Attention: Recent Cases of Student-Submitted Articles Containing Subtle Advertising

We have recently experienced cases of UBC students submitting articles to TechNut that contain subtle advertisements, spam and offensive content. In those cases, we were able to promptly remove the articles thanks to whistleblowing from our blog readers. If you find any spam, advertising, or offensive content either in articles or the comments section, please report it immediately and we will edit or remove the article as necessary. Thank you.

Mindset Shift From Employee To Entrepreneur

What mindset shift do you need to make to successfully move from employee to entrepreneur?

There has probably never before been this number of people needing to make the shift from employee to entrepreneur, founder, and business owner. While there is every reason in the world to make the leap right now, the ultimate success of this venture will rely heavily on the ability to make the mindset shift.

We can all do it. Some just seem born with this entrepreneurial spirit. Others have it baked into them at an early age. Many have not. They’ve been brought up industrialized. To just fill seats and pass the tests. You can do this. Here are the shifts to make now…

1. Complete Ownership

As an entrepreneur and business owner, you have to take complete ownership of everything. Whether it works out or doesn’t is all on you. You have to own all of the outcomes. No excuses. No one else to blame. It is great to make all of your own decisions and to have the freedom to do things better than all the companies you worked for before and all of your old bosses. The results are also up to you.

2. Make Decisions

You’re going to have to make decisions. Even not making a decision is a decision. You are going to have to get comfortable with making decisions without all of the data you’d like, or even imperfect data. You no longer can defer the choices to a boss or manager. You’ll need to make quick decisions and own them.

3. You Are There To Serve Employees

In some organizations, you might have thought you were there to serve the boss. In reality, as the owner, you are there to serve your employees. Whether or not your previous bosses did that well or not. It will really be your top priority. Along with serving your investors and customers.

4. Seeking Advice From Others

You’ll never know it all. Especially not when you are tearing through new territory and are stretching yourself, and moving out of your comfort zone on a daily basis. The key to success is to seek out advisors. Don’t stubbornly make expensive mistakes and waste time. Find fundraising consultants, marketing consultants, and M&A advisors.

5. Being Willing To Admit You Don’t Know

Up until now you may have been trained to fake it, be adamant you know and haven’t made a mistake, and never show vulnerability. No wonder few employees get very far.

As an entrepreneur, it is a strength to admit it when you don’t know. Or to own up to making mistakes. It will preserve your credibility, trust, and loyalty. 

6. Be Prepared For Every Day To Be Challenging

Being an entrepreneur really just means you are signing up to tackle endless challenges. Every day will bring them. It’s great if you thrive on a challenge. If you aren’t being challenged, you aren’t growing fast enough or aren’t working on a hard enough problem. All the easy stuff has been done already. Many of those days will be tough too. Just keep your eye on those good days, and celebrate them. 

7. Value Taking Care Of Yourself

Work and performance are no longer about just clocking in. You can’t punch in and just stay under the radar all day. You can’t afford many sick days or getting your team sick. You’ve got to prioritize taking care of yourself, mentally and physically. Get a good morning routine. Put good habits in place. 

You also want to optimize for time and relieve yourself as much as possible so that you can spend time where it really matters. For those towards agreements, presentations, etc you should use business templates rather than starting from scratch.

8. Value Investing In Yourself

Not only will you need to invest in your health, but in growing as a leader. There is no top business leader, legendary investor, or athlete who hasn’t had equally great coaches and mentors. It just doesn’t happen. No matter how smart you are and how much raw talent you’ve got, you have to keep investing in yourself to grow faster than your startup is growing.

9. Think Short & Long

You’ve no longer got a boss who is just going to hand you a paycheck or automatic deposit in your bank account next Friday. Being sure there is money in the bank for payroll next week is all on you. You won’t last long unless you are thinking about the long game either. You need to be thinking at least 10 years out. 100 if you really plan to keep this company for the long term.

10. Think Like An Owner, Not A Worker

You may be tempted to just try and do everything yourself or micro-manage, or block out all of the feedback you are getting from your teams. You can’t afford that. Think of yourself as a custodian of this business. That may be for two years or 20. It’s bigger than you. 

11. Be Mission Driven

Becoming an entrepreneur is not about making a paycheck. It’s the last thing on most ultra-successful entrepreneurs’ minds. Instead, focus on the mission. It will help you make all the best decisions.

12. Remember That It’s Your Job To Manage Your Time

There is no longer anyone to tell you what time to be to work or take a lunch break or when you can clock out. There is no one else to approve your vacation time. You have to set your own schedule and manage your time and hustle. 

