Will Chatham is a Cyber Security Analyst, Ethical Hacker, and Penetration Tester at a federal data center in Asheville, NC. Since Netscape 2.0, he has worked in a wide array of environments including non-profit, corporate, small business, and government. His varied background, from developer to search engine optimizer to security professional, has helped him build a wide range of skills that help those with whom he works and teaches.

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About Will Chatham

Will Chatham is a Cyber Security Analyst, Ethical Hacker, and Penetration Tester at a federal data center in Asheville, NC. Since Netscape 2.0, he has worked in a wide array of environments including non-profit, corporate, small business, and government. His varied background, from developer to search engine optimizer to security professional, has helped him build a wide range of skills that help those with whom he works and teaches.

Vital Employee Issues You Seriously Can’t Afford To Get Wrong

Running a business isn’t easy, and usually, it’s a crash course in humility and work ethic for any entrepreneur looking to expand their initial idea. Once the initial success has been hard won and the team starts to grow, your business considerations only serve to become more difficult, as opposed to easier. Despite having a team under you who you can now delegate tasks to, this is paid for not only with salaries but with the responsibilities that come from being a competent leader.

If you have never managed people before, this can be a daunting prospect. While money is the golden capital that moves every operation you have, it’s also true that the human resource of your firm is essential to the entire smooth running of your firm. An unmotivated, disenfranchised or simply ineffective employee might lack in effectiveness in many different ways, and all the results of these attitudes are compoundingly negative. For this reason, it’s important to help optimize the happiness and health of your employees.

Luckily, this article is here to help you focus on the ‘do nots’ so you can then focus on imbuing team with inspiration in your own personalized way.

Irregular Or Unreliable Shift Patterns

If your team must take on differing shifts during the week, or work overtime, you need to have laser precision when crafting a working schedule for your employees to follow. Let’s say that you run a busy inner-city restaurant. Putting a chef on too many ‘early morning opens’ followed by ‘late night closes’ drains them of their sleeping hours, and while chefs are known for working hard, you need to be respectful of their time.

Even regular workers can quickly become drained, demotivated and even spread that attitude among the staff if working too much overtime. Conversely, even the opposite is true. An employee feeling as though you are not meeting the hours listed in their contract will only cause them to look for work elsewhere, robbing you of precious talent. Using shift planning software can help you plan around the nuances of employee commitments and availability, while also giving them a regular, calculated and easily amendable shifts to trust and plan around.

Neglecting Workplace Drama

Employees can butt heads from time to time. It’s just part of working in a confined area with other people for upwards of fifty hours a week. There might be times where you want to apply a sharp tongue to one of your employees. It is never, never, never worth it. Workplace drama and in-fighting serves to create a horrible working atmosphere that can suffocate a firm from the inside. You must also consider your relationship with your employees, and do everything you socially can (within reason) to improve it.

A strong workplace policy with a zero bullying tolerance and also open door acceptance to anyone wishing to voice complaints to you anonymously MUST be implemented. However, you must also remember that in this case, it’s not your job to try and govern the proper behavior of your staff. You are paying them, and they are required to bring professionalism to the role because of that. Whatever you do, keep a sharp observing eye aimed towards any difficulties that arise. Neglecting them can quickly turn into a much bigger.

With these two tips, you’ll be avoiding the most commonly found mistakes employers make in the business world.

Educate Yourself To Ensure Your Online Business Doesn’t Crash

Technology has done amazing things for us all. In our personal lives, it’s increased our knowledge, and made sure we can communicate with anyone, at any time. And, the good news doesn’t stop there. Technology, namely the internet, has also done amazing things for businesses. Now, a small business has a huge reach the moment they start. All it takes is a website and a little online knowledge. In no time, you could have a decent customer base. Better, you can do so from anywhere. As such, small enterprises find it easier than ever to get going. Many would hail it as the best invention of all time.

But, the digital business world isn’t all plain sailing. It’s no surprise when you consider that the digital age is still young, as things go. And, constant developments mean that technology can be unreliable. But, what does this mean for business owners? Hopefully nothing. The chances of technological errors damaging business are small. When you compare them with the benefits, they’re infinitesimal. But, it would be naive to disregard the risks altogether. To save you dwelling on the issue, we’re going to look at the risks your digital business faces, and a few ways to avoid them.

