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The Increasing Importance of VPNs

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The digital era has well and truly hit. We live in a modern world where anything and everything that we could possibly want is at the tips of our fingertips. All we have to do is literally reach out and grab it. In a modern world where we are so connected, and everything we could ever dream of is literally just a moment’s grasp away, it is safe to say that it can be overwhelming (to say the least). And more importantly, it can be risky and even dangerous to be so widely connected.

This is the era of heightened connectivity, and along with it comes hand in hand the realisation that we are positively at the mercy of all this self-imposed and directed connectivity. The introduction and ongoing advancements of the world wide web have brought along with them an unbelievable amount of scrutiny – and for good reason. We invest so much energy and information into this online landscape these days that it continues to become more and more important to protect ourselves as best we can.

The Era of Heightened Connectivity

We are living in the era of heightened connectivity and communication. This is an era that has propelled these concepts to unprecedented heights, and we are feeling and seeing the impacts every single time we make a decision or even just carry out a general action. Online privacy and security have steadily become more and more crucial in this era, as we continue to input more and more personal or otherwise sensitive data into the online landscape. There are many ways to protect ourselves and our data, but which of them is genuinely the most beneficial?

Where a VPN Comes Into Play

This is where a VPN (virtual private network) comes in handy. Virtual private networks are all about putting the power back in the hands of device users around the globe. This power is handed to users directly through the establishment and ongoing utilisation of their very own VPN. designed and intended to be a virtual invisibility cloak of sorts, a VPN is not only highly and successfully powerful, but also essentially priceless because of what it offers the user and their devices and activity online.

How a VPN Makes a Difference

With a VPN, a user can do anything online with a stronger and more realistic sense of privacy, security and it opens up more of the web. Whether it is making the choice to use a VPN for Firestick to watch watch any country’s Netflix, or using the VPN to research articles without geographical limitation in the online landscape (to name just a few among the many options out there), a VPN essentially works its magic by effectively and successfully masking an individual’s online activity, as well as the IP address of the device that was utilised to carry out the activity.

How is this possible? Essentially, VPNs come with the built-in capability to connect with set towers all around the globe. As the connection is formed, the VPN provides unfiltered access to towers (and the areas of the web that are specifically exclusive to those towers) to the user that actions the VPN. Forming a protective security blanket, it is little wonder that the VPN is fast becoming a leading privacy and security strategy in the digital era.

Why A Data Scientist Is The Sexiest Thing You Can Be In The 21st Century

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to read minds? Sexy, isn’t it? What if we told you that you can do it? Well, it’s not magic, really, but data.

With the concept of Big Data in place, you can know all there is to know about trends, and the preferences and patterns of your customer base, which will eventually enable the creation of a customer-friendly brand. And we all know – the friendlier your brand, the more money you can bring home.

Data can give you all the control – to predict and read the future if you know how to interpret it right.

So, what can you do with Big Data?

If you’re the competitive type, which you should be if you want your business to surprise, Big Data can be your new best friend. You can use Big Data to predict the outcomes of the trials you run with your products. It can create opportunities for growth, and even give rise to ideas for new businesses. The man with Big Data on his side comes out at the top. 

Big Data helps you develop a dialogue with your consumers. Your consumer is a smart cookie- they won’t make their purchase blindly. They will look around, compare prices, and even look for consultations regarding their purchase. With Big Data, you can gain access to these search trends and analyse exactly what your customer base wants from your brand. Essentially, you will be creating a brand that caters exclusively to your customer base, and thus increasing your chances for success manifold. Big Data can also influence how you develop your products to draw the maximum amount of attention to your brand.

About data scientists

So, what does a data scientist do then? They make all the magic happen. They dive into the sea of Big Data and make discoveries. They are the ones who analyse the data and come to different conclusions.

The sexiest thing about a data scientist is that they can go on despite limitations. They don’t get a lot of technical help, but they make the most of what they get and provide companies with satisfactory results nevertheless. The data scientist is an advisor, a hacker, and a communicator all rolled into one- the rarest combination you’ll ever find in the corporate world.

How is Big Data used in businesses?

Big Data sounds great as a theory, but what about its practical benefits? Well, there are many real-life examples which show that companies use Big Data all the time for a variety of purposes- from targeting specific audiences to help predict outcomes of elections.

Yeah, you can use Big Data to help predict the outcome of an election too. Cambridge’s Analytica used Big Data for psychographic segmentation and data enchantment to win the 2016 presidential election for Trump and win the Brexit in the UK.

