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For many students, the most challenging part about writing a research paper is the research. Even the best students often don’t know how to conduct research or even where to start.

But you’re in luck:

This article by Custom-writing.org experts provides a list of great research tools that will be useful at every stage of the process. The collection includes everything necessary to write a great paper, from online public libraries to dissertation databases. There are also some data analysis and data visualization research tools, as well as organizers for scholars. The list includes brief descriptions for each of the tools. All you need is to continue reading, choose the tools you like most, and get a fantastic result!

research steps

1.  Doing Research: Key Steps

Regardless of the subject field, all research has a similar structure. Such an approach facilitates the mutual understanding of scientists from neighboring or even distant domains. As a rule, scientific texts are challenging to write and read. That is why you need to observe the following procedure.

  1. Topic selection. Surprisingly, this is the most creative part of a research project. The subject area shall be topical and relevant, and the title must be concise and informative.
  2. Literature review and concept development. To write something new, you need to know what has already been written by other scientists. Study the available literature on your subject and define what statement or concept you will defend in your research.
  3. Empirical part: data collection and analysis. Accumulate the evidence to support your thesis statement.
  4. Conclusions and recommendations. Any research finishes with generalizations of the findings. You can as well give general suggestions for your successors in research.

The following sections provide you with tools and techniques to facilitate each of the four stages. There is also a list of tools helping to organize the entire research procedure.

2.  Topic Generating Tools

In science and academia, nobody receives a ready-made topic to work on. As a rule, you are given a direction in which you should look for an unexplored field of knowledge. With this direction in mind, you can brainstorm a compelling topic that would be engaging. There are multiple tools to make the task an easy one.

1 Lucidchart Lucidchart is an excellent instrument based on infographics. The diagrams in this software help to understand people’s behavior, data, and processes. The visualization allows to find out the interdependence between different phenomena. If you have a large bulk of information to process before generating a topic, this should be your choice.
2 Mind42 Mind42 is a free (ad-supported) mind mapping tool. Structure your notes here for further reference. It works as a block diagram, where units of information are connected with arrows. It is user-friendly, so you will not waste much time on preparations.
3 Visual Thesaurus This one is more about the formulation. If you have come up with a topic, but struggle with its wording, visualize it with the tool. The tool gives you a list of word associations and their relationships. By the way, the service is excellent for theoretical research as it builds word maps, provides their meanings, and suggests related terms.

3.  Research Tools for Making a Literature Review

3.1. Research Databases

So, you have created a word document and noted the title. What next? You should look for the most authoritative works in the required sphere. How do you know which ones are the most influential? There are online research tools that create lists of the most cited scientific articles.

1 Google Scholar The same company that produced the world’s top search engine also offers the world’s top scholarly search engine. Google Scholar works just like Google. But it directly links you to only publications in countless academic journals. When using the system, look at the right-hand side of the search results. There, Google Scholar shows you if a PDF is available for each article.
2 Web of Knowledge Many academic research services charge a fee. But Web of Knowledge is the most widely used. And this is for a good reason: it provides search features missing from Google Scholar. Check to see if your library offers access to the Web of Knowledge.
3 LexisNexis This is the research resource of choice for law school students and lawyers. Of course, this is an expensive service for individuals. But your school may have free access.
4 Scopus Scopus is a bibliographical base used by over five thousand academic, governmental, and corporate establishments. It searches through about 75 million entries, including 194’000 books. You can search by author, document title, or affiliation. It shows the citation rate of almost any article from any discipline. The tool also suggests similar documents by related references, which could accelerate your research.
5 Web of Science WoS is a multidisciplinary citation database trusted by more than 9 thousand institutions. It allows for the historical tracking of research questions in all spheres of knowledge. 9.1 billion cited references would suffice for the most exigent researcher. Web of Science can be used as a resource to find trusted materials in the public domain.

3.2. Digital Libraries

Once you have found enough references, you need to study them. Visiting conventional libraries is often a waste of time since many contemporary research documents are accessible on the web. Digital libraries are usually paid web research tools, but many universities and colleges purchase a subscription for their students.

1 Google Books Google Books was launched in 2004. Today, it offers full-text searches of over 25 million books. That’s a lot of reading!
2 The US Library of Congress As a leading research library, the Library of Congress has an incredible number of online resources. Their website lets you search for nearly every book ever written. You can also skim their vast online collections.
3 Project Gutenberg The goal of Project Gutenberg sounds crazy. They aim to digitize every book that is not under copyright. In brief, they offer almost every classic book published before 1900.
4 JSTOR This database searches for books, primary sources, and journals. It provides free access to open community collections of museums, public libraries, and archives. The resource has a special offer due to COVID-19 displacement of students, offering free use of unlicensed materials. Still, only the participating educational institutions are eligible. You can share your lists with other users if you wish.
5 ScienceDirect ScienceDirect focuses on medical, technical, engineering, and scientific research, but humanities are also covered. It provides access to foundational and theoretic materials and the latest findings. You can search by keywords, author, title of book or journal, volume, issue, and page. All the literature is peer-reviewed and can be trusted.
6 ResearchGate ResearchGate provides more than 135 million publication pages. The tool is an excellent solution to keep up with the latest research news. It allows sharing your research with peers, collaborating with them across the continents, and asking for expert support. You can as well track how many people have read or referenced your work.
7 Wiley Online Library Here you can access an extensive collection of books and reference resources during 48 hours on a pay-per-view basis. Many articles are available for paid download for lifetime use. It can be done without a subscription. Through this resource, you can find reliable user guides, training videos, and webinars.

3.3. Discipline-Oriented Libraries

If you are working in a narrow scientific field, multidisciplinary libraries may not meet your expectations and needs. Besides, if various disciplines discuss your research question, the search for references becomes a daunting task. Then you should explore discipline-oriented libraries. They function just like any other digital library but provide access to works in only one area of knowledge.

1 Project MUSE Johns Hopkins University hosts this web resource. It mainly focuses on digital articles and book chapters on humanities and social sciences.
2 PubMed Central The U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine offers PubMed Central. This is a free source for almost 4 million academic articles on biology and medicine.
3 IEEE Xplore This is the place to start if your research focuses on any of the many engineering fields.
4 arXiv Cornell University’s arXiv is the most extensive collection of open-source papers in mathematical fields. Subjects range from physics to statistics and finance.

3.4. Dissertation Databases

Ph.D. theses are usually written by young scientists. They are interested in being cited as much as possible, as it raises their researcher’s status. For this reason, top universities allow free access to Masters’ and Ph.D. papers written by their students. You can use these databases in your research.

1 PQDT Open Proquest is the most extensive open-access dissertation database. It provides full-text versions of theses & dissertations on a range of disciplines.
2 MIT Theses This archive contains every dissertation and thesis completed at MIT since 2004. But some date back to the 1800s. The complete collection contains more than 50000 texts.
3 Stanford University Libraries The graduate work of over a hundred thousand Stanford students is searchable from anywhere in the world.
4 UColorado Libraries Since 1997, the University of Colorado has archived every one of their Ph.D. dissertations here.
5 IDEALS At the University of Illinois, students have the option of depositing their theses on IDEALS. And you have the option of searching for their dissertations!
6 FAS Theses & Dissertations Last but not least, check out Harvard’s archive of dissertations begun in 2012. It’s one of the most famous universities in the world for a very good reason.

4.  Research Tools for Data Analysis

Data analysis is an essential part of any empirical research. It requires discipline-specific skills and knowledge of research instruments. Below you can find just a small share of data analysis tools available online or downloadable for most operating systems.

