5 Tech Trends to Watch in 2018

5 Tech Trends to Watch in 2018

Here’s what I see on the horizon for tech in 2018.
5 Tech Trends to Watch in 2018 Image credit: Shutterstock.com
Tim Bajarin
Tim Bajarin
This story originally appeared on PCMag
I’ve been writing a tech predictions column for over 30 years now. I study research from my firm, Creative Strategies, and look for data that provides hints of what might be the hot topics, trends or issues in the coming year. Here’s what I see on the horizon for tech in 2018.

Cyber-security threats worsen
This is not a new prediction, but “state” actors have now entered the scene, reportedly with backing from countries like North Korea, Russia and China. They fund armies of hackers, who try to steal everything from nuclear secrets to bank codes, hacking into power grids and private accounts.

So it is not a stretch to predict that this will get even worse in 2018 now these hacking armies have learned how to game U.S. systems, especially as we head into midterm elections next fall.


What makes this worse for us in America specifically is that we just don’t have enough security experts to counter many of these major threats. Without the talent to develop more powerful cyber-security tools (and hold on to the ones we do have), our networks are highly vulnerable. I fear this will lead to new hacking disasters in 2018 that we are ill-prepared to fend off.

More folding smartphones, tablets
I saw some very interesting folding and dual-screen phone prototypes in late 2017, and I expect to see market-ready products next year.

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ZTE released the dual-screen Axon M last month, but it’s exclusive to AT&T, limiting its reach, and PCMag found it to be a bit buggy in testing. With a few tweaks, though, we could see at least one foldable smartphone and one foldable tablet late in 2018 from major players, setting in motion a new trend in mobile design going into 2019.

You can’t escape augmented reality
In 2017, Apple finally embraced augmented reality with ARKit, while Google revealed ARCore, leading many to believe we’d see the first killer AR apps by the holidays. But as of now, I have not seen an AR app I can’t live without.

I do think the smartphone is a great place to start in terms of getting people interested in the technology; we’re already staring at the devices all day anyway. But I am becoming more and more convinced that for AR to really impact our lives, it will have to be delivered through some type of smart glasses, which I don’t see happening before 2020.

AR, meanwhile, is often mentioned in the same breath as virtual reality. But I see VR taking off largely in vertical markets, where all types of industries are experimenting with it to see how it affects their workflow and potential profitability. For more on that, check out PCMag’s October feature, How Augmented Reality Is Transforming Work.

All-day laptop battery life
PCMag’s Sascha Sagan and I were in Hawaii recently for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Summit, where it talked up its always-connected PC initiative. The premise is that these Snapdragon 835-based devices, like the HP Envy x2 and Asus NovaGo, have built-in LTE radios that provide constant internet connections and 20 hours of battery life.

I’m not quite sure the always-on aspect will be these machines’ biggest selling point, though. In our iPad research, we found that 50 percent of iPads sold include the LTE radio chip, but that only 25 percent of those machines ever have their LTE activated. I think the bigger story from Qualcomm’s event is that incredible battery life. Imagine heading off for the day and not having to think about carrying a power cord for your laptop since you know you will get at least 20 hours of real use.

Social media regulation
I know this might be considered a bold prediction, but my contacts in Washington say legislators from both sides of the aisle are increasingly concerned about the negative impact social media has had on the election process and the political climate in general.

Although Washington had hoped Facebook, Twitter and Google would police themselves, insiders I speak with are growing skeptical that these companies can handle it alone. Full regulation is probably not likely, but I would not be surprised if we do see some legislation. After all, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai already went after Twitter during the net neutrality debate.

Target the right keywords

Target the right keywords — for Google AND your clients
Columnist Greg Gifford illustrates the importance of educating your clients on different types of keywords and when to target them.

It’s been awhile, thanks to a crazy fall conference season, but I’m back — and it’s time for another exciting episode of Greg’s Soapbox. This time around, I’m going to be talking about keyword targeting and client education.

About a year and a half ago, I wrote a post about the importance of client education. I still firmly believe that client education is the key to success in SEO: If clients don’t understand how Google works or how your services are necessary to their success, you’re doomed to fail.

As SEOs and digital marketers, we need to collectively be more responsible for client education. Many times, those fabled “agency jumpers” are hopping from agency to agency because no one has taken the time to sit down and explain how things really work. With a bit of education, their expectations would probably be more aligned with reality, and they’d stick around for the long term.

We’re all “in the bubble,” so it’s easy to forget that the general public doesn’t even pause to think about the “why” of Google’s search results. They don’t think about Local SEO vs. traditional SEO. They don’t think about keyword research. They just know that if they type something into Google, they get search results.

When expectations don’t meet reality, you’ve got a problem
Recently, a car dealership signed up for our services, and when they hit the two-month mark, things came to a screeching halt. Our contact was incredibly happy with the results we’d gotten so far, but the owner had decided to “check in” on how things were going. And the owner wasn’t happy at all.

