How Businesses Can Take the Lead on Renewable Energy Tech

Most business owners are excited about being at the forefront of their field, but there are other ways that you can lead the way. Investing in renewable energy for your business is a great way to come out ahead of the crowd while also making a positive impact on the world around you. As consumers are becoming more interested in the practices of the businesses they frequent, it is more important than ever to have a positive reputation, especially in terms of your energy use.

Divest from Fossil Fuels 

The first step in taking the lead on renewable energy is to distance yourself from fossil fuels. Through divestment, you decide to use more renewable energy sources and to stop relying on the fossil fuel industry. You may not be able to stop using all forms of fossil fuels initially, but by putting together a plan to slowly move to more renewable energy sources you can make a positive impact. Moving away from fossil fuels can help your reputation and eventually even save you money.

Source: https://www.greencentury.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Shortcomings.pdf 

Use Renewable Energy

Once you have decided to move away from fossil fuels, you need to start using more renewable energy sources. There are a variety of options from solar and wind power to using geothermal energy. There are a variety of solar energy companies available, like Rabe Hardware among others. Do your research so you can find a reputable company in your community that you can count on to help you meet your renewable energy goals and stand out from your competition.

Source: https://rabehardware.com/solar-systems-a-smart-business-investment/ 

Document the Benefits

One of the best things you can do to lead by example with your renewable energy is to document your experience and keep track of the benefits. When you use your company to show how renewable energy has been able to help you, you can encourage others to make the switch as well. Consider having regular blog posts about your energy use so people who visit your site can learn more about renewable energy. This can make a great impression and give you evidence to support your move forward.

Source: https://www.igs.com/energy-resource-center/energy-101/benefits-renewable-energy-use 

Renewable energy is the way of the future, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait to make it happen. You can start moving your business to more renewable energy sources right now and start seeing the benefits. With a strong commitment to the future, your business can lead the way to a better world.

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Common Tech Threats to Your Business

Because of COVID-19, there has been a sudden push to move the majority of your business online. Remote work has offered you more opportunities to work with different people and keep your monthly fees low. Though digital technology has certainly helped the business landscape as a whole, such rapid change has opened up gaping holes in every business’s digital infrastructure.

Some of these problems can easily be avoided. Others might be more sinister and deceptive. At worst, you could stand to lose your whole company and employee information. Here are the most common tech threats to your business and how to avoid them.

Phishing Attacks

Most people have probably faced a phishing scheme at least once in their life. They usually come in the form of sketchy emails asking for your information. On your personal email, these can usually be ignored through spam filters. But messages that are sent to your company email can be a little more subtle in their phishing techniques.

Do not send any confidential, personal, or sensitive information to a company until you can verify its authenticity. Phishers will often pose as another company you might be working with. However, the email address will be incorrect in some way. Most companies won’t ask you for this type of information unless you have talked with them first. Be especially careful if you do a lot of work on your phone since mobile devices don’t always display email addresses very well.

Malware

This is one of the more diabolical threats you should avoid. Malware is meant to infect computer software to steal information. There are several different kinds—some steal information from you without your knowledge, others render your computer or cloud service completely worthless.

With such devastating viruses on the internet, you must know how to avoid them. First, buy a cybersecurity service that scans your computer regularly. This can point out issues long before they become unsolvable. Don’t click on unsafe links, and avoid downloading files from the internet without making sure it is safe. When it comes to digital safety, it is better to approach with caution.

Data Breaches

If your product is heavily reliant on a digital ecosystem, a data breach might be one of the worst security issues you can face. You can lose customer or employee information or your website could be hacked for an undetermined amount of time. At the worst, the cybercriminal could use your information to do other malicious activities.

Data breaches are incredibly common. Thankfully, IT services can help you prepare for inevitable breaches in your security. Make sure you are in constant communication with them and have a plan if and when a data breach occurs. Ensure your employees are trained for this as well.

Ransomware

Malware is designed to steal and destroy the digital infrastructure you worked hard to put together. Ransomware enables cybercriminals to hold your information and accounts hostage until you pay them. Unfortunately, they rarely give back full access to everything, forcing you to make insane payments that can destroy your company in a matter of weeks.

If you take the advice given on malware, it becomes just as easy to avoid ransomware. Don’t click on suspicious links or download unverified content. Keep a backup of your information in a safe location—either in print or in a secure cloud. Use antivirus software to warn you of these issues.

