Online Security – Protect Yourself!

Online Security – Protect Yourself!

Hardening online security to protect your privacy and information really isn’t as difficult as most would have you believe.

I’ve been working online since 1999, I also do most of my shopping, banking and investing online. I’ve never had a virus, I’ve never been hacked, I’ve never been scammed online! (I was a victim of the Marshalls/TJMaxx hack, but even then I suffered no personal or business loss.)

Follow the steps below to harden your online security.

1. Use a VPN or Virtual Private Network

Whenever you are connected to the Internet, you should be connecting through a VPN.

why-ipvanish

A VPN protects you and your data from third-party trackers, cyber-criminals, hackers, the government and your ISP!

There are really only two choices for VPN provider, OverPlay & IPVanish.

OverPlay offers a SmartDNS + VPN service that works on all your devices, offers military-grade encrypted connection and anonymous browsing.

IPVanish is the only true Top Tier VPN service in the world. IPVanish provides a secure environment for everyday web use. Once you establish a VPN connection all of your online data (emails, instant messages, data transfers, online banking) pass-through their encrypted tunnel.

Best of all, both allow you to:
Browse Privately
Stop ISPs from spying and throttling your speed based on usage
Prevent getting hacked while on public Wi-Fi
Keep your online presence and information private
Access websites and media without restrictions
Stop geo-targeting in its tracks
Bypass censorship
Protect your online freedom
ZERO TRAFFIC LOGS

2. Use Antivirus/Firewall Software

Most ISPs in the United States provide their users with either McAfee or Norton Antivirus free of charge. USE IT!

3. Use Strong, Unique Password for Every Website

Get rid of the ‘Tennisnut61’ password and use one that won’t crack like ‘8&4Yiw^2pVqx#’. A password manager like LastPass makes it easy to generate, store, manage and regularly change all of your passwords. It’s also accessible from all your devices. And make your passwords a minimum of 8 characters, I usually use 12 to 16.

4. Use Multi-factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a method of access control. A user is only granted access after successfully presenting several separate pieces of evidence to an authentication mechanism. You should be using MFA with your email accounts, bank accounts, investment accounts and your website access point. If your bank and investment accounts do not offer MFA – find another!

5. Use DuckDuckGo.com to Search Online

Unlike Google, Yahoo, and Bing, DuckDuckGo.com does not track your movements around the web.

6. Add a Javascript management Extension to Browser

Most people advise to just turn javascript off in the browser. That was fine 5 years ago, but today javascript is an integral part of developing user experiences on websites. Disabling javascript will essentially lock you out of many sites. A javascript manager will allow you to just load the scripts originating from domains that you trust.

Taking the steps outlined above along with common sense ie: keeping software updated, verifying privacy preferences on mobile devices and social media. Will keep you relatively free of issues when online. However, if you don’t have the brains to realize that no African prince is emailing you, you’ll still be open to scams!

Facebook Live Tour – Getting Started

Facebook Live Tour – Getting Started

So you’ve probably heard all the buzz and excitement and you want to get involved with Facebook Live!

This is a great decision. No doubt one that can give you a significant edge over your competition while helping to connect you with your audience.

History of Live Streaming

When it comes to digital marketing, live streaming is touted as being the next big thing. Just looking at the stats, makes it clear how big it will be!

Periscope has already managed to accrue a very impressive 10,000,000 user accounts. All the footage ever recorded on Periscope, would take  over 40 years to view. Everyday 2 million people log in from 25 different countries!

It began in 2005 with the launch of Meerkat. Also known as ‘AIR’ and ‘Yevvo’, it was immediately apparent that this was going to be a game changer in social media.

Twitter assisted in the success of Meerkat. However, they decided they needed their own contender in this new arena; so they bought the then-small Periscope for a sum of $100 million!

Enter Facebook

In 2015, Facebook got involved and rolled out an experimental live service. In December 2015, it was extended across Android and iOS devices and made its way to Europe.

Facebook is taking this movement very seriously, stating that live video enjoys much more engagement compared with other types of video. They envision a time when video is the primary form of content.

The ranking algorithm that dictates what gets seen on the homefeed, was tweaked to prefer live video.

