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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.

August 23, 2017

BeBizzy Break Podcast - Episode 51 : GoDaddy Smartlline

In this episode we talk about Android Oreo, Skype, Chromebook Bluetooth issues, Facebook bandwidth limitations and GoDaddy Smartline.

BBP : Episode 51 - GoDaddy Smartline

  • New Android version is officially Oreo.
    • Google announced this on during the solar eclipse in New York.
    • Faster, better battery life, better copy and paste, picture in picture.
    • No specific date on release, but most compatible devices should have it by the end of 2017
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDLc-QPFNs0

 

  • My phone situation
    • The cell towers seem to be back up as my connection is much better
    • However, I did choose Skype as my inbound/outbound backup.
    • Worst part is now when I get a phone call, my phone, my Chromebook, my iPad and my computer all ring. I finally stopped leaving Skype on all the time on my Chromebook, so that removed one of the devices.
  • One issue I've discovered is common with Chromebooks in general is a bit of an issue with Bluetooth audio. Seems that streaming audio via BT on the Chromebooks is a bit flakey So factor that into your decision making. LOVE the Chromebook, but that makes two big things I don't like, the other is a limit on
  • Facebook will start distributing files based on the ability of users to view the content due to their bandwidth.
    • This means that if you have a large video file or even a very large image, it may be NOT shown to users on slower mobile devices, or even slower home and office connection
    • This does not mean you should NOT use video or images, it just means you should make sure you take some time to compress or optimize your file before you upload.
    • This will make sure your message, advertising, or video of your dog playing will get seen my more people.
  • GoDaddy Smartline
    • 100 minutes per month
    • 100 texts s/r per month
    • Add a second number so you don't have to give out your mobile
    • Make and receive calls using the Smartline business number.
    • Also use Smartline to send/receive text messages
 
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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August 10, 2017

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 50 - Change Your Passwords… Again

EPISODE 50!! AND, it's our one year anniversary. So all around a big day for the BeBizzy Break Podcast!

In this episode we talk about what NIST has recommended for a new password strategy.

BBP : Episode 50 - Change Your Passwords... Again

First of all, congratulations to Dana and her team at the North Dakota Recreation and Parks Association on their new website. We launched http://NDRPA.com earlier this week. It's a Wordpress site with a calendar, subpage navigation and more. Check it out!

Also, I rescued two websites earlier this week from hacking. I'll use this as my weekly reminder for all of your to back everything up. Websites, databases, financial information, personal photos... everything. Better to put a little bit of prevention and spend a little bit of money now than pay a bunch of money to possibly recover (or worse, possibly NOT recover) lost data. 

 

Passwords

Back in 2003, Bill Burr (not the comedian) was a mid-level manager at NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology. They recommend standards on all sorts of things like official weight calibration, timing, and even technology guidelines like passwords. In 2003, Burr published NIST Special Publication 800-63 Appendix A, which spelled out the proper guidelines for creating and managing secure passwords on websites and networks. Those guidelines are still followed today.

The standards included a long password (8-12 characters), upper and lower case alphabet charcters, numbers, special characters and random. Sounds like every website you sign up for, doesn't it?

But now, Mr. Burr has stated that in regards to this document and policy, "Much of what I did I now regret." That's an unfair statement by Bill. Back in 2003, we didn't have much history of what computer network security was, and we definately didn't have the case studies of how criminals and mischief-makers would do to gain access to computer networks. All of his recommendations sounded solid, and while possibly flawed, are still in use today. 

What NIST and computer analysts are finding though is humans always find an easy way to get around something tough, and frankly secure. The requirements would allow a user to create a seemingly random password like "Pa5sW0rD". You and I both know that says "PaSsWOrD", but the computer sees it matches Burr's recommendations. 

So, when it comes time to update the password becasue of time requirements placed by the system adminstrators, or a data break. instead of creating a new, secure passwords, often we add something simple to it. "Pa5sW0rD" becomes "Pa5sW0rD1", the "5" and "s" switch places, or something simple like that to remember but still meeting Burr's recommendations. 

Well the computer hackers have also figured out our shortcuts and have added some smarts into their password cracking to test out some of these easy switches. And it's working.