Target used Big Data to accurately predict when one of its customers was going to have a baby. Using Big Data, Telecom companies can predict the customer churn to a whole new level of accuracy, and Walmart can ensure which of its products will sell well. These examples from the business sector reveal that Big Data can be used to amplify the sales of a product or a service.

Big Data is also constantly being used to optimise business processes. Sellers can restock their shelves on the basis of the social media data that they have collected from social media posts, web search trends on search engines and even weather forecasts.

When you’re running a business, you need to have a medium of dialogue with your consumers. Their likes and dislikes should be the building blocks of your business. Big Data opens up this means of communication between you and your clients. With Big Data, you can profile the feedback given by customers and create an analysis of what they expect in terms of quality, shipping time, delivery and the like.

Importantly, Big Data plays a massive role in bringing physical and digital shopping portals on the same realm. As an online retailer, you can suggest an offer on the mobile carrier with ease.

Conclusion

It is possible to master data science by creating a learning path, which has emerged as an increasingly popular way of learning.  Learning data science can bring you lucrative job opportunities, owing to the recent popularity of Big Data and data analysis. The job itself is challenging, but rewarding work does not require a bit of blood, sweat and tears to get it going. And also, with the right kind of technical equipment, you can get going in no time. So, if you are willing to become the magician of a top corporate office, the “sexiest” role of a data scientist is the right job for you!

The rise of commercial bloggers and e-fluencers

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Do you want to run a successful blog? Well, you need to get the process right from the start.

If you want to start a blog, you need to know where your focus is. What niche will you base your blog? You will need to know exactly what niche you want your blog to specialize in, from the ever controversial who gained international attention for her controversy and wit, to small scale bloggers focusing on fashion, travel or poetry. Having the right focus allows to build and share great content. The readers will then know what they need to expect.

When starting a blog for yourself, you’ll need to select its name. Exercise caution as it will not possible to change it when you have consistent visitors. Whereas you may still change the name, it’s better to have the right focus from the beginning.

Make sure the blog name is simple, unique, memorable and descriptive. Ensure it’s able to describe the services you offer.

These are some tips to help you start a successful blog.

  1. Select Your Domain and Register Your Blog

Selecting the right domain name is a no-brainer. You need something short, sweet and memorable.

Where possible, choose a site that ends with a ‘.com’. Your domain will act as your web address.

Before registering the domain, you need to ensure that the name is available. You can’t use someone’s name as your domain name.

Once you get the right domain name, get yourself the best hosting provider.

  1. Find a Reputable Hosting Provider

Choosing the best hosting provider is the best thing you can ever do to your blog page. A hosting provider is like the home to your site.

Essentially, you need to choose a reputable and reliable hosting provider. The provider needs to offer the best support services.

Make sure the provider you choose is available 24/7. Also, the costs need to be realistic and affordable.

But why do you need to exercise caution when choosing your hosting provider? Well, simply because this is the team to store your data. They’ll do backups and help you restore when your website crashes.

Trust me, you don’t want your blog to go down and there’s nothing to do about it.

  1. Install the Blogging Software

Once you register with your hosting provider, it’s time to install a blogging software. An example of these blogging software is WordPress. It’s this software that’ll help your site come to life.

Choose a blogging software that’s simple and easier to use.

After the installation, navigate through the dashboard to learn some functions and settings. At first, it may seem confusing. But don’t worry, you’ll learn these tips with time.

  1. Make Your Blog Pretty

Now you officially have a blog page. Now you can focus on making your blog attractive.

As a start, you need to choose the best theme for your site. A good theme will set the tone for the design you adopt for your site.

You’ll have the option of purchasing or using the free themes. If you are short on finances, then the free themes will sort you out.

However, you need to get everything right at the start. That’s why you should choose the best premium themes. They’ll help you avoid different issues down the line.

Internet security for beginners in 2018

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  • Make Sure you are Hiding your IP Address

When thinking of intranet safety, it is important to consider the idea of hiding IP addresses. There are some protection-enabling technologies that can keep your IP address from being compromised. Your important data could be exposed to the internet without taking precaution to get the protection you need. One way to keep your IP address safe is by getting a VPN. A VPN makes it so your location cannot be identified when surfing the intranet. This is a way to make sure that hackers can’t see what location you are surfing the internet from.

  • Use a Password Manager

A password manager is a good idea because it allows you to share less information with tech giants such as Facebook, according to CNBC. These companies make it so you can login to multiple websites with the information from another login. For example, options will pop up on Facebook asking if you want to login with Amazon etc. This can give these tech companies access to what you are doing, which might want to be avoided.

