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Converge Tech and Business: The Week in Review

How is it possible that Hanukkah begins a week from today, Christmas is the next day, and a new year is a mere 14 days away??? No matter how busy it gets, my team and I share a quest for knowledge and our rabid consumption of information means that we’ve always got some interesting news to share. Here’s the stuff we think you need to know in business and tech news.

How to delete or protect your Yahoo account. As I mentioned on Facebook this past week, if you have a Yahoo account, you’re going to want to take immediate action [including perhaps deleting it altogether]! At the very least, consider removing any personally identifiable information associated with your account. This follows Yahoo’s stunning announcement of yet another hacking, this time with a whopping billion accounts compromised and account credentials being offered for sale on the dark web.

What does “accounts compromised” mean? Hackers were able to access names, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, and security questions of Yahoo users. If you have a Yahoo account, and still plan to use it, it is honestly unthinkable that you would not immediately change your password, your security questions, and to unlink financial information. Also, if you’re stuck with Yahoo because of AT&T internet service, our security friends recommend you immediately change your password AND make it a point to change it every 90 days. Yes, every 90 days. Not sure what to do next? Here’s how to find out if your account was hacked from Intel’s Gary Davis.

If you’ve discovered that your account has been compromised or that there’s even the slightest doubt, here’s advice from security pro Graham Cluley on what you do about it. Also, if you’re a security geek like me, check out Graham’s blog—it’s a goldmine of great information.

Speaking of security, what should tech leaders be doubling down on in 2017? I couldn’t agree more with Beth Stackpole’s assessment in a recent article for Computer World, Tech Forecast 2017: 5 Technologies to double down on now, where she’s got security heading the list. Security, analytics, mobile, anything (and everything) as a service, and all eyes on the customer experience are where it’s at.

I really enjoy Jorge Barba’s blog and his thoughts on tech and business and the future ahead. This piece on Five Challenges for the Next Economy will make you think. Education, Inequality, Automation, Dependence and, of course, Security. I won’t give you any more spoilers other than to say you should make time to read his post, as it’s a thought-provoking one, and while you’re there, check him out. Maybe even subscribe to his blog. You’ll like the way he thinks. I know I do.

The flowering of voice control leads to a crop of security holes.
One of the biggest news stories in 2016 was about malware that can turn common IoT devices into destructive botnets. This same malware was responsible for a massive DDOS attack last October that disrupted U.S. Internet traffic. As we head into 2017, it’s likely that voice-enabled apps like Siri, Cortana, and Alexa will continue to gain in popularity and, along with it, increasing security risks, ransomware, and attacks targeting mobile devices. Evan Kirstel shared this interesting article from ZDNet which features a downloadable list of security predictions for 2017 from Forcepoint. Notice a trend here? Security, security, and more security!!!

The 10 hottest tech skills for 2017. Are your skills still relevant in 2017? If you are looking for a job or want to get ahead in your career as we head into 2017, you may want to check out this post shared by HP’s Vincent Brissot. Vincent can be counted on to always share interesting, relevant content, so if you’re not already following him on Twitter or LinkedIn, change that. The article includes a list of the most in demand tech skills per Computerworld’s Forecast 2017 survey. The study also found that 29 percent of respondents said they plan to increase head count over the next 12 months.

Making the Most of Metrics: Putting Virtual Event Data to Work for You [Webinar]

My business partner, Eric Vidal, and I are in the middle of writing a book on lead generation for B2B companies. And not-so-coincidentally, one of the topics we’re covering is one of the most cost-effective ways businesses can connect with customers and prospects—virtual events. The key to developing and hosting successful virtual events is easy:

a. Focus on creating content that is compelling and valuable to your
customers and prospects
b. Make it your mission to help them see that you can provide solutions to
growth and profitability for their businesses.

But once you’ve hosted a virtual event, in order to maximize ROI, you’ve got to be able to take the data you’ve gleaned as a result of the event and put it to work for you from a marketing strategy standpoint. And that’s where it gets interesting. It’s also where so many brands fail. This webinar features the incredibly smart, Sean Patrick Keen, a Video Strategy Consultant for INXPO. Sean works with Fortune 1000 clients assisting them in using the best emerging technologies to help connect with their audiences. Since 2007, Sean has advised clients on designing engaging video programs, using their content to build lasting communities, and measuring the success and ROI of their initiatives. If mastering lead gen is in your sights for the coming year, get this don’t miss webinar on your calendar: January 21, 2017. 1:00 PM PT / 11 AM ET. Register NOW http://bit.ly/2hDNas9

Smart Toys for Christmas

Consumer Alert on ‘Smart Toys’ This Holiday Season. If you’re still shopping for the little ones on your holiday list and considering buying a “smart toy” to put under the tree, please make time to check out this consumer alert about toys that connect to the internet. The IoT is the Wild, Wild West right now and all too many developers of gadgets and toys aren’t putting security at the top of their lists when developing products. And while these toys may be super cool, there may be potential dangers that exist in the sharing of information collected by these connected devices and all other connected devices in the home. When setting up and connecting these toys to your home network, your personal data can be exposed to hacking, compromising your personal privacy.

According to a recent government report, some toys that connect to the Internet often record videos and conversations that can be susceptible to hacks and could expose personal pictures and conversations as well as sensitive information to the public web. Being informed is the best defense, so please check out this story further and do your due diligence before being charmed by a smart toy. Via ABC News.

And in closing, know that my partners Daniel Newman and Eric Vidal and I, and all of our amazing team at Broadsuite Media Group and Converge wish you all very, very happy holidays, whatever it is you celebrate, and a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.

Photo Credit: CatcomVN Flickr via Compfight cc

Shelly Kramer

Shelly Kramer is a 20+ year marketing veteran and CEO of V3 Broadsuite, a marketing consultancy, and the President of Broadsuite Media Group. She’s a business strategist focused on B2B digital transformation, and delivering integrated marketing solutions for clients. She’s an expert at omnichannel marketing, content strategy and execution, connecting social media to business initiatives, and helping clients leverage the web for growth and profitability.