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As all retail brands are competing against each other in order to stay ahead in technological supremacy. Bentonville-headquartered American MNC Walmart recently unveiled its newest robotic weapon to take on Amazon in the retail battle. The former has rolled out a cadre of robots that are programmed to retrieve items from online grocery orders. The company has been revamping its tech-landscape from the past few years specifically in the robotics arena. Walmart has also been testing them in a small warehouse attached to a store in Salem, New Hampshire, since the middle of last year. According to the company, the system is now “fully operational and working with associates.” Moreover, it is expected to drastically speed up the online grocery turnaround times.”
As all retail brands are competing against each other in order to stay ahead in technological supremacy. Bentonville-headquartered American MNC Walmart recently unveiled its newest robotic weapon to take on Amazon in the retail battle. The former has rolled out a cadre of robots that are programmed to retrieve items from online grocery orders. The company has been revamping its tech-landscape from the past few years specifically in the robotics arena. Walmart has also been testing them in a small warehouse attached to a store in Salem, New Hampshire, since the middle of last year. According to the company, the system is now “fully operational and working with associates.” Moreover, it is expected to drastically speed up the online grocery turnaround times.” As noted by GeekWire , the robots unveiled by the company operate autonomously inside the 20,000-square-foot warehouse, collecting shelf-stable, refrigerated and frozen food. They later deliver the items to a spot where a Walmart employee double-checks everything, bags the food and finishes the order. When a customer orders items online, employees usually roam around in stores picking them which is a time-consuming process and needs longer lead times between the customer ordering items online and its delivery. However, even after the implementation of robots, employees will continue to pick items that are produced by hand. Brian Roth, a senior manager of pickup automation and digital operations for Walmart US said in a statement, “Ultimately, this will lower dispense times, increase accuracy and improve the entirety of online grocery. And it will help free associates to focus on service and selling, while the technology handles the more mundane, repeatable tasks.” Moreover, the company has allied with Alert Innovation since 2024 to work on this project. Walmart will continue to refine the Alphabot and the Salem store is expected to remain its home. According to the company, after receiving employee feedbacks, it will consider rolling out the system at other stores as well. The growth of this technology, the merger of online ordering with the company’s numerous stores’ network under the banner of Walmart has been driven by several resources. Although Walmart is the country’s largest grocery retail brand yet it faces tough challenges from Amazon which is and has been making a hefty investment in grocery shopping innovation by acquiring Whole Foods, a supermarket company. Talking about Walmart’s online grocery business, Tom Ward, senior vice president of central operations for Walmart said, “Demand for this business continues to grow and systems like Alphabot allow us to scale enormously.” According to Roth, Alphabot will prove to be transformative for the company. He further added in his statement, “By assembling and delivering orders to associates, Alphabot is streamlining the order process, allowing associates to do their jobs with greater speed and efficiency. Ultimately, this will lower dispense times, increase accuracy and improve the entirety of online grocery. And it will help free associates to focus on service and selling, while the technology handles the more mundane, repeatable tasks.” Moreover, he is optimistic about its impact on the company’s supply chain, for which he asserted, “This is going to be a transformative impact on Walmart’s supply chain. Alphabot is what we think of as micro-fulfillment – an inventive merger of eCommerce and brick-and-mortar methods.”
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Retail innovations making shopping easier for three in five consumers
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Chart of the Week: More than three in five consumers say that retail innovations or solutions have made shopping experiences easier, with online shoppers seeing the biggest benefits
More customers now expect a seamless, personalized shopping experience. Whether they are buying in person or online, people want a quick and easy experience, something that is being made more possible with retail technologies. In fact, more than three out of five consumers say that technologies used in retail and retail innovations have led to an improved shopping experience, according to the latest research from the National Retail Federation (NRF). When it comes to shopping online, 80% of customers say the same compared to 66% shopping in-store. Despite the fact that there is an increased focus on mobile shopping experiences, only 63% said that shopping technologies and innovations improved…
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Online businesses use all or a part of these channels to attract visitors to their website, as well as engage with the ones who have already visited it. But there’s a new one that looks very promising for both businesses and users: push notifications. Push notifications have a short history in the world, coming from mobile apps, where IOS and Android used them as the default way by which mobile apps communicate with their users.
