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Podcast focusing on using technology to be better at running your small business, or at being inside a larger business. Half of the episodes will feature interviews and the rest will be reviews.

February 12, 2018

Episode 64 - Make Sure You Have Backup Systems

Always have a backup system!

Ever been in a position where your data is corrupted to the point of not being able to do work? Or how about a critical piece of hardware doesn't work and you're dead in the water?

Back in my tech support days, a guy called in and said he was losing $1000's of dollars a day because his internet connection was down. We went around and around trying to get him up and running, and had to run a technician out because it appeared to be a line issue. Again he stated it would cause him to lose $1000's a day! $20, $40 or $50 a month for a second internet connection doesn't seem like too tough of a purchase when you're losing that sort of money a day.

How this topic emerged was I just worked on a night club's sound system last night. After an hour or so of troubleshooting the entire system while it was LIVE entertaining nightclub customers, I narrowed it down to the sound board was freezing (confirmed with dozens of similar issues on search).  We really had three options. 1) Stay the course and have the sound interrupted every four or five songs... not a good solution but not impossible to do. 2) Hotwire it by running mics and everything through the Denon controller straight through to the amps. Or 3) replace the board with the old board and hope everything worked. We let it ride for the night, went back to the old system the next day, and sent the board off to be worked on or replaced.

At BeLoud Entertainment, my mobile DJ company, I have two computers, both have music software and lighting software installed. If the light software fails the lights can all be set to sound active. I have an extra speaker in the trailer in case one of the speakers blows up. There's at least two microphones (one wired) so I can always communicate. And if my board fails, I can run straight from my computer to the speakers.

I also got a call from a regional construction company where a computer was held hostage by malware and the person responsible wanted $1000 in bitcoin to de-encrypt the data files. That person backed up everything EXCEPT his computer, which held all the files for bid, financial records and more. Had that data been backed up the solution would have been to wipe the computer, re-install Windows, and push the data back onto the device.

Some other potentials backup systems.

  • Chromebook or cheap laptop to work if main computer is down or fails
  • All data should be at least backed up to off-device storage, then off-site.
  • Backup internet connection, even if it's a mobile hotspot, or a last resort somewhere offsite like a café so you can still work.
  • Mobile devices. It's rare to get a lot of money back when trading in your mobile devices, so keep on around in the event that your shiny, brand-new Note 8 fails and you need something.
  • Communication methods like Skype, a VOIP-phone, Facebook messenger, text and others can be valuable when your main communication method fails.
  • Have your website backed up so if that network, or even just your server, fails catastrophically you're down for hours and not weeks.
  • Office systems like Google Drive or WPS Office can get you buy when your computer fails or your copy of Microsoft Office starts to have issues.

The best way to ensure you have backup systems in place for your critical processes is :

  • Buy a reliable computer, tool or other device that is absolutely needed to get your job done. 
  • Have a cheap backup of that critical piece. If you use a computer all day, every day, get something cheap to get the job done.
  • Back up to off-device, or better yet, off-site data backup.
  • Keep that old mobile device if you're not getting good trade-in value to make sure you always have a backup phone if something catastrophic happens to your primary smartphone.
Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencing users, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us!  #BetterMatters #brandpartner

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February 12, 2018

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 63 - Upcoming Changes for Google Mobile Results

Episode 63 - Upcoming Changes for Google Mobile Results

Added as a Verizon Brand Ambassador

 

Google Mobile Results Changes

 

In early January 2018 Google announced some upcoming changes to the search results that will be presented based on the type of device used to access the search.

 

One of the ranking factors that will be used in presenting mobile results as of July 2018 will be page load speed. In the past, page load was not a high ranking factor for mobile results, so this is a fairly big change.

 

So now is the time to start thinking about redesigning the page, moving to a faster host, or making significant other changes to the page to increase your load speed on your mobile page.

 

Google has already been using page load speed as a primary factor on desktop sites, but will now us speed in determining mobile results.

 

Now Google has stated it will be used more to punish very slow sites by moving them down the page ranks than it will be to lift faster pages, but I expect it to become more significant in ranking mobile results in the near future.

 

So the tip for better mobile results on Google searches is to start planning for a mobile site, get it optimized, get it running on a faster server, and get it indexed by Google and ready for the change in July 2018. 

