Businesses have to be extra alert to the variety of ways hackers can break into sensitive online data. This is increasingly necessary since customer data protection is a prime factor in business reputation management and customer confidence.

According to available statistics, small businesses are targeted in 50% of all cyber-attacks. This could be as a result of inadequate security measures which are uncommon in big businesses.

So what can be done to help improve your cyber security and protect your online privacy? It is as simple as establishing strong security protocols and habits, and making sure that these measures are strictly adhered to by all personnel.

  1. Ensure that all employees make use of a strong password: every employee must make use of a complex password that would be very difficult to decipher. The passwords should be a combination of alphanumeric characters, with a mix of lower and upper case letters, and punctuation marks. They should be at least eight characters long and must not match any existing personal passwords. It is also important to change the passwords regularly. By having a strict password policy, your business will be more likely to evade an attack.
  2. Back-up all sensitive files: there are cases where malicious parties hack into online data and remove or lock up files so that they cannot be accessed until the business pays a ransom. This is what is known as ransomware attack. By keeping a secure offline backup of all files, ransoming can be rendered ineffective to a reasonable extent. Regular back-up of all files on a remote server or hard drives is one security discipline that must be observed. Some independent cloud organizations, such as Iomart, also offer innovative solutions and disaster recovery services.
  3. Invest in strong anti-malware software: malware is any piece of software that is written with the sole purpose of doing harm to data, devices, or establishments. There are various forms of malware which include Trojans, viruses, ransomware, and spyware. Some malware are designed to feed on sensitive data so as to defraud the business or its customers. Obtaining a reliable anti-malware is not something to take lightly. Cost does not matter here as trying to save costs would be a typical case of false economy. See to it that all external hard drives, systems, and USB devices are fully scanned.
  4. Staff training: Cyber-security is the responsibility of every staff member. For instance, phishing is a form of malware attack which any employee can fall victim to. Fake emails, text messages, or even phone calls from malicious agents that seem genuine can lead to the release of sensitive files, which can be used to hurt the business or its customers. It is therefore important to continuously train staff on cyber-security, especially those who have admin clearance and who handle sensitive data. Also keep in mind that not every member of the business team should be given full access to certain data. This would help to maintain accountability. Access to certain databases, software applications, etc. should be restricted to only those employees who are responsible for them.

In less than 15 years from now, retail as we know it, might no longer exist. The traditional brick and mortar stores where customers walk down the aisles picking out their goods will be the exception rather than the norm. With advances in technology and especially with the advent of online retailing, sites like Amazon have risen to fifth place in sales ranking, gradually displacing the conventional retail shops.

A recent article from Forbes magazine demonstrated that last year’s sales from physical retail outlets in the UK accounted for 91% of total revenue and there has been a growth of over 50% in the number of physical retail outlets. However, the undeniable evidence before us shows that online retailing is rapidly gaining the ground to eclipse the number of sales that are seen from physical retailers.

As of today, retail remains the single largest private sector employer in the UK, accounting for more than 1 in 10 people in the workforce. However with the advent of E-commerce, a major downsizing is going on in the traditional retail outlet and stores and retail giants such as Toys ‘R Us, have fallen under this onslaught. Surprisingly as these old giants fall, newer retail outlets are springing up to take their place.

Some would argue that the reason retail stores as we know them now may still be in existence years to come, is the customer experience and physical interaction they offer which cannot be found online. In actual fact, most of these newer outlets are combining physical shopping experiences with online shopping in a bid to keep up with current trends.

The phrase the customer is king has never been more apt as now, as newer technological trends such as AI are being used to monitor customer experience in both online and physical stores. For example, it can be used to find out which sections and products in a store customers naturally gravitate towards, with the intent to prioritize the stocking of these areas more popular goods and services.

Experts predict that the retail stores of the future will not be outlets for the displaying of physical goods for purchase, but media for advertisement and social interaction. Here, customers can go to immerse themselves in brand experiences and brands can gain useful insights from customer engagement. We’ve already seen Apple take big strides with implementing this concept.

The implementation of technology would lead to less physical purchasing of goods and instead offer customers the experience of immersion in virtual reality shopping. This might take the form of enabling them a variety of experiences from the comfort of their homes as good as or better than what they would have if they were shopping in a physical store.

In this era of digital revolution and technological advancement, the key to remaining relevant in the retail business is Innovation. Even with the proliferation of shop and retail insurance packages and other cushions targeted at ensuring that conventional retail businesses don‘t have to worry about failure, innovation is still vital. The intergration of technology and innovation into your existing business model is vital for survival.

Cars are no longer simply vehicles which take us from point A to point B and much like everything else in the world, they have been heavily influenced by the incredible modern technology which have at our fingertips. Whilst many newer cars do come with a wide range of in-car tech which help us to drive safer and be more entertained whilst driving, there are still a great many gadgets on the market which you can find to really enhance your driving experience. If you want to give your car an injection of tech, here are some of the coolest products out there.

Bestek Jump Starter

Jumper cables have been the savior of many a motorist over the years, but they do have a certain downside… you will need two cars for them to work. This of course is not so handy when you are in the back-of-beyond without another car in sight, this is why the Bestek jump starter makes for the perfect solution. This self-powered device can be charged up and used whenever necessary to boost your engine, it features 2 USB ports to charge devices, and a flashlight to help you see what you are doing.

Ztylus Stinger

Nobody wants to contemplate having a car accident, but as they say, being prepared is half the victory. This handy device is designed to smash windows should you find yourself trapped inside after a collision. This gadget simply needs to be applied to the glass, and then upon pushing a button it will send a short, sharp blast of power to the tip, shattering the window and freeing you. The product also features a retractable blade to cut through the seatbelt, a true lifesaver.

Fobo Tire Plus

Deflated tires will ensure that the tires degrade faster, that you use a lot more gas, and that your turning and braking abilities will be significantly lowered. To avoid this, use the Fobo Tire Plus, a small air gauge, which regularly monitors the levels in the tires. The gadget connects to your phone via bluetooth and will regularly update you when you need to refill.

 

Handpresso

Sometimes gadgets are just for the fun of it and this is why we love the Handspresso, a coffee maker which is designed for in-car use. Rushing out the house often means we miss our morning cup of Joe, but not anymore. Simply add an ESE coffee pod or throw in your own grind, plug the handy piece into the cigarette lighter and let the coffee brew as you make your way to work, completely unnecessary, but very cool.

Garmin Head Up Display

Garmin make so many great pics of car tech and our favorite is this head up display, which simply makes driving easier. Instead of peeking below the wheel to see how fast you are going or how much gas you have, you can simply avert your gaze slightly and see it in digital display on the windscreen. Most cars are designed well in the regard, until you change the seating position however, then it can cause a problem. The Garmin unit is sleek and not noticeable on the dash whilst the digital projection can be seen day and night, with absolute clarity.

What are your favorite pieces of car tech? Have we missed any out? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.