23
Sep

7 Effective Ways to Quickly Boost Website Traffic Using Social Media

As you already know, social media can be a significant source of traffic to your site. The larger your presence on social media, the more you can rely on steady social media traffic coming through your site. But still, getting more people to go to your site using social media can be tricky, especially if you have a limited budget, and you’re doing paid ads.
Fortunately, in this post, we’ll walk you through the seven effective ways to quickly boost your website traffic using social media.

Optimize your social media profiles

What’s the first thing that pops up when people click on your social media page? That’s your profile! Your profile will provide users with information about your business.

Whether it’s the About section on your Facebook Business Page, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts, these are great places to drop your site links.

If people find your content engaging and valuable, they’ll click through your to know more about your business or brand. You’ll also have an additional visitor to your site!

Produce more visual content

Because of the oversaturation of feeds on social media, it becomes harder and harder to stand out. That’s why it’s essential to draw visitors in by using stunning visual imagery.

Apart from that, highly visual content is 40 times more likely to get shared than any other type of content out there.

Ideally, you should be adding elements such as:

  • Infographics
  • Graphs
  • Videos
  • GiFs
  • Photos
  • Animations
  • Infographics

Adding these types of content makes your feed interesting. People are also more likely to click on your social media updates, and even share them online!

Share your content

You may put in hours and hours crafting the perfect blog post, and now, you’re more than ready to share it with the rest of the world.

However, a full month has passed before you know it, and only a few users have read it.

What’s the point of creating high-quality content if only a few people have only read it? Fortunately, you can fix this problem by sharing your content and promoting it on social media.

Have a compelling call to action

You may also spend hours writing the perfect post or tweet, only to find out that only a handful of people have shared it.

A great way to increase the clicks on social media shares is to use call-to-actions in your post.

A call-to-action will precisely tell users what to do. Luckily, social media platforms allow you to add a CTA button or link.

Nonetheless, it is vital to add proper CTA phrases. Here are some phrases that you can use:

  • Read More
  • Click Here
  • Visit Our Website

Compelling call-to-action will eventually persuade users to click through from your social media page to your website.

However, see to it that you are adding CTAs to content, which benefits your audience. The last thing you want to do is look as if you’re sharing a clickbait article.

You can make a list of a couple of call-to-actions that you want to use, and then test it out in your profile.

You can then use each one for about three times, then record the metrics like link clicks, engagement, and profile visits for every variation. This will let you know which is working best for your audience.

Engage with your followers consistently

Social media is unique in a sense because you can engage directly with your audience. You can quickly answer questions, get real-time feedback, and enhance the user experience with your brand.

Engaging with your audience regularly is also a great way to drive in more traffic to your site. Plus, it helps improve your audience’s impression of your company or brand.

Here are some tips on how to engage with your audience:

  • Participate on Twitter chats
  • Reply to comments/tweets that mention you and your business
  • Search for relevant hashtags, and start conversations
  • Participate in appropriate forums online

Offer special deals

A good deal is often hard to find. That’s why customers do appreciate it if they get a coupon of their favourite brand.

People love to save money, and fortunately, your brand can leverage on that. You can offer special offers and discounts on your accounts on social media.

Although, of course, you shouldn’t offer discounts every day. You also need to state any restrictions on that voucher or coupon upfront to avoid upsetting your customers.

Consider paid social advertising

Paid advertising is a great way to reach people who are not aware of your brand yet. Therefore, if you have a marketing budget, then you should try social advertising.

The good news is, you don’t have to spend a fortune when starting your own Facebook campaign since the cost-per-click, on average, is only $0.45 to $0.70 per click.

Now that you’re armed with these social media tips, you can incorporate them into your strategy to drive more traffic to your site.

About the Author:

Kevin Urrutia is the founder of Voy Media Advertising Agency NYC. Helps businesses maximize the benefits of Facebook Advertising, leading to a dramatic improvement in sales while pushing down costs. Voy Media thoroughly studies each client and comes up with tailor-fit solutions to bring about the best results.

4
Sep

Best Mobile Security Practices for App Developers

Mobile apps do outperform websites in many ways. It is why more and more businesses are relying on mobile apps to enter the global market. That is why mobile app security is something that cannot just be ignored or put secondary to web security.

Among the 5.19 billion mobile phone users, 4.54 billion are internet users. A virus that goes viral is deadly to the global, digital community. Mobile app security must be a top priority; for an unsecured mobile app is an app at risk.

Mobile app developers decide a vast number of privacy-related decisions on data collections and usage. Several barriers discourage app developers from enhancing their security practices, like drafting and reading privacy policies. However, this should not deter them from prioritizing mobile app security for the sake of their consumers and the integrity of their brand or company.

App security is an absolute requirement. One data leakage could cost your company’s reputation, not to mention a lot of money and risks of lawsuits.

What good are a mobile app’s design, intuitiveness, and usability if it is a ticking time bomb for a cyber-attack or data breach?

A massive proportion of our life-critical data is circulating in the cloud, open to a slew of cybercriminals.

With one break-in, cybercriminals can get illegal access to a plethora of sensitive data.   Enterprises and their CEOs are a common target because of the highly confidential information for which attackers will earn wads of cash from once they get a hold of it. Usually, these hackers sell the data they steal to third-party hackers for different malicious and destructive purposes.

