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7 Things You Can Do Right Now to Protect Your Computer from Viruses and Hackers

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Being connected 24/7 has opened the door for new challenges when it comes to cybersecurity and data storage protection. Whether you’re a felony defense lawyer, a doctor or a virtual assistant, your computer is at risk when you connect to the internet.

Every time we visit a website, there’s a risk we encounter viruses that can damage our computers and make us lose important information. Our gadgets are vulnerable, no matter how much we like to tell ourselves that it can’t happen to us.

Hackers can get access to our passwords, personal bank accounts, work information and other important data in our computers. We can lose money, properties and even become victims of identity theft.  

Whether it’s your personal computer or your working device, cybersecurity is important. Check these seven effective ways to protect your computer, to keep your information safe.

1. Invest in an Efficient Antivirus Software

Viruses can slow down your computer, cancel important data and even crash your PC. An antivirus software detects threats and protects your computer from any unauthorized software or code that wants to enter in the system.  

Make sure your antivirus software:

  • Is reliable – choose a product that runs in harmony with your operating system and doesn’t conflict with other software you’re using;
  • Is easy to use – you don’t need to be an IT specialist to get the best protection against viruses;
  • Has frequent updates – with so many viruses, Trojans, and worms threatening computers, you need a product that keeps up with the news in the niche;
  • Doesn’t inhibit your computer – if your PC is running slow because of your antivirus, you’ll be tempted to shut down protection, making yourself vulnerable;
  • Includes spyware protection – protects your computer against software that collects data from your computer and delivers it to third-party websites without your approval.

2. Update Your Operating System and Software

For better protection, set your computer to update software automatically – including antivirus and antispyware software. Updates are going to fix bugs, improve features and make your computer faster and more reliable. All these, while improving your security features.

Old versions of your operating system are easier to break through, leaving more room for viruses and hackers. If you don’t have time to do the updates yourself, you can use Windows Updates, which automatically updates software for you.

3. Protect Your WiFi

Routers are comfortable and easy to use, but they’re also easy to access. Hackers can enter into your system and steal your data in just a few seconds if you don’t protect your wifi network.

Change your network name and reset your passwords on a regular basis. An open wifi (no password) isn’t such a good idea. It may be easier for you and your family to connect to the internet, but it also gives free access to your system to anyone close enough to your home.

You should also activate encryption and update the router every time it’s needed.

4. Use a Firewall

A firewall is a software that doesn’t allow your computer to communicate with other devices without your permission. In simple words, it keeps hackers from accessing data on your PC, among other benefits.  

Most operating systems are equipped with built-in firewalls, to protect your devices. However, you need to make sure the firewall is turned on and updated.

5. Set Strong Passwords

One of the easiest things you can do to protect your computer is to set complex passwords – that you will remember. Also, make sure you choose security questions and answers wisely. Personal information is easy to find online, so details like your street or your mother’s name aren’t so secret anymore.

Your password should:

  • Have at least 8-10 characters;
  • Alternate lower-case letters with capital letters and numbers;
  • Include special characters, such as &, *, ! or #;
  • Never include personal information – your name, address, personal codes or phone number.

Google advises users not to use the same password for multiple accounts. If you can’t remember passwords, consider using a password manager.

6. Choose Stronger Authentication Methods

If you have the possibility to set an alternative authentication method, don’t hesitate. Face recognition, fingerprint, codes sent to your mobile phone. Anything that can make access to your accounts more difficult can help you protect your personal data and your devices.

Online bank accounts, PayPal, and other similar apps have already implemented such authentication methods to improve security. Check your providers to see what security features they provide and start using them. It may take a little longer than simply typing your password, but the benefits are obvious.

7. Check Privacy Settings When Shopping Online  

Data breaches and hacking events are a real threat. Even more, ransomware attacks have registered a 50 percent increase from last year. Even if many big stores have registered a smaller number of attacks, you’re still at risk every time you register with unknown e-commerce websites.

