3PRIME Recommends Vipre Antivirus Solution for Macs & PCs

For the next several weeks, 3PRIME and we expect many of you, will be activating work from home procedures. A relevant concern is whether the computers your staff may use at home are protected like the ones at your offices.

Cloudflare, a global cloud DNS solution we use for a portion of our client domains, sent 2 interesting statistics yesterday.

  1. As more people work from home, peak traffic in impacted regions has increased, on average, approximately 10%.
  2. In Italy, which has imposed a nationwide quarantine, peak Internet traffic is up 30%.

If you aren’t using a solid antivirus and Internet security suite, we want to share the same recommendation we make for clients experiencing issues with malware on your computers. We have used Vipre Internet Security  for our workstations and laptops since 2012, and in that time we haven’t had to rebuild any workstations due to malware incidents. Prior to this we would have to do this every 6 months or so, a real drag on focus and productivity.

You can protect 10 computers and laptops for $79 per year. Use this link to get the Home Protection package and receive a 20% discount.

Vipre also has several other options, including:

  1. VPN Software
  2. Privacy Shield
  3. Endpoint Security for network administrators
  4. Ultimate Security  package which bundles Privacy shield and VPN with the Home protection license.

While we do not directly support office networks, we’ve found the Home Protection very easy to install and essentially set-and-forget.

Installing Vipre Home Protection

  1. Please use this link to purchase the license for 1, 5 or 10 Macs or PCs.
  2. On that page, choose “Vipre Advanced Security”.
  3. Select the number of licenses you need.
  4. Once you complete the purchase, note your license key.
  5. Download the installation package and install it on each computer.
  6. During install specify the license key.
  7. Complete the installation, including the initial scans.
  8. Setup the scan schedule, we have ours set to run weekly during an evening, but set it to whatever you feel makes the most sense.

How to Start Protecting Yourself Online Today

How to Start Protecting Yourself Online Today 

Whenever we head out the door, we will lock up our homes and keep our pockets zipped up. This is to protect our belongings against any slim chances of theft. However, it’s so much easier to protect your physical belongings than your virtual ones. There are less of them, they can be locked away, you can set an alarm, and we have the advantage of being vigilant about anyone who may be going for our phone or wallet. 

Protecting ourselves online is much harder. All of our data — from login details to personal information to even our buying habits — can be exploited for financial gain. Sometimes you won’t notice the breach because it won’t be your computer that was stolen from, but another business that has your personal data stored away. 

Knowing how to protect your online identity is the first step to protecting yourself online, so follow these steps today:

Go Through and Find Old Accounts 

Old accounts that you don’t use anymore are big security risks, especially if the company has stopped updating their security and are generally running into bankruptcy. In these cases, old accounts are easy pickings for hackers. If that account has personal data like passwords or answers to security questions, you could face a hack somewhere else.

Update All Passwords so They are Unique 

All of your passwords should be unique. Every single one. There are tricks to help you remember all of these passwords or you can invest in a password manager that offers encrypted protection on every account.

Google Yourself 

Old accounts aren’t the only threat to your livelihood. Old posts, news articles — anything that mentions you in a bad light — is something you need to address. On top of Googling yourself, your email, and your phone number, you will also want to go through your old social media posts to ensure that nothing from the past can hurt you in the future. 

The data you need to worry about isn’t just slanderous posts, either. If you publicly mention key data, like where you were born, who your grandmother is and their maiden name, or even what your dog’s name was, then it is a risk. They are answers to your security questions after all!

Use Two-Factor Authentication for Everything 

If two-factor authentication is available, use it. This way you will be required to have your phone or access to another account to login from a new device or computer. 

Encrypt Your Data 

Most laptops will offer the ability to encrypt your data, so if someone steals your computer, they can’t just hack their way in without destroying everything private. This is more necessary for business owners and those whose laptops are worth more than their lives; but, it is still an easy and worthwhile step to take.

Use a VPN 

To protect your search history and online activity you will want to invest in a VPN, especially if you like working in cafes or other public spaces. Free Wi-Fi is easy for hackers to gain access to and hack into your data. 

The level of security you will want to go through will depend entirely on the data you want to keep private. The above list of suggestions can keep your personal data safe from hackers, but if you own a business or work with sensitive data daily, more measures will need to be taken. 

