Google Data Leaks: What Happened and Who does it Affect?

In 2018 there was a major scandal regarding google engineers that discovered a software leakage which led to over five million users’ data being compromised. Google got a lot of air time on tv and nobody cut the slack on them and rightfully so- big companies such as Google should not make mistakes like this. Because of what had happened, people were skeptical about the privacy levels within Google+, which in turn lead to the shutting down of the Google+ social network on the 2nd of April 2019.

This affected Google’s reputation massively, as the trust in Google had been tested and failed drastically. This trust issue affects all of those who use Google as a search engine, Gmail, Docs, or even google drive.

The beginning

The harvesting and hoarding of personal data were first noticed by producers in march 2018 during a review of another google related Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal. The bug, however, was supposedly fixed immediately, but it was estimated that over 500,000 Google private users’ data had been open to the public. Can you imagine all the private information that people put on into their services, only for it to be breached and violated so that anyone can access it? I would personally be devastated.

Supposed fixing?

Due to the breach of data previously, consumers demanded greater protection online and safety for Google to gain the trust of consumers again. This is when they shut down Google+ in April 2019. It was apparent to Google that they had messed up their firewall, and extra security needed to be paramount as the impact of the breach leads to sharing prices falling by 1% to $1,157.06 and that wasn’t the worst of it- it then went down as low as 2.1% in two days on October 2018. However, it then steadily increased from that point and was able to make ends meet in February 2019.

What happened to the users with data?

When preparing to shut down Google+, a 10-month period was created for consumers to download and take their data elsewhere. Google+ users had data in the form of photos, videos, events, posts, and communities that had to be relocated, and events that were initially created in Google+ had been deleted off Google Calendar. However, photos and videos that are backed up to Google Photos were not deleted but merely moved away as Google photos was not the one being shut down after all. After the 10-month period, consumers’ accounts and information were deleted and forgotten about, and will never be able to have access to it again as it is gone for good. However, if there was content that was protected and needed for law, regulations, legal processes, or government requests, these were retained for their respective purposes. The shutting down process took a few months as Google+ had a substantial number of users and it was working progress, but Google has ensured that you are no longer able to create a new Google+ profile.

Support and safety in VPN

A VPN is a virtual private network that gives you online privacy and anonymity by creating a private network from a public internet connection. The data is encrypted and secure to provide greater privacy, even more than a secured Wi-Fi hotspot. There are even vps hosting companies that provide an extra level of security. These safety measures may be able to keep you steered clear of further data leaks and work as a backup for any internal breaches that may be encountered.

Precautions to take

Data leaks affect all of us. This is because it can happen to anybody using any software or search engine, it is definitely not exclusive to Google to be suffering a data breach- in fact, Apple had a similar issue with celebrities getting their iCloud’s hacked and all their personal photos and information being leaked on to the internet. Many people expect these high-profile companies to protect you but they also make mistakes, and people should be aware that their data is always vulnerable to a leak regardless. That’s why people need to take measures into their own hands and keep themselves protected- and a way of doing so is making sure that you regularly change passwords. Once a month will be sufficient and be sure to use different credentials for every site.

Why you may be thinking? Well, if your data such as username and password get leaked from a website and if that data is the exact same as another website you made an account for, then the hacker is in for a treat as they are getting two accounts for the price of one. So, it is imperative to ensure that your passwords are kept secure, private, and regularly changed so that it is hard to identify and leak.

Hackers are everywhere

Make sure you are not clicking on links that seem too good to be true or dodgy. Hackers using a form of scamming called phishing where they can gain access to your data and cause a possible leak by you clicking on a link and controlling your account. Do not click links you are not sure about! Always write out the link yourself if you believe it is not a legitimate link to a website. Don’t forget to stay safe, we are all prone to a data leak!

The Gaming Company that is Changing the World of Esports

Esports has had a lot of recognition recently, as the many live events that take place all over the world grow in popularity we may even see Esports being considered in the same league as many of their high profile sporting events that are held. One gaming company, in particular, has seen a lot of praise for their recent technological developments that have had a huge effect on the world of Esports and how the competitions are set to go ahead in the future.  

