Recent Post

Perk Up: Two Stellar Online Things That Businesses Need to Survive

Having a business in this day and age has its own set of hurdles that can actually be overcome. Today, we take a look at two stell...

Featured Post

Perk Up: Two Stellar Online Things That Businesses Need to Survive

The Sour with the Sweets: Three Negative Things Born From the Internet

Explain This: Net Neutrality and Your Small Business

Lingo of the New Age: Internet Words You May Not Be Familiar With

For Connectivity: Social Media Rules That Businesses Need to Remember

Two Secure Browsing Practices You Should Make Into Regular Habits

Business Smart: Five Things to Teach Employees about Cyber Security

Four Common Threats to Your Identity When Going Online

The Beauty in Options: Three Ways You Can Boost Your Cyber Security

Business and Technology: the Importance of Keeping Up with the Times

Then and Now: How Technology Has Made Our Lives So Much Better

Recent Posts


Perk Up: Two Stellar Online Things That Businesses Need to Survive

Having a business in this day and age has its own set of hurdles that can actually be overcome. Today, we take a look at two stellar and online things that business will need to survive.

 

Proper Social Media Management

Proper Social Media Management - Perk Up: Two Stellar Online Things That Businesses Need to Survive

You would be hard pressed to find someone without a social media account. The likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, and so many others are dominating the internet. When you have a business, it would only make sense to be on the platform that can reach your target audience the most. This means having your own social media accounts.

However, it must be handled appropriately and professionally. Whoever is handling your social media account must take note of these few things:

The Right Time to Post

Much like anything in a person’s life, a social media platform has specific times in the day where traffic is high and low. Mostly, people make use of their social media account most in four particular times of the day: after they wake up, when they have lunch, right after work, and before bed. A social media manager must be able to utilize those times properly in order to maximize the impact of your posts.

Speed in Replying

Client engagement and the speed in which this is achieved can make all the difference between a successful business and a failed one. When a client goes to your page with a comment, their expectation for a reply is around 60%. When they go to you with a complaint, that percentage rises to 85%. The speed in which you reply and what you reply must be suitable in order to promote customer loyalty.

 

Relevant Online Marketing

Relevant Online Marketing - Perk Up: Two Stellar Online Things That Businesses Need to Survive

In the time when information is king, it would only make sense to ensure that a big chunk of the relevant information available online is about your business. There are many ways in which a relevant online marketing campaign can be launched. What it will need is a suitable balance between being visible and enticing. Here are a few ways businesses can go about it:

 

Ad Campaigns

The more popular ways are through online ads, sponsored content, and even podcasts. These ad campaigns are often directed to people that are already interested in what your business has to offer. In order to do that, you partner up with relevant websites and bloggers that can boost the sensory recall of clients.

 

Short Video Campaigns

Think something along the lines of vines except no harmful pranks. These are often 10 to 20 seconds long are enough to catch the interest of your target market.

 

Therefore

If you are planning on having your own business in the future, it is important that you start learning how to obtain the two things we have mentioned above. Practice always makes perfect—or as close to perfect that can be realistically achieved. Take careful note on how current businesses are utilizing their social media presence and their online marketing. You just might be able to pick up a thing or two.

Other than the two online things we mentioned above, what else do you think businesses will need to survive?

 

The Sour with the Sweets: Three Negative Things Born From the Internet

Not everything is always sunshine and rainbows. Invariably, with everything good that we create, there are people out there that warp it and turn it into something negative. Today, we take a look at three specific negative things that were borne from the internet.

 

Fake News

Fake News - The Sour with the Sweets: Three Negative Things Born From the Internet
This is by far the highly unfortunate things to have ever been borne out of the internet. If you think back to the beginnings of the net, everyone was just so pleased that we could all get the information that we needed at the click of a button. Now, there are people who are actively trying to confuse and misinform their fellowmen.

Social media is one of the biggest mediums in which fake news is created and spread. Instead of contributing toward meaningful discourse, we now have to sift through misinformed individuals who do not even try to consider that their information is wrong. It seems that clinging to fake news (as long as it is in line with their beliefs) is more acceptable than facing the truth.

 

Trolls

Trolls - The Sour with the Sweets: Three Negative Things Born From the Internet
Much like the bridge dwelling creatures of fantasy, this unfortunate result of the internet is something that you would rather not face. The internet has made everyone a bit more connected—however, it also granted the cloak of anonymity to those that use it for nefarious deeds. These individuals actively try to provoke, outright attack other users, and promote hate speech and vitriolic sentiments.

