How to Use Technology to Keep Your Business Safe From Break-Ins

Did you know that on average, only 1 out of every 48 shoplifters are caught? With sobering stats like these, it’s no wonder that billions of dollars are lost every year in the US due to shoplifters and others. For small business owners, these numbers can be especially alarming. Every penny counts, and crimes like these could be eating away at your bottom line.

You’ve probably been wondering how best to tackle this problem. When it comes to reducing theft, technology can be your best friend. Here are a few simple ways you can start preventing crime at your place of business.

Smart Locks

Getting a smart lock can be your first and easiest line of defense against after-hour intrusions. Smart locks may sound fancy and high-tech, but it’s a pretty simple concept and there are several user-friendly brands to choose from. In basic terms, a smart lock is a gadget installed on your door that has WiFi capability. You can communicate with the lock and employ its different features remotely, although the features themselves will differ based on the level of security that the lock brings. Some locks can be activated remotely, have voice and camera options, and can even activate other smart devices within the building. 

Security Cameras

When you hear “security cameras,” do you still picture those large black cameras hoisted high into a corner, watching your every move? While today’s security cameras can still record your every move, they’re very different from the old ones in that they’re mostly wireless. Wireless security cameras have many advantages over traditional wired security cameras. The number one advantage is that since they’re wireless they’re also portable, and usually also have the capability to be monitored from anywhere, not just within a store.

Lighting

While it isn’t a guaranteed method to prevent theft, having poor lighting can definitely increase a business’s chances of getting robbed. Criminals are more likely to do their work in the dark, so using technology to help brighten the surroundings may be a big help in preventing break-in.

Try options such as sensor lighting. Many new sensor lighting models can also be operated remotely over WiFi, letting you have greater control in monitoring the premises.

Theft is certainly a real problem, especially for small businesses. But thanks to advancements in technology, there are many new and effective options to keep your business safe. Take a look at the options available to you and stay safe!

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Are Live TV Shows Still Relevant?

With the growing popularity of streaming platforms like Netflix, many people aren’t sure what place live TV has in the world anymore. However, it has become increasingly clear that people are still tuning in to watch live TV. That means that live television remains a relevant space and a good place to reach an audience of people who are excited to see what is coming to them through their TV screens from their favorite channels.

Live vs On-Demand

First you have to understand the difference between live and on-demand television and the kinds of audiences they reach. Live television plays on your TV throughout the day while on-demand shows can be watched at any time. While there are many benefits to on-demand TV, live television still pulls a huge audience. Many people enjoy the excitement that comes from waiting for the newest episode of their favorite show to air. This is so true that even on-demand services have started putting out shows an episode at a time to keep their audience intrigued.

Advertising Power

Live TV also provides an excellent opportunity to advertise your business in an effective manner. In fact, 58% of consumers prefer TV ads over other forms of advertisements. That means that your television ads are more likely to be successful than other advertising options. Taking advantage of the possibility of television advertising is a great way to build attention for your brand and tap into a broad customer base.

Seeing Things First

For many people, the ability to see their show as early as possible is important. This helps them to prevent spoilers and to ensure that they are on top of the latest happenings in their favorite TV shows. For this reason, many people like to have access to live television as well as the ability to stream it later. It makes it easier for them to watch the newest episodes of their favorite TV and re-watch as often as they want through a streaming service. Most consumers are looking for a combination of both options to meet their needs.

It’s important to acknowledge that though the ways people consume media have changed, more traditional methods are still great. Many people enjoy the ability to watch live television on a regular schedule. Finding ways to maximize upon both options will make things simpler and ensure that you have access to everything you need.

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How to Be a More Tech Savvy Homeowner

As a homeowner, your fiscal investment depends upon your taking care of it. This is, of course, exhausting after a while! There are so many tiny things which need to be cared for in a home; however, those tasks are much easier than they used to be thanks to new and upcoming tech products. How can you use technology to become a more savvy homeowner?

