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Posts Tagged ‘Harris Interactive’

Company info at risk when employees replace mobile devices

Friday, December 14th, 2012

byod-tshirt1The majority of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) employees are not properly disposing of or wiping corporate information from personal devices when upgrading to the latest tablets and smartphones, according to a survey by  Fiberlink, which sells cloud-based mobile management software.

These findings come at a critical time, when holiday sales of wireless connected devices are expected to surge, and employees will look to infuse new technologies into the workforce at record rates. So, what happens to all the displaced devices?

According to the survey of U.S. adults who previously had a smartphone and/or tablets before the one(s) they currently use for work, only 16% had the data professionally wiped from the old device and only 5% had the device securely destroyed.

Protecting corporate data a priority

“Protecting corporate data on personal devices is a key priority for all companies. This survey raises new concerns that companies must address in order to safeguard sensitive information as devices approach the end of their lifecycle,” said Jonathan Dale , Director of Marketing at Fiberlink.

“With new devices hitting the market from every major manufacturer this holiday season, including Apple, Microsoft, and Google, it will be important to know the right way to decommission a device.”

If you’re an employee or employer looking to swap out a BYOD device, Fiberlink has developed a four-step process to make sure your device deactivation is easy and stress-free.

  1. Notify Your IT Department. Once you receive a new device and want to use it for your company’s BYOD program, send your IT department a note and let them know you will be swapping devices.
  2. Transfer Corporate Materials to Your New Device. Have your IT department quickly transfer all corporate materials from the old device to the new device through their mobile device management (MDM) platform. This generally involves enrolling in an MDM solution which pushes down corporate e-mail and Wi-Fi profiles, applications and corporate documents. If you don’t have an MDM solution, ask your IT department to assist with transferring data, although it could take much longer.
  3. Extract Personal Data from Your Device. Now that your corporate data has been transferred to the new device, remove and save all personal files. This can be accomplished with the native tools and back-up services of the operative system or the manufacture (e.g., Apple’s iCloud and Google Drive).
  4. Erase all Remaining Personal and Corporate Data. Fully decommission the old device by removing all personal and corporate data. Make sure to delete all data. Most devices have an option in the setting menu to perform a factory data reset which will wipe the data completely. This can also be accomplished remotely by an MDM platform. Note: In some tablets and smartphones, you should manually remove the storage card and use it in your new device or erase the data from it as well.

PR Newswire (

Free gift with online purchase encourages social media sharing, return buys

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Shopping cartSo, you want your online customers to have an experience they’ll share with others on their social media networks and keep coming back to buy from you? Give them an unexpected free gift with their order and you’ll do both, according to a new survey from Hariss Interactive for IDR Marketing Partners.

The survey reveals that about two in five Americans are very-to-extremely likely to purchase more often from a shopping Web site after receiving a free gift and about 40 percent of Americans are somewhat likely to.

The survey found that online retailers benefit from including an unexpected offer or free gift sample with each customer order.

Americans are more likely to purchase regularly from the online retailer, as well as share their positive experience online and offline.

“Receiving a free product that is relevant to the customer creates a ‘surprise and delight moment’ that they not only remember, but share their positive experience with friends and reward the online retailer with additional purchases. The experience creates the ultimate win-win scenario for the online retailer and their customers.”

IDR works with more than 510 online retailers including,,,, QCI Direct, and many others. The company provides targeted free products and product samples from well-known brands to online retailers that they then include in online orders.

Surprise and delight customers

The free gift serves to surprise and delight customers, fostering a closer connection between the retailer and customer, which as a result, encourages recurring engagement.

“We find great value in adding free gifts in our customer packages,” said a spokesperson. “Extra gifts give our customers an incentive to make additional purchases. It’s a strategy we’ve seen work.”

Additional survey findings support both the online and offline impact of product samples:

  • Consumers Come Back for More: Almost 90 percent of free gift receivers indicate that they are at least somewhat likely to buy more frequently from an online retailer after receiving a free gift.
  • Shoppers React Favorably to Something Extra: Sixty-five percent of free gift receivers say they are at least somewhat likely to share their experience with others online, about half offline.
  • Online Retailers Urged to Include Free Gift: Online retailers see value in including a free gift with customer orders, though less than half do.
  • Women More Likely to Share: Of the four out of five Americans that are at least somewhat likely to share their experience with others offline about a shopping site after receiving a free gift with purchase, women are found to be significantly more likely to share their positive experience than men.