Continue reading…2024 Cart Abandonment Stats [Infographic]
Retail cart abandonment and recoveryHow is cart abandonment and remarketing changing in 2023?
The global cart abandonment rate for Q1 2023 was 75.6%, down 1.2% from the previous quarter, which included the Christmas shopping season.
This data is taken from more than 500 ecommerce sites and tracks abandonment rates across six key sectors.
There is plenty of variance between the sectors studied, and it’s interesting to see why. For example, while fashion site experience lower than average abandonment rates, at 68.3%, abandonment in the finance sector is much higher, at 83.6%. Travel sites also experience high abandonment rates, at 81.7%.
Broadly speaking, the more complex the on-site experience and purchase process, the higher the abandonment rates. So, a fashion retailer with a simple checkout and relatively low-cost items will experience fewer drop outs than a travel site with more expensive products and longer forms to complete.
Continue reading…10 Ways to Reduce Cart Abandonment and 1 Easy Way to Recover Up To 30%
Retail cart abandonment and recovery
Follow these 10 strategies to reduce cart abandonment and 1 strategy to recover lost sales post cart abandonment
Your customers add items to their carts, they may even start the checkout process, but then they leave the site and abandon the items. Sounds familiar? This is the cart abandonment phenomenon. Cart abandonment is a common phenomenon in e-commerce, with an average cart abandonment rate of 68.63% for 2024 (see chart below). Online shopping cart abandonment rate worldwide from 2006 to 2023, Statista. There are many reasons for customers to abandon their carts. Some of the most common reasons can be seen in the chart below. Primary Reasons for Cart Abandonment in the U.S. in Q4 2024, StatistaSo why is cart abandonment a major issue for ecommerce sites?
Think of the amount of resources that…
Continue reading…7 Ways to Plan for and Reduce Cart Abandonment
Retail cart abandonment and recovery
Two-thirds of carts are abandoned. Here’s how to win those customers back.
When a consumer reaches the final stages of making a purchase but decides to abandon their shopping cart, it’s clear there is some level of objection. Shopping cart abandonment is one of the largest obstacles for ecommerce retailers to overcome and the extent of the problem is shocking. On average, 67% of online shopping carts are abandoned (Shopify) meaning businesses who are failing to proactively engage with these potential customers are missing out on a huge opportunity to recover lost interest to generate conversions and, ultimately, sales. It’s easy to assume the majority of cart abandonments happen because consumers are undecided over a purchase, when actually there are numerous underlying reasons that are directly linked to your business’ sales process – ’not being ready for purchase’ only takes third place according to Business Insider’s top eight reasons for shopping…
Continue reading…Essential Ecommerce Cart Recovery Tools
Retail cart abandonment and recovery
Use these cart recovery tools to nudge your customers into converting
Cart recovery tools use email and on-site notifications to drive users back into a site (usually the checkout pages) with the aim of driving incremental transactions by reminding customers of the products or services they abandoned. With initial customer acquisition becoming increasingly expensive, brands have focused their efforts in trying to re-engage and convert those users they’ve already spent money acquiring and/or who have already expressed some level of interest in a product or service. Cart abandonment is the use of remarketing at the closest point to conversion i.e. once a user has added something to their cart but fails to check out. Cart abandonment tools can therefore be an extremely cost effective way of increasing sales, and usually generate great returns on investment. If you are considering investing in a cart recovery tool for your website, here are some of…
Continue reading…81% of online abandonment is totally ignored, leaving $3.5 trillion in missed opportunities
Retail cart abandonment and recovery
Most companies are doing nothing to re-activate abandoned carts
A 12-month survey for 2024 conducted by ecommerce recovery specialists Optilead has identified that 81% of online abandonment is totally ignored. This means that in the tests, valued at £2.1m, a staggering £1.7m of abandoned transactions were not followed up. Over the past few years, online sales have increased in the UK in excess of 10% per year – with this continued increase comes higher competition and the increased need to maximise each opportunity. Despite this, recent reports suggest $4 trillion worldwide would be lost to abandonment alone during 2024. Optilead surveyed 946 websites in the UK to identify how they react – and determine whether they engage with customers or leave them to become part of the global abandonment issue. The average abandonment rate across all sectors is 76%. But it’s not just the abandonment rate that’s of concern – it’s the low…