Install a Security System

First things first: your home needs to be protected. Chances are, unless you own an older home, a security system was installed on your property. Likely, though, it’s outdated. According to Consumer Reports, modern security systems have options for monitored doorbells, window and door sensors, and property monitoring in varied ways. Some can give you the options of having deliveries monitored, or for you to monitor your home online from a remote location. What specifically you need is dependent upon what crime is in your area, and specifically how many square feet of coverage and acreage you need cared for.  

Solar Energy

People can often erroneously have concerns over installing solar power, thinking it will not be useful on days when it is not sunny. Nothing could be further from the truth. According to AMP Smart, solar can be combined with battery storage to give you more control over your power. While solar rebate options in most states are ending in 2022, that still gives you five months to choose whether solar could be a good bet for your home. Owning your own panels gives you options to not be dependent upon the electrical grid as well, which is increasingly important in certain states.

Regulate Your Temperature

A simple install and simple to use computerized thermostat can save you a great deal of money in the long run! Many consumers turn their thermostats up midday, for their air conditioner to not be overworked in the heat of the afternoon, and down slightly at night, so as to sleep in cooler air. If you’re like many, though, this can mean forgetting to turn the temperature back to a more regular setting and paying the bills for it later. According to Hunker, digitally connected thermostats that connect to an app on your phone can save you up to $100 on yearly electrical bills, as you can change the temperature whenever and wherever you are!

Sometimes new technology can seem intimidating, especially if you’re the one expected to install and use it. But don’t worrythere are excellent technicians who can help with the installation process. Your safer, more efficient, better protected home is waiting for you!

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Renewable Energy Sources That Aren’t Solar and Wind

Renewable energy sources are all the buzz, especially as they seem to consistently be a necessary part of the growth and future of the United States and the world in general. While most of the attention goes to solar and wind energy sources, there are actually many more renewable energy options that people should be aware of. Here are a few renewable energy options that you should keep an eye on as we move towards a more renewable and sustainable future.

Hydroelectric

One of the most exciting possibilities for renewable energy is the option of harnessing the power of water to produce electricity. According to the National Academies, water has been an essential part of producing energy for centuries, but now may be the time to harness its power on a larger scale. Much like wind turbines, water passes through a turbine of its own to produce energy and power a generator. Water is capable of moving quickly and producing a large amount of energy without negative impacts or actually being used up, making it highly renewable.

Geothermal 

According to Rabe Hardware, geothermal is among the most clean and efficient sources of energy. It is energy the earth already has stored beneath the surface and can be used in a variety of ways to produce usable energy. Geothermal energy is especially useful for heating and cooling purposes and can be a great way to harness renewable energy to power normal operations. Using geothermal energy can be harnessed anywhere, but it is more viable in particular areas depending on the geological traits of the physical space.

Biomass and Biofuels

Another option is a move from using fossil fuels to focusing on biomass and biofuels. According to Energy Sage, these kinds of fuels are produced by plant and animal life, and are like traditional energy sources but much more renewable. They also cause less environmental damage. Biomass and biofuels do come with their own problems and requirements, but they are a great option when it comes to transitioning to renewable energy sources and attempting to make human life on earth more environmentally compatible.

 

There are many kinds of renewable energy that may play a part in making the future more sustainable. The more people understand and implement these energy sources the better it will be for the future of human life on earth. Each energy source has its own role to play and can be an important part of making a difference for the future of sustainable life.

 

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How to Keep Your Company Information Secure

Regardless of what type of business you have, there will be lots of important data that must be properly secured. Here are some ways that you can ensure the safety of your data and guard against hacking, data fishing and more.

