simple idea, but no one can discredit paying customers."

Seven Best Android Apps For Your Android Phone In 2016

Now as the case is for this year (2016), you can be getting the most from your Android phone with the best Android apps around Currently there are so many varities you are to sort through on Google Play that can some how look confusing. But thankfully, we're here to alleviate the pain and deliver a definitive list of the best Android apps you can download onto your phone's internal memory or microSD card. And so we start now here.... 1. Greenify: (free) In most cases getting the most from your phone’s battery is always the key. Although lollipop may have its own set of battery-saving tools, and many phones now offer power-saving modes, but that shouldn't be the case actually, rather... they should be seen as a last resort. Now, Greenify sits in the background helping to regulate how much battery various apps are using. It freezes the apps you tell it to when you’re not using them, and instantly defrosts them when you need to access them. 2. Opera Max: (free) Unless if in your own case you’re lucky enough to have unlimited data on your phone, or a bottomless wallet, you’ll want to get the most out of your data package. This is where Opera Max comes in. So the work it does is this... it crunches down the size of images and videos, speeds up website load times, and typically saves you from around a third to almost half of your general data use. You can restrict some apps to only ever connect via Wi-Fi, and temporarily turn off connections if you want to save some data for the end of the month. 3. Clean Master: (free) There's no humanbeing that likes having a slow device, and Android somehow manages to grab digital detritus like a magnet in a junkyard. Clean Master is the mop and bucket you need to scrub your phone or tablet clean. Clean Master’s Junk File Cleaning feature scans your Android device and chucks out any unwanted cache and residual files. 4. Pocket (free): Now, you may find an article that you like, but due to time factor you will want to read it later, when you may not have an internet connection. Pocket is the solution to your problem. So pocket allows you to save articles and videos to read and watch later across any Pocket-enabled device, you’ll never be short of something to read or share again. It’s the perfect distraction for Tube journeys, flights and those long train trips in signal black holes. 5. Snowball: (free) If you are fed up of juggling multiple social networks across loads of different apps, Snowball can help you manage the blizzard of information thrown at your phone or tablet every day. Notifications are handled in a separate dropdown tray, and you can easily cycle between different networks. Replies can be left without even having to close down the app you’re currently using. 6. Vine: (free) Base on your age and your attention span, six second looped clips might sound like the best or worst thing ever to happen to video. But that's exactly what the Vine app offers, providing quickfire entertainment chunks. The app lets you browse other peoples' creations, of course, but crucially it also lets you create your own six-second wonders. Just hold the record button to start filming, and release to stop - it'll let you keep adding segments until you reach your six-second time. 7. Facebook and 10. Messenger: (free) As everybody knows, Facebook is one of the social network that has a standard you can’t be without. Now that Messenger has been spun out into a separate app, you’ll need both to get the full Facebook experience. Facebook isn’t the most reliable Android app around, but its latest update has sought to fix such issues. Messenger is thankfully more stable, but switching between the two apps still isn’t as smooth as you’d like it to be.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

The Five Top-Paying Companies

In many cases when you ask employees what motivates them most, a large number of them will say in one word "Money". So with that fact, these are the five top paying companies so far. 1.Atlantic Health: - Average annual base pay: $143,880- For Managers. - Best Companies Rank: 39 Here managers can earn upto $143,880,per year at average level and employees nearing retirement can join the 1,000 Hour Club where they can work for up to 1,000 hours per year without affecting their retirement benefits. Perks include onsite childcare, subsidized cafeterias, and discounted gym memberships. There’s also a pet-friendly policy that permits employees to bring pets to their work place. 2.Cisco: - Average annual base pay: $138,350 - For Technical Leaders. - Best Companies Rank: 70 Most of the tech companies makes sure that employees are well-paid. They can even go as far as using some part of their paycheck to purchase Cisco stock at a 15% discount. For example, if an employee in the military is called for active duty, Cisco will cover the salary difference in order to be sure that the healthcare benefits continues. Domestic partners and spouses of same-sex couples are covered too; Cisco covers healthcare costs and makes up the difference in federal taxes. And for the environmentally conscious, there are electric-car charging stations on its campuses. 3.NetApp: - Average annual base pay: $129,926 - For Engineers. - Best Companies Rank: 35 The data storage and management company based in Silicon Valley is chock full of bonuses. So there’s patent bonuses ranging from $4,000-$12,000 for anyone who patents a new idea, employee referral bonuses of up to $2,500, and cash bonuses for outstanding achievements that can be given on the spot. There’s also a special allowance for anybody who needs to get a security clearance. 4.Autodesk: - Average annual base pay: $129,815. For Principal Engineers - Best Companies Rank: 52 Autodesk, as a maker of computer-aided design software emphasizes quality of life in addition to great compensation. In this case employees have flexible hours and can work remotely, except for few people whose jobs require being onsite. Every four years, employees are eligible for six weeks of paid sabbatical. Health and wellness benefits which include $300 reimbursement per year that can be used towards gym memberships, fitness equipment, acupuncture or massage. 5.Baker Donelson: - Average annual base pay: $124,008. For Associate -Best Companies Rank: 30 The Tennessee-based law firm gives out a veritable cornucopia of perks to accompany its healthy salaries. Employees can choose to work 40 hours in four days rather than five with supervisor approval, and are eligible for paid sabbaticals. In the office, Baker Donelson offers services like dry cleaning pick up and delivery, massage services, and a lending library packed with books and DVDs.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

