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Technology

3 Ways to Eliminate the Threat of Cyber Security

July 18, 2018

The Internet is full of cybercriminals constantly hanging around in the darkest comers of the web, just waiting for the perfect opportunity to pounce on businesses like yours. It’s true, today, your cyber security is always under threat, and so you need to put the correct measures in place when it comes to protecting your business.

You can eliminate these threats, however. In fact, you should be eliminating them right now! To see just how to do so, make sure to check out the three useful tips in this article.

Educate your employees

They may not mean to, but your employees pose the biggest, most harmful threat to your cyber security. The apps they use and the websites they visit while connected to your company Wi-Fi put your business at danger every time they are accessed, and it is for this reason why they need educating.

First of all, you should make them aware of the fact that they may allow a third-party access to your connection, and subsequently your data, without even realising. The rise of Pokémon Go in 2016, for instance, saw a distinct rise in office-based connection hacking, simply because employees were playing the game on company hours. Second, you should make sure your employees know what constitutes as a strong and reliable password. Teach them not to duplicate, have both upper and lower case and even the inclusion of numbers. For added security, have them change their passwords once every month.

Accept professional help

Unless you are an IT technician yourself or your business provides its own IT support, you’re going to need to source and then accept external assistance when it comes to boosting your cyber security. Doing so is the only way to be sure that your business’s online guards are up at all times and that the risks posed to it are as controlled as they can be.

Torix, found at www.torix.co.uk, are one provider of such assistance. Offering complete support when it comes to the solutions needed to tackle hacking, phishing and other forms of cyber security, they, and services of the like, are what you need to turn to when looking for a reliable hosting company and support for anything cybercrime-related. You should also consider hiring a threat analyst, too, as this type of professional will work closely with you to source all the upcoming risks that you are liable to face.

Stay updated

Service and software providers don’t just release new products to make themselves more money, you know. They do so because the products that they offer are always bettering themselves and providing different levels of protection, and their latest product is guaranteed to offer the best cyber security that that particular company has ever produced. So, it’s key that you stay updated when it comes to network and data protection technology, no matter how much it might cost you, as your current, outdated package might not be up to the task of fighting the most modern hacking techniques.

Eliminating the threat of cybersecurity is vital — if you don’t, you put your business in just about as much danger as it can be in.

Technology

The Top 5 SEO Best Practices in 2018

July 10, 2018

Due to rapid shifts in the world, SEO techniques change often and sometimes you may not even know about it. In the world of SEO, hacks that would help you a front page result a year ago might hurt your website rankings because they are obsolete. If you’re having trouble optimizing your website or just want to make sure you’re doing it right, you should consult with professionals like click.co.uk who specialize in search marketing.

To help you stay on top of the SEO game, here are the top five SEO best practices in 2018.

5. Write Compelling Meta Description And Data

Over the years, a lot of marketers focused on keyword stuffing in their meta descriptions and titles in an effort to manipulate Google search results. Even though it is important to keep your focused keywords in your descriptions and titles, you should do with your focus on the users. If you have relevant meta descriptions and titles, users will be enticed to choose your site over the competitors.

4. Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

In 2017, Google announced there would be a change at the end of the year. That change ended up being Google’s Mobile-First Indexing, which means the company is now prioritizing your site’s mobile version over the desktop version. With Google prioritizing mobile sites more, you can’t afford to have a site that isn’t mobile-friendly.

To capitalize on the changes, you need to do three things.

– Make sure your site is designed with mobile users in mind.

– Reduce the size of the images on your site to optimize images and load them more quickly.

– Make a very fast website that helps people with slower mobile connections.

3. Join The HTTPS Wave

When it comes to buying and selling online, customers want to feel safe, and the best way to do that is to make sure your website is secure. Having an HTTPS website means your site has an SSL certificate, which means every transaction done through your server is encrypted. Since Google Chrome now notifies users when a site doesn’t have an SSL certificate, it makes sense to have an SSL certificate. The fact that it gives you a small SEO boost is a bonus.

2. Have Plenty of Content

The reason people use search engines is to find information about something they are interested in. However, some people use their website as an online business card, with barely any information other than the service they provide and their contact information. If you want to be successful, making sure your website is optimized is only half of the problem. You also need to have a lot of content on your site to endure you get first-page ranking.

