Keep Small Business Web Hosting Account Safe From Cyber Attackers

Many business owners ignore the dangers of cyber attacks.

There is a belief, especially among small business owners, that a business can be too small to be a target of cyber attacks.

The truth is that big companies already know the importance of cyber attacks, so their security walls are almost impenetrable. On the other hand, small businesses are the perfect target.

Hackers know that most business owners don’t put a lot of thought into their online security. They also know that these owners don’t want to invest many resources in it either.

This is why the selection process for small business web hosting is so important. You should not only focus on the price but also inquire about the security benefits that come with it.

We created a short list of tactics that will help you keep your business safe.

Create a stronger password

Perhaps you heard this tip before—but for a good reason.
Creating a strong password is the first step that you should take to strengthen the security of your businesses.

A stronger password might discourage the hacker, or even stop him altogether.
If you have issues with remembering strong passwords, don’t worry. There are many password management tools to choose from.

Also, no matter how strong your password is, never connect to the internet using a public wi-fi network.

Some hackers create a second wireless network that resembles the original in the name. When someone connects to it, all the data used can be easily stolen.

Change your password more often

There are small business web hosting services that recommend changing your password regularly.

This slows down cyber attacks even more.

If you feel tempted to keep all your passwords in an unsecured document, you’re at risk. As recommended above, use only password management tools for this purpose.

Online security tactics

There are a number of ways in which you can increase the security of your online business.

Most strategies are easy to implement and only require a little bit of research on your side.

These can involve choosing a reliable small business web hosting company and eCommerce platform, and using a strong firewall.

Choose your e-commerce platform wisely

If you’re the owner of an online store, you know the risks you’re exposing yourself and you clients to in case of a cyber attack.

A secure e-commerce platform not only saves your business, but it keeps you away from legal issues as well.

Your clients could sue you if a hacker steals their personal information from your website.
Most people use WordPress and Woocommerce to host their e-commerce stores. They do this because these platforms are easy to install and are among the most secure and reliable.

They do this because these platforms are easy to install and are among the most secure and reliable.

Scammy emails

Many business owners receive emails from hackers who use the logo from well-known institutions. These emails attempt to evoke fear and urgency while asking for personal information.

For example, you may receive an email that seems to look like a PayPal customer sent it. In this email, it may ask you to send over your passwords and other details.

Tactics like these also include malicious attachments.
Never click on random files, and report suspicious activity to the authorities.

No respectable company will ever ask for your password and other personal information.

Security layers

Using firewalls, applications, and login pop up can slow down or discourage cyber attacks.

The more steps you add, the harder it is for an application-level attack to be effective.

This also helps you figure out if an actual human is on your website completing forms, or if it’s an application trying to imitate human behavior.

Hire a third party to discover security breaches

If you want to be sure that your firewalls and other security applications are doing their job, hire a security company.

A security company will try to “attack” your company while trying to find out what your site’s weaknesses are.

After they discover the weak spots, they will recommend a solution for your issues.

How small business web hosting services can protect you

Small business web hosting services usually come with a layer of security.

High-quality web hosting services aren’t free, nor do they allow open access.

These web hosting services make money from advertising on your website and are free to use. However, most of them attract hackers who create websites with malicious content.

Usually, small business web hosting services that are secure check for viruses in published content.

Most web hosting companies offer firewalls

Remember how we discussed the importance of purchasing a firewall?

Most web hosting companies offer a firewall that can protect you from cyber attacks too.

The purpose of the firewall is to ban IP addresses that are, as well as block unsecured servers.

Block executable commands

You’re probably familiar with “check if you’re human” button, or “find the photos with trees”. These type of applications help businesses weed out the humans from malicious applications.

A high-quality hosting company does offer these option to ensure the security of your website.

Malicious code

You should monitor your website for malicious code.
Now, most small business web hosting companies have the option to alert the website owner if the website is down, or if there are some security issues.

This can prove to be really useful since the website owner can work on changing the passwords and call his web security team to analyze the situation.

Also, small business hosting companies usually backup all the data on your website. In the case of a cyber attack, you won’t lose everything on your website.

Wrapping up

A lot of small business owners aren’t aware of the dangers that they expose themselves to by not investing in the security of their websites.

Small businesses are the favorite targets of hackers because they’re the most vulnerable.

If you want to find out more about how you can increase your website security, don’t hesitate to take a look at our blog.

If you have any questions or concerns that aren’t already discussed on our blog, make sure you contact us.

5 Reasons Logo Design Is Important For Your Brand

You aren’t sure if your business needs a logo?

You might think that you do not have the budget to pay for a logo either.

However, one of the most recognizable logos did not cost the company a fortune, and it should not cost you either.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that you always have to pay a lot for logo design. Fortunately, there are free resources that allow you to give logo design a try.

Why should anyone spend their valuable time making or buying a logo?

The answer is pretty simple: images tend to hit us harder than business statements or mottos.

Think about your favorite brands

Now think about their value proposition.You probably do not have a clue about it. Now try to remember their logo.

That was easy!

It is easy for your potential clients to think of you when you show them a strong image to associate you with.

A logo is what makes you stand out and be remembered. Many companies use logos as the central element of their marketing strategy.

Think about MacDonalds and Apple. How often have you seen their logos in their marketing campaigns?

The swoosh from Nike is iconic.

People think of the swoosh more than they think of the name Nike, simply because their logo encapsulated all their values in one picture.

It is almost hypnotizing how one swoosh can already make you picture success. The big “Just Do It” is empathetic with all of us who find so hard to leave the couch and trade it for jogging in the park.

