Technique Slant Element

Tech Sensibility: The Newsletter (Dec 2015)

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Technique

  • Some services and software products ask you to enter a password hint when creating your username and password. The password hint serves as a reminder of your password if you have trouble recalling it. However, the problems with password hints is that you have to come up with one that means something to only you and that they should be difficult for someone else to use to guess your password. In addition, password hints are visible to everyone that tries to log in as you. Password hints only increase your risk of a security breach. Use a password manager instead, and do not leave any hints behind. If you are forced to have a password hint, just put a dot (.) in the hint field.

  • Most devices today can charge via USB ports, which gives you the opportunity to eliminate all those charging adapters that came with your devices by adding powered USB ports throughout your house. Wall chargers, like the SnapPower Charger, resemble a standard wall plate for an electrical outlet and have a USB charging port built in. Just remove your existing outlet cover and fit a USB-powered one in its place.

  • Do not leave sensitive information like usernames and passwords on white boards in conference rooms or classrooms. When your meeting is over, erase the information. Many security breaches can be avoided by being mindful of where we leave such sensitive information and making sure to limit their exposure.

  • If you want to stop advertisers and other third-party trackers from secretly tracking where you go and what pages you look at on the web, installing a browser add-on called Privacy Badger will block spying ads and invisible trackers. If an advertiser seems to be tracking you across multiple websites without your permission, Privacy Badger automatically blocks that advertiser from loading any more content in your browser. While Privacy Badger was not specifically written to block ads, it focuses on disallowing any visible or invisible "third party" scripts or images that appear to be tracking you even though you may have specifically denied consent by sending a Do Not Track header.


Slant

Getting started with Big Data

Companies are mining extensive amounts of customer data in search for new opportunities. How can you take advantage of Big Data and use it for strategic advantage?

Big Data is a tool, not the end in itself. Keep this in mind as you talk with data analytics vendors. Vendors develop tools and look for innovative ways to justify their value for your organization. The best way for them to approach you is with a concept that takes advantage of the business opportunities that might be available to you. Avoid analytics vendors who try to sell you a "Big Data Project".

When you are ready to begin using data analytics inside your organization, start with determining and then bridging the gap between the data that you already have available and the data which you should have available. You can then start validating your assumptions by analyzing the data.

In order to start using your data for competitive advantage, you may have to start collecting new data and applying new analytical techniques to that data. Start with your business goals and use the data to discover innovative solutions that you can use to improve your decision-making and performance.

Big Data is about strategy. You need support from your top level C-suite management in order to be successful. Companies that successfully use the data analytics for strategic advantage do not achieve better results simply because they have more data, but rather because they have leadership teams that set clear goals, define what success looks like, and ask the right questions.


Element

We are all plenty aware that sedentary time and a lack of sleep are each harmful on their own, but research shows that when combined with more traditional risk factors they may have a multiplier effect that could make an early death far more likely. For example, the risk of premature death for people who both drink and smoke may be three times higher than for those who only drink. Adding another factor like sleep deprivation increases the odds of an early death almost five times, even though lack of sleep by itself may have only a slight effect on mortality. Research shows that the more deviations a person has from a clean lifestyle, the greater his or her risk may be of premature death, and that some combinations are more dangerous than others - those who combine insufficient exercise with prolonged sitting are at an increased risk, as well as those who sleep for too many hours.




Business & Technology of Greater New York

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