A password manager can allow you to have as many different passwords as possible, which can make it harder for information to be compromised to these tech companies. Password managers also make it harder for people to guess your login information or for hackers to get ahold of multiple accounts at once.

  • Use a Safe Browser

Some browsers offer protection against social engineering malware. The best ones to use for greater protection are: Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome and Mozilla FireFox. These browsers will also block questionable files from being downloaded on your computer.

This may appear as common sense, but many people get tricked into meeting someone who are not who they say. Some cases are minor and someone may have told a small lie about appearance, but regardless, being lied to is a red flag in the first place. There are some simple ways to make sure you know who you are talking to.

The first is to search their name on Google and make sure multiple photos of them pop up that match with the profile you met them on. The next is to look into their LinkedIn and check workplaces etc. When looking at their social profiles, look for tagged photos with other people. If they are tagging friends and vice versa, then they are almost definitely the person in the photo.

This might seem like common sense, but many people are fooled when navigating online relationships. It is also important to maybe try to face time them if they are hesitant to meet up. Being proactive is a way to ensure people are who they say they are on the intranet.

The digitalization of society adds many benefits, but also creates some dangers. Make sure to be educated about your online navigation and invest some time in learning intranet safety.

How Digital Marketing is Transforming Business

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We are a society driven by digital technology. Digital technologies are growing at an exponential rate. The impact of the Internet on human history is only comparable to the invention of the wheel and airplane. There are countries where people do not have running water, but own smart phones and internet. The net has provided a game-changing impetus to business activity. Digital marketing is one of the many off-shoots of the internet and has tremendous applications in the world of business. It makes use of online channels, especially the social media, for marketing, advertising and communication purposes.

A humungous amount of content is being generated and shared via social media and messaging apps. As per estimates, a whooping 3.3 million people write a Facebook post and 29 million messages are distributed through Whatsapp every 60 seconds. Marketers have their work cut out to make their messages and brand visible in this huge ocean of activity.

Big Data refers to the large amount of data that inundates the business and marketer of today. AI helps companies to learn about customer behavior and to know how, where and when to use the data. Companies should be specific about how they plan to use the data to meet their objectives and priorities. The savvier companies are using data to create personal, tailor-made marketing messages.

Brands are compelled to innovatively reach out and engage with their customers in the new business environment. Amid business disruption, many sectors need to be creative in order to compete. For example, in the financial sector, financial institutions are experimenting discovering new ways to engage with customers in wake of stiff competition from the likes of PayPal.

Customers expect a certain amount of transparency in today’s digital world. In order to build customer loyalty, companies and brands need to be open and demonstrate their openness through their digital marketing efforts. This is especially relevant in the food sector as consumers are conscious about the contents of their food.

Digital Marketing creates an equal opportunity for all companies, big and small. Gone are the days when only companies with deep pockets enjoyed a monopoly over marketing and advertising. Smaller companies have access to the same digital tools that are used by their larger counterparts. Digital Marketing is less expensive than print advertising. It also has a wider reach as countless people access websites and sponsored posts on social media. There are many SEO companies that generate traffic and build leads for businesses. Digital marketing opens up a new world of marketing opportunities such as email campaigns, content marketing and search engine optimization. As everyone is online, more people see the ads.

A business can expand its reach, increase its brand value and offer a rich customer experience by creating a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. Technology evolves day by day, and businesses that proactively adopt and polish digital practices can race ahead of their competition.

Senior Consumers play an important role in a company’s Digital Marketing Strategy

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In today’s digital age, almost everyone has turned to the internet for a variety of purposes. People of all ages, from infants to seniors, use the internet for entertainment and information. Did we say seniors? Yes, you heard it right. With the rise of the aging population in different societies, a new image of people over the age of 65 is emerging- they are more active, more educated, ethnically diverse, and are not in a rush to retire. Seniors are also starting to create an impression in the digital world despite their slow start in embracing technology. In a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center last year among 3,015 adults aged beyond 65, a substantial increase in the percentage of American seniors are now active users of the internet with 67% compared to just 12% in 2000.

The ownership of smartphones among adults with ages 65 and up has also steadily risen through the years, with four in ten seniors now owning smartphones compared to just 18% in 2013. With the increase in smartphone ownership and internet usage among the seniors, more of them are also heading towards social media with 34% of seniors now engaged in sites like Facebook and Twitter. While factors such as age, education, and income contribute to the various behaviors of seniors regarding social media use, a high concentration of social media users are among seniors with ages between 65-69 (47%), seniors with college degrees (20%), and seniors with household incomes starting from $75k and above (57%) compared to their other counterparts.