Having a poorly designed logo can make you look unprofessional. However, not having one at all is worse.

Without a logo, you are practically invisible.

You make it harder for your prospects to think about you, and to associate a certain service or product with you. Additionally, since most people are looking for convenience, they will choose your competitor.

It is not convenient for the human brain to remember something that did not leave a particularly big impression.

What isn’t a logo

You probably think that learning a little bit about logo design can push your brand forward. And it can, in the right context.

However, your brand and your logo are not identical. Your logo is a visual representation of your brand.

For example, color, font, and overall design send a message about your intentions.

Like your wardrobe, the way you present your brand trough a logo sends a certain message to your audience.

Deciding how you should portray your company is a strategic move based on a number of factors, such as what feelings you want to convey when your prospects see you, what are their pain points, who is your audience, etc.

Your logo design strategy should be focused not on making the logo the most visually appealing, but on making it strike a chord with your audience.

For instance, let us take Nike’s logo as an example again.

The logo itself is fairly plain looking. There is nothing special about its design.

However, it can make people think of getting things done, by “just doing it”, as if they would swoosh trough all the obstacles that stop them from reaching their goal.

Make sure your logo is indeed the representation of your business’s core values.

If you want to find out more about how logo design can positively impact your business, read on.

1. Make them feel like they know you

If you are running a business, you know how hard it is to convince your prospects that you hold the solution to their problems.

You can use logo design to leverage your competitions by making your audience think of you first.

As I stated previously, companies without logos are invisible. A good logo design can make you stick in your audience’s mind if you strike the right chord.

A lot of businesses do not place a lot of a value on their logos to help get them clients. There are a lot of investments in the sales team, in copywriters, customer service, etc.

All of these are important. However, a logo is like a salesman that never stops talking.

Your logo will always be there, in people’s minds. This is the case if they are the right audience for your business.

It is hard to make people remember you, especially after an extended period of time with an ad or with an email in their inbox.

On the other hand, the mind enjoys shortcuts. A visual image is more easy to remember than a name or a value proposition.

2. Get your message across and build trust

You can trigger certain emotional responses by using the perfect combination of shapes and colors in your logo design process.

For example, if your services are quite pricey, you could use blue. This color evokes trust and serenity. It is like telling your customers to trust you because their hard-earned money will be used wisely.

Yellow, on the other hand, might make some people anxious, but it also recommended if you have a younger demographic as your buyer persona. When you include your logo in your marketing campaign, you also add some personality to your business.

Nobody likes unfriendly, cold looking people, and that applies to businesses too.

You can get your message across by using the right logo design. Whether you want to evoke trust or let people know you are fun to be around, a great logo can help you do both.

3. Show your audience why you are better than your competition

Not many people think about logo design in these terms.

How can a logo help me show the key benefit of people buying from me?

Just think about all the brands that use grandmas as their images, or hard working mothers, or friendly looking grandfather in their logo.

A baking company that has a logo with a grandmother translates into cakes that are made with love and care as your grandma would bake them.

By using that strategy, you are using a logo to associate yourself with something familiar to your audience: a loving grandmother that baked them cakes as a child.

These can be translated into virtually any industry. Some companies that sell toothpaste use a happy tooth as their logo or companies who sell skin care products show a dermatologist.

4. Create an emotional connection between your brand and your audience

One of the most important functions a logo has is to attract attention by using emotions.

A logo is like your clothes during an interview. It is not the deciding factor, but it says enough for the interviewer to either like or dislike you the moment you enter the room.

This could change after you exchange a few words, but the first impression can stick around. It has a lingering effect.

A playful looking logo for an institution that deals with legal issues, for example, can drive away many clients.

Your audience can even feel “amused” by seeing your brand being represented by something that has nothing to do with the solutions you are providing.

Make sure you know your audience before you start crafting a logo.

If you skip this step, you might end up creating a logo that appeals to baby boomers when your audience is actually millennials.

5. Show them what you are doing

The right logo design can quickly draw attention and send a complete message to your audience.

If you see a logo with a puppy, you are probably thinking of products and services linked to dogs.

It is easier to be remembered if you also show what you are doing and present yourself as someone who is an expert in your field.

Many make the mistake of using their name for a business, in an industry, where names do not mean much. Then they use their names in a logo design.

There are industries where names are predominant, such as the fashion industry, where everyone is familiar with Chanel and Versace.

Usually, the service provider focuses on showing you what they are doing instead of using their initials in a logo.

Logo design does not have to be expensive or complicated

Logos can be found anywhere. They help you stand out on social media, be remembered by your audience easily, establish an emotional connect, and get a message across.

You can probably remember the logos of all your favorite brands. This tells you everything you need to know.

Logo design is quite a powerful marketing tool that is used in every industry to attract more clients and represent the brand.

Creating your logo should not be a chore, especially if you are on a budget and you probably do not have the skills to use professional software.

If you read our 5 reasons why logo design is important for your brand, you probably know by now how many companies use logos in their marketing strategies.

If you are looking for a quick, easy way to create the perfect logo that will represent your company, give our online logo maker a try.

The 8 Essential Cybersecurity Tools Your Business Needs

Every business needs cybersecurity.

No matter how big your business is, or what industry you’re in, no one is immune to attacks. And if you aren’t secure, then these attacks can be incredibly damaging.

You need to know how to protect your business. If you want to succeed in business, you need to stay safe.

That’s why we’re giving you these eight cybersecurity tools.

Train your employees

The first step in cybersecurity is making sure you know what you’re up against.

In this case, “you” is actually your business. And for your business to be prepared, each and every one of your employees needs to be, as well.