 

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

 

 

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December 27, 2017

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 62 - My Three Words for 2018

My Three Words for 2018

Several years ago I read a post by Chris Brogan, a recognized marketer and social media evangelist, regarding his three words. Each year he selects three words that will guide him throughout the year’s business landscape and pull him towards his goals.

I’ve done the exercise for several years as well and have enjoyed the thought process, and have achieved success… well, some of the time.

Last year’s words were : traction, focus, and education. My web hosting business jumped from 15 to nearly 70 websites (traction), my goal was to launch at least one website per month and I got 10 out of 12 (focus), and I received amazing SEO training from one of the most respected experts in the field (education). So, minus a few hiccups, I would say I did pretty well. But this year will be better.

My Three Words for 2018

So that brings us to my three words for 2018.

The focus for 2018 will be to adjust focus from BeLoud Entertainment, my wedding DJ company, to BeBizzy Consulting. And my three words are :

Structure

2017 was the year I got BeBizzy Consulting pointed in the right direction. I dropped the focus on computer troubleshooting, project management, and other services, and instead wanted the structure of website development, digital marketing and search engine optimization. 2018 will build on that structure with combining all the scattered hosting environments into two and implementing some increased focus on acquiring SEO clients.

Prioritize

Similarly in 2016 and back there was a large selection of services offered by BeBizzy Consulting. 2017 shaped and molded everything into a more management, focused business plan. 2018 will prioritize this plan and act on the experience and education and while still thinking to bring on additional website clients, the focus is to offer better solutions to current clients and new solutions to those already with websites. SEO, local search optimization and digital marketing are needed by many businesses, and that will be a priority for BeBizzy Consulting.

Transition

As much as I hate to say it, I’m getting older. And while I can still DJ with the best of them, I am going to be that 50 year old dude behind the gear very soon. So it’s finally time to start transitioning away from BeLoud Entertainment and putting more focus on BeBizzy Consulting, which will be my home for many years to come.That doesn’t mean I’m abandoning BeLoud… quite the opposite. But this year will be a step back while I evaluate how much time can be spent on the planning, meetings and execution of a wedding and school dance and still be able to service my BeBizzy clients. It does mean that I’ll fire up my DJ Voices podcast again, and start offering a DJ planning website so I can still be involved, but on the consulting side instead of the delivery side. BeLoud Entertainment will still provide service to over 30 events in 2018, and we already have a majority of those booked.

And that’s it; structure, prioritize and transition are my three words for 2018.  I’m sure we’ll revisit these on the BeBizzy Break Podcast several times to see how we did.

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December 14, 2017

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 61 - Performing a Social Media Audit

Host : Marv DornerBeBizzy Consulting

Guest : Donna Amos, Solopreneur Solutions

How To Get Started Performing a Social Media Audit

This is the perfect time of year to do a social media audit to prepare for next year.

  • Create a spreadsheet with the social media platform, the URL, and name on profile and the description
  • Also include number of fans/followers, and the date of the last activity
  • Make sure everything is consistent (name, images, colors, etc)
  • Start auditing individual social platforms for traffic

Where is Your Traffic Coming From?

Now that you’ve audited the general items of the individual to make sure everything looks and feels the same, it’s time to start looking at Google Analytics for indicators that visitors to the website are coming from the various social platforms.  You can also get some valuable information from the social media platform data.

In addition to using the social media analytics to perform a social media audit, you can also use third party tools like Hootsuite and SEMRush to analyze data from social media websites.

Act on the Social Media Audit

There are some actionable items that may show up in your social media audit that can

  • Repurpose old content in another form like video, slideshows or podcats
  • Set up goals and metrics to measure
    • The point of doing social media is to create awareness, gain followers to frequency, and that activity drives traffic to the site to sign up for email newsletters and subscriptions, then convert those subscribers.
    • Determine what “success looks like” for your business and see what sites are meeting that success model.
  • Sometimes it’s better to abandon/close a social media platform if you are unable to manage that platform or your audience just isn’t there.
  • Set up a schedule to perform this social media audit quarterly or at least regularly to look for trends on what is working.