3 Tips for Enhancing Your Local SEO Efforts

Whether you own a small business or one with multiple locations, local SEO can provide a massive assist in boosting sales.

For those not quite sure what local SEO entails, simply think about your standard search engine optimization tactics. Yet instead of targeting a general topic, it is more specific to your local area. Take an automobile repair shop located in Chicago as an example. Rather than aiming for the general term of “automobile repair shop”, local SEO will go with “automobile repair shop in Chicago”. 

Although local SEO reduces your overall reach, it increases the possibility of your business being found by people that matter: local customers. Did you know that, out of all Google searches in the world, 46% of them are from consumers searching for information about local businesses?

Due to this, your company needs a strong plan in place for local SEO. To help you along the way, consider the following three tips for enhancing your local SEO efforts:

1. Find the right local SEO keywords

First of all, you should identify the local SEO keywords which will bring maximum visibility for your company. Thankfully, this is a simple task. While you can do this with Google Keyword Planner, you also have the option of taking a closer look at your competition and see what keywords they are targeting.

When deciding on local SEO keywords, here are a few other pointers:

  • Don’t forget to do variations on keywords. For instance, “Dallas electricians”, “electricians in Dallas”, “Dallas’s best electricians”. 
  • Google, in most cases, will already know where a potential customer is located. As a result, they will search for “electricians near me” rather than specifying their local area. Keep in mind to also use “…near me” keyword variations. 
  • Long tail search terms are easy to ignore, but they can produce high conversion rates. If you rank first for, say, “Dallas electricians who install solar panels”, this will generate a concentrated customer base.

2. Optimize landing pages

Linking to the aforementioned point about keywords, you should create landing pages that are optimized for a specific topic. This could be for a location, service, feature, or ad campaign. 

When you utilize local landing page optimization, you have a greater chance of targeted customers visiting your website. You can truly highlight a certain topic and improve its local search authority in the process.

Once you have the customer on the landing page, you need to sell them on your business. To do this, you can: 

  • Provide a clear, informative description of what you are offering.
  • Use customer reviews as social proof. 
  • Utilize visual content such as videos and images.

3. Google My Business

This point is short and sweet: sign-up and get your business listed on Google My Business. 

If your business is verified on Google My Business, the rewards can be lucrative. If someone does a local search on Google, for example, your company might end up with a coveted place on their sidebar space. Although even having your location, opening times, reviews, etc. just a quick search away will help customers find the information they desire in a convenient manner.

Data Privacy: What is it and How to Protect Your Data?

What is Data Privacy?

Data privacy deals with personal information that is obtained on the web, whether that is personally identifiable information (PII) or personal health information (PHI). It is a branch of data security that focuses on the way that data is handled specifically in regards to consent, notice and regulatory obligations (1). 

Why is it Important?

Data Privacy has become an increasingly important issue for companies to address. Closely held company data is one of a business’ most important assets. Data is useful for mapping company performance, making decisions and solving problems faster, improving overall customer experience and measuring the success of your company (2). It provides market insight and competitive intelligence that can give it an operational advantage in its industry.

Data Breaches has Consequences

There are a variety of ways that a data breach can affect your company negatively. The first that will come to mind to most people is the financial repercussions of the breach (4).

 

These financial repercussions factor in a few different ways:

  • reimbursing affected clients
  • response efforts for breach
  • investigating the incident.

 

A negative impact that is less notable, but equally devastating is the reputation damage it inflicts on your brand. Regaining customer trust is difficult after a data breach. There will likely be customers lost during that time period as people become much more reluctant to use your company (4). These effects may not be permanent, but the time and cost to repair the damage can be significant, so it is important to not overlook the reputational impact data breaches cause.

The Alarming Rate of Data Breaches

Data breaches have become fairly common in this day and age. In fact, in 2018, it was reported that approximately 1.244 billion people in the US had their data breached. These data breaches resulted in 466 million records being exposed. That year, nearly half (46%) of US firms had reported a privacy breach. And making matters worse, 77% of IT professionals said that they did not have a plan if a cybersecurity incident occurred (3)! With nearly half of firms reporting cybersecurity attacks, there must be an increased sense of urgency, seriousness & awareness given to cybersecurity. Better prevention and resolution plans to buffer attacks require such focus and resolve.

How Can You Protect Your Data?

Now that you understand the negative effects a breach can have on your company, how can you prevent them from happening?