Continue reading…Why Consumers Are Abandoning their Shopping Carts and the Power of Retargeting
Retail cart abandonment and recovery
New research reveals the top tactics ecommerce businesses can use to convert the 68% of people who abandon their shopping carts
In 2024, global ecommerce sales within retail grew to $1.915 trillion, a figure excluding sales for travel, events, and restaurants. What is more, ecommerce is projected to grow to over $4 trillion by 2023. This type of growth isn’t occurring anywhere else in retail (an industry which hovers around 6% growth year to year as a whole), so it’s clear that ecommerce revenue will increasingly become a dominant force in retail. Yet as retail adapts to the digital world, the ecommerce system has evolved into something imperfect. Simply googling ecommerce business problems reveals a troubling statistic: the majority of shoppers abandon their shopping cart before finalizing a purchase. In fact, according to Baymard Institute, 68.81% of online shopping carts are abandoned, and this figure is based on the…
Alexa, Amazon’s ubiquitous voice assistant, is getting an upgrade. The company revealed some of these changes in a virtual event today. One of the most interesting developments is that users can now personalize their Alexa-enabled devices to listen for specific sound events in their homes.
Amazon also unveiled new features and products, including additional accessories for Ring and Halo devices, and access to invite-only devices such as the Always Home Cam and a cute home-roving, beat-boxing robot called Astro.
Alexa’s latest capabilities are part of the Amazon team’s work on ambient computing—a general term that refers to an underlying artificial intelligence system that surfaces when you need it and recedes into the background when you don’t. This is enabled through the connected network of Amazon devices and services that interact with each other and with users.
“Perhaps the most illustrative example of our ambient AI is Alexa,” Rohit Prasad, senior vice president and head scientist for Alexa at Amazon, tells Popular Science. “Because, it’s not just a spoken language service that you issue a bunch of requests. As an ambient intelligence that is available on many different devices around you, it understands the state of your environment and even acts perhaps on your behalf.”
Alexa already has the ability to detect what Prasad calls “global” ambient sounds or sound events. These are things like glass breaking, or a fire alarm, smoke alarm going off. Those are events that make your home more safe while you’re away, he says. If anything goes wrong, Alexa can send you a notification. It can also detect more innocuous sounds like your dog barking or your partner snoring.
[Related: How Amazon’s radar-based sleep tracking could work]
Now, Prasad and his team are taking this pre-trained model for global sound events that they built using thousands of real world sound samples, and are offering a way for users to create alerts for their own custom sound events by manually adding 5-10 examples for a specific sound that they would like Alexa to keep an ear out for at home. “All the other kinds of data that you’ve collected via us can be used to make the custom sound events happen with fewer samples,” he says.
This could be something like the refrigerator door being left open by kids after school for more than 10 minutes. “The two refrigerators in my home, they both make different sounds when the door is left open by one of our kids,” says Prasad. That way, even if he’s not at home when his kids are, Alexa could send him a notification if someone didn’t shut the refrigerator door properly.
You could set an alert for a whistling kettle, a washer running, or a doorbell ringing, an oven timer going off while you’re upstairs. “And if you have an elder person in the home who can’t hear well and is watching television, if it’s hooked to a Fire TV, then you can send a message on the TV that someone’s at the door, and that the doorbell rang,” says Prasad.Ring can tell you the specific items it sees out of place
In addition to custom sound events, Alexa could also alert you about certain visual events through its Ring cameras and some Ring devices. “What we found is that Ring cameras, especially for outdoor settings, [are] great for looking at the binary states of objects of interest in your homes,” Prasad says. For example, if you have a Ring camera facing an outdoor shed, you can teach it to check if the door has been left open or not by providing it some pictures for the open state, and for the closed state, and have it send you an alert if it’s open.