You must pay attention whom you give personal data online too. Shop at trustworthy e-stores. If you want to try a new store, take time to check its privacy settings before leaving your credit card information or connecting your PayPal account. Sites should have an https connection and valid security certificates. Remember that online payment should be fast, but it must be secure, as well.

For secure payments, use your credit card for shopping online. Debit cards have lower security levels and are less efficient against fraud.

Susan Ranford is a freelance writer who focuses on business, tech, and careers. She's experienced in career tips, business advice, and job search secrets.

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Technology

Console vs. Mobile vs. PC: Three Kinds of Gaming

Steven Sanders

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Video games have come a long way since Pong, and we now have a variety of different genres to play across a range of platforms. Gamers will always debate amongst themselves about the strengths and weaknesses of each platform, but they will nearly always show some form of bias for their preferred gaming system.

Over the course of this article, we’ll be covering the three primary types of game systems in this day and age. We’ll take a look at highly portable mobile platforms, available game consoles, and powerful gaming PCs, comparing each of them so that you can see exactly how they differ from each other.

PC

PC gaming is often seen as the most cutting-edge way to play your games, and it makes sense. A gaming PC is a lot easier to keep updated than a console since you can replace the components as soon as they come out. Console gamers instead have to wait until the next iteration of their system comes out.

Of course, a PC is also much more versatile than a console, as you can custom-make one that isn’t constrained by whether or not it will be feasible on the market. Keep in mind that gaming PCs pay for their impressive performance and graphics when it comes to stability, with the quality of releases depending on their degree of optimization.

Console

Console gaming is often seen as the more convenient alternative to PC gaming, and there is significant overlap between the games that are available on both types of systems. Console games will typically run at a lower frame rate and a lower resolution than PC games due to the inherent limitations of the systems.

Since a game console has to be reasonably priced, then there is a limit to the performance they can output, and yet they provide immense value for money. You would be hard pressed to find a gaming PC complete with a keyboard, mouse, operating system, and monitor for the price of a console.

Mobile

Finally, mobile gaming takes up a huge percentage of the global gaming market, and that’s what makes it so attractive for game development services. Whenever you have a bit of downtime, you can simply take out your smartphone and start playing a game, and the massive number of ads rakes in a tidy profit.

While there are some games (like Fortnite) that are available on mobile, console, and PC, you’ll find that the majority of mobile games are not available on the other systems due to their simplicity. Mobile games usually have simple control schemes due to the difficulty of adapting them to a touchscreen.

Conclusion

There is no “best” way to play video games, so don’t let anyone discourage you based on your preferred platform. We hope that this guide has summarized the differences between each of these kinds of game systems.

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Technology

The Pros and Cons Behind DevOps as a Service

Steven Sanders

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It seems as though every component of business computing is being used as a service, including DevOps. The advantages of using devops as a service are obvious: You are able to rent computing resources instead of having to buy and manage them on your own.

However, is it possible to outsource each aspect of business operation? Can DevOps as service work for your organization? Does the cloud collaboration between operations and developments help speed up projects, or does it mean that your company will lose control of business-centric applications?

Before discovering the arguments supporting and refuting devops as a service, it’s good to define the meaning behind DevOps?

What is DevOps as a Service?

The term DevOps comes from the creation of operations and development, two different disciplines. Some traditional companies have departmental silos that make it difficult for IT professionals to work on creating business automation software.

DevOps creates an environment needed for the rapid testing and development of custom business software. Making a DevOps-based collaborative environment is easier for security specialists, IT engineers, QA engineers, and other teammates to ensure that there is synchronization, integration, and synergy between workflows.

To ensure that your DevOps environment is successful, your team will need to use agile software methodologies. The more difficult the project, the more enterprise components you’ll need to ensure that your team works properly.

DevOps as a service allows you to relocate those enterprise resources towards the cloud. Rather than using basic software development tools, DevOps as a service collects the development tools towards a platform that’s hosted in the cloud.