It is why cybersecurity is a trillion-dollar industry. Enterprises and their CEOs are a common target because of the highly confidential information for which attackers will earn wads of cash from once they get a hold of it. Usually, these hackers often sell the stolen data to third-party hackers for different malicious and destructive purposes.

With all these risks and more, mobile app developers must do their utmost to protect their users and consumers.

What is Mobile App Security?

Mobile app security is a defense against malicious software and cyber-attacks. The various technologies and implementation methods used in mobile app security are aimed at countering all kinds of cybercrime and data breaches faced by mobile devices and apps.

Open frameworks like Android are more susceptible to MITM or man-in-the-middle attacks, data theft, fraud, broken cryptography, and unauthorized access.

Mobile security is not just critical. It must be a requirement for all legitimate mobile app developers across all platforms. Trustworthiness and systems integrity must be a recipe without which an app should never be served to consumers.   Here are some advantages of a secure mobile app:

  • Prevention of data-loss, damage, theft, and tampering
  • Defense against from malicious advertising
  • Detecting and eradicating malware and virus attacks
  • Avoiding expensive lawsuits and reputation damage

Indeed, the lack of mobile app security cannot be ignored. Here are some of the best practices mobile app developers can employ to secure their apps.

Best Mobile Security Practices for App Developers

1. Use Server-Side Authentication

Multifactor authorization permissions are typically issued on the server-side and only usable when the approval is completed. If the app needs data to be saved on the consumer side and accessible on the device, make sure it will only access the encrypted data after the credentials are authenticated successfully.

When utilizing permanent authentication or a feature called “remember me,” be cautious not to save the login details on the device and generate different tokens for your other devices.

2. Write a Secure Code

Application bugs, flaws, and vulnerabilities are the easy ways for a break-in by cyber attackers. You can want and reverse and exploit your code, and you do need a public copy of your software for this. Data reveals that malicious code affects over 11.6 million mobile devices at any given moment.

Keep your code secure and use hardening technology and signature app the onset, rendering it impossible to hack. You need to obfuscate and minify the coding such that it can not be reverse-engineered.

Track and repair vulnerabilities regularly and build your code, so upgrading and patching are simple. Please check that the code is agile so that it can be revised after a breach at the consumer-side.

3. Use Key Management Best Practices and Cryptographic Algorithms

One technique to eliminate encryption-related abuses is to prohibit confidential details from being saved on a mobile device. It involves hard-coded keys and passwords which can be put on the registry in plain text or used by a hacker.

iOS is covered to avoid reverse engineering through code encryption in theory. However, it’s necessary to remember that this isn’t a flawless approach, and you can still presume that attackers will decrypt consumer details.

If we introduce low key management techniques, the world’s most efficient encryption algorithm will not deter an attack. For example, if your app is not protected from binary attacks, keys may be intercepted when authentication responses travel from the server.

Never use algorithms that have been discarded or disapproved by the security community and do not attempt to build your encryption protocols unless you are a specialist in cryptography.

4. Be Extra Cautious With Libraries

Be doubly cautious when using third-party libraries, and test code extensively before using it in your app. Specific libraries can be too unstable for your app. For illustration, the GNU C Library has a security loophole allowing attackers to run malicious code and crash a system remotely.

Only after seven years did this vulnerability got exposed. To secure the apps from library flaws, developers can use controlled internal libraries and exercise policy controls during acquisition.

5. Use Authorized APIs Only

Unauthorized and poorly coded APIs will inadvertently offer hacker privileges that will be misused and abused. For starters, storing permission information locally allows programmers to reuse details quickly when accessing an API.

Indeed, it makes it easier for coders when APIs are easier to use. However, it also makes it easier for attackers to hijack privileges. Experts suggest that APIs be centrally approved for optimal protection.

6. Use High-Level Authentication

Because some of the most severe security vulnerabilities arise due to inadequate authentication, stronger authentication is becoming extremely necessary.

Authentication applies to keys and other unique markers serving as entry barriers. Most of this depends on the application’s end-users, so as a creator, you should motivate the users to be more cautious with authentication.

You can build your applications only to accept strong alphanumeric passwords that have an expiration. You can require password changes every quarter or bi-annually.

Promote multifactor authentication involving a mixture of static passwords and adaptive OTP. Biometric identification through retina and fingerprint scans can also be used for enabled devices.

7. Deploy Tamper-Detection Technologies

There are methods for alerting coders whether someone is trying to hack code or insert malicious code. Strong tamper detection and prevention must be utilized to ensure sure the code would not work if changed.

8. Validate All User Inputs to Meet Sanity Check Standards

When checking the reliability of your data, hackers are opportunistic. They identify all conceivable acceptability for malformed data on your web.

Input validation is a technique allowing only intended data can be transmitted through an input field. For instance, if a picture is uploaded, the file should have an extension that corresponds to normal file extensions.

If your image input validation has no constraints forbidding arbitrary pixel counts or file sizes, a hacker could upload a malicious file pretending to be an image.

Form fields, audio, video, command-line inputs, and all other input fields, are prone to this vulnerability, which was to blame for the first jailbroken iPhone.

