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Software

Cybersecurity in the UK: Issues and Solutions

The Types of Cyber Attacks Facing the UK

  • Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware locks up devices and encrypts the data located on them. Once the user attempts to access the device, they’ll be prompted with a request for a ransom. Failure to pay this ransom ends with their device’s data being erased. However, payment rarely gets the user their data back.

  • Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are scams done through social engineering and manipulation. Think about how many spam emails you have of someone promising you an Amazon gift card or warning you that the “IRS” is charging you with tax fraud. These scams promise the victim a reward, scare them into complying, and pretend to be a family member, friend, or coworker, all in order to obtain personal information.

cybersecurity issues
Image credit: pixabay

5 Ways to Secure Yourself & Protect Against Cyberattacks

1. VPNs

Citizens across the UK count on public networks to get work done, whether it’s at the local coffee shop or the guest network at a hotel. Unfortunately, these networks are host to various security issues, many of them existing only due to the unencrypted nature of these networks.

Public networks do little to protect users. Fortunately, there are ways for users to protect themselves, one of them is installing a VPN.

A VPN encrypts data being sent from your device, routing it through a VPN server. This masks your online activity from other people on the network—including cybercriminals—and makes it difficult for them to intercept your data.

Also Read: Data Protection: What are the Options?

2. Account Monitoring Software

Knowing when your accounts have been compromised is key to minimizing the damage done. After all, the more time spent not changing your passwords and/or notifying IT is time the cybercriminal has to steal data.

Certain browsers and third-party services offer account monitoring services that notifies users of an account breach and suspicious behavior. Everyone should take advantage of these services for, at minimum, their most important accounts.

3. Two-Factor Authentication

Passwords are not enough to protect one’s account anymore. Cybercriminals everywhere have developed software that allows them to crack a variety of passwords quickly. This is why cybersecurity experts created two-factor authentication.

Two-factor authentication verifies the user attempting to login by sending a code through either email or text. Typing in the correct code allows the user to access the account.

Most accounts of importance come with two-factor authentication nowadays, but there are third-party two-factor authentication apps.

4. Strong Passwords

Don’t misconstrue the above wall of text: passwords are still important. Protecting your accounts requires everything about your accounts to be 100% secure, and by looking at certain studies, many people don’t take passwords that seriously.

Using strong passwords for every account you have will make it much harder for a hacker to gain access to your accounts. And using a unique password for each account will make sure a hacker won’t have access to multiple accounts based on one stolen password.

5. Anti-Virus & Anti-Malware Software

It’s not enough to be reactive—you need to be proactive. And when it comes to preparing for cyberattacks, both anti-virus and anti-malware software are necessary.

Antivirus software scans your computer for any major red flags on your system. Trojans, viruses, worms: all the most major forms of malicious software. Anti-malware software scans for lesser-known malware (adware, spyware, etc.).

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Software

Top 5 Photo Editors for PC

A good photo editor for PC enables you to perform photo retouching, image manipulation, background removal, photo restoration, shadow creation, colour correction, and a lot more. There are thousands of photo editing software out there each with its collection of tools and functions. So, the question is, how do we know which is the best program?

Photo Editor for PC
Image by Pixabay

I have put together a list of the top 5 photo editor for PC, so you can rest assured you are using the best software to create beautiful photos.

1. Skylum Luminar

Skylum Luminar is another photo editing software for PCs, which has become quite popular due to various reasons. It has a simple, one-time fee with no hidden costs. Usually, professional photo editing tools require users to pay a monthly subscription fee.

Skylum Luminar is also super easy to download and set up, and the user interface is friendly. Moreover, the software is easy to use for professionals and beginners alike.

The photo editing tool offers a bunch of neat features such as exclusive filters. These filters range from Sunrays to Orton. The Sunrays is one of Skylum Luminar’s top filters, which adds a unique, realistic sunray effect to your photos. Besides, you can easily carry out functions like layer adjustment and apply dedicated presets for drone photos.