1. Be Trustworthy

When you sell something or provide a service, there is always the temptation to oversell or exaggerate a few things. If you want clients to keep coming back, you have to make sure you are transparent with your clients. If what you are providing is more expensive than other sites, let the customers know why. You should also stay active on social media because it allows you to interact directly with your clients.

Technology

Innovative in-car technology

June 28, 2018

Automotive manufacturers are always looking for ways to improve their modern-day models by using new innovative technology which is designed to improve the overall driving experience, be more efficient and safer all round. We have already witnessed the introduction of Apple CarPlay, rear view cameras, cruise control to name just a few in recent years, and autonomous technology is in the pipeline.

So, what are the latest in-car technologies to be coming to the market and what can we expect in the future?

Improving efficiency

The ECO-pedal

The new Leaf model by Nissan has debuted its new one-pedal driving system. Not only does the electric automobile have double the mileage range of its previous model equivalents, but the one-pedal driving system allows for the accelerator pedal to be transformed into a multifunctioning e-pedal at a touch. The e-pedal functions as a start, stop, accelerate and breaking pedal when activated. Suitable for 90% of urban driving, the system means that the car will slow to a halt by itself with the ability to hold itself on an incline without the need of the brake pedal.

The new system by Nissan is said to be more efficient than previous models. Nicknamed the ECO-pedal system, the pedal controls the speed of acceleration to prevent revving up the engine. The level of fuel-efficient driving is displayed through a colour and flashing Eco-P lamp. According to Nissan, studies have proven that effective eco-driving with the ECO-pedal can contribute to an improved fuel efficiency by 5-10%.

JLR’s weather adaptation system

The new Jaguar Land Rover vehicles will be equipped with advanced weather adaption systems, the company has revealed. The system allows cars to autonomously adapt to weather changes and situations to adjust drivetrain, suspension, traction control and climate control for optimum efficient driving.

The intelligent system will be extremely helpful to those Land Rover and Range Rover models that drive on all terrains, such as the new Land Rover Discovery Sport Hse. The system is said to be able to connect to present and future weather data via telematics and GPS to sensibly adapt both inside the cabin and around the exterior. One feature suggests that the system will automatically close your vehicle windows if it senses that rain is forecast. Onboard rain- and terrain-sensing mechanisms will be used to control the temperature, pressure and humidity inside the cabin, while interior and exterior lighting will be altered depending on the circumstances.

And you don’t have much longer for the system to arrive — it is expected in 2020, alongside JLR’s autonomous technology and electrified models.

Are our vehicles safer?

Most drivers already know about some forms of autonomous technology. Most manufacturers now offer self-driving technology as part of their latest models – with most used to improve road safety.

Blind spot information system

BLIS is a great tool that helps you detect vehicles that are in your blind spot when you change lanes. When a vehicle enters your blind spot zone, the BLIS system will alert you. The detection area is on both sides of your vehicle, extending rearward from the exterior mirrors to approximately 10 feet (3 meters) beyond the bumper. The system alerts you via a small light on your side wing mirrors – when there is a vehicle in your blind spot zone, the light will illuminate. When your blind spot zone is clear, the light will switch off.

Lane departure warning system

Lane-keeping systems — or lane departure warning systems — are becoming more frequent in newer cars. These systems keep you within your lane when driving on the motorway. When motorway driving, it’s vital that you stay firmly in your lane, unless you are overtaking. This system alerts you with a vibration on the steering wheel if your vehicle is unintentionally edging out of its lane – and in circumstances when the vehicle thinks you are reacting too slow, the vehicle will take control and provide steering torque to divert you back into the safe space on your lane. This is a safety feature to prevent drivers from veering out of their lane on motorways and dual carriageways where drivers around them are driving at high speeds.

Intelligent speed assist

This technology warns drivers when they exceed the speed limit by using audio and visual warnings. By using GPS, the system is able to detect the vehicle location and reference this with a digital road map that is programmed with speed limit information for each road. The system can be used as an active speed limiter whereby it can take control of the vehicle and reduce the speed when travelling above the speed limit. It does this by reducing the throttle signal. Additionally, the system is also fitted with a speed limiting function that increases the pressure on the accelerator when you exceed the speed limit, so that it is harder to accelerate and break the speed limit.