Inside Jobs

Perhaps the most disappointing technological threat you face will come in the form of inside jobs. This is when an employee sells customer data to opponents. However, you might not be aware of who is doing it. You shouldn’t have to suspect ulterior motives from your employees, but you may have to put your foot down.

Ensure each employee signs a non-disclosure agreement when they are first hired. This can hold them fully liable if they sell insider information for their personal benefit. While this can’t guarantee that it won’t happen, it can make the crime less desirable.

Hacking through Other Devices

In a highly connected world, it stands to reason you will have many devices that hook up to the internet. While this is extremely convenient, it might also place your company at higher risk—especially when people are using these devices on the go. Because people use their phones to use the internet, mobile attacks have become increasingly common.

Talk with IT services to see what other devices might put you at risk. For example, Apple Watches and tablets may not have as strong of security out in public. Rather than relying on public wi-fi, it might be worth it to invest in a secure VPN or intranet connection to keep potential hackers out.

Cloud Weaknesses

Another awful place to face a security problem is through your digital cloud service. The cloud can store your information without needing to rely on your specific device. It is incredibly convenient and worth the investment.

However, if your cloud gets hacked by a cybercriminal, you can have a serious problem on your hands. They can sell private information that can ruin your company. Just to be mean, they could delete the information you have built up over the years. Remember to never give out the password to anybody except your most trusted employees. Contact IT for other preventative measures to keep this tragedy from happening.

Lack of Security Measures

At the end of the day, what matters is that your information is safe. Create smart passwords and put them in a secret place on paper. Restrict access to specific pieces of information to certain jobs.

Update your software as needed to make sure you have the latest protections. Train your employees to avoid phishing scams and malware. Keep in contact with IT professionals who can give you the latest info on the ever-changing tactics scammers use. Doing so will keep your company much safer in the long run.

Cyber attacks have become increasingly common as people turn to their home internet to do business. The benefits of remote work are astronomical for promoting public health, but they can also put your business in some digital hot water if your team isn’t well-informed and comfortable communicating.

Interested in learning more about tech news? Check out our podcast!

Lesser-Known Careers Tech-Savvy People May Enjoy

Finding a career in tech is an exciting prospect with tons of options that tech-savvy people would excel in. Some of those career options are obvious but others are less common but equally amazing. Here are a few of those lesser-known careers that you may love as someone with a passion for technology.

Growth Hacker

Growth hacking is an awesome career choice, especially if you love the world of marketing as well as technology. As a growth hacker, you would help your company by using data to determine marketing tactics and test out those methods through coding. In this position, you would use your technology skills to find unique and creative ways to solve marketing problems. If you like the idea of problem-solving to help businesses market more effectively and save money, then a career in growth hacking may be right for you.

Private Investigator

If detective movies have always been your thing, working as a private investigator may be exactly the kind of job you need. Modern private investigating requires technological savvy that can help you solve problems and help your clients. Though movies may be what gets you excited about private investigating, it is not just what the movies show. Private investigators work for a variety of clients and use technology on almost every job. Being able to use technology well will help you to be more effective as a private investigator.

Education Technology Specialist

If you love school and aren’t ready to leave the educational world yet, a tech job in education may be what you are looking for. In this kind of position, you would help with the technology involved in running a school or university. This kind of job can range from using technology to run conferences and events to making sure that classrooms are up to date and can give instructors the optimal ability to teach their students. There is a whole world of opportunities for education technology, so look into the field if learning is an important part of your life.

Work in Agriculture

If any two fields may seem at odds it might be the world of tech and the world of agriculture. However, those two worlds collide when it comes to agricultural technology. From developing new technology to improve agricultural production to tracking data in agriculture, technology is essential to farming in the US and around the world. If you have wanted to be a part of solving the world’s problems or are simply interested in agriculture, a tech job within the farming world can be incredibly fulfilling.

Finding a fulfilling job in the tech field isn’t a huge challenge because of how many career options are available in the field. But finding a tech job that is unique and intersects with your other interests is amazing. Take the time to find a tech job that will keep you fulfilled and surprise you with the ways you can use technology to make almost anything happen.

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Why Your Business Needs to Upgrade to the Latest Technology

Our world is constantly changing, especially in terms of what technology is available. As a business owner, technology can be one of the things that take your business to the next level and improves your ability to stay competitive. If you really want to invest in your business, it’s important to make sure you’re using the latest technology.

