Remember to take time today to honor our war heroes!
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Be Waterfront features waterfront property exclusively.
A few months ago, Google officially announced that it would consider Secure Socket Layers – more commonly known as SSL connections – as a search signal. Such a move fit perfectly with the search engine’s known appreciation for user experience. Long used by banks and online retailers, SSL connections are fast and encrypt any transfers of information (like passwords and credit card numbers) that take place between the website and a visitor.
This shift essentially told marketers that upgrading to SSL functionality would help them improve their search engine visibility, and bring more buyers to their doorstep as a result. That was incentive enough for a lot of businesses to make the plunge, but now there is an even more important reason to act.
SSL INDICATIONS ARE COMING TO GOOGLE CHROME
As we speak, Google’s engineers are in the process of upgrading the popular Chrome browser, which is estimated to have more than one billion users worldwide. Currently, it indicates SSL connections with a small blue “secure” marking. It’s visible, but easy to miss if you aren’t looking for.
At some point in the next few days, we are going to see changes that take this concept a little further. Namely, that websites asking for passwords and submissions without SSL connectivity are going to be marked as “insecure,” and could be meted with a warning prompt. Whereas marketers with secure hosting were being rewarded before, those who haven’t upgraded are going to be punished now.
That’s a subtle shift, but one that is likely to affect web traffic and lead generation in big ways. After all, those who aren’t in the online marketing industry might not pay a lot of attention to small colored boxes, but they will perk up if they are warned that particular website isn’t as safe as it could be. Just as importantly, it probably won’t be long before Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari, and other browsers follow suit.
HOW YOU CAN QUICKLY AND EASILY ADD SSL TO YOUR WEBSITE
If you’ve been waiting to add SSL connections to your small business website, or haven’t heeded our warnings in the past, now is the time to act. Luckily, there are a couple of easy and affordable ways to bring your site up to speed.
The first is to log into your web hosting account and upgrade your subscription package. You may have to pay a slightly higher fee, as SSL connectivity may not be available on the lowest tier of pricing. However, by improving your hosting package, you’ll also get a more reliable website.
A better way to integrate SSL to your website is by contacting us to discuss our SSL upgrade option. It’s a simple and cost-effective way to get the functionality you need while staying away from viruses, scams, and the other undesirable web “neighbors” you find on common shared hosting plans.
In 2017, there’s no excuse for going without SSL connections. Google demands it, and so are customers. Why not contact us today and see how easy it is to make an improvement that could bring you new business every week?
Ever since the advent of social media marketing, so-called experts have attempted to guess what is going to happen next. However, unless you are the powers that be at Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube, you may have a tough time understanding what the best social media marketing techniques actually are.
According to Knoxweb, there are a few social media marketing trends that you may not be aware of.
Social Media Searches
Social media searches are very powerful, and when Pinterest announced the new visual search feature that allows users to click within the image to open a new search, social media marketing searches became even more popular. What that means is if you are looking a picture of a sofa and you want to see similar items, all you have to do is click on the sofa and you will be directed to similar searches. The internet is all about ease of use, and thanks to social media searches, you don’t have to leave the comfort of the site to find something similar.
One of the biggest trends in social media marketing is, “Live social broadcasts,” and it’s not just the Pepsi’s and Budweiser’s of the world that are using the new user friendly feature. People understand reality and want to buy a brand that they can trust. In other words social media users want to know what is happening and why. With Facebooks new Live Broadcasts, small and large businesses and organizations can reach more people in 2016.
Knoxweb explains that even if you aren’t ready to go the live broadcast just yet, videos are still vital when it comes to your social media marketing strategies. Although Knoxweb has detailed the importance of video, it is imperative that you incorporate it into your social media marketing plan.
- Videos sharing increased by 43 percent in January of 2016
- When you publish videos on your social media pages, you’ll see 62 percent more engagement that you will with your photos
- Facebook announced at the beginning of this year that it sees about eight billion views every day from over 500 million people.
Short Compelling Videos
Short and to the point videos are important if you want to increase your exposure on the World Wide Web. Small and large businesses and organizations will benefit from compelling videos that exposure your brand and your company. According to Knoxweb, brands will see an increase in sales when videos are added to business social media pages.
Inbound messages are going up when it comes to social customer service. Brands that interact with inbound messages across all industries received 32 percent more messages than in 2015. However, one of the biggest problems that brands are having is answering those messages. About 82 percent of the messages never get a response. Knoxweb will tell you that staying connected with people who have sent your business or organization an inbound message is crucial for your social media marketing plan.
According to Knoxweb, social media is about staying connected, and if you aren’t, you will lose business.
If you would like more information regarding social media marketing, search engine Optimization, a new mobile responsive website or anything else that has to do with the internet, call or click and talk to a social media marketing representative from Knoxweb today.
From an article originally posted at TechInAsia:
Faced with this challenge, you may talk to consultants and business experts who will tell you that it’s important to maintain a corporate blog with frequent updates. Plus, they’ll tell you to engage your customers and fans on social media. This kind of advice, while helpful at its core, is kind of like telling your newly single friend to “Cheer up.” The end goal of engagement is correct, you need a solid plan maximize how you’re using social media to promote your business.
There is some good advice in here and the entire thing is suggested reading. Some caveats that we have noticed, from our experience in the field:
- Overall, surveys are a good idea and do not dismiss them out-of-hand. However, we have found that surveys where you specifically ask people about their own behavior are notoriously unreliable. It’s not that people are dishonest, they’re just not good at reporting how they actually behave. We have seen many many cases where people reported one thing about their own behavior, but the empirical data told an entirely different story.