9. Use the Principle of Least Privilege

The least privilege theory requires that code can operate with just the permissions it needs and no more. Your app should not ask for more privileges than the minimum it requires.

Don’t make unnecessary network connections, and perform continuous threat modeling as you update your code.

10. Use Correct Session Handling

Mobile sessions last longer than desktop sessions. It makes session management more challenging for the server. So, use tokens instead of device IDs to mark sessions.

Tokens may be removed at any time, especially in case of missing and stolen devices. Enable remote data wiping from a lost/stolen computer and allow remote log-off.

11. Install Robust Cryptography Tools and Best Strategies

Key management is critical for encryption. Never hard-code the keys as it’s convenient for thieves to hack. Store keys in locked containers and never keep them locally.

Even widely used cryptographic protocols MD5 and SHA1 have inadequate security standards. Discover the latest and most trusted APIs, like the 256-bit AES encryption with SHA-256 for hashing.

12. Create Threat Models For Data Defense

Threat modeling is a tool used to analyze better the issues that arise and employ the best defensive tactics against them.

A well-informed threat model means the team understands how different OS, platforms, frameworks, and external APIs transmit and store data. Built on frameworks and linking to third-party APIs will expose you to inefficiencies.

13. Obfuscate To Avoid Reverse Engineering

Prevent reverse engineering by having the necessary skills and tools to create credible UI replicas of a mobile app without accessing source code. Commercial-grade obfuscation techniques are accessible to render company logic-less and almost impossible to comprehend.

Developers use indentation to render their code more human-readable, but the computer does not really worry about correct formatting. That’s why minification, which excludes all gaps, retains accessibility but makes it tougher for hackers to decipher code.

14. Repeatedly Test Your App

Securing the software is never finished. New challenges arise, requiring new solutions. Enable repeated penetration testings, threat modelings, and emulators to check the vulnerabilities of your apps. Do testings as many times as you need, update your apps, and fix issues that arise with testing.

Conclusion: Best Practices = Best Protection

Cyber protection must be a high priority for any mobile app developer, whatever the niche of that app may be. Hackers have no bias as to what niche they attack. They will attack as long as there are vulnerabilities and flaws to exploit. It is critical to developing a holistic security strategy and the best practices to keep your data, privacy, and payments safe.

App security is an ongoing and never-ending task. If you need to outsource professional suppliers and solutions that can help you provide the best security for your apps, then do so. It is the app developer’s responsibility to provide a highly secure environment for payment processing and data transmission.

Your team must also know and practice cyber protection at all fronts of the business and app development. Even in their own devices and computers used for work, they must install the best antivirus apps for their mobile devices.

The best security practices will only lead to the best protection for your team, your app, and, eventually, your consumers.

AUTHOR BIO

Mayleen Meñez worked for seven years in TV and Radio production, and also as a Graphic Artist/Editor. Finding her true passion, she devoted 15 years in NGO and community development work, where she experienced being a coordinator and teacher, travelling both in the Philippines and countries in Asia.

She homeschools her three kids and reinvents Filipino dishes in her spare time. Writing has always been a hobby and pursuit, and she recently added content writing with Softvire Australia and Softvire New Zealand up her sleeve, while preparing for her next adventure in the nations.

24
Aug

What Are The Best Practices For Responsive Web Design?

Digitization is pacing; the number of individuals utilizing the web has surged with every passing year. Statista recorded 4.57 billion dynamic internet users as of July 2020 around the world, encompassing 59 percent of the worldwide populace. Its developing effect on individual consumers and massive economies has become a vital part of our everyday lives. You should rise with this change and build up a responsive web design to engage more people on your site.

More than one million individuals onboard the web train for the first time every day, and as a result of this transformation in consumer behavior, it’s not, at this point, sufficient to have a site that restricts works from a desktop. Continue reading to discover what a responsive website is? Why do you require a responsive website? And what are the best practices for responsive web design?

What is Responsive Web design?

Responsive websites adjust to all screen sizes and resolutions to deliver the best experience to users by utilizing a wide range of devices like desktop, laptops, tablets, phones, and sometimes TV. Yet, that should not mean leaving out information to fit smaller devices. You require a website with a responsive design. The image displays a perfect example of a responsive design.

Why do you need a responsive website? 

ANY business—regardless of whether small, medium, or undertaking—need to have a responsive website if they want to increase a competitive edge now and maintain it later. The referenced beneath insights from Statista will show you a reasonable picture of why you need a responsive web design. Let’s have a look:

  • Worldwide 4.57 billion people are digitally active.
  • The U.S. alone has 313 million internet users.
  • Around the world, 3.5 billion people use smartphones.
  • Out of 3.96 billion active social media users, 3.91 billion use it over the mobile phones per July 2020.
  • In July 2020, the global website traffic from mobile was 51.53%.

The desktop has its place; nevertheless, individuals now tend to prefer the website they visit to realize that they are using a tablet or a PC. They anticipate the site to adjust to them—not the other way around. You now know why it is essential for a business to have a responsive web design.

Now, without further ado, let’s jump on to the practices that you need for responsive web design.

Layout

First things first, the layout is an indispensable part of responsive web design. How you decide to organize your content will have a dramatic impact on your site’s appearance and functionality. Although there aren’t any particular rules for website layouts, there are a few you must consider ensuring an unwrinkled flow of work, material, and information.