Improve Productivity

Any business owner knows that staying productive and using time optimally is ideal and can directly impact the level of success a business can achieve. Technology is just one of the tools that you can use to improve productivity in your business. It can help you automate different tasks, freeing up employees for other tasks that benefit from a more human touch. Technology can also be used to make it easier for your employees to do their jobs, as well as speeding up the time it takes, allowing them to get more done in the same amount of time.

Cybersecurity

Your business is an investment. Anything worth investing in is worth protecting. In regards to your business and technology, that means taking a look at your cybersecurity. Failing to have adequate cybersecurity means your business and your customers are vulnerable to cyber attacks. IT consultants can help perform preventative maintenance for your business so you are less vulnerable to cyber attacks. Beyond that, make sure you’re running the latest cybersecurity technology. Update your system as updates become available to further reduce your vulnerability.

Keeping Up with the Competition

While peer pressure is generally considered a negative thing, there’s a certain degree of “everybody’s doing it” that must be acknowledged when it comes to your business and using technology. You need to stay competitive in order to stay in business. Staying up to date with the latest trends in technology helps you stay relevant as a business. You don’t want to be that one business that has a reputation for being outdated because you haven’t upgraded your tech in years. Keep tabs on what your competitors are doing in terms of their technology and make it a priority to keep pace. Better yet, become the trendsetter by being among the first to adopt new upgrades as they come along.

Upgrading to the latest technology offers your business multiple benefits. It can allow you to improve productivity, helps keep your business up to date with cybersecurity best practices, and gives you a better shot at keeping up with your competitors. If those benefits sound like something you want for your business, it may be worth taking a look at what technology upgrades are available and make sense for your business.

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How the Internet and Finance Have Collided Over the Past Year

The internet has proven to be a powerful force and it has taken the power into the world of finance. Internet culture has begun to influence the stock market, e-commerce, and more. It has generated a lot of attention and it’ll be interesting to see where things go from here.

Meme Stocks

The phenomenon of meme stocks developed due to social media sites engaging in certain stocks. The most notable example of this is GameStop. This video game retailer was declining, and many hedge funds were betting on this stock to continue dropping. On the site Reddit, many people were outraged by this and they banded together and ended up raising the GameStop stock price from $19 per share to $483 per share. Many other stocks have received similar treatment since this incident. While this is a very interesting trend, it is important to note that if you are a first-time investor, it might not be the best decision to bet on these meme stocks as it can be a bit of a gamble.

NFTs

NFTs, or nonfungible tokens, are digital items that are unique and cannot be traded for a similar item. To understand this concept, it’s best to compare it to the art world. An NFT would be like an original piece of art. There is nothing out there of equal value. However, it is possible to sell prints of an original art piece or to make recreations, but only one person will have the original. Online, NFTs have become widely popular, and people will bet on these NFTs for the sake of having the original. Essentially, they are purchasing the unique code for the image even though the image can still be copied and used elsewhere. Some have sold for millions of dollars, like an NFT photo collage. The trend of the NFT market is unclear, but for now, it is generating a great deal of money.

Dogecoin

Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency that started as a joke based on a meme featuring the Japanese breed of dog the Shibu Inu. Dogecoin started back in 2013, but it has become widely popular due to tweets from Elon Musk. It has also gained popularity on the site Reddit and has followed the footsteps of the Wall Street Bets Reddit page. Users have made efforts to increase the value of Dogecoin mostly for fun and so far it’s working.

The financial world is often more serious and respectable. However, the internet is doing its best to change that. Whether it’s good-natured or to seek justice, the internet and finance have certainly collided in the last year.

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Business Technology That Is Surging

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted most industries in one way or another. It’s been devastating for businesses in the entertainment, food, and hospitality industries. Others, such as healthcare and technology have enjoyed unprecedented surges. In terms of technology, with many making a huge transition to working from home, there have been some business technologies in particular that are surging.

Security and Privacy

Security and privacy technology will always be relevant, especially in business. Given the recent push to develop the capacity to work from home, businesses have become more reliant on technology. With that comes an increased degree of risk from hackers, viruses, and malware. By necessity, security and privacy software has had to be developed and improved upon to provide the requisite protection for businesses. By way of example, last year Zoom faced some real privacy challenges that threatened its success. Throughout a 90 day period, they committed to improving their security and have done so well enough that it continues to be an immensely popular way to hold virtual meetings.