- Tangentially related to the above point: We are also skeptical of “focus group” type questions where you ask people “Would you buy X if it had Feature Y?” Again, the fact is that people just aren’t good at reporting this about themselves. Henry Ford observed this phenomenon well when he said “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
- If a survey about something other than behavior is not an option, use other data that you can collect empirically. Wondering what customers really see first on your website? Check your eye-tracking software. Have two ideas for call-to-action text and want to know which one drives more people through the sales funnel? Start A/B testing. There are more ways now than ever to get real data about customer behavior instead of being in the dark.
…And as always, when you need professional help with any of the above, drop us a line!
Filippo Valsorda, writing for CloudFlare:
Yesterday, a group from INRIA, Microsoft Research, Johns Hopkins, the University of Michigan, and the University of Pennsylvania published a deep analysis of the Diffie-Hellman algorithm as used in TLS and other protocols. This analysis included a novel downgrade attack against the TLS protocol itself called Logjam, which exploits EXPORT cryptography (just like FREAK).
The research team performed the precomputation on the most common 512-bit (EXPORT) parameters to demonstrate the impact of Logjam, but they express concerns that real, more powerful attackers might do the same with the common normal-DHE 1024-bit parameters.
Finally, in their Internet-wide scan they discovered that many servers will provide vulnerable 512-bit parameters even for non-EXPORT DHE, in order to support older TLS implementations (for example, old Java versions).
In order to best protect yourself from this vulnerability, the servers you visit (like Facebook, or Google, or CNN.com) as well as your specific web browser (like Chrome or Firefox) need to be patched. Fixing the server is up to developers like us at Knoxweb. Updating your browser is up to you, the user. For more information on the size and scope of these vulnerabilities, and to test whether your browser is vulnerable, check out weakdh.org. It is important at this juncture to also know that NO Knoxweb clients with sites served over https are vulnerable to these kinds of attacks.
Another important note since this original post came from CloudFlare: All of the information contained in the post is completely technically correct. It is the best explanation we have read of the Logjam attack. However, if you are a CloudFlare subscriber or have ever considered it as a CDN, be aware that they are currently offering some seriously broken SSL options. 2 of their 3 choices (“Universal SSL” and “Full SSL”) are not secure by today’s standards. Universal SSL leaves connections to the origin unsecured which allows for passive or active man-in-the-middle attackers to intercept things. Their Full SSL package would allow an active man-in-the-middle attacker to intercept origin connections. What this means is that with these CloudFlare SSL options, your site could still have the green lock and make you feel safe, but customers’ credit card information could be traveling to the origin server in plain text.
These are murky waters for everyone- If you have questions about your SSL or are considering upgrading an existing site, talk to the professionals — We’ll have some suggestions 😉
Exciting news folks! Google is making SEO for you website even easier. They’re taking their old “Webmaster Tools” and refocusing to make it easier for Small Business Owners and SEO folks to manage how they rank in search results.
They’ll be releasing the new branding and adding tools over the next few weeks. It’s a better time than ever to jump in and start helping your site ranking.
Head over to g.co/SearchConsole and get started!
Make sure you check out the tools in “Other Resources”
- Structured Data Testing Tool
- Structured Data Markup Helper
- Email Markup Tester
- Google My Business
- Google Merchant Center
- PageSpeed Insights
- Custom Search
- Google Domains
“It’s six times larger than anything we’ve done before.”
– Matt Mullenweg
Automattic, (the firm responsible for WordPress) nearing their 10 year anniversary announced they would be acquiring WooCommerce. This is by far their largest purchase to date and will expand their team by another 55 members.
This deal stands to make WordPress even more competitive against services like squarespace. WooCommerce is the most used eCommerce solution in the world today. Marking their share at 19.22% recently this year.
Currently, buildwith.com has WordPress holding 48.37% of the world CMS market. Together, with WooCommerce, the future looks even brighter for WordPress.
Fredrik Olsen, writing at Medium:
If you’re storing CC information in your own system, stop doing that and use a third party service, the PCI compliance requirements are vastly different for those storing the data vs those that simply use a third party service. If you are using a third party service for storing CC information then you have to be compliant with PCI DSS (Data Security Standards). Relative to the full PCI auditing process, the DSS requirements when using a third party service are fairly easy to comply with, and for Level 3 you don’t even have to be audited, just fill out a Self Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ).
This is what’s known in our industry as A Very Good Thing™. People are getting fed up with replacing their credit cards every 6 months because some online retailer had a security breach.
Some words about online credit card processing
The options for outsourcing payment processing are better now than they have ever been and a service definitely exists for the needs and priorities of almost everyone. We at Knoxweb have had the smoothest implementations with Square, Authorize.net, Paypal, and WePay.
Not all payment processors are equal, even when it comes to the big names. For example, Stripe and Yahoo Stores are both in Visa’s doghouse right now. Their entry on the Visa Global Registry of Service Providers has turned yellow, with an expiration date of Mar 31, 2015. This means they’re having some kind of PCI compliance problem. Generally, Visa will gradually crank up penalties until the problem is fixed, then pull the plug after around 9 months of non-compliance.
Visa says Square and Paypal are OK right now. If you are using a third party to process payments online, check their status on the Service Providers list of Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. If you’re a merchant of a service that’s in the yellow, that service was supposed to inform you that they were in the doghouse. Did they?
We at Knoxweb are experts in this field and are here to help you and your customers stay safe. If you have questions about your online payment system, get in touch.