 

Here are a few tips to help secure your data:

 

  1. Employee Access & Education – Employees tend to be the easiest (and first) route for cybercriminals to access your data, so making sure that only authorized employees have access to crucial data is important. In addition, educating your employees about data breaches and the steps that they can take to ensure they’re only clicking on secure links and emails is critical (5). 
  2. Backup Servers – Having backup servers that can replicate your data is a good preventative measure. This will prevent large data loss that could occur from a breach (5). Ransomware attacks (where data is forcefully encrypted and held for ransom) can be alleviated when backup servers are employed.
  3. Obtaining Data Privacy Software – There is a variety of different software, like SiteLock, that you can purchase in order to protect your site against data breaches. The software SiteLock detects and automatically removes malware and other infections. It also has the ability to increase web speed by as much as 50%.

Contact us at 3PRIME to protect your website with SiteLock!

 

Data Privacy isn’t just good policy, it’s brand awareness

Data privacy deals with some of the most important personal information that users can provide online. Obtaining this data is extremely useful for companies, as it factors into a variety of different things that help to improve overall customer experience, determine corporate policies, and business operations. The way this information is being stored and protected is essential for companies.

Cyber attacks that resulted in data breaches have become increasingly common, affecting nearly half of US firms. These breaches can have serious effects on a company’s operations and its brand image. 

Make sure that you have preventative measures and solutions in place so that these types of data breaches don’t happen to you! A byte of prevention is worth 1.244 billion people needing a cure!

 

Sources:

www.varonis.com/blog/data-privacy/

www.towardsdatascience.com/how-important-is-data-for-your-business-c15a35c6935e

www.statista.com/statistics/273550/data-breaches-recorded-in-the-united-states-by-number-of-breaches-and-records-exposed/

www.itgovernance.co.uk/blog/the-damaging-after-effects-of-a-data-breach

www.entrepreneur.com/article/332794

5 Tips for Designing A Great Business Card

Every business needs a business card, and having a memorable one is a great way to help your business stand out from the crowd. When networking with a potential client, standing out becomes one of the deciding factors for why they would choose your business and not others. Once you get noticed, you also need to make sure you can convey exactly what you do and how you can help without making things too complicated. This can be challenging to get across on such a small card, but if done right, you can garner more opportunities for your business making it worth the investment.

Here are 5 tips to remember when you’re creating your card:

Simplicity

Make sure you don’t over-complicate the card with too much information. Keep it simple and clean, only adding in information you want people to see (name of business, address, web address etc.).

Legibility

It’s important that everyone can be able to read the information on the card or people won’t bother to look at it again. The minimum size font on the card should be 7pt, but any smaller and people will start to have problems. Make sure the fonts you choose are easy to read and there isn’t more than 3 being used if you’re using more than one.

Memorable Facts

State a memorable fact, something that will intrigue them enough to remember your card and lead them to finding out more about your business. (ex.Connecticut’s Highest Rated Personal Trainer.)

Leave the back of the card Uncoated

Consider leaving the back of your card uncoated so you or the recipient can add a note about what you discussed before they put your card away. This would help them recall some of the things you’ve discussed and if they’d like to follow up on something, your information is right on the front.

Creativity

Try something different other than the standard business card dimensions. Make a square business card or a mini-card, these layouts will definitely gain some attention. Make your business card scannable, having a QR Code is a modern way of allowing people to scan more information about your business with their cell phones; not to mention it looks really cool too!

Building a Website That Stands Out

5 Best Tips To Increase eCommerce Revenue

In a recent press release from DesignRush, we contributed to the best practices for ecommerce web design. The attribute we contributed to regards ensuring your web design employ clear calls to action. The obvious one for ecommerce is “add to cart”, but there are many others to consider!
In addition to actually purchasing, your design can incorporate opportunities for customers to read reviews, request a coupon, start a chat or some other interaction that increases the visitor's engagement with your website.
The more engaged your visitors are, the more likely you are to win their interest and their business!

Report: Advantages of Custom Software Development

In a recent press release from Software Development Company SDCR, we helped them identify the core advantages for company’s to develop custom software compared with off-the-shelf software.

6 Tips to Make Your WordPress Site More Secure

WordPress is the most popular Content Management System out there simply because it’s free, easy to use, has great documentation but, more importantly, because it’s secure. However, with that being said, it’s still not foolproof. There are still a few things you can do from your end to ensure it’s as secure as possible. Take a look at some of the following tips to keep your WordPress as secure at all times.