Other Tips

  • Video is going to be the dominant form of media in social media in the coming years.
  • Video doesn’t have to be polished to be effective. Just needs good camera placement, decent content and great sound.
  • Create a list of FAQ’s, answer them, and make 1-2 minute videos answering those questions and share in your social sites.
  • Do you want to be seen as a thought leader? Then consumption of social and website content is the goa.
  • If you want to create awareness, strive for reach… how many people can you reach with each post..
  • Shares, likes and retweets are to be used if the goal is to reach more with word of mouth.
  • There is a documented trail of each post to see how many people see it, share it, like it, click on it, and even purchase because of it.
  • Don’t expect immediate results! Sometimes you are talking to no one until your acquire a following.
  • But there is a benefit to talking to no one in social and blogs because the post lives on and can be found by people searching for the content keywords.
  • Googe+ is great for SEO benefits, even if your customers aren’t there.

Performing a social media audit can take a bit of time, but if you do it once you will produce a baseline that will enable your business to compare to when making future decisions on digital marketing. Both Donna and I encourage you to take the time between now and the end of the year to audit your social media properties.

Don’t forget to check out Donna Amos’ article on “How to Perform a Social Media Audit” at her website, and follow her on Twitter to stay informed.

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

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November 30, 2017

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 60 - Are You Innovating?

Host : Marv DornerBeBizzy Consulting

We're back from a short Thanksgiving week break for Episode 60 of the BeBizzy Break Podcast and we're talking about why you should allow some time for innovation and not just running your business.

This is a very short episode of the podcast due to a lingering head cold, but the main points talked about are :

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November 15, 2017

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 59 - Your Technology Is Good Enough

Host : Marv Dorner, BeBizzy Consulting

On Episode 59 of the BeBizzy Break Podcast, we talk about the passing of another geriatric internet property, Compuserve, a renewal of the browser wars with Firefox Quantum, and why your technology is good enough.

Tech News

  • Compuserve Forums
    • Joins Microsoft Paint and AIM as old tech services being shut down in 2017.
    • Compuserve was the first major online service provider before AOL took over
    • The Forums were the last service of the once-proud ISP to remain functional
    • The service will be terminated on December 15, 2017 and odds are if no one would have said anything, you never would have known.
  •  Firefox Quantum
    • New browser from Mozilla that promises to be faster, and use less memory.
    • Some extensions may not work, so beware

Your current tech is good enough

  • FOMO - Fear of Missing Out
  • There's always a faster, shinier, and more "feature rich" device
  • And while there's something to be gained with tech that works better and faster, your current technology might be already good enough, or could be made so with a few minor tweaks or upgrades.

Smartphones

There's really no big leaps forward in phone features

  • Sure there's cosmetic upgrades like smaller bezels, larger and brighter screens, somewhat better battery
  • Most smartphone issues can be solved by doing a few easy things
    • Replacing the battery, if possible, or carry an external battery or recharging device.
    • Clear up memory by deleting apps, using streaming audio and video services, and uploading photos to free cloud services like Google Photos, them deleting the local files.
    • Run Updates - Make sure you're running the most recent operating system and app updates. Having everything updated makes it easier to troubleshoot and work together.
    • Factory Reset - Things still running slow? Sometimes it's just best to flush the system and start over with a new operating system install. Keep in mind you will lost all of your data on the phone, so back up and connect to cloud services.

Computers

Talk about no huge leaps forward, computers have remained pretty constant for many years

  • Improvements like the Microsoft Surface, Chromebooks and even iPad Pros are blurring the lines between computers and mobile, but even they "promise" to be able to do what you can already do with a computer, just smaller and lighter.
  • Both "major" operating systems, Windows and iOS have promised no major upgrades anymore, just incremental updates.
  • Hard Drives have become so large it's hard for a vast majority of users to come close to filling it up.
  • You can increase the life of your computer by doing some very easy, cost effective things like :
    • Add RAM - Memory is cheap, and of all the things to replace requires the least amount of technical know-how and time. RAM is easily accessible in desktops by removing the case, and most laptops have a cover to remove to get at the RAM and maybe the HDD. Major products like Crucial have scanners and selectors to make sure you're getting the right memory to upgrade your device.
    • HDD - Have an old or small hard drive? There's a real good chance that your HDD is a spinning disc, and believe it or not, it's WHEN it will fail, not IF. Check out Seagate or Western Digital to find a suitable replacement. You can also migrate less often or large files to an external drive for a small price and they easily connect to your current computer via USB.
    • To the Cloud! - Get your photos and other important files uploaded to a cloud service like Dropbox to ensure ease of access & transfer, and also security in the event of a hardware failure or catastrophic office event.