13. Hire The Best Possible People

Maybe your last company just hired the cheapest people and those who would just follow orders the best. If you want to create a fantastic company that can disrupt and be innovative and win in an economy with much bigger players, you need to hire the very best talent you can. Hire people who are smarter and more experienced than you.

Part of this is surrounding yourself as well by the best investors. Before securing them you will need to convince them and here is where a pitch deck comes into place where you want to capture the essence of the story.

The Importance of Having Adequate Auto Insurance in Canada

A car is a fantastic investment. The sheer convenience and efficiency of being able to go anywhere you want, any time you want, is a tremendous luxury and one that allows you to have a remarkable amount of flexibility and freedom. There is something undeniably exciting about being able to jump in your car whenever you want and take to the open road. We are reminded of this fact all the time. The very invention of the car has revolutionised life as we know it forever. Every emerging innovation and ongoing advancement and enhancement continues to add to the ongoing evolutionary progress of our approach to travel.

Even so, having a car is not a luxury that comes with its own responsibilities. Anyone who owns their own vehicle knows that as well as being an expensive purchase to begin with, there are a lot of moving pieces and ongoing costs that make it one of the biggest and most costly expenses that most individuals can ever have. One of the most consistent expenses associated with having a car is the car insurance that, legally, every driver must have, no matter where they are in the world or what type of car they drive.

Car insurance in Canada

In Canada, it is more than fair to say that having adequate car insurance is of the utmost importance. With such a high population and a shocking number of traffic incidents happening all the time around the country, an expense like car insurance is an expense that, quite simply, no driver can afford to skip over. Car insurance in the US works in much the same way as car insurance in any other part of the world, however the importance of adequate car insurance cover here is all about being proactive so that if and when the unexpected happens, you are as well prepared as you can be.

Figuring out the best insurance for you

When it comes to choosing the best car insurance policy for you, it all comes down to the research. Whether it is looking online at the best insurance companies in Canada or speaking with a car insurance company about the latest and greatest car insurance policies in Alberta, it is so important to do the research and figure out which car insurance cover is ultimately going to be the best fit for you and your vehicle. You do not want to find yourself in trouble after you thought that you had done everything you could to have the best insurance cover possible, just as you do not want to be paying an excessive amount when your circumstances and use of the vehicle do not warrant the cost.

Why having the best insurance matters

More than anything else, having the best car insurance cover for your individual circumstances matters because it means that you are protected as well as you can possibly be protected. Even the best driver is not immune to traffic incidents. We are all human and any accident you may be involved in very well may not even be your fault. So, it makes all the sense in the world that you should be doing everything that you possibly can to protect yourself and your car as best as possible.

The Powerful Effect of Window Replacement on a Home

There is nothing in the world quite like that feeling when you finally own your own home. While of course having a roof over your head and a safe place to call home in any case is always a privilege, it goes without saying that the excitement of knowing that the home you live in is all yours is a feeling unlike any other. And even though having your own home is an incredibly positive and overall exciting achievement, it is important to note that like anything else in life, there are going to be challenges. Even so, home ownership is a dream come true.

It is more than fair to say that there are many ebbs and flows that come with owning your own home. These ebbs and flows create and overcome challenges in due course, making them exceptional testaments to the positively powerful position of owning your own home. One of the biggest positives is being able to renovate and update certain aspects and features of the property without limitations. Most rental properties do not allow this luxury and so finally having a place to call home that you can improve and update is quite the thrill.

Embracing the creative freedom of being a homeowner

Having complete creative freedom in your own home is a luxury. Every single fresh innovation that you can possibly imagine makes its mark and has its own merits and overall value. Being a homeowner and having limitless creative license over anything and everything that happens in or on your property is a luxury that should not ever be underappreciated or otherwise underestimated. When it comes to embracing the creative freedom of being a homeowner, it can be overwhelming to know where to stay if you are considering changes.

Figuring out what (if anything) you want to change

Sometimes, the entire property is perfect as it is. That is great, however what do you do if the property could use some updates and renovations? First and foremost, it starts with being able to figure out what it is that you want to change. Knowing what you want to update, replace, or even get rid of entirely is the most important step of all because it essentially gives you a baseline to build up from and to work off going forward. All these adjustments that you might want to make all have their own merits and distinctive value and for this reason they are all worth investing energy, money, and time into.

