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Author: Will Chatham

Will Chatham is the Security Assessment Engineer for Arbor Networks. Since Netscape 2.0, he has worked in a wide array of environments including non-profit, corporate, small business, and government. He started as a web developer, moved into Linux system administration, and ultimately found his place as a security professional. Having most recently conquered the OSCP certification, Will continues to hack his way into various things in an effort to make them more secure.

4 Things To Do When Starting An E-Commerce Business

1. Choose A Niche

The first thing you need to do when starting an e-commerce business is to choose a niche. What are you going to sell? There are many things you can sell online, so choosing a niche you are passionate about is important. This way, you will be more likely to stick with it and be successful.

Some things to consider when choosing a niche:

– What are you passionate about?

– What do you know a lot about?

– What is in demand?

– What can you provide that is unique?

Understanding your niche will help you determine what products to sell, your target market, and how to reach them.

2. Choose A Platform

Before you build your e-commerce website, you need to choose which platform you will use. There are a few different options out there, but some of the most popular include Shopify and Magento. Each one has its own pros and cons, so it’s important to do your research and choose the one that’s right for you and your business. Your platform will determine your website’s overall look and feel, how easy it is to use and add products, and what kinds of features you’ll have access to.

3. Choose An IT Service Provider

If you’re unfamiliar with the technical aspects of setting up and running an online store, it’s important to choose an IT service provider who can take care of all of that for you. There are many options, so take your time to find one that’s a good fit for your business. Choosing an IT service provider is an important step in setting up your e-commerce business. Be sure to ask for recommendations and read reviews online before making your final decision. The right IT service provider will be a valuable asset to your business, so it’s worth taking the time to find one that’s a good fit for your needs.

4. Choose The Right Shopping Cart

Your shopping cart is the engine of your e-commerce website, so it’s important to choose one that best fits your needs. There are a lot of different carts out there, so do your research and pick the one that has the features you need and is easy to use.

Some things to consider when choosing a shopping cart:

– Do you need it to be hosted, or can it be self-hosted?

– What kind of payment methods do you need it to support?

– How easy is it to use and set up?

– Does it have the needed features, such as inventory management, shipping integration, etc.?

Once you’ve chosen your shopping cart, it’s time to set it up. This can be a bit technical, so if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, there are plenty of e-commerce experts who can help you get started.

These are the top four things you need to do when starting your e-commerce business. Starting an e-commerce business is a great way to enter the world of online business.

Smart Home, Not So Smart Idea?

The purpose of everything going ‘smart’ is to make your life easier. To allow you to control a whole host of devices and appliances from your trusty smartphone. You could run the world from your smartphone and what a world that would be. That said, there are some pitfalls to connecting your home and making it ‘smart’ and this article will explore the potential risks of digitizing your life for ease and convenience.

What is a smart home?  

Firstly to ensure you are on the same page it is important to understand what is meant by a smart home. The terminology essentially means that your home has a system that will connect your appliances to undertake tasks and a specific time. This system is usually remotely controlled via your smartphone or device. 

An example of this could be your home’s heating system. A smart heating system will be connected to the internet and controlled via an app on your phone. From your phone, you will be able to control the functions of your heating system, such as setting the temperature, the time it is activated, and the duration of activation. 

Smart devices in your home 

If you take a look around, chances are you are connected to more smart devices than you think. The watch on your wrist, is that smart? Do you use Alexa or Google Home? What about your children’s toys? they can even be controlled by your phone over WiFi. The smarter your home becomes the greater the cybersecurity threat. Here is a list of some unsuspecting devices that could, unknowingly, be putting you and your home at risk. 

Smart TVs

Your smart TV can be hacked and used for spying or moving malware to other connected devices. This can result in some mostly harmful but annoying interference such as channel changing or remotely controlling your TV to more serious offenses such as gleaning payment information, personal data or spying on your household via a TV camera. 

