Your Apple Account May Have Been Hacked…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1—Hackers might be holding up to 300 million Apple accounts hostage.

Another week, another possible data breach – this time by music fans. A hacker group called Turkish Crime Family is demanding “$75,000 in crypto-currency or $100,000 in iTunes gift cards” or they will delete the information they have: 300 million Apple accounts. Apple claims that there have not been any breaches and that the “list of email addresses and passwords appears to have been obtained from previously compromised third-party services.” (Source: Forbes)

Why this is important for your business: 

Whether the threat is real or not, it’s a good idea to change your password on all Apple services.  Oh, and update your virus software, get some training and subscribe to an online backup service, too.  Ransomware is a huge issue this year.

2—Instagram now has 1 million advertisers and 8 million business profiles.

The massive number of advertisers on Facebook’s popular photo-sharing app can “be attributed in large part to Instagram’s focus on catering to small businesses, which make up the majority of Instagram’s advertisers, and its growing suite of free business tools,” according to Forbes’ Kathleen Chaykowski. (Source: Forbes)

Why this is important for your business:

“Businesses are drawn to Instagram because it’s a place where people follow passions, everything from mainstream interests, like their favorite musician, to niche hobbies like candy art,” James Quarles, Instagram’s VP of business, said, and Instagram is expecting to earn $3.64 billion in advertising revenue this year. Is your audience waiting for you there?

3—IBM is ending its remote-work option for thousands of employees.

The tech giant has announced that it will be “co-locating” the entire U.S. marketing department, or about 2,600 employees, to work together in one of six office locations in Atlanta, Raleigh, Austin, Boston, New York and San Francisco. The company has already done this with other departments. (Source: Quartz)

Why this is important for your business:

Many companies like IBM are realizing that face-to-face interactions foster innovation.  You might want to do the same.

4—Google has developed a way to reduce JPEG size by 35 percent.

In an announcement straight out of TV’s “Silicon Valley,” Google says it has invented a new JPEG encoder called Guetzli that can substantially reduce file sizes without impacting the quality of the image. (Source: Forbes)

Why this is important for your business:

With this new technology, your websites will load faster and data will be processed faster, which will result in more productivity and profits for you.

5—A new startup can help you get more customers with targeted smartphone ads.

Databerries is a French mobile advertising platform that uses “Real Life Targeting” to help bricks-and-mortar retailers target smartphone users with ads based on places they have previously visited. The company just announced a $16 million round of funding, and they hope to launch their product in the United States soon with their new capital. (Source: VentureBeat)

Why this is important for your business:

With this service, marketers can “see exactly how many people visited a retail location after viewing a specific mobile ad, thus making online ad-spending easier to measure in terms of efficacy.” Sounds good to me!

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