The powerful effect of window and door replacement on a home

One home improvement project that so many individuals rarely think of for whatever reason is investing in replacement windows and doors. This is partially because these parts of the home largely feel like they are structural and so they are not necessarily the first project that homes to mind when a homeowner considers improving or otherwise updating their home. However, replacing the windows and doors can and often does have a massively positive impact on the overall feeling of the home. New windows and doors add a fresh element of modernity, which in turn makes the areas within in the home and the home itself feel newer and more comfortable all around. 

The Paramount Role of Professional Tenancy Cleaning Services

It does not take a genius to realise that the world around us is changing all the time. As the world continues to grapple with the Coronavirus pandemic that has spread rapidly around the globe, we are facing circumstances that are entirely unexpected and, frankly, unprecedented. Seemingly overnight, the first cases of Coronavirus in China quickly spread, with countries and regions – and even individual states – locking down their borders in an effort to minimise the spread of the virus. This, coupled with enforced restrictions surrounding many other areas of everyday life, has changed the world as we know it (even if it is just temporarily while we ride out this viral outbreak together).

The importance of staying clean has never rung truer or louder. In fact, as the international pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the board and around the globe, there is a greater call than ever to jump on the clean and tidy train. Life is busy, it is true, however now with the virus raging around the globe, it has never been a better time to prioritise cleaning one’s living spaces – especially given the fact that most parts of the world have enforced stay-at-home regulations for the time being.

The task of keeping areas clean

Keeping living areas clean is a task in and of itself. It also happens to be a task that, for most individuals, feels tedious (to say the least). However, this obviously never makes it any less important. Now, the task of keeping areas clean is one that individuals around the globe are finally taking more seriously and making a point to emphasise actively and consistently. Even so, many individuals are either still working or are otherwise unable to commit to the hours it often takes to properly clean a space. 

Investing in professional cleaning services

This is why investing in the assistance of professional cleaning services has never been a more worthwhile investment. More than anything, professional cleaning services are geared specifically towards cleaning from top to bottom intensely. It might sound simple, however the reality is that there is a significant (and currently, potentially dangerous) difference between cleaning and properly cleaning. Having the assistance of a professional cleaning service to lighten the load by taking on these cleaning duties can and often does make a world of difference to a space and how long it stays clean.

The value for vacating tenants

This is especially true for tenants who are looking to invest in end of lease cleaning not only now but in the coming months. While some landlords and the like have omitted rent for a month for their tenants, others have not. This has caused many individuals to break their leases due to being unable to pay them. Because of the current virus’ reach around the globe, professional end of tenancy cleaning services are becoming more and more popular for vacating tenants, owing to the tightened expectations of the state of properties around the globe being left to new tenants.

Risks of Third-party Apps You Probably Didn’t Think About

An app for this, an app for that.  It seems in this day and age, there is an “app” for just about anything you want to do or accomplish.  We certainly live in an app-filled world. If previous decades were the age of infrastructure, we are now in the age of applications.

Applications are key to business processes and productivity today.  Most organizations run on top of an application stack that allows carrying out many key business functions.  Now, most organizations are leveraging the public cloud and cloud-based applications for even more powerful collaboration and technology-driven processes.  

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) environments like G Suite and Office 365 are extremely popular among organizations to host business collaboration, file sharing, email and other services.  Cloud SaaS environments today contain a large number of third-party apps that can easily be integrated into your environment. While there can be benefits to these third-party applications, let’s talk about the risks of third-party apps you didn’t know about.  

What are Third-Party Apps?

First of all, what are the third-party apps we are referring to when thinking about potential risks to your environment?  Third-party “apps” are readily available in both Google’s G Suite and Microsoft’s Office 365 environments. There are third-party apps available covering a wide range of functionality for your SaaS users.  

An example of available third-party application categories include:

  • Remote video conference tools
  • Business Tools
  • Office applications
  • Accounting & finance
  • Administration & management
  • ERP & Logistics
  • HR & Legal
  • Marketing & analytics
  • Sales & CRM
  • Creative tools
  • Web development
  • Task management 

The beauty of third-party apps in regards to cloud SaaS environments like G Suite or Office 365 is that if you have any gaps in the native cloud SaaS tools offered, you can most certainly find a third-party app that provides the functionality you need.  

Third-party apps augment the capabilities of SaaS environments with even more robust tooling, features, and capabilities.  These applications generally follow the same SaaS license model of a “per user” license. By means of the third-party apps offered in cloud SaaS marketplaces, your organization can have an “ala carte” style menu available to pick and choose the apps to satisfy the business functionality needed.  