New Equipment

Having access to new gaming equipment that has a huge effect on how you play many different games is just one of the changes that are set to come, as new consoles are released onto the market we are seeing huge improvements and changes to how many people will play online video games as well as the changes to Esports as a whole. Controllers have received an upgrade with many standard models now featuring tension alterations that add a new sense of realism for the player when they are playing certain simulator games.  

Both sports and shooting games have been affected with triggers and controllers now being harder or easier to press in when you play games, this makes it more realistic as it tries to simulate the tension that would be felt if you were in the situation in real life, this has changed Esports so that the games are even more high stakes and realistic for the player.  

New Games

Another way that the world of Esports has changed is the fact that there are now so many more games to choose from that could be played on a competitive level. As more games are developed there are more options to choose from in terms of an Esports player finding a game that they can really excel in. The release of new games only makes this competitive sport more interesting and when you look back to the games that were played when Esports originally came to be, the quality and immersive aspect of the games is just not comparable.  

The release of new and interesting games could be a very big contributing factor when you look at how popular Esports has become in recent years, as new games are put onto the market from a range of different sources it is not just the concept of the games that have become more interesting, but the quality of graphics and gameplay has also improved significantly. 

More Immersive Quality

Another way that Esports has changed and become more immersive would have to be the development of things like virtual reality gaming technology and the alterations to the quality of standard games. When people think about the reason why they enjoy gaming it is common for them to say that they like the escape and immersive nature that comes with it. Virtual reality gaming has been very popular in the last few years and this includes its use within the world of Esports. Although it is not comparable to the new gaming processes like how league of legends boosting is getting more popular, the number of people with their own VR kits in their home has increased significantly in the last few years.  

VR gaming in Esports has proven to be very popular as it is something new and interesting for fans to enjoy, it is made only more popular by the fact that it is quite hard to use initially so many trainers have put a lot of man-hours into making sure they are prepared for an intense battle within the world of virtual reality.  

Sponsoring Competitive Esports Events

Gaming companies can show their support to the world of Esports by offering sponsorships either to specific players that they think are talented enough to earn it or to the companies that host the events. Sponsorships are one of the main ways that a player can earn a nice income so the fact that so many gaming companies are prepared to show their support to this new gaming sector, is a true testament to how far the competitive gaming industry has come and how popular it is with the fans.  

Gaming News: Is PlayerUnknown In Financial Trouble? 

PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds is a very popular, fun-to-play video game. It’s a multiplayer game which makes it super appealing as it allows friends and family to play together, and it is a battle royale style game. It was developed by PUBG and was inspired by the early 2000’s film ‘Battle Royale’ and it was released by them onto Steam in March 2017, later that month it was released onto Xbox One and the following year in 2018 it became a mobile game. As it became available on more platforms is became even more popular and had more people playing it than ever.

It’s a highly competitive game and there have been hundreds of players finding sneaky ways to one-up their opponents for the win, if you’re one of these people then have a look online for these cheats and tips as this will help you win more with pubg mobileIt’s an enjoyable game as each round it basically resets and you have an equal chance of winning as the rest of the people you’re playing against as players don’t start with any equipment, they all parachute into the same map and have to find tools and weapons once they land meaning no player has an advantage with better equipment before the game begins. Despite the success of the game initially, in recent gaming news, there have been rumors circulating that Player Unknown is in financial trouble, keep on reading to find out more. 

Financial Background 

Player Unknown Battlegrounds got off to a great start financially, when it was initially released in March 2017 in the first 3 days alone the game had made $11 million, which is a huge amount even for a video game. Then following the initial purchases in the next month sales exceeded $34 million which means this game lands a place on the top 10 list for highest-grossing revenue within 1 month. This trend continued, by the start of May the game had brought in $60 million and by the end of May, only 3 months after its release the game had reached $100 million in sales revenue, reaching this major milestone faster than extremely popular games such as Minecraft. In 2018 its popularity grew even more, it became the 2nd most downloaded mobile game in the world, with over 300 million downloads. The country that this game was most popular in and made up most of the market was China with 29% of all the game’s downloads. 