Prioritize and minimize

The desktop rendition of web design is profoundly different from mobile phones, clearly constrained by size. In a desktop, it is simpler for you to break down and read each part while when designing for phones or tablets, you have to ensure these sections are revamped in a manner that doesn’t excessively increase the length of the page. Try offering the best experience you can by optimizing what desktop to mobile is like.

Navigation Menu

In a mobile view, with a confined space, to keep the design simple, text, an icon, or a combination of both indicates to the user where the menu is. It is wiser to use a simple drop-down rather than expanding the menu onto the entire screen. It also works in a desktop view, keeping the burger icon visible and simplifying its content. Adjusting navigation panels with a swipeable menu gives more space to the content on smaller screens. Google is the best example for swipeable menus; each text link has a drop-down menu, shows-up when pressed.

Easy to find CTA (Call-To-Action)

If you have a website, you need either clients, customers, or subscribers. To accomplish this goal, web design must incorporate a clear CTA button for the visitor. If you track your CTA, you will find that gateway page where visitors convert into customers or clients. Make your CTA clear, noticeable, and easy to discover for visitors not only on the desktop but also on mobiles and tablets.

Typography

A responsive site must have a responsive font. Adjusting the font-weight and size gets you ahead in making your web design responsive. Don’t make it unnatural to read. The large header on small screens is eye- upsetting, particularly in the event if they stretch over a couple of lines. Everything should be resized appropriately, which means your website font size should be identified with a CSS trick, so it can adapt to the screen of the visitor and be a compelling read on cell phones.

Media functionality

Finally, let’s focus on the significance of media in responsive web design. When an image or a video resizes automatically on different screens, it is viewed as perfect for responsive web design. It may incorporate replacing of enlarged image functionality with long scrollable gallery pages or swipe gestures. Replacement of images with icons and videos that are directly in iframes gives the page an extraordinary impact. Indeed, Even the less use of pictures and videos on your website will prove useful.

With every new read, you will discover enhancements on the best practices for responsive web design, and with changing trends, one needs to evolve. The more you explore, the more tips you’ll discover—for instance, visual elements like colors and functional aspects like UI functionality.

Conclusion

Remember, effective, responsive web design is a work of art. You may design an excellent site by applying the relevant aspects of those practices. Good web design can deliver aesthetically, satisfying, and financially rewarding results. Testing internally in the organization and receiving feedback will ensure that the user experience works flawlessly across all platforms and screen resolutions before being introduced to a real user for the first time.

If you are scanning firms for yourself that can serve you with the best practices for responsive web design, look no more, hire a web designing company and create an engaging site for your visitors.

Author Bio

Ajay Dubedi – CEO and Founder of Propel Guru. Has 15+ years leading business operations and client management in the segments of digital marketing and CRM. Driven by test-driven development paradigms, and exceedingly collaborative across all disciplines (from stakeholders to product to design to development to users – and back again).

Hire the best Digital Marketing Company from Canada. Choose certified Digital Marketing Specialists from Propel Guru now.

20
Aug

Should You Build Your App or Outsource it?

Mobile technology is now becoming the driving force for the digital era. The growing number of people owning a mobile gadget is increasing, and many are becoming reliant on their mobile devices than their desktop or laptops. Thus it is a wise move to build your app or outsource it for your business.

However, after you and your team have finally decided to come up with your app, many questions will surface. Who will build your app? How are you going to make it? Can your team members work on it? Are you going to outsource it? With the many questions that will come afloat in the air regarding your app development, you might face one of the most common dilemmas every business faces when they decide to build an app. Will you work it on your own, or have it outsourced from a third party vendor?

It will be a critical decision to make as it will affect how your business app will perform. To help you decide, you can weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

Option 1: In-House

Many businesses take the matter into their own hands when building their applications. While many established companies do this, it is good to weigh your pros and cons if you are inclined to have your team take care of the development process.

Advantages

1. Your Team Knows Your Business Better

Leaning on internal workers building your business app means that they know what is needed in your app. Being with the company says they have a clear understanding of how the business operates and how an app can streamline processes for the benefits of your consumers. Your team knows your brand voice, your target audience, your vision as a company, and even your competitors.

Having all of these insights can help build an app that directly answers your customers’ needs. Though any app agencies can also learn these insights, it will still take time to get to know your brand more.

2. Faster Approval

Since the people working on your business app is staying on the same location as you, approval of any kind is faster and easier. It is also easier to orchestrate a review of the development of your mobile application. Instead of sending back and forth any design material, approval can be done instantly as your physical location permits you to do so. Communication is easily accessible, and discussion of any challenges met along the way can be discussed face-to-face.

3. Revision Flexibility

No app can come out ideally for the first time. Revisions are part of the process of anything that you have built from scratch. Working with your team can give flexibility over the number of changes you need to tweak and modify your business app. You can work on your app without the restrictions on the number of revisions allotted to you.

Disadvantages

1. High Cost

When you are building your app with your in-house team, you need to start from scratch. It means additional training for your staff. If no one is eligible to create a decent app, you need to resort to hiring an extra employee. You also need to pay for licenses that are essentials in the app-building.