The owner was searching for a simple two-word phrase — “Toyota Camry” — and their dealership wasn’t showing up. Never mind the fact that NO dealerships showed up; the owner demanded that his dealership show up.

We tried to explain that such a broad search phrase didn’t have purchase intent. We explained that for informational queries, Google was going to show the manufacturer site, or news articles about the vehicle. We explained that local results were only displayed when there was purchase intent.

He said, “but my competitor shows up.” Turns out, another dealership in his town was buying that term on AdWords. We then explained that PPC was different from SEO, but that he could talk to his PPC team to add that term in. We even explained that it wasn’t a good idea to waste money on those clicks, but it didn’t matter.

He told us that he didn’t care if it was PPC or SEO, he just wanted to be there. If his competitor could get there, we should be able to get there organically, too.

We tried to explain how keywords worked — and how it was important to go after the keywords that would actually result in leads and sales. About a week later, they decided to part ways with us. It didn’t matter that we’d increased their organic traffic by over 30 percent in just two months, or that organic leads were up almost 50 percent in the same time period.

All that mattered was that they weren’t showing up for the one phrase they really wanted to show up for.

You’ve got to target the right keywords, both for Google and your client
Be more transparent about the phrases you’re going after. At the beginning of the relationship, explain the strategy you’re using for keyword research and why it’s important. Explain the difference between informational and transactional queries. Explain the difference that location-based queries make.

Help your client understand that your entire keyword strategy is based around bringing in qualified local traffic that will convert. All the PPC people out there know the importance of a negative keyword list. Take that concept and run with it. Explain to your client that there are certain phrases that you definitely don’t want to target, since those phrases won’t bring in qualified traffic.

If we’re sharing the keyword process with our clients, it’s much more likely that they’ll both understand the process and feel involved in the decisions that are made. Instead of getting frustrated that they’re not visible for a phrase that they really shouldn’t care about, they’ll understand why that phase doesn’t matter to their bottom line. Everyone will be on the same page, and it’ll be smooth sailing.

A little education goes a long way
Please — don’t be one of those agencies that calls clients “stupid” or “dumb” just because they don’t understand how Google works. Remember, most people don’t obsess over Google the way we all do.

Stop for a minute and think about the situation I just described. I’m pretty sure you’ve got at least one or two stories of your own that are just like it. Think about it from the client’s point of view. There’s something they want, and they’re paying an agency to get it. When the agency can’t deliver, they’re going to sever the relationship and move on.

You’d do exactly the same thing with one of your SEO tool vendors if they didn’t deliver on what their tool was supposed to do. It doesn’t mean that you suck, or that you’re stupid.

It’s also a safe bet that the client you’re thinking about wasn’t happy with whoever they moved on to.

If someone had taken the time to sit down and explain how things work at the beginning of the relationship, expectations would be different. When you wait until the client is upset to educate them, the battle’s already lost.

Yes, it takes more time to explain things to clients at the beginning of the relationship — but isn’t it worth the investment if it keeps your clients happy?

Client and Competitor Marketing Reports

Popular Client Reports

1. Keyword Search – This report gives helps you select the proper keywords by showing how many times a particular keyword has been search in a given month. High search count produces good keywords. – sample

2. Current Ranking Report – This report gives you an indication where your company is ranked on the major search engines. This is based on the keywords selected. – sample

3. Ranking Report Compared To Your Competitors – This report outlines your and your competitors’ ranking score – sample

4. Your Current Indexed Pages – This report gives you an indication of which of your pages are indexed in the major search engines. – sample

5. Search Engine Page Views – This report gives you a short description of how your current index page is viewed on the major search engines. – sample

6. Link Popularity Report – This report shows how many websites are linked to yours compared to up to 3 competitors. – sample

7. Link Partner Report – This report lists potential “link partners” you could consider establishing a link partner relationship with. It is based on the keywords selected and your industry. – sample

8. Initial Optimization Report – The analysis of your page shows that it meets all necessary requirements to occupy a top-5 position for the given keyword. However we strongly recommend you to update the page periodically, as the majority of the search engines often shift the stale, never-changing pages away from the top positions. – sample

9. Keyword Density Report – Keyword density is the percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a web page compared to the total number of words on the page. – sample

10. Search Engine View – This report shows you how your web page looks to the search engines. It will highlight how they see your keywords reflected on a page. – sample –

Popular Competitors Reports

1. Competitors Keyword Search – This report identifies the keywords used by up to 3 of your competitors. – sample

2. Report On Competitors SEO Analysis – This report gives a deep insight into the keyword efficiency and competition. – sample

3. Competitors Ranking Report – These reports(2) gives you an indication where your company and up to 3 of your top competitors are ranked on the major search engines. This report is based on the search engines selected – sample 1 – This report is based on the keywords selected – samples 2

4. Competitors Ranking Score – This report gives you an indication of your company’s ranking score with the major search engines. This is based on the keywords selected. – sample

5. Competitors Indexed Pages – This report gives you an indication of how many of your competitors pages are indexed in the major search engines. – sample