Websites

I know, it seems weird that a web development company would tell you that your website is good enough. There ARE times when it's best to update the website like when you need :

  • Responsive Design - Have a site that is old and doesn't work on a smartphone or smaller screen? Might be time to update to a responsive website.
  • CMS like WordPress - Maybe it's time to take over the management of your own website. WordPress allows you to post your own pages, a blog, and more.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - Maybe you're site is all set up an running as you need, but you're just not getting found on the internet. By optimizing your SEO and your Local Business Listing you increase the chances of being found by potential customers.
  • Social Media Marketing & Training  - Like SEO, your website might not be the problem, maybe it's just getting the word out. Social Media offers an easy way to engage your fans and followers and market to new clients.

Other Items

We are constantly hit with marketing messages on stuff you "NEED" to ensure you have the most current technology or your life will be horrible. Vehicle enhancements like rear hatches that open with your foot, lane change chimes, and others are safety features, but really just being a better driver will fix that. 4K and 3D TV's are wonderful, but there is little programming that takes advantage of the technology. VR goggles are fun toys, but again, there's very little cool, productive programming for them. And voice controlled devices like Google Home or Alexa are neat, and have a utility to them, but often you have a device in your hands or pocket that can do the same thing.

 

I LOVE technology, and our economy relies on constant updating of computers, furniture, cars, homes and just about everything else. But sometimes saving that money for something else is your best bet.

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November 1, 2017

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 58 - Overcoming WordPress Objections

In this episode we talk about how overcoming WordPress objections, the iPhone X, Skype and an update on my Pixel 2 XL phone.

BBP : Episode 58 - Overcoming WordPress Objections

Happy Birthday to us! Today is BeBizzy Consulting's 9th anniversary. Happy to be around and serving our clients in website design, hosting, marketing and search engine optimization for many years and looking foward to the future!

Tech News

 

  • The iPhone X, 10, whatever hits the streets on November 3rd, so buckle up!

    • 10th anniversary iPhone
    • Face ID unlocking feature
    • Near bezel-less design - OLED
    • No home button - swipe up/down to move through screens
    • New anemoji's… yay…
    • 12MP rear camera. Image stabilization
    • Listening to a review from TechRadar the reviewer claimed he had "cinematic" sound from the dual speakers. I'm gonna call B.S. on that one. Tinny smartphone speakers will never sound cinematic.
  • Week 2 with my Google Pixel 2 XL
    • Not seeing any performance issues, screen burn-in, or anything else.
    • This phone is FAST, has a great signal, good (not cinematic) sound, and Android Oreo is stable and easy to use.
  • Another update on my office…
    • Been using Skype as my primary office phone for several weeks, and I couldn't be happier. I have an external microphone and use my computer speakers as the "phone."
    • I don't think this will work in a typical office setting, but in an enclosed office or home office it works great.

 

 

Main Topic - Overcoming WordPress Objections

 

  • How this topic emerged was I was listening to podcasts, as I usually do while I work, and was listening to "Adam Ruins Everything," a podcast that accompanies a TV show of the same name on TruTV. It's hosted by Adam Conover and in the podcast they conduct more in depth interviews on a particular topic than the TV show allows.

    • In this episode, Adam spoke with Professor Stephan Lewandowsky about once a person gets entrenched in a belief and assembles with those who also believe the same thing, it can be impossible to move them off that belief even when presented with overwhelming evidence. This is called the "Backfire Effect"
  • One of the tech "Backfire Effects" is WordPress is simply an insecure blogging platform.
  • While at an advertising agency, I was brought in to argue "against" Wordpress because we sold a custom-made CRM. It was one of the toughest things I've ever done, and is frankly one of the reasons I chose not to work for that company any longer.
  • Here are some of the usual arguments against WordPresss
    • Security - There's a ton of holes and it's a highly visible platform that many people have found ways in.
    • SPAM - WordPress is a blogging platform so spam-bots target the code to run mailing systems
    • Plugins - These are not vetted so you could be installing complete garbage code on the site with tons of security holes
    • Limitations - Every WordPress site looks the same.
    • Buggy Code - The code is managed by the community, so who knows if it's well written or efficient.
    • Search Engines - SEO is impossible on the WordPress platform. Out of the box it doesn't allow you to format the code and meta information in such a way that Google and other search engines and index the site properly.
    • Hosting - Most of the hosts that allow WordPress are old, Linux-Apache based systems that run slow and
    • You get what you pay for ( in the case of the ad agency… 10's of thousands compared to thousands )
  • Let's address these one at a time…
    • Security - I've addressed this on several podcasts and blog posts, but here it is… nothing is safe
    • SPAM - Keep your code updated and use good plugins
    • Plugins - Use quality, high-ranked plugins that have been updated and work with your version of WordPress.
    • Limitations - Probably the biggest challenges to overcoming WordPress objections are themes. There are tons of customizable themes to use to give your WordPress site a unique look. 
    • Buggy Code - There are millions of users looking for and submitting bug fixes, so normally they are found and repaired before penetrating the real world if the code is properly updated.
    • Search Engines - Yoast and other SEO plugins are much more efficient in formatting and presenting content for the search engines. So overcoming this WordPress objections is reallly easy.
    • Hosting - There are now dedicated hosts for Wordpress sites which allow one-click installs, install updates, speed enhancements, and more.
    • You CAN get what you pay for, but you can also be paying for that fancy office, over-hyped software and computers, desks, food, etc. Sometimes you're just paying more because they're charging more.

