Why Social Media is Important for Your Business

Why Social Media is Important for Your Business

The 21st century has experienced a boom, all thanks to the advancement in technology. The internet has reduced advertising costs on radio, television and other visual platforms by half.

Using Social Media

Social media platforms have gained momentum in the field of advertising, and they have become one of the sought-after tools by marketing maestros. Social media has helped businesses spread their tentacles via digital means. As a business owner, if you have not tapped into this means of marketing, it, means you have been living in a cave. You need to utilize these platforms to create awareness for your brand.

Social media improves your brand awareness

When it comes to brand awareness, the importance of social media is critical. Social media ranks very high when it comes to digital marketing. If you get your business on social media platforms, it makes your business more visible to your target audience thereby increasing brand awareness. If you go the extra mile to boost your business presence online on different platforms, it will skyrocket the recognition of your brand. Surveys show that about 90% of marketers who spent a couple of hours engaging in marketing on their business pages on social media experienced great turnout. No doubts, having a business profile for your brand will be the best decision you ever made in a career.

Social media is pocket-friendly

Social media will cut back on a lot of costs associated with advertising. It is almost free. All you must do is to create an account by signing up on the social media forum which is usually free. If you want to take things to the next level, you may decide to pay for advertising on these platforms. It is advisable to start out by paying little amounts of money to see if the paid adverts convert into sales. It is always advisable to minimize cost for a maximum profit so that you can get a healthy ROI.

Social media helps you engage your audience

Social media is the perfect tool for engaging your audience. For business owners who are always active on social media, customer interaction is always top notch, and their satisfaction is guaranteed. Customers need to be sure they are not dealing with unscrupulous individuals before they make purchases, by engaging with your potential clients, you will alleviate any form of lack of trust or worry associated with shopping online.

In addition to the above benefits of using social media; you can get high traffic. However, these are some of the things you shouldn’t do in your business’ cyberspace.

 

What not to do

Do not rush the process

In the bid to get more return on investments, business owners skip many vital aspects of social media marketing. It is essential to learn the ropes.

Do not lie

Do not mislead your audience. Avoid living a fake life on your social media page to improve awareness.

Do not be ignorant

Avoid being nonchalant or a snub. It is important to let your audience have a feel of your warm personality. In addition to the things, you shouldn’t do avoid vulgarity or use of profane words. Do not divulge too much.

Resource:

Image Resource: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1028519https://pxhere.com/en/photo/816420

Linda Rawson is the CEO, and Founder of DynaGrace Enterprises, (http://DynaGrace.com) which is a Women-Owned, Small Business. She is also the author of The Minority and Women-Owned Small Business Guide to Government Contracts.

The Ultimate Deception Tool: Phishing!

The Ultimate Deception Tool: Phishing!

As advances increase with the internet, so are people progressing cybercrime tactics on the internet.

Phishing is a cybercrime in which the perpetrators persuade its victims to release sensitive personal data. Financial details, passwords after contacting them via emails, text messages under the false pretext of being a legitimate organization are some examples. The moment information releases it results in identity theft, access to personal accounts, and substantial financial losses.

Common types of phishing

1. Spear Phishing

In spear phishing, the cybercriminals take time to gather information about you and use it in the email to appear legitimate. They go as far as mentioning your name, your phone number and where you work which they usually obtain from social media sites. After which they request for sensitive information, which they use to defraud their victims. Both spear and deceptive phishing, share common features which are the manner they reach out to people and the sense of urgency in their tone of their emails, sometimes they make you believe that if you don’t comply something terrible may happen.

2. Deceptive Phishing

Phishing of this type occurs when the scammer sends an email from a company that you always patronize their services. The scammers act as though they are employees of the company and request for your details in the email they send, placing deadlines on your compliance. The email usually contains fraudulent URL links that will have forms where personal information will be filled in. Protect your yourself from this kind of phishing attack by being more observant, with regards to URL sites before clicking to be sure you are about to visit a legitimate domain.

3. CEO Fraud

Here, the target is usually a top executive in a company, these scammers hack into their emails and send messages to junior employees most times requesting that money transfers to another account. They exploit the organogram of an organization as they know that most low ranking won’t ask questions and readily obey instructions from their superiors.

4. Search Engines, Dropbox and Google Docs Phishing

Some phishing scams involve search engines or favorite sites like Dropbox and Docs, where the users are always uploading and downloading as well as sharing files. They pose as Dropbox or Google Docs and request personal information just as in spear phishing.