What Changed 

This game was received better than ever expected, it gained a big audience on release and managed to carry on attracting more players consistently and grew even bigger the following year. So, what happened then for a game that was doing this well to end up with the company that developed it in financial trouble? The reason they’re now in financial trouble is due to the Chinese government legislation changes around in-game selling. As we told you earlier China was the biggest market for the game, so this change was really damaging, the developers of the game are still waiting for the approval of the Chinese media regulator. Many people believe it is due to politics between the Chinese and South Korea, although Beijing hasn’t formally imposed a ban on things by South Korean companies, since 2017 no games based on South Korean content have been granted approval by the media regulator. This has massively impacted the earnings of the game and it is unlikely to be resolved unless South Korea and China improve their relationship. 

The Small Business that has become a Fortune 500 Company

After years of investment in its technology and stores, Walmart has indisputably emerged as a strong No. 2 to Amazon in U.S. e-commerce, with sales up 37% last year. But as the initial weeks of the novel coronavirus pandemic have shown, Walmart’s 4,600 U.S. stores have proved to be an effective weapon by allowing curbside pickup for online orders at a time shoppers want to limit time in stores—but still want their orders quickly. That sentiment is not likely to change anytime soon. Walmart Inc.’s Sam’s Club is finding renewed energy, too. Walmart is benefiting from focusing on select overseas markets, such as India and China, rather than competing everywhere, this is a good wealth management firm with a large portfolio.

 

How did Walmart build its Business?

The company needed to show increases in both sales and profits to satisfy capital market expectations. Second, it needed to satisfy the expectations of its own employees. One of the key factors in Wal-Mart’s success was its dedicated and committed workforce. Thanks to Wal-Mart’s stock purchase plan, the wealth of these employees was directly tied to the market value of the company’s stock, creating a direct link between growth and its effect on stock price and company morale. Given the necessity for growth, Wal-Mart could not afford to confine its operations to the United States for three reasons. First, it had already saturated most of the domestic markets. Second, the United States accounts for just over 4 percent of the world’s population. By limiting itself to this market, Wal-Mart was missing out on 96 percent of the world’s potential customers. Finally, emerging markets, with their lower levels of disposable income, offered huge platforms for growth in discount retailing. Other companies had already capitalized on such growth thanks to the rapid expansion of information technology, increasing cultural homogenization, and lowered trade barriers. Wal-Mart had no choice but to pursue globalization aggressively to meet this competition.

 

What makes Walmart popular with People

One of the main things that makes it so successful is the sheer number of smaller businesses that it owns. Over the time spent in business, Walmart has bought many other smaller businesses, each of which has contributed in a number of different ways. Another reason for its success is its online presence, and currently, it is the second-largest online player behind Amazon. More and more people are moving toward online shopping rather than leaving the house, and Walmart is making sure to keep up with this trend.

 

How to Grow a Business

For the first few years of business, most companies are focused on survival. However, prioritizing the growth of your business is one of the best ways to increase the chances that your company will not only last but also contribute to your economic well-being and a stable financial future. Getting new customers is not the only way to grow your business. Many times, the customers you already have are your best bet for increasing your sales, and studies have found that improving customer retention also improves the value of a company.

Customers who have already purchased from you once are more likely to do so again, especially if they have a positive customer service experience. Capture the contact information and shopping preferences of one-time customers. Then, use that information to set up marketing systems that will convert them into repeat customers. Failing to plan for the long-term and thinking about the possible risks and opportunities could make all the difference to the success of your business. Setting some milestones for you and your team to work towards will keep you motivated and driven.

 

How to Get Noticed

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when promoting your small business is to copy the competition. You see what they are doing, and they’re successful, so you do the same. The consumer is not going to run to you because you are imitating a successful business they will just go to the successful business. Challenges can be a fantastic way to bring business to an eatery, and depending on the rules you create, they can make you a lot of extra cash. For instance, you could offer the meal for free if someone cleans their plate.

However, the meal is so big, only 1 in 100 people will do it. The others, they all pay, and they pay for a massive amount of food. They know this upfront but want to take the risk because they have something to prove. If they win, they get their picture on the wall of fame and a t-shirt. Plus, 25% off everything for life. Remember, very few people will succeed. The ones that do will spread the word and do your advertising for you. College students, in particular, will jump at the chance to try it. Whatever your business is, you are an expert in it. You really are. So why not share your expertise for free using channels like YouTube and Vimeo. You do not have to give away every successful secret you have learned, that would be foolhardy.