How You Can Change Your Android Auto-rotate Settings

A good number of phones are big now, and most time it makes sense to rotate over to landscape mode. But if that’s the case, you might want the screen to move along with you, so it’s a more natural experience that matches how you’re holding the phone or tablet. There are some ways you can do this with Android Marshmallow. So if you have the Google Now Launcher, swipe right over to Google Now and launch the Settings. Next, you touch Allow rotation to ensure that the feature is enabled. This can only allow rotation of only the home screen, and only if you're using the Google launcher (other custom launchers that come with your phone may or may not have a similar function). So, in order to allow apps to rotate the screen according to the orientation of your device, or stop them from rotating if you find them turning around while you lie in bed with your phone, you need to go to Settings > Accessibility and turn on Auto-rotate screen. This is on by default on most phones. Some times you may notice a screen rotation lock button in the quick settings of your phone, too. You can swipe down from the top of the screen to check. Now... when you turn your device you’ll see the app icons, search bar, and other details flip their position. It’s specifically great for larger devices like the Nexus 6P and tablets as you won’t have to turn your head anymore when you switch from portrait to landscape mode.

Friday, 22 January 2016

How to Overcome the Top 5 Business Challenges of 2016

I have never see any one saying that starting, running and growing a small business was easy. Most entrepreneurs knows that they've got their work cut out for them when they start up, but many are unprepared for just how difficult it can be until they get there. Platforms like VENTUREAPP, a marketplace for businesses to submit requests for help from experts and solution providers, have a firsthand insights into the struggles small businesses and startups experience on a real-time basis. "Putting the request data from the last half of 2015 as a factor, it's clear that there are a whole lot of challenges," said Chase Garbarino, CEO and co-founder of VENTUREAPP. "As the case is, it's a competitive landscape on many fronts — gaining talent, awareness and sales are all constant goals to remain. Based on VENTUREAPP's data and inputs from business leaders, here are the top challenges businesses will face in the year ahead, and how they can overcome them all. 1.Marketing: Marketing for small businesses can be a huge challenge, especially when you're trying to build a brand presence. Linda Lauren, a psychic medium and owner of the retail shop Embracing the Universe, said that she will have to work hard to market her changing brand in 2016. "I will be going from services to primarily products," according to her, she said that the challenges that come with that have a lot to do with helping people to shift their awareness more to my products." Lauren further said that she plans to tackle these obstacles by stepping up social media efforts to engage customers and educating them about what her brand represents. At the same time, this will help to steer them to her website for more information and ordering, she said. Lauren also put to note that she will use regular email newsletters to extend her reach, which will also inform people of her latest product trends. So now, if you're planning to use newsletters in your marketing strategy, pay attention to how they perform and adjust your strategy accordingly, Garbarino said. If weekly newsletters are yielding no results, make them less frequent and use that time to focus on media outreach within your industry or social media marketing. "You can't just run marketing programs, so you have to watch them and analyze the results," Garbarino said. "If after a few months you aren't seeing much engagement, awareness or leads, consider changing it up. The learning resources for small business marketers are endless and improving constantly." 2.Hiring: Now, you should know that as your business flourishes, you'll likely want to expand your team. "Solopreneurs" and partnerships whose small ventures are really taking off, like Nicole Bandklayder of NB Talent Services, say their biggest challenge in the year ahead will be based on the growth and hiring the necessary staff to manage the increased workload. But some how, it may be more difficult than businesses think: Over the last several years, the job market has been favoring candidates, and that's not about to change in 2016. Businesses can no longer post a job opening and expect a flood of high-quality applicants. Instead, companies in many industries must put as much more effort they could into hunting for talent as candidates do hunting for jobs. "Most professionals have ... some sort of digital résumé or profile, and there are plenty of places to prospect from online, depending on your industry," Garbarino said. Okay, before businesses even begin the hiring process, Garbarino said they