In order for all of us to understand each other, there must be a give and take. One must listen and one must speak—this is done in turns. Trolls are not interested in this. Instead, the more anger they can stir up, the happier they seem. There are now even professional trolls that are paid for their efforts to sow discontent in people using their words.

 

People as Product

People as Product - The Sour with the Sweets: Three Negative Things Born From the Internet
With everything available online, it made more sense for companies and advertisers to direct their marketing campaigns directly unto people that would be more susceptible toward them. In a study conducted in 2015, researchers have found that once you click a particular ad or even do a particular search in a search engine, you can suddenly expect ads that are relevant to that search to start popping up all over your social media and other websites.

This is because our information is being harvested and sold to companies that would like to target us specifically for their services and products. Our information—what we are as a person—is now the actual product of major social media sites.

 

Therefore

We should all remain vigilant and be aware of how to combat the negativity. There has been too much unnecessary friction in our history as a species. Instead of fully helping each other reach our full potential, more and more people are more interested in getting the last word in. Or getting some sort of weird pleasure out of being “right” or making people withdraw from a conversation. The internet was made to share information—not to pollute facts.

Which negativity borne from the internet have you come across?

Explain This: Net Neutrality and Your Small Business

It was roughly around the end of 2017 that the topic of net neutrality reached a fevered pitch. What exactly does net neutrality and its reversal (or not) mean for your small business?

 

Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality - Explain This: Net Neutrality and Your Small Business
In the USA, the internet is regarded as a Category II or a utility—much like electricity or gas—and determined to be the basic right of its citizens. As such, the companies that provide it cannot decide for themselves which areas “deserve” more water—for example—and which areas do not. That is how net neutrality works. It ensures that everyone gets equal and unimpeded access to the internet and its content.

If net neutrality is repealed, this means that the internet will not longer be classified under its former category. As such, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will be able to decide to either slow down or speed up sources that it deems proper. Meaning, if your business is in any way determined to be a threat or competition, ISPs can simply choose to load your page and information 1000% slower than their own pages.

 

Net Neutrality and Your Business

Net Neutrality and Your Business - Explain This: Net Neutrality and Your Small Business
A lot of small businesses are mostly online businesses. After all, this means less in terms of overhead costs and the focus would be to provide better experiences and products for the clients. If net neutrality if fully repealed, this can mean that should the ISP choose to favor established brick and mortar companies (and they will), the information about your humble online business could be inaccessible to your clients simply because the net is too slow to properly show it.

It could even be wholly possible that your information is blocked off altogether. If a small business is to survive, it needs its clients to be able to access it. Being blocked off or slowed down can be disastrous for any hope of client retention.

 

Therefore

It is always important to be aware of any legislature or move that may impede your rights. In an ideal world, everyone would have an equal access to information and there would be no content or source of information that would be blocked off or severely slowed down. If net neutrality is repealed, that is the scenario that many of us will be staring at the face.

Small businesses that were to be considered as ‘competition’ will be most at risk. If you are against this, it is important to be very involved in the process. The topic of net neutrality will continue to be something of a hot discourse as both sides have their own supporters.

What about you: do you support or are you against net neutrality?

Lingo of the New Age: Internet Words You May Not Be Familiar With

If you find yourself staring at some words or acronyms and wondering what they mean, you can find yourself to be one of millions around the world. Internet words are actually a thing and we round up a few that you may not be familiar with.

These are some words that you can utilize in your social media account. A word of warning for business owners—some of these words can be quite a risk when you use them. While it can help you connect with your audience, some of the words may end up alienating a much older market.

So do use them at your own discretion.

 

Extra

Extra - Lingo of the New Age: Internet Words You May Not Be Familiar With
This would have usually just referred to a bonus or a spare. However, the world of the internet has given this old word a whole new meaning. The word ‘extra’ is now a verb.

For example: Sheila is SO Extra. It’s so annoying!

Extra now refers to actions that are inappropriate or excessive.

 

Salty

Salty - Lingo of the New Age: Internet Words You May Not Be Familiar With
No longer confined to a taste, it is now used to refer one being bitter or unpleasant over another’s gain or a certain event.
For example: I know you wanted to win but you didn’t. Why do you have to be so salty?

 

Savage

Savage - Lingo of the New Age: Internet Words You May Not Be Familiar With
If you’re thinking of the song from Pocahontas that is no longer what this term refers to in this day and age. When someone refers to your actions or words as “savage” they are seen as something awesome or harsh.

For example: Did you hear what Karla said earlier? It was so savage! Poor Lisa was in tears.
For example: Duke scored ten goals in last night’s game—he was so savage!

The meaning will invariably change with the context.

