UGM Tech

Business and Technology Blog Run by UGM Students

Internet security is a massive risk in 2018

The internet has provided the world with an entirely revolutionary system. Nearly everything can be done over the internet these days, and so we are entrusting more and more of our time and information into the depths of the world-wide web. This trust is, for the most part, entirely warranted, but the internet is also privy to online attacks. Not unlike any other technological evolution, the internet has had to go through learning curves. Online threats present themselves in many different ways, whether it be hackers or cyber criminals, and hundreds of individuals in between. Internet security is a matter that must warrant the utmost attention and the strongest of defences, because the truth is that, as it currently stands, there are too many threats carving their way into what was always intended to be a user-friendly revolution.

Even a small weakness in internet security can be a possible gateway for a gaping hole in the system, and consequential attacks, to come into fruition. These attacks can be anything from cyberattacks intended to steal data and sensitive information, to attacks on the human spirit and body. When a network is digital and entirely limitless, an attack can come from literally anywhere, with any intention. It can sometimes be entirely difficult and sometimes even impossible to counter the attack before it strikes. As awful as cyberattacks are, personal data can nearly always be recovered. Credit information can be cancelled or changed. Cyberattacks can be traced and prosecuted more times than not. There are worse kinds of internet security attacks that are happening, and the effects of these next kinds are longer lasting, and more dangerous than some can possibly imagine.

The facts are there. Internet security is getting worse. As the internet continues to evolve and expand, so does the nature and severity of the cyberattacks that take place on it. With so much potential risk in internet security, it pays to know the basics, especially when it comes to children’s access to the internet. Programs like a guide to children’s privacy online can help them to understand the gravity of the situation, and how they can best protect themselves online. Undoubtedly the most harrowing internet security risk is that of attacks of the human spirit and body. Online sex trafficking, for example, is a global epidemic and children are being sold into horrific realities every single day. Even with every authority on earth working on abolishing the monstrous trade, the attacks continue to happen, and it seems that the trade is actually growing rather than dissipating. Shocking and disturbing to the core, this blatant abuse of humanity’s generations is the worst reflection of what can happen when internet security is not as air tight as it could or should be.

Internet security is fickle thing. We can think that we are entirely, unanimously protected all we like, but the simple fact is that a system that is so global, that is entirely digital, will continue to have issues until stronger internet security measures are put in place. It is a scary reality, but it is one that is going to be here until we can enforce a more secure, protected one.

Guide to Accessing the Internet in China

If you are traveling or moving to China, using the Internet might be a little tricky. The Internet works just fine, however you will not be able to access Facebook, Instagram, Google and WhatsApp. This is why many tourists use a VPN to enable them to keep in touch with what’s happening back home, opting to go with recommendations from sites such as Best VPN Rating.

 

Chinese authorities have authorized a legislation to censor the usage of Internet in China. There has been 60 Internet regulations which been created by the Chinese government to forbid people in China from accessing social networking websites such Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and Facebook. The censorship is part of a huge crackdown on social liberty and freedom of speech. This isn’t something new, this has existed in China for about 20 years now.

 

So if you want to document your stay in China on your social media or want to stay in touch with loved ones via Gmail or WhatsApp, how do you do so?

 

There are a few ways what you can bypass the Internet blockage and access your Instagram and connect with friends back home. If you have already visited or lived in China, one of the first words you probably became accustomed to through your expat friends was VPN.

 

For those who do not know what a VPN is, it stands for Virtual Private Network. A VPN is a tool that improves the Internet by making your connection private, encrypted and anonymous. This works by securing a network connection thru a tunnel that connects you to the Internet anonymously and privately.

 

Essentially a VPN redirects your network connection using another server located in a different location, it will make it seem as if you are using it another country and keeps your IP and location hidden.

 

Install the VPN before traveling to China, it might be too late if you wait to do it there. It can be more difficult to configure the VPN.