“Customers are more loyal to online retailers that make an authentic effort to connect with them,” said Doug Guyer, co-Founder and President of IDR Marketing Partners.

“Receiving a free product that is relevant to the customer creates a ‘surprise and delight moment’ that they not only remember, but share their positive experience with friends and reward the online retailer with additional purchases. The experience creates the ultimate win-win scenario for the online retailer and their customers.”

With online sales estimated to increase to $429 billion by 2015, e-commerce is in a state of growth. Online retailers have a chance to grab on to that spend by tapping a well-refined marketing technique to include a free gift with purchase.

For more information about IDR Marketing Partners and this survey, see:

Survey shows “smartphone” gap in 2012 Presidential election (infographic)

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

President Obama’s reelection chances may hinge on social media.

President Obama famously refused to give up his beloved Blackberry smartphone once he was elected, and smartphone owners seem equally reluctant to give up on him.

A nationwide survey by Veti shows a nearly 20 percent difference in political alignment among voters who own either an Android or iPhone smartphone, illustrating the value of greater behavioral understanding in advertising and marketing to this important emerging demographic.

The survey was conducted online, on Velti’s behalf, by Harris Interactive among nearly 800 iPhone and Android smartphone owners.

When asked, “If the presidential election were held today, who would you vote for?,” 49 percent of iPhone/Android owners say they would vote for President Barack Obama, while only 31 percent say they would vote for Mitt Romney to replace Obama.

Results show smartphone market is a new demographic

“The results of this survey demonstrate that the smartphone market is becoming a whole new demographic that candidates must take into consideration when building a comprehensive campaign strategy,” said Krishna Subramanian, CMO, Velti.

“Clearly, mobile advertising is emerging as an influential medium and a distinct audience. We are just beginning to see a more strategic use of this platform, such as Mitt Romney’s iAd campaign, and believe that others will follow suit.”

He added, “More importantly, the survey results reveal that greater intelligence in understanding the behavior of this emerging demographic can be a critical differentiator in brand awareness and consumer behavior across any number of markets and applications.”

Overall, the survey found that supporters of each candidate were more evenly split across their choice of smartphone: Obama voters were comprised of 47 percent iPhone owners and 50 percent Android owners, while anticipated Romney voters were made up of 34 percent iPhone owners and 29 percent Android.

Other interesting trends uncovered among iPhone/Android owners who said they would vote for Barack Obama if the presidential election were held today include:

  • Over half (54 percent) of male iPhone/Android owners surveyed who are age 18-34 would vote for Barack Obama; they are more likely than males age 35-44 (32 percent) to say this.
  • Among female iPhone/Android owners, the support from younger voters is even more significant, with 60 percent of those age 18-34 saying they would vote for the President today compared to just 39 percent of those age 45+.
  • iPhone/Android owners who are single/never married are more likely to say they’d vote for Obama today than those who are married (59 percent vs. 43 percent, respectively).


Personal & family security important to smarthphone, tablet users

Monday, July 9th, 2012

mobile phonesSeventy-six percent of smartphone or tablet owners indicate that the safety and security of their personal information on their devices is very/extremely valuable (priceless).

And 97 percent agree it is at least somewhat valuable, in a new survey of American smartphone and tablet users conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of mobile security app brand Snap Secure.

When asked how often they think about the location of their child every day while he or she was outside the home, 90 percent of parents with children age 18 and under living at home said at least once per day, with the average parent thinking of their child’s location approximately 12 times per day.

When it comes to their children’s texting practices, almost three out of five (59 percent) parents indicated they are at least somewhat interested in whom their child is texting with and what they are texting about; 39 percent indicate they are extremely/very interested while nine percent of parents are not at all interested.

Increasing dependence on smartphones, tablets

“The survey underscores Americans’ increasing dependence on their smartphones and tablets,” said Jiren Parikh, president and CEO, Snap MyLife, Inc. “It also highlights their interest to not only protect their digital devices against viruses, spyware and spam but also their own personal and family security.”