[Related: Amazon’s home security drone may actually be less creepy than a regular camera]
“You’re now combining computer vision and a few short learning techniques,” says Prasad. The team has collected a large sample of publicly available photos of garage and shed doors to help with the pre-training, just like with the audio component of the ambient AI. “But my shed door can look different from the shed you may have, and then the customization is still required, but now it can happen with very few samples.”Alexa will soon be able to learn your preferences
Last year, Amazon updated Alexa so that if it doesn’t recognize the concept in a customer’s request, it will come back to you and ask “what do you mean by that?”
This could be a request like: set my thermostat to vacation mode, while vacation mode is a setting that’s not known. Plus, your preference for the setting could be 70 degrees, instead of 60 degrees. That’s where users could come in and customize Alexa through natural language.
“Typically when you have these alien concepts, or unknown and ambiguous concepts, it will require some input either through human labelers [on the developer end] saying “vacation mode” is a type of setting for a smart appliance like a thermostat,” Prasad explains.
This type of data is hard to gather without real-world experience, and new terms and phrases pop up all this time. The more practical solution was for the team to build out Alexa’s ability for generalized learning or generalized AI. Instead of relying on supervised learning from human labelers at Amazon, Alexa can learn directly from end users, making it easier for them to adapt Alexa to their lives.
In a few months, users will be able to use this capability to ask Alexa to learn their preferences, which is initiated by saying, “Alexa, learn my preferences.” They can then go through a dialogue with Alexa to learn about three areas of preferences to start with: those are food preferences, sports teams, and weather providers, like the Big Sky app.
If you say, “Alexa, I’m a vegetarian,” when Alexa takes you through the dialogue, then, the next time you look for restaurants to eat nearby, it will remember and prioritize restaurants that have vegetarian options. And if you just ask for recipes for dinner, it would prioritize vegetarian options over others.
For sports teams, if you’ve said that you like the Boston Red Sox for baseball, and the New England Patriots, and then you ask Alexa for sports highlights on Echo show, you’ll get more custom highlights for your preferred teams. And if another family member likes other teams, you can add that to the preference as well.
[Related: The ‘artificial intelligence’ in your new smart gadget may not be what you think]
“We already know customers express these preferences in their regular interactions many times every day,” says Prasad. “Now we are making it very simple for these preferences to work.” You can go through the preset prompts with Alexa to teach it your preferences, or teach it in the moment. For example, if you ask Alexa for restaurants and it recommends steakhouses, you can say, “Alexa, I’m a vegetarian,” and it will automatically learn that for future encounters.
“These three inventions that are making the complex simple are also illustrative of more generalized learning capabilities, with more self-supervised learning, transfer learning, and few short learning, and also deep learning, to make these kinds of interactive dialogues happen,” Prasad says. “This is the hallmark for generalized intelligence,” which is similar to how humans learn.Alexa learns and grows
These three new features—the custom sounds, custom visuals, and preferences— are not only coming together to improve AI, but also improve Alexa’s self-learning, self-service, and self-awareness of your ambient environment. “Alexa is just more aware of your surroundings to help you when you need it,” Prasad says. Along with a feature like Routines, or Blueprints, these new add-ons allow Alexa to give more custom responses, without requiring any coding proficiency.
Alexa automatically learns how to improve itself as you use it more. In fact, Prasad says that with more than 20 percent of defects that Alexa has, it’s now able to automatically correct through no human supervision. “If it did something wrong and you barge in and say no, Alexa, I meant that,” it will remember that for the next time you ask for something similar, he says.
In his case, sometimes when he asks Alexa to play BBC, it registers what he says as BPC. “For an AI, simple is hard. Occasionally it recognizes ‘play BPC.’ But it recognizes usage patterns,” Prasad says. That way, it can fix the request automatically without asking every time, “did you mean BBC?”
[Related: If you’re worried about Amazon Sidewalk, here’s how to opt out]
“This is the type of automatic learning based on context in both your personalized usage and cohort usage that Alexa is able to be much smarter worldwide and try to estimate defects and correct automatically without any human input,” says Prasad. “If you look at the old days of supervised learning, even with active learning, Alexa will say ‘this is the portion I am having trouble with, let’s get some human input.’ Now that human input comes directly from the end user.”
In addition to three high rise office buildings, Amazon’s new corporate headquarters will also include dome-shaped structures, right in the middle of one of Seattle’s busiest neighborhoods.