But you can create themed content that dovetails perfectly with your business, and also reinforces your role as an expert. Plumbers and electricians, you can create how-to videos that show people how to do some of the smaller, easier tasks around the home. If you own a restaurant, give out weekly cooking tips and recipes. If you are an accountant, talk about simple life hacks for tax preparation and budgeting. Build genuine content and seed it in social. Create a following. When it’s time to call a specialist, you’ll be top of mind. And remember, videos can be geotargeted at specific locations.

Deconstructing Trends: How Vaping Became so Popular

Tobacco leaves have been the source of a buzz or a subtle rush for thousands of years. Along with nicotine, tobacco in cigarettes has provided an addictive pleasure that many governments around the world have taxed heavily to make it an expensive pastime. Cigars and at one-time snuff was popular, though the last couple of decades has seen the popularisation of vaping, without some of the problems created by nicotine.

 

The Decline of Smoking

Only a few decades ago when it seemed that most people smoked, it was fashionable to be seen with a cigarette. In fact, stars of the sport of screen endorsed the product. Women who smoked were looked upon as chic. Tobacco companies paid stars thousands of dollars – as well as a year’s supply of cigarettes – to promote their products on and off-screen. A report published in the journal Tobacco Control in 2008 reveals how Hollywood stars made millions promoting tobacco. In 1937-8, actors including Gary Cooper, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, and Spencer Tracy, were each paid $10,000 (the equivalent to $146,000, or £80,000, in today’s money) by American Tobacco to promote its Lucky Strike brand. That year, the cigarette company paid film stars $218,750 – more than $3m at today’s prices. Almost 200 stars, including two-thirds of the top box-office actors of the late 1930s and 1940s, were contracted to tobacco companies.

By the early 1950s, the tobacco industry switched its attention to the TV. But by 1980, smoking on screen was making a comeback, despite increased knowledge of the dangers to health. Around that time ‘The Marlboro Man’ could be seen on billboards across America and in most parts of the world between 1954 and 1999. The image created by Marlboro of the white, adventuresome cowboy, alone on the frontier, was cultivated by 19th Century Wild West Shows. Before this campaign, Marlboro was considered a “women’s” smoke. Within a year of Marlboro Man’s debut, the company went from holding only a one percent market share to being the fourth bestselling brand in America. America loved Marlboros: Sales hit $5 billion in 1955, an over 3000 percent increase over 1954—the year prior to the Marlboro Man campaign.

Before these popular slogans were “Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet,” “More doctors smoke Camels,” and Marlboro’s early “Ivory tip protects your lips.”  The good times for tobacco companies came to an end with restrictions on who and where people could smoke followed by multi-million-dollar lawsuits brought about by families of cancer victims that saw many tobaccos file for bankruptcy.

 

Rising Costs

The sky-high cost of smoking cigarettes publicized health risks and bans on smoking in public places has seen the rise in vaping. The man recognized as the inventor of vaping is a Chinese smoker and pharmacist Hon Lik who introduced what we know as the e-cigarette in 2003. Back in 1927, Joseph Robinson came up with the first “electric vaporizer,” a device he said was for “medicinal compounds.” What was believed to be the first US patent for an “electric vaporizer” was filed by him. Robinson believed his device would it easier to inhale vapors “without any possibility of being burned.” Herbert Gilbert filed a patent for this “smokeless non-tobacco cigarette” on April 17. 1963 and Jed Rose, who invented the first nicotine patch, experimented with “distilled smoke” in his laboratory at UCLA in the 1980s.

Lik was a heavy smoker who used up to three packs of cigarettes a day. He was determined to invent a new device after his own father, who was also a smoker, died of lung cancer. “I believed that if I could use vapor to simulate cigarette smoke, this could help me,” Lik, who now smokes cigarettes and vapes commented.

There is evidence that e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking if they’re part of a larger cessation program and receive support and counseling. The British government’s medical service the NHS wrote: “A major UK clinical trial published in 2019 found that, when combined with expert face-to-face support, people who used e-cigarettes to quit smoking were twice as likely to succeed as people who used other nicotine replacement products, such as patches or gum. You will not get the full benefit from vaping unless you stop smoking cigarettes completely. You can get advice from a specialist vape shop or your local stop smoking service.