That’s why you need to train them. Once you gather all of the cybersecurity tools that you need, put a plan into writing. Make sure your employees know it and can reference it easily. Offer classes.

Make sure that you give training on cybersecurity regularly. It will probably change frequently, and multiple classes will help your employees remember and retain things.

Cyber Aces offers some free cybersecurity courses to get you started.

Use SSL on all pages

“SSL” is the secure https:// that most websites use when they need to be secured.

You might be using SSL on your shop and contact page. But experts agree that you should actually be using SSL on all pages.

This will help your website be more secure because your users will have a constantly encrypted connection.

This is one of the easiest cybersecurity tools to obtain, but it’s one that a lot of companies overlook or only do halfway.

If you’re only using SSL on some of your sites, then you aren’t as secure as you need to be.

Our standard plan allows you to set up and monitor SSL servers for only $10 a month.

Monitor your website

It’s important to keep informed.

Eventually, there will probably be an attack (or at least an attempt) on your site. And if you aren’t keeping an eye on it, you’ll never know when it happens.

That’s why it’s so important to monitor your site. You need to have a professional service that regularly checks up on your site and keeps you notified when it is accessed.

You should be reading these reports and alerts carefully so that you know how often you are being targeted.

Even if the attack fails, one of the most important cyber security tools is knowing about it.

Our free plan offers monitoring every hour, while our standard and pro plans offer monitoring even more regularly for your safety.

Keep alerted

One of the most important cybersecurity tools is knowing what’s happening on your website.

When your website is checked, you should want to know. When something crashes or glitches, you should be made aware of it.

Even a simple mistake can become a security threat if you don’t know it’s there. Keep up with regular alerts and notifications.

Whatever you can get from your site, you should take the time to go over and check, to make sure there’s no unwanted business or anything else strange going on.

This will ensure that things stay safe and secure.

Our free plan offers email alerts and monthly reports, making sure that you always know what’s going on with your business.

Require authentication

It may seem like a bit of a hassle, especially if you have a lot of employees that need to use your servers.

But requiring authentication will keep out unwanted users, and make your information that much harder to breach. Even seemingly harmless information can be used against you in the wrong hands.

So while taking the easier route may seem tempting, it can ultimately cause more of a hassle for you in the long run when you have to deal with a crisis.

If you aren’t using authentication, you’re an easy target. You need to start doing so immediately.

Our standard and pro plans both offer you the option to require authentication.

Change passwords often

This is something you should hold all of your employees responsible for.

The best passwords are unexpected. They contain special characters, are case sensitive, and are mixed together with numbers and letters.

But what really strengthens a password is this: not keeping it the same for long.

While some experts claim that changing passwords doesn’t do much good, that’s only because people are not very creative. In other words, no, changing your password from “secret” to “secret1” isn’t great.

But if you encourage your employees to radically change their passwords regularly, these new passwords can be very important cybersecurity tools.

This service will regularly remind users to change their passwords.

Backup data to a secure location

Cybersecurity tools can only get you so far if your computers crash.

That’s why it’s important to back up your information to a secure cloud or something similar, to make sure that if the worst happens, you’ll be prepared.

If your data is particularly sensitive, you might find yourself in a position where you have to shut down everything to protect it. And if that happens, you’ll want to easily be able to recover anything you lost during that time.

For this reason, it’s important to have something that automatically backs up to a secure location, for you to access when you need it.

Carbonite offers backup solutions which allow you to back up your information directly to the cloud.

Know where failures come from

Sometimes, a system failure just comes from a glitch. But sometimes, it’s something more sinister.

That’s why it’s important to have something that traces any failures on your website. This will help you to stay on top of any potential threats.

It will also help to give you peace of mind, so that you know exactly what’s going on with your website. It’s one of those cybersecurity tools that serves multiple purposes.

Make sure you know what’s happening, and who you can hold accountable for failures. Keep an eye on them with a tracing service of some kind.

Our failure traceroute is offered in our pro plan for only $20 a month, and it will allow you to keep an eye on your information.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity tools?

In addition to providing you with the best cybersecurity that we can, we also want to keep you up to date on the latest information.

Check out our blog to learn more about how to use cybersecurity for your business.

The Importance of Selecting the Right Web Hosting Business

If you have a website storefront, your website speed might be affecting your bottom line.

When people access the internet, they expect to find things fast. We’ve been trained over the years to expect instant gratification in our online experiences.

And we tend to wander away from anything that takes too long to access.

The statistics back this up. In fact, over 40% of users will abandon a site that takes more than four seconds to load and 47% of user expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less.

Despite the fact we’ve forgotten what the early days of the internet were like, users expect speed. They expect reliability.

And the only place you’re going to get those things for your website is through the right web hosting business.

But how do you know what the right web hosting business is? We’re going to give you a few pointers and hope that by the end of this article you too can know.

Bad Things Happen If You Choose the Wrong Web Hosting Business

Sometimes, choosing what looks good takes knowing what looks bad.

Here are a few things that the wrong web host will do for you.

Make You Lose Revenue

We already talked about what happens with slow speeds. But downtime also affects your revenue in various ways.

If a site goes down and you try to access it, you get an error message of some sort.

This makes people go ack! And then it makes them go somewhere else.

If Google goes down, where do you turn to? Bing? Yahoo?

On average, small businesses lose $55,000 due to downtime every year.

And if you choose the wrong web hosting business, this number could be a lot worse for you.

Bad Security

The wrong web hosting business could get you in trouble by opening you up to data loss.

If your site is hacked and the information irreparably corrupted or deleted or changed, then you need a backup from which to restore.

