Category Archives: Tech

How to Make Your Digital Journey Savvy and Successful

.There comes a time in every entrepreneur’s life when they realize that traditional advertising just isn’t enough to get noticed. Not if it’s industry domination they’re after, anyway. If you want to expand your influence and leave your competitors in the dust, you need to bring your brand into the online world. By accessing simple, savvy strategies, you can make sure that your internet marketing process is a successful one. Below you’ll find just a few tips and tricks that can get your company’s digital journey going and growing.

Know Your Target Market Well

Your first step to success in the internet marketing sector is knowing your audience. When you know who your target market is, you will know which tools you can use to connect with and then convert them. There are several key questions you can ask to gain a clearer understanding of your specific market. Here are some of them:

  • What is the gender of your target audience?
  • Where do your current clients and prospects live?
  • What is the education level of your audience, and what types of occupations do they have?
  • What types of goods and services are your potential customers most excited to buy?
  • Do the majority of your customers buy online or do they prefer shopping in-person?

Build Your Website

Your website is much more than just your online store. Your website is your introduction to the world. It is where potential customers will learn about your brand and what you stand for. It is important for your website to inform your audience about who you are, what you do, and why you do it.

But just because your website is more than merely an online store, you still must make sure that the e-commerce portion of your website is as streamlined as possible. A simple and easy to navigate website will help convert your traffic into sales. Making use of minimalist graphic design elements will make your product pages more visually appealing and engaging, without overwhelming your visitors.

Spread the Word

Now that you have your online home all set up and ready for business, it’s time to get the word out. While industry domination may be your ultimate goal, your hometown can help jump start your online presence.

A tried and true web optimization strategy is to have your web address printed on advertising materials. If you hand out business cards, appointment cards, invitations, or newsletters, having your URL printed on them can help convert real-life prospects into online customers. Be sure to also include any social media accounts that you use for your business.

Niche marketing services can help those just starting out or taking their humble online business to the next level. Specifically, it can be a good idea to work with a team of professional digital advertising experts who are skilled in helping individuals within your field. For example, say you work in real estate and sell property regularly. A high end marketing company such as LuxMark would provide you with customized web design and development services. For more information about these type of services, and how they can ensure your business is advertised effectively, visit luxmarkint.com.

Begin Your Digital Journey Today

While you may think there is a right time to bring your business online, truth be told, no company, business, or product can gain traction without an online presence today. Instead of delaying your company’s progress, begin your digital journey with the help of the tips in this article today.

5 Tips to Keep Your Home Secure From Hackers

(BPT) – Times have changed. It’s no longer enough to protect your physical home, it’s also vital that you stay safe from cybercrimes. It has become increasingly easier for criminals to gain access to financial accounts, email, and even hack internet-connected devices in the home.

The good news is that there are a handful of steps you can take to help defend your home from cyberattacks and lock down access to your personal information.

1. Know Your Status

Before you can take steps to keep yourself safe from external threats, it’s important to understand your level of vulnerability. The website have i been pwned? is a useful tool that searches more than 190 data breaches to see if your personal information has ever been leaked.

If you’ve been the victim of a data breach, immediately change the password of the vulnerable account along with the passwords of any websites or accounts that use the same credentials. For instance, if the email and password you use for Facebook was breached, and that’s the same login combination you use for your bank, your bank account could be vulnerable to hackers.

2. Invest in a Protective Router

Much like the front door is the entryway into a home, the Wi-Fi router is the entry point into a home’s digital information. It’s also the first line of defense against external threats. Do your research and invest in a router that prioritizes network security. You should always password protect your Wi-Fi and be sure to change the default username and password that comes pre-configured on the router (often this is listed on the bottom of the box or router).