Snap Secure is a cloud service application that provides a broad range of protection for Android and BlackBerry smartphones and Android tablets, including protecting and managing privacy, real-time tracking and location of family members; locating and remotely controlling lost or stolen phones and tablets; wiping data remotely; backing up and restoring data and preventing viruses, spyware and spam.

Other key survey findings

– Over one third (34 percent) of smartphone and tablet device owners have ever lost or misplaced one of their devices. Twenty-six percent of smartphone only owners indicate they have ever lost or misplaced their device while only 14 percent of tablet only owners have ever lost or misplaced their tablet;

– The emotional impact of losing a smartphone and/or table device is notable among those who have had the experience with 58 percent indicating they were worried; 50 percent saying it left them anxious and 48 percent indicating they felt “disconnected”; and

– Eighty-six percent of smartphone and tablet owners indicate they would be interested in a mobile app that provided increased personal security by allowing them to better manage their privacy, use GPS to locate/recover their device when it goes missing, remotely wipe personal data if the device is lost or stolen, send out personalized security notifications in emergency situations and to securely back-up and restore data on their device.

Employees admit they’ll call in sick to watch sports (infographic)

Monday, May 21st, 2012

KronosEmployees around the world have, to varying degrees, called in sick to work over a sporting event, according to a global survey by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated and conducted by Harris Interactive.

Whether they stayed home to watch it on television, attended it live, played the sport themselves, or needed a day off after staying up late to watch, sports have a significant impact on attendance at work.

The Kronos “Sidelined by Sports” survey also looks at which sports are most likely to keep employees from their jobs in each region and how guilty – or not guilty – people feel about calling into work sick.

It created this infographic to show its findings:

sports infographic

Survey findings:

  • Australia, Canada, China, France, India, Mexico, the U.K., and the U.S. were represented in the survey.
  • Significant numbers of employees around the world admit to calling in sick to work so they could stay home and watch or attend a sporting event. China led all surveyed regions with 58 percent, while in France only one percent answered yes. Other countries polled included India with 48 percent, the U.K. with 24 percent, Mexico with 21 percent, Australia with 19 percent, Canada with 13 percent, and the U.S. with 11 percent.
  • High numbers of respondents also said that they had called in sick the day after a sporting event because they were up late watching/attending it: 54 percent in China, 41 percent in India, 23 percent in the U.K., 19 percent in Australia, 16 percent in Mexico, nine percent in Canada, seven percent in the U.S., and one percent in France.
  • When it came to calling in sick to play a sport themselves, 49 percent of people in China admitted to doing this, followed by India with 38 percent, Mexico with 18 percent, the U.K. with 16 percent, Australia with 10 percent, Canada with seven percent, the U.S. with five percent, and France with zero.
  • Which sports were most likely to cause employees to miss work? In Australia, France, Mexico, and the U.K., football (referred to as soccer in the U.S.) took the top spot. In the U.S., it was American football, China was basketball, Canada was hockey, and India was cricket. International Competition was also in the top three sports mentioned for six of the eight regions polled – only the U.S. and India did it not rank as high.
  • How did employees feel about calling in sick to watch or play sports? Pretty guilty! The numbers of people who responded that they felt “at least somewhat guilty” were 92 percent in France, 90 percent in China, 85 percent in Mexico, 78 percent in India, 74 percent in Australia, 71 percent in the U.S., 64 percent in Canada, and 63 percent in the U.K.
  • When it came to what employers could do to prevent employees from calling in sick when they are not actually sick, the top answer in every region was to allow employees to work flexible hours – this tied for first place with allowing employees to work from home in India. Allowing employees to take unpaid leave and establishing a benefit like summer Fridays were the other options chosen most frequently in every region.
  • Unscheduled absences – such as when an employee calls in sick at the last minute – cost organizations 8.7 percent of payroll each year as discussed in a recent surveyconducted by Mercer and sponsored by Kronos.

Joyce Maroney, director of The Workforce Institute, Kronos said, “Unscheduled absences cost organizations 8.7 percent of payroll each year – that’s a significant dollar figure.

