Categories
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.).

Categories
Lifestyle

The Best Way to Set Up Your Shop Shelving to Drive Sales

Store shelving and fixtures can make or break your business, quite literally. If you’ve ever walked into a poorly designed store that is more stressful than enjoyable, you know exactly what this is like. Some people will turn around and walk right back out of a store that doesn’t have a good layout or that doesn’t use their shelving well. Others may tolerate the space, but might not stay long or buy as much because they can’t access merchandise easily.

shop shelving
Image credit: pixabay

If you want to guarantee better sales and give your shop a better flow, you need to make sure that your shop shelving is on point. It needs to have a lot of different elements involved, but the biggest factor is the flow that it creates (or should create) within your space. “Flow” is a term that is very important in the retail environment. All of the best stores have a clearly defined path, from the point of entry around the store and then to the cash wrap and back out the door. This is the standard operating procedure. If you don’t already have a solid flow in place for your traffic, create that first, and then you will be able to fit your shop fixtures and shelving around that space.

Another way to boost sales with shelving and displays is to make sure that things are angled correctly and in the best light possible. People need to see your merchandise and it’s even better if it catches their eye from across the room. Look for dark corners, shadows, and other items that could impact the way your shelving and merchandise look to customers and eliminate them wherever you can.

Make things easy to get to. Keep pricing information clear, organise items by size, and ensure that your store is accessible and easy to shop. People should be able to walk through and experience all of your merchandise from start to finish, with little effort involved on their part. Put the smaller “impulse”, or less expensive items, near the cash register, customer line, and in other points throughout the store where they will get attention. This is a great way to drive add-on sales and get more units per transaction.

Perhaps the best tip for increasing sales with shop shelving and displays is to keep things within reach. High shelves are fine for displays or additional inventory, but customers should not have to “ask for assistance” to reach items while they are shopping. Consider asking friends and family for advice in setting up your shop, or even taking advice from your employees. Anyone will tell you what a shopper would want. That’s really what it’s all about, after all—giving the customer what they want.

Shop shelving, including fixtures, racks, and non-traditional shelves and displays, are constantly changing and evolving. That makes it easy to keep your store fresh and use the best tools to get your merchandise noticed and increase your day-to-day sales for the long run.

Categories
Cars

5 Pros and Cons of Upgrading to a Performance Car Clutch

When you are driving a performance vehicle, you want to make sure that it’s operating at peak performance. This means making sure that you have all the best parts and in the world of torque, that often comes down to the clutch. Although several elements can be upgraded for performance, the clutch is an integral part of the system. Factory car clutches don’t offer as much as aftermarket parts, but a lot of people are still on the fence.

After all, while upgrading can be great, you can also upgrade too much, and then you will get poor performance because you have too much power and the car doesn’t know what to do with it. Here are some big pros and cons of upgrading your vehicle to a performance clutch system.

How does a Car Clutch Effect Performance

how does a car clutch effect performance
Image by wikimedia

More Power

The whole point of performance car clutches is to help provide more power and torque to the engine. This will give you better handling, higher speeds, and other performance perks. It’s all about making a statement and whether you’re racing or just enjoying some off-road fun, your aftermarket clutch can guarantee that you’re doing it with the most power for the best performance every time.

More Control

A performance clutch kit will give you a lot more control than a standard factory clutch or automatic transmission. You’ll be able to better control speed and horsepower and get better handling on the road at all speeds. Plus, there will be less slipping and fewer risks of dropping the clutch entirely, giving you more peace of mind.

Added Value

An aftermarket clutch could provide added value for your vehicle. Some models are better when they are upgraded, and if you’re looking to sell or just have a more valuable asset, this is something to think about. Consider a performance clutch an investment, not just an upgrade.

More Expensive

While upgrading to an aftermarket clutch offers better performance, power, and control, it may also be a more expensive choice for those who are doing so. Be sure to shop around and compare your options because you really don’t have to spend more than you can afford, and there’s still a lot of selection available.

May Affect Warranties

If you are driving a vehicle with any kind of warranty, check on the regulations regarding parts upgrades. The last thing that you want to do is upgrade for performance and lose the peace of mind that comes with the warranty that your vehicle has. It isn’t always going to be an issue, but it may come up so it’s worth noting.