In the Denny Triangle section of downtown Seattle, one of the city’s fastest growing neighborhoods, Amazon’s new corporate headquarters is starting to take shape.
Amazon Tower I, a 37-story office building also known as Doppler, opened in December of 2024. A nearly identical building, Amazon Tower II, is projected to be finished in September, and Amazon Tower III (see a pattern emerging?) will be completed by decade’s end. Though these towers will forever change the look of Seattle’s distinctive skyline, another one of Amazon’s construction projects seems to be getting all the attention: the spheres.
Nobody’s really even sure of what to call them, and Amazon hasn’t yet committed to a name. Around the web, I’ve seen them referred to as biospheres, biodomes, bubbles, globes, spherical buildings, giant spheres, epic-looking glass spheres…you get the picture. When they’re done being built, the three intersecting spheres will give the company’s employees 65,000 square feet of green space in which to walk, talk, lounge, eat lunch, conduct meetings, brainstorm, and do whatever else it is Amazon employees do.
The Seattle-based architecture firm, NBBJ, intends for the spheres to be the “new visual focus and ‘heart’” of Amazon’s headquarters. Amazon unveiled the design in 2013, thereby scrapping a prior plan to put a six-story rectilinear office building in that location. And though the spheres are still far from complete—when I visited, crews were working on the steel exoskeleton—the structure is already fulfilling its promise to be the area’s visual focus.
Building Amazon’s Domes
The domes, still under construction, are starting to take shape.
From blocks away, the spheres draw the eye. Their bold curves contrast sharply with the straight lines of the surrounding architecture. I wasn’t the only person to take pictures of the work in progress or simply gaze at it from the sidewalk. Even Amazon employees seemed to admire the spheres, though one might expect them to have gotten used to the sight by now.
What remains to be seen is whether the spheres will become the “heart” of Amazon’s headquarters, as NBBJ intends them to be. By gathering, assessing, and implementing data much like its notoriously data-minded clients, the multinational company has positioned itself as the firm de rigueur of the tech industry.
The architects behind the domes’ design have relied on the idea that more sunlight and plants could lead to better productivity. NBBJ
Researchers have looked into this connection. One study showed that workers performed better when plants were added to their office space, and another one found that people who worked in an office with windows performed better on certain tests and had better overall sleep than those who worked in a windowless office, or didn’t have access to a window. By creating an environment that optimizes sunlight, allows for trees to grow to full height, and simulates “montane ecologies found around the globe,” Amazon wants to give its employees a better chance at coming up with the next Prime, Kindle, or Echo. But a question remains: Will they visit and use the space voluntarily?
I’m not convinced. For Samsung’s headquarters in San Jose, the same architecture group, NBBJ, came up with a very different design from what you see in Seattle, and one that’s also supposed to foster collaboration. The ten-story, square, donut–shaped building will encourage employees to move between floors—something people don’t typically do on their own— because they’ll be within eyeshot of peers both above and below them.
Apple is also betting on the donut. Campus 2, set to open in late 2024 or early 2023, will occupy a staggering 176 acres of Cupertino real estate. The four-story ring will add 2.8 million square feet to Apple’s holdings and accommodate 12,000 employees.
Of course, it’s much easier for a company to spread out in suburban California. What sets Amazon apart is its decision to build in an urban setting, so close to downtown, with all the inherent constraints. There really is nowhere to go but up. And though I doubt employees will often leave their towers to stroll inside the spheres, I applaud the radical mark the company has decided to make on Seattle’s architecture.
A mockup of what the domes are set to look like when they are finished. NBBJ
American companies have long used skyscrapers to announce and symbolize their ascendancy. The Chrysler Building, Bank of America Tower, and yes, Trump Tower are more than just places where people work; they’re landmarks. Growing up in the Chicago suburbs, I was captivated by the Sears Tower. I knew nothing of Sears’ financial woes, or of the retailer’s former glory. All I knew was that on a clear day, it was rumored you could see Wisconsin from the observation deck.
