Common Business Internet Woes – Tackled

It’s difficult to imagine any business these days running without the use of the Internet. Even businesses you can think of that don’t really seem to have an online presence probably use the Internet for research and buying supplies.

So it seems that businesses should have gotten used to the idea that they need to make sure their Internet problems are minimized. Unfortunately, as many of you have probably experienced for yourself, your average place of business still has a plethora of Internet issues!

If you run a businesses, then it’s vital that you take care of any of these common and infuriating Internet problems. They ruin productivity and employee satisfaction, so take the time to find solutions!

Distractions

The first problem business owners usually think of distracted employees – and there’s no doubt that it’s a problem! Inappropriate web surfing is rife in the modern office for several reasons. Not only is an ethically-questionable use of company time, but it also presents usability problems. If people are watching YouTube videos instead of working, than not only are they, y’know, not working, but they’re also being bandwidth hogs, potentially slowing down the Internet speed for everyone else! Speaking of which…

Slowdown

The most notorious problem of all. Slow office Internet absolutely destroys your productivity potential. And, as anyone who has ever had to deal with slow Internet knows all too well, it’s also incredibly frustrating, making your employees feel more stressed. Making sure bandwidth is being responsibly is one thing, but you may need to look at working with a more reliable ISP if the problem persists. The problem may also be partly an issue of physics. After all, users who are farther away from the Wi-Fi source may find they have to fight against slower Internet than everyone else. If might be worth looking into the best WiFi range extender you can get. This helps you get the full WiFi blast across your office, instead of allowing that power to peter out for people who don’t happen to have their desk next to the router.

Filters and restrictions

One of the ways you can prevent distractions at work is by using web filters and restrictions to prevent employees going on websites that you don’t want them visiting. The problem here is that it prevents you from accessing a lot of useful websites. After all, social media is often required for marketing, customer service, or research purposes. Then you need to consider breaks – why block employees from accessing those websites then? It may actually create more problems than it solves. It also screams “WE DON’T TRUST YOU” to the employees, which hardly helps with morale.

Security problems

Malicious content like viruses, trojans, and worms. Unauthorized access from persons internal and external. A lack of encryption making it easy for outside parties to gain access to information. These are all problems you need to tackle because they’re all problems of which you’re at risk, regardless of how small your business is. Make sure you invest in tight web security measures, and ensure you have strong and clear Internet security policies for your employees to follow.

Pension Mistakes That Are on the Rise Right Now

If you are planning on retiring at some point in the future, you’re going to need to start thinking about your pension and the plan you have in place for it. That means everyone is going to need to think about this at some point, and sooner is usually better than later. However, just because people do pay attention to their pensions, that doesn’t mean that they always get it right. There are a lot of mistakes out there that get made a lot.

Making mistakes related to your pension is risky, and it’s something that you shouldn’t let happen if you can help it. When mistakes get made, your entire future can be put in jeopardy, which is not what you want to happen at all. Unfortunately, as more people learn about the perils that can hit them if they enter retirement without enough money, more mistakes are getting made. The mistakes that are on the rise right now are discussed below. Make sure you don’t make them too.

Big Withdrawals

People who withdraw too much from their pension pots usually end up regretting it later. It might seem like a reasonable thing to do right now. But you might not have that same attitude in a few years time. It’s important to remain sensible and keep thinking about the future because that’s what matters most. Pensions are not about the here and now, or what you want to spend money on next month. They’re about making your financial situation secure and stable for a long time to come. So, keep on top of this and don’t withdraw much money from your pension pot. And if you do, make sure you have a plan in mind for investing it so that the overall amount grows not decreases in the long-term.

Relying on Your Partner to Take Care of Things

Many people simply let their partner take care of their pension situation for them. This is pretty normal, and it can seem like a sensible thing to do. But no relationship is 100% secure. You don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, nevermind what might happen a year from now. That’s why it’s always best to take personal responsibility for your pension arrangements. That way, you won’t be left in the lurch trying to work out the situation for yourself later on if you no longer have our partner to do things for you. There is no one better placed to oversee your pension planning arrangements than you. Of course, you can get professional help along the way, but you should retain control.

Assuming You’re Too Young to Start Planning

It’s common for people to feel like they’re too young to start worrying about their pension and their retirement. But when it comes to retirement planning, there is no such thing as too young. You can get started at any time, and there is no need to believe that you have to wait until you’re in your 50s to begin. Yes, when you’re young finding the financial resources to simply get by can be tricky. But it’s still worth trying to find a bit of extra money each month that can be stored away for your retirement. And you should also get involved in your employer’s pension scheme too.

Not Handling Debt Correctly

Debt is a burden at the best of times. But if you still have significant debts hanging over your head when you enter retirement, it just makes your life harder than it ought to be. You don’t have the income to offset those debts and eventually clear them. That’s why it’s much better to pay off your debts as soon as possible, ideally when you’re still in full-time work. That way, you can enter retirement without this worry in your mind. Failing to handle debt properly while you’re in middle age can really punish you when you’re retired. Don’t make the same mistake so many others have in the past.