 

How do you choose the best VPN? Here are a few things you need to consider choosing a VPN:

 

  • Protocols – the stronger the encryption, the superior
  • Price – If it is free or cheap, it might not be the best
  • Bandwidth Caps and Uptime – higher it is the better
  • Servers and Server Locations – more servers equals better service
  • VPN Location’s Switchings – switching servers

 

Many people wonder about the free VPNs, there are several free ones floating on the Internet but they are not recommended for several reasons. Firstly, chances are they will most likely get blocked, since they are free they have many users signed on. Which means the Chinese government will likely find them and put a block on them. Secondly the free VPNs are hard to trust, someone in Azerbaijan who you may using the connection from can read and see what you may be doing.

Behind the scenes of every successful business

We all want our business to flourish and be successful in its industry. On the outside, developing a business doesn’t look that difficult. However, in reality, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start a business fail within the first 18 months. Talk about high risk, the odds of your business making it are slim. But there are some essential tips that’ll be able to keep your business afloat.

 

Get your business online

Regardless if your business isn’t based online or not, your business needs to have an online presence. Long gone are the days where your business will become successful from word-of-mouth. The reality is that an online presence shows legitimacy among potential clients. Most people when looking for specific products or services opt for Google to help them out. That’s where your business needs to be found – right on the first page. Use top web development companies to get your website on the right track.

 

Know your market

If you want to succeed in your industry you need to know your market. Rather than wasting hundreds or even thousands of dollars on failed products and services, test your market. What do the people need? Your opinion is relevant because you’re not the customer. If your market prefers bananas over apples, then you supply more bananas, it’s as simple as that. Spend time speaking to your customers to better understand them and their needs.

 

Be organized and focused

If you want your business to run smoothly you need to have everything put together. Organization is key to keep your team functioning smoothly and efficiently. Plus, it helps you reduce stress. When you have everything you need accessible and organized, it makes everything easier. To keep yourself focused, work off of a daily checklist, that way, you don’t forget any important meetings and all your tasks are right in front of you.

 

Stand out

You’re probably thinking that everything we need has already been invented and you know, you’re probably right. But that’s not the point. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, you just need to make it better. What will make your business stand out from the rest is the fact that you’re different from all the others? Don’t produce an identical product, produce something slightly different and better. That will have people naturally gravitating towards you because you’re unlike the rest.

 

Focus on your team

You know the old saying, you’re only as good as your team. Well, it’s never been truer than it is in business. Sure, you can have an amazing product but if you don’t have the team to push and promote the product, well, then you have nothing. Behind every successful business is a talented team that’s using their skills and strengths to push the business forward. If your team believes in your business and you find the right people, well, then you’re golden as they’re the backbone of your business.

Features that every tasteful house has

Houses are bought and made into homes. But homes demonstrated a lot more than just a place of living. They showcase the personalities of the people living inside it, they are a way to distinguish whether or not a person is educated, a way to portray their past, present, and future. That is why so much effort is put into building a home, from interior designing to home decor, the “home” business is growing day by day. 

There are many creative ways one can easily make their home appear a lot more aesthetic. Here are 5 ways in which one can make their home stand out, and feel a lot more luxurious.

  1. Wallpapers

Getting the house painted in the colors that match one’s personality is very important, but now one does not have to depend on just paints. Wallpapers have become the best way to make rooms look a lot more artsy and classy. It’s easy to buy amazing wallpapers and it is quite affordable. If someone would like a wooden feel to their house they can just get a wood textured wallpaper. Wallpapers are a quick way to draw more color and aesthetic home.

  1. Showpieces and Paintings

The little things one puts into the home can make a big difference. There are many different kinds of showpieces that accentuate the beauty of one’s surroundings. It can either be big animal showpieces, a classic in most of the Indo-China Peninsula, or even models of monuments and other places in the world. One can also get paintings that would highlight the home’s interior even more. Paintings are a great way to make a place appear a lot more luxurious.

  1. Home theater

Another way to differentiate one’s home is to make what is called a “home theater” either through an outdoor TV set or an indoor TV set. If one has a garden, setting a little screen in it can enhance a more playful and relaxed look. Moreover, outdoor antennas can be used to bring a more “old-school” feel. Most people today utilize Netflix or Amazon Prime as their main source of entertainment through television. Therefore, one can even put a television in a smaller room in the home and create a more cinematic look.