1 MS Excel Many people know it, but few of us can use its functionality. Its principal benefit is that this program is available in the MS Office package. It is an old tool, but it is the best for simple statistics, customizable graphics, and data visualization.
2 SPSS SPSS or Statistical Package for the Social Sciences is the most popular statistical software among human behavior researchers. It allows for parametric and non-parametric studies, descriptive statistics, and graphic visualization of the findings. You can also write scripts for automated analysis or more advanced statistical research.
3 R-project This package is free and widely used in many disciplines. Its toolboxes (or plugins) simplify any data processing. The functionality is the best among similar software solutions. It requires a certain knowledge of coding. Still, you can discuss any issues with the extended community that builds and improves the package.
4 Stata Stata is more functional than SPSS but simpler than R. Detailed user guides and tons of valuable information on forums can help you resolve almost any issue. This paid software is available for any platform. It is user-friendly and easily automated.

5.  Data Visualization Tools

When your research findings are ready, the worst thing you can do is pour all the statistical data on your future readers. Visualization of all those percentages, ratios, and correlations makes your paper engaging and easy to follow. Respect your reader’s time and try not to turn your research paper into a quiz.

1 Google Charts This is an excellent and totally free example of data visualization tools. Its interactive charts are explicitly designed to be embedded online. It offers a wide range of chart formats to choose from. The most significant benefit is its ability to work with dynamic data. However, Google Charts have limited support, namely tutorials and forum discussions.
2 Tableau Tableau astonishes with the number of data uploading options. Besides, it has a desktop, online, and free public versions. Unlike Google Charts, it has multiple video tutorials, so only the lazy will not master it. Still, its paid versions are expensive (about $70), and the public version does not permit you to keep your data private.
3 Infogram Infogram has a free version offering basic functionality and tiered pricing for the paid version. Its drag-and-drop editor is user-friendly and intuitive. The tool allows for interactive visualizations to be integrated into websites and apps. Its drawback is the small number of built-in data sources, as compared to other programs.
4 D3.js This is a free, open-source JavaScript library to manage data documents. People without programming skills can easily use software tools to create visualizations. Multiple types of charts and a customizable interface make it convenient and understandable. Still, programming knowledge will be beneficial when working with this software.

6.  Tools to Organize Your Research Process

Good organization is something needed on every research step. Below is a list of the most useful organizational tools for scholars.

1 Scrivener This tool unites the functions of a typewriter, ring-binder, and scrapbook. The trial version lasts for 30 days and includes all the features of the full version. This period is enough to understand whether you enjoy working in this program and complete a short project. It provides you with multiple methods of how to enjoy your research.
2 Zotero This is a excellent option for theoretical research that includes numerous citations. It is an open-source program facilitating the process of quoting and indicating the sources. It also collects and structures your information. These structures are tagged with keywords, which is very convenient for large-scale projects. Zotero has a function that creates a bibliography in any citation style.
3 Mendeley Mendeley creates a personal library directly from your browser tabs and desktop files. In a few clicks, you can generate citations and references to your library list. It has a function of personalized recommendations to stay informed about the newest research results. Besides, here you can browse information about more than 5’000 funding organizations and their grants.

Most people work with the software they are used to, ignoring the new and more functional alternatives. It is often rewarding to invest your time into exploring a new tool than to research and write your thesis in the same old way. Share your opinion about the described instruments in the comments and suggest your favorite ones!

Source: custom-writing.org

Categorized in Online Research

What is Research?

Definition: Research is defined as careful consideration of study regarding a particular concern or problem using scientific methods. According to the American sociologist Earl Robert Babbie, “research is a systematic inquiry to describe, explain, predict, and control the observed phenomenon. It involves inductive and deductive methods.”

Inductive research methods analyze an observed event, while deductive methods verify the observed event. Inductive approaches are associated with qualitative research, and deductive methods are more commonly associated with quantitative analysis.

Research is conducted with a purpose to:

  • Identify potential and new customers
  • Understand existing customers
  • Set pragmatic goals
  • Develop productive market strategies
  • Address business challenges
  • Put together a business expansion plan
  • Identify new business opportunities

What are the characteristics of research?

  1. Good research follows a systematic approach to capture accurate data. Researchers need to practice ethics and a code of conduct while making observations or drawing conclusions.
  2. The analysis is based on logical reasoning and involves both inductive and deductive methods.
  3. Real-time data and knowledge is derived from actual observations in natural settings.
  4. There is an in-depth analysis of all data collected so that there are no anomalies associated with it.
  5. It creates a path for generating new questions. Existing data helps create more research opportunities.
  6. It is analytical and uses all the available data so that there is no ambiguity in inference.
  7. Accuracy is one of the most critical aspects of research. The information must be accurate and correct. For example, laboratories provide a controlled environment to collect data. Accuracy is measured in the instruments used, the calibrations of instruments or tools, and the experiment’s final result.

What is the purpose of research?

There are three main purposes:

  1. Exploratory: As the name suggests, researchers conduct exploratory studies to explore a group of questions. The answers and analytics may not offer a conclusion to the perceived problem. It is undertaken to handle new problem areas that haven’t been explored before. This exploratory process lays the foundation for more conclusive data collection and analysis.
  2. Descriptive: It focuses on expanding knowledge on current issues through a process of data collection. Descriptive research describes the behavior of a sample population. Only one variable is required to conduct the study. The three primary purposes of descriptive studies are describing, explaining, and validating the findings. For example, a study was conducted to know if top-level management leaders in the 21st century possess the moral right to receive a considerable sum of money from the company's profit.
  3. Explanatory: Causal or explanatory research is conducted to understand the impact of specific changes in existing standard procedures. Running experiments is the most popular form. For example, a study that is conducted to understand the effect of rebranding on customer loyalty.

Here is a comparative analysis for better understanding:

  Exploratory Research Descriptive Research Explanatory Research
Approach used Unstructured Structured Highly structured
Conducted through Asking questions Asking questions By using hypotheses.
Time Early stages of decision making Later stages of decision making Later stages of decision making


When it comes to customers and market studies, the more thorough your questions, the better the analysis. You get essential insights into brand perception and product needs by thoroughly collecting customer data through surveys and questionnaires. You can use this data to make smart decisions about your marketing strategies to position your business effectively.Research begins by asking the right questions and choosing an appropriate method to investigate the problem. After collecting answers to your questions, you can analyze the findings or observations to draw reasonable conclusions.

To be able to make sense of your research and get insights faster, it helps to use a research repository as a single source of truth in your organization and to manage your research data in one centralized repository.

Types of research methods and examples

Research Methods without logo

Research methods are broadly classified as Qualitative and Quantitative.

Both methods have distinctive properties and data collection methods.

Qualitative methods

Qualitative research is a method that collects data using conversational methods, usually open-ended questions. The responses collected are essentially non-numerical. This method helps a researcher understand what participants think and why they think in a particular way.

Types of qualitative methods include:

  1. One-to-one Interview
  2. Focus Groups
  3. Ethnographic studies
  4. Text Analysis
  5. Case Study

Quantitative methods

Quantitative methods deal with numbers and measurable forms. It uses a systematic way of investigating events or data. It answers questions to justify relationships with measurable variables to either explain, predict, or control a phenomenon.

Types of quantitative methods include:

  1. Survey research
  2. Descriptive research
  3. Correlational research

Remember, research is only valuable and useful when it is valid, accurate, and reliable. Incorrect results can lead to customer churn and a decrease in sales.

It is essential to ensure that your data is:

  • Valid – founded, logical, rigorous, and impartial.
  • Accurate – free of errors and including required details.
  • Reliable – other people who investigate in the same way can produce similar results.
  • Timely – current and collected within an appropriate time frame.
  • Complete – includes all the data you need to support your business decisions.

8 tips for conducting accurate research

22 8 tips for conductiong accurate research min

  1. Identify the main trends and issues, opportunities, and problems you observe. Write a sentence describing each one.
  2. Keep track of the frequency with which each of the main findings appears.
  3. Make a list of your findings from the most common to the least common.
  4. Evaluate a list of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that have been identified in a SWOT analysis.
  5. Prepare conclusions and recommendations about your study.
  6. Act on your strategies
  7. Look for gaps in the information, and consider doing additional inquiry if necessary
  8. Plan to review the results and consider efficient methods to analyze and dissect results for interpretation.