 

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

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October 27, 2017

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 57 - Google Pixel 2 XL

In this episode we talk about the newly launched Pixel 2 XL android smartphone, and why you should get one.

BBP : Episode 57 - Google Pixel 2 XL

The Pixel 2 XL is the anxously awaited android smartphone from Google. It runs a stock version of Android O(reo), and is loaded with a lot of great features.

Here's the specs

  • Operating System : Android 8.0
  • Cameras : 12.2MP Read - 8PM Front
  • Processors : Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835
  • Display : P-OLED capacitive touchscreen, 1440x2880 pixels (18:9 ratio), Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • Memory & Storage : RAM-4GB   Storage 64GB & 128GB
  • Dimensions : 6.2x3.0"
  • Colors : Black, White, Blue
  • Batter : 3520 mAh
  • Sensors : Active Edge squeeze technology
  • Ports : USB-C 3.1 Gen 1
    • No headphone jack
    • No expandable memory slot
  • Materials - Aluminum unibody - Water and dust resistant

Google Pixel 2 page at the Google Store

There have been discussions of screen burn-in, a bluish tint and a few other things. 

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

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October 19, 2017

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 56 - Capterra

In this episode we talk about how Capterra can help you find the right software solution to manage your business.

BBP : Episode 56 - Capterra

Tech News

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update released on Oct 17

  • As always, running updates has certain risks, as talked about on last week's podcast
  • Make sure you have plenty of time to run the updates, possibly a couple of hours.
  • Always back up and know there's that small chance the backup may fail and you'll either have to revert back, or it could cause your system to become unstable.
  • Features.
    • People Integration - You can now pin friends, co-workers, business partners, family members, etc to the task bar for easy access. It can even be used to contact via Skype
    • Fluent Design - a new design language from Microsoft regarding animations and effects. Some included changes are blur effects, easier resizing of apps and windows and a "shinier" design for the Start Menu.
  • You can also pin website shortcuts to the taskbar. This was avaiable in previous versions of Windows, and now it's back.
  • New emojis - dinosaurs, genies, zombies and more are part of the Unicode updates for the fall creators update.
  • Cortana - Cortana notifications can now be seen on your Android phone. And you can control Windows a bit with Cortana, including locking, signing out, shut down or restarting your computer.

 

Google Advanced Protection

  • Meant for high-profile celebrities, politicians and other possible targets for hacking.
  • Advanced security features for your account (gmail, google drive, etc)
  • Need a physical key to unlock your data (USB)
  • It also locks down your files and email to ONLY Google apps, eliminating the possibility of using 3rd party programs to attain the data.
  • This will make using Google's products a bit more tough, but if you're concerned about information security more than you are about ease of use, this may be a good solution.

Capterra

Capterra is a website with a mission to match up businesses with the right software to optimize any part of the operation. Whether it's project management software, bookkeeping, marketing, testing or just about anything else, Capterra can suggest the right software taking into account budget, ease of use and more.

 

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

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October 16, 2017

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 55 - Have You Updated Today?

In this episode we talk about managing your passwords and updating technology to stay secure.

BBP : Episode 55 - Have You Updated Today?

Tech News

Yahoo Email Hack - Now up to 3 Billion accounts, apparently every yahoo account. - announced by the new owner, Verizon

  • No credit card information in the breach, but
  • Suspect part is that the new intelligence was just recently obtained AFTER the deal closed to buy Yahoo.