“This survey indicates that sporting events of all kinds can be a trigger for unscheduled absences. Managers would do well to speak with employees when they know there is a big sporting event coming up to try to determine who is likely to be out. Planned absences cost organizations less because alternatives can be put in place at a less-than-premium price.”

Digital spending taking a toll on American wallets

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012
mobile devices

Personal mobile devices used at work can present a security problem.

All those songs, games, apps, mobile connections and movie downloads are taking a toll on Americans’ wallets, with more than half of U.S. adults saying technology has made it easier to spend money and only 3 percent saying it has made it easier to save.

That’s according to a survey conducted for the American Institute of CPAs by Harris Interactive for National Financial Literacy Month.

The national phone poll of 1,005 U.S. adults found that Americans who subscribe to digital services spend an average of $166 each month for cable TV, home Internet access, mobile phone service and digital subscriptions, like satellite radio and streaming video—the equivalent of 17 percent of their monthly rent or mortgage payment.

Those who download songs, apps and other products spend an additional $38 per month, on average.

Given those expenses, it’s no wonder that 56 percent of Americans believe that technology has made it easier to spend money and only three out of 100 say it has made it easier to save. Thirty-seven percent are split on the issue, saying technology has made it easier to both spend and save.

Gaddget connections efficient, but bring financial challenges

“Our gadgets and connections can bring benefits like mobility and efficiency,” said Jordan Amin, chairman of the National CPA Financial Literacy Commission.

“But they can also bring financial challenges, like taking money that could go to savings, for instance, or contributing to credit card debt. We have to mind these expenses and budget for them to ensure the benefits outweigh the costs.”

Here are three tips from the National CPA Financial Literacy Commission on managing digital expenses:

  • Set a budget. Decide how much you are willing to spend each month on digital services, apps and content. Not sure where to start? Look at how much you’ve spent on technology purchases in previous months and how that compares with your overall spending and saving. Too much? Just right? This will give you a baseline for determining an ideal budget for such purchases.
  • Set up an account. Since many digital purchases are automatically drafted from bank accounts or charged to credit cards, it can be difficult to keep track of spending. To help, set up a separate checking account or credit card account—with a low limit—for your digital purchases. Set email or text message alerts to let you know when your balance is near your budgeted threshold. If you use a credit card, be sure to pay off the balance each month.
  • Evaluate. Regularly evaluate your spending on digital products—especially subscription services with recurring fees. Are you using the services enough to justify the expense? At least yearly you should also look at spending on technology infrastructure such as cell phones and Internet connections. Are there new features, bundles or technologies that could lower your total bill?

Since 2007, the AICPA has conducted an annual survey of Americans to determine their top financial concerns and assess their financial well-being.

Additional findings from this survey include:

  • Four in 10 adults, or 41 percent, download and pay for digital products or services.
  • Based on those who download each type of content, Americans buy an average of five digital songs per month, five movies or TV shows, two apps, two games and two eBooks.
  • Seven in 10 adults, 69 percent, with annual household incomes of $100,000 or more download and pay for digital products and services, which is significantly higher than the roughly one quarter of those, 28 percent, with annual household incomes of less than $35,000.
  • If facing a financial crunch, Americans would rather change what they eat than give up their cell phones, downloads or digital TV services. Asked to choose the one action they would most likely take in tight time, 41 percent said they would cut back on eating out, 20 percent said they would cut off cable TV, 8 percent said they would end cell phone service and 8 percent said they would stop downloading songs and digital products.

U.S. employee confidence level hits 4-year high

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

RandstadReaching its highest level since October 2007, U.S. employees painted an overall rosy picture in regards to the economy, job market, and their personal employment situation in March 2012.  According to the latest Randstad Employment Report, overall U.S. worker confidence reached 55.5 in March versus 53.9 in February. This also marks the third month of consecutive increases.

“Despite gas prices being one of the biggest concerns on the minds of workers, we remain pleasantly surprised with the steady increases seen in overall worker confidence,” said Joanie Ruge, senior vice president & chief employment analyst for Randstad US Holding.