Below is an example of the G Suite Marketplace where users have an almost unlimited selection of applications to chose from.  By default, users can search and install applications using their G Suite user accounts.  You can browse by application type, or applications can be found by searching for apps by name. 

In today’s mobile-driven world, third-party apps have become a staple of how we interact with services and data.  It has also become an extremely important part of the public cloud. Despite the functionality provided by robust third-party apps, they can bring risks to your organization.  How is this the case?

Risks of third-party apps you probably didn’t think about

Despite their numerous benefits, third-party apps can certainly bring risk to your organization data, compliance, and security.  Let’s take a look at the potential risks that are presented by the use of third-party apps in your cloud SaaS environment.

 

1. Malware including ransomware

2. Data-leak concerns

3. Compliance and regulatory violations

 

 

Often, these particular risks of third-party apps go unnoticed by organizations who are making use of cloud SaaS environments.  Let’s explore these further and see why and how your organization can give attention to these specific third-party app risks.

Malware including ransomware

There is arguably no greater risk to your business-critical data today than ransomware.  Ransomware insidiously and silently encrypts your data so that you can no longer access what is rightfully yours.  Once the encryption process has locked you out of your data, a ransom demand appears, demanding payment before access is restored.

While many have incorrectly assumed that ransomware is an on-premises problem only, this can lead to dangerous consequences for data stored in public cloud storage.  Many organizations today are migrating business-critical services like email and file storage to cloud SaaS environments. Without an understanding of the risks at play with third-party apps integrating with cloud SaaS, data can easily be affected.

Ransomware can easily propagate to cloud SaaS environments by means of file synchronization as well as malicious third-party apps and browser extensions that gain access to cloud data.  New ransomware variants affecting environments today are “cloud-aware” and are able to compromise cloud SaaS environments by means of these malicious applications.  

“Ransomcloud” attacks show how easily a malicious application granted permissions in cloud environments can totally compromise your data.  As demonstrated in the “ransomcloud” attack, an entire user’s mailbox is encrypted by granting permissions to a seemingly benign application that in all actuality is ransomware in disguise.  

This proof of concept demonstrates the dangers of third-party applications that are granted access to your cloud SaaS environments, either intentionally or by accident.  Ransomware attacks can propagate by means of a malicious application or even a browser plugin that has the permissions needed to start encrypting your data. How can malicious third-party apps and browser plugins obtain this level of access to your business-critical data stored in G Suite or Office 365 storage?

End users easily grant permissions

Risky or malicious third-party apps often gain easy access to cloud SaaS environments like G Suite or Office 365 by means of end user-granted permissions.  Public cloud vendors use an OAuth 2.0 token technology to allow end users to grant access to their data without the need for a password to do so. All the end user has to do is grant permissions to a permissions request coming from a third-party app.

All of us are guilty of blindly granting permissions to apps that request them during installation.  How many of us actually read the details of the permissions requested by third-party applications we install on our mobile devices?  Think about an end user with either a company-issued mobile device, or a personal device used to also access company data.

If an end user blindly accepts permissions while installing a risky third-party app and the end user’s phone is connected to your organization’s data, all business-critical or sensitive data the end user has access to is now at risk of compromise by a risky third-party app.

The same is true for browser extensions.  Third-party browser extensions can request the same types of permissions to cloud data as other third-party applications that are installed via mobile devices.  A recent study found that more than a third of all Google Chrome extensions ask users for permission to access and read all their data on any website.

When you think about the possible security implications of third-party apps installed on mobile devices as well as third-party browser extensions, it is imperative to have visibility to and the ability to block these dangers.  This requires controlling which applications are installed in your cloud SaaS environments.  

Data leak concerns

Aside from an all-out ransomware attack on your organization’s data, there is another scary cybersecurity concern that should get the attention of businesses everywhere – data leak.  Next, to ransomware data leak should be extremely concerning to your business.

With data leak, confidential or otherwise sensitive data is “leaked” outside the “walls” of your organization and disclosed to the outside world.  Many businesses deal with confidential data by its nature. You may think of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) information processed by hospitals and other healthcare organizations or financial data that is housed by banking institutions and other financial organizations.  There are many different sources of confidential and other sensitive data that you would never want to leak outside the realms of sanctioned use.

While you may have restrictions in place on who has access to sensitive types of data that exist inside cloud environments, what about the applications that have access to this data?  Think of a scenario with a seemingly legitimate widget application that is downloaded for use on an Android device. The end user who installs the Android widget application also has high-level access to sensitive and confidential data stored in your organization’s cloud SaaS environment.  