Woke

Woke - Lingo of the New Age: Internet Words You May Not Be Familiar With

This refers to the state of ‘being aware’ of important issues or ‘finally realizing’ something.
For example: I can’t believe it took me so long to realize she was a terrible person. I am so woke now.
This word is often affiliated with younger activists and their call to continue to be aware of a longstanding issue or societal problem.

 

Therefore

New words are not anything to be intimidated about. All that is needed is to understand what they actually mean to say and see if it is actually something that you can actually make use of. When you have a business, it would important to stay abreast of any new words that “the kids” are passing around these days. These can help you connect with your audience in a way that would otherwise not be possible.

Looking back on our list, which internet word were you confused about before?

For Connectivity: Social Media Rules That Businesses Need to Remember

Businesses, especially small ones, have much to benefit from social media. Arguably speaking, when they utilize it wrong, the backlash can be quite significant. This is why it would be a smart move for an entrepreneur to be highly aware of the social media rules that businesses must remember at all times.

 

Be Courteous At ALL Times

Be Courteous At ALL Times - For Connectivity: Social Media Rules That Businesses Need to Remember
The internet is a space that is rife with people’s opinions. Often, they are not exactly phrased in the best way or can be outright insulting. Despite this, it is highly important that your brand always maintain the air of courtesy regardless of your personal misgivings. Always remember that whenever a disgruntled customer comes to your social media airing a complaint, this is an excellent opportunity to gain some massive positive press.

If you manage to address their grievance properly, not only do you earn back the client’s loyalty, you also shine yourself up in the eyes of your other followers.

 

Limit Your Hashtag Use

Limit Your Hashtag Use - For Connectivity: Social Media Rules That Businesses Need to Remember
In the age of social media, hashtags are used to link posts together and make them more visible when doing a search. That said, no one likes to see full sentences permeated with hashtags every other word. This adds clutter to your social media feed. It also implies that who is running the social media account is not very familiar with how to effectively utilize hashtags.

When hashtags are used properly, it only takes one good hashtag to ensure that your brand endures in the minds and consciousness of consumers.

 

Avoid Divisive Topics

Avoid Divisive Topics - For Connectivity: Social Media Rules That Businesses Need to Remember
As much as it would be tempting to throw your brand on the side of a ‘hot topic’, this is invariably a bad move in the long run. Instead of focusing on growing your brand and awareness for it, you may get the reputation of having more to say about events rather than providing a good service. Always remember that the loudest cans are usually empty.

Avoiding divisive topics keeps your brand neutral and less prone to receive the vitriol of anyone that may disagree with your stance.

 

Therefore

It would be highly prudent for businesses—both big and small—to really be aware of how they utilize their social media. Always remember that screen capture images are pretty much there to haunt you even if you delete a post or a conversation. Audiences are all geared toward holding brands fully accountable for their responses (or lack of responses). If you have a business, it would be highly important for you to remember the social media rules we listed above.

Try to review your present use of social media for your business. Which rules have you broken?

Two Secure Browsing Practices You Should Make Into Regular Habits

Making use of the internet is a now pretty much the normal thing to do. It would actually be more abnormal to meet someone who does not make use of the net. The internet is the home of a majority of the information that we can really take advantage of. At the same time, it can be the home of various threats that can compromise our safety.

That said, it is important to be aware of secure browsing practices that really should be regular habits by now. Here are a couple of secure browsing practices for you:

 

Make Use of Secure Browsers ONLY

Make Use of Secure Browsers ONLY - Two Secure Browsing Practices You Should Make Into Regular Habits
As browsing is no longer just limited to actual computers, there are now different sorts of browsing options that specifically target gadgets like smartphones and tablets. A good rule of thumb is that no matter what you are using to browse the internet, always make sure that you are using a secure browser. If you are using a phone or a tablet, be wary of any pre-installed browsers that insist on being your default browser.

If you can, do make use of the more established browsers like Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome. These have apps available in the App Store and Play Store. It would be best to uninstall or disable preinstalled browsers in your system.

 

Avoid the “Remember Password” Option

Avoid the - Two Secure Browsing Practices You Should Make Into Regular Habits
In the world where convenience is pretty much king, we strongly advise you to skip using the built-in option to remember passwords on your browser. Remember, no matter how strong your browser is, it is always better to be prepared for an attack or malware. In the unfortunate event that malware does get into your system, it will now enjoy the access to any and all accounts which has usernames and passwords listed in the browser.

Instead of using the remember password add-on in the browser, you can make use of password managers that are available for purchase and for free. Password managers have encryption on them. So even if there happens to be malware in your system, the program of the password manager will let you know if there has been any unlawful attempt to access the information that they contain.