Baby monitors

Smart baby monitors are a wonderful invention for parents as they allow you to monitor your baby’s movements remotely. However, hackers can gain access to smart baby monitors and use them to communicate to people in the home or trigger connected alarm systems.

Security systems

Smart security systems can also be hacked and the entire system can be taken over by ill-intending users, putting your home at risk. 

Smartphones

Your smartphone itself may not be as secure as you think it is and if a hacker has gained access to your smartphone the potential damage they could cause or information they could appropriate could be catastrophic. 

Smart cars.

With all of the technology used by cars today, it has never been easier to gain access to a car. You no longer need to break a window and hotwire a motor to get it moving. Hackers can use sophisticated software to not only gain access to your car without a key but to get it moving also. 

How to protect yourself and your devices

Let’s face it you’re not going to go without your smart devices, they are too useful and provide too many benefits. But there are steps you can take to limit our risk exposure, and here are some of the best; 

  • Register your device or sign up to the manufacturer’s mailing list. Should there be any security breaches or essentially upgrades to keep your device safe you will be the first to know about it. 
  • Change your phone’s IP address. Although smartphones are thought to be so smart they are not as vulnerable to attack as other devices they certainly are not failsafe. As mentioned the repercussions of your smartphone being hacked can be grave. If you have privacy concerns or are mindful of cybersecurity threats then you can consider changing your IP address on your phone, making it almost impossible for hackers to gain access, here is how to change IP address on iPhone
  • Install any updates or security patches as soon as they are released. Security patches will have been released in response to a security weakness or loophole so take swift action. Software that isn’t updated is much more vulnerable to attack. 
  • Never keep the manufacturer’s default password. Always use your own and ensure that it is a ‘strong’ password. Always use a passcode on your smartphone and watch. 
  • Downloads and apps should only be done from official stores or trusted sites. 
  • Do not click on unrecognizable links.
  • Install a firewall and antivirus software.

3 Refreshing Tips For Digital Nomads

Since the pandemic came and… stubbornly persisted, we’ve seen the rise of people who value more convenience in their work. Working from home, a local cafe, or even a bar can provide people with a sense of renewed focus mixed with a little personal leisure and convenience where appropriate. Thanks to a majority of serviced work being performed online these days, it seems that many jobs have at least some online component to think of.

As such “digital nomad-ism” has become a much more popular day-to-day and feasible working condition than expected. Some people regard it as a movement, for some, it’s just time they get away from the office. But if you’re on your travels while working, well, you have to come up with your own style of getting things done. Some people wake up in a hotel, will work solidly for six hours, and then enjoy the rest of their afternoon evenings. Some people party all day and work from their laptop all night.

If you feel that the digital nomad lifestyle is for you, then it’s important to consider some advice that actually owes its wisdom to skilled and proactive travellers. Without further ado, then, please consider the following advice:

Use & VPN/Secure Your Accounts

A VPN, known as a virtual private network, is software that encrypts your internet requests so that if your traffic is intercepted, it cannot be read. This can also encrypt it from your internet provider. This is important because when you’re traveling, it’s likely that you’ll connect to a range of public WiFi connections, from hotels to bars to libraries. Those with the technical skills may be able to read unsecured data and use it to steal your information or access your financial details. A cheap but paid-for subscription service is best. This will ensure your traffic stays as secure as possible, and saves you from potential fraud.

Alternate Your Travel Methods

Like anything in life, if you do something constantly and routinely, it may lose its vitality. This is why we don’t eat the same meal three times a day, and why even fun things, like riding roller coasters, can get old within a certain period of time. The same goes for hopping from place to place as a digital nomad. 

The best thing to do is to alternate your travel methods if you hope to make digital nomad-ism fun. Long-haul trains through certain countries, flights, hikes, and even boats with boat storage options can be exciting, and you’ll find more info here. Try hostels, hotels, AirBnB apartments, or stay with friends. Switch things up a little. It will help your lifestyle remain as vibrant as possible; and you’ll also be able to pursue many financial deals here, too.