Advantages Behind DevOps as a Service

Here are some reasons why companies are starting to use DevOps as a service:

  • DevOps as a service hides the complexity of information and data flow, which means your DevOps team members can focus on their team specific tools without having to know the entire toolchain. For instance, a software developer can conduct tests through source code management tools, and IT operators can make changes with configuration management tools.
  • DevOps allows users to collaborate as it places tools on the cloud. This allows users anywhere to work together and complete projects.
  • Using cloud-based services is a data-driven process where everyone has the same data set. This leads to better quality control and documentation.

Disadvantages Behind DevOps as a Service

Here are the disadvantages that exist when using DevOps for your IT team:

  • Security is always a huge concern. Your security team isn’t always apart of DevOps and the DevOps teams usually choose speed over security when creating software. With DevOps cloud services, you can create unnecessary exposure and risks, especially if its the transport layer that’s left unsecured.
  • Outsourcing DevOps infrastructure will require some level of software development expertise, including having an understanding of orchestrating a workflow, infrastructure, and integration. You’ll need experts and tools of DevOps as a Service in order to be successful.

Conclusion

When you’re using DevOps as a service, you’re increasing your IT teams’ productivity. And if you’re thinking about making a new DevOps strategy, DevOps as a Service will help shorten the time to deploy apps and will give you versatility as you create new business process applications.

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Finance

3 Technologies Revolutionizing Online Business

Steven Sanders

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Modern technology has proven itself disruptive time and again which has allowed businesses to flourish and advance in industries like education, manufacturing, logistics, and finance. Disruptive innovation is also disrupting companies from Google to Microsoft. While in the past the disruptions were unexpected, it has allowed business owners and entrepreneurs to see how the innovative ideas are lucrative opportunities that improve business models significantly. Here are three transformative technologies that are revolutionizing businesses worldwide.

1. API Integration

An application program interface (API) is a software building application tool that determines how API components interact. Partnering with a skilled API Integration company will help companies identify API sets that best connect hardware and software and allow user devices, programs, and data to function and interact with one another. Companies need API integration for many reasons, including to:

  • Connect to cloud apps
  • Develop new APIs
  • Extract data from legacy systems
  • Write new apps
  • Increase productivity
  • Manage APIs in-house
  • New technology integration
  • Develop product or service ideas
  • Generate software solutions for end-users

Some of the most popular APIs utilized by companies include YouTube, Google Maps, Twitter and Amazon. As technology progresses, API integration offers limitless possibilities for companies to expand as growth and revenue do.

2. Artificial Intelligence

Thinking about artificial intelligence (AI) in the past mostly innovative thought process, but today it is a mainstream tool used in daily business operations to improve efficiency and productivity. By 2030, experts predict that AI will contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy and 26 percent gross domestic product to local economies. As more businesses pop up online, APIs will customize customer experiences and analyze data that interprets consumer buying histories to predict future product or service trends. It will also help companies use predictive AI to target new demographics based on behaviors.

What is clear about AI is that it is set to disrupt more companies in the future because of quantum computing that will be smarter and more complex than how we are using it now. It will solve problems like global warming, poverty, space exploration, and disease all because of AI superhuman quantum computer systems that will dissect and analyze data in seconds without programmers feeding them commands. Popular AI in use today includes Siri, Alexa, Cognito, Netflix, and Amazon. The next generation of AI will include facial recognition, augmented reality, internet of things connectivity, emotional replication, drone delivery, and voice or visual search platforms.

3. Blockchain Cryptocurrencies

For the past few years, blockchain cryptocurrencies have thrown many industries into a disruptive state as it decentralized how companies buy, sell and store data. Blockchain uses transparent ledgers to connect an extensive network of users, so it has a reputation of being a tamper-proof way to make transactions, which is an indispensable tool to e-marketers. Blockchain technology like Smart Contracts will also become mainstream, which will allow businesses to use it to secure financial transactions via cryptocurrency exchanges.

Companies must prepare for the future of AI and blockchain technology by investing in the type of resources that transforms new talent and streamlines information technology departments to win in business.

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