If you can’t remember the last time you manually updated your router, it may be running outdated software, leaving your home vulnerable. Because the update process can be laborious, consider swapping out your old router for a newer technology like eero. eero’s mesh Wi-Fi system takes home security to the next level by automatically installing regular software updates and security patches, so customers can avoid the hassle of manually updating their router. eero is equipped with the latest in Wi-Fi security, allowing you to kick unknown devices off the network via a smartphone app or share the Wi-Fi password with others via text message or email, so you don’t have to leave it posted on the fridge.

3. Secure Your Devices

You don’t need to live in a “smart home” to be vulnerable to external security threats. These days, more and more products connect to the internet, and while that can be useful, it also leaves your home vulnerable to hackers. The first thing you should do when you get an internet-connected device up and running is check for new firmware updates. Most products sitting on shelves of retailers don’t have the latest software loaded, so applying updates is a critical step to ensuring those devices remain safe. Also be sure you’re not ignoring prompts for software updates and patches in the future. It’s crucial to keep your connected devices up-to-date.

4. Choose Strong Passwords

You’ve heard it before — make sure you’re using strong passwords. They need to be at least 12 characters in length, and include numbers, symbols, and lowercase and uppercase letters. They shouldn’t include personal information or common words (e.g., “password”). You’ll want to create a unique password for every account, so if a hacker gets one of your passwords in a data breach, they can’t immediately log into your other accounts.

Strong passwords can be hard to remember, but you shouldn’t keep a written record of them. Instead, consider registering for a password manager like LastPass. Password managers are applications or browser extensions that store login credentials for the websites, then log in to those sites automatically for you, so you don’t have to remember every password for each account.

5. Lock Down Your Social Media Channels

Be careful about what you’re sharing on social media. Besides not posting sensitive information like your address, phone number, and when you’re headed out of town, be aware of other personally identifiable information that’s out there. When trying to reset passwords and usernames, hackers often go through the process of guessing your security questions. If you’re not careful, the information to help them answer those questions might be living on your social media page.

To keep yourself safe, ensure you’re properly securing your social media sites from the public and limit the amount of information you’re posting on those channels. Also, when you’re selecting your security questions, certain answers might be easy for intruders to locate online. Common security questions ask for your mother’s maiden name, your high school mascot, and the name of your family pet. Consider choosing more obscure questions to answer.

While following these steps won’t ensure you’re completely safe, they will help put you and your family ahead of the game when it comes to online and digital security.

Certified Coders in High Demand Following ICD-10 Implementation

(BPT) – Nine years ago, Peter Esswein, a resident of Sandy Springs, Georgia, enrolled in a health information technology degree program at DeVry University to capitalize on the growing prominence of electronic medical records.

“I always wanted to work in the medical industry, and the time was right for a personal career change,” Esswein says. “Completing my associate degree in health information technology gave me the confidence and skills I needed to progress on my new career path.”

Now, as Esswein continues his career as a coding quality assistant, health care is changing again. Following the release of a medical coding system overhaul in October 2015, expected updates in the near future are underscoring the demand for coders. International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision, or ICD-10, increased the number of medical codes by more than 50,000 — and in fiscal year 2017, about 5,500 more diagnostic and inpatient procedure codes will roll out.

“The new codes are designed to enable more informative, accurate recording of the medical information required to bill correctly for reimbursement,” Esswein says. “In my role, it’s essential that I not only understand ICD-10, but that I’m staying ahead of what’s coming next to help alleviate any confusion in my workplace and mitigate mistakes in advance.”

Prepping for Industry Change

Many health care organizations say transitioning to the new system was their biggest challenge last year. While Esswein graduated years ago and is getting on-the-job training with the new system, many employers struggled to find qualified new technicians, since recent graduates had studied the previous classification system, ICD-9.

To get these new grads up to speed, DeVry University offered an ICD-10 course at no cost for medical billing and coding graduates who had registered by November 2015 and students in their last semester of the program. All future courses will be taught using ICD-10 as the standard.