One of the reasons we report these stories is that confidence levels among executives, employers, workers and consumers has a profound affect on the American economy. The continually rising levels of optimism among all those groups usually fuels consumer and business spending, hiring to meet growth needs, and a better economy all around. (See: U.S. Economy Enters a Sweet Spot)

“It seems as though optimism in the employment picture is outweighing any mixed signals being given by other economic reports. In fact, the Index confirms, from a frontline perspective, an optimistic and hopeful outlook around the number job openings, job stability and the future strength of companies. Although the latest Index still remains five points below the historical high, it also stands 15.4 points higher than our Index’s all-time low of 40.1 in January 2007. We remain hopeful that this trend will continue.”

The online survey was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Randstad. It surveyed 1,399 employed U.S. adults, aged 18 and over between March 13-15, 2012.

A Look Inside the Report:

Employee Confidence Index Hits Highest Level Since October 2007:

  • The Employee Confidence Index reached its highest level in four years, registering at 55.5 in March, signifying a hopeful and positive outlook from Americans on the economy, job market and the future of their current employers

Economic Confidence Rises for Seventh Consecutive Month; Highest Number of Consecutive Increases on Record:

  • More than a third (32 percent) of employees feel the economy is getting stronger
  • Twenty-two percent of U.S. workers believe more jobs are available versus 19 percent in February

Workers Confident Around New Job Prospects:

  • Almost half of U.S. workers (45 percent) feel confident in their ability to find a new job — indicating a more optimistic outlook in career opportunities

A Majority of Workers Feel Their Positions Are Stable:

  • Seventy-three percent of workers believe it is unlikely they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months, suggesting that employees are increasingly confident in their company’s financial situation, and unconcerned around their individual expendability

Employees Look to Future Career Prospects:

  • While over half  (55 percent) of U.S. workers are not likely to leave their current positions, 34 percent are likely to look for a new job — indicating a possible readiness to seek out other potential career paths

The Randstad U.S. Employee Confidence Index measures workforce trends across the country since 2004.

Sharing sensitive information via email, FTP, poses Enterprise challenges

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

email graphicSensitive information exchanged beyond the firewall with business partners and customers is still primarily conducted through email and consumer-grade file sharing tools such as FTP sites, according to a recent survey of more than 1,000 IT decision makers in 7 countries conducted online by Harris Interactive and commissioned by IntraLinks Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: IL).

In fact, the survey showed that 68 percent of global respondents still use email as their main method to send and exchange large files and sensitive data.

In addition, findings also showed that the respondents were very much aware of the security and compliance issues around using email, ftp sites and other consumer-grade file sharing services (69 percent sited malware as issues and 63 percent sited information theft as issues).

Standardized, secure file-sharing tools needed

This suggests that organizations have not addressed the need to provide employees standardized, secure file-sharing tools for collaborating beyond the firewall.

This is considered problematic in a business climate in which many of the respondents indicated a key part of their role is to share critical business information with partners, suppliers, and consultants (46 percent) and where growing regulations and legal issues will drive compliance challenges for organizations: 55 percent of respondents say they face a variety of government IT regulations and 50 percent of respondents say they face a variety of industry regulations

“Success in business has always depended on effective collaboration, but today the nature of collaboration is changing,” saidFahim Siddiqui, Chief Product Officer, IntraLinks.

Enterprise extends to broad network now

“The enterprise now extends to a broad network of relationships with business partners and customers and a wide range of interactions, from simple ad hoc communication to deep relationships spanning workflow and secure content exchange and collaboration.

Without the right controls in place, security and compliance are jeopardized, and ultimately, IT departments are accountable. Organizations need to evaluate how cloud technology and a standardized collaboration solution can offer control and management of sensitive information both inside and outside the firewall.”

The data above are the results of a global survey of more than 1,000 IT decision makers in seven countries including the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Brazil, Japan and Australia conducted by Harris Interactive between January 26 and February 13, 2012.

Data breaches leading to loss of consumer trust

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

SailPointOver the last several years, financial institutions, retailers and healthcare organizations around the world have become frequent victims of data breaches. As more and more breaches are reported that impact large numbers of consumers, customers are losing confidence in the organizations they once trusted.