Website Issues

Instead of physical stores, many companies now operate online only. Even supermarkets have been jumping on this band wagon, with the first customerless stores opening their doors. This saves money and, as stated above, makes it much easier for entrepreneurs to start up. But, basing your business online can have risks you wouldn’t find in a physical store.

In the past, except for a tragic fire or some other such unlikely event, your business space was a stable. Online, things aren’t so clear cut. Web host servers are far off being free from errors. So, it’s not beyond the realm of reason that your website could crash, or become unavailable. This could mean big issues if the error goes on for more than a few hours because you’ll have no way to sell anything.

How do you get around the issue? You do your research. You don’t need a computer degree to make online business work, but knowing the basics is important. Find out what to do if you’re suffering from an “Error establishing a database connection” problem on your blog. Know who to contact if your web server crashes. And, make sure you know how to get your online shop back up and running if things go wrong. Preparation is essential.

Leaked Information

It’s also important to acknowledge how security issues have changed since things moved online. In the past, security priorities focused on protecting products. CCTV and tagging devices were installed only to protect your goods. Online, your products themselves are the least of your worries. Instead, focus on the risk of hackers gaining customer information. In an online shop, people will need to enter their address, and card details. If hackers manage to get their hands on such information, you could take the blame. Not to mention that you’ll find it hard to get people to trust your company after a breach like that.

One way around this issue is to use a payment site like Paypal. This ensures customers don’t have to enter card details directly. It’s also important to invest in top quality antivirus equipment. That way, hackers will find it much harder to gain access to confidential information.

Lost Files

When all your business files are stored on a computer, there’s also the risk of losing everything. If your computer crashes or your files become corrupt, you’ll have no way to retrieve them. As such, this could set your business back in a major way.

The good news is, this is an easy issue to solve. The chances are you already take steps to protect your personal files. This is no different from a business standpoint. Backing files on a daily basis is crucial. And, with inventions such as Cloud computing, you don’t even have to do this manually. It may also be worth printing off hard copies of important files. It may seem somewhat old fashioned, but the more copies of your data you have, the better. This is especially important when it comes to accounting. You’ll need thorough proof of all payments in and out. Losing those could see you losing out in a big way. Not to mention that such losses would make it near enough impossible to keep on top of your accounts.

The Apple Mac: Is It Really Virus Free?

Irony laws in life usually dictate that if someone brags about how they never, ever get sick due to their indulgence in kale smoothies and before the dawn exercise pursuits, that they will eventually succumb to a serious case of the flu. This stuff happens, we all get ill and need to lie low for a week or so – it just cannot be helped, even if you’re super fit! Heck, chasing a keto diet will even enforce an illness on you! Keto flu. Things that brag about not failing end up failing. Failing is a part of life and it’s acceptable.

So, when a big selling point of the Apple Mac is that it’s less susceptible to viruses and the like – when it does come crashing down because of some bad browsing habits, it can come as a bit of a shock.

In short – a Mac, as in the Apple MacBook or iMac can get a virus. It will get infected. It will get exploited. It is vulnerable. The kicker? Not many people are developing malicious programs for Apple products simply because there are less of them. The rewards in exploiting Windows computers which make up the majority of computer usage worldwide are bigger – and easier. It’s harder to write a virus to take advantage of the Mac OSX, simply because it’s not as common as the Windows OS in computing. More people are hacking Windows, so there is more help available. As Macs become more popular, there will be more viruses. It’s just part and parcel of popularity.

Just because there’s a lower chance of a viral infection on a Mac doesn’t mean you’re safe. There are plenty of threats out there that could see your computer crippled and in need of some serious Mac repair, plug-in attacks, scams, hoaxes and a lot of other attacks can leave your computer vulnerable. Browsing habits can leave you exposed, just like on a Windows computer – and hey, if you give your bank info away in a phishing scam, the platform that you used to do so won’t matter much at all. You still need to work safely on an Apple Mac as you would do with anything.