Teleconferencing

With people stuck at home but still needing a way to hold meetings and appointments, teleconferencing is another area of technology benefiting from an increase in popularity. It has been used to hold virtual meetings in tons of industries, from marketing to medicine. For doctors, telemedicine visits have expanded their reach and allowed them to serve their patients in new ways. This has benefited patients in rural areas in particular. While there is still plenty of work to be done to improve their access to healthcare, the surge in teleconferencing has been a step in the right direction.

Remote Management Tools

Working from home has been a huge adjustment for businesses and employees alike. One of the big concerns for businesses whose employees are now working remotely is how to keep their employees on task and engaged when they aren’t physically present in the workplace. Like security and teleconferencing technology, remote management tools have become a mainstay for many organizations. These tools can be used for project management, productivity and timekeeping, and so much more. You can expect them to continue to be used at least to some extent even after things return more or less to normal.

It’s not a bad time to be involved in business technology. Security and privacy, teleconferencing, and remote management tools are just a few examples of business tech that has enjoyed an increase in popularity and demand. What is especially nice for consumers is that things were already headed in that direction. Spurred on by the pandemic, we can now enjoy the benefits of progress that much sooner.

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What Parents Should Know About Children Using the Internet

The internet brings a lot of opportunities for fun and learning, so of course, parents should be excited to utilize all it has to offer. It’s common to have a little bit of anxiety about the less savory side of the internet, but being prepared can help you to navigate the situation appropriately. The more you know, the better you will be able to help your children use the internet in a positive way.

How Internet Use Can Help Kids Learn

One of the biggest benefits of the internet is how much it has to offer in the way of learning and exploring the world from your own home. From teaching aids to informative videos and science projects, according to HughesNet, the internet is full of learning opportunities. Helping your children get excited about learning is an important part of their childhood and the internet can help them do that. Try to find things that your child is naturally curious about and help them to regularly learn new things.

How to Protect Them from Harmful Content

One of the downfalls to having so much information available online is that some of it is dangerous or harmful. Helping your kids to avoid harmful content and talking to them about it when they stumble upon it can be incredibly helpful. According to Fight the New Drug, scientific research shows how pornography can be harmful to anyone, especially children. Violent content can also be harmful to children and their development. Using filters on your computers and supervising your children while they are on the internet can help them to avoid harmful content, so they get the most out of their time spent online.

How the Internet Can Help Them Build Connections

The internet can be a great place for your children to connect with other children from around the world. It is, of course, important to monitor their interactions online and make sure that they are appropriate but building positive connections online can help your children to get to know other kids from various cultures and backgrounds. According to Edutopia, you should make sure to talk to your kids regularly about their internet use so you can keep the conversation going.

The internet is one of the most amazing things in our time and helping your children to use it appropriately is an important part of modern parenthood. Using the internet to open the doors to curiosity and learning is an exciting part of watching your kids grow up. Take the time to teach them about internet safety so they can have an exciting and safe time online.

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How 3D Printing Can Benefit Manufacturers

Manufacturing is a constantly shifting field that is always benefiting from new technology. The latest venture is the use of 3D printing to manufacture new products. Some businesses are starting to see the value in incorporating 3D printing, which they feel will save them money in the long run. The most common uses are still being found, but the innovation is incredibly exciting.

More Customization

Using 3D printing enables businesses to customize their products more effectively. Unlike traditional machinery, 3D printing creates items according to a specific design. If something needs to be changed, it’s incredibly easy to make this change in the machine. This means that more experimentation and accessibility can be implemented into products.

Business owners see how a customizable machine could open their clientele up dramatically. If your product can reach even more people, the growth potential is enormous. You will likely see more 3D printers pop up in factories for customizable designing.

Less Waste

One huge benefit of implementing 3D printing is the exceptional reduction in waste. Manufacturing companies often get attacked for having a lot of wasteful output but using this technology could mitigate that. Mass production can help eliminate waste, and 3D printing takes this to the next level.

Factories could implement these machines to conserve the environment and reduce the amount of product they need to buy. A 3D printer can use all its plastic to form your product without leaving residue. It will help the business owner’s wallet and give workers a higher-level job than they previously had.

Easier to Prototype

When pitching an idea to potential buyers, you must develop some sort of physical prototype. This is true when you are putting it through development trials. 3D printing can help manufacturers communicate more clearly with their investors and allow them to try their ideas out more quickly.