In the second part of a recent SailPoint Market Pulse Survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive, consumers expressed cynicism about how these organizations are protecting their data and a willingness to leave a business that experienced a breach. The recent online survey was conducted among 2,241 adults in Great Britain, 1,023 adults in Australia and 2,309 U.S. adults.

According to SailPoint’s Market Pulse Survey, the majority of adults in the United States, Great Britain and Australia are worried about possible exposure of their personal information, and a large percentage of adults have lost confidence in how companies protect their personal information.

As an example, 80% of Americans, 81% of Britons and 83% of Australians who have personal medical information are concerned about moving that information to an electronic form because of the risks of identity theft or invasion of privacy resulting from their personal information being exposed on the Internet, to other staff members or even their employers.

Adults think data breaches are commonplace

The frequent incidence of data breaches is reflected in the fact that many adults think they have become commonplace at financial institutions and retailers: 12% of Americans, 8% of Britons and 8% of Australians believe these breaches happen all the time.

“The widespread impact of data breaches like Epsilon and Sony PlayStation, where millions of consumers were impacted around the world, is making customers more cautious about conducting business with certain financial institutions and retailers,” said Jackie Gilbert, vice president of marketing and co-founder at SailPoint. “These companies obviously spent millions to recover from these data breaches, but the longer term and harder-to-measure costs will be the erosion of customer loyalty and decline in brand perception.”

Mistrust affecting consumer behavior

This mistrust is beginning to affect consumer behavior. The Market Pulse Survey indicates that a security breach at a financial institution or retailer can severely impact customer loyalty. Case in point: 16% of Americans, 24% of Britons and 26% of Australians said they would no longer do business with a bank, credit card company or retailer if a security breach occurred that potentially exposed their personal and financial information to theft.

Within these groups, 10% of Americans, 14% of Britons and 16% of Australians would not only not do business with that organization, but also would tell their family and friends not to do business with that same organization.

In all three regions, the growing use of electronic medical records is a main concern because adults believe that having healthcare organizations manage their personal data electronically exposes them to more threats.

Specifically, of the adults in these countries who have personal medical information: 29% of these Americans, 26% of these Britons and 30% of these Australians are most concerned that medical records being made available electronically might result in those records being exposed on the Internet.

Thirty-five percent of these Americans, 33% of these Britons and 37% of these Australians are most concerned about the use of their private information being used to steal their identity. Finally, 10% of these Americans, 14% of these Britons and 11% of these Australians are most concerned about staff members not directly related with their care being able to view their private data.

“Consumers have reason to be concerned about the safety of their personal information and to question how effective organizations are at protecting that information,” continued Gilbert. “In some widely publicized cases, the very basics of user access control were not put in place to safeguard sensitive data, making it child’s play for intruders to gain access to it.

“SailPoint is working with some of the largest financial services, retail and healthcare organizations around the world to ensure strong controls over data access. Unfortunately, as this survey shows, there is still a lot of work to do to win back customer confidence in light of the number of bad examples across industries.”

The Road Warrior: tech makes business travel productive

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011
Hyatt lobby

A Hyatt hotel lobby

Traveling for business isn’t what it used to be. Gone are the days of itchy polyester suits, chunky flip-phones and maps the size of Texas. According to a national survey released by Hyatt Place, and conducted by Harris Interactive, 50 percent of today’s road warriors say that life as a business traveler is easier and more productive now than it was 10 years ago, thanks in large part to modern hotels and evolving technology, keeping travelers both connected and comfortable.

Meet the Road Warrior 2.0

  • Mobile masters: When asked to go on a business trip without underwear or a smart phone, 64 percent of business travelers surveyed would rather leave their underwear at home.
  • On the go: 69 percent of business travelers surveyed say they travel the same amount or more for work than they did a few years ago. While today’s technology has not reduced their travel time, half of respondents report that business travel is easier than ever, seemingly in large part to this new technology.
  • The boondoggle is back: The top perk of business travel is exploring new places: two-thirds of those surveyed agreed that business travel provides an escape from everyday life and a sense of adventure. There’s also more time for fun: 69 percent find it easier to meet new people, and 59 percent find it easier to read a book, magazine or newspaper on the road.
  • Keep in touch: 70 percent of business travelers surveyed are in touch more often while on the road and spend more time each day communicating with friends and family while traveling for business versus at home (an average of 33 minutes versus 19 minutes per day).