  1. Barbecue

It is important to note that home is made by what is inside and outside. If one has a home with an outdoor space, a barbecue can be set up there. A barbeque makes the house appear a lot more “fun”, moreover, it can be an exceptional place to have a summer brunch or party. Barbeque sets come in many sizes, therefore, one can even get one if they have a smaller outdoor space. 

As mentioned, making one’s home stand out does not require a lot of effort. The most important thing is to understand the manner in which one wants to portray their personality through their place of living. A home is just as beautiful as one wants to make it. 

Budgeting for education

College is pricey and there is no way avoiding that, but there are some ways to minimize expenses and save where possible.

  1. Pay attention to the different kinds of scholarships

Many application windows pass and students aren’t taking advantage of the scholarships out there. This could be due to busy schedules or lack of confidence. Nobody gets scholarships they don’t apply for, right? With that being said, take chances and put the full effort into scholarship applications.

There are scholarships that focus on more than just academics. There are academic scholarships, project management scholarships, scholarships for minorities and even some oddly specific scholarships such as the Clowns of America International Scholarship.

  1. Start saving—now

It is never too late. Start budgeting and cutting spending now so that there is more leniency in the budget when college starts. Taking classes and working can get stressful and it is comforting to have some saved up cash to fall back on.

Business Insider recommends having a day once a week dedicated as the “no spending day.” Another tip on saving money is to take cash out of the checking account for a week and it leads to more conscious spending.

  1. Work on lining up a part-time job while in college

Research the town or city that a college is in and see what kinds of part-time employment opportunities there are nearby such as: bars, coffee shops, offices or other local businesses. Bartending is one of the most efficient ways to make money in the service industry. It also comes with social benefits, which is perfect for the college experience.

There are also many on-campus opportunities to make money, according to BuzzFeed. There are all kinds of psychology grad students doing studies; often, there is compensation for those who participate. Check out fliers on doors and postings that are sent out from campus email servers.  There are jobs on campus that can also be steady pay, while catering to the fact that students have busy lives. Many jobs allow shifts to be short and work around class schedules.

  1. Cut spending on non-necessities

Eating out drains savings. Groceries are cheaper and more customizable. Make a budget and limit eating out to a reasonable amount like once a week. It’s hard to completely say no when looking at social opportunities, but limiting it can save your bank account.

CNBC mentions that meal plans can be way more costly than other options. These plans can lock a student in to paying more than necessary for food. It is an option to look at opting out of a meal plan and using the money to buy less expensive groceries instead.

A car is needed for some students, but usually students can get by without. If it is an option to not have a car, then do it. This could save thousands of dollars on parking tickets, gas money, car troubles and more.

There are some tips and tricks to eliminating costs without spending time stressing about money while students pursue an education. Taking advantage of the resources and cutting costs where possible can make or break a budget.

The rising importance of agriculture

Although agriculture seems to be at the bottom of the food chain of sought-after education, it is an important field of study that is often overlooked by most. It is also more complicated than people think. For example, U.S. agricultural production includes farm financial well-being, farm income and expenditures, chemical use and farm and ranch characteristics that needs to be taken care of. Here are five reasons why you should consider studying agriculture:

 

Range of opportunities

You are sorely mistaken when you associate agriculture with just farms because it’s much more than that. Agriculture graduates can work in a range of job opportunities – in farms or food retailers, suppliers, even work in research and technology, consultancy, education, marketing or the media. Jobs in agriculture can include but is not limited to research scientists, bankers, policy developers, marketers, stock and station agents, shearers, journalists, etc.

 

Most agriculture students were drawn to their major because of their interest in food, nutrition animals or engineering, but their expertise in other topics can be applied as well. For example, you can apply your business management knowledge to create a vertically integrated supply chain or thinking of international agriculture opportunities to expand your country’s agriculture sector. There is also something called agribusiness banking, you should check it out.