But if don’t have a good web hosting service behind you, they might not have a backup option.

You want someone who cares about your data security and you want someone who will be there for your 24/7.

SEO Impact

We spend a lot of time and money making sure our websites are at the top of the SERPs.

But what if your website suddenly becomes unreliable? Do you think Google will notice?

They absolutely will. And your website will not go unpunished.

In fact, Google recently started tracking speed as one of their ranking signals.

And, while it’s only a small percentage of the signals tracked, it can affect your rankings.

What Do I Consider When Selecting the Right Web Hosting Business?

It might be a little overwhelming thinking of all the factors that go into website operation.

But there are only a few select things that you should look out for when it comes to choosing a web hosting service.

Here are the things you should consider:

Price

You get what you pay for most of the time in this world.

You buy a McDonald’s dollar menu burger, you don’t get grass-fed, local beef. You get McDonald’s factory-farmed beef.

So, you probably don’t want to run to the cheapest option right away.

If you rely on your website to make money, you want the best value for your money.

And you really do want to check out reviews before you sign on for a web hosting business to help you out.

There are a few price comparison websites out there. HostMonk and WHReviews are two reliable shopping guides.

Area of Focus

Some web hosting businesses host very specific niches. And if the hosting site doesn’t do you niche, you should probably find out why.

Make sure you go with a company that is reputable in your field. Find out what your competitors are using. And if there is a majority that uses one service, find out why.

Tech Support

Becuase you don’t want downtime to happen, you need that sweet, sweet 24/7 support service.

A good web hosting business will deliver on this one. And will offer multiple channels for contact.

Look at reviews and make sure their support centers deliver excellent service.

Are the call center staff knowledgeable? Are they clear and succinct in their instructions?

These are important things. You need to be able to rely on this company at 3 AM when your customers on the other side of the world are trying to purchase your product.

Hardware

If you don’t understand server hardware, you’re going to have to do some digging and research.

If they run the best hardware, you won’t have to worry much about downtime and server issues.

But if they used spit and duct tape and a prayer to build their server facility, then you’re looking at some major downtime coming your way.

Also, if they won’t tell you about their servers, or their representatives say they don’t know, that’s a red flag.

Turn hide and run. That’s not a good web hosting business.

A good web hosting business will know their hardware inside and out.

Email Features

Spam seems like a fact of life. But it’s also dangerous.

If you have a Spam problem, there might be a support group for that.

But if you have an e-mail spam problem, then it might be your web hosting company’s fault.

A good web hosting business has great spam solutions and a great email service.

UI/Control Panel

We expect a lot in the tech world to be user-friendly now. And really, there is no excuse for a user interface not to be these days.

What kinds of control panel options do they offer?

How is their interface? Is it easy to use? Or would you have to call customer support just to learn how to use it?

A good web hosting service will have a control panel/UI that’s usable right out of the box.

Use a Great API on Your Current or Future Website

Whatever service you go with, make sure you use an API that keeps them accountable.

If you want a great API to monitor your website, check out SiteUptime.

Big Data and Cybersecurity: How Big Data Will Affect the Future of Cybersecurity

big data and cybersecurity

Big data and cybersecurity are at odds with each other.

On one hand, big data is essential to marketing campaigns. On the other, however, it requires that we sacrifice some degree of cybersecurity.

How exactly, though, will big data affect cybersecurity in the future? How will it exploit cybersecurity? How will it inspire changes in how we secure our data on the web?

From the cloud to artificial intelligence, we’ll be exploring how big data and cybersecurity interact with each other. That said, don’t go anywhere just yet. You’ve got a lot to learn.

Cloud Control

The cloud has changed how we store data in today’s world. We’d say that the change has been overwhelmingly positive.

Unfortunately, though, this change has also welcomed data theft on a few occasions.

Just last year, Fox Business published an article about why the cloud attracts hackers. According to Thomas Barrabi, “a major company’s cloud system is a treasure trove.” Such cloud systems can house “millions of bank account logins, email addresses and Social Security numbers.”

Several major companies have already experienced data breaches in the age of information. Yahoo, for example, experienced a data breach only a few years ago.

Even so, companies continue to rely on the cloud in the workplace. Some companies even share a majority of their information with employees via the cloud.

So is this dependence on the cloud necessarily a bad thing?

Not exactly.

As it turns out, the cloud is pretty secure. New York Times writer Quentin Hardy actually writes that most cyber attacks “hit traditional servers.” As a matter of fact, “none of the most catastrophic hacks have been on the big public clouds.”

Still, we shouldn’t rest easy. Clouds contain massive amounts of sensitive data. There is no reason to think that big data and cybersecurity won’t bump heads in a major way.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence has become trendy over the past decade or so. Companies are using chatbots to converse with customers. Other processes are slowly being automated as well.

But what does artificial intelligence actually have to do with big data and cybersecurity?

This Harvard Business Review article should give you some idea.

The article’s contributors assert that “AI adds a new layer to cyber risk.” They give numerous reasons for the increase in risk.

One of the biggest reasons they give for the increase?

Less human labor.

The article’s contributors point out that chatbots and other automated processes can be used by hackers to steal data. Yes, humans program chatbots. Humans, though, unlike chatbots, can’t be hacked.

Despite these concerns, automated processes are here to stay. Luckily for us, there is hope for the security of our data in the future.

Companies need only balance “the demands between automation and information security.” They can do so by “making cybersecurity integral – not an afterthought – to an organization’s information structure.”

The integration is easier said than achieved. With the right cyber professionals, though, it’s more than doable.