A Mac will be safer, in general, than other computers – but this doesn’t mean you can be carefree. Viruses are out there for the Macs and you can still be a victim of fraud online. You cannot take liberties with the safety of your computer, even if it does pose itself as a ‘virus free’ option. No computer is going to be one-hundred percent secure, especially if the owner is an online risk taker.

What this means is that you need to be careful about your browsing online and to ensure that you equip your MacBook with anti-virus and browser security. Just because there’s less chance of something happening does not mean that will not happen at all! Protect your computer at all times, no matter what the logo is or what it claims to be!

The Technology You Need To Rocket Your Marketing To The Future

Marketing has always been about looking to the future. It may sometimes use themes from the past, but the way it’s presented has always been futuristic. Even if this has always been the case, we’re currently living in something of a golden age of futuristic marketing, with a whole host of technologies on hand to help a company get the competitive edge they need in a crowded market place. Aside from letting a business present themselves more accurately, the technologies outlined below also have the one thing that is indispensable when it comes to getting people interested: the wow factor.

Virtual Reality Headsets

Marketers have always tried to sell an idea to their potential customers through words and images; they’ve required their customers to meet them halfway, to take a leap of faith and use their imagination to complete the ideological connection. Now, with virtual reality, that task has got so much easier. Companies don’t have to conjure an image in their customer’s mind: they can simply show them, using a virtual reality handset. The potential of this technology is limitless. We’ve already seen massive companies like Coca-Cola and the New York Times using it, with fantastic results. It can be expensive, but for making an impact and bringing new customers on board, it’s unparalleled.

Promotional Materials

You don’t have to look very far to find a piece of marketing on social media and elsewhere online; you have to dig a lot deeper to find a promotional material that can really stand alone on its merit. To get organic social media traction, you need to produce something that nobody else has done before; you need to wow people. With a company like rotorview.com.au, you can create a drone video that will set your marketing campaign apart from the crowd. Drone technology is much more cost effective than hiring helicopters and cranes, and they offer unlimited creative possibilities.

All-Round Video

Video is already the most powerful tool in an online marketer’s arsenal. It drives a staggering amount of internet traffic, and it’s only going to get bigger in the years to come. In fact, some experts think that video may soon account for 80% of internet traffic. So needless to say, a good camera and a few good video ideas are necessary. But that’s only for the beginning. The big companies are more and more producing 360 videos, which allow the viewer to control what part of the video – which has captured everything – they see. It doesn’t lend itself to every type of video, of course, but those that can use will notice results – during an experiment conducted by Google, a 360 video had 46% more views than usual video.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence hasn’t quite hit the all-encompassing position it will one day hold, but it’s not too far off. Marketers can use AI to target ads, build content, and even price their products. Marketing and AI is a growing relationship, but one that will become more and more important in the years to come.

Computer Memory Problems: Helpful Advice You Don’t Want To Forget

You know how frustrating it is when you try and download a new computer program, and a warning sign appears informing you that you are low on memory. Your computer is also prone to crashing and slowing down at a snail’s pace when you overload the hard drive with too many files, from family photographs to the latest software packages. However, it is possible to expand your memory with physical and virtual options, and some simple technical know-how can save you a lot of trouble.

In this article, we will help you with your storage problems. By following this handy guide, you need never run out of memory again.

Use the cloud

The next time somebody tells you to get your head out of the cloud, ignore them!

Cloud technology is great for business and personal users and offers a near infinite solution to storing your data. Furthermore, using the cloud will also keep your files safe. Computers are prone to crashing, and most of us have lost personal information at the click of a button. However, the cloud offers a virtual storage option, so you don’t need to worry about losing or damaging your computer hardware. Your files can be accessed from all your mobile devices, so you don’t need to be near your computer to see them.

Physical storage

Many people buy an external hard-drive that can plug straight into the USB port. They are small and portable, and can easily be carried around when you need to use other devices. However, the data storage is quite small, and you will continually need to delete old files to make way for new ones. They are better used as a backup option, so store your most important files onto a memory stick, to reduce your headache when your computer hardware fails.

For larger storage, you should buy a new internal hard-drive for your computer. Most people opt for a hard-disk drive, but another viable option is an industrial SlimSata solid state drive that is more robust and uses less power consumption.