While most seniors are still disconnected from the digital world with one-third of American adults aged 65 and above saying they never use the internet, the steady rise in internet adoption among the elderly continues to provide promising figures when it comes to staying relevant in the digital age. Older adults also have a positive view towards the digital revolution, with 58% believing that the technology has given a positive effect on society. 49% of older adults also find it “important” to have access to high-speed internet.

Drawing from these figures, the shift towards the increasing tech adoption among seniors is an interesting change that will cause ripples not just in technology itself but also among consumer behaviors and marketing. Elderly consumers have always been the least prioritized when it comes to marketing for retailers and consumer goods, but the increasing number of seniors and the changes in behavioral patterns from lifestyle to consumption among the demographic is a potential factor companies must tap to maximize growth.

According to Jaana Reemes, partner of the McKinsey Global Institute, a worldwide management consulting firm, “Older folks are relatively high spenders because they have high incomes in developed economies. The downturn of the past ten years has hit them much less than it has hit many in the younger segment, particularly the new entrants to the labor market. Their consumption spending is still relatively high. Even a smaller group in this larger pool can be very attractive.”

If you want to run a successful Google Adwords campaign or develop an effective marketing strategy, it’s best to consider and target older demographics, as it is evident that they are a largely untapped consumer market.  

The importance of starting a blog when in college

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College students are trying to live life and enjoy it as they see fit. But the reality is that you should also try to think about the future. A good idea here is to create your own blog. But is it important to create a blog during college or not?

Teaching others the stuff you know
Blogs are personal and informative. They help you inform others about the stuff you know. And it will also show that you have what it takes to improve your career or grow one. It enables you to educate people, even if you’re educating yourself at the same time. So it does make sense quite a lot in the long term.

Networking
Not a lot of people know this, but blogging expands your network even if you are a college student. It makes it easier for you to connect with others, and it also delivers the type of value and results you would want in the long term. It’s as comprehensive as it is distinct, and it will help quite a lot in the long term.

Improving your writing
Writing is an essential skill. It allows you to improve yourself as a professional. Plus, you can’t get better at writing unless you write as much as you can. The more you write, the better the results will be in the end.

Learning new skills
Blogging allows you to access some amazing technical skills as you go along. It’s always important to improve your skills, and learning something new is always critical to your business experience and expertise. It certainly pays off, so try to give that a shot if you can!

Earn some money on the side
Learning how to start a blog for beneficial purposes is always nice and it can help you a lot. The idea is to figure out which are the best options and use them as you go along. You may not earn a lot, but it’s side income that you acquire while learning. Nothing is better than that.

Finding solutions
It’s a good idea to enjoy blogging as you try to find solutions for a variety of stuff. It just makes a lot of sense and it does bring in front some new experiences every time. It definitely helps a lot, all you have to do is to figure out the right solutions.

Creating a resume
A good resume will always require some online links of you. The idea is to figure out which is the right approach and how you can take things to new heights. It definitely goes to show that creating a proper resume can pay off, and it will be well worth it.

If you write a blog, you will develop some great skills and it’s just a fun way to express yourself. But the networking as well as all the other benefits will be amazing, and that’s what matters the most. Try to check these solutions and you will like them a lot!

How to not get lost in a sea of online marketing

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No one knows who coined the term “Google It”, but it has been a catch phrase that has elevated the way business is conducted. Whether a searching for a close restaurant, nearest gas station, or even where to find baby food, this term answers whatever is being searched. However, there is much to be said for digital marketing and how the algorithms work.

For many consumers, there is little thought put into how an item populates onto their device searches. Many simply push a button, or type the words into a search bar. Realistically, there is a great need for this focus, and if a company or business has not worked to provide additional details, there is a greater chance of being lost in the world wide web. These tools can be small and unseen by the consumer.

This would be classified under Search Engine Optimization or S.E.O. S.E.O. can look like specific pages on a website that are geared to a topic. It may also include backlinks to those same pages, where a backlink is another page or website on the internet that connects to that original page. These are not challenging to accomplish, but can be if the company does not know where to turn, or how to accomplish their goals.

In many cases, companies do not even know they are not found or what they are lacking. This is where a digital agency is useful. With the specific knowledge these teams provide, overall enhancement and visibility on the internet is likely. Help on these tasks may not only be about S.E.O., but can extend to include research into a specific market and how a company can not only enter that field, but reach a more targeted market.