I can imagine a kid connecting with Amazon’s spheres in a similar way. They’re alien but organic, futuristic but right there in front of you. And like all urban architecture, they bear scrutiny. To compare, the best photographs of Campus 2 were taken only last month, and from a drone. Sure, Apple’s donut will prevent leaks, but security comes at an expense. Campus 2 will not lead much of a public life. Meanwhile, Amazon is trying to be part of the neighborhood.
Acting as an unofficial member of the Denny Triangle welcoming committee, I entered Doppler on a Tuesday afternoon. Ascending the escalator to the lobby, I took in the building’s sleekness, its newness. Passing an empty waiting area and help desk, I turned the corner and found myself at Doppler’s security checkpoint. Employees swiped their badges; sliding glass partitions let them through. From where I stood, I could see a coffee shop, just out of reach. It was the end of the line. If Amazon’s spheres are meant to signal an era of transparency for the notoriously secretive company, they’re illusory. Doppler is proof of that. Like an ornery neighbor with a sign on his door, it sends the message: No Trespassing.
Technology has always been at the center of investing. Since the inception of Information Technology (IT), it has supported a drastic shift in the investment landscape. For example, thanks to IT it is possible to conduct transactions for a very small transaction fee. This has enabled people with smaller investment portfolios to enter the space and start trading. In this sense, you could argue that IT is democratizing investing, and allowing everyone to participate. On the other hand, there is still the element of knowledge and expertise that is holding people back. In this article, we will look into how technology is helping revolutionize trading for the average retail investor.Portfolio Management
A good example is the Delta stocks tracker. This application provides you with an overview of your stocks combined with analytics and market news. This results in a one-stop-shop for investors. They even allow you to trade through the application with the largest brokers. You can see an overview of the transaction costs per broker, and select the one that suits your preferences.
Best ecommerce platform in 2023Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)
This is not often seen as revolutionizing by current-day investors. However, the idea of purchasing funds with very low management fees has only emerged in the last five to ten years. Before that, funds were typically managed by hedge fund managers and banks. This resulted in hefty fees, which made the products less attractive. Next to that, they also underperformed compared to indices such as the S&P 500.
Trading Through Bots
Crypto is Even More Accessible
Retail investing should also include crypto. This new type of asset is even more accessible to retail investors. There is less information needed from people, known as the know-your-customer (KYC) process, making it easier for people without identification to trading. This is a vast market within Africa and Asia, which is now able to trade and grow their wealth over time. However, there are certain limitations such as KYC that are needed at crypto brokers.
Social media identity theft is growing more prevalent as we integrate social networks into our daily lives.
Simple mistakes can compromise your personal information, allowing scammers to steal your identity, use your Social Security number, or damage your credit.
Common-sense measures can mitigate the risk of social media identity theft, including customizing your privacy settings, hiding your current location, and creating strong passwords.
This article is for social media users who want to safeguard their personal and financial information against identity theft.
By definition, social media is all about sharing information, including photos, articles and innermost thoughts. But sharing your personal identity and private information on social media may not be the best idea. Social media-based identity theft is on the rise, and what we share and how we handle our social accounts can determine whether or not we become victims.
We’ll highlight best practices for protecting your privacy on social media, explore the risks of identity theft, and highlight scams to watch out for.
Did You Know?
Social media isn’t just for personal use anymore. It’s common to use Snapchat for business, Instagram for business, and Facebook for business, which makes social media security a crucial topic for business owners as well.How to protect your privacy on social media
According to the 2023 Identity Fraud Report by Javelin Strategy & Research, approximately 42 million U.S. consumers have been victims of traditional identity fraud or identity fraud scams, resulting in almost $52 billion in combined losses. Social media is rife with information scammers can grab and use against you in various fraud schemes, including identity theft, ransomware attacks and data breaches.
Consider the following seven best practices for protecting your privacy on social media.1. Keep your personal information private on social media.
Social media users routinely share their birthdays via their profiles, posts, and “about” information. It’s also not uncommon to discuss the high schools and colleges you attended, the city you live in, and your pets and their names. Some users may even include their phone numbers and other personally identifiable information.
This personal data is a bonanza for identity thieves. To be safe, omit this information from your profiles and posts. Platforms include many options to fill out in profile pages, but you can leave this information out.