2. Inexperienced Team

Since app building is not your forte, your in-house team also has a diverse background. While it can be done, working on your app can take a while, as some of your team members may still need to check further for references.

3. Additional Manpower

An app development team is composed of many professionals like designers, developers, analysts, project managers, team leads, and quality assurance engineers. If you only have quite a handful of these essential team members, you need to spend time, effort, and resources to fill in the gap for your team. You need to invest in the new workforce required to build your app.

Option 2: Outsource Companies

The trend for building an app these days include leaning on outsourced companies. Many businesses and organizations lean on these third-party companies to come up with their mobile app.

If you want to outsource the building of your app but still think twice about this move, you can weigh on these advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages

1. Cost-Effective

Outsourcing your app development process can help you with some money that you can use on other things essential in your business. Since you do not have to worry about licenses and even other infrastructure needed for any app development, you do not have to spend a significant amount to purchase it. Your third party app development company will provide all the essential requirements.

2. Experts In The Field

Since you are tapping an outsource to do your business app, you are partnering with people who have years of experience under their belt. These people are considered experts in their field, and you will have peace of mind knowing that a team of professionals will handle and focus on your app development process. Instead of doing time to time check on the status of your app, you can spend your time on other tasks on your business.

3. Faster Time To Commence

An outsourcing company for any app-building already has a complete set of app builders in their team. It means that they do have to acquire additional time to look for a teammate who fills in the gap. They do not have to spend extra time learning from resources on how to build your desired app. Because of this, outsourcing ensures that your app will be started right away.

Disadvantages

1. Communication Issues

Since you will be working with a different team from another company to build your app, you might be dealing with people in different time zones. This situation can result in communication issues while working on your app. However, if you are working with top-notch companies, they can adjust to your time zone.

2. Limited Revisions

Working with an agency to build your app means working on a budget that gives you limited restrictions. One of which is the number of revisions you can have on your app. It limits your feedback, and if ever you still want to have another set of reviews and changes, you have to increase your allotted project. Fortunately, most outsourced agencies these days adopt agile methodology where your projects will be divided into a set of modules that allows you to check and suggest changes along the way.

Final Thoughts: Build Your Own Or Outsource?

The battle on which option you will choose to build your app will all depend on you. It will depend on factors like time, resources, and the amount of risk you are willing to take. Whether you choose to build your app with your team or have decided to partner with third-party developers, you should always consider your business objective, long-term strategies, and the pool of resources. You should also note that what works for other companies or your competitors will not work for you.

AUTHOR BIO

Maricar Morga worked as a marketing professional for almost a decade. She became part of the biggest real estate company/mall operator in the Philippines and handled concerts, events and community service-related activities. One of her activities became a nominee in the ICSC Asia-Pacific Shopping Center Awards 2018. Leaving her corporate job for good to pursue her dreams, she has now ventured in the path of content writing and currently writes for Softvire Australia. A Harry Potter fan, she loves to watch animated series and movies during her spare time.

28
Jul

10 AI Apps to Try this 2020

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most advanced technologies humans have ever created. It has done many wonders in our life, from the health sector, growing a business, and even on our everyday activities.

Most machines, software, programs, and apps we use are integrated with AI. Its purpose is to simplify the task, increase productivity, and perform with accuracy.

Businesses that integrated AI in their company have a better chance of growing their sales as compared to those who haven’t. There are many ways AI can grow a business and increase sales. Even in the field of medicine, AI has benefits too.

The apps and software we have in our mobile devices, laptops, and computer are also integrated with AI.

If you like using apps and programs with AI, here are some AI apps to try this 2020.

MUST-TRY AI APPS

Cortana

Cortana is an artificial intelligence application created by Microsoft. It was launched in 2014 for Windows 8.1 phone, and then it has been integrated in Windows 10 mobile, PCs, and Xbox One. Now, it’s available for download on the Apple Store and Google Play Store for free.

Cortana is more than your voice recognition application. It lets you sync your smartphone to your personal computer, set reminders, record crucial data, send emails, search on the internet, and a lot more. It’s the perfect AI app you can use to help you simplify your daily tasks.

Moreover, Cortana will learn over time and start to work on more complex tasks. Its personalized recommendations are derived from natural language processors, Bing search engines, and data from your device.

You can download Cortana for free on both Google Play and Apple Store.

Google Assistant

Since Google’s release of Google Assistance in 2016, it has now 500 million active users globally. It doesn’t come in surprise as we know that Google can be found in one billion devices.

Google Assistant is an AI-enabled application that assists its users virtually. It both supports voice and text commands, uses natural language processing, and translates in real-time. In addition, you can use Google Assistant in the same way as Cortana. It can follow voice commands, conduct voice searches, perform simple tasks like sending a reminder, setting appointments, and more.

You can install Google Assistant for free on your Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs. For Android and iOS devices, you can download it for free at Google Play Store and Apple Store, respectively.

ELSA

AI doesn’t only assist in daily activities. It’s also integrated on learning apps like the well-known ELSA (English Learning Speech Assistance).

If you want to learn or enhance your English skills, you should try ELSA, an AI-enabled learning app. You can learn to pronounce well, track your mistakes to learn from it, enjoy 1200+ lessons, and more. Its voice recognition technology will allow you to learn to speak in English.