Review your goals before making any conclusions about your research. Keep in mind how the process you have completed and the data you have gathered help answer your questions. Ask yourself if what your analysis revealed facilitates the identification of your conclusions and recommendations.

[Source: This article was published in questionpro.com - Uploaded by the Association Member: Anthony Frank] 
Categorized in Online Research

People finder websites, or People Search Engines just like a social media application, are meant to connect you with others. You can know them before, or they might be someone new to you. However, the primary purpose of a people searches website is to find out if you need to get in contact with the person or not.

For example, you require a roommate to share the rent, and you need to know about the person before you allow them space. Now, if you do not have enough knowledge of that individual, then maybe things will mess up for you, too. But with the help of a people search engine, one thing that you will make sure of is that the person is trustworthy.

So, the question arises how these sites are different from the usual social media applications? People searching sites will help you find social profiles and let you know if the person has any criminal or arrest records. In other words, these search engines can help you find email addresses and phone numbers so that you can contact someone hard to find. Moving on, we will look at some of the best people search sites. So, let's begin.

List of People Search Engines

1. BeenVerified

The first people search website which is on our list is BeenVerified. One of the websites best known for its simplicity and features. It stands out because of its easy-to-tackle tabs and the expected results shown to the users. BeenVerified can help you in searching the names, email addresses, phone numbers, and locations.

BeenVerified sets apart because of the extra details such as social media accounts, professional background, address history, pictures, friends, and general information. However, such information is for free on the website. But if you want a full report on someone's background, like criminal records, court records, and more, you will have to get a membership ($39.99 for one month).

Features

  • Combines social graph and public record
  • Authentic information
  • Offers criminal record
  • Affordable service
  • App available for smartphones
  • US-centric

2. Spokeo

Spokeo People Search Engine

Spokeo, a US-only people lookup website, works well searching details from white page listings, public records, and social networks. People are explored using a name, email address, phone details, or location. It happens because Spokeo has claimed to uses deep web technology to get results that usually search engines miss out on.

The results are driven from more than 60 social networks, online profiles, dating site profiles, but it works only in the US. So, it can be used outside the US, but its results are US-based. It simply means that you will not find any of your friends if they don't live in the US. However, if any of your relatives live there, you will find them.

The service also has a paid subscription, starting at $4.95/month.

Features

  • Best for connecting with people
  • US-based searches
  • Basic results for free
  • Easy to use

3. PeopleFinder

PeopleFinder

PeopleFinder has indexed millions of data available publicly into its system, which helps in finding an individual. Furthermore, it uses Intelius' backend service for details of that particular person. It is a great platform to reconnect with the people with whom we have lost contact.

The best part of PeopleFinder is the free address of the person you are searching for. However, many other search engines fail to provide that. Also, on submission of only $2.95, you can search for the complete report of that person, which includes financial information, relatives, phone numbers, court records, and much more.

Features

  • Best for free users
  • Recent address available for primary users
  • Quite affordable
  • Intelius-backed service
  • Check criminal and social records
  • Search results can take considerable time

4. Whitepages

Finding a person on the internet is a hectic task, and gathering information about them is more like searching hundreds of diaries and notebooks. While a people search website like Whitepages makes your job relatively more manageable. It's an excellent tool for users who want to get more than just social or professional information. If you want a full background report, you will have to obtain a premium subscription, starting at $19.95/month.

Whitepages bring you detailed information about a person based on contact, addresses, properties, court records, criminal records, liens, and judgments. In addition, it offers details around family members & associates, current contact details, etc. You will find a person here just by entering their name/location/phone number/ address. It is a great tool for instant results.

Features

  • Best for hiring employees
  • Accurate contact information
  • Basic info for free users
  • Global search available

5. Instant Checkmate

Instant Checkmate People Search Engine compressed

Instant Checkmate brings you data from public profiles, federal data sources, and state & country data sources. It uses advanced technology for finding these sources. A clear report is then presented after searching the person. The report shows all the data as simply as possible.

One thing you should note before buying the subscription starting at $19.99 that Instant Checkmate is a US-only people lookup engine. It is used as a public record research service and provides the required details like any other people's search engines.

Features

  • Search through publicly available data
  • Best for criminal and background checks
  • Advanced search filters
  • Access property data

6. Intelius

Intelius People Search Engine

People finder and searcher Intelius is another search engine that gives us the data for people search details, email lookup, social network search, property records, background check, criminal records, or reverse lookup.

However, the problem with Intelius is that it is not free, and the results are only for the US. There are two different ways to subscribe to the engine. One is just for the people search report. While people search report plus (includes email search & social network) and background report, starting at $29.95/month.

But you can avail of a discount of 50% for the first month which brings your fee to $15.95 for one month.

Features

  • Reconnect with old friends
  • Review property data
  • Exhaustive criminal and court records
  • Best for background checks
  • Myriad of social tools
  • US-only
  • Pretty expensive

7. Truthfinder

Truthfinder

Comparable to the known people search engine Pipl, we have Truthfinder. The main difference between the two is that Truthfinder only works in the US alone. In contrast, the Pipl works across the globe. You can search for an individual's police records, check court records, photos from social media, contact information, and much more.

Truthfinder is more like a background check besides being a people connector. If you are searching for employees or a college mate to share your room, Truthfinder is a better option than Pipl. Truthfinder uses Federal, State, and County data sources to gather information.

For free users, you can only see basic information like age and possible location. In addition, the search takes considerable time to show the results. But Truthfinder has some great tools like reverse phone, address lookup, family tree, and dark web scan.

Features

  • Best for background checks
  • Accurate US-only results
  • A vast database of criminal and court orders
  • Multiple tools, including reverse phone
  • Basic information for free users
  • Takes considerable time to show results.

8. PeekYou

PeekYou people search engine

After testing this search engine, it was seen that the results were not as they were expected. However, they were not bad either. PeekYou provides details about a person based on their social media accounts, web profiles, email addresses, contact details, and other public records.

It has a patented technology that helps it bring data from 60 websites, news sources, homepages, blog platforms, and several other sources. You can search for people using names, location, web-username, or phone reverse search with that much information.

PeekYou works best for US residents, and it can be used for the global search as well. So, if you are getting all the details for free, you do not have a right to complain.

Features

  • Proprietary algorithm to offer accurate results
  • Fast People Search
  • Phone reverse search
  • Global search available
  • No sign-up required

9. Pipl

Pipl People Search Engine

Pipl, probably the best people search engine, is here. Pipl is the exclusive engine that provides the data for a global audience. It quickly gets you professional, social, and contact information. On Pipl, you can find people using their name, email, username, or phone number.

For some time, Pipl was used for free, but that's not the case now. Also, the company has targeted professional users mainly. The website also shows that it should not be used for personal or non-commercial uses.

The service allows a subscription of $298 per month for an annual subscription. It also gives a $198/month/user plan that supports up to 5 users and a $148/month/user supporting 10 users.

The best part is Pipl gives you an unlimited number of searches.

Features

  • Accurate information
  • Free search for 5 days
  • Social media linking
  • Minimal information required
  • Available worldwide

10. Us Search

US Search

With a simple User Interface, this search engine stands out in its performance. You can get your desired results in just a few seconds. All you have to do is enter the first and last name, and you will get results. If you want, you can provide additional information to filter the results much faster to give you the results you need.

With that free search, US Search gives you a chance to search for the paid search option, too. Being one of the oldest people search engines, US Search has a vast amount of data.