 

Equifax update - there's a good chance the company will have to pay penalties to affected consumers going north of $1B.

  • For the record, $1B comes to just over $7 per possible affected user.

 

Cortana is now rollout out into Skype. You should start seeing it appear in private and group chats to offer assistance for scheduling and other items.

  • Will also appear in the Android and iOS versions soon.
  • Still not sold on voice systems like Google, Amazon or Siri, but I hope to become more reliant on it when the new Pixel 2 phone arrives
  • Microsoft claims 141 million "monthly" users of Cortana. I use it only when I accidentally click the button on my desktop toolbar, so that probably counts at least once a month.
  • Siri - 41.4 monthly, 19% daily.
  • Google claims 20% of mobile searches are voice searches - couldn't find a published #
  • Becoming more popular
  • Would love to discuss voice searches and voice control on a future episode, so if you're an "expert" please contact me.

 

Today's topic - You are Responsible for Updating Your Technology

  • In the last month, I've had to do the following:

    • Rescued three websites from obvious hacking

      • Two were hijacked by an out-of-date Wordpress plugin and dozens of fake blog posts linking to a casino were placed on the sites.
      • One was using a password created several years ago and the FTP was compromised, with THOUSANDS (over 50k) web pages were created, uploaded and indexed by google.
        • The new index.php page and all the rest were the only ones showing up in Google searches because of the dominance.
    • About six months ago I got a call that a Wordpress site built over five years ago had NEVER been updated, and now stopped working.
      • That required updating WP, finding out what, if any of the existing plugins would still work with the new WP, and we had to find alternate solutions for outdated, un-updatable, or costly upgrades to certain plugins.
    • Two months ago I worked on a computer that was full of malware. The client was still running Windows XP and didn't want to update. Windows XP was abandoned by Microsoft in April 2014, meaning there was no further development on the operating system and it would be exposed as insecure.
    • In all cases, there was a massive cleanup, one new install of WP, and a complete forced re-indexing of the website by Google and other search engines.

 

ALL of these could have been avoided if the core functions would have been maintained. By following just a few steps, your computer, phones and other devices can stay up to date and minimize the danger of being compromised.

 

Remember, criminals will most always take the low-hanging fruit, like the computer not updated in over 5 years, the Wordpress site with outdated plugins, or the FTP password that hasn't changed in half a decade.

 

A word of warning… updates can sometimes fail, and even cause larger issues. BACK UP YOUR DATA before running updates, or just in general. However, the risk of something bad happening during an update is nothing compared to the possible issues that can happen by running an out-of-date system.

 

  • Wordpress and Other Websites
  1. Back up everything on a regular basis - Always have a way to reset if something bad happens, even if you lose some data.
  2. Turn on automatic updates for plugins and incremental Wordpress updates.
  3. Use a service to update multiple sites if needed.
  4. Turn on notifications for major Wordpress or theme releases, and run them after you back up, update plugins and prepare for possible downtime.
  5. Also change your FTP and Cpanel passwords on a regular basis, or when someone leaves the organization.
  • Windows Computers
  1. Back up on a regular basis. Services like Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive and others offer cheap, or even free secure cloud services that will back up your data.
  2. Turn on automatic updates in the control panel. This will run in the background, and prompt to reboot when larger updates appear.
  3. If you can update your operating system to at least Windows 8.2 you will at least be receiving regular security updates. There was a time you could have updated to Windows 10 for free, but you most likely missed that if you're still running an older version.
  4. Keep your software like browsers, office software and other major applications like Photoshop and others up to date by regularly checking, or selecting auto-updates if prompted.

Mobile Devices

  1. Back up on a regular basis (notice a theme here?). Most carriers have this available, but you can keep your music in the cloud, photos backed up to Google Photos for free, contacts saved to Gmail or Gsuite, again for free, and other data can use Dropbox, Carbonite and other services.
  2. Go into the Play Store or Updates on your mobile device and click Update All on a regular basis.
  3. Always accept operating system updates when prompted, your device is properly charged or connected to a power source, and you have the necessary allotted time to accomplish the update. Do a full reboot once in a while to clear the device and also to re-engage auto-updates when the phone reaches back out to the carrier or app store.

 

Updates are an easy way to keep your site and devices secure. Criminals are looking for the easy targets when you're dealing with electronic crime, so stay on top of your systems and update regularly.

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