This makes the jobs of everyone involved easier and more straightforward. Instead of wasting time developing a prototype that might not express precisely what you want, everything is possible. Beyond this, you have a better way to develop new products that are safe and effective.

All in all, 3D printing is an increasingly popular technology that will likely be integrated into factories as known today. They can help you better customize your products to the needs of your customers. They are more environmentally friendly. They are also easier to prepare for investors and consumers when brainstorming new product ideas.

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Areas of Your Business That Can Seriously Benefit From Automation

When running a business, your time is precious. You have a lot to manage and so you need to prioritize your tasks and time. One way to do this is to use automation in numerous areas of your business to complete important tasks without using too much of your time. With the help of automation, you can allow yourself to prioritize other projects and allow technology to take care of everything else.

Social Media Marketing

In recent years, using social media as a marketing tool has become widely successful. However, if you want solid results, it requires quite a bit of dedication and attention. It can be very helpful to manage your social media marketing through automation. One way it helps is by doing research for you. An automation tool can search what people are saying about your brand online, what current trends are, and even the patterns of your consumers. For example, it can determine the optimal time for posts based on what your consumers are most active. Another way to use automation is to schedule your posts. This way you can write them all at once and then space them out at your convenience. Just make sure you monitor these posts and keep them on your radar so you can make sure they are always sensitive to current events. Additionally, you shouldn’t automate everything. You should take time to reach out to customers via social media to maintain a more personal connection.

Accounting

Automating your accounting can be a helpful time-saver but it also has many other benefits. For example, you can eliminate human error from your data. It will be more reliable and processed much faster. You can also rely on more security through automation since everything is processed digitally and can be protected and stored in the cloud. Since everything is digitally stored, you can quickly and easily access the information for your benefit and the benefit of your clients. Accounting automation can create ledgers, track data, and perform computations instantly. Fewer than 25% of accounts payable departments have highly automated invoice approval processes. If this number were increased, there could be far more efficiency seen in the accounting world.

Customer Service

As one of the essential elements of your business, you want to make sure you have quality customer service. Automating your customer service can help you do this. The primary automation option for customer service is implementing chatbots on your website or social media. These bots can respond to people even outside your business hours which improves customers’ experience. Similarly, they can respond to questions quickly. Bots are also helpful with filtering questions. If all your customer service agents are busy, a bot can answer simple questions and defer more complex questions to your service agents.

Automation is a very helpful process. You can take tasks that would normally be involved and time-consuming and rely on technology to complete them for you. Through automation, you can save time in your business and dedicate yourself to more high-priority projects. 

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Software Tools That Every Charity Organization Needs

As wonderful as people are their ability to organize, produce and publish data or material is limited without the use of technology. Utilizing software programs for advertisements, promotion, management, and communication will help your charity run smoothly and efficiently, for your benefit and the benefit of everyone tied to your efforts.

Social Media Management

Social media platforms can broadcast information faster and more effectively than any other tool. So much of today’s worldwide population use social media that it has become an incredible means of reaching a wide audience, or even aiming for specific sub-audiences—because different platforms tend to pull in different demographics, it is easy for companies to focus messages on a particular group by spending more resources on their platform of popularity. Let people know who you are, what you do, and why. Provide a place for them to get to know your organization through quality content, and encourage interaction with your charity through likes, shares, and saves.

POS Software

Organization and management of data—whether it be financial, goal-oriented, statistical, or media related—is extremely difficult using purely hard copies and the human mind to keep track of it all. Point of Sale (POS) systems can do these things for you, and pull them all into one place for your convenience. A comprehensive POS system can help you manage donations, or track the development of your organization’s goals. Many POS systems exist with varying specializations or capabilities; look for a program that is most useful to you and your needs.

Provide Effective Communication

Any company requires several departments to handle different aspects of business management; for a charity that may include marketing, finance, production, or liaison work. Communication between those departments is essential for any business to run smoothly. Thankfully, there are online programs that make that communication easy while keeping the hassle of personal phone numbers and emails out of the equation. Messaging platforms often exist within email sites but are also available in different formats that allow for group and individual messaging, video chats, and collaborative documents.

For your organization to reach its vision through achieving its goals, it will certainly need the help that technology has to offer. Reach a wide audience with your well-developed content, organize your data with a minimal margin of error, and assure that your whole company is on the same page using the software programs available to you!

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