Even though the application requests extremely high-level device permissions such as the following, the user simply grants all permissions to the new widget app:

  • Read your text messages (SMS or MMS)
  • Full Network Access
  • Read phone status and identity
  • Modify or delete the contents of your device storage

The widget application now has a high level of access to both the network and storage of the device.  The seemingly legitimate third-party app is actually malicious in nature and starts reading and copying data synchronized with your cloud SaaS environment to a dark web repository defined by the attacker.  What can this cost your business?  

The cost of data breach can be significant as outlined by IBM’s “The Cost of a Data Breach Report 2019”.  According to the yearly report by IBM’s research team, in 2019, the cost of a data breach included the following eye-opening statistics:

  • Average total cost of a data breach – $3.92 million
  • Most expensive country – United States, $8.19 million
  • Most expensive industry – Healthcare, $6.45 million
  • Average size of a data breach – 25,575 records

Keep in mind these are average statistics and may cost your business even more according to the degree and effectiveness of cybersecurity responses you have in place.  It helps to underscore the tremendous responsibility of your organization when it comes to limiting the exposure of your data to third-party applications.  

Compliance and regulatory violations

There is another aspect for businesses today to consider when it comes to keeping data safe and out of the wrong hands – compliance and regulatory.  Compliance and regulatory frameworks are designed to protect customer and other sensitive data.  Compliance regulations provide a framework of standards that, when followed by organizations, helps to ensure the proper security and other fail safes are put in place to protect important types of data.  

Compliance and regulatory frameworks are a good thing for both your business as well as your customer information.  It serves to protect both from negative consequences of data breach. However, today’s compliance and regulatory frameworks can also levy huge fines if your organization is found in violation of or grossly negligent to the point where customer data is compromised.

A great example of this the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that went into effect May, 2018.  GDPR is not only a recommendation, it is required for those who “touch” data of any European citizen.  The fines and consequences for those organizations found in violation of GDPR guidelines can be tremendous.  

As noted here, fines can include:

“For especially severe violations, listed in Art. 83(5) GDPR, the fine framework can be up to 20 million euros, or in the case of an undertaking, up to 4 % of their total global turnover of the preceding fiscal year, whichever is higher. But even the catalogue of less severe violations in Art. 83(4) GDPR sets forth fines of up to 10 million euros, or, in the case of an undertaking, up to 2% of its entire global turnover of the preceding fiscal year, whichever is higher.”

Under the GDPR guidelines, it is extremely important that organizations take seriously their responsibility to provide data security.  The overall import of the GDPR data protection framework is data protection by design and by default.  A portion of the GDPR checklist helps to highlight this as organizations are expected to ensure the following:

  • Take data protection into account at all times, from the moment you begin developing a product to each time you process data
  • Encrypt, pseudonymize, or anonymize personal data wherever possible
  • Create an internal security policy for your team members, and build awareness about data protection
  • Know when to conduct a data protection impact assessment, and have a process in place to carry it out
  • Have a process in place to notify the authorities and your data subjects in the event of a data breach

 

 

The walkthrough in the data leak example demonstrates how easy it is for a malicious third-party application that is granted permissions by an end user to access sensitive data.  It also demonstrates how easy it would be for an organization to be in violation of compliance regulations like GDPR when customer data is exposed without safeguards in place.  

Taking into consideration the threat and risks of malicious or “leaky” third-party applications and browser plugins must be part of the design when it comes to housing your business-critical data in cloud SaaS environments.  

Eliminate Third-Party App Risks

To effectively eliminate the risks of third-party apps to your business-critical and sensitive data, you need both visibility and control.  First of all, you need visibility to any potential risks in your organization.  Cloud SaaS data security can be challenging for organizations who are accustomed to on-premises environments and who lack the tooling needed to monitor data access properly in the cloud.

Controlling access to data can also be challenging without the right toolsets since data can be accessed from many different kinds of devices and networks.  How can your organization effectively monitor and manage data access and protect the environment from risky third-party applications accessing your cloud data?  

The sheer complexity of today’s environments spanning both on-premises and public cloud locations and the enormity of attack vectors require you use an automated approach to both detect and remediate threats effectively.

An ideal SaaS data protection platform should have an automated sentinel that guards your cloud SaaS environment 24x7x365. You can also utilise an API-based Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) that integrates to provide Google Apps Security or protect your Office 365 environment.  It provides you with the tools you need to have both the visibility and control over third-party applications in your environment.  