Features

  • Affordable service
  • Pretty fast
  • Best for US-based searches
  • Oldest database
  • Automatic filter

All in all, People Search Engines can be very handy for gathering micro details about anyone. These details are significant before hiring a new employee, renting out our space, or working on a delicate project. One thing is accepted everywhere: a People Search Engine can provide you with great details than any other social media. With time, the significance of People Search Engine has increased, and seeing that Association of Internet Research Specialists has compiled a list of Specialized Search Engines. This list includes a database of People Search Engines besides the top 10 mentioned Search Engines. Do have a look.

Alternative Best People Finder Search Engines

Apart from the above-mentioned people search engines, there are a number of other useful tools created with a hyper-focus on finding solely people-related information, which is described below.

Linkedin

Search LinkedIn for professional networks that other individuals are a part of. You may learn a lot about how others are connected to a business if you create your own account and add your business profile to it.

LinkedIn is a people search service where you can find out where someone works, who they work with, their previous roles, current or former bosses, any recommendations they've had, and much more. There are a few filtering options, and if you have a Sales Navigator or Recruiter account, you have even more.

You might not be able to read everything that someone has supplied in their LinkedIn profile depending on their privacy settings. Furthermore, if you're a registered user, the fact that you glanced at someone's profile will almost always be made public.

Zabasearch: Popular Name Searches

Zabasearch is a free people search engine that combs through publicly available public documents and information, such as court records and phone directories.

You may look up someone by their phone number or name. The name, phone number, age, and address of the person are frequently among the free results returned by this persons search engine. If you go to Intellius through the links on the person's page, you can get more detailed reports.

Facebook

With hundreds of millions of people using Facebook on a regular basis, it makes sense to use the Facebook search feature as an exceptionally handy way to find individuals online.

You can conduct a name search that includes the person's city, school, and/or job title. You can look for people you went to high school and college with, as well as work colleagues, primary school buddies, non-profit organizations, and friends of friends, on the social media site.

A Facebook search can also help you identify people in specific geographic places in your local area who you may not know, as well as any type of association, club, or group.

Others, on the other hand, choose not make their Facebook profiles private and only share information with those in their immediate circle of friends and family. When a profile is set to public, anyone who stumbles across it has instant access to the person's postings, images, check-in statuses, and other personal information.

TruePeopleSearch

TruePeopleSearch.com is a website that allows you to search for persons by name, phone number, or address. It's one of the greatest people search engines because the free results are far more detailed than those on other sites.

The person's current address, wireless and/or landline phone numbers, age, prior towns where he or she lived, relatives, email addresses, associated names, and prospective associates are just a few instances of the free information you can find here.

TruePeopleSearch will offer an age filter if there are a lot of entries, which you can use to limit down the results. If you wish to pay for more information, there is a link on each person's page that will lead you to a different website where you can purchase the entire report.

Background Checks.org

Broadly speaking, a background check is a way of investigating someone’s character, background, and past, using public data sources and reports. Most background checks are generated automatically from data repositories maintained by private companies and state and federal governments.

Typically, the information included on a background check will include the person’s: Age, Aliases, Date of Birth, Relatives, crimes committed, arrests, marriage and divorce records (depending on the state), bankruptcies, civil records and judgments, traffic tickets, social media information, and online presence.

People Search Engines: How to use them?

People searching sites or People lookup are widely popular today as they help in finding the whereabouts of a person. It is similar to using a web search engine, so instead of adding the search term, you need to add the name or other vital details about the person.

10 Best People Finder Services for People Search

Top Related Keywords: people search engines, people search, people finder, people search sites, people search websites, people searching sites, best people search, people lookup, free people search, fast people search

Categorized in Search Engine

Companies require the most recent business statistics on the various companies and markets they have a stake in. They must be aware of the competition and how to manage their businesses better. The only thing they lack is the time and resources to complete the task themselves.

As an Internet researcher, you will be the one who digs and finds this information for the companies in question. You also convert this data into formats that the company can use.

Career Information Involving Internet Research

When it comes to being an online researcher, there's a lot more to it than you might think. For example, did you know that web researchers make an average of $26.49 per hour? ZipRecruiter's equates to $55,104 per year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the internet research career is expected to grow by 20%, resulting in 139,200 job openings across the United States. According to Zippia.com

Internet research is becoming a daily task for many people. Some careers require it more than others. Below are great career options for people who like doing research online and want to do it full-time.

Job Title

Median Salary (2020)*

Job Growth (2019-2029)*

Freelance Researcher

$66,681

20%

Web Researcher

$63,858

20%

Technical Writer

$74,650

7%

Historian

$63,100

3%

Private Investigator

$53,320 (for all private detectives and investigators)

8% (for all private detectives and investigators)

Librarian

$60,820

5%

Market Research Analyst

$65,810

18%

Source: *the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics & Glassdoor.com

The average hourly pay for a Freelance Researcher in the United States is $32.06 per hour as of August 3, 2021.

In North America, the average salary for a freelance Internet researcher is $62,000. However, it varies widely depending on the firm, region, sector, expertise, and benefits. According to SimplyHired.com, this compensation was computed using the average salary for all positions having the keyword "internet research specialists" somewhere in the job description. This pay is before the Association's professional researcher credentials are taken into account.

While ZipRecruiter lists hourly wages as high as $78.85 and as low as $7.45, the majority of Freelance Researcher incomes in the U.S. today fall between $16.83 (25th percentile) and $39.90. (75th percentile). The typical pay for a Freelance Researcher varies widely (by as much as $23.08 per hour), implying that there may be several prospects for growth and higher income dependent on skill level, location, and years of experience.

What is the Role of an Internet Researcher?

An internet researcher or freelance researcher does everything from finding information about companies, particularly contacts, such as e-mail addresses and phone numbers. All sorts of businesses and organizations use Internet researchers, including scientific organizations, magazines, and business firms.

Internet researchers utilize their skills to find information on a variety of topics on the Internet. In this field, you can work as a freelancer, contract employee, investigator, or direct employee of an organization. To find information, you must be able to use a search engine to access scholarly research, industry publications, and think tank documents and use the Internet as a primary tool for information gathering.

How to Become an Internet Researcher? Or Internet Research Specialist

Finding relevant and credible information requires specialized training and web search skills due to the sheer size of the World Wide Web and the rapid growth of indexed web pages.

Because the job of an Internet researcher requires the use of the Internet, the Association of Internet Research Specialists (AofIRS) states that he must first understand how to use the Internet, including how to access and display web pages in a web browser. What is the process through which a search engine reads and understands search keywords and phrases? Search engine intent interpretation of keywords and search phrases? How to choose keywords and create a search phrase that works etc.

You must also learn how to create complex search queries and search tools for the project you are working on. Data analysis is an essential part of an Internet researcher's job because you must comprehend and interpret the information you find.

To work as a web researcher, you don't need a degree. Instead, all you need to know is how to use web tools to swiftly and accurately gather reliable and truthful information. To grasp how keywords integrate into your ability to find information, you'll also need a fundamental understanding of search engine basics. It's also beneficial to become certified in specific research areas, so you know where to seek and whether or not a resource is reliable. A certification or degree may be helpful in this situation. A comprehension of market research and demographics data, as well as exceptional writing abilities, are required for this position.

What are the Most Reputable Online Research Certifications and Courses?

So far, the Certified Internet Research Specialist (CIRS) program has the most comprehensive curriculum and a well-rounded subject matter that meets industry standards. The Association of Internet Research provides the most reputable web research courses and certifications available and professional level certifications in web/internet research. A CIW course called CIW Internet Business Associate is another option. Some universities offer short online search courses, but the majority are geared toward librarians.