Also, these scammers could hoist fake websites presenting low-cost products or offering loans with a low-interest rate. They defraud their victims when as they enter credit card details to patronize them.

5. Pharming

Also known as web delivery or ‘man-in-the-middle,’ here, scammers take over a website, lock out the webmasters redirecting the users of the websites to their fraudulent sites. It is considered the scariest type of phishing because if users of these websites are not careful enough, they give their details to the wrong persons. Also, the scammers may hack into the communication link between the users and the websites and pick vital information about the users without them knowing about it, hence the name ‘man in the middle.’

IDENTIFYING PHISHING THREATS

The following features are ‘red flags,’ warning signals you should look out for to protect yourself or your organizations from phishing scams.

Hyperlinks:

Clicking all links shouldn’t be done. Before clicking look at the link. If the link has spelling errors, avoiding it would be wise. These scammers usually use popular websites but deliberately misspell the address which vulnerable individuals will overlook.

Unbelievable offers:

Be careful about emails that have too-good-to-be or unbelieving offers. Offers like this are designed to catch attention and lure its victims into fraud. Whenever you see such emails, stay away from them.

Unknown Sender:

Any email that comes from unknown persons should be known as a phishing scam threat. There is no need to open it, delete it!

Attachments:

Once you see emails with attachments that you weren’t expecting, it is best you don’t download the websites. Phishing scams perpetrate in this manner and attachments of this sort could contain malware or viruses that would seriously harm you.

Emails with deadlines:

Never forget that financial institutions will not rush you to provide your financial details via the internet. Institutions usually give lots of time for you to comply. Therefore, disregard any emails, requiring your data with a high sense of urgency, this is a typical style of scammers. Contact your banks or any other institutions and verify appropriately before filing financial detail online.

PHISHING PREVENTION TIPS

In recent times, these scammers are becoming more innovative. Scammers intensify the menace of cybercrime. Against this backdrop, the following are tips to help you stay away from phishing attacks:

Change your browser settings

Adjust your browser’s settings to permit only verified sites to open. As a user, there is a need to explore the browser feature which gives an alert when a fake website is opening. Such warning signs should be adhered to strictly.

Use spam filters

What these filters do is to trace the source of the message, determine the software used to send the message, the appearance of the message and then blocks it.   Sometimes the spam filters may even prevent your emails to keep you protected.

Always change passwords or use multiple factor authentications

An excellent way to avoid phishing attacks is to change passwords on a regular basis, avoid using the same password across accounts on the internet. Webmasters should adopt the multiple factor authentication or the CAPTCHA systems to prevent security breaches on their websites.

Cross check every URL

Before clicking, it is essential to take a second look, at the URL. Safe websites will always start with “https”; this is a proof that it has a valid Secure Socket Layer certificate.

Finally, to avoid severe losses of money and credibility, organizations and even individuals should invest in getting the right and updated information for the cyber attacks and cybersecurity. When applying regularly, you and the organization has protection from any form of cyber attack.

Linda Rawson is the CEO, and Founder of DynaGrace Enterprises, (http://DynaGrace.com) which is a Women-Owned, Small Business. She is also the author of The Minority and Women-Owned Small Business Guide to Government Contracts.

Resource:

Image Resource: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/714530https://pxhere.com/en/photo/989227https://pixabay.com/en/phishing-fraud-cyber-security-3390518/

Modernizing Government Technology (Mgt) Act

Modernizing Government Technology (Mgt) Act

The signing of the Modernizing Government Technology Act (MGT) was in December 2017. Federal security operations for several years have been using hardware and software that are needing to be more modern. Obsolete technology has posed challenges in protecting the nation cyberspace and vital national data from cyber-attacks.

Making Room for New Technology

What is the Modernizing Government Technology Act

The government spends about 75% allocation to information technology. This spending is maintaining and ensuring that these outdated information technology systems remain operational. The risks these systems pose are a result of their inability to utilize current security practices.  It includes multifactor authentication and data encryption. They are also expensive and always fail to fulfill the mission requirement and vulnerable to malicious software.

Against the backdrop, in a bid to address these issues, the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act was passed by the legislatures. Through this

means, the government can empower federal agencies to effectively discharge their duties with regards to cybersecurity and information technology services.

The primary purposes of the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act are to:

    Curtail current and operational risk of the information technology systems of federal agencies by ensuring that they are compliant with recent security technology.