 

Technology & Innovation

As an industry, agriculture is constantly changing to keep up with the increasingly fast-paced environment. Technology can be used to help improve profitability, reduce costs and increase overall production to fulfill everyone’s needs. The use of new technology and innovative ideas keep students on their toes, and when they are out on the field, they have to adapt quickly to whatever situation they are placed in. Food insecurity worldwide can be reduced by providing education and infrastructure for family farms.

 

Going local

Not only will you be in charge of educating future generations on what they eat and how they grow them, you will also be encouraging people to go local. There are also a number of issues that needs further awareness such as water use and preserving water supply for future generations. There are also other concerning issues such as declining farm numbers, increasing farmer age, and the sexist farmer ways. Although farmers are thought to be mostly men, women can be farmers too. Climate change, market volatility and reliance on subsidies also affect farmers’ incomes. That is why the importance of buying home grown foods should be spread around as it will help increase local farmers’ share in the local marketplace and keep farming profitable.

 

However, for one to pursue agriculture studies, it could cause a rip into your wallet. Especially a farmer’s child hoping to gain more knowledge from studying. Until the government figures out a way to subsidize agriculture studies, you should probably look into scholarships in agriculture.

7 In-Demand Engineering Jobs of the Future

Following massive strides in innovation, science and computing, engineering graduates worldwide can hope to stay immensely sought-after in the next decades. Engineering is universally recognized as one of the most profitable and in-demand career options, with various disciplines and job responsibilities, with salaries that can surpass $100, 000 per annum once you have got a decent amount of experience under your belt.

 

Here are the five most popular, in-demand, engineering careers that you should consider getting into:

  1. Software Engineering:

With the ascent of cloud innovation and mobile computing, most brands are figuring out how to operate digitally, while growing new frameworks and applications. The software field is a rapidly advancing space, liable to deliver exciting career openings and high pay rates for engineering graduates with cybersecurity abilities and mobile expertise.

  1. Aerospace Engineering:

With an expected worldwide demand for more than 27,000 new passenger planes and 40,000 business helicopters from 2013 to 2031 and quick progressions in aviation innovation, the sector will proceed to develop and produce high compensation jobs for graduates that display specialized expertise in aviation framework and critical thinking.

  1. Civil Engineering:

Infrastructure needs increase with the steady growth in population. Critical areas in this sector will incorporate the upkeep and development of new roadways, the administration of water supply, waste filtration and real estate development in urban spaces. One of the key advantages of Civil Engineering is that it continues to be recession-proof. In a solid economy, structural designers and civil engineering assemble new infrastructure foundations, while in a recessed economy, they repair existing ones.

  1. Environmental Engineering:

Environmental pressures and financial trends will create a massive for engineers to apply their insights from natural sciences to produce new and improved solutions in air and water contamination, recycling and reuse, waste administration and environment-friendly energy. With a high median compensation, a potential for growth and the chance to work with cutting-edge innovation to actualize critical change, Environmental Engineering holds a promising future.

  1. Biomedical Engineering:

To address the issues of growing population across the globe and rapid innovations in medical technologies, including 3D printing and small-scale electro­­­-mechanical systems, there will be an increase in demand for biomedical specialists to enter the workforce and propel the field of medication.

  1. Electrical Engineering:

While most of the electrical engineering jobs require outlining, experimenting and overseeing the production of electrical equipment,  some of them consist of planning electronic schematics for industrial and buyer use. Freshly-graduated electrical engineers are expected to have an average starting salary of $57,330. Employment increase in this domain is anticipated to be approximately 6 percent.

  1. Chemical Engineering:

Chemical engineers can launch their career from production & manufacturing plants to technical trades & business management. The demand for chemical engineers is supposed to be fairly flat in the coming years, however, job growth in closely-related fields is expected to be relatively faster, if the US Department of Labor is to be believed.

The average starting salary for chemical engineers is around $94,000 annually. While most Chemical Engineers are typically employed in manufacturing and research, they not only work for chemical corporations, but also successfully delve into the production of electronics, apparel, paper, medication, and food to name a few.