Free up storage space

Quite often, you can add more storage to your computer by freeing up your storage space. There are bound to be files on your computer that you don’t need anymore, so get rid of them to free up memory. We all need to declutter our lives occasionally, and regularly having a clean-up on our computer should be something we make a habit of doing.

Many computer programs run in the background, and chances are, you won’t be using them very often. Go to task manager, find out what is using your computer processing power, and disable them.

Some files are split into fragments, so to ensure you get rid of everything, you should also take the time to defrag your computer. Most modern computers do this automatically, though it’s still worth doing it manually occasionally. This will help with slowdown problems, too.

And finally

We hope the above helped. Remember to follow our advice, and your memory problems will become a thing of the past!

How Your Tech Can Enhance Your Travels

If you’re planning a big adventure this summer and heading off to far flung destinations in the search of awe and wonder, then you may want to consider how you can enhance your travels by utilizing your tech to the best of its ability. Traveling has become a rite of passage for many young people who embark on a quest to find themselves. Those of an older generation are keen to explore new environments, immerse themselves in a different culture and meet interesting new people. Whatever your motive is for traveling, be sure to invest in the appropriate technology to get the most out of your trip.

Smartphone

The most ubiquitous piece of essential travel kit is the smartphone. Everyone has got either an Apple or a Sony or a Samsung or a Huawei. Companies offering the latest high-resolution camera upgrade and largest HD screen has made competition rife amongst cell phone manufacturers.

Whatever smartphone you have, be sure to carry out some simple maintenance checks before your travels. If your battery runs low quickly or your screen is cracked it’s a good idea to get your cell phone repaired. By investing a little bit of money before your trip of a lifetime, you’ll be ensuring that these issues don’t escalate leaving your smartphone useless.

Headphones

If you’re heading out of the country on an excruciatingly long flight, you’ll need some noise reduction headphones to block out the sound of crying babies and the snoring gentleman beside you. For around $200 you can pick up a sturdy pair of headphones that can be your trusty travel companion. This bit of tech can provide a soundtrack to each stunning vista that you lay your eyes upon.

Camera

While your smartphone may have a Carl Zeiss lens and a great ISO setting, it will never be able to compete with the latest Panasonic and Canon offerings in the travel camera market. The super zooms allow you to photograph detail far away while not forfeiting the quality of the shot. Image stabilization and advanced aperture setting make travel cameras a perfect choice for those who want visual records of their journey.

You can select from mirrored cameras, SLRs and specialist travel point and shoots. Ensure that you choose a camera to fit your requirements. If you’re scuba diving, pick up a rugged waterproof gizmo. If you’re heading out on safari, ensure you have that all important zoom to get up close and personal to the elephants.

Bluetooth Speaker

You don’t want to be wearing your headphones on the beach, so if you’re heading for a spot of relaxation by the sea, it might be wise to invest in a compact speaker. With Bluetooth connectivity, you can listen to your travel playlist anywhere. Many Bluetooth speakers are now waterproof and at the very least splash proof so there less need to worry about lying too close to the ocean or the pool.

Foot Warmers

For those travelers venturing off to a cold destination, a pair of thermal foot warmers may be the most useful bit of kit they purchase. Slipping discreetly into shoes or boots like an insole, these waterproof foot warmers use thermal cell technology to keep your toes nice and toasty. Controlled via a remote you will be able to adjust the temperature accordingly ensuring that having feet like blocks of ice doesn’t ruin your ascent up a glacier or your snowshoeing adventure.

Portable battery

You may have all these amazing bits of technical wizardry to enhance your travels but what are you going to do if they are made redundant because they have no battery? You can wait until you hit your next hostel or hotel room, but that might be a day of travel without any kit. The solution? Pick up a portable battery that can charge your tech on the go. If you keep your lightweight, compact battery charged at all times, you will never have to be without your smartphone or camera when traveling through the depths of the jungle or scaling the side of a mountain.

Traveling across the globe is one of the most amazing experiences you will ever have in your life. From selecting your destinations to planning your itinerary, your travels will be a feast for the senses and leave you with a newfound contentment. When you are packing for your next far flung adventure, don’t neglect the importance of your tech to ensure that your travels are as fulfilling as possible.