    Assist the federal government in cutting cost with regards to information technology via modernization

  Hasten the acquisition and application of modernized information technology practices such as cloud computing, data encryption and lots more through the provision of stable funding and transparent acquisition procedures.

Benefits of the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act

Federal IT experts in some quarters are of the opinion that the MGT Act is long overdue. Nevertheless, the law has lots of benefits with regards to operational ease, data security, and investment opportunities. The following are the significant benefits:

Access to capital funds that will boost the modernization of IT systems:

MGT Act gives room for heads of different agencies to access working capital funds. These funds can be used to update or replace existing IT systems with modern state-of-the-art information technology systems. Also to adopt and train their staff on new risk–inclined cybersecurity measures.

The Funds

The funds can be utilized by agencies to ensure a smooth transition from legacy IT systems to cloud. Or, a shared service to boost security and effectiveness in the discharge of their duties serving the American people.

This gesture will empower these agencies to reprogram or transfer funds. This includes those earmarked for the maintenance of obsolete IT systems for other variety of projects or investments which are within its mandate as a federal agency.

However, monitoring the utilization of these funds are required to submit comprehensive reports regarding the expenditures and balances every six months. These reports are made public for the sake of accountability.

Migration to cloud systems:

The MGT Act will hasten up the movement to a Cloud system. This migration is more cost-effective and has access to another realm of innovation that associated with cloud systems. It also offers a more secure means to handle data.

Expect that these agencies will, for the sake of providing better services, jettison the legacy system for more efficient digital technology. A good example is the network modernization that allows Chief Information Officers (CIO) to know what exactly happens in their operations.

Although there are critics of the MGT Act, who say that the Act is a misguided venture, the benefits will improve the lives of the American people.

Resources: https://www.fedscoop.com/trump-signs-mgt-act-law/https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/the-legislative-branch/https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/capital-funding.asphttps://www.techopedia.com/definition/635/legacy-system

Images by: Business Technology – Cyber Security [www.bluecoat.com/https://www.flickr.com/photos/111692634@N04/]; US Capital https://pxhere.com/en/photo/738025

Cutting Edge Web Design Trends of 2018

Cutting Edge Web Design Trends of 2018

Website design is one of the most dynamic concepts in the digital world. As the year progresses, there is an increase in the technical challenges web designers face.

The numbers 2018

Made in Canva by Machelle L.

The Art of Web Designing

However, these challenges have been better with the advent of more creativity into the art of web designing. This creativity has given rise to more innovative websites.  Creating a more user-friendly interface, compatible with any digital device, high aesthetics and still compliant with corporate needs.

2017 witnessed lots of innovation about web designing and anticipates that more creativity will trend in the year 2018. Some of them have already begun manifesting the websites that have fantastic mobile functionalities. Some others are still in the process. The following are remarkable trends to grace the web designing landscape in the year 2018:

Animation, Motion graphics

In the year 2018, this will be one of the significant changes that we will experience. An animation is believed to make a lasting impression just as the famous quote says, ’a picture is worth a thousand words.’

Animations in web pages include particle backgrounds, animated thumbnails images, as well as virtual or augmented realities. These motion graphics are of a JavaScript design to move naturally in the web background without delay while loading. Some of them are used in the social media for different purposes already.

Web schemes with superb colors

Due to the advent of computer monitors and device screens with improved picture quality, web designers are becoming bolder in their color selections. Being bolder has led to websites with supersaturated colors, dominant shades, contrasting colors yet producing beautiful blends. These varieties ensure that web pages are looking good. This sort of improvement is to attract visitors’ attention and sell the brand or the idea on the websites. Web designers will go beyond the conventional, really think out of the box for high colors in 2018.

Asymmetric or Broken Layouts

An image of a web design layout

Made in Canva by Machelle L.

Asymmetric Layouts were first introduced in 2017 but will attract more attention in the web designing space in 2018. It is a shift from the conventional grid-based web layouts. Its attracting factor is that it provides a unique aesthetic experience for a web page visitor. Many brands may still want to stick to the conventional layouts because they consider this asymmetry a luxury. Others, especially more prominent companies, may find it a perfect means to sell their brand to the public.

Flexible fonts

The fonts of a web page are more than just a visual tool. It also plays a huge role in creating a lasting impression and provoking an emotional response. Also, fonts serve as a medium of communication on any website. In 2018 there will be devices with outstanding resolutions and screen characters that get sharper. There will also be a concomitant rise in different fonts used in web pages. This trend aims at creating a better user experience, ensuring that web users aren’t bored being on your websites.