New Lines of Defense

We hope that we haven’t been too glum thus far. We just want to be honest about how big data and cybersecurity play together.

We also, however, want to highlight some ways in which big data can be good for cybersecurity.

In this section, we’ll go over some of the initiatives that can be taken in the future. Not only that, but we’ll talk about some initiatives that are already underway.

Data Storage

We’ve touched on some major concerns about storing data in the infamous cloud. Consequently, you already know that major companies and investors have been hit hard by hacks.

You might not know that even governments have identified cyber attacks as major threats to their infrastructures.

Ex-president Obama, for instance, began a counterattack on cyber attackers early last year. He called for “a surge in funding to counter cyber security threats.” His top intelligence official had actually concluded that “computer attacks were among the most imminent security challenges facing the United States.”

His top intelligence official had actually concluded that “computer attacks were among the most imminent security challenges facing the United States.”

What types of changes in infrastructure, then, did the Obama administration have its eyes on?

Well, for one, data storage. Obama signed an “executive order creating a permanent Federal Privacy Council.” The council “aims to connect privacy officials across the government to develop comprehensive guidelines for how personal data is collected and stored.”

Obama signed an “executive order creating a permanent Federal Privacy Council.” The council “aims to connect privacy officials across the government to develop comprehensive guidelines for how personal data is collected and stored.”

The administration also prioritized hiring qualified professionals to handle data. Keep reading to find out more about these cyber professionals.

Cyber Professionals

As we stated above, government officials wanted to “expand efforts to attract and retain qualified cyber professionals.”

Perhaps doing so seems somewhat easy. After all, the government seems to have an almost endless amount of resources.

Unfortunately, though, finding qualified professionals to manage big data is not a walk in the park.

Wall Street Journal contributor John Jordan beat the government to the punchline in 2013. Jordan wrote an article titled, “The Risks of Big Data for Companies.”

In that article, Jordan surmised that companies weren’t ready to handle big data. He even went so far as to say that “many companies don’t have the skills to work with big-data tools.”

As it turns out, he was right. Companies are struggling under the weight of all of the data they’ve amassed. If that info is compromised, so is their credibility.

In any case, companies have started to see the error of their ways. Recent data breaches have opened their eyes. Their epiphany has led them to sniff out qualified cyber professionals.

Their epiphany has led them to sniff out qualified cyber professionals. Hopefully, those professionals will handle their big data and cybersecurity concerns skillfully.

Big Data and Cybersecurity Will Continue to Duke It Out

The new changes in how companies deal with data are reassuring.

And, in some ways, we have big data to thank for those changes.

Still, big data and cybersecurity will continue to battle things out for years to come.

So what can you do to keep your data safe?

We’ll give you 2 tips, the first of which is to tighten up your internet security policy. Make sure that your employees know what the procedure is and that they follow it.

Our second tip? Secure everything, from your company’s website to your Twitter account. You’ll never regret the extra security.

Want more tips on how to keep your data safe? Reach out to us. We’re just a phone call or email away.

How Digital Convenience Undermines The Importance of Cyber Security

It is sometimes hard to believe that you might be the victim of a cyber attack. However, cyber attacks happen every day. Many of the victims placed their bets on the belief they would not be attacked in the first place.

Most internet users do not know much about the importance of cyber security, despite the fact that they make payments online. They probably have a Paypal account, and their credit card is linked to it, too.

Worst of all, they do not use any security system that protects their personal data from cyber attacks.

A report by AARP Fraud Watch Network noticed some behavior patterns in the behavior of internet users who ignore the importance of cyber security.

All the behavioral patterns are linked to convenience. It is more convenient to save all of the passwords on all of your devices instead of typing them every time.

Also, most of the participants also had the same password for all of their accounts, simply because it is easier to remember one password.

We crafted a guide on how you can protect yourself from cyber attacks and what the most common targets of attacks are.

Small businesses are the most vulnerable

There are many people out there who believe that only NASA should worry about cyber attacks.

The irony lies in the fact that the ones who ignore the importance of cyber security get attacked more often, simply because they are walking targets.

What makes them walking targets?

Most small business owners believe they are insignificant. But they do hold a lot of valuable information without even knowing it.

If you have the Paypal information of your clients and of your workers, then you should start worrying about cyber attacks.

If you avoid doing anything for the security of your website, you should know you are at risk of becoming a target. Not only will you be affected, but your clients and employee too.

Not to mention that you might have to face some legal issues due to negligence. In some cases, people can lose large amounts of money after shopping on your website.

You do not know about the importance of cyber security until you get attacked

Some lessons are better off not learned the hard way.

What most business owners do not know is that a large part of the attacks come from the inside of the company.

As shocking as it sounds, some attackers are easily tempted by easy prey.

Make sure you train your employee not to share important information over the phones, in voicemails or emails that are not secure.

If you still believe you have the Irish’s luck, you should look at the odds of being the next victim.

According to Forbes, over 10 millions of cyber attacks happen every day.

How to protect your business from cyber attacks

You will be surprised by the things people do just because it is more convenient. Besides, everyone does it, right?

Make sure you make a list of don’t’s when training your new employee on the job.

We made a small list of the most common mistakes people make that get both them and the company they work for in big trouble.

1. Watch out for con artists online

Some people connect their devices to public wifi all the time, especially remote workers who enjoy working in coffee shops and other public spaces.

The problem arises when your computer contains vital information, such as your credit card password and the password of a website you own.

This can be extremely dangerous. In public spaces, some people make a “twin” network. You might think you are connecting yourself to the coffee shop’s wi-fi, but you are not.