Use Safety Apps

Safety is essential when you’re a digital nomad. When you travel so quick and so far, some may not know where you are. This is why it’s helpful to use apps that transmit your location to your loved ones, or set reminders for you to tell them. Alternatively, you can use apps like What3Words which actually provide exact accurate locations for where you are in the world based on a three-word grid system. This means you can easily show where you are to those you trust no matter what plans you’ve made that day. Safety is priceless.

With this advice, we hope you can nomad-it-up with enhanced security, fun and safety.

Is 1080P or 4K Best For Gaming?

With the recent price drop of 4k gaming monitors, you may be thinking it’s time for an upgrade. However, aside from the price difference between a 4k monitor and a traditional monitor, there are other considerations to think about before taking the leap.

Which Gives the Best Gaming Experience?

Since the launch of the 4k gaming monitor almost 10 years ago, big companies such as Microsoft and Sony decided to make their consoles 4K ready, predicting this to be the new trend in the gaming world. The problem at the time was the cost, so 4K gaming was a little slower to get off the ground than anticipated.

Since then, however, more and more manufacturers have utilized the technology in their monitors, and with more competition comes the battle for the best pricing. This has seen 4k gaming monitors significantly drop in price in recent years, so while 4k is still generally more expensive than a 1080P monitor, it isn’t going to break the bank like it once did.

The 4k monitor is essentially 4 times the number of on screen pixels as the 1080P, but do remember that 1080P is still widely used and still considered high definition (just not as high definition as the 4k monitor). With this in mind, the 4k monitor is going to give a sharper, more life like image, but the amount you will actually notice this is really going to depend on other aspects such as your screen size.

Most 1080P monitors perform best up to around 27inches, anything larger than that and the pixel density can start to become poor. 4K monitors on the other hand will outshine the 1080P at a screen size larger than 27 inches, and this is when they really come into their own and you will notice the undeniable quality of the graphics allowing you to truly immerse yourself in the game.

Bad Points of 4K Monitors

There are some drawbacks of 4k monitors, the main one being that they take some power to run seamlessly, so if your gaming PC isn’t high enough spec, you could well end up with a poor gaming experience including games performing slowly or black lines appearing. With this in mind, you should only consider 4k if you have a pretty high end gaming PC. Speak to an advisor about whether or not your current system will handle a 4k monitor prior to purchase.

Another consideration is that not all games are even compatible with 4k, so if you play a lot of older games, you may well be best off sticking with 1080P.

Summary

1080P is going to give you a good gaming experience with very few issues, but it is missing that magical spark that 4k gaming gives you. If you have the processing power to back it up, and room for a larger monitor (as well as a few extra dollars to spend) then 4k could be a great option for you, but if not, 1080P is still a very viable purchase for 2022.

5 Reasons Why Companies Need To Utilize Technology In 2022

In the world of business, technology is always evolving. If you don’t keep up, you’ll be left behind. That’s why it’s important for companies to start utilizing technology in 2022. Here are five reasons why:

1) Increased Efficiency

Technology can help companies become more efficient in their operations. By automating tasks and using data analytics, businesses can save time and resources. Increased efficiency can lead to higher profits and a competitive edge over the competition. Time is money, and by ensuring that your efficiency levels are at their peak, your company will reap the benefits.

2) Improved Communication

In today’s workplace, teams are often spread out across the globe. This can make communication difficult and lead to misunderstandings. With the help of technology, employees can easily connect with each other no matter where they are. There are a number of ways to improve communication in the workplace, such as using video conferencing tools, instant messaging, and project management software. By utilizing these tools, companies can ensure that everyone is on the same page and that communication is clear.

3) Greater Productivity

Technology has the ability to streamline processes and make them more efficient. When employees have access to the tools they need to do their jobs quickly and easily, they can get more done in less time. This increased productivity can lead to better results for your company as a whole. Processes can also be put in place by a Tech Consulting firm to ensure that tasks are automated and less time is wasted on manual processes. Productivity can also be increased when employees are able to work remotely. With the right technology in place, employees can access the tools and information they need from anywhere. This flexibility can lead to a more productive workforce as well as happier employees.