The mindset of a winning trader

Whether you trade in currencies or commodities or whether you are hoping to cash in on your recent investment in the Compass Group’s compass share price, you need to be aware of one thing.

A significant contribution to success for any trader/investor is understanding psychology. You may be smart, perform excellent market analysis or put together great trading strategies.

However, your discipline, as well as emotional stability (being in control of fear and greed), will be a factor in determining your success or failure.

Several traders may use the same approach to trading but the successful ones will (more often than not) be the ones with strong willpower and mental grit.

As a trader, it’ll be your beliefs and psychological traits that determine the types of results you can achieve and will also influence your style of trading.

Even if a trader’s strategies and techniques are popular and have been proven to be profitable, he/she may not prosper from them simply because he/she may be lacking the right kind of mindset.

An essential step in dealing with psychological issues is to be aware of them and to not deny that they exist.

This is what psychologists get their patients to do in order to heal. It is important to recognize the sources of problems and understand the issues that they emanate from.

Similarly, in order for traders to change their habits and become profitable, they have to identify their psychological issues and face them head-on.

This can take a lot of time but having commitment, discipline and persistence are also important parts of a successful trader’s psychological makeup.

There are a variety of psychological issues that a trader may face when trading. This may cause problems that can hinder a trader in his/her path to profitability and success.

Here are some common psychological pitfalls and what can happen if they are not acknowledged and dealt with effectively:

Prematurely closing a position

Due to the fear of position reversal, a trader may get overwhelmed by anxiety when opening a position. This will lead them to exit the trade too early which can then lead to disappointment. This disappointment might drive them to impulsively open yet another bad trade (this is also known as revenge).

Putting a limit on profits

A bad attitude to go into trading with is poor self-esteem. This may cause a trader to feel unworthy of profits or success. Such an attitude can cause the trader to put too much of a limit on profits when a lot more could have been made from a particular trade.

Too much excitement

Do not let excitement get the better of you. It will make you feel like you have control over the markets and this may cause you to treat trading as more of an addiction (similar to gambling).

In order to deal with these and other psychological issues, there are several practices that you can implement. Here are some of them:

Control emotions

One of the biggest challenges a trader may face is having too much of an emotional attachment to each trade. Whether in the form of excitement or fear, unreasonable decisions may result from this issue. Do not let your emotions cloud your rational thinking.

Be positive

In addition to controlling your emotions, you have to fill your thought process with positivity. The way you think can have an effect on outcomes. Train yourself to feed your mind with positive thoughts.

There are a ton of ways in which you can deal with the psychological issues that may be holding you back from your trading success.

It is also important to keep practicing and to be patient.

Take as long as you need with your demo account before going live and do not rush into it as there are risks involved in trading. Stay sharp!

 

If you would like to further the discussion on this topic or to have your work published, we’d love to hear from you.

3 Easy Ways to Drive Traffic To Your Website

When you’re starting a business, it can be easy to forget just how important it is to drive consumers to your website. However, sales are increasingly influenced by websites, according to Statista, meaning there’s no time like the present to create a stunning website design and encourage users to come on by.

Now, gathering consumers from the far corners of the Internet and directing them to your website may seem like a huge undertaking, but there are actually many tools and tactics that can help you achieve this goal. Below, we broke down 3 easy ways to drive tons of traffic to your business’s online destination with minimal muscle and ultimate rewards.

 

1. Retargeting
In short, retargeting is a process that drops cookies on a user’s browser when they visit a website. These cookies in turn will show them ads for the website that they were previously on, encouraging them to return to the site for content make a purchase, or another similar CTA. If it seems a little invasive, well, that’s kind of because it is. But hey, it’s darn effective (and users have the option to clear their cookies).

Google Ads is probably the best place to start if you’re hoping to start a retargeting campaign. Plus, it integrates seamlessly into Analytics, Search Console and your other tracking programs, making monitoring your site’s traffic even easier.