Therefore

Having proper and secure browsing practices is pretty much adhering to basic logic. While there are still threats that can strike your system, you can at least limit the damage and protect your sensitive information through secure browsing practices. In the world today, it would be important to avoid being asleep at the wheel.

Which secure browsing practice have you NOT been doing?

Business Smart: Five Things to Teach Employees about Cyber Security

When you run a business, it is critical for everyone to be on the same page when it comes to cyber security. By ‘everyone’ we mean the owners, administration, and even the employees. There have been far too many horror stories about a system being breached because of one person’s mistake.

 

Regularly Change Passwords

Regularly Change Passwords - Business Smart: Five Things to Teach Employees about Cyber Security
If your business has a VPN, it would be normal to be assigned a password. This does not mean that they should just keep that password. Teach them that they have the option to change it. Let them know they should make it a habit to consistently change passwords every 30 days or so. This helps boost the security of any gadget or computer that they will be using for their work.

 

No Unauthorized Downloads

No Unauthorized Downloads - Business Smart: Five Things to Teach Employees about Cyber Security
Pretty much everyone has a personal computer. While this can mean that your employees have a basic understanding of software, this can also mean that they will have their own preferences for a PC setup. This can mean downloading certain programs that can compromise the security. Teach your employees to never download anything without getting explicit permission from the moderator or the administrators.

 

Do Not Share Your Device

Do Not Share Your Device - Business Smart: Five Things to Teach Employees about Cyber Security
This is very important for any business that provides gadgets for their employees. It is to be expected to have an employee allow a spouse or significant other to access their device; this is something that should be avoided as much as possible. Anyone who is unauthorized must not be granted access to a company issued device over the risk of it being compromised. The employee may be well aware of security do’s and do not’s—the same cannot be said for the unauthorized person.

 

Think Before You Click

Think Before You Click - Business Smart: Five Things to Teach Employees about Cyber Security
There are a lot of spoof and fake websites out there that try to pass off as legitimate ones. These are all in the hope that someone would unknowingly log in their credentials to a fake site. This can be severely damaging for a business that deals in sensitive information.

 

Regularly Scan for Viruses and Malware

Regularly Scan for Viruses and Malware - Business Smart: Five Things to Teach Employees about Cyber Security
Every computer should ideally have proper antivirus software in it. What is quite annoying is that there is always the option to delay the scan for any abnormalities or weaknesses in the system. Teach your employees to never delay the scan and to actually make it a habit to start and end their day with a system scan.

 

Therefore

When you have a business, do make cyber security discussions a priority for everyone in your staff. The employees are a crucial part in making your business become stable and bloom successfully. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that the cyber security of the company is upheld to its maximum optimization.

Which lesson have you taught your employees about cyber security?

Four Common Threats to Your Identity When Going Online

When information is needed, it is not a stretch of the imagination that most people will go online to look for it. While such a habit is not inherently bad, there are threats that exist that target your identity whenever you go online. More and more people are becoming victims of various different online threats and people really need to become aware of what to look out for.

With that in mind, take a look at the four common threats to your identity whenever you go online:

 

1: Phishing

Phishing - Four Common Threats to Your Identity When Going Online
This is what normally comes in the guise of emails, text messages with links, and a sudden pop-up window that anticipates your mouse’s click—starting up its program. Phishing emails are often sent by a friend or contact’s email that has previously compromised by another type of virus or threat. They ask you to check out a link which they can describe to have compromising information about you. They can also come in the guise of brands you trust asking for your login information because your account was compromised.

Always remember that no legitimate company will ask you to provide your sensitive information after you have already signed up for a service.

 

2: Ransomware

Ransomware - Four Common Threats to Your Identity When Going Online
This is by far one of the most recent and more annoying types of threat to your identity. In early 2017, millions of computers were infected by the WannaCry malware. This locked up entire systems and threatened the users of complete deletion unless the users were prepared to pay a ‘ransom’ to have their unit back.

 

3: Spoofing

Spoofing - Four Common Threats to Your Identity When Going Online
Like the word ‘spoof’ or ‘to copy’, these are often clones of actual websites like those that belong to banks. These are done in order to obtain the login information of clients in order to precipitate massive theft or massive fraud without the knowledge of the account owner.

 

4: Malware

Malware - Four Common Threats to Your Identity When Going Online
These are often the reason why you get odd emails from friends that make very little sense. Malware or “malicious software” is programs that embed themselves in harmless looking ads or links. Once they are activated, they burrow deep into your computer’s system and wait for you to run certain programs (like your email). Once you do, they hijack your account and can do some pretty massive damage. They can send out fake emails to your contacts using your name. When your contacts open those emails, the cycle begins anew.