Encrypt Your Data

When you encrypt your company’s data, the information is being changed in such a way that it becomes virtually unreadable to an outside source. KasperSky advises that by encrypting your data, you are able to transfer and upload files securely, therefore protecting vital information from theft, viewing, et cetera. When it comes to encrypting data on the cloud, there are a lot of software programs that can allow you to do so pretty easily. For cloud encryptions, most software will allow you to create a key prior to uploading information. However, if you are wanting to encrypt your hard drive, you can access the system and security option in your computer’s control panel and follow the prompts.

Virtual Data Room

According to CapLinked, a virtual data room can help your company share sensitive information in the cloud. Not only is the information being stored securely, but because it is stored via the cloud, access to the data is not limited by geography or time. Any approved user can access documents at any time which can make for a much faster workflow and can also result in money saved. Virtual data rooms can be great for any size business because all of your information is stored in one central hub, allowing for easy editing, reviewing, updating and more.

Properly Train Your Employees

No matter how robust your data storage is, you will need to ensure that your employees are taking the proper measures to ensure the safety of the company’s data as well. When it comes to handling sensitive information, not only should there be strict policies in place on how this data is viewed, but also the way it is uploaded and shared should be done in a secure manner as well. ShredIt teaches that employees should maintain a secure workspace by logging out when necessary and only logging into the system via a secured network.

One of the best ways to keep your data safe is by implementing as many preventative measures as you can. Creating unique and strong passwords as well as changing them often is a great way to help keep your data secure as well.

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Safety in Cyberspace: How to Protect Your Identity Online

Using the internet has transformed the way the world works and the way individuals communicate with one another and earn a living. With the expansion of the internet, mobile technology, and shopping solutions, using the internet has become commonplace among all age ranges and demographics. However, as the internet continues to expand, the risk of becoming vulnerable to hacking or identity theft has also grown. Knowing how to protect your identity online is essential to minimize risk and to prevent the spread and sharing of your personal information to strangers.

Strong and Up-to-Date Security Software

One thing that can be very helpful when protecting your identity online is making sure that your security software is up to date. Always use updated security software programs on your computers and any device you use to browse the internet, log in to websites, and make purchases. As the internet is rapidly shifting and changing daily with new vulnerabilities, bugs, and issues, an updated security program is a must at all times.

Monitor Your Credit

Monitoring your credit should be a part of your regular routine. Your credit score can immediately alert you of potential identity theft or other forms of theft with your name and social security number. Use a credit monitoring service to keep track of your credit score whenever you believe there may be an issue. You should periodically check your credit report for accounts you don’t recognize and potential issues that were not caused by you, as these may be signs that your identity has been stolen or even compromised by an identity thief or hacker.

Research Websites, Companies, and Brands

The internet has made it easier than ever to order just about anything from around the world within seconds with the use of high-speed internet and mobile smartphones. With an abundance of online stores and retailers, it is important to verify that the website, company, or brand you are shopping with is verified and reputable. Only use secured websites with SSL certificates when making a purchase and completing the checkout process. Research customer reviews and testimonials on websites you are unfamiliar with before handing over your personal data and financial information.

The more familiar you are with navigating the internet while protecting your identity and personal information, the less likely you are to encounter an online hacker or identity thief on a trusted website. With a bit of research and an understanding of signs to look for, you can more easily prevent hackers from targeting you as their next online victim.

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How 3D Printing Is Changing Architecture

The architecture industry is changing due to advanced technologies. Just as computer modeling provided new horizons for architects, 3D printing can help architects and designers bring new ideas into physical form for the first time. Whether they are creating a scale model or looking forward to printing an entire house, the scope of 3D printing is still becoming visible for many architects. Of course, this technology does not replace the historical approaches to architecture that have crafted the buildings that we know and love today, but it offers new possibilities for concept and execution that could revolutionize the future.

Scale Models Are Easier

In order to envision the scope of an architectural project, scale models are key. Almost every project involves a miniature model that portrays the concept for the building in 3D form, which has multiple advantages. Over the years, many architects have developed skilled, handmade scale models to accurately represent the final vision for their work. Now, 3D printing can make the creation of scale models easier and more accurate. Architects can constantly revise their vision when they can easily create a new model with the 3D printer. This allows architects to dedicate their time to other tasks while the 3D printer creates the detailed, accurate scaled representation.