Travel tech expert Katie Linendoll recently teamed up with Hyatt Place to provide tips on the best gadgets and amenities for making life easier on the road.

“A smart phone is a must,” she says. Here are some of her favorite travel uses for it — beyond the obvious:

  • GPS: These devices can cost up to $20 a day with your rental car, so ditch that extra cost and use your phone.
  • Mobile hotspots: One of my current “can’t live withouts.” It’s an additional $20 or more on your plan, but is worth it for fast Internet connectivity for your laptop, netbook or tablet. It works great in airports or in any meeting.
  • Apps: I love photography apps to create great souvenirs and they make your phone’s pics look like they were taken professionally. One of my favorites to use is the Camera ZOOM FX app. I also use local apps like AroundMe to find restaurants, ATMs, shops or the local FedEx to ship work or supplies back home.

When it comes to finding a hotel, Linendoll recommends finding one that lets you stay fully connected. “Look for hotels like Hyatt Place, which offers free Wi-Fi, 24/7 food options, and a layout that smartly integrates technology so it’s easy to work on the go,” she says. “Technology makes things easier than ever now, and with a hotel like Hyatt Place, I never have to settle; I can take care of business as if I never left the office, and have some fun along the way, too.”

In addition to choosing the right hotel, Linendoll recommends a few more travel items to make your trip more fun and productive.

  • eReaders: Portable gadgets that are lightweight and can keep you entertained without adding bulk to your luggage. At under a pound, you can carry thousands of books and read them anywhere.
  • Portable Wireless Speakers: I always bring one with me so I can hook it up to my laptop or tablet for some loud sound, or add it to my Bluetooth to serve as a speakerphone for conference calls.
  • Headphones: They’re an obvious must for in-flight — you need to find a pair that not only stays in your ear, but is comfortable and packs easy.

For more tips and travel ideas, and to enter for a chance to win a head-to-toe business traveler makeover, which is worth more than $8,000 and includes many of Linendoll’s must-have gadgets, visit

Consumer ed, transparency vital for sustainable success of behaviorial advertising

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

TRUSTeTRUSTe, an online privacy solutions provider and largest provider of online behavioral advertising (OBA) compliance services, unveiled the surprising results of a new, nationwide consumer survey regarding key issues and perceptions about privacy and OBA. Overall, TRUSTe’s poll reveals a need for increased, proactive measures to build consumer trust and understanding about OBA — such as providing enhanced notice and consumer choice outside the privacy policy.

The survey also shows the potential of privacy tools and the Digital Advertising Alliance’s (DAA) recently launched self-regulatory program to address consumer concerns and contribute to more favorable OBA campaigns.

Conducted online by Harris Interactive from May 26 – June 2, 2011, this is TRUSTe’s third sponsored survey of consumer attitudes toward OBA. The responses show that a majority of consumers consider privacy an important issue and ultimately hold themselves most responsible for their own online privacy. The survey also revealed that a lack of consumer understanding about how OBA works leads many consumers to the erroneous conclusion that personally identifiable information (PII) is being widely shared with advertisers without their consent.

At the same time, comparative data from TRUSTe’s earlier surveys shows that consumers are becoming more comfortable with OBA as they learn that this advertising technology does not use PII to deliver relevant advertisements. Responses also indicate that clear and open communications about OBA can build a foundation of trust where consumers will engage more frequently. In addition, 32 percent now claim that more than one in four online advertisements are relevant to their wants and needs, compared to 12 percent in 2008.

The survey includes significant findings in three distinct categories: consumer perceptions and trust levels regarding privacy and OBA; consumer actions and precautions being taken to safeguard privacy; and consumer preferences regarding the recently launched self-regulatory program.

“The findings of this survey indicate that the advertising industry has more work to do to address consumer concerns about online privacy,” said Fran Maier, President of TRUSTe. “At the same time, the survey also reveals a tremendous benefit for the advertising community to improve trust by improving privacy practices and embracing the advertising industry icon and standards. Clear and concise information about how targeted advertising really works, together with accessible choices, substantially alleviates consumer privacy fears. Over the years, we consistently see and advise that transparent and accountable data practices and consumer choices are the most successful means for building trust, whether in online advertising, e-commerce, mobile or social networking.”

