These days, almost every business is connected to the Internet. Some company processes even rely on good connection. Even though the Internet has become an integral part of a business, it has its fair share of risks. Hackers, in particular, are the first people to exploit the loopholes in any network.
While you can’t prevent hackers from trying to access your business’ network, there are ways to make it harder for them. Here are the top five:
Just like your rules and regulations, security policies should be followed by everyone in the company. There should also be policies specifically for authority figures and everyone else that sends and receives crucial information. These policies should also conform to your company’s security objectives.
For those who aren’t familiar, a service pack (or combo update for Mac OS) is a group of updates and fixes for an operating system. The service pack of the major operating systems are as follows:
Regular updates will not only keep your OS functional but also minimise the number of vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit. This is because the updates could fix potential loopholes in your network.
Keep a list of all hardware and software. In this list, make sure to mention which of them need to be more secure than others. This is important so that you’ll know which of them are outdated, damaged, and, most importantly, corrupted. For larger companies, there are software that could help you conduct a proper network inventory.
When it comes to receiving files through email, make sure you have a filter and segregate emails with .bas, .bat, .exe, .vbs, and other risky file extensions. Not all files with these extensions are bad, however they are the easiest to corrupt. If the files can’t be segregated, your company should at least have a really effective anti-virus, anti-malware, and spyware program.
There are plenty of other ways to secure your security network, but that would depend on the nature of your business. Just like any other process, your business network should be properly maintained. This way you could properly monitor the online footprint of your company.
Social media has become an integral part of people’s lives. Not only has it become an effective tool for communication, it also serves as an additional platform for information.
Lots of businesses create social media accounts not only to get in touch with their consumers, but to also share updates regarding their companies. Some would argue that the dissemination of information on social media is just as effective as a website.
Facebook pages, in particular, are almost regarded as good as a website. However, is it really a good enough substitute? To find out, let’s run down a list of pros and cons:
There is no denying that businesses can directly communicate with their consumers with the help of social media.
There are even some that post their frustrations about products and services on the company’s Facebook page. However, these same companies also directly respond, defend, or even placate said customers. Through this, it gets easier for both companies and consumers to get in touch with one another.
With a Facebook page, it becomes easier to identify a business’ target market. Entrepreneurs are notified through every Like and Follow the page generates which FB user visit their page. From there, they check out the profiles of followers and gauge their interests, which helps determine spending habits and shopping preferences.
As a marketing tool, having a Facebook page lends some credibility. After all, companies that don’t have a page can seem outdated. Also, companies that engage more with their target audience seem more receptive, and the more that a business interacts through Facebook, the more they instil brand loyalty.
While there are advantages to using an FB page, it does have some limitations compared to a dedicated website:
There are more pages being created every day. This means that at some point any one of those pages would attract the attention of consumers.
Even posting unique content on your page does not guarantee retention among followers. While there are other ways of regaining traffic, the creation of other pages with similar content along with the short attention span of users makes it harder to keep followers.
It’s easy to create a Facebook page. One reason it’s so easy to set up is because there’s already a template. Considering how easy it is to create a page, it is just as easy to duplicate a similar one. The user can simply grab an official image from the brand and use it as a profile and background photo. As a result, this could lead potential consumes to question the legitimacy of the FB page.
Although you can provide basic company information on a Facebook page, this could prove insufficient depending on the scope of the business. Unlike in a website wherein entrepreneurs could create as many pages dedicated to products, services, updates, press releases, and all other relevant content.
There is no question that creating a Facebook page is necessary in building an online presence. However, a dedicated website is still important to solidify your company’s brand.
A Facebook page is simply an added tool for information and communication for consumers. If you are thinking about having your own website, it’s Crazy Easy to sign up for one at Crazy Domains.
One of the most lucrative fields you can get into today is web design. Even though social media is booming, there is still no denying the importance of having a properly designed and managed website. For this reason, a lot of companies, and even individuals, are looking for skilled web designers to help create their sites.
For those who are interested in learning web design, here are some convenient ways to learn the tricks of the trade.
Go to school
This is one of the surest ways to learn web design. For starters, having a degree (from an esteemed college or uni is even better), is one way of boosting your credentials. A lot of institutions recognise the increasing importance of computer and web related services, which is why a lot of them offer programming and web design courses.