Certified Internet Research Specialist (CIRS™) Training Program

  • CIRS™ is the first of its kind - A Gold Standard Certification for Practitioners of Online Research. And a globally recognized professional certificate program offered by AofIRS. The Association is a Self-regulatory body governed by the "Charter of Associations” granted by the Government of Canada.
  • The CIRS training guide 5th edition course is aligned with the new 2021 curriculum, and It is best suited as a Practical Guide or Reference for anyone who uses the Internet as a primary tool for information gathering.
  • In this comprehensive course, you will learn about the practical approach to building complex search queries and search tools. If you become a CIRS, you are expected to be knowledgeable in selecting the best search tools and be proficient in building Internet search queries. You would develop sufficient knowledge of the Internet Laws and related ethical issues.
  • Learners who successfully pass the exam receive the Certified Internet Research Specialist (CIRS) certification, which is an industry-recognized certification that comes with certified membership benefits. Earn a higher salary after receiving hands-on training as an Internet Research Specialist.
  • Improve Your Search Skills and Advance Your Career in the Future Skill of Online Research. Increase your network strength by getting to know industry experts from all over the world.
  • This program is available in both Self-study and Online Training Classes. No prior knowledge or experience in research is required to take this course.

CIW Certified’s Internet Business Associate Training

  • Internet Business Associate Training is a broad course that covers a wide range of topics in today's web-based business environment.
  • Among other things, the course teaches learners about databases and their relationships to search engines, as well as how to use search engines to carry out basic and advanced web research.
  • You will learn how to connect to the Internet, Internet protocols, the Domain Name System (DNS), and cloud computing. The fundamental functions of Web browsers, the components of Web addresses, the use and management of cookies, and the use of browsers in the business world.
  • Upon successfully passing and completing the course, learners receive the CIW Internet Business Associate certification, which is an industry-recognized certification that comes with salary perks.
[Source: Uploaded by the Association Member: Erin R. Goodrich] 
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Categorized in Online Research

Most jobs actually require some level of problem-solving. You may come across an impediment and come up with a question that you must answer in order to proceed. To answer this question, you will almost certainly need to conduct some research. People with research skills can identify a problem, gather informational resources that can help address the problem, assess the quality and relevance of these resources, and come up with an effective solution to the problem.

What is Research?

Internet Research is the practice of conducting research using Internet information, particularly free information on Internet-based resources (such as Internet discussion forums).

Simply put, research is the process of discovering new knowledge. This knowledge can be either the development of new concepts or the advancement of existing knowledge and theories, leading to a new understanding that was not previously known.

Internet research can provide quick and immediate access to information worldwide, although the results may be impacted by unknown bias, difficulties in verifying the credentials of the writer, (and therefore the accuracy and relevance of the information obtained), and whether the search engine has the capacity to draw significant results from the abundance of available material. Recovered initial resources may not be the most appropriate means to address a certain question. In the structuring of internet search results, popularity is often used, however popular information is not always the right one or represents the wide knowledge and opinion about a subject.

In fact, almost every profession or job necessitates some level of research and research skills. As long as you encounter a question, which is a natural occurrence in almost everything, you should encounter an opportunity to conduct research. When there is a need for research, strong research skills come in handy.

What are Research Skills?

Research skills enable you to focus on a specific goal, gather relevant information, and communicate your findings to others. We are taught from a young age to develop research skills, and for good reason.

Teachers in academia required answers to a series of topic-related questions in an essay. Similarly, your boss may eventually request that you investigate a work-related topic or figure out how to solve a problem.

Why are Research Skills Important?

Research skills are important in the workplace for a variety of reasons, including the ability for individuals and businesses to:

  • Develop new processes and outcomes. You don't have to be involved in research and development to improve the way your team works. Any sensible employer will value your efforts in researching new processes that will make your job (and those of your team) more efficient.
  • Personal Growth. People who have a knack and a passion for research are never satisfied with doing things the same way they've always done them. Organizations require independent thinkers who will seek their own answers and continually improve their skills. These employees will also learn new technologies more quickly.
  • Customer relationship management. In almost every industry, being able to conduct research on your customer base is critical. It's difficult to move products or sell services if you don't know what people want. It is a valuable responsibility to research your customer base's interests, needs, and pain points.
  • Cost Effective. Whether your organization is launching a new product or simply trying to cut costs, research is critical for identifying wasted resources and redirecting them to more worthy causes. Anyone who goes out of their way to find ways for the company to save money will be praised by their boss.
  • Competitor Analysis. Knowing what your top competitors are up to is crucial for any company. If a company wants to stay functioning, it must research what works for its competitors, what they do better than you, and where it may improve its standing with the least amount of resources.

Types of Research Skills

Experienced researchers understand that conducting a worthwhile investigation necessitates a wide range of abilities. Consider which research abilities you have naturally and which you could improve.

Goal Setting

You must first know what you're looking for before you can conduct any form of productive research. Setting goals is a skill just like any other. It will be lot easier to construct a path there if you can imagine the conclusion you're aiming to attain by investing effort into research. Goal-setting skills include:

  • Specificity
  • Time-Management
  • Vision
  • Realistic
  • Planning ahead
  • Organization
  • Accountable

Data Collection

The collection of data is often the first thing to remember when thinking about the research process.Itis systematic process to collect and measure information on variables of interest that allows one to respond to research questions, to test hypothesis and to assess results.

Simply collecting facts and information on the internet can meet your needs for some purposes. More direct and popular research may be needed by others. You will be more impressive with your experience in different methods of data collection. Methods of data collection are:

  • Interviews
  • Questionnaires and surveys
  • Observations
  • Documents and records
  • Focus groups
  • Oral histories

Evaluate and Analyze Information and Sources

In research, it is important to find reliable information suitable for your task. Some tasks may require the use of certain types of sources, such as primary or secondary sources or certain types of journals, like scientific journals. You may need to restrict the numbers sources you use for other assignments.

In all cases, the information contained in your assignments should always be assessed. Knowing how to assess information helps you with research tasks and with your life's bigger decisions. Knowing where to go for information that is relevant, credible, and accurate can assist you in making informed decisions about graduate school, a new car purchase, financial aid opportunities, daycare options, and other topics.

  • Published books
  • Encyclopedias
  • Magazines
  • Databases
  • Scholarly journals
  • Newspapers
  • Library catalogs

Using the internet to gather information

Search engines are used to find the majority of information on the Internet. A search engine is an online service that employs web robots to query millions of web pages and compile an index of the results. Internet users can then utilize these services to search the web for information. While it is beneficial to consult different sources, today's research is driven by good online research skills.

One of the greatest things about the internet is how much information it holds; unfortunately, getting to the data you need requires sifting through a lot of rubbish. Employers value the ability to efficiently utilise the large reservoir of knowledge available on the internet without getting lost in the clutter. The following are some examples of internet research skills:

  • Source checking
  • Searching relevant questions
  • Exploring deeper than the first options
  • Avoiding distraction
  • Giving credit
  • Organizing findings

Due to the sheer size of the World Wide Web, and with the rapid growth of indexed web pages, finding relevant and reliable information demands specialized training and Internet research skills. We provide a centralized virtual platform for knowledge professionals that use the Internet as a primary source of information. This AofIRS is more than just a virtual collaboration and networking platform for researchers and knowledge professionals. The website is filled with free, up-to-date content and reference material that is ideal for research.

Interviewing

Some research projects may demand a more hands-on approach than relying just on online resources. In the research process, being prepared with great interviewing skills can be really beneficial. Interviews can be a good way to get first-hand knowledge for your research, and knowing how to conduct an effective interview can help you improve your research skills. Interviewing abilities include:

  • A plan of action
  • Specific, pointed questions
  • Respectfulness
  • Considering the interview setting
  • Actively Listening
  • Taking notes
  • Gratitude for participation

Report Writing

Report writing skills can help you in both your employment and your academic studies. In any case, the overall goal of a report is to transmit specific facts to its audience.