2. Movavi Photo Editor

The Movavi Photo Editor is a highly intelligent photo editor software for Windows and MAC that lets you carry out beautiful edits. The free photo editor version allows you to enjoy a wide range of tools.

Download the 64-bit Movavi Photo Editor and crop photos, straighten the horizon, flip and rotate images, and insert different images and stickers. Unlike many other photo editors out there, it does not add a watermark to your photos.

Additionally, you do not have to worry about any trial limitations. If you want to purchase the full version of the photo editor, you can do that at any time. This even permits you to try out the full version for free and find out if it’s suitable for you.

The full version offers a multitude of features on top of the standard attributes found in the free editor. The additional features include applying effects and enhancing images, removing unwanted objects from photos, reducing digital noise, adding text, changing or eliminating image background, restoring old photos, retouching portraits, and more.

If you are into advanced photo editing and you are looking for a top-notch software program, the editor has everything you would need. The photo editor allows you to create and save images in high quality and guarantees quick, hassle-free editing. This fantastic photo editing tool is equally useful for both professionals and beginners.

The software is also easy to download and works seamlessly on both Windows and Mac. Therefore, if you are searching for a very user-friendly photo editor that presents a whole list of neat features, this is a perfect choice!

3. Gimp

GIMP is an innovative photo editing tool that is simple to download and install. This software has a variety of features that would help you fix photo composition, retouch, and enhance photos. GIMP also offers file management facility; you can view, manage your photos, and edit them.

GIMP supports image formats of nearly all types, and it works well on Mac, Windows, and Linux. If you are searching for a suitable photo editing program for beginners, I highly recommend this.

GIMP also offers file optimization features along with cloning/ touch-up tools and multiple plugin support.

4. Fotor

Fotor is another best photo editor for PC you can use this year, offering top-grade editing tools that are not usually common in web-based software programs. Besides essential editing tools such as cropping, transformation, filtering, colour correction, etc., there is a one-click photo enhancement feature. This option lets you instantly apply filters and enhance your photos so well that you do not need to perform any other edits.

There are thirteen various choices that you can tap once, and you will end up with a masterpiece. The user interface is also very simple and straightforward to understand and navigate through. Overall, Fotor has a great, intuitive feel and lets you carry out your photo editing needs efficiently.

5. Photoscape X

Photoscape X software program has a neat user interface and loads of resourceful editing tools. What’s best about this photo editor is that it has a convenient photo viewer that you can use to browse through your photo albums easily. The editor provides you with over a thousand effects and filters, innovative frames, brushes and tools, and various cropping and transformation options. You can also create collages, batch edit photos, and design GIFs.
Overall, the Photoscape X is a handy photo editor for PC boasting some great tools even in its free version.

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Software

Data Protection: What are the Options?

Data is the lifeblood of any small or large business, and keeping it safe is paramount to success. The biggest threat to data security is criminal cyber-attacks that infect computers and network systems with a particularly malicious form of malware known as ransomware. Costs can be high with an attack, incurring idle downtime in which business grinds to a halt. Lost Communications, failing to meet deadlines, and botching delivery obligations can destroy customer confidence. Ransoms, for those businesses that elect to pay, can be exorbitant and after-the-fact measures to recover data and return to productivity are expensive.

Data Security
Image by Pixaaby

An employee innocently clicking on an innocuous link in an email or visiting a questionable web page can set off an attack. Once in, ransomware will encrypt data and files, locking essential business information out of use. They instruct victims to pay a fee through cryptocurrency to obtain the encryption codes needed to recover their data, but payment is no guarantee that victims will receive these codes or if they’ll even work. Worse, businesses that do pay ransoms unwittingly advertise their vulnerabilities to hackers and often suffer repeated attacks. Here are three viable options to help prevent attacks and protect data.

Build Employee Awareness Through Training

An awareness training program for employees helps avoid cyber-attacks and goes a long way with building effective ransomware prevention. Good training should be recurring and continuously updated with current ransomware information. Many businesses build their own in-house training but there are many good options for this as an outside for-hire service.