1. Choose a New Hosting Provider

Many hosting providers like Hosting Foundry have years of experience in securing WordPress sites – so why not opt for a similar service to ensure yours is always kept safe? A good, new hosting provider will update their software and hardware on a regular basis to ensure your website is secure.

2. Never Download Nulled Themes

It’s easy to look at nulled themes for your WordPress site, but they are illegal and have many security flaws. The themes might look brilliant and professional, and you may well get all the paid features for free – but it could cost you a lot of money in the long term if you lose customer data.

3. WordPress Security Plugins

WordPress has hundreds of free plugins available for those with an installation of WordPress on their site. Simply search the database to see what you can find – many of them are reviewed in depth so you can install multiple plugins quickly to get your site secured promptly. Take a look at some of these other security tips to add an extra layer of security to your site.

4. Stronger Passwords are Key

Strong passwords are harder to remember but that’s for good reason. It means hackers won’t be able to remember and all their automated software won’t be able to guess them (or certainly not as easily). The longer your password is with as many mixed characters as possible will ensure your password is as secure as it can be. The last thing you want is for your password to be guessed so some hacker can come along and change your site around for fun.

5. Change Your Login Directory

The WordPress admin panel is easily accessible through www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin or something similar. You can change this quite easily in the admin panel to something that’s completely different. There are, of course, ways hackers can find out this link, but it’s still an added layer of security to ensure they’re not going to have an easy ride.

6. Purchase SSL Certificate

An SSL certificate could help prevent data from falling into the wrong hands as far as URLs and processing data is concerned. Simply paying a small fee every month could give you an SSL certificate, which will add an extra layer of security to your site.

The above tips are just a few of the many things available that will help you secure WordPress properly. The more security tips you implement, the higher chance you’ll have of keeping hackers away.

How to Improve Your Website’s SEO Strategy

Search Engine Optimization is one of the best strategies you can invest in for your website. It isn’t just about making your website attractive in the eyes of Google’s algorithms. Nowadays Google has made updates that reflect user experience. What this means is that, in most cases, providing a great experience for your visitors will translate in a higher ranking on Google.

Keep Up To Date with the Latest SEO Changes

For example, a few key updates that benefit both search engines and users is site speed, site stability, and site security. Without these three pillars, your users will get frustrated, and search engine algorithms will mark you down for it.

The other fact you need to keep in mind is that even professionals in the industry don’t actually know 100% what these search algorithms look for. Google keeps this information under lock and key. Their algorithms also update regularly, which keeps the SEO industry on its toes.

You need to stay up to date with SEO changes at all times, and generally speaking aim to always provide an exceptional experience to your users. The latest changes, for example, reflect the growing use of mobile searches and mobile internet use.

Improve the Structure of Your Website

One area that we know search engines look at is the website’s structure and integrity. From a user point of view, this makes sense. Users are not likely to use a website if it takes long to load, and they won’t check out if they have reason to doubt your site’s security. In order to improve the overall structure of your website, you are going to need to invest in a great host like Onyx.io, which offers a triple-redundant 100% NVMe SSD platform for your website. This keeps it stable, fast, and secure.

What to Fix on Your Website

Once you have switched hosts, you will want to go through and clean up your website. Old SEO strategies, in particular, can actually hold you back more than you think, even if that effort at keyword stuffing is on a page that no longer links up to your website. Unless it is unpublished or deleted, Google’s bots can still find it.

 

  • Delete or Unpublish Unnecessary Pages

 

Go through and delete or unpublish all pages that are not necessary. You would need to otherwise optimize them all.

 

  • Fix Broken Links

 

Go through all your links and ensure that they work. If they don’t, either remove them or replace them.

 

  • Update Old Information

 

Rather than making a new post, guide, or page, update it. Updated content is more valuable to you than posting again.

How to Improve SEO From There

There are a few more ways that you can improve your SEO. To help you get started follow these steps:

  1. Commit to Keyword Research
  2. Optimize Your Site’s Content
  3. Keep a Valued Blog
  4. Optimize Site for Mobile
  5. Optimize Site for Voice Search

The most important thing you need to remember about SEO is that it keeps changing, and therefore you need to continuously update and improve your site.