 

2. Email Marketing
It’s easy to dismiss email in the age of social media, but alas, email is alive and well. What’s better? About 75 percent of companies report that email marketing provides them with a strong return on investment. Translation – it’s inexpensive AND effective.
The key to creating a successful email marketing strategy is to:
1. Make a consistent schedule
2. Show value to your subscribers in every email

Take Banana Republic for example. From the very second you land on their homepage, you see a strong call to action outlining the benefits of signing up for their newsletter. If you complete that action, not only will you get that discount, but you’ll continually stay in the loop about upcoming promotions.

Other ways to implement this same idea include access to exclusive interviews if you’re a media site, specially curated reports if you’re a professional service, or teasers on upcoming products if you’re a more traditional store.

 

3. Social Media
Creating a basic social media strategy is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to drive traffic to your website. Whether you’re promoting products, building a brand identity with blog posts or simply out engaging users, social media is a tool you should be using daily.

However, there are plenty of tools that can boost social media’s reach. Utilize a management system such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social to manage your community more closely, track competitors and schedule posts in advance. Then, test the waters in paid social media ads. Most platforms make this very simple, and in fact, Facebook has an entire business platform that makes targeting the right demographic even easier. Still not sure where to start? Try enlisting a social media marketing agency to help.

 

Conclusion

If you’re hoping to drive more traffic to your website, don’t let fear of a seemingly big task scare you off. Instead, start with the easy steps below. Once you master those, you’ll be able to grow your marketing tactics – and your business – in no time!
● Start a retargeting campaign with Google Ads
● Create a consistent and valuable email marketing tactic
● Invest time (and money) in both organic and paid social media

 

If you would like to further the discussion on this topic or to have your work published, we’d love to hear from you.

TrackMySubs Helps Customers Track and Manage Their Subscriptions and Save Money

TrackMySubs helps consumers stop wasting money on unwanted subscriptions and know exactly how they are spending their money.

TrackMySubs’ founder and CEO Gabe Alves knows all too well how costly subscriptions can be. After a 30-day trial with Dropbox, he was automatically charged $850 on his credit card for the $70 a month subscription. Alves was frustrated at how easily he had forgotten that payment would be due. He decided to look more at his business finances and found another $215 in spending on subscriptions he had forgotten was being taken out monthly.

Alves’ goal was to create an easy-to-use system that was built to manage subscriptions – one where he could add in each new subscription and set default reminders. Alves is not alone in his challenge to remember the cost of subscriptions and renewals. In the world of “subscribe to everything”, the ability to turn services on and off is incredibly convenient, but it can come at a significant cost.

According to Moneywise, people in Britain waste an estimated 448 million pounds a month on unused subscriptions. Americans are just as bad, spending on average $512 per month on redundant subscriptions, according to an article in CNBC.

Keeping track of wanted subscriptions is hard enough, but for those who simply forget or haven’t gone through the hassle of cancelling, it’s just wasted money. Companies are developing incredibly inventive ways to keep revenue from subscriptions rolling in. In fact, literally hundreds of millions of dollars are being poured into companies like Zuora, Chargify, and Recurly. They have one main goal: manage subscribers for other companies with the clear goal of making more revenue from subscribers.

“It’s not that habit-forming applications are bad – in fact many of them want to help their customers by forming good habits such as meditation and fitness,” says Alves. “But paying customers should be aware of these techniques. They need to understand what is happening, so they can make clear choices instead of being influenced by addictive behaviors and clever tech.”

Alves built TrackMySubs to level the playing field and help consumers know exactly how much they’re spending. His company has the core mission of helping users save money by tracking and taking control of their subscriptions.

It’s not lost on Alves that TrackMySubs is also a subscription-based service. He admits, “The irony of our product being a subscription is not lost on us – a subscription model enables us to be viable. Our position here is not that subscriptions are bad, but they should be provided to the customer in an ethical and transparent manner.”

Until consumers have the tools and knowledge to recognize this, Alves believes consumers will continue to spend millions on services they don’t need.

 

If you would like to further the discussion on this topic or to have your work published, we’d love to hear from you.