Someone else carries a small wireless device and renames the network with a name similar as the coffee shop to get access to your information.

Some even purchase from online stores using public wi-fi. This is an open invitation for hackers to access their bank accounts.

What is the moral of the story?

Keep your work laptop away from public wi-fi.

2. Do not save the passwords or use the same password everywhere

Some of us actually use the same password when we subscribe to a newsletter too.

If the owner of the website has bad intentions, he can easily get into your email. Worst of all, he may be able to get into your bank account, simply because you use the same password everywhere.

Make sure you use a password for your smartphone too. Many people get hacked after their smartphone is stolen. Make sure you never use the same password for different devices.

3. Use numbers and symbols in your password

Out of convenience, many users keep the same password over the years. Many use the name of their loved ones in their passwords too. Plus, let us not forget about the “old trick” with your birth date and year as your password.

The importance of cyber security is often set aside just because passwords such as “admin123” are easier to remember.

If you want to stay out of trouble, make sure you change your password every 90 days. Use numbers and symbols, too.

Your should train your employees to aways use sophisticated passwords at their workplace too.

Also, no important information of any kind should be transmitted over unsecured emails and phones.

Wrapping up

Adding an extra layer of security to your business is up to you.

But keep in mind that you are exposing yourself to a huge risk every day by not doing so.

It only gets more complicated when you own a business. If your website gets attacked, your clients might be attacked too, because they shared important information with you while making a purchase.

If you want to find out more about the importance of cyber security and how to defend yourself from attacks, do not hesitate to take a look at our blog.

If you are thinking about improving the security of your business, feel free to contact us with any questions you might have.

How to Use Popups to Engage Your Customers and Grow

popup

Gunbroker auctions marketers and e-tailers are sometimes wary in recent years at the very thought of integrating popups into the mix in order to engage customers, but they need not be. There is a lot of opportunities for growth to be had!

Make First Time Visitors Opt-In

As soon as visitors arrive on your page, serve them a pop up asking them to sign up for special offers. After all, 98% of buyers won’t purchase from your site the first time they visit. You have to give them a reason to come back.

If you can get them to say yes the first time, you’re more likely to get them to say yes the next time. However, if you don’t get their information, they may not come back. They may not even remember how they got to your site.

Lead them to the water you want them to drink. Email marketing is still the way to go and once you have their information you can send them valuable information, deals, and updates to engage further.

Pulling The Trigger With Popups

Timing is everything when it comes to popups. If you want to pull it as soon as they arrive, try a time driven popup. You can time it to where it shows up for them after a determined amount of time and adjust as necessary to see what works.

Alternately, you can hit your target with the popup once they make a move, like scrolling down the page 70% of the way or click through a certain number of pages. This is a little sneakier, but it probably doesn’t feel that way to those who are truly interested in purchasing from your website.

The exit intent popup is also a tried and true sales popup — when they’re about to leave, offer them something. They don’t really want to leave, do they?

Ok, maybe they do, but if you give them a reason to come back later, they just might. It’s worth a shot.

Tips For Not Being Spammy With Popups

While you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, you don’t want to misfire too many times and alienate a potential customer. Don’t go overkill with popups that won’t go away after they’re closed out. You probably won’t hear from that person again.

The subtle approach with popups can be the best one because popups in and of themselves are right in front of your audience. Use smaller popups and limit the number of popups that show up to new visitors. You don’t want to come off as desperate.

Entice Shoppers With Free Shipping Popups

47% of shoppers indicated in a recent study that they did not abandon their purchase because of the promise of free shipping. It’s a tried-and-true way to entice shoppers through pop-ups.

Use Popups For Gunbroker Auctions

Increase your gunbroker auctions sales with customizable auction templates and seller tools for an affordable price. Save time, money, and look professional. It’s worth the investment to do things right the first time.

DNS Monitoring: How to Check Your Traffic for Threats

DNS Monitoring

Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated in their attacks.

The Domain Name System (DNS) serves as a website’s identity and is the core component of its security architecture.

Unless your website has the appropriate DNS monitoring in place, there’s no reason why you cannot become a cybercriminal’s next victim.

We are offering informative tips on how to prevent security threats.

Why Do Cyber Criminals Target DNS?

Unfortunately, cybercriminals will target a vulnerable internet service or protocol, including a website’s DNS.

They can then register disposable domain names for a spam campaign or botnet administration.

What’s more, an attacker could use the domains to host malware or phishing downloads.

Malicious queries can also exploit a nameserver or disrupt a name solution.

Sadly, the cyber-attacks can potentially destroy a website’s performance, function, and reputation.

The servers of Dyn are a perfect example.

The company controls some of the internet’s DNS infrastructure. It experienced a cyber attack that brought down much of America and Europe’s internet on October 21st, 2016.

The new Mirai botnet attack has been classed as the largest kind in its history.

A variety of high-profile websites experienced a downtime, such as Twitter, The Guardian, CNN, Netflix, and Reddit.

While it may be a feat to prevent every potential DNS threat affecting a website, it’s essential to take action to avoid falling victim to a cyber attack.

Why DNS Monitoring?

More than a quarter of companies haven’t established responsibility for their DNS security, despite the fact DNS attacks have increased by more than 200%.

To prevent a website from becoming a cyber attack target, you must embark with regular DNS monitoring.

A DNS log monitors every connection your website makes with a visiting device.

To maintain website security, it’s essential to embark with DNS monitoring to inspect the traffic between a device and your local recursive resolver.

