Technology

3 simple steps for creating a successful website

Today, it does not take much to create your own website using one of the popular website builders. However, there is a difference between creating a website and creating a successful website. So, how do you make your website stand out among the zillions of other websites that are out there?
Unfortunately, many people fail to understand that you need to lay a great foundation for creating a great website. More than the process itself, it is the pre-prep that decides the future of your website.
Read on to find out about three vital steps that you need to follow to develop a successful website:

Map out your journey
Many people do the worst mistake of not having a concrete vision for their website before they create a website. Instead of going ahead with a vague idea that you have for how you want your website to look, map out and figure out how you want the world to see your website. The best thing to do is to understand the core values of your business and design a tailored website accordingly.

Understand your target audience
It is true when they say that you never have a second chance to make a first impression. So, it is important that when a viewer clicks on your website, he or she first is impressed as well as attracted to explore your website. Once you are clear about what message you want your website to communicate, focus on understanding your target audience. If you are successful in identifying the primary visitors of your website, then you can easily craft your content in a way that captivates them. An overall easy navigation of your website is another great tool to lure your potential customers to get hooked to your website.

Plan the content and design
Content is the heart of any website. After you know what message you want to send, make sure that you package the message in an innovative way. For example, if your website is youth-centric, then instead of sticking to plain, written content, you can include graphics, videos, and images to entice your target audience. Website design is another important factor that can make or mar your website’s success. However, having said that make sure that you do not make your website all about the website design as that can easily distract the visitors away from your website’s content.

Once you successfully complete these basic steps, you can then carry out a bug testing and launch your website. Wix, GoDaddy, and SITE123 are some of the top website builders that you can choose to create your personal or business website. Whichever website builder you use, just make sure that you know what you want before you go ahead and create a website.

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Technology

3 best website builders to use for creating your first website

Are you worried that you cannot afford a website designer for your new venture? No worries. Today, you no longer need to rely on a web designer for a tailor-made website for your business. You can get hold of some of the top website builders available online and create your own customized website, either free of cost or at an affordable price.
However, as we are spoilt for choice, it might be a daunting task to narrow down which website builder you want to use. To make your task easy, here are the top three website builders that you can consider using:

Wix 
Wix is without a doubt one of the best and the easiest to use website builder that provides you with a wide variety of features. With more than 500 templates, it is great for people who lack tech skills and are building a website for the first time. One of the best features of this website builder is its drag and drop feature, which makes the whole process of creating your website from the scratch look like a cakewalk. Another great feature that you can try is the Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI), which is an additional tool that tries to get a grasp of what your business is about and designs your website accordingly. You can buy its ad-free package for approximately $10 per month, which is a great bargain for what it offers.

SITE123
Again, SITE123 is a great website builder for beginners that comes with 13 customizable templates that are easy to modify. The best thing is that as the templates are unique, it ensures that your website also stands out among the clutter of other websites. For those who do not wish to have advanced features on their website, they can consider using the free plan that provides limited and basic features free of cost.

GoDaddy
GoDaddy has got everything covered right from search engine optimization (SEO) tools to social and photo-editing tools. Hence, irrespective of whether you want to design a health, retail, fashion, real estate, or simply a personal artsy website you can create them all with GoDaddy. You can take the 30-days free trial if you want to check out what it offers. This website builder offers 24/7 customer support that comes in handy, especially, if you are new to the website-designing world.

Alongside, do your research and choose a website builder that best suits your personal and business needs. If you are still confused, then you can always try out some of the top website builders, review their work and finalize on one.

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Technology

Five must-have features to look for in an antivirus software

There are many options for antivirus software programs available in the market to choose from. In order to make the best choice, one must know what features to look for in an antivirus software. There are some features that can be a cherry on the cake but then there are some that are a must-have. Below are some of the must-have features to look for in an antivirus software-

Malware detection as well as removal
The signature detection is one of the most important parts of an antivirus software. It is important to ensure that any incoming virus threats are detected often and accurately. The time taken to remove any threat from the computer should be quick and must ensure that the program remains in contact with a PC security server to stay updated against any latest malware threats.

Powerful firewall
One wants their computer to remain safe after an antivirus software has scanned the computer and eradicated all the potential threats. Some antivirus software programs have a feature called a powerful firewall that helps the user keep their device safe by easily blocking incoming threats before they come in contact with the hard drive.

Identity protection
Identity theft is one of the cybercrimes that is rising in the recent years. As more and more businesses are going digital, it has become easier for a hacker to steal the information, drain the bank accounts of the business, or even sell the personal data to various advertising agencies. In several crucial ways, a good antivirus software will ensure that the personal data is protected. One simple way of protection, for example, is a verification being conducted every time one puts in credit card or any bank information online to ensure that a virus has not hijacked the device.