It’s clear that the automotive industry is thriving and its prime thanks to innovative technology doing the talking and walking for them. With a positive future of technology ahead of us, we can expect to see the driving process, and experience, completely transformed in the coming years.

Technology

How Technology is Facilitating Education

June 6, 2018

Technology has changed just about every aspect of modern life, and education is no exception. Here are the most prominent ways that technological developments have facilitated education for everyone.

Online Degrees

Online degrees were once the butt of a number of jokes. It wasn’t long ago that an online degree was considered to be worth less than the paper it was printed on. However, things have changed a great deal in recent times. An online degree is now worth just as much as its traditional campus counterpart. As well as making education more widely available on a practical level, online degrees have also been game changing in making education more accessible to a wider audience.

In this way, online degrees have been revolutionary. They have made education available to a much broader section of society than had previously been able to access educational services. As cloud technology matures, and internet speeds continue to increase around the world, it is becoming ever easier to deliver high quality educational materials to students from around the world.

Educational Apps

Since the iPhone launched 11 years ago in 2007, the world of mobile software has changed dramatically. There are now apps available designed to help people learn and revise virtually any skill or subject you could possibly think of. Smartphone apps are a truly excellent learning resource, and they come at a fraction of the cost of most traditional resources available for those who want to educate themselves.

The best part about educational smartphone apps is that they cater to all age ranges and educational levels. This means that they have proven to be just as revolutionary in helping young children to take their first educational steps, as they have been in helping undergraduate students prepare for their doctoral level studies.

Finding Resources

The internet itself has proven to be extremely beneficial as far as educating people is concerned. The internet has not only put an unfathomable amount of information at the fingertips of the average user, it has also made it easier than ever before for those who want to learn to find the resources they need to do so. This doesn’t just apply to academic subjects either, someone in Las Vegas who wants to learn about cosmetology, for example, can search for ‘Beauty School Las Vegas’ and immediately find a range of suitable institutions and resources.

Revision

The internet is an excellent resource for those who want to learn new skills and information, but it is also a fantastic arena in which to brush up your existing knowledge. Whether you are looking for revision resources for young children, or seasoned professionals, the internet can help you.

Simulations

Not only is technology helping learning and revision through pairing people with the relevant information, it can also simulate real situations. There are now a range of professions, such as surgeon and pilot, which now train largely on computer simulations.

Technology is helping people of all ages to learn and revise in a variety of different ways. The modern world of education has been heavily influenced by technological developments, and it is likely that the future of education involves high technology.

Technology

Garments of the future – A look at how Technology is impacting tailoring

May 2, 2018

At the beginning of the 1800’s, it’s said that a man called Beau Brummell was the first to wear the suit. He replaced long-tailed coats and silk stockings with the classic suit jacket accompanied by full-length trousers and it all went from there. But as we’re faced with new challenges (such as the lengthy daily commute) and as we strive to cut out time consuming activities (ironing a suit can be draining), what does the future look like for our tailoring? CT shirts, retailer of Mens black suits, investigates:

Innovations so far

Temperature controlled materials have been a big focus in recent years and have been drafted into many shirt designs. The goal of the shirts is to control the body heat of the person. Researchers across the US developed clothing that changes how much radiation escapes from the shirt and how easily air can circulate around the body. Although heat controlling technology in clothing is not new, it is only in recent years that it has made its way into wearable clothing when it was once reserved for those in space. This sort of technology not only improves comfort levels for the wearer but can potentially have knock on positive effects on the environment. Air conditioning (AC) accounts for an outstanding 13% of energy used in the US. If our shirts become temperature regulated then it is possible we will be in lower need of constant AC — reducing our carbon footprint so we all benefit!

Perhaps the most useful innovation to people around the world in recent times, is the Non-Iron shirt. Enjoy an extra 10 minutes in bed as you pull your work shirt out of the dryer and put it on straight away — wrinkle free and no need to haul out the ironing board. The technology behind the non-iron shirt includes a process that strengthens the fabric, preventing the molecules from moving as much and increasing its resistance to creasing.