It also provides a progress report, daily practices, and common English idioms. It’s an AI-powered app that acts as a digital English tutor.

The application is free to download at Google Play and Apple Store.

Hound

Hound is an AI-integrated application that works like Google Voice Search, but the best part is that you don’t have to tap the screen at all. It’s a hands-free application. By saying “OK Hound,” you can start using the app and watch it perform a wide range of activities for you.

You can start searching for keywords on the internet, book a ride with Uber, check the weather or weather forecast, locate the nearest restaurant, and a lot more. You can also listen to your playlist or favorite music using the SoundHound.

It uses Speech-to-meaning and Deep Meaning Understanding technologies that would impress you like no other AI-enabled apps. Hound is trusted by large enterprises like Hyundai, Motorola, and Mercedes-Benz.

Get the app for free on your Apple Store and Google Play Store.

Youper

Youper is like an AI therapist you can carry yourself anywhere. It’s an app that can take control of your emotional health. It provides guided and personalized meditations and keeps your health record, fitness, and workout schedules.

You can also communicate daily with their AI-powered chat, track your mood, balance your mind, and more. It is one of the most suggested apps to cope with Coronavirus stress.

You can download the app for free at Google Play Store or Apple Store.

Fyle

If you are looking for an app that can manage all your expenses, track continuously, and take care of tedious work, Fyle is the app you need.

Fyle is an AI-powered app that can track your mileage, receipts, expenses, and even create a report for your travel and expenses. There are real-time data extraction, policy checks, analytics, and more. In addition, you can take pictures of your receipts, and it will automatically get the information from it.

It is an ideal app for small businesses, accounting organizations, and those who work balancing spreadsheets. Plus, it can now be integrated into Google G Suite and Microsoft Office 365.

Try the app on your desktop or any of your devices (Android and iOS) for free.

Food Mama AI

It is an AI app that focuses on food. Now, what or how can AI be able to work on food apps? Food Mama works as a smart camera app while utilizing deep learning to track the nutrition from food images.

The app will use food photos and provide the user with the nutritional values of the meal. The deep learning technology of the app can recognize the food item. In addition, the app is trained to recognize different cuisines all over the world, making it the most diverse food identification app in the market.

It has a comprehensive database. That’s why it can provide detailed nutritional information.

Download the app for free for your Android or iOS device.

Replika

It’s an app that can be your best friend. Replika is a popular and advanced AI app that can have a conversation with humans. It was first developed for iPhone users, but now even Android users can enjoy this app. You get to create your best friend and talk to them. The conversations don’t seem to be automated. It often leans towards the user’s preferences.

Get to make your best friend and talk to them like in real-life. In addition, it can take notes, save them, and track them easily.

Socratic

If ELSA is all about learning English, Socratic is designed to help you with your homework. You can take pictures of your assignment, and the AI capabilities will give a visual explanation to the user.

Furthermore, it uses text and speech recognition, and you can get help on any subjects that you want. You can download the app for free for your iOS and Android device. Join over 5 million people who download the app and enjoy learning.

Tetra

Tetra is an AI-powered app you can use to help you take down notes while in a call/meeting. It’s simple to use. Add or invite Tetra into your upcoming call scheduled on your calendar, and it will call you before it starts. After accepting the call, Tetra can now start transcribing.

You can easily search your notes by typing the phrase or word from your conversation, share the notes to your team, export it to any app like Evernote, Dropbox, Google Docs, or email, and it is secured. You can try Tetra for free. Their paid plans start at $100 a month for 3 hours of transcription.

CONCLUSION

Artificial Intelligence offers a lot of ways to lighten the workload, fast track the process, and more. It creates an uncomplicated manner to handle business matters or even personal tasks. AI brings a whole new look into the modern technological world, and if you don’t believe it, you can try one of the apps mentioned above.

Author’s Bio

Vanessa Venugopal is a passionate content writer. With four years of experience, she mastered the art of writing in various styles and topics. She is currently writing for Softvire New Zealand and Softvire Australia.

23
Jul

How to Improve Mobile App Security

More than 67 percent of people in the world are mobile phone users, due mainly because of mobile apps as the number of mobile app users will continue to increase just in this year alone. Even despite the pandemic, mobile apps continue to flourish in response to the global demand for mobile and online applications in the new normal we are all headed towards. That is why mobile app security is crucial than ever before.

The best mobile apps add value to their user’s life. It is an excellent tool for building a community, while the world is social distancing. But along with the increase in demand, the threats against mobile security also increased. Sadly, not all users are keen on their mobile device security. There are also a lot of mobile apps that are not secured, causing undue risk for their users.

Users usually rely on developers performing their responsibility in the backend to secure the mobile app. But some vulnerabilities pose risks to both mobile app developers and users, even if standard security measures are set in place by the former.

A mobile app that is not secure becomes a real threat to the entire system the user is on. On a mobile phone is the user’s sensitive data, banking details, and the like. A malicious app downloaded on a mobile device can be damaging, often only discovered until it is too late.

What is Mobile App Security?

Mobile app security is the level of protection that mobile apps have against malware and cybercrime. The various technologies and production practices used in mobile app security aim to minimize all kinds of risks that mobile devices are subject to because of the apps installed in it.