In June 2017, NIST has published a new version of NIST Publication 800-63, which outlines a very different recommended password architecture. What started out as a project to simply review and slightly revise Burr's policy recommendations became an eye-opening look into how users and criminals were using passwords. And results came back with a HUGE change in password policy. 

Instead of a hard-to-remember, cryptic password, it was instead recommending four or five easy to remember words all pressed together. This is easy for the user to remember, change and use, and tough for the computer hackers to crack due to the length and randomness of the password.

A cartoon on XKCD.com  estimated that a password created using Burr's methods, "Tr0ub4dor&3" would take only three days to crack using current methods. A password of four words all mixed together would take 550 years. That password was "correcthorsebatterystaple." Which one do you think is easier to remember, and change? And if you DO need to change the password, which is now only recommended in the event of a data breach or similar event, you can swap out an entire word instead of just adding a "1" or "!" to the password. 

It will be interesting to see how this is adapted and implemented across websites and networks. Most rules won't allow passwords regardless of length, to not contain numbers, special charactes and upper/lower case, so there's a lot of things that have to change for these guidelines to become common, but it makes sense.  

Do you have thoughts on this or anything else technology related? Let me know on Twitter or at BeBizzy.com!

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July 28, 2017

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 48 - Can You Hear Me Now?

Have a favorite small or home business phone system tip? I'm looking for help!

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 48 - Can You Hear Me Now?

I am currently having a problem with my phone.

A few weeks ago, my mobile phone connection has significantly dropped off in my home office. I'm in a basement with only a small window directly above my head to the outside world. I get nearly no bars on my phone connection, and my 4G LTE is suspect. 

So, I'm looking for some possible solutions to make phone calls with my clients a reality. So far I've considered : 

  • Skype In and Out
    • Relatively cheap
    • Sound quallity is suspect
  • Ooma & Vonage
    • Extra equipment including a desktop phone
    • Upfront cost then relatively cheap
  • Grasshopper and RingCentral
    • Established, proven product
    • Little bit more expensive per month
    • Still needs some additional equipment
  • Other VOIP Solutions
    • Cost is low
    • Worried it goes away in a year
    • Technology is sometimes good, sometimes a little sketchy.

So let me know what you're currently using if you are also unable to go exclusively with your smart phone, and we'll talk about my decision in a future podcast!

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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July 19, 2017

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 47 - Joining, Participating In & Hosting Twitter Chats

Have you joined a Twitter chat? What has been your experience if you have? Are you ready to host a Twitter chat? 

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 47 - Joining, Participating In & Hosting Twitter Chats

One of the biggest big advantages of the Twitter platform is for large groups of people to unite around a common topic to entertain, educate and provide a common voice. Leveraging that to learn about a topic is a great way to keep up with just about any category or specific subject.

But joining a Twitter chat can be a little tricky, and for many of us, scary. First of all, forget the scary part. You can join without anyone even knowing you're there, so let's just get that out of the way now. So that leaves the technical part. It's usually as simple as following a hashtag. Tools like Hootsuite and others allow you to both follow a hashtag, and even create a seperate stream with only that hashtag, which makes it really easy to play along.

Joining a Twitter Chat

Some easy tips

  • Participate! Ask questions, submit answers, share slides and other media . The biggest waste of your time will be to sit and watch the chat go by with nothing contributed by you. Follow people to interact with you if the content is valuable, entertaining, or helpful.

  • When responding make sure you use the #Hashtag to ensure the admins and other followers can see your question, response or generate statement. This will allow everyone to use or respond to your post.

  • If this is a q/a chat, look for Q1, Q2 or something similar from the admins, then respond with a similar format A1, A2, etc. along with the #Hashtag

  • Follow the rules! Don't promote your website, service or other items unless it's allowed or requested by the hosts. Breaking these rules will 1) get you slapped on the wrist, or 2) get you banned from the chat

Creating a Twitter Chat

Maybe it's time you've finally created your own Twitter chat. You have a following, you have a topic, now you just need a vehicle to get your message to the masses and maybe use it to drive education and maybe even revenue!

If you are looking to build a community and host a Twitter chat there are also a few things to consider.

  • Recruit a few ambassadors to help you with the chat by attending all of them, RT'ing invites and posts, and participating with answers and follow-up questions.