4) Enhanced Security

In the age of digitalization, data breaches are becoming more and more common. In order to protect their customer’s information, companies need to start utilizing technology to enhance their security measures. By doing so, they can minimize the chances of a data breach occurring and safeguard their reputation. One way in which companies can enhance their security is by investing in a data backup and recovery solution. This way, if their primary system fails, they will still have access to their data. Additionally, they should also consider implementing encryption measures to protect sensitive information.

5) Cost Savings

Technology can help businesses save money in a number of ways, for example, by automating tasks that would otherwise need to be carried out manually or by reducing the amount of energy required to run a particular process. In some cases, investing in new technology can even help companies avoid the cost of future regulatory compliance. In short, there are plenty of reasons why utilizing technology can help your business save money, and that’s something that any smart company should be looking to do in the current economic climate.

If you’re not already utilizing technology in your business, then now is the time to start thinking about how it could benefit you.

4 Ways to Make Your Website Reach its Full Potential

There are a lot of things to consider when designing and building a website. First, you want to make sure that you create a site that is effective and reaches its full potential. This blog post will discuss some ways to do just that and cover topics such as web design, search engine optimization, and user experience. By following these tips, you can create a website that is successful and meets the needs of your business!

Make sure your website is designed for your target audience

One of the most critical aspects of creating an effective website is making sure that it is designed for your target audience. First, think about who you want to reach with your site and what kind of information they are looking for. Then, design your site accordingly. Include content that is relevant to your audience and make it easy for them to find what they need.

If you’re not sure who your target audience is, consider conducting market research. This will give you insights into who your customers are and what they want from a website. Once you know this information, you can create a site that appeals to them and meets their needs.

Additionally, keep in mind that your target audience may change over time. As your business grows, you may find that you want to reach new people with your website. Be sure to periodically review your target audience and make sure that your site is still meeting their needs.

Use search engine optimization to make your site more visible

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a process that can be used to improve the visibility of your website in search engines. When people use search engines to find information on the internet, they typically type in keywords or phrases. Therefore, if your site appears in the results for these searches, it is more likely to get traffic from these users.

To improve your search engine optimization, you can use keyword research to determine which keywords and phrases are most relevant to your business. Then, include these keywords throughout your website content and in other places such as the title and meta tags. Additionally, you can create backlinks to your website from other websites. This helps show search engines that your site is popular and relevant, which can improve your ranking.

Make sure your site is easy to use

Another important aspect of creating an effective website is making sure that it is easy to use. Users should be able to navigate your site easily and find the information they are looking for without any difficulty. If your site is difficult to use, people will likely leave and go to a competitor’s site instead.

There are a few things you can do to make sure your site is easy to use. First, keep your design simple and uncluttered. Second, make sure all of your content is well-organized and easy to find. Finally, test your site on different devices and browsers to make sure it works properly.

Focus on the user experience

In addition to making sure your site is easy to use, you should also focus on creating a positive user experience. This means that users should enjoy using your site and find it helpful and informative. There are a few things you can do to improve the user experience on your site.

First, make sure your content is high-quality and relevant to your audience. Second, design your site in a way that is visually appealing and easy to navigate. Finally, pay attention to the little details and make sure everything on your site works properly.

How to create unique and quality content

The first step is to come up with ideas for content that will be unique and interesting to your audience. Once you have a list of potential topics, do some research to make sure that the content you create is truly unique. This can be done by looking for information that is not already widely available or by taking an original angle on a popular topic.

Once you have created your content, it’s essential to proofread it and make sure there are no errors. You also want to ensure that your content is well-written and engaging. If necessary, hire a professional editor or copywriter to help you polish your work. Creating quality content takes time and effort, but it’s worth it if you want to create a successful website.

By following these tips, you can create a website that is both effective and easy to use. This will give your business the best chance to succeed online!