Active gradients

In more recent times, developers are gradually adopting gradients for their web designs. An active gradient is already a trend that has come to stay as they are progressively replacing the flat designs. They are often used to make images on a web page more captivating with colors of various dimensions. Most web designers used this gradient as an alternative when there are a few images.  These alternatives are usually conspicuous and rich in color.

Priority of mobile devices

Websites designed in the year 2018 will have mobile devices that will have the utmost priority. Expect that Google will rank websites on mobile compatibility and user-friendly interface. Since almost everyone has a smartphone, the prioritization of mobile devices by web designers will be a priority. These devices will also trigger other mobile-friendly initiatives tools and apps shifting from desktops in 2018.

The concept of web designing is an ever-changing one that necessitates severe changes in our web designing approach. These trends trigger the need for new skills, newer ideas, and a different approach.

Linda Rawson is the CEO, and Founder of DynaGrace Enterprises, (http://DynaGrace.com) which is a Women-Owned, Small Business. She is also the author of The Minority and Women-Owned Small Business Guide to Government Contracts.

Resource: https://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/user-interface-design.htmlhttps://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/a-picture-is-worth-a-thousand-words.htmlhttps://www.canva.com/learn/website-color-schemes/https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2011/10/asymmetrical-balance-in-web-design/https://creativemarket.com/blog/types-of-fonts-for-professionalshttps://www.awwwards.com/gradients-in-web-design-elements.html

Image Resource: Canva creation by Machelle L.; https://pxhere.com/en/photo/750606

5 Tips to Stop Hackers in Their Tracks

5 Tips to Stop Hackers in Their Tracks

In recent times, online thievery has become so rampant cutting across every facet of human endeavors where data systems are in use.

The frequency of hacking has become very high that’s it is believed to occur every minute. This particular development has raised concern in several quarters on how exactly to be free from hacks, how can we stop the activities of hackers.

The following are trusted tips to prevent hackers from intruding into your files.

  • Keep your security software updated

Being safe entails being watchful.  Safety could mean making sure all routes viruses could take into your system is blocked and steadily watched over. All you need is to install capable anti-spy wares or antivirus and ensure they are always updated. To ensure your system has protection, you can also connect to a network firewall. Firewalls help scrutinize data going in and out of your system, identifying threats and neutralizing them as well.

  • Always change your passwords

Before now, all that would occur was changing the default passwords to words that we can easily remember. However, things have changed. Customizing passwords are no longer enough to protect you from hacking. Your passwords must be strong. It should be a mixture of different numbers, characters of both upper and lower cases alongside symbols.

The understanding that the only portal hackers have into your business systems is via your username and passwords. This info should encourage you to continuously change your username as well as passwords on a widespread basis. Though this approach may be stressful, it is a small price to pay to be secure online. Nevertheless, as these changes continue, care must be taken that the new passwords are secure from unlawful persons.

  • Restrict access to needless sites

Limiting visits to specific sites might be one of those giant strides you make to be safe online. Some sites, like pornographic web pages, can be harbors of different forms of malware or viruses. Viruses could render the entire business operating system vulnerable. Against this backdrop, it becomes vital to take serious measure to block sites of this sort.

  • Carefully chose your Internet Service Provider (ISP)

Different firms now provide internet services, not all of them can keep you protected. There is, one primary criterion to be considered while choosing an ISP, before cost and speed. It is built in security features. A perfect ISP should have all these features and save you worry while using the internet.

  • Invest in cybersecurity education

Continuous training in cybersecurity trends is vital for any organization that is serious about keeping its data way from hackers. Training can be carried out via workshops, videos, employee drills or any other method. This is vital to ensuring that they are not ignorant of matters that pertain to cybersecurity.

Knowing these tips and acting on them is another. However, the reality is that we live in a time where cyberattack is on the rampage threatening the very existence of a business. To efficiently stop these hackers is to be security conscious while using the internet and consistent implementation of these tips.

Linda Rawson is the CEO, and Founder of DynaGrace Enterprises, (http://DynaGrace.com) which is a Women-Owned, Small Business. She is also the author of The Minority and Women-Owned Small Business Guide to Government Contracts.

Resources: https://dynagrace.com/cybercrime-invisible-crime/ https://passwordsgenerator.net/ ; https://www.sans.org/cybersecurity/

Image Resources: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1331118https://pxhere.com/en/photo/867306https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1366057

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