About Dean Chester

Dean Chester is a cybersecurity expert and the co-founder of research VPN providers Cooltechzone.Com. While cryptography has been and remains his main passion, he is also interested in the political and social repercussions of internet safety issues.

The Top 10 Tools and Software for Small Businesses

Small businesses drive economies around the world. In essence, small businesses are what defines the line between the community and corporation, and if you’re running one of them, you’ll probably need some top-tier tools to help you out.

We’ll list our top ten tools for running a small business will make your life and your job easier in 2021:

1. Monday.com

Monday is a management platform that makes managing your small business a walk in the park. It comes with all the features and services you need to manage and coordinate your projects.

It offers a top-shelf CRM, project, sales, and task management, software design and development, and a range of other things any small business can benefit from.

It’s a one-stop shop for all your management needs. What makes it stand out among the sea of other management tools is that it’s very easy to use, feature-rich, and very affordable.

2. Filestage.io 

Proofing is a very complex practice that is all but mandatory in modern business. Waiting for feedback from the rest of your business, your higher-ups, or your clients isn’t laborious – it’s an unnecessary waste of time.

With Filestage, the proofing process is streamlined to such a degree where teams can get instant replies and feedback that they require to go on with their work. Think of Filestage as the connective tissue between two departments that need to cooperate.

It streamlines communication and connects the two so that both get time-stamped approval as fast as possible, process and progress tracking, and a laid-out organization and framework of the workflow.

3. Outgrow.co

Outgrow is an interactive marketing platform that lets marketers and digital agencies create quizzes, calculators, chatbots, and assessments, polls, and giveaways to boost their marketing efforts. These interactive content types help companies generate nearly 30% more new leads and increase their social footprint. Moreover, interactive content like quizzes engages customers twice as compared to static content.

Outgrow stands out because it is easy to use and requires no coding knowledge. It offers 1000+ templates to choose from and robust analytics and automation powers to make your marketing campaigns a success. 

Finally, Outgrow provides free COVID-19 offers and other affordable plans for freelancers, small businesses, and big corporates.  

4. Traqq.com

As the coronavirus descends into 2021, many businesses have moved out of the office into their home. It has led to a rise in time tracking tools such as Traqq.

Even when people are out of the office, you can still know what they’re up to, how much time that is taking, and how you can help them do it better and faster.

Time tracking tools such as Traqq are necessary for managing remote teams, which most teams are nowadays.

Traqq allows you to monitor without even monitoring, as the automatic system will take screenshots, screen recording, monitor app, and web use without requiring constant input.

5. Octoparse.com

Web scraping is one of the most common business practices of 2021, as it allows small businesses to build big databases. In this data-driven world, staying on top of your competition is a priority, and web scraping is one of the best ways to do so.

Octoparse brings the process of web scraping to small businesses, allowing you to collect data on your competition, monitor trends, and improve your business from the inside.

The benefit of Octoparse is that it provides web scraping to every small business, requires little to no setup, and absolutely no complex coding.

6. Appypie.com

Appypie is an interesting platform that allows you to develop custom solutions, apps, and tools without prior coding or development knowledge. While the power of this system is limited, it handles most of the needs small businesses have with relative ease.

Appypie stands out among the crowd of custom solution creation platforms because it’s very easy to use, fully customizable, and adaptable to any small business environment.

This no-code application development platform is affordable and scalable, so it perfectly fits the needs of small businesses without breaking the bank.

7. Litextension.com

eCommerce is one of the most buzzing industries of 2021, and it’s gaining the attention of small businesses at an increasing rate. 2021 has seen more small businesses enter the world of eCommerce than ever.

Litextension is a service for eCommerce businesses looking to migrate from one eCommerce platform to another. Litextension makes quick work of the migration process and works well for small businesses or the agencies managing the eCommerce stores in question.

8. Moosend.com

Marketing can make or break a business. If a business has good marketing, it will likely push out of the sea of failing small businesses and carve out a slice of the market share pie for themselves.

Now, small businesses usually have limited budgets and limited tools to market themselves, so what do they do?

Well, Moosend is a fantastic marketing platform for all small businesses. It comes with all of the tools that you or your marketing team need to make your business that much more appealing to the average consumer and spread the word about it.

Furthermore, Moosend is a very scalable solution, meaning you can adapt it to your business no matter how large or small it is. For small businesses considering Moosend but looking at options comparing it with TinyEmail can be helpful. Moosend vs TinyEmail dives into their features and scalability, helping decide the best fit.

9. Leadfuze.com

Finding leads can get tricky, especially if you’re working on a smaller scale. You don’t want dozens of useless leads – you want some that will provide favorable results.

Well, if you’re in this position, you might want to take a look at Leadfuze, the premier prospecting tool for small businesses.

Leadfuze is a search engine for leads, which allows smaller businesses that don’t have huge in-house HR teams to find the correct leads, verify information across a huge database, and seamlessly integrate within your existing framework.

10. Fleep.io

Fleep is a communication and file-sharing platform for small businesses. It allows you to connect teams within one simple, centralized application to communicate, trade files, and share progress. Fleep is a great way to streamline not just communication but coordination in the office space.

Another thing that makes Fleep a must-have tool in any small business arsenal is that it’s affordable, and integrating it within your existing framework is simple due to its easy-to-use GUI and adaptability.

11. Weareindy.com

Indy is a comprehensive project management software that includes everything you need to stay on top of your projects, from marketing to management to billing.

You can keep track of different tasks for multiple projects by assigning filters or moving tasks from one project to another. The tasks tool also allows you to assign tags, making it easy to see at a glance which project has the most tasks remaining.