Protection against risky third-party apps as well as other cybersecurity threats to your business is critical.

Be sure to choose the best protection platform for your cloud environment.

The Future for Custom Vending Machines

More than ever, we are living in a time where we are accustomed to having practically everything that we could possibly ever want at our fingertips. And on top of that is the reality that we have so much customisation at our immediate disposal literally always. We are so used to it at this point, that we are far more comfortable, familiar, and even reliant on having all that connection and customisation there, than we would be in its absence now.

Practically every aspect of life as we know it has been fundamentally changed in the wake of widespread digitalisation and exceedingly rapid technological advancement, and the customisation of life as we know it in just about every way is no different – even, as it turns out, when it comes to vending machines (yes, really).

Introducing custom vending machines

One perhaps surprising product that has taken to the custom products and services trend like a duck to water is that of vending machines. The introduction of customised vending machines around the globe has come with many little challenges and rewards along the way, all of which play their own important role in the way that life continues to progress and unfold.

In the case of custom vending machines specifically, there is the awareness that having immediate and unfiltered access to not only basic food and drink supplies, but all kinds of products and services (including, but not limited to, makeup – think Kylie Cosmetics vending machines, hygiene and sanitary products, gift cards, and even experiences, is changing the way that we experience the world in so many ways.

The appeal of custom vending machines

Custom vending machines are appealing because they essentially provide us all with that instantaneous access that we all have grown to crave so much and so often, without having to necessarily go into a store to get it. Additionally, custom vending machines are fantastic because they give individuals access to all these products and services in exciting new ways.

Custom vending machines are all about embracing immediate consumerism in instantaneous ways for (sometimes unexpected) products and services. That is their power and the underlying reason that they continue to become more and more popular all the time.

The future for custom vending machines

Whether it is a custom vending machine that exclusively offers hand sanitizer dispenser and other hygiene products or a custom vending machine that provides access to gift cards (to name two examples among the many), the point is always the same: custom vending machines have essentially and successfully gone from strength to strength since they were first introduced.

And more to the point, there is no sign of this truth slowing down or becoming any less true in the near future (if ever). Custom vending machines are creative, fun, and they are just getting started. We can expect a whole lot more from the custom vending machine industry in the coming years and beyond, that is for sure.

The Evolution of Social Media Marketing

There have been many great technological advancements over the years, each of them having made their own unique impact and found their place in this ever-evolving modern world that we know and love. While of course each of these advancements is important in and of itself, there are some technological advancements that are more widely applicable and thus more valuable across the board and around the globe. Without a doubt, social media is one of the most widely applicable and overwhelmingly successful modern marvels to date.

Today, social media is a multitool in the digital era, however it has inevitably taken some time for social media to build up to be the way that it is today. This is the case for every technological advancement, of course, however in the case of social media, it has been a definitively and undeniably incredible evolution to get to this point. From the moment that social media was first introduced to the world, it was changing everything from the ground up. An exceptional example of the power of technological growth, social media does it all.

Global communication made easy

Before social media, global communications were more time consuming, expensive, and tedious. Sending letters took a long time and cost a lot, speaking on the phone was expensive, and flying across vast oceans to communicate in person was expensive. Then, when social media first appeared on the scene, everything started to change. It was not long before social media proved itself to be a valuable asset. Through social media, global communications were easier and more efficient than they had ever been. It was a revolutionary shift that spanned the globe. As it turned out, it was a shift that was just getting started too.

A newfound sense of togetherness

There is the distinct realisation that for better or worse, social media has essentially had a significant hand in creating a sense of togetherness that brings individuals from around the globe together in exciting and new ways. Social media is all about heightened awareness of everything that happens around someone, and more to the point, social media is specifically geared towards creating platforms for individuals to keep in touch with one another and with current events, not only locally but internationally. It is a tremendous accomplishment and it is an accomplishment that is worth its weight in gold.

A digital marketing powerplay

Today, social media is also one of the world’s leading digital marketing strategies. In fact, many companies now offer services on how to buy real instagram followers dedicated to assisting clients in getting from point A to point B through their digital marketing efforts. It is an exceptional example of how digital marketing can and does often change the entire trajectory of a company or an individual. Social media marketing is so powerful because it gives businesses and professionals alike a two-way form of communication that is centred around ensuring that all parties benefit as much as possible from the social media marketing efforts that are put into play – whether they are live videos, stories, posts, likes, comments, or messages.