Creation of Customized Designs

While 3D printing has a great deal of utility in creating plans and designs, it can also be part of the final project. Architects may want new tiles, molding and other patterns that do not already exist to give a unique look to a building, room, or design. With 3D printing, architects can create customized items and designs to be integrated into the final project. 3D printed models can also be used to create factory molds and prototypes for a full-scale run of a new, customized idea. Some architects have already used 3D printing to craft unique ceramic tile patterns for their projects.

Education Sector

Aspiring architects are being taught how to get used to advanced 3D tech in their coursework. There is tremendous educational merit to the use of 3D printing in the classroom. Architects in training can see firsthand how their designs translate into physical reality and gain a deeper understanding of the effects of their design decisions. The ease and accessibility of 3D printing can encourage students to develop their creativity while deepening their understanding of the structural and geometric principles involved.

While 3D printing is already changing architecture, the full scope of its potential is yet to be discovered. 3D printers are being developed to handle a variety of materials, from ceramic to concrete to metal, and innovative projects provide the potential for fully 3D-printed homes and buildings. 3D printing may make it possible to create long-term, secure individual shelters for homeless people or for astronauts to explore different environments. New potentials of this technology will continue to change the industry for years to come.

What You Need to Know to Make a High-Tech Kitchen

Technology in the kitchen has certainly come a long way in the last 100 years. From the introduction of basic electrical appliances in kitchens to instant pots that can cook meals in minutes, there are many ways that technology has improved the way that people prepare meals at home. If you are thinking of remodeling your kitchen, then there are many high-tech items that you might want to consider using.

What Makes a Kitchen High-Tech?

High-tech kitchens use the latest inventions to make life as easy as possible. There are a number of reasons why people might want to go high-tech for their kitchen, for those who like to cook as well as those who hate it. For those who love to cook, among the top reasons is it allows them to be more passionate about their hobby because they can accomplish more in a shorter cook time than ever before. For those too busy to cook, using high-tech appliances means that they can get a meal on the table faster. There are even gadgets that will remind you when it is time to get rid of the food that you have not used or keep your grocery list automatically.

High-Tech Appliances

When you are getting ready to remodel your kitchen, consider high-tech appliances. The June Oven may be the perfect solution for a small kitchen because this tabletop oven acts as a conventional oven, an air fryer, a dehydrator, a slow cooker and much more. It is preprogrammed with over 200 recipes that you can set to cook with voice commands. It also can recognize the foods that you are putting in so that it can start cooking automatically, and it fully integrates with your smartphone. On the other hand, if you are one of those people who cannot start the day without a cup of coffee, then the GE Profile PFE28PBLTS may be the perfect refrigerator for you as it has a Keurig coffee system built right in the door. You may also want to consider refrigerators with a tablet directly on the door so that you can quickly look up recipes or make your grocery list.

High-Tech Kitchen Gadgets

Many small kitchen appliances have become high-tech gadgets. For example, the GeniCan attaches to your trashcan, so you can scan the barcode when you are throwing away an empty container to add the item to your grocery list or order it automatically from Amazon. The Revolution toaster has a built-in tablet so that you can order the perfect toast to be prepared just the way that you like it. If your toast gets cold, then it will reheat it for 15 seconds. The Drop scale automatically connects to thousands of recipes and tells you exactly how much you need to put in. If you are out of something, the Drop scale can even make recommendations for substitutions.

While there is still no automatic robot that will prepare complete meals for you or wash the dishes afterward, high-tech gadgets make life a lot easier. Consider them when you are remodeling your kitchen.

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4 Ways You Can Use Technology to Protect Yourself From Hackers

One of the most prevalent threats in the cyber-world are hackers. They can cost you dearly in downtime and can put you and your business at risk of theft. To keep yourself and your business data safe, there are technologies you can put in place to shield your information and to keep your client data protected.