  • Pick a hashtag that is unique, easy to remember and is about the topic. Use the same hashtag on every chat, every notice, and every recap.

  • Schedule it when you think a large number of followers can attend. Many of the small business chats above are in the mid-evenings when fewer people are working, it's after dinner and many of us would be watching TV or doing other leisure activities. Chats targeting moms might be mid-afternoon when the kids are at school or taking naps.

  • Prepare your questions, answers and related information in advance, and maybe even schedule in Hootsuite or other tools to make sure the timeline is followed.

  • Interact with other users as they share and respond to your questions. You never know what will come up or be revealed.

  • Prizes are a great way to get people to attend and interact.

  • Guest hosts can add a bit of energy into the chat with a new voice and their following.

  • Don't be afraid to change things as they emerge. If you get some feedback that a different time/day will work better, or more or less of a type of content works better or worse, make changes.

 

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July 12, 2017

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 46 - #NetNeutrality Day of Action

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 46 - #NetNeutrality Day of Action

Hosted by : Marv Dorner, owner of BeBizzy Consulting

Today's episode is a quick view of #NetNeutrality.

If you're unfamiliar with Net Neutrality, it's simply the call to ensure the same speed, access and availability for all websites... basically what we have now.

Many companies, and of course some internet providers, would love to have priority access to the web, making their sites run at full speed, and throttling the rest of the websites. 

Many people and companies are speaking out in defense of net neutrality, including Tim Berners-Lee, the man many credit with inventing the internet.

 

 

Join in the discussion and defend Net Neutrality by getting involved on Twitter using the #NetNeutrality hashtag, communicating with friends, family and elected officials, and supporting the companies listed on this article from the Verge.

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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June 28, 2017

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 45 - Own Your Digital Data

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 45 - Own Your Digital Data

Hosted by : Marv Dorner, owner of BeBizzy Consulting

You own your business name, your equipment, maybe you even own your building.

But I bet many of you don't own your digital business presence.

I'm talking about  your domain names, your social media pages, Analytics and more.

Here's some tips on owning your digtal data

  • Google Business Listing - Make sure you use an email address owned by the company to create and manage the business listing. By not doing this, I've seen the process become very involved just to change the hours of operation.
  • Google Analytics - Same as above... use an email address belonging to the business to create this account. We've had an issue where we could not move an account to a client and therefore couldn't use the existing account to manage everything without creating a new Analytics account.
  • Social Media - Picture this... you fire the employee in charge of social media. They created YOUR page with THEIR account, and therefore "own" it. Now, in order to make sure that previous employee doesn't post negative information, or simply for you to continue to post as your business, you have to go to them and have them transfer ownership. Awkward! Create your own social media pages/accounts, and invite others to contribue. Then you can manage who gets access.
  • Domain Names and SSL's - Your domain name is one of the first things potential customers can see. If you don't technically "own" it, then moving it can be a long, and sometimes impossible process. Lease your own domain names, and SSL certificates to make sure you know when they are up for renewal, and can easilyl change everything in the event you move or change hosting.

If you' currenty don't own your digital business presence or properties, my suggestion is to get them as soon as you can. You never know when your current vendor will be leaving the business space, you lose critical employees, or even if YOU are planning on selling and need to transfer ownership.

Need some help getting this handled? Contact BeBizzy Consulting at 701.214.6271 or at BeBizzy.com and I'll be happy to help you out!

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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June 21, 2017

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 44 - I HATE Printing

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 43 - Facebook Groups

Hosted by : Marv Dorner, owner of BeBizzy Consulting

One of the best things about owning my own business(es) is I get to make all the decisions regarding business processes and what I want and don't want to do. 

Well, almost all the decisions. Sometimes I still need to fire up the printer... like this morning, only to find that I'm out of paper. You see, I print so infrequently that it's IMPOSSIBLE to know when I'm on the edge of running out of paper. 

But the bright side of this inconvenience is that I got the immediate therapy of complaining about it on my podcasts, and using it as an opportunity to give some tips on making your office paperless.

 

What you need to print

  • Contracts
  • Invoices
  • Meeting agendas

 

Why digital intead of print?

  • Offsite backups - fire, water, carelessness, etc can ruin your print documents. Digital files can be secured and backed up in several locations in case there's a problem
  • Accessable by multiple apps, computers and other devices.
  • You can also share, or limit access to certain files and directories
  • Searchable - Ever tried searching for a term or keyword in piles of paper? WAY easier in digital form.