Emails are particularly susceptible and employees should know the necessary precautions to take when opening their email. However, opening suspicious messages or clicking unknown links can initiate malicious code to run on business networks. Make sure email programs have active spam filters up and running.

Install and Use Anti-Malware Software

One of the most powerful tools to prevent a ransomware attack is good anti-malware software. It should be on all computer systems company-wide. Settings should provide for a continuously running firewall, and the software should update frequently. Keep the whitelist of safe email addresses and domain names current.

Update Programs and Backup Data

Windows, Microsoft Office, and any other software running on the network should automatically update to make sure it downloads any security patch that needs installing. You can set these to occur at a specified time, such as after business hours.

Cloud backups are a great tool to protect your data from cyber-attacks. Moreover, redundant backups in multiple locations, including removable hard drives, are advisable. Timing is crucial, and the more frequently the data is being backed up, the better off the safety of your business data will be.

One of the most important aspects of data backup is to have a recovery plan in place. However, make sure everyone knows the correct procedures and can act quickly to reduce any downtime. Write training procedures down and have readily accessible.

Businesses don’t have to be easy targets. Protect your important business data by adding anti-malware software to your current system, train your employees on how to avoid cyber-attacks, and perform regular backups of your data so you’ll be ready for whatever may happen.

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Finance Software

Most Inspiring Templates for Your New Financial Website

Many financial websites have a boring design that’s cold, drab and uninspiring. But just because you’re building a finance themed website doesn’t mean you have to follow in their footsteps. There are plenty of great templates that are inspiring, beautiful and sleek while maintaining the professional look you’re likely going for. Here are some of the most inspiring ones that we’ve found for the finance sector.

Most Inspiring Templates for Your New Financial Website
Image by Pexels

1. Accountant Multipage Website

This accounting based template has a beautiful, professional and sleek look that we love. It adds a personal touch by featuring a slider photo of a service rep making eye contact. The design also does a good job by listing the phone number and address of the business at the very top of the fold. The call to action at the top right is a smart addition to the design as well.

2. Financial Advisor Responsive Template

This template for financial advisors starts out with an interesting graphic that catches your eye. It is followed up by attractive icons and selling points for the business’ services. The layout is clean and helps the content stand out. The final touch is the transition graphic to the bottom half of the main page that informs the visitors that the content is different.

3. The Invest

Many financial websites will choose white colors for the main content to ensure that there is nothing hindering communication. The Invest is another template that does this but it incorporates colorful icons similar to how many web hosting sites do. Like the web hosting sites, the icons are intricately designed and vibrant so that they can draw the eye and highlight each selling point or feature.

4. FinVertex

Sometimes you need color contrast to draw the attention of your visitors. FinVertex uses blue, green, white and gray in a careful manner to help its design stand out. The template uses a minimalist design and is focused on getting visitors to take some kind of action. It achieves this with the different colors and the limited navigation options available on the template.

5. Finanbox

Finanbox is a template that starts with a large hero image with oversized headlines. It does a great job in keeping the visitors engaged through transition effects, mouseover effects, sliders, and other interactive elements. The whole template is designed to impress the potential client with many credibility elements like testimonial sliders, a visual portfolio gallery, and more.

6. Finance – Consulting Business, Finance HTML5 Template

If you’re looking for something less serious and more casual, this is a great template to consider. This finance template uses animation style graphics set on a pastel turquoise background. It is more consumer friendly and very eye catching. Sometimes you want something different to stand out from all the other financial sites and this just might be it.

7. Reinsure

If you’re in the insurance business, this template may be great for landing pages. It features a large slider that is accompanied by form that’s designed to generate leads. If you’re looking to run an advertising campaign on Facebook or Google Adwords, this template may be the perfect fit. It’s clearly designed to generate a conversion but also does a great job in presenting a professional image to the visitor.

8. Investment Expert

This template uses a combination of black and blue to create a professional yet sophisticated vibe. It features a beautiful logo and typography that really speaks to you. It also compacts the content into the first two pages so that visitors don’t have to scroll down to get all the vital information. The middle of the main page features an icon based navigation design that changes the content right below it.