Not Getting the Right Help and Advice

Going it alone is not always the best thing to do when you’re trying to plan your retirement. Although it can be tempting, it’s often better to get the right advice and professional financial help. This will help you to make the right decisions regarding funds, bonds and stock investments you might have. These days, you have to invest in some way if you want your savings to grow ahead of retirement. Speak to a financial advisor and make sure that you can trust them properly before you commit to anything, though.

Forgetting About Future Healthcare Costs

You have to think about your future needs and how they might be different to how they are right now. For example, most people have more care costs when they get older. Even if it just means making some smalls changes to your house to help improve mobility, these things cost money. You don’t know what your specific needs will be in 10, 20 or 30 years time, so it makes sense to save more to cover these basic extra costs. Don’t assume that you will be able to live on less money on when you enter retirement because the opposite might actually be the case. You should be looking to make retirement as comfortable as possible, and that demands cash.

Failing to Update Your Personal Information

This is one of those small things that can actually have a pretty big impact on your financial situation when you’re in retirement. If you don’t keep your personal information up to date and in good shape, you could face big problems later on. It doesn’t take much to keep your information up to date. So, when you m
ove house, inform any companies that you use to organise your pension. You don’t want to be penalised and have your finances threatened by something as basic and as simple as this. It’s easy to forget, so set yourself a reminder whenever your circumstances change in some way.

The Coolest Things You Can Do With Your Smart Phone (That You Might Not Know About!)

A lot of us are attached to our phones. But while we might use it to text, make calls, and use social media, there are a wealth of possibilities that we are not exploring. And it’s because a lot of us don’t even know what our phone is capable of it. In fact, here are some of the coolest things you can do with your smartphone that you might not know about!

Pay for items in store

It can often be a long procedure in the store when it’s time to checkout. After all, you have to find the right card and then remember your pin. Therefore, this can all take far too long in our fast-paced world. However, there is a way you can pay for items in store by using your mobile phone! And that is via contactless payments on your smartphone. You can just use your fingerprint, and this combined with their contactless tech, means you can pay for your item without getting out your card! And if they don’t do this, a lot of companies have an app you can use. Therefore, you can use this to pay with your saved details before leaving the store! Soon all we will need to take out is our mobile; we can leave our wallet at home!

VeroPay App

Take thermal images

We all capture so many photos on our phone. In fact, it’s likely a day won’t pass without us snapping. But rather than another selfie, your phone camera can come in very useful. If you buy an add-on, you can ensure your phone camera can take thermal images. You basically take a photo of the area and then see the thermal energy in the picture. That means you can see when the electric is not working as it should be. And it can also help you to diagnose if you need more insulation in your house if an area is cold when it’s hot! Some people even use it when they go camping to ensure they get cooking sooner rather than later. Of course, you will need an add-on to be able to do the imagery. There is a lot online about the different types like FLIR One vs. Seek XR. That way, you can ensure you make the right choice for the purpose you need!

Do your math homework

Okay, you might not be at school anymore. But it doesn’t mean you won’t have equations that you need to answer which leave you clueless. And if you have a kid who needs help with their math homework, it can also leave you dumbstruck. But your phone can turn into a maths tutor. If you download the app Photomath, you just take a picture of the math problem, and it will tell you the answer. Moreover, it will show you the steps to get the answer which is useful to show your kid. That way, it will help them to do things like algebra and fractions in the future! And it can be a good learning tool for you for any maths problems you might come across every day!

And remember that your phone is fantastic for keeping your health in check. Not only can you check your heart rate, but there are apps you can download to ensure you are drinking and eating healthily too!

Tech Savvy Family: Best Computer Games For All Of You

Computer technology has come a long way over the last decades. It wasn’t long ago that having a PC in your home was seen as an extravagance, today we all seem to have handheld devices, and with Apple products on the market, there is a stream of laptops, mobiles, and tablets. Some houses have a laptop for each of the members. It has been the world that grew enormous, really fast.

So, we accept that tech is here, and it is here to stay. Now we need to work out how to get everyone together in the living room and to start socializing, instead of staring at their personal device. We have some of the best games for the whole family, so check them out below.

We’ll start off with the PC as that is where computing all began. One of the hot games was World of Warcraft, and now there is a pretty great version the family can all get involved with World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.  Ok, so we admit there may be a few of you thinking “seriously, this is the best you’ve got, ’ but this is a great fun game which even the youngest members of your family can enjoy.  It might be worth investing in a couple of computer screens for this. Mike from GamingBuff has published an exclusive guide about the best gaming monitors which could give you some ace ideas for other games too.

Heading over to the coolest family console on earth, the Wii is still going strong, even the early version. You can get together and play sports, dance yourself crazy around the living room, go bowling without even leaving the house. The Wii bought the family together and got us laughing over one computer, and we don’t think Nintendo have ever made such an excellent machine. The graphics are clumsy, but that is part of the charm! Get everyone away from the Apple and onto the wii!

Xbox offers up the Just Dance series, providing you have Kinect you can play this game with your whole family. It gets you moving too so can be fun for older members of the house who could do with a little exercise. There is a host of dance moves from modern day to classics from the Dirty Dancing movie; you may need to consider your talent before you start flinging your arms in the air, though! You will also find other interactive games like this, including Guitar Hero. Noisy but fun!