need to put hard work into their "employment brand," which highlights the existing culture and what prospects can expect when they come to work for a company. He also put a recommendation which supports that business should create a unique interview process to give a better idea of a candidate's true abilities and fit. "So to further explain that, your interview process must be a close mirror of what the applicant will actually be doing at your company, and immerse them in the team they will be a part of, so both sides can get a sense of whether they are a fit. 3.Employee benefits: For this part, i will like you to take note that employee perks and benefits can play an important role in overcoming the hiring challenges listed above, but meeting job seekers' workplace expectations can be difficult when you're on a small business budget. According to Garbarino it's important to create scales of coverage that your business can account for at different stages of growth. "Some how, you might not be able to cover full health in your first year, but i think that is something you can add on in year two or three?" he said. "From there, you can begin to create an expansion plan of perks and benefits that will engage employees as part of a larger, stronger culture." If money is in full, Garbarino advised considering cost-conscious options like work from home options, making your office dog-friendly on certain days, weekly learning sessions, etc. This is a great way to involve your team, too. 4.Financing: This particular one, is and always will be a challenge for smaller ventures. Whether you're securing a loan, raising capital or saving up to bootstrap, the path to funding your business is often filled with hard work and the occasional speed bump. So for this reason, entrepreneurs who want to apply for a loan in 2016 may be especially concerned with the Federal Reserve interest rate, which was recently increased for the first time in seven years. Businesses are worried that higher interest on loans will negatively impact their financing options, Garbarino said. But whatevver the case is, Forbes contributor Amy Feldman wrote an article that reads that the increase is expected to be "slow and easy," and any impact on business borrowing costs should be minimal at first. Feldman also noted that federal policy is only one factor in loan rates. "So whether banks truly return to small-business lending, how lenders are able to use technology to improve their underwriting, and whether the economy is on better footing will all be factors going forward," she wrote. So for the meantime, if you're looking to start a business or get financing now, there are other things to worry about than the Fed's decision." Garbarino said futher that locating and connecting with top lenders and financial experts via your own research, your professional network or services like VENTUREAPP can help you find the best rates and loan terms for your business. 5.Ad blocking: Regardless of the fact that larger publishers and advertisers have much more to lose from the recent trend toward online ad blocking, small businesses aren't immune from its effects. Todd McGee, CEO of CataBoom, a platform for launching behavioral marketing campaigns, noted that the ads purchased by smaller companies may not get served to the audiences they're trying to reach. "So now, small businesses are often hindered by monetary constraints," McGee said. "They don't have the same big budgets as national brands to circumvent software, so they have to look for alternative ways to reach their audiences." Although focusing on unpaid advertising like social media engagement and word-of-mouth referrals can help, your business may still want to invest in some paid advertising. In this case, McGee recommended looking into cross-promotional partnerships and native advertising solutions. "The native advertisement makes the ad appear to be a natural part of the site on which it's served, so it's much more difficult for software to sense and block it," McGee said. Pete Borum, CEO of Reelio, a company that connects brands with YouTube influencers, noted that because of the agility of many small businesses, they are often faster to adopt new tactics, so it will be easier for them to avoid the more serious negative impact of ad blocking. Important note: Garbarino's best advice to small businesses for the upcoming year is to expand their networks and learn from those that have been through this before. "So there are so many other experienced entrepreneurs out there who have already gone through similar challenges, or are going through them right now and are willing to share the lessons they've learned so far," he said. "The ability to overcome challenges directly revolves around the people you know and the connections you make." Finally, don't be afraid to take risks and take advantage of your position as a small, nimble company to help your business move forward.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Six Best Latest Upcoming Smartphones In 2016