Now, this option is considered the most time consuming way to study web design, which is why it is ideal for young adults fresh out of school. However, if you don’t mind putting in the time and money, then you can reap the benefits of having a degree in web design.
Watch or take online tutorials
If you don’t have the money to go to school, another option is to watch or take online tutorials. There are a lot of free web design courses you can take online, with free demos. There are even sites that issue certificates once you’ve passed the all the courses. The good thing is this is in some ways similar to having a degree, especially if the site is accredited.
Another benefit to learning online is you can take lessons on your own time. You can learn a new course whenever you have time to spare. Of course, you need good internet connection in order to access these sites, especially when you have to watch videos.
Read books about web design
If you prefer to learn just one type of coding language, then getting a book is the way to go. There are a number of esteemed authors that have published web design books for jQuery, Joomla, CSS3 and HTML5. There are also books that deal more on effective web design strategies.
The only downside to learning from a book is it might be harder to apply the principles. Applying the principles might go easier if you have the book open while you try out a few of the lessons from each chapter. However, be careful which books you choose, and make sure to choose one that suits your level of knowledge.
Download a web design program
If you’ve learned the principles, the next logical step is to test them out. But if you have doubts implementing them on an actual site, then you can always practice using a web design program. A few examples include Adobe Dreamweaver, Mobirise Website Builder, and Google Web Designer.
Using these tools is ideal for people with a bit of background on web design and who want to brush up on their skills. Bear in mind if you are still a beginner, it would be best to put off using this software. It’s better to learn the basic principles, before putting them into practice, or else it’s easy to be overwhelmed or disheartened.
The good thing about the web design industry is the internet is always evolving. This means that there’s always new things to learn and apply. And if you don’t want to be left out of the current trends, it’s best to keep refreshing your knowledge of the subject.
Which sounds more appealing?
You come home, turn on the lights, switch on the TV, and cook dinner.
You come home and the lights, TV, and stove turn on by themselves.
B) sounds like a better option, doesn't it? But you might be thinking that you wouldn't experience this kind of scenario in your lifetime. Believe it or not, this phenomenon could happen much sooner than you think. In fact, this sort of technology is already incorporated on a number of products. The term for this technological trend is Internet of things (IoT).
What is Internet of Things?
According to Webopedia, this pertains to a network of connected objects to the internet and to one another to give owners a more efficient and convenient way of using them. Simply put, any kind of thing that can be switched on and off is connected online. This connection allows users to switch the settings of these objects through their laptops, smartphones, and desktop computers and receive notifications regarding the overall condition as long as they have decent internet connection.
How does this work?
In order for these objects (commonly known as connected devices) to connect to the Internet, they are implanted with sensors that could transmit either location, weather, movement, temperature, and environment. These sensors also detect other connected devices. The data collected are stored in cloud software. It is through the cloud software that the user can switch up the settings and even allow these connected devices to communicate with the user or other objects.
Here's a more concrete example:
Most modern cars have On Board Diagnostics (OBD) II port. As long as users have this, they could find a way to make their vehicle smarter, so to speak. They could download the app Automatic Pro on their smart phone which could feed information about their car's overall status. The information is transmitted to the phone via Bluetooth.
What's the catch?
For all its potential, IoT technology also has its fair share of risks, the biggest of which is security. After all, any device connected to the internet has the potential of being hacked. Mollie Halpern, an FBI Specialist, warned that cyber criminals could upload malware to any of these objects and obtain personal information from the owner. Manufacturers are aware of these risks and are doing the best they can to improve the security features of their products.
How would this shape the modern world?
The car example is just the tip of the iceberg. The true beauty of IoT is it can be integrated in almost any industry, installed in any object no matter how large or small, and could improve any task. With that said, the possibilities for this tech are almost limitless.
Indeed, IoT is ushering in a new way of life. More importantly, it is introducing a new and more personalized way of everyday devices and appliances.
Moving your site to another hosting company can be pretty intimidating. After all, you don't know how the transfer could affect your files. This transition seems more daunting when you run an e-commerce site. Some people who experience the same dilemma simply stay with their current hosting provider.