The Most Popular Customised Products on the Market

The ecommerce market has grown exponentially in the years since it was introduced to the world as a digitally inclined iteration of traditional commerce. Together traditional commerce and ecommerce function and thrive as incredible examples of just how special and globally inclusive the consumer market is in this day and age. Of course, it has been a learning curve to get to this point, but now that we are here, this is a frontier that is going to go from strength to strength as time goes on. All one must do to realise this is take a step back and look at the nature of the consumer market as it lays in front of them. 

There are more emerging fields in the consumer market than ever, each with their own reason and rhyme – the customised product market, for example. Today, there is a larger customised product market than ever. Further, this is a field of the commerce market that is only gaining more and more traction as time goes on. Within that field, which personalised products are worth their weight in gold, which are the most popular, and which hold the most potential for being increasingly prominent in the consumer market in the future?

Custom travel gear

One of the most popular customised products on the international commerce market is custom travel gear. Whether it is your passport holder or your luggage itself, adding your initials or a nickname to your travel gear takes it to the next level, personalises it to a tee, and ensures that when you are looking for your luggage after your next flight, there is a personalised element to your bags that make them easy to spot even (and especially) when so many of the bags that are coming out onto the carousel look similar to yours. Custom travel gear is one of the most popular custom product fields on the market – and for good reason.

Custom tech devices

Today, you do not necessarily have to buy a new device empty and ready to be filled with many different applications and programs. These days, you can customise your device online before you even order it (for a price, of course), so that it comes fully equipped with all the programs and systems that you need for work or for your personal hobbies. From laptops and tablets to mobile phones and cameras, having custom additions to the base product essentially takes it to the next level and ensures that when you receive your new device, you just have to create a password – everything else is installed and ready to go. 

Custom wedding favours

One of the most creative and exciting customised products on the market is without a doubt custom wedding favours. Whether it is customised jewellery for the bridal party and mother of the bride and the groom, or custom tumblers or flasks for the wedding party, or any other type of customised wedding favours available to choose from, the point is always the same: custom wedding favours are one of the most delightful and exciting customised product brackets available on the market.

Steps to Make a House Secure

Research has shown that if a house takes a burglar 4 to 5 minutes to break into, they will most likely try the next house. This explains why you should make your house more secure.  Essentially, you should put in place measures that will make breaking into your house difficult for burglars. But, how do you do that? 

The current market has state-of-the-art systems that can be used to secure a house. For example, Frontpoint offers a modern approach to home safety – wireless security systems which are operated by touchscreen control panels. However, these are costly for some people. Luckily, they are not the only ones that can be used to make a house secure. You can also consider a wide range of in-expensive ways of making a house secure. 

Even with a tight budget for a house protection system, it’s unwise to overlook certain steps for ensuring the security of your house. Here are 6 steps to follow when you want to make your house more secure. 

1. Install Superior Windows and Door Locks 

Good security habits will go a long way in keeping burglars away. Home break-ins statistics show that many thieves look for easy targets. Most break-ins happen during the day between 10 am and 3 pm. And in most cases, burglars take 8 to 10 minutes to complete burglaries. 

34% of burglars use the front door to break into a house while 23% use the first-floor window. This shows that thieves look for easy access to houses. Therefore, install superior locks to your doors. Make sure that thieves can’t have an easy time breaking into your house through the windows or doors. 

2. Update Your House Locks 

Perhaps, it’s been years since you installed new locks. Well, this can make your home more vulnerable to future break-ins. It’s therefore, important to have a closer look at your house locks. Are some of the locks damaged? Is it possible that a stranger has keys to some of the locks? Does the house have exterior locks that are easy to bump open, jimmy, or pick? 

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you need to replace or rekey some of the locks. Install tamper-proof locks that will make your house more secure. Consider the latest and most innovative locks in the market and install them to enhance the security of your house. 

3. Reinforce Windows, Doors, Hardware, and Locks 

You may have rock solid locks but the hardware, windows, and doors could be flimsy and weak. That means a well-placed kick or slam will allow a person to enter your house within seconds. Therefore, inspect all the entry points, particularly on the first floor. Repair, replace, or reinforce them if necessary. 

If you have thin, broken, or hollow-core exterior doors, consider replacing them. Alternatively, add extra support with a security bar or door barricade. Also, make sure that the strike plate is installed properly with at least ¾ inches long screws. That way, the bolt won’t be easy to force out of your door jamb. You can also use door reinforcement kits to strengthen the weak points of the door with strike plates. 

