The global finance industry goes digital

It is no secret that the world we live in is positively shrouded in feats of technological advancement and incredible digital impact. We have quite literally created the world that we exist in, and we have done so with both brilliant clarity and a knack for understanding that lessons will be learned, and challenges will be overcome – even if they take time. No matter what, at the forefront of it all are technologies and digital innovations. And many of these innovations have arrived on the scene hand in hand with their learning curves, many of which erupt into cases of trial and error if they are not navigated carefully. Practically every industry today has had its fair share of challenges and exciting navigations, and they have all – for the most part – emerged out the other side being better and stronger for it all. The finance industry, for example, is currently embracing digitalisation in multiple ways, and it is already proving itself to be an exceptionally brighter sector because of it.

The modern consumer lives in a world that is positively immersed in and surrounded by technological innovation and rapid digitalisation. As such, they have come to expect these traits to be present in all aspects of their lives. From life at home to their financial holdings (and everything in between and surrounding), digitalisation is finding its ways to disrupt even the unlikeliest of sectors. In terms of the finance industry, the everyday experience is being taking online by the introduction of apps and websites, as well as instantaneous global transactions and even cardless cash or phone-handled payments. Even tax season is becoming easier, with some individuals even being able to do their entire return online in under an hour (some people even complete it in under thirty minutes). These are all seemingly small, but together they mark the beginning of an all-new revolution in finance. And it doesn’t stop with the everyday experience with the finance industry, either.

Let us first consider the average consumer’s experience with insurance companies, for example. Insurance companies have historically been notorious for being confusing, time-consuming, daunting, and frustrating, all at once. Now, companies are coming into active effect to bridge the gap and take the pressure of individuals wanting to look into insurance-related inquiries and concerns. Companies like Informeo are literally designed to help you get a handle on your insurance, to help you live a more financially responsible life. And now, thanks to rapid digitalisation in vivid motion, these companies are expanding their reaches exponentially via their websites. The power in digital marvels like the worldwide web is that they present an opportunity for companies and even entire industries to have a global stage for exposure, rather than a mostly (if not solely) local platform. And then there is blockchain as well.

Blockchain is essentially an encrypted virtual network of highways that allow for secure and private transference and storage of information. Initially designed in correlation with the release of cryptocurrencies, blockchain is now used in the financial industry for everything from immediate transfers, the sending and receiving of important financial documentation, and more. Because of the encrypted nature of blockchain, it makes it more difficult than ever- if not seemingly impossible – to hack or change any information being sent, as well as the direction it is being sent to and from. This is an incredible digital innovation that has changed the finance industry from the inside out, and for the better. And it is only just getting started. The finance industry is not without its lessons, but currently it seems to be filled with more exciting innovations than lessons, and that is something to celebrate.

The world we live in is one of our own design. Immersed in waves of our explorations and further advancements of technologies and digital innovations, we are the drivers of this new era we find ourselves living in, the reason it exists at all. Practically every industry has gone through its fair share of innovations and respective challenges because of the nature of this new modern world, and the finance industry is no different. Currently, the finance sector is going through one of its greatest evolutions in history: the rise to meet the digital. Widespread and rapidly paced digitalisation is the aim of the game these days, and the finance world is rising to meet the challenge, and even to exceed it. Digitising an entire industry is no easy feat. In the case of this, the finance industry, it is a process that has been ongoing for months, and is still even now. Taking facets of the financial industry online has taken time and practice, and for now it is a process that continues. The future for finance is brighter than ever – and digitalisation is to thank.

Understanding Insurtech

As far as embracing technology across industries goes, it is fair to say that the world has been overwhelmingly supportive in this endeavour. The entire modern world has faced its own form of modernisation in the form of technological impact in recent years. Each said impact has proven itself to be valuable – sometimes beyond expectation. It is the way of the modern world that technology be introduced and anchored down as a mainstream facet in disrupted industries, for the foreseeable future (and likely forever). In the finance industry, for example, technology has been introduced hard and heavy in the form of finance technology (Fintech). Technological disruption and rapid digitalisation in the finance industry has been going on for a few years now, but this is the first time we have seen giant leaps and bounds in the way of technological evolution in the industry, on such a consistent, and global, scale.

Fintech extending to encompass insurance

The finance industry has been experiencing its share of technological disruption in recent years. From the digitalisation of bank account management for consumers (think apps and websites), to the instantaneous global transfer systems now in place in many banks, and even to cardless cash and smartphone payments, technology has absolutely begun to take over the finance industry, in the form of Fintech. Currently, this is an industry that has gradually embraced the ease and efficiency of technological advancement and further innovation, and now it has expanded beyond its initial reaches to encompass insurance as well.

Insurtech as its own sector of industry

This is where Insurtech comes into play. Insurance has always historically been an intricate facet of the finance industry, and this has not changed. However, what has changed is the potential reach for consumers to be able to more adequately and responsibly handle their insurance applications, claims, and everyday uses. Now, technology has disrupted this facet of finance, effectively creating and solidifying a more secure, fast way for individuals to conduct all insurance-related tasks. It is a global movement, too. From insurance companies in New Zealand or Bali, to Calgary insurance brokers (and everywhere in between), the insurance game is being given a decidedly digital revitalisation for the ages.