“DeVry University programs will continue to evolve as healthcare advances and becomes more accessible in the United States,” says Kristyn Murphy-Rodvill, assistant national dean in the College of Health Sciences at DeVry University. “We know finishing a degree program during an industry transition can create obstacles for recent grads. Our ICD-10 course is designed to eliminate those barriers and prepare students with the skills and knowledge they need to be competitive in their field.”

Propelling the Future of Health Care

Knowledgeable health information technology experts — from coders to technicians and managers — are projected to remain in high demand through 2022. Medical billing is projected to grow by 22% in this time period.

“With the right education, the future is bright for healthcare professionals,” says Murphy-Rodvill. “DeVry’s programs are designed to help students grow their professional expertise, and remain at the forefront of their industry.”

3 Ways You Can Start Earning Cash Online

Are you completely unhappy with where you are in your career? Don’t worry, there are many people who find themselves in the same situation, and it’s easier now to make a change you’ll love than it has ever been before. The incredible power of the internet has opened up new avenues for money-making and career-building so that you can start earning cash online without all of the pressure and anxiety that go along with a formal job interview. The internet offers a vast amount of opportunities for employment; it all depends on your specific skill set.

Here are some worthwhile ideas to consider, whether you simply want to earn some extra cash or start an online career.

1. Become a Blogger

Blogging has been a fast-growing field over the last several years, first with writers and other creative types looking to build an online form of expression with added perks, and then those in other fields began to see how they could make blogging work for them. Today, there are countless blogs out there on more topics than anyone can imagine. While blogging can be a great way to earn an income online, it does take some time to keep it updated with fresh content and promote your work, at least at first. But if you build a blog that develops a following and garners impressive numbers, those numbers can turn into advertisement inquiries, brand partnerships and sponsorships, and even some exciting life opportunities.

2. Become a Survey Taker

You may have never heard of this before, but becoming a survey taker is a very real way to make money online. There are various websites out there, like Crowdology that are actually willing to pay people to take online surveys. Some tips to keep in mind when looking at this option, however, is that because not all surveys pay out the same, it would be in your best interest to investigate which survey sites are willing to shell out the most cash. Otherwise, survey taking is a very easy way to make some cash in your spare time.

3. Buy and Sell Things

The proliferation of online classifieds and auction sites has made it possible for many people to make a living by buying and selling things. Anything, really. These people scour various sites where items are being sold and purchase them at or below market value. They then resell those items for a profit. It can be quite a lucrative business if you know what you’re doing, and it’s best to only buy and sell items that you have knowledge about so that you can get the most bang for your buck.

Working for yourself and on your own terms doesn’t have to be a pipe dream. You just have to know how to make it your reality, and the internet is loaded with opportunities to start earning cash online.

How the Internet of Things Will Take Your Fitness to the Next Level

The “Internet of Things” is heralded as bringing about a new, connected era in which all of our devices will be able to communicate with one another. Imagine smarter appliances, self-regulating energy systems, and more efficient public transportation, just for a start. But one area where we will really see the benefits of this new form of technology is in personal health and fitness. If you use an activity tracker like a FitBit, you’re already tapping into these benefits.

Here’s a rundown of how the Internet of Things could potentially transform the fitness industry.

What is the Internet of Things?

So what is the Internet of Things, anyway? This blanket term refers to the simple prospect of connecting everyday objects in our lives to the Internet. Connected, smart devices are able to both send and receive data. They are typically equipped with sensors allowing them to pick up this data, and then must be able to send the data over a central connection for analysis. In the case of the health and fitness industry, this involves fitness trackers.

Existing Fitness Devices

Although it’s often talked about as a future technology, the Internet of Things is already here, and can be utilized with the wealth of fitness trackers on the market today. These use sensors to track your exercise activity, sleep patterns, and caloric intake to generate data each day. For example, the Nike Fuel band tracks your hikes, runs, or daily walks and uploads this data to the Internet where you can see how many calories you’ve burned. You can download apps like RunKeeper, which works with your mobile phone’s GPS to collect data based on your actions. You can choose to share this information with your social networks and keep tabs on activity with an online dashboard.