“TRUSTe’s research shows that the hard work of thousands of companies to provide transparency and choice to consumers works,” said Peter Kosmala, managing director, Digital Advertising Alliance. “It provides choice to consumers while preserving the benefits that result in the free and vibrant Internet which is what consumers cherish.”

“TRUSTe’s findings demonstrate why it’s important for advertisers to assume responsibility for educating consumers about how targeted online advertising works and how they benefit from receiving relevant ads,” said Mike Dean, President of Experian Consumer Direct.

“Online advertising helps support the free Internet content that consumers want, expect and demand — content such as news, search, email, weather reports, stock quotes, social media and the like. I’m pleased that Experian Consumer Direct is working with TRUSTe and the DAA to provide consumers the information they need to make informed choices about receiving targeted ads. This helps build consumer trust in the Internet and in e-commerce. The TRUSTe survey provides new insight that can be used to further develop and evolve this innovative self-regulatory initiative.”

Need for continuing education seen
The survey shows the need for continuing consumer education. For example, despite the fact that most sites, including all TRUSTe-certified companies, do not share personally identifying information (i.e. name and contact information) with advertisers without consumer consent, many consumers believe that they do.

Supporting this, 40 percent of consumers polled said that they believe the websites that they have registered with have shared their name with advertisers without their consent. Forty-three percent believe their current location and 30 percent believe their contact information have also been shared with advertisers without consent.

Other PII data they believed was being shared, although less frequently, included sensitive health-related and financial data. Further — and perhaps as a result of these beliefs — the survey found that:

  • Nearly six in 10 respondents (57 percent) would likely not consent to tracking of their online browsing behavior — even if it meant being shown more relevant ads; although
  • 42 percent of respondents said they are open to online tracking for the purposes of security and fraud protection.

The majority of the respondents in the survey were not familiar with the term “Online Behavioral Advertising,” although they had knowledge about the practice. Specifically:

  • Only one in three (35 percent) said they are aware of the term OBA; although
  • A solid 70 percent said they are aware of the OBA ‘concept;’
  • Four in ten (43 percent) have a negative connotation with the term;
  • A solid half (54 percent) do not like the concept of OBA; and
  • Nearly four in ten (37 percent) have felt uncomfortable with a targeted online advertisement based on their browsing behavior or personal information.

Consumer Actions and Precautions Being Taken for Privacy and OBA
However, and most importantly, the survey also revealed a 100 percent increase in favorability toward targeted online advertising when consumers are made aware that PII is not used to target advertisements. This key finding demonstrates that consumer education and transparency is a key element of gaining consumer trust. Other findings that demonstrate the need for more consumer education include:

  • Just over one in three (37 percent) respondents know how to protect their personal information online and have taken these steps consistently;
  • Only three in ten respondents are willing to share even basic demographic information; and overwhelmingly
  • Nearly all surveyed would not share more sensitive PII, such as financial and health-related information.

Still, a majority of those surveyed (53 percent) rarely or never manage their privacy choices by opting out of OBA, and only one in five indicated that they have downloaded and used a tracking blocker.

Consumer Preferences Regarding OBA and Online Privacy
Although respondents indicated they believe other organizations should be more active in safeguarding privacy, they believe overwhelmingly that they as individuals have the ultimate responsibility. The findings point to the need for companies to offer consumers the tools to protect their own privacy while also working to achieve the same goal.

  • Nine in ten (92 percent) say individuals have at least some responsibility for protecting their online privacy;
  • A majority want organizations (such as, in order, social networks, website publishers, search engines, online advertisers and ISPs) to assume responsibility; yet
  • 45 percent still trust themselves most to protect their privacy.

Most of those surveyed were not familiar with the notice and choice mechanisms for OBA, such as the DAA’s recently introduced advertising option icon (also known as the “Forward I” icon). However, when exposed to an online display ad including the icon and TRUSTe branded notice, consumers indicated that they were more positive toward the advertiser as a result of the additional privacy communications.