There is also the overall online presence the company portrays. To have a team utilize all their resources to hone to the development of a proper niche is only one aspect. This same team should be able to develop a marketing plan that reaches every corner of social media as well. It may be a Facebook advertisement, or it may include using a different type of purchased marketing like AdWords. Alternatively, it may also mean a complete overhaul of the online site is necessary, through design, images or content. Either way, knowing how consumers behave and how the algorithms work and are changing the internet can increase exposure in the digital world.

A correct marketing plan should also include a move to device management, which broadly stated is defined as the ability for a website to be accessed through handheld or similar devices. In many cases, websites are not designed through a dedicated mobile application which decreases online visibility. An online digital agency can assist in these aspects and increase online visibility, and can produce the difference between being not found online, or being the top of the list when someone decides to “Google It”.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.

 

What impacts your SEO ranking?

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The way search engines rank website pages are forever changing and to make sure a business website stays up to date where SEO is concerned, one should make use of professional SEO services. If you had to adhere to every single search engine rule for ranking your page as high as possible, you would be working on your website non-stop! Thankfully, not all factors of SEO are equally important. Here are the top factors that impact your SEO ranking:

Content

When creating content for your website, you need to take a few things into consideration. More and more people prefer reading content that has subheadings, making it easier to scan through. Reading an in-depth article that spans about 3500 words takes time and people tend to move away from that. Thus, keep your content short but keep it interesting and plagiarism-free; from the very first word to the very last. When writing about a specific subject, make sure you cover only that specific subject and not any other things that are relevant to it. Rather create a separate blog post for that.

Backlinks

This forms a very important part of SEO. Over the years, search engines have learned to dispose of the seedy backlinks and only keep the ones with authority. When adding backlinks to your content, make sure these links are trustworthy and use reputable anchor text. You need to monitor the quality of the links you add to your website and if you choose, you can even reach out to other trustworthy partners for backlinks. In order to make your backlinks and anchor text reach more attention by search engines, you need to promote the content with force by making use of social media and other means of promotion.

Mobile-friendly websites

An increasing number of people prefer to go to websites on their phones rather on desktops as it is not possible to always reach a pc when you are searching for something on the go. Therefore, search engines crawl mobile versions of websites rather than desktop versions in order to rank that particular website. In order to make sure your website is mobile-friendly, you need to check the quality of images, of text and the loading speed of your website when viewing it on a mobile. The better the quality of the website and the faster it loads, the better your chances are of having a higher SEO ranking.

With so much content around the world and digital media growing at a rapid pace, it is becoming a relentless task to keep your website ranking on the first page of search engines. Having said that, you need to create unique content that people carve and opt to come back to your website to read more of the content you create. That, paired with great SEO, you will soon reap the benefits of having a brand that people are aware of and want more of.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.

The Best, Highest Paying, and Future Jobs in Marketing

 

Marketing professionals are increasingly involved in jobs that are not only directly related to their degree, but which also require a wider range of skills and knowledge. This has resulted in more options being available to a marketing graduate. Some of the popular job options available in marketing are:

1) Marketing Manager, or a marketing “all-rounder,” who has a broad range of skill set, including strategic thinking, and deep understanding of full marketing picture.

2) Brand Marketing Manager, who works with a branding agency, or acts as an in-house branding expert.

3) Marketing copywriter, who creates online and offline marketing contents for the organisation.

4) Social Media Specialist, who manages various social media platforms with customer-focused writing.

According to the Employment agency, Monster, many high paying marketing jobs are available, especially to those who have international experience, and can understand various culture and media strategies together with newer channels. This is mainly because marketing knowledge and skills apply to almost all businesses, from Ecommerce stores to “write my essay” services. In addition, marketing salaries are highest for those in revenue-generating positions. The top earning marketing jobs, according to Monster are:

1) International Marketing Executive, who is responsible for planning and directing international marketing strategies to capture audience attention in different cultures, markets and channels.

2) Top Channel Development Executive, who runs channel development in ways that maximize revenues

3) Marketing Executive, who can quickly adapt their company’s strategies and philosophies across a wide variety of ever-changing channels.

Forbes adds names such as Cadence Design, Juniper Network, The Coca Cola Company, Marvell Technology and Oracle to the list of organisations that pay the most for marketing jobs.

However, jobs in marketing are constantly evolving and the student of marketing can land up many exciting new job options in the future. According to content marketing influencer, Steve Olenski, some of the future marketing jobs are:

1) Chief Experience Officer, who will oversee development and implementation of products, services, and communication of user experience.

2) Augmented Reality Producer, who will engage with alternative methods of communication with the aid of technology, to help consumer virtually try products or services.

3) Lead Data Analyst, who will analyse and interpret marketing data.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.
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