9. Ideas for Online School Website Template

We love this template because it’s a very different from the others on the list. This template is designed for website owners that want to create a financial themed content site. It uses a large photo to serve as the background for the top of the fold. It is designed similar to many infographics as it features many icons, changing layouts and visual elements. All of this is accentuated by parallax and transition effects to impress the user.

10. Insurance Responsive Website Template

This is another template that’s vastly different from the others in the list. The template features a large photo as the background. But what’s really interesting is the site’s navigation widgets on the main page. It uses colorful and transparent boxes as navigation options that are arranged similar to card based layout. The image itself is interesting and the different colors really encourage you to learn more about the various services.

The templates featured on this list explore many different styles that you can choose from. We picked these templates because they offered something different from the run of the mill designs that you find all over the web. Hopefully, you’ll find something that you can either use or inspire the design for your upcoming financial website.

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Software

Apps for Electricians – Reset the Trip Switch on Your Admin Pains

Admit it; there are some parts of your electrician’s business you dislike. You are not alone. Everyone has similar pain points, which is why developers have come up with apps that help.

There is an app for everything, but you don’t want to clutter up your phone with ten new apps. In an ideal world, you would want a single application that does everything perfectly: It doesn’t exist.

You need at least two apps; an admin one and an ‘on-the-job’ one.

Admin Apps

Admin apps for electricians can give you back the time you currently spend trying to hold everything in your head.

Tradify

It is a rare electrician who enjoys the admin tasks that go with any electrical business, so an app such as Tradify is the first to invest in.

Tradify

Tradify frees up your mind from the clutter of managing your employees, vans, and equipment, so you have more time and energy to spend solving problems and growing your business. It includes quoting and invoicing functions as well as integrating with popular accounting software like MYOB and Quickbooks.

Training Apps

The Electrical Engineering Portal lets you stay up to date on what’s happening in your industry. Many of the benefits are available without a paid subscription, but an annual subscription to the gives you access to scores of PDF downloads and updates on safety regulations.

On-the-Job Electrician Apps

Apps take the guesswork out of many tasks the on-the-ground electrician does every day. Some are available for iOS, some for Android, and some for both.

iBend Pipe

Conduit bending is something an experienced electrician can do by eye, but some people find this aspect of their work difficult.

iBend Pipe

Enter iBend, an iOS app that generates the essential measurements. Sad to say, you still need pipe-banders and muscle power.

Electrical Formulator

Electrical Formulator

Electrical Formulator is an iOS app that gives you access to all manner of data relating to lighting, generators, and batteries. It also lets you make quick and accurate conversions between imperial and SI units without a calculator. You can make more accurate estimates if you use this app when measuring up for any job.

Voltage Drop Calculator

Voltage Drop Calculator

Voltage Drop Calculator (for iOS) lets you enter cable length and the current it will carry, and then outputs the cable you need. It removes any element of guesswork and could save costs.

Electrical Tools & Reference

An iOS or Android app that is available as a free beta download

Electrical Tools & Reference

Electrical Tools and Reference gives your people on the ground instant access to reference charts, Ohm’s Law calculations, and all the data they need to estimate accurately, removing the need to add a few percentage points for errors.

SPL Meter

SPL Meter

The SPL Meter iOS app puts a professional-level sound meter in the hands of every employee. For a tiny fraction of the price of a hand-held sound meter, you can protect employees’ hearing on noisy sites.

Electrical Wiring Lite

Electrical Wiring Lite

The Electrical Wiring Lite app for Android includes burial depth, Ohm’s Law, and voltage drop calculations.
Generic Small Business Apps

Some apps are essential in any business. The best generic apps are listed below.

Evernote

Evernote

Evernote lets you keep track of everything, and it is then accessible on every device, making it easy to access your notes when you are out of the office.

Facebook Pages Manager

Facebook Pages Manager

The Facebook Pages Manager is available for iOS and Android users. It means you can manage your business page without logging in on your desktop machine.