The forensic analysis can ensure you:

  • Identify the websites visited by an employer
  • Discover the malware/botnets connected to the C&C servers
  • Detect a DDOS attack
  • Pinpoint the Domain Generation Algorithm (DGA) and malicious domains accessed
  • Identify the dynamic domains accessed

When analyzing the DNS log, it’s essential to verify each domain against the DGA and malicious domain database.

If you’re unsure of where to start with DNS Monitoring, we’re offering six security systems to help you proactively protect your website.

1. Firewalls

Firewalls have the potential to expose DNS threats, so they’re an effective tool for DNS monitoring.

Most firewalls will allow webmasters to define rules to prevent IP spoofing.

For example, you could enter a rule that denies DNS queries from IP addresses outside an allocated number space. This could prevent a nameserver from exploitation in a DDoS attack.

It’s also beneficial to enable DNS traffic inspection for suspicious byte patterns or irregular DNS traffic, so you can take the steps to block a nameserver software exploit attack.

2. Traffic Analyzers

One of the best ways to identify harmful malware traffic is a passive traffic analysis.

A traffic analyzer will allow you to both capture and filter DNS traffic between a device and your local recursive resolver, which you can then save to a PCAP file.

Webmasters must create scripts to search the PCAP file to identify specific suspicious activities.

3. Passive DNS Replication

Passive DNS replication allows a webmaster to use sensors at the local recursive resolvers.

This creates a database containing each DNS transaction, such as the query or response, through a resolver or set of resolvers.

The replication can be instrumental in identifying one or more malware domains, particularly in cases when the malware operates algorithmically generated domain names (AGDA).

4. Intrusion Detection Systems

An effective intrusion detection system allows you to create rules that allow reporting on DNS requests from unauthorized networks.

It is beneficial to compose rules to either count or report:

  • NXDomain responses
  • DNS queries via TCP
  • Responses that contain resource records with short TTLs
  • Unusually large DNS responses
  • DNS queries to non-standard ports
  • plus more

All DNS queries should be carefully reviewed.

The intrusion detection systems can be integrated into firewalls, which will allow you to deny or permit rules for many of the checks listed above.

5. DNS Monitoring with Local Resolver Logs

Your local resolver logs are probably the most obvious and essential way to embark with DNS monitoring.

By enabling resolver logging, you can use a variety of tools to collect DNS server logs whilst exploring known malicious domains, such as OSSEC.

6. A Secure Registrar

Most websites are registered via a registrar company.

Unfortunately, if a cyber-attacker can compromise the account with the registrar, they can gain control over your domain name.

This means they can point the registrar to their chosen server, including their nameservers.

What’s more, they can transfer the domain to either a new owner or an offshore registrar – which means you might be unable to recover the domain.

Many intelligent cyber attackers may target an account’s password, or they may even launch a cyber attack on the registrar’s tech support.

You’ll want to avoid registrar hijacking, so you should select a registrar that provides heightened security precautions.

Look for services like multi-factor authentication.

Suspicious Signs to Analyze

It is important to pay close attention to any potential signs of malicious activity on your network.

We recommend analyzing the composition characteristics and length of DNS responses. This could help to identify malicious intent.

If the response messages are unusually large, this could be an amplification attack.

You should also review the answer or additional sections of the response message, which could be a sign of cache poisoning.

Conclusion

The biggest risk to a website is ignorance, which will not be bliss when you suffer a cyber attack.

There are various forms of DNS monitoring that will allow you to expose threats and keep your website secure.

It is up to a website admin to determine the right strategy to detect suspicious or malicious activity on your network.

While DNS monitoring doesn’t sound like a fun thing to do, it is essential for the security of your website.

Ensure you take the necessary steps to stop a cyber criminal in their tracks.

Our Top Cybersecurity Predictions for 2017

cypersecurity predictions

Cybersecurity is topping news feeds, and for good reason.

Last year was hailed as the year that hackers stole the show, and experts at Kaspersky Labs have said that this year is going to be no exception.

Security specialists at Mcafee are predicting a rise in the number of consumer security breaches, threats to the Internet of Things and cloud-based attacks.

With so many exciting new innovations in technology we are handing over more of our businesses and lives than we may be aware of.

As exciting as new tech is, it also brings the possibility of new and more creative threats.

So what do these new threats look like? What are big companies doing and is there any way for us to protect ourselves?

Let’s take a look at our top cybersecurity predictions for 2017.

Ransomware

A recent rise in ransomware attacks has been damaging hospitals, schools, businesses and law enforcement organizations. Many agree that ransomware is going to peak in 2017, with a 25% growth predicted until a plateau takes place.

Unfortunately, it has also been suggested that the methods being used to gain access to files are diversifying. Ransomware is extremely lucrative for hackers, especially when they target larger organizations.

Defending against it

Businesses are upping the education they give their staff regarding opening email attachments. And They’re creating more sophisticated passwords for work accounts.

Hacking Meets Home Appliances

The Internet of Things is an incredibly exciting innovation, but it also opens up opportunities for hacking to enter the home in ways it hasn’t before.

Until recently, such small devices haven’t warranted cybersecurity software or checks. But a recent DoS attack on a french company was conducted through mobile smart devices, proving that more diligence is needed.

The biggest danger here is not so much monetary, but more about the theft of personal information and private security. These devices are in our homes, privy to our everyday lives, so the risk for infiltration is very real.

Defending against it

People have started calling for more stringent cybersecurity regulations on mobile smart home appliances and a greater consumer awareness of the risks.

Or Predictions

Smart devices will be subject to the gradual introduction of integrated security software. This will help identify any devices that are performing unauthorized actions.

Mobile Security Will Still Be At Risk

Our cybersecurity predictions aren’t limited to large companies.