Communication is crucial for effective report writing. Your supervisor, professor, or general reader should comprehend your findings and conclusions clearly. Skills in report writing include:

  • Formatting is important.
  • Including a synopsis
  • Keeping your focus on your main goal
  • Developing a plan
  • Proofreading\sDirectness

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking skills can help you a lot in the research process and in general as an employee. Your data analysis skills are referred to as critical thinking. When you're conducting research, you'll need to be able to interpret your findings and make rational judgments based on them. The following are examples of critical thinking skills:

  • Observation
  • Analysis
  • Assessing issues
  • Problem-solving
  • Creativity
  • Communication

Planning and Scheduling 

The development of baseline productivity and success standards is one of the most significant components of planning and scheduling. You won't know if you're meeting goals until you have a particular strategy in place with a specific desired outcome defined by a completion date.

It also makes time management considerably easy. Employers value planning and scheduling abilities because they suggest a well-prepared employee. Skills in planning and scheduling include:

  • Setting objectives
  • Identifying tasks
  • Prioritizing
  • Delegating if needed
  • Vision
  • Communication
  • Clarity
  • Time-management

Note-taking

Research involves sifting through and taking in lots of information. Taking thorough notes ensures that you do not overlook any findings and allows you to communicate these findings to your coworkers. Being able to take good notes aids in the summarization of research. Here are some examples of note-taking abilities:

  • Focus
  • Organization
  • Using short-hand
  • Keeping your goal in mind
  • Neatness
  • Emphasizing important points
  • Reviewing notes afterward

Time Management

Unfortunately, we only have 24 measly hours in a day. In a professional setting, the ability to effectively manage this time is extremely valuable. Hiring managers look for candidates who can complete tasks within a specific time frame.

Strong time management skills imply that you can organize a strategy for breaking down larger tasks in a project and completing them by a deadline. Improving your time management skills can significantly boost the productivity of your research. Time management abilities include the following:

  • Scheduling
  • Creating task outlines
  • Thinking strategically
  • Stress-management
  • Delegation
  • Communication
  • Utilizing resources
  • Setting reasonable expectations
  • Meeting deadlines

Other Helpful Research Skills

The definition of research skills is broad, and there are many traits that could help you in the research process. Consider some of the additional research skills below.

  • Attention to detail
  • Reading and writing skills
  • Patience
  • Considering keywords
  • Networking
  • Competitor comparison
  • Multitasking
  • Summarization
  • Presentation

How to Improve Your Research Skills

The great thing about research skills is that many of us use them on a daily basis. When you use a search engine to find information on a topic, you are conducting research. However, there are more proactive ways to begin improving your research skills today:

  • Make a distinction between source quality. A researcher's worst source determines how good they are. Start paying attention to the quality of the sources you're using, and be wary of anything you read until you've double-checked the attributions and works cited. Examine the author's bias, the author's research's alignment with the greater body of confirmed research in the subject, and the journal that sponsored or published the research.
  • Verify information from several sources. It gets increasingly trustworthy when you can verify information from a variety of sources. If you want to strengthen your belief in one source, check if you can locate another that agrees with it. When you run into contradictions and conflicts in your study, you know you need to keep going until you reach a more definitive conclusion.
  • Don't be influenced by confirmation bias. Confirmation bias occurs when a researcher expects a specific result and then searches for data to support that hypothesis, ignoring any sources that contradict or invalidate the researcher's initial idea. Be ready for unexpected responses and keep an open mind. Also, keep in mind that you might not be able to discover a definitive answer. It's preferable to provide the important points of your research to someone (such as your employer) and explain that it didn't lead to a concrete plan of action than to alter your data and give the answer you or your boss want to hear.
  • Stay organized. You'll encounter a lot of material during the data gathering process, from webpages to PDFs to videos. To avoid losing something or not being able to properly mention something, it's critical that you maintain all of this information organized in some way. There are numerous methods for keeping your research project structured, but here are a few of the most common: Bookmarks in your browser, index cards, and an annotated bibliography that you update as you go are all useful tools.
  • Develop your research skills. Professional certification will help you improve your research skills. CIRS™ (Certified Internet Research Specialist), is by far the only professional credential that meets this challenge. Professional researchers owe it to themselves to seek structured certification programs and stay in touch with new materials and tools that are available to transform research problems from very difficult or impossible to quick and simple tasks. We have developed a CIRS Certification (Certified Internet Research Specialist) to educate and train Online Researchers that now form a significantly large group of people involved in digital information research work.
  • Get specific as you go. There's nothing wrong with commencing your investigation in a broad sense. After all, it's critical to become acquainted with the vocabulary and substance of the researcher's results before delving into the details. Orienting yourself to a new topic is an important step that will prevent you from being discouraged and working backwards.
  • Learn how to spot a reliable source. Because not all sources are trustworthy, it's critical to be able to distinguish between the good and the bad. To find a trustworthy source, utilize your critical thinking and analytical skills to ask yourself the following questions: Is this source consistent with other sources I've discovered? Is the author a subject matter expert? Is there a conflict of interest in the author's point of view on this subject?

Related: 3 ways to help students do efficient online research

Source: Uploaded by the Association Member: Erin R. Goodrich
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  • Get specific as you go. There’s nothing wrong with starting your research in a general way. After all, it’s important to become familiar with the terminology and basic gist of the researcher’s findings before you dig down into all the minutia. Orienting yourself to a new topic is a valuable step that will keep you from becoming frustrated and working backward the whole time. 
Categorized in Online Research

If your website is not receiving enough organic traffic, launching a Google search campaign can give you more visits. Google Ads are commonly the first links listed in the search results. It can be tricky trying to understand how Google’s algorithm ranks ads, but luckily there are experts who have spent years studying this very topic.  

Google Ads can be in Display, Video, or Shopping formats as well. Depending on your business, one campaign may be a better fit than another. Search tends to be the most successful because people are using searching on computers and phones more than ever. If you perfect your search campaign, you’ll receive higher traffic and more customers!

Read on to learn tried-and-true tips to improve your Google search campaigns.  

Research Keywords First 

First off, you need to do the legwork and research your keywords before you even start a new Google Ads account. Along with your website’s quality score, the bids on your keywords determine where Google will rank your advertisement in the search results. Bidding on the best keywords for your business will lead to a higher Clickthrough Rate (CTR) and conversion rate.   

This is why extensively researching your keywords is crucial to a successful search campaign. You can create a broad and generic list of keywords based on your brand, but using research tools will help refine the list to be more specific.

Below are three tools experts use to determine which keywords work best:

  • Google’s Keyword Planner: This is a free tool that comes with your Google Ads account. The Keyword Planner displays the average number of times a term is searched every month. It also shows the competition level for each term, which helps you gauge whether to bid high or low. It’s best to bid on a relevant search term with a low competition level and a high average search. This can be a cheap keyword that will generate clicks and conversions. 
  • Google Trends: Another free tool, Google Trends can help you decide which keywords will perform better than others. You can see the popularity of a search term over time and by subregion. Google Trends also provides popular related topics and queries, which can give you some more ideas. If you’re stuck between two keywords and don’t know which to bid higher on, Google Trends also has an option to compare search terms.   
  • 3rd Party Tools: These are mostly used for SEO, but 3rd Party Tools can be valuable towards a search campaign. These tools expose the keywords your competitors are bidding on. This can help you decide how much to bid on and what keywords to use or not use. Spyfu and Ahrefs are reliable and expert-trusted options.  

Adapt Quickly 

There is no sure-fire way of predicting the traffic levels of your keywords before you launch. Google provides traffic estimates, but estimations aren’t always right. When you first launch your new Google Ads campaign, trust your research and be ready to adapt quickly.  

In the beginning, monitor your campaigns hourly. Tracking your CTR, conversion rate, and additional metrics will help you determine which keywords and ads are working well. You also need to monitor new campaigns to ensure you’re within your budget and the money is allocated properly.  

Create a Sensible Account Structure 

Account structure refers to how campaigns and keywords are grouped. If the structure of your account doesn’t make sense for your business, your search campaign will get messy very fast.  