Getting Started with Facebook Live

Open up your Android or iOS Facebook app and find the box you would normally type in to post new content. When you click this, you are presented with a number of additional options along the bottom. They include posting a picture, a video or live videos. This is represented by an icon that looks like a person with radio waves emanating from their head.

Click this and you are taken to a new screen to enter a description for your video and you decide who gets to see the content. If you chose to post from your Facebook page, the video will be public. That is, anyone can watch it from either the Facebook Live Map, your page or your post in their homefeed.

If you posted the video in a private group, then by default it will be visible only to that private group. If you posted from your personal Facebook page, you can choose with whom you want to share your videos.

The only other options at this point are to switch between front-facing and rear cameras and the option to go live when you’re ready!

Going Live

Once you’re live, you simply talk into the camera and aim it where you want it. Note that you can see comments left by viewers as well as their reactions which may be a ‘like’ or another expression. You can also see how many people are viewing and when someone new joins in. It’s a good idea to mention people as they tune in, help them to feel more involved and increase their engagement with your videos!

Top 10 Facebook Live Resources

Writing Engaging Emails

Writing Engaging Emails

Writing engaging emails is a necessity in internet marketing today. With an average 45:1 return on investment, email marketing provides you with an affordable marketing method that should be a driving force in your lead generation. However, a challenging problem faced by most marketers is how to improve the open and read rate. There are many creative ways marketers can use to ensure that your emails are read, here are a few.

Subject Lines

One of the best ways to improve your “open and read rate” is to develop compelling and creative subject lines. Most people decide whether or not to open an email based entirely on the subject line, so make it interesting and provoking enough to convince your subscribers that they really need to open the email.

You” is the best word to use to get the attention of your reader. This personal touch says that the message is not about a product but about them, allowing you to connect with your readers and build relationships

Optimize Your Mailing List

Knowing your audience is key. You need to figure out what is important to the subscribers on your lists because it is important to always send out email messages to people who actually care. Did they purchase products or services from you in the past? You need to know a lot of things about your audience, as this will allow you to be able to send relevant and targeted emails to them.

Make Your Content Easy to Read

People are are busy living their lives and already receive tons of email. Make your emails easy to read by breaking your content into short paragraphs including images and subheadings. Also, check your writing style and grammar, as you don’t want your emails to seem ill-conceived.

Write with a Friendly Tone

Your subscribers should be in a relaxed mood when they check out their emails, so write naturally using a friendly, informal tone. You should include the subscriber’s first name in the greeting to personalize the email and to make them feel valued.

Email marketing is a great tool for engaging your customers and improving sales. The tips above should help you with writing engaging emails and improve your “open/read rates” with little or no hassle.

Digital Currency! Should You Invest?

Digital Currency! Should You Invest?

The digital currency – Bitcoin, is causing quite a stir in the market place these days. This relatively new type of currency can be thought of as a code. It is mined on computers by users called Bitcoin Miners around the world. The best aspect of this digital currency is that it is not owned by any one bank or government.

Bitcoin is the first digital crypto-currency that is gaining popularity and acceptance with the public and retailers alike. Just like other currencies, Bitcoins can be used as a form of payment.

Currently, not all merchants accept Bitcoins, but the numbers who do is rising daily. It is also possible to trade Bitcoins in a Bitcoin Exchange.

before You Invest in Bitcoin

Bitcoin is totally different to a central bank and even to the MasterCard or Visa Network as there is no central authority running it. Transfers and exchanges of Bitcoin are done directly by users and miners – peer to peer system. Resulting in much lower transaction fees.

Bitcoins are produced using software and computers in a process involving complicated algorithms. Miners actually create the Bitcoin and they are rewarded for their efforts.

There is a cap on the number of Bitcoins which are mined. The number is 21 million and it is expected that this number will not be reached until 2140. That means the value of Bitcoin will only increase from here on out.

Blockchain is a public ledger that records all Bitcoin transactions. Any user may view this record in order to verify transactions and this transparency or access to the ledger, helps keep the currency safe.

To aquire Bitcoin you need to mine for it or buy it through an exchange. Many websites have been set up which help you locate local people willing to buy or sell Bitcoin to you.

Your Bitcoin is stored in a Wallet. Instead of using an email address for access, your key to your wallet is a long string of letters and numbers. You use this key to send or receive Bitcoin into your wallet.