Categories
Tech

What to Consider When Buying a New Laptop

It is a gadget for both work and play, and one that you hope will last you a good few years without any trouble – never mind the fact that it is also a significant investment from a financial perspective. The question is, what factors should you be looking into when thinking about purchasing a new laptop to ensure that you make the right decision?

Here are some useful guidelines to keep in mind.

The price

Obviously, how much you pay for it is going to be one of the most important considerations. The reality is that when buying a new laptop, you often get exactly what you pay for. As such, if you opt for the cheapest model available on the market, you can be almost certain that you will be lumbered with poor performance and sub-par specs.

The good news is that you do not have to spend a fortune to get a good quality device, either. A clever way in which to save money on a new computer or laptop is to go in search of coupons and discount codes online. For example, if you visit Savoo.co.uk, you will be sure to find a Samsung discount code that will shave a decent amount off of some of the most popular laptops’ sale prices – plus one for free delivery too!

Portability

Many people will carry their laptops with them from home to work and back again daily. Therefore, how much the machine weighs and how large it is can make a dramatic difference. According to Laptop Magazine, 12.5 to 14-inch screens with a weight of anything between 2,2 – 3,5 lbs are the ideal choice for individuals on the move. Also, if you tend to work away from home or the office at coffee shops and the like, you should look into the battery life of the laptop on which you currently have your eye. Anything less than eight hours’ worth just isn’t going to get the job done.

Features

Think carefully about what you plan to use your new laptop for, as this will play a huge role in influencing the specs and features that you will require to ensure 100% satisfaction with your purchase. For instance, if you intend to use the device predominantly for gaming, the most vital aspects will include the graphics card, core processor, and RAM. If you are going to be using it for work-related tasks, battery life, ergonomics, and touchscreen functionality will often prove to be more important.

Warranty

Warranty varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Obviously, the longer the warranty, the better your peace of mind. Always do your best to familiarise yourself with the fine print regarding this, however, as most warranties only cover you against issues such as manufacturing defects. If you accidentally spill your tea over the keyboard or drop your laptop during your commute, you will have to pay to fix the damages or to have your device replaced. This is why it can also be a good idea to invest in gadget insurance.

Now that you know what to look out for when on the market for a brand-new laptop, you will be a lot more likely to find your perfect match.

Categories
Finance

How to Get Help With Your Auto Loan During COVID-19

Auto Loan During Covid-19It seems like just a few weeks ago the world was a very different place. In fact, COVID-19 has been circulating the world now for nearly 10 months. There is little doubt many people’s lives have changed dramatically. Despite efforts by the government the unemployment rate is rising slowly.

But, even those lucky enough to still have jobs may have found their hours and earnings have been reduced.

That means if you have an auto loan or any other type of finance, you’ll be worrying about how to afford the loan repayment during the current pandemic.

Fortunately, there are things that can be done to help!

Check Your Finances

The first thing you should do is to check your finances and eliminate unnecessary expenditures. This may mean cutting the cable bill or looking for cheap car insurance. Every saving can help you to have more funds available for your auto loan.

Do a new budget and you may be surprised, you may be better off than you think.

Contact Your Lender

Whether you’ve got a personal loan or specific car finance, the next thing you need to do is contact your lender and tell them you’re having financial difficulties due to COVID-19.

Your lender may be much more sympathetic than you think. In fact, many auto loan providers are extending the payment periods, effectively reducing monthly payments but extending the term of the loan.

Others are freezing interest, waiving overdue fees, or creating personalized flexible payment arrangements. In some cases, if you’re in the right financial position, they will accept a smaller one-off amount to settle the loan, making the vehicle yours and reducing the stress of having to find the payment every month.

COVID Scheme

Many lenders are signed up to the COVID-19 deferral scheme. This means your payments will be deferred until you can afford them again. It allows you to keep the vehicle without damaging your credit and settle the balance in the future.

Sell The Car

It’s not necessarily a great market to sell a vehicle. But, if you have a personal auto loan that is not secured on the vehicle you will be within your rights to sell the car. You can then use the proceeds to settle your outstanding loan and hopefully purchase a cheap car, eliminating the issue for now.

It is important you verify that you are legally allowed to sell the car first!

The Takeaway

It’s impossible to say what your auto loan provider will do as everyone’s situation is different. However, most lenders are being very supportive during this difficult time and will work with you to find a suitable solution.