Instead, offer a generalized version of your personal stats, or leave these options blank. For example, the San Francisco Bay Area is a general option for Burlingame, California. Providing generalized options still gives some information but makes it more challenging for scammers to figure out your ZIP code or home address.2. Set strict privacy settings on your social media accounts.
Go into the settings for your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn accounts to edit your privacy settings. Ensure all your personal information — such as your birthday, current location and workplace — is private or visible only to your friends.
When your privacy settings are more lenient, you give strangers easy access to all your information. They won’t even have to hack into your account to discover everything they need.
Your LinkedIn profile is particularly vulnerable because it shares your career history. Ensure you only connect with someone on LinkedIn if you trust them with your personal contact information.3. Don’t tag or post your specific location on social media.
Many social media platform apps include location-based services to allow location tagging. The location tag is a fun feature, but not everyone needs to know where you are at all times. It makes you and your home or business location vulnerable, especially if your profile is public.
It’s cool to let your social media friends know that you’re at Disneyland with your sister, but you’re also letting everyone know that you’re more than 100 miles away from your home, which means it’s vulnerable to break-ins.4. Know your friends and connections on social media.
Never make yourself or your information vulnerable to people you’ve never met in real life. Steven J.J. Weisman, a lawyer at Margolis Bloom & D’Agostino and senior lecturer at Bentley University specializing in cybersecurity and identity theft, said befriending people you don’t know makes it easier for them to use the information on your social media accounts to learn more about you.
“These ‘friends’ who don’t know you gain access from your Facebook page to personalized information that often can be used to make you a victim of identity theft,” Weisman warned. You may unwittingly provide information to help them learn or guess your email address or answer security questions.
Don’t add someone as a friend just because they send you a request. Use the “decline” button on suspicious friend requests. You can also unfriend someone on social media, unfollow them, or disconnect their account if you realize they’re a stranger or a fake account created only to access your information.5. Always log out of your social media accounts.
Logging out of your social media accounts is especially crucial when you use a public computer, such as at a library or hotel. We all have some private information on our social media accounts, even if it’s only our name and a photo, and you don’t want to give someone easy access to your identity.
Leaving your account open allows anyone sitting at that computer to see all your recovery email addresses, phone numbers, credit card information, private messages, and friends and family.6. Use strong passwords on your social media accounts.
Passwords are critical keys to your identity if discovered, so they must be effective and difficult to guess. To create strong passwords, combine letters, numbers and special characters in randomized, nonsequential order. Avoid using full words and anything related to your birthday or current and previous addresses — these are the first keywords hackers will guess when attempting to log in to your accounts.
Use password managers to store unique passwords for every account, eliminating the need to remember or write down complex passwords.7. Use security software on devices you use to access social media.
Internet security software protects your identity while surfing the web or using social media. For example, if you download a message from a “friend,” that message could contain a keystroke malware program that steals your personal information from your computer. Antivirus software can detect and remove such rogue software.
Most internet security software suites have identity theft protection features like anti-keyloggers, secure environments and password protection that features computer encryption.What are the risks of identity theft?
Identity theft and fraud are multi-billion-dollar scams that impact large segments of the U.S. population. Identity theft can affect individuals and businesses in the following ways:
Identity theft can impact finances. The most noticeable impact of identity theft scams is financial. Depending on the scam’s severity, attackers could empty bank accounts, take over investment or retirement accounts, and even potentially take control of a victim’s mortgage. ID theft cases can necessitate legal services that further compound the financial impact.
Identity theft can damage your career. Actions by scammers who misuse your identity could appear on background checks and potentially affect employment opportunities.
Identity theft can harm your reputation. Scammers could hurt your online reputation if they seize control of social media accounts. This is particularly damaging if you use social media for business. In worst-case scenarios, scammers could take control of a social media account and pose as the account holder while using the account to distribute malware, send phishing emails, or launch additional attacks on other targets.
Identity theft can lead to account bans. If identity thieves misuse your social media, platforms could ban your accounts. You could lose years of work spent building up a social media following.
Did You Know?
Remote workers have added scam concerns. Remote cybersecurity tips include using only work email accounts, enabling multifactor authentication and guarding against phishing emails.
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