Very Important

Verified Bitcoin transactions cannot be stopped or refunded. If you lose access to your wallet, your funds are lost. Therefore, it is important to protect your wallet or backup it up to another device.

The volatility of Bitcoin is probably the biggest risk. The value of Bitcoin fluctuates wildly some days! Depending on when you invested this could be good or bad. In 2013 the price quickly went from around $14 to $1,200 USD, but then dropped to $632.

If you are willing to take risks, investing in Bitcoin could be extremely worthwhile.

Email List: Should You Build or Buy?

Email List: Should You Build or Buy?

Email marketing provides an average return on investment of 45 to 1. If you’re new to email marketing, you might think it’’s easier and faster to buy an email list rather than build an email list. There are some things you should be aware of before you decide to employ the easy way.

Risks of Purchased Lists

#1 Non-relevant Contacts
A prospect that has never been to your website, shown no interest in your products, services, or the resources you are offering then quite simply you are interrupting them – SPAM. You have their email address because they opted in at another website. This was likely done in the belief that their email address would be kept confidential. When you receive their email address, you have no idea if they have any interest in anything you have to offer.

#2 Your Email Address Flagged as Spam
If you plan on making email marketing a permanent part of your marketing arsenal, this can be very dangerous. If the recipients don’’t recognize your company name they will likely move your email to their spam folder. This sends a message to your email provider to filter out your email address and you could land on a blacklist. Once there, it is very hard to be removed.

#3 Your Message Gets Lost in the Clutter
With a purchased list, you can be certain that you aren’t the first nor the last to get that list. The people on that list are most likely being bombarded with emails. You’ve probably experienced this. You sign up for something online and suddenly your inbox is filled with emails from people you’ have never heard of! Chances are the email messages sent to a purchased list will get lost among all the other emails, wasting your money. The only person benefiting will be the person selling you the list.

Alternatives

Email Ad Submitters
Email ad submitters allow you to send your email to millions at once without running afoul of the SPAM laws. Just Google “double opt in email submitters” to find free and premium ad submitters.

Build a Solid Email List
The way to build a powerful email list is through opt-ins from your own website or offers. Each lead you get from your own website is a targeted subscriber, because they came from your page so they are familiar with what you are offering. This type of lead will convert into paying customers. It might take longer to build but it’s definitely worth the wait!

Why You Must Use An Autoresponder

Why You Must Use An Autoresponder

Autoresponders are a must in online marketing! You must have a way to connect with and collect the names, email addresses, etc. of leads and customers.

Collecting leads or double opt-in subscribers is a great way to build your email mail list. It provides you with a base of people who are interested in what you have to say or offer.

The major deterrence to sending out an email is knowing whether it will actually get delivered to your subscribers.

Trying to mail through your site (server) email may run into major problems, especially if you’re on a shared server. Problems include exceeding your bandwidth quota or using up too much CPU power each month.

The best way to describe an autoresponder is as an automatic emailing service.

An autoresponder service is your best solution when it comes to sending out your list emails on a regular basis. The major benefit of using an autoresponder is that you can schedule emails for weeks or even months in advance. Also, you may go in and send out a broadcast email whenever you choose. A broadcast email is just an extra email that you send when you have something new to share with your list.

You may use an autoresponder in several different ways, including:

  • Building mailing lists
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Customer support
  • Newsletters
  • e-Courses
  • Membership Content

Autoresponder Services

Most of the popular services such as Sendlane, Rocket Responder, Aweber and GetResponse offer free or low cost trials for the first month. This way you can sign-up and get a feel for how the system works.

You may also sign-up for a FREE autoresponder with ListWire if you just wish to get your feet wet and learn how to use an autoresponder service.

Incorporating email marketing into your business will easily generate income, as email marketing offers the best return on investment of ANY TYPE of marketing at 45:1! You should have no trouble in generating enough income to pay for your autoresponder service if you make use of it immediately.

And don’t forget this is a business expense and qualifies as a tax deduction for your business each year too.

Using an autoresponder is an easy way to build your customer base and stay connected with them. You can send out emails any time you wish or have a set and forget system in place and schedule emails out to a year.

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