 

 

But how can you avoid the general day to day paper mess?

  • First, determine a method of storing PDFs, scanned images/receipts, or other documents
  • Next, determine a backup/security policy
    • Regular backups
    • Encrypted?
    • Versioning?
  • Use a service to store reciepts
    • Shoeboxed
    • Freshbooks
    • Wave Accounting
  • Track Mileage and Expenses
    • Milebug
    • Mile IQ
    • Quickbooks
  • Place for notes
    • Evernote
    • OneNote
      • If you have a tablet or other device that enables handwriting, you can even write your notes instead of type them if that's a forbidden act in meetings.
  • Task Management or Project Management software
    • Scribblepost
    • BaseCamp
  • How can you avoid printing going forward
    • Print to PDF
    • Don't print emails, Flag them for followup, or organize them in your folders by client or project
    • Electronic maps are sometimes incorrect, but if you think they are bad, try PRINTED maps! They are usually outdated the second they are printed.
    • You can fax using services like HelloFax or E-Fax for much cheaper than a phone line and a paper/ink-fed fax machine.
    • Don't Print web pages. Apps and sites like Pocket can save, categorize and share pages to be easily found later on all devices.
    • When you get an invoice, bill or other paper document… scan it, save it and forget it instead of print it, file it, and dig it out later.

 

What should I do with the old paper?

  • Besides a bonfire?
  • Shoeboxed offers a service that will scan, organize and categorize receipts
  • Many companies offer scanning services to scan and organize other documents

 

Expense savings

  • No printing costs (paper, multiple printers, toner or ink)
  • No storage costs with additional file cabinets, or even file rooms
  • Increased efficiency in retrieving files and not walking/waiting by the printer for files to print.
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June 15, 2017

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 43 - Facebook Groups

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 43 - Facebook Groups

Hosted by : Marv Dorner, owner of BeBizzy Consulting

Ever been looking for a way to bounce a new idea, get some feedback on something you created, or just want some like-minded people with whom to talk about your business or interest?

Facebook Groups is your solution!

There's a Facebook Group for just about any topic you can dream, and most are actively looking to add new members. 

We discuss why you would join a Facebook group, or would want to create your own and some of the benefits and challenges of each choice.

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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June 7, 2017

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 42 - The Samsung Chromebook Pro

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 41 - Flash! Ah ahhhhhh!

Hosted by : Marv Dorner, owner of BeBizzy Consulting

FINALLY! I've been waiting for the Chromebook Pro from Samsung for several months and it arrived late Monday afternoon. I spent the time between then and now putting it through it's paces and have determined it's everything I've envisioned... almost.

I've posted a review of the device here : https://www.bebizzy.com/samsung-chromebook-pro-review/

I loved the size, weight, screen and function of the site. Not happy with Chromebook's inability to see/use the inserted SD card with Android Apps. 

Have you bought the Samsung Chromebook Pro or Plus? What are your thoughts?

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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May 17, 2017

BeBizzy Break : Episode 41 - FLASH! Ah Ahhhhhhhh!

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 41 - Flash! Ah ahhhhhh!

Hosted by : Marv Dorner, owner of BeBizzy Consulting

Do you flash? Not the trenchcoat in public type, the watch animation or other things on the internet type.

If your website uses this technology, it's time to finally move on before you lose your customers!

All of the major internet browsers, Safari, Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Firefox, have officially dropped support for the Flash plugin. Some will still allow you to install, but you have to go in to the settings and turn it on, then remember to turn it off again.

None of the major mobile devices including iOS and Android will display Flash animations. 

That means that unless your visitors are running old computers, or tech savy enough to turn Flash on to watch, then turn it back off for security, you will lose that visitor... maybe forever.

Here are some options : 

  1. If you are only using a Flash animation spash screen, see if it can be removed without killing your search rankings or you website.
  2. If you are using Flash or Silverlight for videos, can you migrate them to YouTube or Vimoe, or even self host the videos if they are small or viewed without regularity.
  3. You may need to plan to replace the website sooner than later. Odds are that if you're still using Flash probably not usable by mobile devices anyways.
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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