 

Therefore

Being responsible when you go online is truly a must. Not only that, whatever system that you use to connect to the net must have suitable cyber security measures in place. Having those in place can ensure you of a better online experience. Never doubt that there are entities out there that are actively trying to look for any weaknesses in your system and security.

Which of the common threats have you personally come across in your years of surfing the web?

The Beauty in Options: Three Ways You Can Boost Your Cyber Security

Pretty much everything that we value is now linked to the digital sphere—it could be your personal information, business inventory, and or even your bank details. This is why having a pretty strong cyber security is crucial.

 

What is Cyber Security?

What is Cyber Security - The Beauty in Options: Three Ways You Can Boost Your Cyber Security
This is what refers to the totality of protection that is obtained from software, technology and best practices that afford a user or entity that utilizes the digital frontier. If you have ever used a computer in your life and clicked a suspicious link, you would indeed find your unit overrun with viruses. Cyber security would be the software that is installed to detect and remove such threats to your system.

 

Options

Options - The Beauty in Options: Three Ways You Can Boost Your Cyber Security
There are several ways in which you can go about your personal cyber security. Here are a few ways that you can choose from:

 

Updated Antivirus Software

Updated Antivirus Software - The Beauty in Options: Three Ways You Can Boost Your Cyber Security
If you have a computer in your life, you must use an antivirus program. This will be the first line of defense that you will have against cyber threats. We place an emphasis on ‘updated’ as most users tend to just install the initial software and then do not update them. An update is necessary because this is where your software can obtain the information about the latest updates and what to look out for. It is actually a disservice to your security if you never update your software.

 

VPN

VPN - The Beauty in Options: Three Ways You Can Boost Your Cyber Security
This stands for a Virtual Private Network. This means that this particular network or internet connection is removed from the rest of the virtual landscape. Most contact centers utilize this sort of security because it really works. As contact centers can be affiliated with banks, it is important that the information they deal with does not leak. A VPN makes it harder for sensitive information to be obtained by outside sources.

 

Superior Security Login

Superior Security Login - The Beauty in Options: Three Ways You Can Boost Your Cyber Security
When you have a computer and want to keep it private, it is not unusual to set up a login screen for it. The trouble with that is anyone who knows how to bypass the system (or can guess your password) can log in. A superior security login will do more than just ask for the username and password. There will be additional personal information and even a PIN number that will be required. This makes it infinitely harder for unwanted persons from breaking into the system.

 

Therefore

It would be prudent for you to check right away if any of your online information has been compromised. It would be in your best interest to make it a habit to do periodic checks on the security of your cyber space. The last thing you would want is to be the latest victim of identity theft.

Which particular way to boost cyber security do you personally use?

Business and Technology: the Importance of Keeping Up with the Times

Having a business is one of the ultimate ways you can gain complete financial independence and stability. When you have a business, it is highly important to keep up with the technological advances that you need to use. Today, we tick off a few reasons why that is.

 

Visibility

Visibility - Business and Technology: the Importance of Keeping Up with the Times
Technology has made visibility a lot more attainable for smaller businesses that do not have massive financial backing. Online marketing campaigns and social media accounts have empowered smaller business to grab the spotlight when the can. As most consumers are now dedicated toward experiences, a carefully crafted ad or social media post can really heighten the visibility of a business.

If a business chooses to not engage and boost their visibility, they can pretty much expect to be buried under the business that is keeping up with technology.

 

Communication

Communication - Business and Technology: the Importance of Keeping Up with the Times
Businesses need to be accessible for their clients and affiliates. Technology has given more and more ways to stay connected or reach out. When a business highly values its communication with the market that they want to target, they make sure to boost the channels in which they can be reached.

Take for example Elon Musk and his social media account on Twitter. A customer complaint which was heard and addressed within three months garnered so much praise from the general public. This, in turn, granted a boost to the sales and popularity of their brand: Tesla.

 

Therefore

If you are ever thinking of getting into your own business one day, consider yourself warned. Technology is no longer something that we can just optionally employ. It is now a matter of common sense. You should do yourself a favor and tap into the ways technology can make your life so much better. Mind you, there are significantly more reasons why your business should be keeping up with technology. We merely rounded up a couple that we deemed to be quite critical in nature.

So with that said, why do you think business owners need to keep up with technological advances?

 

c9f72ffac8b19caeb38ecd8f46762275 - Business and Technology: the Importance of Keeping Up with the Times
Infographic by: www.pinterest.com