Backup
In a worst case scenario, one may have to rely on a backup to restore their system. A good antivirus software helps in creating a backup of the computer’s most important files. This allows the user to easily restore the backup if needed.

Maintenance features
If one is paying a good amount of money for a antivirus software, then one may expect something more than simply fighting malware. There are various antivirus software programs that tend to optimize the computer and ensure that the computer runs smooth, safe, and fast. Thus, taking care of its maintenance.

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Technology

Three best antivirus software programs of 2018

There are a variety of antivirus software programs that are circulating in the market. Choosing the best antivirus software can be difficult and tricky, as all of them are trying to exceed each other’s features. The best antivirus software programs also vary based on what features one is looking for while choosing an antivirus software. However, there are some antivirus software programs that are considered the best by most people and seem to carter all the features they need, these are-

Norton Antivirus Basic 2018 software
The Norton Antivirus Basic 2018 is one of the best picks if one is looking for an affordable antivirus software. The cost is comparatively quite less in comparison to the range of important features it offers like file reputation service that helps in inspecting the downloads from any potential threats, handy URL blocker, and intelligent behavior monitoring that helps in eliminating any installed malware in the system. One can run the antivirus scans anytime they wish or even schedule the scans for the discovery of any invasive activities.

ESET NOD32 Antivirus 2018 Edition software
This antivirus software has some of the most amazing features like an URL monitoring to block any websites that are not safe, a real-time malware defense, an anti-ransomware filter, tools to thwart invasions using PowerShell and malicious scripts, and exploit protection. These features ensure that it is one of the best antivirus software programs available. Also, its device control feature ensures inhibiting the infection risks from other devices like USB sticks, optical storage media, external hard drives, and even gadgets that are connected through Bluetooth or FireWire.

BitDefender Antivirus Plus 2018 software
The BitDefender software is known as one of the best antivirus software due to its reliability and accuracy. The antivirus software program does come with an annual fee, but it offers numerous useful tools like a great anti-phishing module that warns the user about any untrustworthy links in the search engine results and a web filter that blocks access to dubious websites. It also secures the browsers and ensures that the user’s financial shield is protected. Additionally, the antivirus software provides various additional features like a parental advisor, file encryption, and firewall.

Some of the other popular antivirus software programs are Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security, Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2018, Panda Antivirus Pro, Sophos Home Premium, and F-Secure Antivirus SAFE.

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Finance

4 factors to consider while choosing an equipment leasing company

It is common knowledge that new offices or businesses require equipment that contributes to the seamless functioning of the organization, and these pieces of equipment aren’t cheap. Usually, business owners buy new or used equipment, and this does cost a lot. Since people aren’t familiar with the concept of equipment leasing, they choose the older, costlier way of buying equipment when they could save money by leasing it instead.

Equipment leasing is one of the easiest ways to ensure that your working capital is diverted to other productive aspects of the business. Moreover, equipment leasing allows business organizations to stay in sync with the latest equipment as they can lease equipment for a short time.

So, if you are out shopping for an equipment leasing company, here are some factors you need to consider while choosing the right one.

The company’s experience: The best equipment leasing companies are those that have ample knowledge about the equipment you will be leasing. In fact, it is advisable to choose equipment suitable for your business from an equipment leasing company that has expertise in that particular field. Doing so can also allow you to lease the equipment at competitive rates and flexible terms.

Customer service: Another important aspect you need to consider while choosing the right equipment leasing company is how the company treats its clients. It is imperative that you pay attention to how they approach you during the initial inquiry. The right equipment leasing company will be supportive of its clients and ensure that you are given plenty of options that can prove beneficial for your business.

Payment options: If you own a business that flourishes on seasonal income, it is advisable to choose an equipment leasing company that offers flexible payment options. In fact, opting for an equipment leasing company that offers deferred payment equipment leases will help in dealing with your limited cash flow.

Company policy regarding repairs and breakdown: Machines can break down due to constant wear and tear or other factors. In such cases, you need to check the company’s lease agreement for terms regarding the repair and maintenance of the leased equipment. When you discuss the terms of your lease with the company’s representative, you should raise questions about how fast the company will respond when the equipment breaks down. This will give you an insight into the company’s efficiency.

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Technology

Important features to look for before subscribing to a VPN service

Investing in a premium Virtual Private Network (VPN) service will ensure a private connection to protect information shared over the internet. VPN services reroute connections through multiple locations and provide security protocols with advanced features to secure the connection.