6. Competitors PPC Analysis – This report gives and overview of keyword efficiency and competition in PPC. – sample

7. Ranking Report Summary By Search Engines – This report outlines your and your competitors’ ranking score categorized by search engines – sample

8. Ranking Report Summary By Keywords – This report outlines your and your competitors’ ranking score categorized by keywords – sample

9. Ranking Report Details By Keywords – This report outlines your and your competitors’ ranking score categorized by keywords – sample

10. Ranking Report Details By Search Engines – This report outlines your and your competitors’ ranking score categorized by search engines – sample –

LastPass 2017 Year in Review


2017 has been a busy year here at LastPass
LastPass 2017 Year in Review
Here at LastPass, we had a record-breaking year in more than one way. We launched new products, supported the most users yet, and consumed a lot of caffeine along the way.

Let’s take a look back at all the excitement!

This year brought a lot of passwords: long, complex, randomly generated passwords.
stored in each vault on average
passwords generated via LastPass
length of an ideal password
Maintaining all of these passwords (without LastPass) would have been quite tedious.
Passwords take a lot of time
14 seconds
Average time to type a password
150 sites
Logged in to each month
Totaling at:
7 hours
Spent filling in passwords in 2017
That’s why you’re using LastPass to manage your digital life.
passwords created in LastPass
Time zones
where LastPass vaults are used
Day of the week
when LastPass is used most
Because 2017 brought some of the most worrisome data breaches yet.
Worst Breach
145.5 million consumer’s sensitve information compromised*
Largest Breach
3 billion accounts now known to have been impacted by 2013 data breach**
Which is why our team worked so hard this year to make the best password manager for you.
We've been working hard
Major product launches
Completed project tickets
Slacks in #LastPass-dev
Plus, we practice what we preach; our team relies on LastPass to securely store & share around our own office.
Linked account
92% have a linked personal account
We <3 sharing
83% share passwords via LastPass
Netflix pw please
Netflix is our most shared site
Greatest. Tweet. Ever.

Our most popular tweet of 2017 shows just how many bad passwords there really are…

Just like you, we’re working hard and having fun!
All the bagels
Bagels eaten by employees
Come hang out
Community events hosted
Caffeine needed
Batches of coffee brewed
Thanks for making 2017 a terrific year! Let’s make next year even better: keep generating passwords, growing your vaults, and securing what’s most valuable to you.
Sources: *Equifax & **Yahoo!

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Installing a new version of the macOS can cause a bit of trepidation. Will all my older apps work? Are there any serious bugs in the new OS? Will my peripherals continue to work, including that wide-format LaserJet from the 90s that hasn’t had any driver updates since the millennium, but continues to be my go-to workhorse for tabloid printing?


more details here

VPN Info

VPN info

VPN Protection: Can I Hide My IP Address?
A VPN encrypts and protects your data connection online. What you do online is open for prying eyes, but you can protect and hide your IP address and data by using a VPN.

A VPN secures data between you and your business, or you can obtain anonymity and protection for your personal information.

There are loads of VPNs to choose from; and quality is on the rise. Of course, the flipside is that you may feel overwhelmed, especially if you don’t know what to look out for. The process of choosing a VPN starts with a realistic assessment of your needs: if – for example – you only use Apple products, you must find the best VPN for Mac and Apple products.

How VPN Connections Benefit You
Not everyone has the same priorities, or uses the internet in the same way. If you want to improve anonymity online, VPN providers give you a way to discreetly access the Internet through a “tunnel” service. This type of access masks your communication and displays the VPN’s IP address when you connect to a website, instead of your own.

This means that your private home IP address is hidden when browsing different websites. Using a VPN service will likely impact your computer speed as well. If you are looking for a fast VPN, make sure that it also keeps your privacy through data encryption between your computer and the target server. By using a VPN, you can improve the protection of your data, and stay anonymous on the internet – all while streaming or browsing at top speeds.

Price matters – But only up to a point
Cheap and free VPNs may seem attractive on paper, but they often offer a sub-par service and may have significant privacy issues. Always keep in mind that cheap and free services are cheap or free for a reason. The best VPNs offer a balance between quality and price.

Speed and Reliability
A VPN keeps you safe online by re-routing your traffic through an encrypted server. If this process is done well, the effect on your connection should be unnoticeable. If, on the other hand, the VPN is poor quality, it may grind your internet speed down to a halt.

If you are looking for the best VPN for streaming, for example, look out for services with 99.9% uptime and no speed or bandwidth caps. This ensures your online experience will be smooth – irrespective of how heavy your internet usage is.

How VPN Connections Benefit Your Business
Businesses big and small also benefit from setting up VPN connections. VPN allows employees who are working from home to connect to a private network over the internet while still protecting their IP addresses.

A VPN service gives protection to the business and the employee. The software is typically installed on the employee’s computer, and the employee uses the service to perform daily tasks as if the employee is logged in locally.

If you need more help choosing, read one of our VPN reviews and find the best VPN provider for your needs.