If in your own case, you are worried about what new phones you are to be expecting this year and by any means you find yourself on this blog, just know that you have come to the right place. So without wasting much time here are the six best latest upcoming smartphones in 2016, so worry no more. 1. LG G5: LG G4 is just now advancing towards store racks, but whatever the case is, that does not mean that the organization is not working diligently on the successor. So be expecting an advancement in the biometrics division. Now the finger print scanner is turning into a standard component, the G5 is said to convey iris recognition to the table. This means that the best upcoming phone G5 will come with a smart Eye Scanner, something like before seen on ZTE’s Axon series. 2. Samsung Galaxy S7: Now the next best Smartphone from Samsung is going to be the Samsung galaxy S7. After Launching the S6 and S6 edge, Samsung is thinking about the new innovation for the upcoming Galaxy S7 Device. However there is no confirmed Release date of the device, but it seems as it may be announced in Mobile World Congress 2016 Feb or March. First the device will be made available in USA, Brazil, and other countries, then it will enter India. The smartphone will be launched in various variants like, Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Samsung S7 edge plus, and Samsung Galaxy S7 plus. 3. Xiaomi Mi 6: Xiaomi Mi 6, people are expecting much from Xiaomi Smartphones, As we all know that Xiaomi is the brand which is pretty famous for its Cheap, budget, high-end Smartphones as we have previously seen a lot of them. Okay, the people are just expecting some uniqueness from the upcoming series, but from our point of view Xiaomi will be making flagship killer this time, and we will do some thing out of the box with this device. 4. OnePlus three: (3) OnePlus Three is going to be the successor of OnePlus two the rumours are going on. But it is clear that this device will be more efficient and powerful than its previous version. The previous version OnePlus two is pretty famous for its camera and Performance which will surely be enough to impress you. And now the people are expecting some uniqueness in OnePlus 3. 5. Oppo Find 9: Oppo find 9 is Oppo’s best upcoming phone which is going to be the company’s next big flagship in future. We can also assume it to be the successor of Oppo find 7, and it going to be the Best device from Oppo, The rumours about this device has started from 2015 but the device has never arrived yet, but we hope best for Oppo find 9 in 2016. 6. Microsoft Lumia 940 & 940 XL: Considering the fact that a large portion of the biggest phone makers on the planet have revealed their new leads, Microsoft is supposed to be underway of an extreme Android contender. So the best new upcoming Smartphone and the most expected Lumia 940 may at long last come into light after the Windows 10 for Smartphones was recently launched.