In open platforms such as Android, the threat increases further. It is twice as vulnerable to virus attacks, malware, and data breaches than its counterpart, iOS, which is closed or exclusive to Mac and iPhone users.

Since Android is an open system, it is more prone to Man-in-the-Middle or MITM attacks and other forms of cyber threats like an unintended data breach, poor authorization, and broken cryptography, among others.

How do mobile app developers secure mobile apps for the sake of its users? How do app developers protect their apps and their users from cybersecurity threats and data breaches?

10 Mobile App Security Checklist

These are security steps that mobile app developers must follow when creating apps that are secure and protected:

The source code must be secure 

Just as you do not build a house without a door, always make sure your source codes are secure and not open for others to tinker. It would help if you made sure that hackers and cyber attackers will not be able to access your source code or decipher it quickly. This process is called obfuscation.

Obfuscation is concealing your code, making it unclear, difficult to understand, and even confusing. It prevents cyber attackers from reverse-engineering your source code.  Android, for example, has a built-in Pro-guard that obscures codes into meaningless and confusing characters.

Protect and secure databases and files

You need to store your data like consumer database, credentials, payment information, and the like on a secured device. Your storage needs to be protected as well, fully backed up and encrypted, with data access privileges limited, so you prevent data leakage at all costs.

Secure data transmission and communication

Transmission or communication of data must be protected and encrypted as well. Hackers lurk for unprotected or unencrypted data transmission. Sending and receiving data within your mobile app needs to be done via secure mediums, through a VPN tunnel, TLS, SSL, or HTTPS communication. You avoid eavesdroppers on your network requests, make your data undecipherable, and prevent packet-sniffing and man-in-the-middle attacks.

Ensure that your data is portable

Data portability is being able to use consumer data across different platforms and services. One of the most common examples is being able to use your Google login details to log into other apps and platforms. Facebook utilizes data portability, as well.

It allows apps to leverage the robust app security of more prominent companies while being able to apply the users’ private data and authentication from scratch. The signup process becomes more user-friendly and convenient.

Prevent reverse engineering

Android is more prone to reverse-engineering attacks because it is an open-source platform. In an open-source platform, anyone can search for the source code and make OS modifications according to their needs. However, not all users can do this since you would need some aptitude in programming. It is why it is highly recommended secure source codes instead, to minimize the risk of tampering by the wrong people out to attack you and your users.

Always conduct data input validation

Input validation is checking user-supplied data. It prevents malformed data from entering your database. Sadly, input validation is not a priority for most mobile app developers. But since input validation is readily available in the majority of mobile app frameworks, optimize this feature for an added layer of app security.

Encrypt your data

Is data encryption ever just an option these days? In a day and age, where attacks and data leakage can happen to anyone at any time, data encryption is a must. It goes, particularly for mobile apps. Mobile apps have taken much of the brunt in cyberattacks because of a lack of mobile app security.

Broken cryptography is insecure usage of cryptography, mostly in mobile apps that leverage encryption. If the mobile app implements an encryption-decryption algorithm that is weak or broken in nature, it means hackers will be able to decrypt the codes right away and wreak havoc in and through your mobile app.

Prevent weak or broken algorithms and leverage cryptography well to protect your application and data.

Conduct Penetration Testing 

Penetration testing or pen testing is simulating a cyberattack against your computer system to test for any vulnerabilities that can be exploited by cyber attackers. Penetration testing is commonly used in mobile app security to strengthen the web application firewall (WAF).

Pen testing can attempt breaching mobile app systems like APIs (application protocol interfaces), frontend servers, or backend servers. It is better to find vulnerabilities yourself, like inputs susceptible to code injection attacks, before real hackers do.

Fine-tuning your WAF security policies and patching detected vulnerabilities is a must before launching your mobile app. It is one of the most critical stages of mobile app security. It is different from regular software testing, but both are integral to strengthen your mobile app security.

Use tokens to handle sessions and high-level authentication

A token is a tiny hardware device that users carry to authorize access to a network service. Mobile app developers use tokens to manage their user sessions more productively. As tokens can be approved, it can also be revoked.

Mobile app developers also need to use stronger authentication, referring to the use of complex passwords. Design your mobile apps so that it only accepts complicated alphanumeric passwords that must be renewed every six months.

Add two-factor authentication as well, add more security to your mobile app. Users will be required the OTP (one-time-password) sent via text or email, before logging in. Other authentication methods now include biometrics like fingerprint scanning and retina scanning (depending on the mobile device in use).

Impose Access Policies and Continual Testing

Make sure your mobile app always applies security guidelines and corporate policies of Google Play and iOS App Store. Rules may change as these mobile app platforms continue enhancing their service, so make sure your app is always updated, with vulnerabilities patched with every update.

Make it a habit to always test your code. It is irresponsible on the developers’ part to not go back to codes they have written and test them again and again for any vulnerability or apply updates and improvements. If you just hired a developer, make sure this is part of your contract with the developer. A consistent QA process is tantamount to secure mobile apps.

Conclusion: Secure Your Mobile App

Security should be every mobile app creator’s concern. It is not your user’s primary responsibility that your app is secure. Yes, they must be responsible for installing antivirus protection, use VPN, and other security measures. But as the mobile app creator, you should ensure that the level of protection you are giving your users is top-notch. There are massive implications for companies that are not compliant with GDPR.