One of the most important factors when designing a suit, is being able to move freely at all times.
Especially when you’re sitting in the same place for a prolonged period of time, such as at the desk, on your way to work or at a fancy dinner. This is where the latest mechanical stretch technology comes in to play. This sort of technology works with the materials of the suit to improve its flexibility. Some suit jackets and shirts achieve this stretch through incorporating a small percentage of elastane in the fabric and this is enough to enhance the comfort of the garment.

What can we expect over the next few years?

Being able to pay for items via a garment is a new development that researchers are spending more and more time taking a further look into. Of course, we already have the ability to pay contactless with a smart watch or phone but that’s just not enough! MasterCard paired with fashion designer Adam Selman to explore the idea of inserting a microchip into clothing, perhaps in the sleeve of a jacket or into a bag — allowing you to pay for items with even less effort. This concept could have some effect on our tailoring trends as cuff links and pockets could become payment devices!   

Colour changing fabrics is a new innovation that will hopefully enable the consumer to save money and time by only purchasing one suit instead of a few different variations. The research behind it is ever advancing and there are a few ongoing projects developing the idea. One of the projects, explored by scientists at the University of Michigan, is looking at incorporating tiny crystals that react differently depending on the wavelength of light. This affects the crystal’s formation and how they look in terms of colour to others. Other research, carried out in Montreal, is investigating how electricity from human movement can power electric fabric and change its colour. It appears that the research is a long way off from our high streets, but it is paving the way for colour-changing materials in the future.

Everyone takes pride in keeping their suits in good nick. It is then unsettling when a sleeve is caught on a door handle or on something sharp and the material is damaged. The latest technology in textiles is addressing this issue through the development of self-healing fabric. It works by coating regular fabric in a special solution that, when ripped, can melt back together at low temperatures. Other research has found that E. coli bacteria has self-replicating properties, and this is being explored to discover if it can be used to knit broken fabric back together.   

From past to future innovations, it’s clear to see that our wardrobes aren’t what they used to be. Many developments are being made in order to make our lives easier and further enhance our suits to meet our highly digital and busy lifestyles.

Sources

https://www.gq.com/gallery/the-gq-history-of-the-suit-by-decade

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-chameides/the-wrinkle-in-no-iron-sh_b_793703.html

https://search.proquest.com/docview/1738859748

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2074964-smart-clothes-adapt-so-you-are-always-the-right-temperature/

https://www.theverge.com/2016/2/22/11081384/visa-mastercard-mobile-payment-connected-devices-mwc-2016

https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/news-analysis/adam-selman-mastercard-turning-clothes-into-payment-devices

https://www.highsnobiety.com/2015/03/31/future-textile-technologies/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3715203/The-future-fashion-Watch-incredible-self-healing-fabric-repair-rips-clothes.html

Technology

How the advancements in technology have influenced our buses

March 25, 2018

Technology has helped us change the way we use our buses. With a constant growth in our population, it has enhanced the commuting experience and allowed services to become more efficient. With 4.44 billion journeys in England alone throughout 2016/17, there has been a demand to make commuting an easier process — and the advancements in technology have allowed this to happen.

How far have buses developed?

It’s important to put things into perspective, because to understand the advances in technology, we must reflect on the history of buses. To do this, we’ve teamed up with the Oxford Tube, a coach to London, to take a look at how advanced our public transport has become over time.

The Beginning: Steam Buses

Walter Hancock pioneered a change that would be revolutionary in years to come, after introducing steam buses in England during the 1830s. These were much more efficient to what was known before — horse-drawn transportation. A common problem with horse-drawn carriages was that they often overturned, but this was a problem that steam buses did not have to face. Steam buses travelled faster and were much cheaper to run. They also reduced the amount of damage caused on the roads.

However, what you may have been unaware of is that, even though these vehicles were very efficient, tolls from the government and harsh legislation eliminated mechanically propelled vehicles for 30 years.