Your Three Tips for Mobile Marketing Success

Presently text messaging has become the great communication equalizer. So anyone with a mobile phone — smart device or not — has access to texting, and people use it to talk with everyone from friends and family to co-workers and professional contacts. Some years before now, one more group has been added to people's extended texting networks: brands. At first, consumers were hesitant to open up their text message inbox to marketing messages. One survey in the year 2012 by the U.K. Direct Marketing Association and Velti found that only 33 percent of Americans preferred to receive mobile offers by text message, and another 50 percent preferred not to receive mobile offers at all. But whatever the case is, attitudes have shifted in the past few years, and consumers are becoming more open to receiving relevant, personalized marketing text messages. In fact, according to a 2014 Hipcricket survey, 41 percent of U.S. consumers said they like to share more information with brands via mobile if it meant they are to receive relevant offers. "Giving considerations to this facts, the increase in text messaging as a marketing channel is undoubtedly a result of the exponential growth in mobile users," said Yoni Ben-Yehuda, chief marketing officer of Web design firm Blue Fountain Media. "Most users are attached to their mobile phones and always in arm's reach of the device, making it a premium platform to target a unique audience if they've provided you with their phone number as a communication channel. Depending on the content and the unique needs of the user, text message marketing is often a good channel to focus on." The profits you could get from texting: Now if you wish to market in real time, there's no better option than to send a text message. Most people turn off notifications for email and other social networks, but nearly everyone receives real-time alerts for their text messages. "When notifications are served to the user directly on the home screen of their phone or tablet, the impressions are going to be quite significant," Ben-Yehuda said. "Geomapping and targeting users in real time with location-based marketing helps to make the content that users are marketed with way more relevant than a general marketing campaign that doesn't consider location. So pushing out texts to users in the moments that will provide them with the most value and is associated with timely events can have a major impact on the ROI [return on investment] that you'll see." Joshua Keller, co-founder of Union Square Media marketing agency, noted that one key advantage to opt-in text message marketing is that, unlike email marketing, there's currently no "spam" folder to block it from a consumer's inbox. "Now, when a text message comes in, it takes over your entire phone," Keller said. "You have no choice other than to see the notification and be distracted from whatever it is you're doing at that moment to read the message, regardless of whether it's a real message from someone or a marketing promotion. All communications are going to a captive audience." Getting text message marketing right: Regardless of the fact that text message marketing can be very effective, it isn't right for every company. If it's not aligned with the products or services that you offer and the way you connect with your audience, it shouldn't be used, Ben-Yehuda said. Brands that do use it need to be very careful about walking the fine line between "helpful and relevant" and "intrusive and spammy." Okay, the Hipcricket survey found that 52 percent of consumers felt the marketing texts they received fell into the latter category, so it's very easy to tip that scale and turn people off with your messages. Here's how to successfully incorporate texting into your marketing strategy and without annoying your customers. 1.Get permission: Just as the same with email marketing, it's in your best interest to get explicit permission from consumers before sending them text messages. Not only does this mean you'll be sending messages to an audience that specifically wants this type of marketing, but you'll also avoid irritating those who don't want it at all. "Only use text messaging as a marketing channel if the customer or potential customer has opted in and supplied you with their phone number," Ben-Yehuda said. "If you contact users unsolicited, you run the risk of losing your credibility and having them unsubscribe to your messages." "Unless if it occurs you have explicit consent to market to a person by [text message], you should stay as far away as you can from this type of marketing," Keller said further. 2.Use it wisely: some how, text messaging isn't appropriate for every marketing scenario. Ben-Yehuda advised using it for things like a delivery status, as a secondary message after you download a certain mobile app or program, a receipt of purchase, or an exclusive discount — and only for brands with an audience that actually prefers this sort of communication. "Regardless of the fact that a text is more personal than an email, now, if you're contacting the user and they've never heard of you ... you'll likely be considered spam," Ben-Yehuda said. "When the brand recognition is present with the user, and they're familiar with your company or products, offering them content via text can be efficient." 3.Add value: No matter what you choose to communicate through your marketing text messages, make sure that, above any other thing else, it's relevant and adds value to the consumer's experience with your brand. "Okay?.. the message should not be self-serving," Keller said. "The first of all goal should be to provide the consumer with real value for opening up that text message." Joseph Anthony, CEO of millennial-focused marketing agency Hero Group, agreed, saying smart brands will give consumers the kind of communication they're used to with their peer groups and social circles. "So providing useful information in addition to promotional offers will create a level of anticipation and surprise," Anthony said.