Do you want to track your activity and sleep patterns? Devices like FitBit, Basis, and Jawbone UP wristband are all capable of not only tracking your heartbeats, steps, and caloric intake, but also your sleeping patterns. This lets you adjust your activity for a more efficient, restful result. Some also send you notifications if you’ve been slacking on your usual fitness routine, serving as a motivational tool.

The Future of Wearable Fitness Tech

The wearable tech that we already have only scratches the surface of what the Internet of Things will ultimately be capable of. Major businesses like Nokia Networks are working on devising new ways to stay connected via the IoT, and as a result, in the future we’ll see even more functions from our connected, smart devices. Wearable devices are just one piece of the puzzle, because the IoT involves far more than the devices themselves. It will also impact the supporting infrastructure for these devices, which is an area we’re only seeing the beginning changes of.

Future devices will be able to take health monitoring to the next level. Imagine smart devices that can constantly monitor your health and fitness, sending automatic alerts to your doctor if any irregularities arise. Early disease detection, weight management, and blood sugar monitoring could lead to increased longevity and a reduced strain on our healthcare systems. The basic fitness trackers we’re already using will be amped up and connected to a holistic healthcare network, keeping you fitter than ever.

Powering Industrial Engines Without Relocating Them

It took a lot of effort and time to place your company’s powerful industrial engines in the field. It would take just as much time and effort, not to mention cost, to haul them back to your base location in order to power them up after they have stopped working. When you want to save your company a lot of money, and your workers the physical exertion, powering industrial engines in the field is possible with field gear like a Start Pac or other mobile power equipment.

In order to get the best deal on the exact piece of field gear you’re looking for, like turbine starting machines, you should take a look online. When you land on the equipment’s website, it is advisable that you first check out the specifications of the gear. As you will see, it can be charged and ready to go within a 10-second time frame, rather than having to sit on a charger for hours or even overnight before being used. You can charge it once you arrive on the location of your turbine engine and still have the power you need to get the turbine going again.

To get your turbine starting machine to your engine’s location, it can be carried by one or more workers by its mobile cart. The cart’s handle can also be pulled out so that the entire compartment can be pulled behind someone like a wagon. This mobility allows the charger to be taken into any kind of environment, even locations that may be rocky, steep, or less hospitable for carrying heavy gear.

If a piece of field gear like a turbine starting machine is available, you may be wondering what other types of field gear can be purchased online in order to ease the cost and manpower of your operation. When you check out the above website, you can find a full listing of charging gear on the right side of the site. Utilize the highlighted links in order to read more about each piece of equipment in detail. You can also sign up for a newsletter to stay up to date on everything they have to offer, and request brochures so that you have information on-hand to share with coworkers or supervisors. Finally, customer service is available to answer your questions, should you have any, with the phone number listed on the website.

Organize and Protect Your E-Life with the WD My Cloud Mirror #KEEPITCOMING

We’ve all been there before — we’re plugging away, working, fulfilling obligations, sharing the memories we’ve captured and cataloging the others away. It’s all very business as usual until suddenly, it isn’t. The computer crashes. Nothing was backed up. Everything is gone. I have been there a few times myself (because evidently it takes something happening more than once to teach me a lesson) and each time was devastating.

I have led an active e-life since I was a teenager, and I have been a blogger since before The Powers That Be came up with the term “blogger.” I have created, written, and managed numerous blogs, forums, and websites — Woman Tribune alone since 2008. That’s a long time, ripe with opportunity to lose a lot of important files, pictures, and data — and I did. Now, things are different, and the task of backing up your files has been completely revolutionized.

Do you remember when backing up your files meant dragging them over to a floppy disk for safe keeping? If only we knew back then that the future would bring us stylish 6-inch-tall white boxes capable of storing our entire e-life in just a few clicks. I’m talking about the WD My Cloud Mirror — a personal cloud with a built-in backup plan.