The Middle: Trolleybuses

Powered by the famous trolley pole was electric buses that made an entrance in 1882 — disadvantaging the motor from flexibility due to the overhead wire. William Siemen, who was based in England and his brother Werner, who lived in Germany, collaborated on the creation. Electric currents were able to run to the tram-car and back again, highlighting that tracks would no longer need to be used.

However, although they were introduced in 1882, they weren’t used in Britain until 1911 after Leeds and Bradford adopted the transportation methods.

Before the Peak: Motor Buses

In 1898, London introduced one of the first motors which was a double-decker bus with an open-air section. The bus had a maximum speed of 18kph and could hold 20 passengers at a time. With huge popularity, and requests from across Europe to have similar transportation vehicles, in 1902, a market standard was made available.

Around 3,000 B-Type double decker buses were introduced and distributed around Britain in 1910 — becoming one of the first of its kind.

What do buses look like now?

Even since 1920, single and double-decker buses were fuelled by a diesel engine and are still transiting this way today. If electric buses are on our roads, they’re no longer powered by overhead wires and usually contain their own battery supply, which is often rechargeable at different stations.

Earlier in time, buses were once high-floor vehicles. However, a low-floor design has been introduced to help with air suspension. Another benefit to having low-floor buses is that electric, under-floor ramps can provide access to wheelchair users and those who have pushchairs. Before such technology was introduced, wheelchair and pushchair users would have to use community transport that was provided locally — a separate vehicle fit for their needs.

With advancements in technology allowing us to implement more features, we have used this to our advantage on public transport. For example, we now have an online system where drivers can use a touch-screen to calculate and print ticket prices, making travelling more efficient. These machines do not require a costly wireless network, as they are usually connected by a low-cost general pocket radio service that enables them to function.

What once was an impossible thought, public transport providers are now able to monitor transactions as well as the bus’s motion itself. This also includes a two-way driver messaging system and delivery of online card top-ups, ensuring that everything is achieved in a timely manner.

Scanners have been introduced on buses, allowing smartphones or multi-trip tickets to be detected to grant access and notify drivers. The scanner has the ability to read the ticket and determine whether it is still valid or not — instantly granting access and notifying the driver.

As more banks are introducing contactless payments which allow users to tap their card and pay almost instantly — buses are also implementing this feature, creating a quicker process for all.

Additionally, more services are releasing apps that allow commuters to register an account and purchase tickets that way which can then be presented to the driver — as most buses are introducing free Wi-Fi , they can use this to surf the app. Not only is this useful for the app itself, but for people to browse the internet on their journey.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bus#History

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paratransit#Outside_North_America

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/666759/annual-bus-statistics-year-ending-march-2017.pdf

http://www.ticketer.co.uk/

Technology

The Clear Threat of Ransomware Attacks

January 28, 2018

There has been a recent rise in ransomware attacks, and no organisation seems to be safe — including services that are publicly owned, such as education centres. To find out how we can prevent ransomware attacks within the education sector, we take a closer look:

Are universities prone to ransomware attacks?

Statements from a Freedom of Information request say that over 63% of universities experienced an attack by cyberterrorists where a ransom was demanded. 56% of those had suffered from an attack in the past year. Bournemouth University suffered from 21 ransomware attacks in the same year showing that ransomware attacks are common in education institutions.

With so many ransomware attacks being carried out, you would expect universities to let the authorities deal with it — however, most preferred to deal with the situation independently except from Brunel in London who reported the incident.

Knowledge is key

Understanding the influence a ransomware attack can have on a university is vital — because then, methods of defence become clearer. Speaking generally, ransomware attacks can break a business, and this is something that all business owners want to avoid if they wish to remain successful. However, this can cause a great deal of damage for those operating in the education sector. After acknowledging the problem, it all comes down to user education — knowledge is key and the correct tools should be provided to make people aware of potential risks.

We’ve partnered up with KBR, wifi in school installers to see what you can do to help prevent ransomware attacks within your organisation:

Publishing specified security policies

Specified policies on how to deal with security issues for different systems within the organisation is essential. When this is issued to individuals, whether this is staff within an education institute or students, they should be able to have a clear understanding of what it means. To achieve this, it is worth producing specific security policies for different departments so it relates to their role. Usually a policy that is created for everyone leads to misunderstanding and a higher risk of security problems.