Everything You Need to Know About Pinterest For Business

Some social networks like Facebook and Twitter are often perfect for businesses and brands, but many companies can also benefit from the visual aspects of a platform like Pinterest. Ready to take on one of the most pin-teresting social networks out there? Here's everything you need to know before you sign up. Now, the case on ground is this.. are you ready to take on one of the most pin-teresting social networks out there? Okay if in your own case your answer is yes here's everything you need to know before you sign up. 1.What is Pinterest:? Pinterest is a platform that enables users to share and save content to virtual collections called pinboards (also referred to as simply "boards"). The social network is made up of both a website and a mobile app, and was launched in 2010 by co-founders Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp and Paul Sciarra. At first, the website was available only in a closed beta model, and users could join only by invitation until August 2012, when Pinterest opened to the public. Okay, the platform has a unique demographic in that the vast majority of its more than 100 million active users (according to Venture Beat) are female. One comScore study found that approximately 71 percent of Pinterest users in December 2014 were women, according to The Wall Street Journal. While you are able to find just about anything on the Web on Pinterest — the website's categories include everything from art to technology, Pinterest is known as a hub for DIY and craft projects, recipes, fashion, home décor and health- and fitness-related information. 1.How does it work?: First, we are going to talk on how to create an account. So in order to use Pinterest, you first have to sign up for an account. For businesses, it's very important that you make sure you specifically sign up for a business account. Using the main sign-up page creates personal accounts. So with this fact it's really important to make this distinction because business accounts, just like free personal Pinterest accounts, give you access to features to help your business thrive on the platform, like analytics tools. To sign up for a business account, you need to enter your email address, a password, the name of your business and your website (though including your website is optional). You also need to select what type of business you run from a drop-down menu. From there, you can set up your profile. So when you log into your Pinterest account, you're taken to your home feed. So at this point, your home feed shows you all of the most recent pins from the other Pinterest accounts you follow and features endless scrolling for seamless browsing. To create your business account visit this link Across the top of any page you visit on Pinterest, you have a large search bar. To the left, and you'll see the Pinterest logo (which takes you back to the home page when clicked), as well as menu options for Analytics and Ads. To the right, there is a drop-down menu, which displays links to all of the categories you can browse through on the platform. Next to that, you'll see a "+" button and a chat bubble button. The + enables you to quick-add a new pin or create a new ad, and the chat button pulls up a drop-down menu with three options: News, You and Messages. News displays trending pins and other site updates; You shows your notifications from when other users interact with your pins, and Messages pulls up your messages with other Pinterest users. Clicking your profile picture pulls up a drop-down menu with options to go to your profile to see all your boards and pins, as well as to access your settings, billing, ads support and the platform's Help page, and to log out of your account. So what exactly now, are pins and boards? Well, in simple terms, pins are the content you share on Pinterest, and boards are how you arrange that content — sort of like visual bookmarks. Okay, before you can start pinning anything, you need to create your boards. Creating your boards: To create your first Pinterest board, you go to your profile and you'll see a red Create Board button. Once you click it, a box will pop up with the information you need to fill in. So you enter a name for your board and a description of what your board is about (these are optional, but should be filled out as they can help people discover your boards more often), and select a category for it (also optional, but very important for the same reasons). In addition, you can choose to keep your board secret, so that only you can have access to it. At the bottom of the box, you'll also see an option entitled "Collaborators," with a text box where you can invite other Pinterest users by username or email. Adding other users to your board creates a group board, which will show up on both your profile and the other users' profiles; everyone added to the board can contribute pins. Once you have finished filling out your board's information, just click Create, and you're done. From there, you can start adding To create subsequent boards, now to do that, simply go to your profile page and in the space to the left of your existing boards, you'll see a rectangular gray space with a Create a Board button. From there, you'll follow the same steps. Adding pins: Okay now, you can add pins to your Pinterest boards in a few different ways. To add your own content to Pinterest, go to the board you want to pin to (or use the + button from the top of the page) and click the Add a Pin button. A box will pop up with the options to add a pin from the Web or from your computer. Adding pins You can add pins to your Pinterest boards in a few different ways. To add your own content to Pinterest, go to the board you want to pin to (or use the + button from the top of the page) and click the Add a Pin button. A box will pop up with the options to add a pin from the Web or from your computer.Once you enter the link, you'll be taken to a page that shows all of the images from that website, as well as existing pins that were created by others from that website's domain. You can then select the picture you want to pin by hovering over the image and clicking the Pin it button. This will open a box that allows you to enter a description for your pin. It also allows you to choose a board for your pin, so if you started by selecting the wrong board, you can change it without going back. You can also create a new board to pin to, and choosing this option will let you name your new board, and select whether or not you'd like to add collaborators or keep the board secret. You'll have to go back into this board later to edit it if you wish to add a description and choose a category. When you're done perfecting your pin, click the Create button. Pinning content from the Web will ensure that your pin links back to the website it came from. If you choose to add a pin from your computer, Pinterest will prompt you to select and upload an image file. From there, the process of adding a pin is the same as above. Regardless of the way you choose to add your pins, you can always go back to specific pins to edit their descriptions, move them to different