The future of Insurtech and the finance industry

The finance industry has faced its fair share of trials and tribulations over the years. This is common knowledge. What many people are finding so intriguing is the sheer rapid pace all this innovation and technological proficiency has evolved at. More than anything else, Insurtech creates a seamless user experience that inspires courage, security, and trust between consumers and the parties responsible for handling insurance concerns and queries. The future of Insurtech and the finance industry is by no means set (after all, is anything truly ever set in stone?), but it is certainly looking to be an overwhelmingly positive future. If nothing else, Insurtech has taken Fintech to the next level, and in turn has forged a stronger foothold for the finance industry going forward. And that is something that matters to individuals around the world.

Internet Privacy in the Age of Facebook

Instant connectivity has transformed our lives for the better, but this comes at a perennial cost: personal privacy. Internet privacy, also known as online privacy, is the privacy and security of personal data that is published on the internet. Internet privacy is a fundamental human right today. But it is also a growing concern as traditional notions of privacy are being challenged by advancements in digital technology. Companies track online behavior for targeted advertising, governments monitor online behavior to control the citizens and cybercriminals steal data for their nefarious activities.

The common issues surrounding online privacy are tracking, surveillance and theft. Tracking refers to the tracking of online movement by websites and advertisers through cookie profiling and other techniques. Governments are conducting surveillance on the internet usage of their citizens, with the help of internet service providers, for the ostensible purpose of maintaining law and order. And almost a staggering 20 million Americans were affected by identity theft in 2017 as cybercriminals used malware and other phishing techniques to break into online accounts and steal personal information.

Internet behavior has a huge impact on personal privacy. Using the same credentials for multiple accounts can leave a person totally vulnerable to cybercrime, as access into one account can lead the cybercriminals into other accounts. Remaining logged into websites may sound convenient, but can leave the online accounts susceptible to hacking. Opening suspicious attachments and downloading malicious files is wrought with danger as these can contain malware and viruses.

Thankfully, there are ways to ensure internet privacy and security. The browser is the main program that is used for going online and securing it would be the first step to pre-empt an invasion of privacy. Using a VPN service would go a long way in protecting internet privacy as a VPN changes the IP address and protects both incoming and outgoing traffic with military-grade encryption. Constant software updating is crucial to internet security as software vulnerabilities can be easily exploited by the bad guys. An anti-virus program is a handy tool in the fight against online attacks as it keeps the digital devices free from malware. One should look out for a padlock in the web browser address window as it is an indicator of safety. A two-factor authentication can also go a long way in preventing hacking.

Some words of caution: Many social media sites and search engines may be free to use, but do carry an immense cost in terms of internet privacy. Private browsing prevents the browser from recording private information, but does not protect privacy as an individual’s online activities can still be monitored. The ISP saves and archives every online activity for posterity.

It is a fallacy to suggest that the Facebook generation is indifferent about privacy. If there is one issue that unites everyone who goes online, it is privacy. We need to do our best to protect online privacy and ensure that personal information does not fall into the wrong hands.

Overuse of computer screens may be damaging students eyes

You rely on your eyes for so much–but could your work habits be killing your vision? If you experience eyestrain, vision problems, dry eyes, headaches, fatigue, or other problems after long hours in front of a computer screen, you’re not alone. You’re also probably causing some of your own misery.

Thankfully, there’s actually a lot you can do to help give your eyes a break. It’s worth it to try a few (or all) of these ideas to see if any of these tips make an impact:

1. Take a Break

It’s simple, but easily overlooked. Many of us overwork our eyes and that’s a significant contributing factor to our vision problems.

Try to aim for the 20/20/20 rule. Take a break every twenty minutes, look at an object twenty feet away, and hold your gaze for twenty seconds.

2. Blink More Often

Believe it or not, part of the reason why your eyes may hurt is because you’re probably not blinking enough.

Blinking your eyelids lubricates your eyes with tears, restoring the moisture your eyes lose from evaporation. Keeping your eyes hydrated helps prevent excessive dryness.

To keep your eyes feeling great, try to consciously blink more often. In fact, try blinking every time you think about it.

3. Use Your Prescription

If you have prescription eyewear, you may need to wear it even when you’re on the computer. Or, wear it when you’re away from your computer and use computer glasses when you’re in front of a screen.

Your eyestrain could be caused by the fact that your eyes are having to work harder to compensate for any vision challenges you experience, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or other issues.

4. Use Computer Lenses

Computer lenses are designed to be worn while using digital devices such as computers, smartphones, tablets, and televisions. Since our eyes are not designed for staring at screens, they sometimes need help.

Available in a wide range of frame designs, you can get computer lenses custom-made to your individual eyewear needs, fashion tastes, and vision prescription.

5. Adjust Your Screen Settings

Depending on the device you’re using, you may also be able to make adjustments to the screen so it causes less eyestrain. For instance, you could reduce the amount of blue light emitted by your computer screen so it doesn’t interfere as much with your sleep.

Too much blue light may reduce melatonin production in the body, causing sleep to become more difficult. Thankfully, it’s usually easy to change the settings on your computer, phone, or other device. You may even set up your device to reduce blue light before bedtime or for late night work.

Protect Your Vision

With these tips, you can reduce the strain your eyes undergo during your day-to-day use of electronics. Computer use doesn’t have to damage your eyes–by taking these steps, you can improve your comfort and productivity even while relying on computers to get your work done.