Creating an understanding of the organisation

As the education sector sees new people coming in at a constant rate, you need to ensure that they have knowledge on the security policies in place. You should outline their personal responsibility in their contracts to show that when they sign the contract, they are aware of potential consequences they might face for any misconduct when it comes to security. This should be included in the induction stage of their contract or initiation.

Conducting regular training sessions

Training is something that should happen on a regular basis, this will lead to people within the organisation being knowledgeable when working with systems and the potential threats they could encounter. Security advice can always change, so making training a more regular occurrence in the business can be beneficial and open room for discussion and constant learning opportunities that will transfer to their role.

Enabling a report-procedure for any threats

If there is a viable procedure in place that can enable people to come forward about potential threats, they will — but if there is no effort made by management, individuals might find reporting an issue more difficult. This should be embedded into universities’ culture and make those working with the system aware that they must report any incidents.

Policies and non-compliers

After you have a final draft of your organisations policies that are made available to everyone, you should begin to determine what the consequences may be for people who do not comply.  This will lead to a more knowledgeable workforce that will put the best interests of your company’s security at the top of their priorities.

Top 10: Industries suffering ransomware attacks

Educational institutes suffered from the most majority sectors, with 23%. IT/telecommunications come in second place with 22%. The entertainment and financial services join in third place with 21%. The construction industry is in fourth place with 19%. The government and the manufacturing industries suffer from 18% of ransomware attacks. The transport sector is privy to 17% of attacks, while the healthcare sector and retail/wholesale/leisure come in at 16%.

Technology

Why is HVAC Effective as a Cooling System?

November 16, 2017

A heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) system is designed to keep a home warm when the outdoors is cold, cool when it’s hot outside, and to ensure the indoor air quality is good. Perhaps it’s best in the summertime when the heat become oppressive and staying inside is preferable to braving the hottest time of the day.

Let’s look at HVAC systems from the perspective of their effectiveness at keeping homes and offices cooler.

Remote Controlled

Do you want a system that is controllable from your armchair, so you can adjust the temperatures in your home without having to get up? There are plenty of air conditioner brands, just check out the Bryant air conditioner reviews to learn more about their excellent features vs. the competition.

Along with remote control, some cooling systems are programmable to let you decide when to turn on the AC and when to turn it off. Whether you’re thinking about your pet who is home alone during the day and doesn’t enjoy feeling the heat, or you just like to time your system to the day’s weather report, either way, this is an interesting feature to have.

Energy Efficiency

With our growing energy bills, we all like to learn about ways to reduce our electric or gas bill. With HVAC systems, the AC units all typically come with the Energy Star logo sticker confirming the unit’s certification as an energy efficient product. The energy-efficiency rating (or ratio) is typically above nine, which is excellent.

The efficiency certainly comes into play when deciding what BTU capacity you’re looking for in an AC unit. For instance, an 11,500 BTU capacity is going to cool a room that’s approximately 650-700 square feet. The amount of air flow that a unit puts out (measured in cubic feet per minute) also matters when cooling down a space fast is a high priority, but this will boost energy usage each time this feature is activated, which is something to bear in mind. In that sense, energy efficiency features are only as good as the user.

Running on Automatic

Whether you want a sleep mode that automatically turns off the AC at a certain time or you’re looking for a system that has some automated features, these are two features to confirm that are present in a chosen model before purchase. Not every model from a brand like GE, Frigidaire or LG will offer a sleep or auto mode, and it’ll often be restricted to their pricier models too. However, they’re good options to have for greater energy conservation and efficient management of your AC systems, so bear this in mind.

Variable Speeds

Variable speed is sometimes available which allows an AC unit to ramp up (or down) it’s cooling facility as needed. With some units, the incremental adjustment runs as low as a 1% change which is exacting. This is ideal for people who prefer to maintain an exact temperature to feel comfortable at all times and don’t want to have to micro-manage their AC system.

Whatever your cooling needs, it’s difficult to argue with the effectiveness of an HVAC system. There’s enough choice of individual units with their own pros and cons, along with system configuration options, to create the perfect home cooling, heating, and ventilation system to suit your needs perfectly.