My Cloud Mirror

We all know and have come to rely on “the cloud.” We also have come to know its flaws and the security breaches that can come with utilizing it. What makes the My Cloud Mirror different is that it is your own personal cloud storage safely located in your own home.

The My Cloud Mirror comes with everything you need to start storing files in about five minutes. Plug it into your router and a power outlet, then head over to the website and follow the instructions for setting up and you’re done.

Whether you need to free up space on your phone, tablet, or computer, or just make sure everything on all of your devices is safe and sound should anything happen, the My Cloud Mirror can store all of your important files and memories away for safe keeping. Because it has a dual drive, not only do your important files get stored onto the drive, but everything is also copied onto a secondary backup for twice the protection. Hello, peace of mind!

My husband is a musician, and to keep his music files (which are ridiculously large) safe, he has taken to accumulating way too many hard drives. Talk about a headache when trying to find the right music file! With the My Cloud Mirror’s 4 terabytes of space, he can KEEPITCOMING™. What I love most about this personal cloud is that you can access your files from anywhere there’s an internet connection, so if you’re out of town and need a file on your computer back at home, if you’ve synced it up with your My Cloud Mirror, you can retrieve that file instantly. How cool is that?!

The My Cloud Mirror is available in 4 TB, 6 TB, and 8 TB, and comes with a 2-year limited warranty. It is compatible with Windows® 10, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 7 or Windows Vista®, Mac OS® X El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks™, Mountain Lion™, Lion™, as well as DLNA®/UPnP® enabled devices.

My Cloud Mirror

Forget the public cloud! Be in control of your own data with the WD My Cloud Mirror, and get anywhere access to your important content stored safely at home.

Get to Know the New Scion iA

If you’re in the market for a new car, this fall might just be the perfect time to buy, with the release of Scion’s stunning new Sedan — the Scion iA.

The Scion iA is a sleek car loaded with premium features that come standard, like crystal clear audio with voice recognition, hands-free phone capability, and music streaming services via Bluetooth wireless technology. But don’t let its luxury fool you into thinking it’s impractical. The iA is outfitted in the latest safety and security standards and impressively priced for the average customer.

Check out the infographic below to get to know the new Scion iA, where luxury isn’t based on income.

Scion iA
Learn more about the new Scion iA

How Technology is Disrupting Money Transfers — More Transparency and Lower Costs

Fast transfer of currencies across long distances has not always been the easy task it is today. And even though the industry has been completely revolutionized, there are plenty of currency transfer customers who haven’t gotten the memo.

In the old days, the only way to send currency across borders or over long distances was through the infrastructure of telegram companies. These companies spread out all over the globe in order to have a physical location wherever money might need to be sent. The process wasn’t very fast, it wasn’t very accurate, and it was very expensive. These century-old businesses are still operating today, and they have some of the best brand recognition of any currency transfer company. But in many cases, their services aren’t much improves than they were a generation ago, and they’re still among the most expensive you can find.

The alternative to these private companies is transferring currency through international banks. Banks have the infrastructure and the international presence to do this simply enough. But they also have shareholders to impress, so they charge more than the process is worth. For people who need to transfer money regularly, this is no solution at all.

Something had to change. The internet and mobile spheres helped cultivate agile new businesses organized to make currency transfer much more affordable and trustworthy. A quick search for “international currency comparison” will make it clear that it shouldn’t cost very much money to transfer money overseas in 2015, making the old guard of money transfer seem all the more antiquated. When you actually get in touch with one of the new generation of currency firms, you’ll see just how far this transparency extends.