If staying is not an option for you, luckily there are tricks to make migrating your online store go smoothly. Here are some of them:
Back up all your data.
When migrating an online store using Cart2Cart, this service usually just copies all your data. However, you can never be too sure what happens to them during the transfer. It always helps to have your own backup. This way you could use your copies in case any one of your files in the database gets corrupted.
Switch the Redirect setting
Transferring to a new hosting provider seems a lot like setting up a new site. This is because a lot of your Google and social media performance is reset. In order to generate almost the same traffic and user activity, one trick you can use is to set redirects. This way, when visitors type in your web site, they would be redirected to your new IP without a hitch.
Turn on Maintenance Mode
In order to make sure the transfer goes smoothly, enable maintenance mode. By doing this, you can ensure that nothing disrupts the data transfer. Setting your site to maintenance mode also generates a notification page so that visitors know the current status of the site. You may not generate traffic, but this ensures that you can proceed with the transfer without any disruptions from end users.
Now, let's move on to the actual transfer. Regardless of whether you used Shopify or Etsy, when you transfer with us, you'll have to do it manually. This is because we use a customized e-commerce and shopping cart software. Here's a guide on how to get started with our eShop. If you also need assistance transferring your site, you can also ask for help from our customer representatives so that this transition goes smoothly. What matters is your online store is up and running after you make the move.
It's important for businesses to have a website, with the majority of consumers already shopping, interacting, and even working online.
The good thing about consumers having an active online presence is it is easier for businesses to track their behavior. From there, you can make decisions based on the observed spending habits of your target audience.
As a business, you need an effective tool to help you monitor the online habits of your market. Luckily, help is at hand with Google Analytics, a freemium service that lets you track the traffic of your website.
GA's comprehensive reports allow you to gauge the behavior of your visitors and monitor how much traffic your site gets.
But just like any good tool, you need to get to understand Google Analytics first before you can figure out how it could work for you.
After you sign up or log in, the next step is to indicate which websites or apps you want to track. You can do this by following these steps:
|Step 1||Click the Admin tab.|
|Step 2||Go to the dropdown Account menu and select which account you want to add.|
|Step 3||Click on the "Create new property" then select "Website".|
|Step 4||Input your site's domain name and URL on the corresponding fields.|
|Step 5||Pick the appropriate industry, category, and time zone.|
|Step 6||Lastly, click "Get tracking ID".|
Once your site is registered, the next step is to install its tracking code. If you run a Wordpress site, click here for a tutorial on how to get started and install Analytics on your site.
Indicating your goals
After the code is installed and GA starts tracking your site, it is time to set your goals.
This is an important step because it helps you track macro and micro conversions. It also helps you connect the data to your key performance indicators. Once you enable Goals, you can study metrics, such as the number of conversions and conversion rates.
GA has four types of Goals, namely:
refers to the pages that only appear after users accomplish a specific task. (e.g. a Thank You page that shows up after users sign up or purchase).
details how long the user stayed on your site or a particular page.
Pages/screens per visit
reveals how many pages the user accessed.
monitors when users do a specific activity (e.g. watched a video from one of the pages).
Each of these goals could be customised based on your metrics and could provide you with comprehensive reports.
Using Site Search
There are several benefits of having a search bar, especially if your site has lots of pages.
Benefit #1: visitors can find specific content much faster.
Benefit #2: you can determine their search habits on your site.
With Google Analytics, you can monitor the search patterns of your visitors by turning on Site Search.
This setting is found under the Admin tab.
|Step 1||Click on that then highlight View Settings.|
|Step 2||Scroll to Site Search and switch on Site Search Tracking.|
|Step 3||Below that is the Query Parameter Field, where you can designate internal query parameters. Simply separate each one with a comma.|
Aside from analysing your visitors' search patterns, Site Search also helps you determine what keywords they are using and how frequently people use them. You can definitely use this knowledge to boost your site's traffic.
At first glance, Google Analytics can seem overwhelming. But as soon as you figure out how your site should perform, it gets easier to figure which GA tools and features you need. From there, you can see comprehensive reports to help you to build your site's presence.