Implementing mobile app security measures enables you to safeguard not just your app but the data stored within. A comprehensive approach to mobile app security is not difficult to apply, but it does require a commitment on your part as a responsible mobile app creator or developer.

Author Bio 

Mayleen Meñez worked for seven years in TV and Radio production, and also as a Graphic Artist/Editor. Finding her true passion, she devoted 15 years in NGO and community development work, where she experienced being a coordinator and teacher, traveling both in the Philippines and countries in Asia. She homeschools her three kids and reinvents Filipino dishes in her spare time. Writing has always been a hobby and pursuit, and she recently added content writing with Softvire Australia and Softvire New Zealand up her sleeve, while preparing for her next adventure in the nations.

13
Jun

Why Is Data Integration Crucial To Modern Day Businesses?

Few people will disagree with the truth that modern businesses operate better and accomplish more goals when they incorporate their data strategically. However, think about the different forms of data deployed by an organization today- the CRMs, the mobile apps, ERPs, and many more- there is so much of data present in the enterprise today that collecting and making optimal use of this data is much easier to say than do. Automated data integration is the answer.

For several years, organizations depended on data warehouses with particular schemas for specific uses and applications. The sales and marketing professionals of the business would use this data to understand the effectiveness of a specific campaign better to get a defined and clearer view into the buyer’s purchasing patterns or project the quantity or types of content they would require in the distant future.

However, when the sales team has to face long manual processes every time, they wanted to add new data sets for better source material and context. Here, they can define their needs separately, source this new data, and later manually create processes for updating the data warehouse. At this time, they had to ensure that the schema updated did not break the existing code.

Automated processes for data integrated

The good news is the automated process for data integration can collect unstructured, structured, and semi-structured data from any disparate source and place them on a single platform. When this data is consolidated and kept in a single repository, the sales and marketing team in the company can improve their performance measurement, gain deeper insights, and enjoy the advantages of actionable intelligence to make better-informed choices for the support of business objectives.

The unified practice and theory

There is a misconception that data integration is confined to large scale enterprises that have huge loads of data to store. Experts from esteemed data administration and management companies in the USA, RemoteDBA.com, say that companies across all industries and sectors should pay attention to the importance of data integration for modern business. There is a common trend prevalent among companies today that they fear becoming incompetent and irrelevant if they did not succeed in incorporating big data in their companies successfully.

Capgemini surveyed in 2016, where it was discovered approximately 65% of business executives feared that they would become irrelevant or uncompetitive if they did not embrace this Big Data. After a few years after this survey, it has been seen that this percentage is consistently rising as Board executives have realized that not having an organized data strategy in place harms their operations and every aspect of their business.

They have realized that remaining competitive in the market, operating effectively, reducing costs, and improving revenues mean they should discover ways to aggregate, mobilize, and analyze the data to its optimal extent. Data should not be treated as a goal in the future to be attained, but it is a boosting initiative in the present times to help an organization grow.

Data integration works across companies to support any type and number of queries. Right from the most granular question to the highest concept. It can be applied to many specific uses that impact business teams and every department in the organization, including the following-

  • Business Intelligence– Business intelligence covers everything like reporting, predictive analytics, operations, finance, and management. It depends on data acquired from the business to give you an insight into inefficiencies, revenue opportunities that have been missed, process gaps, and more. Data integration gives you the tools and technologies for business intelligence that your organization is using already, along with the data steams that your sales and marketing teams use to make their next moves.
  • Analytics of customer data– Data integration gives you a detailed insight into knowing your customers better. You get an insight into their demographics and purchasing trends and patterns. You can also ascertain whether they are loyal to your organization or simply will look elsewhere when it comes to business products or services. This integration helps you in a great way to extract the information you need when it comes to the evaluation of each of your customer profiles on a single platform. Here, you can create strategies for customer retention and other factors that determine their buying trends and patterns.
  • Enrichment of data– You can combat the decay of data with continuous updates regarding names, addresses, emails, and phone numbers. They can be combined with particular pieces of information about every customer to give you a detailed and improved picture of your buying audience.
  • Quality of data– Most companies face the challenge of ensuring the excellent quality of their business data. This involves the process of what your data needs are upfront, how they should be created, and the levels of tolerance that you have for errors when it comes to business data. This is a task that few business owners want. When you automate data integration, you can eliminate the risks of not complying with your company’s data governance policies. In this way, you can boost the value and the accuracy of business data accessible to all the teams in your company.
  • Data delivery in real-time – Businesses do not have time to wait for many days to crunch numbers. They are limited by hours and, in some cases, even minutes. This is why real-time data delivery becomes significant for organizations to adapt to vendor, customer, market, regulatory promptly, and also changes in compliance. Data integration helps the business to sample information from any point in the process of collection to get real-time insight into workloads, interactions, and processes.

Finally, the business needs to consult IT professionals and trained data administration experts about buying a modern solution for data integration in the company. This solution should give you a simple and secure method for data collection. All your existing data silos are combined into a single location to scale with the needs of your business to give you a strategic edge in the market with success quickly!

Author bio –

Kristen Smith is a web developer and experienced professional in database management and administration. She says you must deploy credible companies like RemoteDBA.com to help you maintain and secure any database system with success!