boards or delete them altogether. To pin from the mobile app, you just need go to your profile tab and click the plus button. This gives you the option to create a new board or pin from your phone's photos, the Web, your clipboard (photos you've recently copied) or to pin your location if you use the maps feature (part of Pinterest's "Rich Pins"). All pins must include an image or a video in order to be added to Pinterest. You can also "re-pin" content from other Pinterest users, as opposed to adding your own content, and it's good to do a mix of both. Re-pinning is an easy way to be more active on Pinterest when you don't have your own content to share, plus it can get other Pinterest users to notice your brand. To find content to re-pin, you can browse through your home feed, look in specific categories or search certain keywords in the search bar. When you want to re-pin an existing pin, hover over the image and click the red Pin It button. You'll then be prompted to select or create a board, and you can either leave the previous user's description or write your own. Rich Pins: Rich Pins are set to be a special type of Pinterest pin that make using the platform more straightforward and seamless. These pins include extra information beyond just the image, click-through link and the pinner's description. Currently, there are six types of Rich Pins: 1.Place pins: Place pins are a special type of rich pin that gives users the chance to create a map with the content they share. To enable place pins, you simply check off the "add a map" option when you create or edit a pinboard. Selecting the map option overlays your pins onto an actual interactive map (as opposed to the typical solid-color background). You can then add places to your existing pins and pin new places as well. Place pins include important details like addresses and phone numbers — perfect for mapping out restaurants and other attractions when you're planning a trip. 2.Article pins: Just for the fact that Pinterest is highly visual in nature, doesn't mean it's not a good place to share written content. So as long as an article features an image, it can be pinned to Pinterest. But article pins are there to make users automatically see the article's headline, author and a story description — making them much more searchable and distinguishing them from other content on the platform. 3.Product pins: This make shopping via Pinterest a lot easier. Unlike a regular pin, these Rich Pins show where the product you're pinning can be purchased, the current price and a direct link to the product page. Additionally, product pins prices' are updated in real time, and if a user pins a product pin to one of his or her boards, that user will be notified when the product's price is lowered. Since many Pinterest users create boards that serve as wish lists for things they want, product pins are a great way to convert pins into purchases. 4.Recipe pins: This one is already a huge hub for foodies, and you can find just about any recipe imaginable on the site. Recipe pins take sharing food on Pinterest to a whole new level. Unlike a regular pin, which would show an image and a description that is manually entered in by the pinner, these recipe-specific Rich Pins show users important information like the necessary ingredients and their amounts, cooking times and serving info. Recipe pins also display details about whether a recipe is vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, paleo, etc., making searching for – and determining which recipes you can make – a lot simpler. And users can still click-through to the website from which the recipe came to see detailed instructions and more photos of the recipes they're pinning. 5.Movie pins: Very good for film buffs, these Rich Pins show more details about the movies you pin. Movie pins include information like the year a film was released, its rating, the director and the main stars of the film. When pinning from different movie websites like Netflix, Flixter and Rotten Tomatoes, pinners will also see how those websites' users ranked films as well. 6.App pins: Finally, Pinterest's newest addition to the rich-pins family allows you to share and download apps directly from the platform. Currently, app pins only work in the United States, and with iOS apps. So at this point, in order to use Rich Pins, you need to follow these two simple-steps process. Add the appropriate metadata to your website content:. This metadata is different for each type of Rich Pin, but you can add multiple types to your site, and Pinterest will prioritize them. Validate your Rich Pins and apply to get them on Pinterest:. Once you are done with the step one, you have to enter your site's URL into Pinterest's validator page to make sure that there are no mistakes with the metadata. After everything is finalized, you can click Apply Now. Pinterest tips & tricks: Connect to your other networks:. Now you can connect your Pinterest account to your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Gmail and Yahoo accounts, and can choose to log in with Facebook and/or Twitter (instead of typing in your email and password) as well. Connecting to your Gmail and Yahoo accounts allows you to find and connect with your contacts who already have Pinterest accounts, and when you connect to your other social networks, they'll be displayed on your profile so pinners can easily find you elsewhere on the Web. Use the Pinterest bookmarklet or browser add-on:. Pinterest gives you both a bookmarklet (a button that you can drag to your browser's bookmarks bar, which, when clicked, allows you to pin content from the websites you visit to your Pinterest boards) and a browser add-on for Google Chrome. The browser add-on appears as a small Pinterest logo next to the search/address bar, and works similarly to the bookmarklet. Add a Pinterest board widget to your website:. This is a big way you can use to let visitors to your website know that you're active on Pinterest. Just choose the board you want to share, paste the URL into the widget maker, choose the size you want, and click the "Build It!" button. Then, embed the code on your website somewhere visitors will see it. Add the "Pin it" button to your website:. Have you at any time payed visit to a website, hovered over an image and seen a little red Pinterest button pop up? That's Pinterest's Pin it button, and it allows Pinterest users to easily pin your content to their boards directly from your website. Adding the Pin it button to your website makes it simpler to share content from your website — meaning more people are likely to do just that. Watch your percentages:. Now with this, you can achieve balance with the content of your boards by posting specific amounts of certain content. Leland said that, in general, 40 percent of your boards should be motivational and inspiring, 40 percent should be instructional and educative, and only 20 percent should be directly about your brand (things like announcements, contests, etc.) Although it's important to see what works with your audience by looking at your analytics page, and adapt your strategy that way, too. You can still do more as you get used to it.