Password Safety

Everything is hackable, it’s just a matter of time say the experts. Hackers now use ‘brute force’ meaning that they systematically check all possible passwords and keys until the right one is found.

Picture this scenario; Susie leaves her purse on the front seat of her car while she runs into the preschool to pick up her child. Mary takes her purse with her into the preschool. Opportunist Purse Thief is looking in the windows of the cars in the parking lot and he breaks Susie’s window and steals her purse because she made it easy for him whereas Mary did not. In cyberspace if Susie has an easy password like her child’s name and Mary has a hard one that she got from a password generator, then Hacker is going to hack Susie’s account because she made it easy for him.

Why make it easy for the hackers to get into your accounts?

It is recommended that you periodically change your passwords to your various accounts and to make them strong passwords to avoid being the victim of hacking.
Microsoft’s recommendations for creating a strong password are;
o Make it at least eight characters long, but longer is better.
o Do not use your real name or company name.
o It shouldn’t contain a complete word.
o Make sure it is completely different from previous passwords.
o Use characters that include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols found on the keyboard such as #$^*, etc..

Another recommendation is to use the first letters of a phrase and make small changes. For example, if you insist on using your child’s name and birth date then think of it this way; “my son Bobby’s birthday is August 3, 1998″. The password would then be msBbiA31998, but make small changes such as making the i an exclamation point and the eight a dollar sign so that it now looks like msBb!A3199$.

It’s not so easy to make them up yourself so there are a few password generators out there that do it for you such as Axantum, http://www.axantum.com/Xecrets/PasswordGen.aspx and it’s free!

It’s also recommended that you make all of your passwords different. In other words, don’t use the same one for each of your accounts. If someone hacks into one of your accounts then they can assume that that password may work in your other accounts because they know that we think it’s a lot of work to make up different passwords for different accounts. If you use the same password for your email that you use for your bank account, for example, then you’re just making it easy for the hacker to move onto all of your accounts.

Keeping track of all of the different passwords is a job in itself and probably the issue that we worry about more. Some of the members of Women with CLASS use a recipe box to hold written passwords. Others use a flash drive and still others use secure password keepers which are great because then you only have to remember one password to get to all of the others. A couple of those recommended are Keeper https://keepersecurity.com/ and Robo Form http://www.roboform.com/

Change your passwords and keep your information safe!

Responsive Design on Mobile Devices

Website Magazine (September 2014) recently published an article titles ‘Mobile Madness’. In it they quoted a number of interesting statistics such as….

  • The average person looks at their phone 110 times a day as well as up to every 6 seconds in the evening. (Daily Mail, Oct. 2013)
  • This year, the number of mobile devices in circulation (expected to be 7.7 billion) will outnumber the total world population of 7.1 billion. (PennyStockslab, Apr. 2014)
  • Apple’s total mobile e-commerce sales from 2013 amounted to $8.4 billion in the U.S.    (E-consultancy, Jan.2014)
  • Mobile has hit its tipping point as 58 percent of American now own a smartphone and 42 percent own a tablet. (Pew Research, Jan 2014)
  • Nearly one-third of all eBay purchases in the world included some type of interaction from a mobile device at some point in the transaction. (E-consultancy, Jan. 2014)

Need I say more in favor of all websites having a responsive design?

 

design-07-02-2014

What-Not-To-Do on a Website – Part 1

“How-to” tips and hints are usually valuable to anyone working on any particular activity, but so are tips about what not to do. Here are some of our recommendations with regard to your website:

Don’t; 

Forget your contact information! I’m not talking just about the ‘Contact Us’ page, but on your home page and every page make sure your phone number and email address is there. I’ve seen countless websites with no contact information on the home page so the user has to hunt around for it.

Require registration or filling out of a form to get information. Just like your website should tell the user what it’s about within 10 seconds of them getting on it, the information they’re looking for should be there too. Don’t make them ask for it or have to hunt around your website to find it.

Use tiny or fancy fonts.

Use animated ads, blinking text or sounds. Not only does it date your website but they are distracting. If you must have some music because that is your industry for example, make sure the user can stop it at any time and it doesn’t start up again when they click on another page.

Have ads and not enough content. Your user is looking for information. Even if you only have a small website for credibility/marketing reasons, give the user some information about you, your profession, the industry, etc., which brings me to…….

Have poor content. If you aren’t willing and able to write good content for your website then hire someone to do it – it’s worth it! Which leads to…..

Make spelling or grammatical mistakes if you do write it yourself. PROOFREAD!

Forget keywords! The search engines can’t find your site without those words in your content.

MOBILE READY – PART 2

The Future: Everyone has heard the rumors about Apple’s watch which is supposed to communicate with other Apple devices as well as have health applications such as those already used by Jawbone’s Up and Nike’s Fuel. Sounds pretty cool and is coming soon.

However, already here are push notifications with mobile coupons, in-store promotions and customized information that will be delivered via mobile devices while the customer is on the premises. This will have a huge impact on bricks & mortar businesses as well as online businesses when people can respond immediately to what they are doing right at that moment. And such instant gratification has to be shared on Social Media too!

Picture this – you’re at your local grocery store when your watch or phone beeps to tell you that the store is having a BOGO promotion on soda. You know your neighbor is having a BBQ this weekend in which everyone has to bring their own beverage, so you then share the store’s promotion on Twitter or Facebook. The store is happy because they have sold you soda and because you have told your friends to come in and buy soda. All of this was possible because that store’s website was mobile ready.

Think about how this scenario can apply to your business and contact us about getting your website mobile ready!

mobile devices

MOBILE READY

We’ve mentioned mobile readiness a lot lately and it is worth mentioning again because it is becoming a crucial element in online marketing/presence. For anyone that does anything online whether it’s having a shopping cart, displaying a menu or simply directing your customer to your services page, your website should have a responsive design that renders across all devices for your user. Having that means you’re mobile ready. If you’re not, then your customer relations just might be affected if your customers can’t reach your website on all of their devices and that can affect your bottom line.

The Future: Everyone has heard the rumors about Apple’s watch which is supposed to communicate with other Apple devices as well as have health applications such as those already used by Jawbone’s Up and Nike’s Fuel. Sounds pretty cool and is coming soon.

However, already here are push notifications with mobile coupons, in-store promotions and customized information that will be delivered via mobile devices while the customer is on the premises. This will have a huge impact on bricks & mortar businesses as well as online businesses when people can respond immediately to what they are doing right at that moment. And such instant gratification has to be shared on Social Media too!

Picture this – you’re at your local grocery store when your watch or phone beeps to tell you that the store is having a BOGO promotion on soda. You know your neighbor is having a BBQ this weekend in which everyone has to bring their own beverage, so you then share the store’s promotion on Twitter or Facebook. The store is happy because they have sold you soda and because you have told your friends to come in and buy soda. All of this was possible because that store’s website was mobile ready.