Virtual Private Network

A virtual private network, also known as a VPN, is a way to share encrypted information between computers as though you were functioning on a private network. Passwords are required to make sure that anyone logging into the VPN is authentic. A quality VPN service will verify each computer to access the network. Additionally, you can subscribe to a VPN service with a kill-switch. Any suspicious activity shuts down the network to avoid data loss.

Personal and Business VPNs

A quality VPN service will not be able to view your data or any information specific to your client. It provides an envelope in which your business can function safely by connecting with other verified computers. A VPN can be set up on your personal computer and is a good choice if you work remotely, especially if you choose to connect to public Wi-Fi services.

Two-Factor Authorization

Two-factor authorization is initiated when your client sets up an account. The client will need to create a password. In addition to the password, the client will likely need to enter a code that is sent by your VPN service to another device, such as a cell phone. Once your new client is able to verify who he or she is on both devices, the account is activated. Without such verification, the account setup can’t be completed. It’s generally advised that you should learn to protect yourself from cyber extortion. In addition to including this verification step during the initial setup, your clients will need to undergo this same process if they change their passwords.

Stay Vigilant

Hackers are always looking for new ways to tap into data. While two-factor authorization is a great start, the data you store online is vulnerable. The theft of a customer list can put you and your business at great legal risk. If you’re feeling suspicious of something, you’re probably correct in your thinking. It doesn’t hurt to look into something just to make sure it’s not the sign of a data breach.

Whether you’re an independent contractor or a business owner, shielding information is key to your job. Your clients deserve and should expect your discretion. If you travel, consider setting up a personal VPN. Be prepared to collect the data needed to set up a two-factor verification system.

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How Artificial Intelligence Will Impact Major Industries

As robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence processes become more prevalent in major industries across the world, many people are becoming worried that these machines will replace workers in these industries. While it’s true that certain jobs will be filled by machines in the future, this is no different than any other time in history, when new technologies changed workplace dynamics. There are always new types of jobs that need to be filled. It is exciting to think about all the ways that AI can benefit major industries.

Manufacturing

There is no denying that machines are beneficial to the manufacturing industry and have been increasingly used in many automated processes. However, it is also true that machines imbued with artificial intelligence are becoming increasingly used as well. According to Autodesk, generative design is a new process that uses AI software to explore all of the possibilities of an engineered design with specific parameters, filters, and generated design alternatives. Then, the software uses machine learning in each iteration to delineate what is a successful design and what is not.

AI can also help with predictive maintenance by having machines that can report on their own conditions in real time. This saves on time, labor, and resources. Predictive maintenance also involves the highly beneficial analysis by AI of all pertinent data available to know how often and under what circumstances a machine will need repair.

Medical Field

AI is capable of transforming the medical field in a myriad of ways. Intelligent machines can analyze imaging and offer diagnoses as accurately as health care workers, and AI software can be used to predict treatment outcomes based on data. Medical care systems can benefit from AI that streamlines data storage, record keeping, and other tasks. According to Logical Medical Systems, AI will make robotic surgery and proactive patient monitoring possible by collecting real-time data.

Automotive

Everyone is aware of the use of AI in so-called “self-driving” automobiles because of the media attention these vehicles receive. The reality, though, is that there are multiple ways in which AI is being used in the automotive industry to improve many aspects of automotive design and production. Machine learning is used in product design and for sales and marketing. Machine learning software can identify potential issues before they occur. AI is also used to analyze testing and simulation, and computer vision cameras are used to detect minute cracks in materials.

These are just some of the industries that will continue to be impacted by AI innovation. While different industries have different outputs and products, they all share basic processes, such as data accumulation, design, testing, and other similar workings. AI can make all of these processes better and more efficient, which will lead to humans living more productive lives.

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