4. Install an Effective Home Security System 

Ensuring that your house has updated locks, as well as, strong doors and windows alone is not enough. You need to go the extra mile and install an effective home security system. If your house has a security system in place already, have it checked by an experienced professional. This will determine whether the system has faulty sensors or battery issues. a good professional will inspect the overall performance of the system. 

It’s also important to have old passcodes of the previous homeowners deleted and a new security pin selected. An ideal security pin should be easy to recall but hard for burglars to guess. If your house doesn’t have a security system, have it installed to make it secure. Even the presence of a security system and its monitoring features alone can deter would-be thieves. 

5. Install Proper Lighting 

Installing motion sensor lighting is a great way to make a house secure. Thieves don’t want bright spotlights on break-ins. Therefore, installing sensors in the darkest parts of the compound and areas that are not easy to view from the house or streets can deter would-be burglars. 

A light illuminates the surrounding areas, as well as, burglars that may hide or pass near the motion sensors and trigger them. Installation of security lighting can be a relatively cheap investment. Therefore, consider installing security lighting around your back and front doors. That way, you will illuminate al entrances and potential places where burglars can hide within your property. 

6. Avoid Showing off Your Valuables 

To make your house secure, avoid being flashy with valuables. Ideally, minimize the time when people see the valuables in your house from the streets. Before breaking into a house, most thieves will scope out an area to determine whether there is anything valuable they can steal. And, if they spot something valuable inside your house, they will start formulating a break-in strategy. 

Therefore, making a house secure can simply entail the removal of items that are commonly stolen from the place where strangers can easily view them. Such items include jewelry, cash, firearms, tablets, TVs, computers, and stereos. 

Anything of value and lightweight is a priority for burglars that want to loot valuables. Therefore, lock such items in a safe or keep them in a well-hidden part of the house. Additionally, close curtains and blinds while away or at night to shield your valuable possessions from possible burglars. 

The Bottom Line 

Burglar-proofing a house does not have to be a costly investment. You just need to know the measures to take to ensure that your house is not an easy target for thieves. Things like keeping valuable possessions away from the eyes of burglars can help make your house secure. However, some measures like making the compound well lit and installing a security system require money. Nevertheless, this investment goes a long way in protecting yourself, family, and valuable possessions. It can also help you save on insurance premiums.

The Advancements in Pet Security Systems

Living in a modern world that becomes more heavily paved with modern marvels like digitalisation and technological advancement, it is little to no wonder that we have entered a time that is more heavily reliant on these modern marvels than ever. The advancements and enhancements in security systems, for instance, are getting bolder and smarter all the time. Further, we in turn are becoming more comfortable, more familiar with the rapidly advancing ideals of said advancements and enhancements. It seems that we are positively immersed in and surrounded by these modern marvels in just about every possible way. We have even delved into the technological advancements that assist in the protection of our pets. These days, pet owner security systems are exceedingly common security systems found in modern homes. Why is that?

The protection of our most precious assets

Considering we have home security systems, car security systems, etc, it should come as no surprise that we have also begun delving into pet security systems. Of course, in the beginning this might seem somewhat strange, even unexpected, but the fact of the matter is that pet security systems are not only here to stay – they are brilliant. The protection of our most precious assets obviously includes our pets. So, having protective measures in place that are appropriately equipped to handle the security of our pets is a technology that is valuable beyond any of the wildest expectations one could have.

How pet owner security systems work

Essentially, pet owner security systems work their magic by either sensing, viewing, or hearing your pets at home through a pet security system not only goes a long way in protecting them should they be stolen from your home, but also in giving you peace of mind when you are at work or otherwise unable to be with them at home. There is an undeniable piece of mind that comes hand in hand with the awareness that you can “check in” from afar when your pet is hanging out at home and you are elsewhere. Even more exciting, is that pet owner security systems are getting smarter all the time.

The current advancements in pet security systems

There are several exciting advancements in pet security systems that are changing the foundations of pet security from the ground up. One of the most thrilling for pet owners around the globe is the development of a pet owner security system that essentially allows pet owners to not only check in on their homes and their pets while they are away, but also allows them the opportunity to have a two-way screen where their pet can see and hear them as well. This is thought to give pets a sense of comfort if they are feeling upset or otherwise unsettled when their owner is not at home, hopefully working its magic by assisting pets in calming down. Moreover, this is just the start for pet owner security systems. The best is yet to come.