The old way of setting up one of these deals takes a “take it or leave it” shape. Companies like Western Union position themselves in locations where people have no other options for currency transfer: prisons, airports, low income neighborhoods, etc. New companies don’t often have physical locations at all. They’re online, on your mobile device, and available over the phone. When you call one of these companies, you are assigned a dealer who works with you every time you call. It is (new) industry standard to provide customers like you with contracts that can lock down the most affordable exchange rates when they pop up. You can even haggle over the rate you are given!

You won’t get much or any of this from a big bank, or from one of the old school companies that transfer currency around the globe. That’s why the old companies spend so much money on advertising. If they had it their way, no one would know that there is a new model for this kind of service, locking them into terms and fees which are not in the best interest of the customer.

With so many excellent players in the game, there are affordable solutions for people sending small payments, regular mid-range payments, large payments for investment or property, and for just about every other purpose. Most companies favor one sort of company or another for their money transfers, but there’s something for everyone. Keep looking and you’ll find a money transfer company who can offer you excellent terms, prices, and transparency for your situation.

Top photo: epsos/Flickr

Save More When Shopping Online with Frugaa

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Frugaa. Incentive was provided and opinions are my own.

Frugaa.com

This holiday season, more people than ever before are opting to do their shopping online. Consumers made this abundantly clear right after Thanksgiving, when the usual numbers expected from Black Friday sales dropped, while Cyber Monday had its most lucrative year to-date. The logic is simple: why brave the overcrowded, overpriced malls and limited stock of brick and mortar stores when you can find everything you’re looking for (along with some things you didn’t even know you needed) in exactly the right size, color, and style online? I am such a big fan of shopping online that I would buy my groceries via a website if a delivery service would start servicing my rural area of Northeastern, Pennsylvania.

Every Christmas, the same scenario plays out among my family as we sit together around the tree in my grandmother’s living room and open gifts. Each person is routinely chastised for doing too much, spending too much, giving too much. When the comments come around to me, my dad is quick to assure everyone that “Holly shops online, so she got a good deal.”

He’s right. When you’re an avid online shopper, you pick up some tips on how to really stretch your dollar. The golden rule, at least in my experience, is shopping online means never having to pay full price. In fact, just the other day I managed to get a $35 Christmas purchase down to $16 by seeking out the website with the lowest price and finding a valid free shipping promo code. I won Christmas.

There is a lot of money to be saved when you shop online. Making the process how to save that money easier than ever is Frugaa, an online coupon search engine.

Frugaa.com

Frugaa helps bargain hunters save an average of $25 every time they search their website for the latest coupons, discounts, free shipping deals, cash back options, rewards, and more for hundreds of online stores we’ve all heard of, and some of which you’re probably already shopping.

Using their site is simple:

When you’ve found that perfect something you need in your life (or want to gift that special someone this holiday season) run a quick search for that store on Frugaa before making your purchase. You’ll receive a list of valid coupons to choose from and apply at checkout for savings. Search results are sorted by most popular and the expiration date of each coupon is listed with each offer so you will never find yourself in the predicament of finding an awesome coupon code only to find out it has expired or doesn’t work.

If you’re still in the browsing stage of your shopping, use the Frugaa savings calculator to search for items based on category and your budget. Tap the search button and bam, you have a complete list of the best deals for what you’re looking for.

Coupons and deals are just the foundation the Frugaa website is built on. They have much more to offer, including a budding rewards system and a huge marketplace!

Frugaa seeks out manufacturers and suppliers with the fairest prices in order to pass the biggest savings onto you. With categories including clothing, home decor, gadgets, pet supplies, and even web hosting packages, you can score rock bottom prices on the things you need, the things you want, and things you didn’t even know you wanted without leaving the Frugaa website.

Want to be rewarded for your influence? Who doesn’t, right? When you visit the Frugaa website and complete challenges like watching a video, sharing a deal on your social media channels and engaging your audience, you will receive badges and rewards for your actions. When you complete enough goals, you can redeem your rewards. Such an extra special, very fun addition to an already excellent service!

Visit Frugaa and start saving big when you shop online!