In short, your first step needs to be establishing your finances to confirm what you have available. Then, talk to your auto loan provider and prepare to be surprised.

Of course, loan deferrals and reduced payments still mean you have to pay the full amount of the loan. You may even need to pay more interest. It’s important to consider this when making your final decision regarding the best route for you.

Categories
Marketing

4 Digital Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses

Digital marketing encompasses a broad range of digital, innovative solutions to deliver your message to your intended audience. These tactics involve the utilization of digital media, such as social media networks, digital display, and digital devices, in sales and marketing.

You can become a successful entrepreneur by knowing the best marketing strategies and how to implement them so you can attain your business goals. Below are some examples of digital marketing strategies that can help your business.

digital marketing strategies

1. SEO Marketing

Digital marketing, including SEO marketing, is an effective approach to growing your customer base. It uses the power of the online world to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website. Whether you have a startup online business or any type of small business, don’t miss the benefits of focusing on your SEO efforts. Digital marketing experts, such as Caffeine Marketing Cardiff, can help you in this regard.

Check out the following reasons why you should include SEO in your digital marketing:

  • Allows you to create valuable web content that can easily be seen by your visitors.
  • Maximizes your website creation efforts by ensuring that it reaches your target audience’s screens.
  • Helps you connect with more potential customers and convert them into actively engaged, paying customers.

2. Video Marketing

According to a 2016 report, 64 percent of digital marketers considered video marketing as a major aspect of business marketing strategy, and video traffic was projected to increase to 80 percent by 2019. Truly enough, when coronavirus was discovered in 2019, the demand for video marketing has been drastically increasing until now.

Regardless if you have a small budget to produce your own custom videos for your business or hire a third-party contractor, it’s smart to invest in video marketing. Videos can be uploaded on your website and shared on your social media networks, as well as used as your sales and marketing presentation.

best marketing strategies

3. Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is a crucial aspect of any business, helping it thrive because of linkages, connections, and partnerships. Just imagine your business being referred to different businesses and customers because of effective digital marketing exposure. Aside from Facebook, you can utilize rising platforms, like Pinterest, as brand portals, which are also useful for sales and marketing strategies.

Also, LinkedIn is one of the most effective and reliable corporate social networks. It has become the best foundation for professional service businesses’ digital marketing efforts, as well as of business-to-business or B2B businesses. Unlike portfolio sites that favor creative portfolios in some degree, LinkedIn allows business owners from any industry to post company profile and work history. It’s the best place for employees and employers to meet, which is a great opportunity for any business.

4. Graphic Design For Content Marketing And Other Marketing Tools

Well-written content, coupled with a strong visual design, positively impacts how your customers interact with your business. Clearly communicated, functional, and professional design will bring more customers to your business. Also, it will help you create a reputable brand, leading to direct referral and brand loyalty.

A successful retail business has a strong visual language. It’s attained through graphic design, which is essential for businesses to thrive despite the tight competition. Graphic design is considered an indispensable tool that can accurately and beautifully communicate your message.

Hiring a professional graphic design team is a more cost-effective solution than implementing critical graphic design elements on your own.

Here are some graphic design strategies for digital marketing:

  • Digital graphics have display screens that you can use to change images, product videos, and your business logo. Send a strong message, but remember to avoid overwhelming people by having a lot of things going on in the screen.
  • Integrating QR codes with your printed graphics, like flyers and pamphlets, is a good idea. QR codes are barcode-style images that visitors can use and scan using their smartphones.
  • Avoid using a lot of photographs or static images around your booth. Spark the interest of interested buyers by placing the detailed pictures on your product catalog or flyers. It’s good to add specific measurements or dimensions on your flyers. Also, list the features and benefits to educate shoppers and promote smart shopping.
  • Limit using bright colors to avoid confusion and the “busy” feel.
  • Booth design graphics should have 40 percent of empty or blank space so as not to clutter your booth.

Conclusion

Small businesses can greatly benefit from digital marketing strategies, such as social media marketing and video marketing. Also, prioritizing your SEO can help your website rank because it can increase your brand awareness and audience reach. Aside from these digital marketing strategies, good graphic design can make your products and services stand out for your business to thrive and remain competitive.