1986 was a big year for technology and pop culture. Among the significant events were:
Nintendo released Legend of Zelda
The original Computer Graphics Division from Lucasfilm disbanded from the company and then formed Pixar Studios.
DC released Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, introducing a much darker version of superheroes.
Intel manufactures 80386, the microprocessor that set the standard for other microprocessors that followed
While these were tremendous milestones, one event worth mentioning is the creation of Australia's very own country-code top-level domain, the .AU.
Once upon a time…
Jonathan Bruce Postel, considered one of the godfathers of the Internet, allocated the TLD to Kevin Robert Elz of Melbourne University in 1986.
Elz is regarded by many as one of the first people to connect Australia to the Internet. Elz was also responsible for developing Internet RFC documents, which helped the country to connect to the cyber community. The creation of these documents also paved the way for an internet-based research network within Australia.
By the 90s, .AU was already attracting the attention of some of Australia's most recognised and loved brands, with the Sydney Opera House, Hog's Breath Café, and Hocking Stuart all getting a name of their own.
Along came auDa…
During the early years of .AU, it was mainly Elz that took care of the TLD. However, with .AU experiencing tremendous growth, it was clear that he couldn't oversee the task alone.
As a result, ICANN approved that a self-regulating body would look after .AU. auDa was born into a fresh Millennium, in 2000.
Along with the Australian government, auDa is in charge of implementing consumer safeguards and accredit registrars for .AU.
Finally, AusRegistry joined the picture…
In 2002, AusRegistry served as the official registry for the .AU's second level domains, mainly .com.au, .net.au, .id.au, .asn.au, and .org.au.
As the official registry, AugRegistry is associated with Domain Name System (DNS) infrastructure. In 2011, AusRegistry experienced a huge milestone when they hit the record number of 2 million .AU registrations.
This showed the world the registry's tremendous success as the official operator of the TLD.
George Pongas, director of product management for the registry, told Crazy Domains:
.AU is an important part of Australia's online identity and a vital tool in getting Aussies online.
Often we take for granted how long it's been around, so we thought .AU's 30th birthday was a milestone worth celebrating. We're hoping Aussies get involved with the celebrations – there are prizes to be won!
And they're still going strong…
In 2016, AusRegistry is celebrating .AU's 30th year.
To commemorate this event, the registry is running a competition* to find the most obscure piece of technology that has been mass produced over the last 30 years.
So you need to:
tweet @AusRegistry_au with a picture of some weird or wonderful old piece of technology using the hashtag #au30years.
You could be in the running to win an awesome prize, like a Beats Pill + Wireless Bluetooth Speaker or Beats by Dre Solo2 Wireless Headphones.
AU has come a long way, but with so many users signing up for this TLD, it's expected to stick around for a long time.
You don't have to be an Olympian to succeed. Whatever you decide to do, you can come out on top. This goes for business owners, too.
Regardless of your industry, there are many ways you can best your competitors. Naturally, these strategies can vary depending on the field you're in. However, no matter how extensive your plans are, they won't amount to anything without a positive attitude.
Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Mack Horton, and Catherine Skinner didn't just win gold medals through their hard work. As a business owner, you, too, can be in first place as long as you stick to the following principles:
Learn from your mistakes
When Michael Phelps lost to Chad Le Clos in the 200m butterfly relay during the 2012 London Olympics, he reportedly studied footage of the race over and over to gauge his performance. He assessed his weaknesses and trained hard to overcome them.
Fast forward to this year's Rio Olympics, not only did he reclaim his gold medal, but also completed the relay at 1:53.36. His rival? He finished fourth.
This same principle can be applied to your business. It's not unusual to experience challenges, but it's how you bounce back that matters.
One way you can get back on track is to study your business' performance. Gather as much information as you can to figure out what went wrong. Studying the data not only helps you fix any mistakes, but also helps determine how to prevent the problem in the future.
Dan Greenberg, CEO of Sharethrough, particularly believes in trial and error. Greenberg told Huffington Post that it took a while for the company to establish its niche, mentioning that the company's biggest mistake was not clearly defining the tone of their content and services.
Sharethrough amended this by solidifying their vision and goals, aiming to monetise the modern internet through meaningful and relevant content.