The deadline and reminders feature ensures you also deliver your work on time. At the end of the week or month, you can link your hours to an invoice by adding your hourly rate before sending the document to a client. 

In Conclusion

If you’re running a small business in 2021, you’ll be happy to know the best software and tools for running a small business will make your life and your job much easier.

Stick to the ten tools and software solutions provided above, and you’ll be well on your way to improving your business.

Guide to Big Data and Privacy – How to Ensure You Are Protected

Have you ever just thought of buying a new couch, for example, and suddenly started seeing furniture ads on Facebook, Instagram, everywhere you went online? 

Or perhaps you started a conversation with your friend about your new fitness regime and then suddenly got bombarded with health and fitness sponsored posts on every social media platform? 

While it’s easy to assume that that’s simply your devices listening in on you, that’s not (always) the case. Most commonly, advertisers use the data they have about you to present you with the most relevant products/services you’re most likely to get. 

Your personal data that’s readily available online and that can easily be gathered and analyzed through any data scraping API can be used to determine who you are and to predict your online behavior. 

But that’s not all. Let’s take a closer look at the world of Big Data and see what you can do to take your online privacy up a notch. 

Big Data and Privacy Concerns 

You’ve likely come across the term “Big Data” by now, but do you know what it means? Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about Big Data, and not everyone is aware of just how impactful it can be. So if you want to know more about big data, it’s big impact to the technology and the world of businesses, industries and health you can definitely get help from Mezmo.

First and foremost, it’s critical to understand that virtually everyone collects your data, which is just a tiny fragment of Big Data, and that’s not always a bad thing. 

The Impact of Big Data 

You wouldn’t have such a great, personalized experience on e-commerce sites like Shopify or Amazon without Big Data. 

If your favorite local business didn’t build an online community and collect your data, you wouldn’t receive such relevant discounts and offers as you likely do.  

Every single type of business needs data to perform even the simplest of daily tasks. Sales data, consumer data, and more are critical for optimizing processes and pricing, developing better marketing strategies, and delivering a more immersive experience to the customer – to you. 

And you often willingly allow businesses to collect, analyze, and process your data without a second thought. 

Willingness to Share Data 

Over 90% of consumers would share behavioral data to receive benefits like cheaper or simply easier shopping experience. You willingly share your data with “free” social media platforms; you accept tracking cookies and terms of use without even scanning them to learn what they’re about. 

Even if you don’t care about your online anonymity and think that you’ve got nothing to hide, it’s still crucial that you understand that your data is potentially putting you at risk. 

Data breaches, for example, have become larger in number and impact, and a single breach could expose your financial records, medical records, personal online accounts, physical location, and more. 

And it doesn’t even have to be a breach in a company that you interact with directly. 

More and more businesses rely on data scraping API to understand their target market or build their email list. 

They collect your information that’s freely available on the internet. If they have a breach, it’s your information that will be leaked, even if you’ve never heard of the company before, let alone done business with it. 

Steps to Ensure Your Privacy 

While everyone’s always trying to collect your private data, whether it’s a valid or invalid reason, it doesn’t mean that you have no way of protecting yourself. 

Ensuring your privacy is neither a complicated nor an expensive process. A few preemptive steps can help you keep your private data private. 

Forget About Incognito/Private Mode

Many people are under the wrong impression that their browsers’ incognito or private mode keeps them anonymous online and secures their data. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

Incognito mode provides only a false sense of security, and you should avoid it if you want to protect your data. 

Even in incognito mode, sites can still collect your data, monitor your online behavior, see your IP address, and identify you. Even your ISP still knows what you’re doing online. 

Incognito mode is only useful if you don’t want others who have access to your device to see your browsing history. After every session, incognito mode deletes your cookies and history and logs you out of your accounts. That’s it. 

So, only use it if you don’t want your household members to know what you do online. Don’t use it if you want to be anonymous online; it doesn’t work. 

Install Secure Browsers 

Believe it or not, your browser might be your biggest privacy concern. Google and Google Chrome are notorious for collecting every possible piece of information about you. 

And while that can be useful and bring unprecedented browsing convenience, it’s a nightmare if you’re concerned about your privacy. 

Firefox has much better privacy settings than Chrome, but if you want to stay anonymous, it might be in your best interest to use secure browsers like Tor. 

Always Use a VPN

If you want to take your privacy and security up a notch, you’ll need to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). It allows you to browse the internet cloaked in anonymity, even hiding your activity from your Internet Service provider. 

A VPN works by creating a secure, private, almost impenetrable “tunnel” between your device and the network, so you can safely use even public Wi-Fi without privacy concerns. 

It scrambles your IP and provides you with a fake new one, allowing you to browse the internet without a worry. More importantly, it encrypts all your data, so even if your connection’s intercepted, your data will remain unreadable. 

However, not all VPNs are made the same, and some can be more harmful than beneficial. Take a look at Cooltechzone VPN reviews to find an effective VPN that meets your needs and ensures your privacy. 

Update Your Software 

A simple yet easily neglected step in ensuring your privacy is updating your software. It’s more important than you may think. 

Software updates are rarely about introducing new features or bringing more functionality. In most cases, they contain important bug fixes and security patches that can help keep you safe. 

If you’re using an outdated piece of software with known security flaws, you’re exposing yourself to immense risk and data breaches. 

So, stop ignoring software updates on both your PC and your phone. 

Additionally, you might want to revise program and app permissions across your devices. Some programs on your PC and apps on your smartphone collect more information than they need to operate normally, so you should try and tighten up your permissions. 

Final Thoughts 

Unfortunately, achieving complete anonymity online is virtually impossible, but there are many steps you can take to regain some privacy and keep your data safe. 

VPNs, software updates, and secure browsers are just some of the things you should rely on if you want to keep your private data private.