Of course, Mario Kart is probably one of the most loved games amongst the computer generation. There is something about the lovable plumber that gets us all going; even the annoying music becomes a chirpy ditty once you have got into the game. While it may not be so familiar with older members of the family, anyone under the age of 50 is probably going to enjoy themselves, sometimes for hours!

Make sure you take lots of rests when you are playing computer games. You remember the old saying; you’ll get square eyes!

How Private Is Your Internet Use

There’s a school of thought out there that says internet privacy is nothing but a fantasy. And on one level, this is true. The leaks revealed by Edward Snowden showed that if the powers to be really want to know what you’re doing online, they’ll have no trouble looking you up. But most people don’t really get flagged up on the government’s radar. Still, it’s not just terrorists and the like who need to be concerned about internet privacy. It can affect individuals, too.

Leaving a Trail

If you’re involved at all in marketing or the like, you’ll know that there are vast amounts of data available to you. If you’re not involved directly, then you should be aware that advertisers have amazingly detailed information about, well, you. The majority of websites you visit will place a cookie in your browser that’ll follow you from one click to the next.

In the future, this information will almost certainly be able to be used to create a web of your history – and if that falls into the wrong hands, then…tough! The two worst offenders – though they happily admit it – are Google and Facebook, who record just about everything you do and sell this information on to marketers, who are then able to create highly specific ads tailored just for you.

Paying More For The Privilege

The web of YOUR LIFE that is created isn’t just used by others to make money off the back of your browsing habits, it can actively cost you money. How? Well, if you’ve been searching for, say, ‘cheap flights to New York’, and visit a website that has an attractive price but don’t book it, you might return later on and find that the price has mysteriously shot up a little. They know you’re already looking for those tickets, so they try and make more money off you.

Tricks and Tips

They are ways to get around this. One simple way is to use incognito mode when you’re browsing for things you might by or which you’ve searched for in the past. There are also benefits to using a VPN. Take a look at those listed on securethoughts.com and you’ll be able to hide your location, which makes it much more difficult for websites to build up a data block on your browser characteristics (and also helps you get around geo-blocked sites!). It’s akin to being anonymous online, which is getting more and more difficult. If you’re really concerned about the data, you can also use a service like http://suicidemachine.org/ and get rid of all your social media sites forever.

What’s On Your Phone?

It’s not just on our laptops that we need to be concerned about internet privacy. Your smartphone apps can make you life more efficient and entertaining, but you might want to think about what data you’re handing over just by having the app on your phone. Many track your location even when you’re not using it and have access to all your phone contacts. That’s a lot of unnecessary info they’re taking from you!

Mobile Tech: The Past, Present, And Future

Mobile tech is a huge talking point for anyone that loves technology. What we want to do today is take a look at its past, present, and future. What was mobile tech like a decade or so ago? What’s it like now? And, what will it be like in the future? Find all this out here:

Past

In the past, mobile technology was incredibly simple. It was all about creating a device that you can carry around with you to send messages and make calls.

Then, it evolved to a device that allowed you to take pictures and access the internet. In the past, if your phone has internet connectivity, it was seen as something quite remarkable.

Mobile technology was very basic when it first burst on the scene, but things have definitely changed since then, as you will see in the section below.

Present

We’re currently living in a world that is absolutely dominated by mobile technology. The smartphone boom is real, and everyone has at least one mobile device of some sort. Perhaps the key piece of mobile tech right now has to be apps. Mobile apps are huge, they’re useful across so many different industries, and there’s an app for just about anything. It feels like if you have an idea, you just need to find a mobile app company and they can turn that idea into an app. Apps bring people closer to businesses and news outlets because an app sends notifications and provide people with updated information without them having to do anything.

As well as mobile apps we see loads of other tech related things too, such as biometric scanning and incredibly cameras. Most phones now come equipped with fingerprint scanners as an added security measure. Likewise, most mobile devices also have cameras capable of shooting pictures and videos in extremely high-quality resolutions – we’ve even seen a 4k smartphone camera!

To sum up, there are loads of current trends in mobile technology. Apps are huge from a business standpoint, whereas security and cameras are big things from the consumer view. We’re also seeing a few trends that are laying the foundations for future mobile tech, and they’ll be discussed below.

Future

It’s always difficult to predict the future, but we can be fairly certain of a few future mobile tech trends. Most notably; virtual and augmented reality. Mobile devices will soon all be compatible with virtual reality headset, and that will be reflected in the new types of games and apps that are developed.

Similarly, augmented reality will be a huge thing from an app developer standpoint too. We’ve already seen augmented reality games like Pokemon Go be a huge hit. In a few years, most apps will try and integrate augmented reality in some way.

How can we be sure of this? Because there are already a few smartphones and developers that are getting on this trend. Just look at Samsung and their VR headset, or Google and their Google Cardboard.

As you can see, mobile technology has come a long way since its inception. Even though things are very advanced now, it looks like there’s still a very bright future too.