Keep your focus
Performing in front of a crowd is no easy task. If the slightest clap or cheer distracts an athlete, it could completely ruin his or her entire performance.
Kohei Uchimura, one of the most decorated gymnasts of all time, seems to expertly tune out everything. When you see him perform, you could almost say that he is in a world of his own. You can clearly see in his eyes that he is completely focused on his routine.
Naturally, there are a lot of distractions in business, including looming deadlines, tough competitors, and industry changes. However, if you are easily thrown off by any of them, then it becomes harder to achieve your goals.
This is why it helps to outline your goals before then figuring out how to achieve them. Your business will always encounter problems along the way, but what is important is not to lose sight of your targets.
A perfect example of this is Isaac Lidsky from ODC Construction. Before the age of 25, he lost his sight, but Lidsky's disability didn't stop him from attaining a degree from Harvard College before he turned 20, selling a tech company, and earning a prestigious law degree.
In an interview with Nicole Taylor of Business News Daily, Lidsky said "I learned that the ultimate responsibility for my life and my limitations begins and ends with me," and that it was his "responsibility to proactively identify ... obstacles in my way and to look for solutions."
Build an efficient team
You hire people to help you deliver products and services to your target audience.
In order to build an effective team, it is important to first hire the right individuals for each role. Next, you need to foster cooperation: each member should understand that their work affects everyone else. Lastly, they should understand that they should help each other out. One way they can do this is to pick up the slack when one of them is struggling with a task. These are just some ways of establishing team spirit.
One of the most efficient teams in the Rio Olympics were New Zealand's rowers Eric Murray and Hamish Bond.
These Kiwis were able to successfully defend their Olympic gold medal for the coxless pair relay. Eelco Meenhorst, a coach from another team, shared with the The Indian Express that an edge these two have over the other teams is their size and weight; they are large enough to row powerfully, while being light enough that they could still move smoothly on the water. This is an important part of why Murray and Bond were able to defend their title.
William Nobrega of CQS International, said it best. When his company struggled back in 2014, he simply followed the footsteps of other successful brands, and brought on new dedicated and passionate team members. These people have served as the backbone of his company's success.
It will take a lot of effort to make your business work. As long as you follow the lead of these individuals, and remain savvy enough to know what is best for your business, then you can surely take home gold.
Ever since Google launched Chrome back in 2008, it has become the most trusted web browser. However, Firefox, Safari, and Opera have implemented their own updates to catch up. Even Microsoft introduced a new and improved browser for Windows 10, namely Microsoft Edge. But out of all these browsers, which one holds the accolade of best browser?
In order to find out, it helps to assess them according to the following metrics:
All of the mentioned browsers can easily be downloaded from their respective websites. However, in some gadgets, a select few are already installed. A perfect example is Safari. No matter what the Apple gadget is, you can be assured that it already has Safari.
Apple's Safari and Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Edge were specifically built for Mac OS and Windows respectively. So far, creators of these browsers have not programmed them to be compatible with the other OS. As for the rest of the browsers, they can all be opened with Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Android.
This is where the competition starts to get tight. Obviously, all of the major browsers are able to perform their most basic functions, viewing and accessing sites on the World Wide Web. But the tools, features, and interface are what really makes one of them stand out.
Here's a rundown of each browser's unique qualities:
(Note: For this article, we will only tackle the leading browsers.)
SPDY is a networking protocol invented by Google that transports web content and manipulates HTTP traffic in a faster and more secure way. This is achieved through data compression, multiplexing, and prioritization. This tool enables pages load much faster.
Separate Tab Processes
Chrome excels in isolating the processes of each tab to the point where they are almost like separate windows. The programming for this function relies on the OS to single out which tabs are not functioning properly and make sure it doesn't affect the performance of the browser. As a result, this function has made Chrome one of the most stable browsers.
Out of all the browsers, Firefox has one of the most sophisticated Application Programming Interface (API). For those who are not familiar, API is a set of tools, protocol, and definitions for creating new application.
However, for most browsers, their API is only limited to tweaking the code and appearance of a website. What makes Firefox's API unique is its ability to test out new desktop applications just from the browser. For this reason, developers and programmers prefer Firefox.