To make account structures easier to understand, think of them as umbrellas. First is your Google Ads account, where you may have multiple campaigns (Search, Display, Shopping, etc.). Within each search campaign, you should have multiple ad groups. And lastly, an ad group consists of a keyword list and your ads.

Ad groups create the connection between keywords and ads. The ads in one ad group are of similar themes, so the same keywords are related to them. This organizes ideas and can help you see which ads and keywords perform better than others.  

Once you determine the best account structure for your business, don’t think of it as set-in-stone. Over time, different keywords may have higher conversion rates or a higher volume of traffic than others. Leaving room for your campaigns to grow as you receive more traffic allows you to add in keywords. 

 The last step is to write your ad copy, which I’ll talk more about below.  

Carefully Craft Headlines and Descriptions 

Your ad copy is the headline and description people read when they see your advertisement. You can have all the right keywords and bids, but if your headline is sloppy, people won’t click on it.  

To create a great headline, you need to think about the customer’s intent:

  • What are they searching for? 
  • Why are they clicking on your ad? 

The answers to these questions can help you write your headlines and descriptions.  

You also want to stand out from similar ads. If you run a cleaning service, your ad can blend in with all the other local cleaning services. Figure out what distinguishes your business from similar ones, and find a way to include it into your ad copy.  

If your ad receives more clicks, the chance of a conversion occurring is higher. Even better, if you have a high CTR, you will have a lower Cost per Click (CPC) and a higher quality score. Google ranks ads with higher quality scores above others, which will lead to more clicks and conversions. If you craft a great headline, everything else can improve along with it.   

Test different headlines and descriptions to see which works best for your audience. Sometimes the headline should be creative and attention-grabbing, while other times a more straightforward and informative ad copy is better. You won’t know unless you monitor your ads and adapt along the way.  

Read Through Search Terms Frequently 

Search terms are the words people type directly into the Google Search bar. When you first create your keyword list, you may be unsure which should be Exact, Broad, and Phrase match types. If you monitor search terms that lead to clicks on your ads, you can improve your keyword list and consequently increase your clicks. 

If you notice a specific search term is high in volume and causes a high conversion rate, you may want to make it an exact match type keyword. Sometimes, you may not think of search terms relevant to your ad until you start reading through a search term list. Checking the search terms often can help you refine your keyword list and rank your ads higher. 

Alternatively, if there are search terms you do not want to show up for, you can add these in as negative keywords. Once a search term is added as a negative keyword, your ad will no longer show for this term.

Final Thoughts 

Understanding Google’s algorithm and figuring out how to improve your ads’ performance can be confusing, but hopefully, these expert tips can help lead you in the right direction. A Google AdWords Consultant can help get your search campaign started or fix a messy campaign. If you’re creating a search campaign on your own, just be sure to do your research first and be prepared to monitor data and adapt along the way!  

[Source: This article was published in smallbiztrends.com By Lior Krolewicz - Uploaded by the Association Member: Rene Meyer]
Categorized in Search Techniques

In the technology world, one of the major talking points centers on the challenges regarding consumer data privacy. There is no coherent approach, however, and many people have strong, and differing, opinions about privacy.
The consumer privacy debate pervades most things businesses and consumers do (even if many consumers are unaware). Taking 2021, this is seen with Apple's new strong stance on data privacy and how it’s impacting advertising, with the California Consumer Protection Act, and how Internet cookies are being phased out, people.

Many people remain unclear as to what they can do to ensure their data stays private. To gain some tips on what can be considered, Digital Journal caught up with Don Vaughn, Invisibly’s Head of Product.

Vaughn provides Digital Journal readers with the following suggestions for consumers that want to keep their data private.

Get a virtual private network (VPN)

A virtual private network provides a strong degree of privacy, anonymity, and security for people by creating a private network connection. Vaughn recommends: "People and companies can spy on what websites you’re visiting, where you are located, and your computer’s identification number. You can stop them by using a virtual private network) which protects your information and makes it look like you’re browsing using a computer somewhere else. "

Use a private search engine

Vaughn points out: "Google makes money by tracking you, collecting as much information as possible on you, and then sells your attention using adverts based on that." Instead a private search engine and be used, and Vaughn recommends using DuckDuckGo."
With such systems, there is very little risk that your searches will be leaked to anyone because most private search engines do not track any information that can link a user to their search terms.

Tune-up your privacy settings

Looking at this often neglected area, Vaughn proposes: "We leave a data trail about us every time we use social media. Most companies let us choose what should or should not be shared and others even let us choose what data should be deleted." To counter this, it is important that users manage their privacy settings for each social media site they use.

Have a Backup ”Public” Email or Unsubscribe From Unwanted Emails

Vaughn's communications tip runs: "When you provide your email address to a company, many times you end up being bombarded with marketing emails and spam. While many services offer an opt-out checkbox for marketing emails, it's easy to forget to do this every time we enter our email online." It is important to unsubscribe from these services.
Expanding upon this, Vaughn notes: "If you use a bulk unsubscribe email service, make sure you are using a safe service. Some free services could collect and sell your data. If you are willing to pay for such a service, as an example, Clean Email is safe and does not sell their user’s data."
Check Permissions
Vaughn's final tip goes: "Most apps and browser extensions have a list of permissions that you sign off on when you start using that service. Sometimes, permissions are required for a service to work. By double-checking the permissions an app has access to, you could be stopping an app from accessing certain data it doesn’t have to access."

[Source: This article was published in digitaljournal.com By Tim Sandle - Uploaded by the Association Member: David J. Redcliff]  

Categorized in Internet Privacy

Most web browsers access your geographic location via your IP address to serve local search results. Your browser may also have permission to use your device’s built-in camera and microphone. It’s certainly convenient, but it’s a huge security risk.

Here is a list of browser security settings you need to check now.

Browser cookies, extensions, and software bugs can slow your internet connection speeds to a crawl. Use these proven tricks to speed up Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge.

A browser is your gateway to the web and the cybercriminals looking to take advantage of you. If you’re ready to make a move to a more privacy-focused browser or see if yours makes my list, keep reading.

Best overall browser for privacy: Brave

If you’re fed up with trackers, ads, and data-hungry bits of code that follow you across the internet, Brave is the browser for you. Brave’s servers don’t see or store your browsing data, so it stays private until you delete it. That means your info is never packaged up and sold to advertisers.

The browser’s default settings block harmful junk like malware, phishing, and malicious advertising and plug-ins that could harm your computer.

Advertising and trackers are blocked by default. Because of all it stops, Brave says it is three times faster than Chrome overall and loads major sites up to six times faster than its competitors. 

Brave is free to use, but you can turn on Brave Rewards to give back to the sites you visit most.  Once enabled,  "privacy-respecting" ads will show to support the content you see. Your browsing history remains private.

What about user experience? It runs on the Chromium source code, which powers Google Chrome, so it will likely feel familiar.

Download Brave for free here. It’s also available as an app on Apple and Android devices.

Best browser for customizable privacy: Firefox

Mozilla’s Firefox bills itself as a fast browser that “doesn’t sell you out.” Detecting a theme here? Firefox collects very little data, and you don’t even need to give your email address to download it.

It also blocks trackers by default, so you don't have any settings to change.

The customization features make Firefox stand out. You can use global protection levels, such as "Strict" or "Standard" or go the custom route. You can choose precisely which trackers and scripts Firefox blocks to get the experience you want.

When it comes to privacy, it’s got many bells and whistles: a built-in password manager, breached website alerts, Private Browsing mode, and secure form autofill.

Firefox is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux, and smartphones to make it easy to sync across all your devices. Take Firefox for a test drive on your computer by clicking here. Or click to download it for Apple or Android.