The humble mobile phone is also at risk, with many experts predicting a rise in mobile malware.

By using downloadable apps, users are putting their personal information at risk. Mcafee Labs detected 9 million malware apps in Apple and Google app stores, affecting 3 million devices over a 6 month period.

Defending against it

The best way to prevent mobile attacks is to avoid opening messages from strange numbers and to turn off MMS auto retrieval wherever possible.

Our Cybersecurity Predictions

Mobile security software will become increasingly important over the next year to maintain personal safety.

Threats to The Cloud

As trust in the cloud increases, more information is migrated, making it an incredibly tempting place for hackers.

Protecting the cloud is difficult due to the vast nature of it.

The first point of call for hackers is simple credentials to gain access to accounts. They’ve also started changing the way they mine the stacks for weak points, no longer just moving up and down them.

Defending Against It

Pay close attention to administration accounts and the activity on them–these are the accounts that hackers are most likely to target with credential theft.

Our Predictions

It’s been suggested that biometrics and behavioral analytics will help protect users in a way that’s even more personal to them.

Machine learning can also be used to prevent cybersecurity attacks to the cloud and will be able to predict attacks before they occur.

Apple and Adobe Weaknesses Will Be Uncovered

Until very recently, Adobe and Apple have enjoyed a relatively high degree of protection, with Microsoft taking the brunt of the infiltrations and security compromisations.

One of the cybersecurity predictions for 2017 is the ease with which malicious online perpetrators will be able to find weaknesses in Apple software.

This is partly down to Microsoft being well practiced at defending against attacks. Their ‘antiquated’ hardware is also less attractive to hackers.

They’re typically drawn to the software and platforms that experience higher engagement and more users because that’s where they stand to gain more.

Defending Against It

This is hard to defend against until you know the nature of the compromisation. Always keep your software updated and stay smart and vigilant when using your tech.

Our Cybersecurity Predictions

Apple and Adobe will up their encryption game and try to plug any holes with regular software updates.

What Do These Cybersecurity Predictions Teach Us?

This list of cybersecurity predictions is just the start of the story when it comes to protecting businesses and software this year.

Here are some simple ways you can protect yourself:

Get Smart

Teaching your team or yourself about security is a good way to make sure you stay ahead of the hackers. The rules and practices are changing all the time, so staying in touch with best practice is key here.

Consider everything: from basic things like choosing a more secure password and installing security on your phone (especially if you access cloud-based services for business, like Dropbox, for example) to sharing documents over unsecured email.

Ask Questions

Is your site hosted on a cloud-based server? Make sure you know about the security benefits offered to you by your hosting service and what they’re doing in the face of new threats.

Have a Plan

In the unfortunate event that your site does get taken down in a DoS attack, having an effective downtime strategy can help repair the damage that a non-functional website causes.

Hopefully, these cybersecurity predictions have given you plenty of warning when it comes to your own site, household technology, and everyday work essentials.

Ensure you have good security software across all your devices and that you’re installing software updates regularly.

Design Ideas to Make and Keep Your Business Relevant

web design ideas

Technology is charging forward at a breakneck pace, and the world can only try to keep up.

This is true in the tech sphere, in terms of social interactions, and, perhaps not as obviously, in the world of design.

Businesses must fight to remain relevant in a social atmosphere that relies heavily on web presence and connectivity.

This is made possible through social media, but should also be a consideration for your website and mobile platforms.

Design options are limitless, and more new and exciting options are popping up all the time.

But how do you know what to use and what to avoid?

Here are four key tips for incorporating a web and mobile design that will be a hit with your client base.

Keep it Simple

This applies to websites, banner ads, and mobile platforms.

Clean, simple lines and an uncluttered landing page are going to engage your audience quickly and keep them on your site longer.

This is not to say that using new, flashy design elements is a bad idea. GIFs, video backgrounds, and fun textures are all great things to consider.

But think of design elements the way you think of salt in the main dish. You need it to enhance the flavor, but too much and the entire meal is ruined.

Pick one key design element, but don’t feel like you need to use every single one you come across.

Don’t Try to Sell Anything

Yes, even if you are actually trying to sell something.

This isn’t to say don’t market your products. Just keep in mind that the modern consumer is wary of the “used car salesman”-type pitch.

This means go back to step one. Keep it simple. Highlight your products without bells and whistles and gimmicks.

When you are designing your marketing materials, it’s probable that you’ll want to create a banner ad. This is a great idea, with tons of applications and outlets for use.

Keep in mind, though, that you are using banner ads and other advertising materials to communicate your message in the quickest, most visually appealing way possible. So avoid clutter!

Focus on Mobile

Mobile has never been as powerful a sales tool as it is today.

Consumers are able to shop online, compare prices, and look for deals, all without ever leaving their couch.

Your mobile presence should not be an afterthought. Take the time to make the experience user-friendly and seamless.

In fact, it isn’t a bad idea to design with mobile in mind from the start, rather than trying to adapt it later.

Your functionality on mobile should be seamless and comparable to your browser or brick-and-mortar experience.

Strive for Authenticity

Modern consumers can sniff out ingenuousness at a hundred paces, and they don’t like feeling like they are being given a canned pitch.

This comes across in the language you use on your site and the voice you use in your content. Consumers want to do business with a person, not a business.

This sounds counter-intuitive, but you’ll find much better results if you make an effort to project your business as its people, rather than its products.

Keeping your business relevant in quickly changing times is a challenge. There is constantly new material to learn and discover.

Remember to keep learning, and constantly be reevaluating your digital game to bring the very best to your consumers.