This tool groups your bookmarks into three categories, namely Most Visited, Recently Bookmarked, and Recent Tags. This helps you search said pages much faster. Another good thing is you can create your set of categories.
Simply open the Bookmarks Menu and click Organize Bookmarks. From there, select Organize Menu and click the New Bookmark option.
Afterwards, the Add Bookmark window pops up and you just simply type in the name of the new category.
This nifty feature allows you to view a page without the ads, comments, widgets, and other distracting features. As a result, the page only displays the text. However, this feature can only be activated on single post pages; this means it can't be used on the homepage of a website. Another downside is that it also hides images.
If you prefer a quick read, then this tool is definitely useful.
New Security Options
Other security tools that the browser boasts is Smartscreen Filter (a tool that notifies users when a site has malware or phishing apps) and improved cookie management.
This is a tool that shows you your original search results. This is definitely helpful if you ever forget what keywords you entered.
There are several ways you can use this tool. You can simply click on the orange arrow found on the right side of the search field, or you can use a keyboard shortcut, pressing Command, Option, and S at the same time.
There are some sites that cause your browser to slow down. This can be because there are certain files or information that need to be downloaded, such as images and scripts. If you suspect this is what is slowing down your browser, then you can open Activity Window. It lists down all the sites and indicates the status of each one. From there, you can decide which of them to close.
So far, this is the only browser with an integrated ad blocker (other browsers allow you to install an ad blocker extension). By removing the ads, pages load much faster. This feature indicates the number of ads it blocked on the site you are visiting. Below that, it also displays the total number it blocked within eight days.
When your internet connection is slow, it could take you some time to open sites and its corresponding pages. This is especially true in areas with limited signal or with too many users. But Opera boasts that with this browser, you can still search the web. Even better, this allows you to browse 15% faster compared to other browsers. The reason this is possible is because Turbo saves as much as 70% of data.
All of these features make it hard to pinpoint which one is the "best". However, a report from PC Advisor reveals that 52.67% of users still think Google Chrome is the undisputed champion. On the other hand, a review from InfoQ suggests Microsoft Edge is performing better than all the rest, even its predecessor.
The final verdict
Ultimately it's up to you, the user, to determine which browser is best for you. You can try out all of them and explore their features to help you decide which of them you find easier to use.
Last week, we covered the strategies of a user-friendly web design, including creating a mobile-friendly site. A lot of major brands are implementing this trick in their own websites, and Google even started penalising websites that are not optimized for mobile devices.
Aside from avoiding punishment from Google, what are the other top reasons to create a mobile-friendly site?
Attract more users
There are more and more mobile users than ever before. This is especially true for online shoppers. According to a report from Fast Company, most impulse buys are usually from tablet users.
But how do you catch their attention in the first place? Often, people prefer information presented to them in a quick and easy format. In other words, make sure that your site is easy to navigate, even on mobile devices. This way, visitors will stay on your site for longer.
Boost your site speed
Mobile gadgets just don't have the same memory and energy capacity as their laptop and desktop counterparts – though they are catching up fast. This means you'll have to minimise the number of files in your site so that it won't take too much time to load on these portable devices.
Because your site isn't too large, this reduces the loading time for your visitors regardless of device.
Improve user engagement
With a mobile-friendly site, you can include more mobile-specific features and tools. For instance, you can include a click-to-call button so that users can immediately get in touch with you whenever necessary.
Another useful feature is a mapping function, this is especially useful if you have a local target audience who can use this tool to find your establishment faster.
Integration with offline media
Unlike laptops and desktop computers, mobile gadgets can be used for reading QR codes. A QR code is a matrix barcode that contains information that can be detected and used by mobile devices.
A perfect example of this is the BirdCodes app from Angry Birds. When the game's movie adaptation was released, creators integrated these codes on specific merchandise. In order to win these items, players must first scan the QR code with the app, before playing customised games to win the merchandise. With the help of these codes, Rovio introduced a more interactive way of playing Angry Birds.
Ultimately, if you choose not to optimise your site, soon it will be obsolete. So it is best to make it more mobile-friendly now while the landscape is still evolving. This leaves you with more time to adjust to trends as they come up.