HMRC

HMRC

HMRC kindly let all iOS and Android users download their app without charge. Nobody wants to pay taxes, but this app makes it as painless as possible.

The Short Version

There are apps for every task you or your employees perform from estimating and employee tracking to taking noise measurements and calculating the correct cable to use. There are more applications for iOS users, but Android users have plenty of choices, too.

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Software

When Is It Necessary to Transfer Your Website

There are several scenarios in which you would need to transfer your website to a new host. They range from budgeting reasons, such as when you find a better hosting deal, to server software compatibility issues. Transferring a website is a simpler process than you might expect and know when to transfer your site is key to maintaining solid uptime and load speeds for your visitors.

Transfer Your Website

Transferring Your Website for Upgrades

Sometimes website owners purchase economy or minimal hosting packages only to find they’ve quickly outgrown their allotted resources. If you’ve noticed an increase in traffic and your website has slowed down or is throwing errors then it’s definitely time to transfer your site to a new host.

You can keep an eye on the traffic and bandwidth usage of your website using tools like Google Analytics and HotJar Insights. Measure your traffic and usage details against the terms set out in your hosting plan to make sure you’re not exceeding your current hosting plan. To bypass these limitations and help your company grow you can easily transfer a website to a larger hosting plan or a plan with unlimited bandwidth.

Server space is another factor to consider when deciding if you’re outgrowing your current hosting plan. Many web hosts will allow you a GB or two of server space on basic plans, but if you’re hosting a video of software files then this will quickly be insufficient. Backup your files and look for a host with unlimited storage space before your visitors start seeing 503 errors.

Transferring a Website to Resolve Compatibility Issues

It’s often necessary to transfer a website to resolve issues with software compatibility. For example, if you decide to switch your website to a new platform, say from WordPress to Drupal, you may find that your current host isn’t optimized for the newer platform. Depending on the required software specifications, your current host may not be capable of hosting the new platform at all.

One of the most common factors affecting server compatibility is the server operating system itself. Many web servers run on a free Linux-based operating system, Apache. Websites build using Microsoft’s ASP.NET will require IIS server software. If you change your website’s platform, or your host decides to start using an incompatible operating system then you will need to quickly backup your website and move it to another host.

Pay Less for Hosting by Transferring Your Site

Another time you’ll find it beneficial to transfer your website is when you come across better pricing on web hosting. If you purchased your hosting a while back and haven’t done any comparison shopping recently, then you may be in for a pleasant surprise. Newer hosting technologies like Cloud Hosting Servers and Virtual Private Servers have brought powerful hosting packages down at price in recent months.

In order to see if you should transfer your website to save money on your hosting bill simply check out some of the leading web hosts to see what kind of plans they’re offering. Look for hosts that optimize to your chosen CMS or website platform to gain an increasingly-needed edge in SEO and keep your required specifications in mind.

Many hosts offer a discounted rate for new customers, which can last up to a year. There are also discounts available for switching to an annual billing cycle at most web hosting companies. If your current plan involves monthly billing then you can almost certainly save money by transferring your website to a new host.

Changing Ownership of a Website

Another reason websites are transferred is due to changes in ownership or management. You will often be required to transfer a website from the seller’s hosting account if you buy a turnkey website or have it build by a third-party. The buyer and seller will need to work together in most cases, as hosts and registrars tend to lock ownership of websites for security purposes.

Many registrars provide a transfer key to smooth the process out and make the transfer more secure. Request the transfer key for any website you’re purchasing or moving to a hosting account that you administrate. If you’re building a website to resell you will find yourself on the other end of this arrangement. Be mindful of the buyer’s transfer dates and have the key ready once the sale is complete. Ensure that the transfer is complete and that the buyer has placed their own name in the DNS records of the website to protect yourself from potential liabilities.

If you find that any of these scenarios apply to your website then you’re in need of a hosting transfer. Gather your registrar and name server data from the old and new host to ensure that the process is easy and error-free. Inspect the new hosting plan and do some comparison shopping to make sure you’re getting the best price and sufficient space and bandwidth.