You have to ensure that a VPN service has the following features before subscribing for a connection.

Protocols
A good VPN service must feature protocols like Open VPN control, IKEv2, PPTP, SSTP, and L2TP/IPSec over a secure TCP Port 443. An additional layer of security is available in the form of AES 256 encryption. Premium VPN services also feature advanced security protocols like DNS leak blocking, IPV6 leak blocking, First Part DNS server support, and a VPN killswitch to terminate any unsecured connections.

Privacy and logging
Even the most popular VPN services log in user data and keep a record of the private connection. As a user, it is better to opt for a VPN service that has a zero logging policy to ensure privacy and user anonymity even from the service provider.

Servers and locations
The primary function of any good VPN service is to reroute connections through multiple servers spread across random networks spanning different countries. Consider a VPN service that offers a minimum of 100 countries and locations to randomize the connection routing. Connection routing is necessary to mask the real source of your IP address. Premium VPN services like HideMyAss routes connections over 190 different countries and locations.

Device compatibility
Compatibility is one of the most important factors to consider while buying VPN services. Premium VPN services must install without any technical glitch and run well on commonly used platforms like Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. Most services can also be manually configured for routers, consoles, and external devices. You must also confirm whether the premium service offers browser extensions that are compatible across Google Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.

Support for P2P file sharing
P2P or peer to peer file sharing is free, fast, and highly efficient for sharing all possible types of content. A premium VPN service must provide good support for legal file sharing websites that are routed through a secure connection.

Customer support
Premium VPN services must also provide a good quality of customer support for technical assistance, installation, and configuration of the product. A comprehensive knowledge base with commonly answered questions, video tutorials, and call support for troubleshooting applications are additional features provided by the premium VPN services.

Price and payment
Price is perhaps the most important deciding factor. You must also consider payment options and refund policies of the product before subscribing for the service.

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Society

Here’s how charitable donations can help you while filing tax returns

Being a part of a charitable cause helps promote the greater good and can also make the donor feel good about themselves. Apart from the good vibes, it comes with another advantage, i.e., tax benefits. However, before filing tax returns, there are certain guidelines you shouldn’t overlook. Read further to know how you can make the most of your philanthropic endeavors.

  • Itemize to claim the contribution
    To claim a tax deduction for charitable donations, you need to itemize the contributions on tax return’s Schedule A, using the form 1040. You can file taxes with the help of an accountant or by yourself using a computer software.
  • Contribute to a qualified tax-exempt charity
    Typically, charities need to have a 501(c)(3) status to qualify as non-profit organizations such as educational institutions, hospitals, certain government agencies, and humanitarian foundations. However, establishments such as churches or other forms of religious entities are not mandated to acquire a 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue System.
  • Collect the receipts
    To claim tax benefits, it is imperative that you save the receipts and appraisal letters from the charitable organizations. Moreover, if the donation made to the charity exceeds $5000, then you need to get a professional assessment done in order to claim the tax deductions.

Claims excluded as tax deductions under charitable donations
Some contributions stated below can’t be used to file tax deductions –

  • Donations made to individual people
  • Donations made to political campaigns, political parties or committees
  • Donations made to business organizations or labor unions
  • Donations made to schools and hospitals which aren’t NPOs (non-profit organizations)
  • Donations made to the governments of foreign nations

Limits on charitable donations
The IRS has levied certain limits on the amount of tax benefits one can claim using charitable donations. Typically, your claims of charitable contributions shouldn’t exceed 50% of the adjusted gross income. In some cases, depending on the type of contribution made, such as a property, the limit on the tax benefit can be further reduced to anywhere between 20% and 30%. If your charitable donations are more than the prescribed limit, then the surplus amount will be moved to the next year’s tax filing season, so that you can claim your benefits then.

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Society

Different ways to verify a charity’s legitimacy

Donating money for charitable causes is one of the noblest things one can do for the society. However, while one is contemplating about making a contribution for the greater good, one must exercise some level of caution. Why? Because it is important to ensure that whatever money has been donated goes to the right place and is used for the proposed plan. Therefore, before making any donations to a charity, it is imperative for a donor to run a check on the establishment in question.

Signs of a charity con
Today apart from personal contact, charities use all types of communication mediums including phone calls, emails, text, and even social media networks to promote causes. Irrespective of how charities contact potential donors, there are certain red flags stated below that shouldn’t be missed.

  • Refusal to produce detailed data about its mission, identity, and expense breakdown.
  • No evidence of tax deduction for the contributions made.
  • Using a name that resembles eminent charity organizations.
  • Use of high-pressure donation campaigns that coerces the donor to make immediate transactions without giving one enough time to think or research.
  • Offering sweepstake rewards in return for a donation.
  • Asking for confidential information such as a bank account number or debit/credit card details.