Best browser for maximum security: Tor

If you’re super security-focused, you probably already use a virtual private network or VPN. Want even more anonymity? Turn to Tor. This name started as an acronym for "The Onion Router," and it's popular among computer-savvy circles.

Tor runs your connection through multiple servers across the globe before you reach your destination. Your data is encrypted between each “node,” adding layers of protection – hence the onion logo.

Tor has been used for illegal activity online, but the software itself is perfectly legal and shouldn’t pose any problems. It’s often the route into the Dark Web.

Tor runs on a modified version of the Firefox browser. You can download Tor here.

Best browser for privacy on Mac: Safari

Many people use the browser that came with their computer as a matter of convenience. If you've got a Mac, this is a good thing. Safari blocks cross-site tracking that lets you enjoy the sites you use most without worrying about being followed.

Safari uses Google as its default search browser, which blocks malicious websites and protects you from malware and phishing scams. It blocks pop-ups, too.

Safari’s built-in password manager (Keychain) lets you know if a site you saved was involved in a data breach and helps you change your password. Download Safari here, directly from Apple.

Alternative option: Microsoft Edge

Microsoft said so long to Internet Explorer, and the new Edge is a robust browser with lots of built-in privacy features. It, too, runs on Chromium and feels a lot like Google Chrome.

Edge offers protection from trackers and blocks ad providers from monitoring your activity and learning more about you.

Choose the level of restriction you prefer from three settings, and you can decide which sites to block or not on a case-by-case basis. Want to know what Edge is blocking for a particular site? Click the lock icon to the left of the URL, then click Trackers for a list.

Edge’s built-in Password Monitor will alert you if you visit a compromised website and prompt you to change your password to a stronger one. You can make your own or use a suggested password.

[Source: This article was published in usatoday.com By Kim Komando - Uploaded by the Association Member: Issac Avila] 
Categorized in Search Engine

By now, you’re probably familiar with common advice surrounding online passwords. Don’t use a sequence of numbers. Don’t use your name. Don’t reuse the same password for all of your accounts.

And yet, despite the stress on such tips by experts year after year, most people ignore them.

Some 81% of hacking-related data breaches stem from poor password security, according to Verizon’s 2017 data breach investigations report. And with the rise of remote work and learning in the wake of the pandemic, it’s a bad habit that needs to be squashed. That starts by knowing what not to do.

ID Agent, a dark web monitoring company owned by IT software company Kaseya, says it identified the most common stolen passwords found on the dark web in 2020 based on a scan of nearly 3 million passwords.

What’s the dark web, you ask? The dark web is a part of the deep web, an area of the internet that doesn’t get indexed and cannot be found by a search engine.

“The dark web can only be accessed through a specific browser that provides anonymity to its users,” said Mike Puglia, chief strategy officer for Kaseya. “Though not all content on the dark web is malicious, cybercriminals use the dark web for various illegal purposes, including the sale of stolen credentials.”

20 Most Common Passwords Found On The Dark Web

Based on the top 250 passwords they discovered on the dark web, ID Agent said the most common categories used to generate those passwords include sequential strings of numbers, names, sports references, famous people or characters, and more.

Fifty-nine percent of Americans use a person’s name or birthday in their passwords, while 33% include a pet’s name and 22% use their own name, the company said. The average user also reused their bad password 14 times.

Here’s a look at the top 20 passwords found on the dark web in 2020:

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 12345678
  4. 12341234
  5. 1asdasdasdasd
  6. Qwerty123
  7. Password1
  8. 123456789
  9. Qwerty1
  10. :12345678secret
  11. Abc123
  12. 111111
  13. stratfor
  14. lemonfish
  15. sunshine
  16. 123123123
  17. 1234567890
  18. Password123
  19. 123123
  20. 1234567

The analysis also identified the most common words used within various categories of passwords. For instance, it found that “maggie” was the most common name among the top 250 passwords on the dark web. Sports lovers like to include the word “baseball” most often in their passwords. “Newyork” was found the most often among cities that were used, and “cookie” was the most common food word.

How To Avoid Having Your Password Hacked

Worried your password is too similar to some of those mentioned above? In order to protect yourself against identity theft, data breaches, and other fraud, it’s crucial to create passwords that can’t be guessed by cybercriminals. Here are a few ways to do that.

Don’t use names.

It might seem a bit obvious, but putting your name ― or the name of a close family member ― in your password makes it much easier for hackers to guess. In fact, at least 92 of the top 250 most common passwords found by ID agents were first names or variations of first names. Instead, come up with a nonsensical phrase that only you would know.

Mix up your numbers.

Notice how many of the top passwords found on the dark web were some variation of “123?” Thirty-five of the top 250 most common passwords, including 12 of the top 20, contained sequential numbers. Don’t make it that easy for hackers. “Individuals should create passwords that include a combination of numbers, symbols, uppercase and lowercase letters that are non-sequential,” Puglia said.

Create a unique password for every account.

If you reuse the same password for every account, you make it that much easier for criminals to hit the jackpot if they figure out what it is. According to Puglia, about 39% of people say most of their passwords across both their work and home applications are identical. If you can’t think of that many unique passwords, password generators can help with that. Google Chrome has the function built in, or you can try tools such as passwordgenerators.net or LastPass.

Use a password manager.

Puglia said that the average U.S. adult has between 90 and 135 different applications that require a set of credentials. Clearly, no one could memorize that many. “The best way to keep track of numerous passwords is to use a secure password manager,” he said. These tools prevent you from storing passwords on your phone or tablet, a common habit that makes it easier for cybercriminals to get their hands on your credentials. Some options include LastPass, Keeper Security, or 1Password.

[Source: This article was published in huffpost.com By Casey Bond - Uploaded by the Association Member: Clara Johnson]

Categorized in Deep Web

Google Search Console is changing how Core Web Vitals are measured and reported on, which is likely to be a positive thing for site owners.

Going forward, the metrics defining the boundaries for largest contentful paint (LCP), first input delay (FID), and cumulative layout shift (CLS) are now defined as = (less than or equal to).

Previously the boundaries for each of the Core Web Vitals were defined as (less than).

That meant the Google Search Console report would only show a “good” rating if measurements were under the ideal thresholds.

Site owners can now achieve a “good” rating if measurements meet the ideal thresholds.

For example, an ideal measurement for LCP was previously defined as less than 2.5 seconds. If LCP was recorded at exactly 2.5 seconds then the site owner would see a “needs improvement” rating in Search Console.

That is no longer the case. Now that same site will receive a “good” rating.

Google’s changelog notes site owners will likely see positive changes as a result of this update: “Therefore you might see a change in statuses (for the better) in this report.”

To refresh everyone’s understanding of what it takes to meet Google’s Core Web Vitals thresholds, refer to the updated verbiage below:

  • Largest Contentful Paint: The time it takes for a page’s main content to load. An ideal LCP measurement is less than or equal to 2.5 seconds.
  • First Input Delay: The time it takes for a page to become interactive. An ideal measurement is less than or equal to 100 ms.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift: The amount of unexpected layout shift of visual page content. An ideal measurement is less than or equal to 0.1.

Now would be a good time to review the Core Web Vitals report in Search Console to see where your site stands.

The rollout of Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor is still months away, but it’s never to early to start preparing.

Core Web Vitals will become ranking signals in May 2021. Google’s John Mueller has hinted at the fact that thresholds for all three Core Web Vitals may need to be met in order to benefit from the ranking boost. To optimize for all three rather than one or two.

Sites that meet the threshold for all three Core Web Vitals may also receive a special badge in Google search results, communicating to searchers that the site provides an optimal user experience.

Whether Google will go through with rolling out a badge in search results is undetermined at this point. But it’s 100% confirmed Core Web Vitals will be ranking factors.

Expect more information from Google as we get closer to May.

[Source: This article was published in searchenginejournal.com By Matt Southern - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jason bourne] 

Categorized in Search Engine
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