Things to check before making a donation to a charitable organization
To make sure that your contributions benefit the right individuals and causes, here are some precautionary measures you should take.

  • Insist that the organization gives you some details such as an address, telephone number, websites, social media handles, and reliable references.
  • Research about the organization online, and pay special attention to search results or threads mentioning words like complaints, scams, or frauds.
  • Call up the charity and personally inquire about its causes and the mediums they use to solicit donors.
  • Check the charity’s credibility by examining if they are registered under the National Association of State Charity Officials.
  • Ensure that the donations made to the charitable organizations or fundraisers are tax-deductible.

Fortunately, today one can find various charity vetting tools online that can help donors investigate a charity’s legitimacy. Apart from the basic details, these online platforms inform donors about how a particular non-profit organization spends the accumulated money. Here are some websites that can aid donors in making the right decision –

  • GuideStar
  • The Wise Giving Alliance
  • Charity Navigator
  • Charity Watch

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Technology

3 well-rated asset tracking software in the market right now

Asset tracking helps an organization keep track of all the physical assets owned by the organization. These assets include desktops, printers, laptops, phones, and other hardware devices. Asset tracking involves having all the information (location, retirement date, status, and so on) related to a company’s assets in one place. An asset tracking software can be useful as an organization can save money and time, and ensure efficiency when it comes to the management and maintenance of various assets of the organization. Here are some of the most popular asset tracking software used by organizations.

  • EZOfficeInventory: One of the most popular asset tracking software, EZOfficeInventory is known for its non-intrusive features that keep track of assets right from the procurement stage to the retirement stage of each asset. The interface is user-friendly and intuitive that makes setup and installation quite hassle-free. The software provides support for RFID tags on external scanners, along with QR code scans and Barcode scans through the EZOfficeInventory mobile application. The software offers various services such as asset reservation, audits, maintenance, and checkouts through team collaborations.
  • Asset Infinity: This asset tracking software is known to assist organizations in tracking dead or broken assets, asses the condition of the damaged assets, and find out who owns these assets. Users can either use RFID tags, barcodes, or QR codes to keep track of assets with this software. With easy-to-use dashboards and reports, this software helps in keeping track of costs associated with various assets in the organization. The software also helps with the maintenance and management of assets in the organization.
  • UpKeep: One of the most used asset management tools, UpKeep lets users monitor assets, inventory, and equipment across all locations from one place. One of the most notable features of this software is that it sends real-time alerts and notifications for updated tasks on all devices including desktops, phones as well as tablets. With all asset-related data stored securely in the cloud, this software allows users to access asset tracking information from anywhere and at any time. It also assists in keeping track of asset-related costs and gives detailed reports to gain insights into better asset management and tracking.

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Technology

3 reasons why your organization may need asset tracking

Across organizations, a major part of the capital is tied up in assets and inventory. This is true regardless of the size of the organization. Most organizations tend to use traditional methods of inventory management to keep track of these assets. However, these traditional methods often cost a lot and incur additional expenses. Also, if asset tracking and management are not given priority, it might lead to unnecessary and avoidable overhead costs.

Not managing and tracking assets efficiently can also lead to a drop in the productivity levels of employees in the organization. Without asset tracking, it can be time-consuming and frustrating to look for replacements for damaged or malfunctioning assets and to wait for someone from the maintenance team to repair or replace assets. It can also cause deadlocks in the workflow. Here are a few reasons why an organization requires asset management.

Finding correct information on the availability and usage of assets
Asset tracking and management provide accurate information regarding the availability and usage of each asset in the organization. An organization will get timely and detailed insights and reports regarding the management of assets. This can improve the business workflow and decrease unnecessary overhead costs related to the organization’s inventory and equipment.

Increasing asset productivity and efficiency of maintenance practices
With asset tracking, employees of an organization can quickly get hold of a tool, software, device, or equipment. This will save a lot of time and effort. This saved time and effort can be redirected towards increasing employee productivity. Asset tracking can also help in setting up timely maintenance schedules. This will help to reduce equipment downtime and avoid any deadlocks associated with malfunctioning business assets.

Centralization of asset management activities
Earlier businesses had to use multiple platforms to manage the different stages of an asset’s lifecycle, from procurement to retirement. The use of multiple platforms increases costs and effort. With asset tracking software and tools, the various activities associated with businesses assets can be centralized and managed from one place. This will not only decrease costs but will also make the asset management process seamless and simple.

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