Skip to content

Author: Will Chatham

Will Chatham is the Security Assessment Engineer for Arbor Networks. Since Netscape 2.0, he has worked in a wide array of environments including non-profit, corporate, small business, and government. He started as a web developer, moved into Linux system administration, and ultimately found his place as a security professional. Having most recently conquered the OSCP certification, Will continues to hack his way into various things in an effort to make them more secure.

How To Boost Website Conversions

Having an attractive looking website that is visible on search engines is what we all aim for, but this does not always mean that conversion levels are high. The main goal is always to turn traffic into consumers. Below, we have put together some top tips to help you do so.

Get rid of any distractions on your website

One thing that could be turning potential customers away is too many distractions. Website navigation should be simple and easy. Only include elements that are necessary. Less is more, as they say.

Make sure your website is optimized for mobile use

Nowadays, a huge proportion of people use their smartphone to access the Internet. You need to make sure your website has been optimized for this platform. Have you ever went onto a site using your smartphone to discover that the layout was all muddled up and all elements seem squashed? This is because the website has not been optimized for mobile use. You need to make sure it can be viewed and used on all devices.

Recommend related products

One way to keep your users’ interest and encourage sales is to recommend products or services that they may be interested in. You can do this by showing your most popular products, or by using data, such as what that client has bought before or searched for before. Companies like PRWD can help you in terms of acquiring the data you need to optimise your website effectively.

Include a call to action (CTA) and make sure it is compelling

Do you have a call to action on your website? This is something that makes your customers take action, i.e. join your newsletter or make a purchase. It is crucial to ensure that your CTA is enticing if you are to secure new customers.

Simplify any forms on your website

No one wants to spend ten minutes filling out a form to join a website or make a purchase. It is important to ensure forms are as simple and straightforward as possible. A good website builder will enable you to do this. Only make users input information that is essential; don’t waste their time with anything that is not needed.

Offer numerous payment options

Last but not least, make sure you give your customers a good selection of payment options to choose from. Believe it or not, not everyone has PayPal nor does everyone want to use it. By having a variety of payment methods, including all major credit and debit cards, you can satisfy all demands.

If you follow the tips above, you can make sure you improve your conversion rates!

Crypto Investors: Here’s How To Protect Your Investments In Style

The world of cryptocurrency has taken on a life of its own in recent years. And thousands of new investors are joining the revolution every single month. Whether you’re new to the party or have been investing for some time, protecting your assets is something that you cannot take lightly.

Failure to protect your investments could lead to theft, fraudulent behavior, or related troubles. Thankfully, small ideas can make a significant impact, allowing you to focus on making the right deals at the right time.

Here’s all you need to know.

Browse Safely

First and foremost, anybody using digital investments of any kind needs to ensure that they are using the internet in a safe manner. Fail to do this, and it’s not only your crypto investments that could be at risk. In truth, your entire bank balance and digital identity could be under threat.

Hackers are using more advanced forms of malware than ever before. Therefore, secure browsing is the only way to ensure that they cannot target your finances and investments. In truth, this will protect you in all online endeavors.

Moreover, it should provide peace of mind.

Use The Right Investment Platform

As with most forms of trading, there are many different ways to tackle your crypto investments. In truth, no two investors are the same, which is why you won’t want to copy friends or relative. You’ll need to ask several questions en route to finding the best option – the platform is key.

There are many different websites and platforms that allow you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. Whether you wish to hodl or day trade, knowing how to get hold of crypto in the right manner will serve you well. Make sure you do.

Losing out through a lack of research would be disastrous.

Use A Hardware Wallet

Cryptocurrency coins aren’t physical coins, but they are assets all the same. As such, choosing the right storage solution is a vital step en route to keeping your crypto coins suitably protected. Once again, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, which is why you must employ this ASAP.

Even when you use the right browsing software and crypto platform, there’s never 100% protection against fraudsters. As such, finding a hardware solution for your crypto can remove the dangers. This is like having a physical wallet that nobody else can access.

Just be sure not to lose it.

Try To Diversify

After seeing the journey of Bitcoin over the recent years, you’ll be eager to find the next super coin. However, the last 12 months show that putting all your eggs into one basket might not be wise after all. Moreover, sticking to one crypto could put you at greater risk of losing it all through thieves.

As such, it’s worth doing your research into Ripple, Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero, and the other coins. A diverse portfolio across several platforms is ideal. Even if the worst occurs, hackers should only get to a small percentage of your investment.

Putting this type of damage limitation in place is always a good idea.

Are You Doing Enough To Protect Your Business Bubble? Online Security Essentials

Forbes estimates that the global cost of cybercrime will top $21 trillion by the year 2021. We tend to hear all about high-profile data breaches that affect giant, multinational corporations, but the reality is that every modern business is now vulnerable. If you have a website, you deal with online data, you use cloud systems or servers, or your staff spends hours every day tapping away at a computer keyboard, there’s every chance that you could fall foul to a cyber attack. If you’re keen to protect your business bubble, here are some security essentials to bear in mind.

Invest in robust security systems

If cybercrime hasn’t been a priority for you in the past, you might find that an audit of your security systems flags up areas of concern. If you haven’t got robust systems and modern software in place, it’s wise to invest in tightening up security and reducing the risk of breaches. If you’re not au fait with Internet security, enlist the help of an IT firm that specializes in this area. They will be able to take a look at the programs and technology you use and provide recommendations to increase protection levels.

Take care with remote working

An ever-growing number of businesses is offering flexible working arrangements, which often involves providing employees with remote access to platforms, programs, and software used in the office. If your employees work from home, or they’re out in the field, and you have systems and features in place like Microsoft remote desktop, ensure that your security measures cover the parameters of working on the go and accessing files and programs from multiple locations. Another issue to be mindful of is the BYOD, or bring your own device, trend. If you do allow employees to bring their own laptops or tablets to the office, make sure everyone is familiar with your security policies, encrypt data, and ensure the network is secured.

Provide training

In the grand scheme of things, cybercrime is a relatively new threat to businesses, and not everyone is familiar with preventative measures they can employ to lower the risk of attacks. Provide your staff with training to help them understand the importance of security and enable them to spot potential signs of abnormal activity. Enforce up to date policies and procedures, and arrange for an expert to talk to your staff about these documents and explain how they can apply them to their day to day work life.

Consider outsourcing IT support

If you don’t have an in-house IT department, it’s worth considering outsourcing IT support and system management. If you work with a firm, they will be able to secure your systems and minimize the risk of downtime, as well as providing advice about how you could improve efficiency and productivity and cut costs.

Every business owner should be mindful of the potential impact of security breaches. If you haven’t given too much thought to online security in the past, now is the time to upgrade your security systems, seek expert advice and ensure your staff is familiar with potential cybercrime warning signs.

Making More Of Your IT Budget

IT is already playing a huge role in helping businesses run more cost-effectively than ever. Being able to carry out processes faster and without error, relying less and less on paper, and being able to hold video conferences as opposed to having to pay for transport and a hotel are just some examples of that. However, as your business’s reliance on IT grows, so too can the costs. Here, we’re going to look at how to get more out of your IT budget by getting a little more frugal with it.

Take it to the Cloud

One way to better spend your money is to think about how exactly your business is acquiring the software that it uses. While many businesses are still buying licenses to download software, or having it built for them, others are moving a new model that may be more cost-effective. Cloud software can cost a lot less because the client, user, or business doesn’t have to deal with the costs of maintaining, fixing, or updating the software as it’s all handled on the user’s side. What’s more, Cloud software opens up the possibility for implementing remote working in the business, as it can be used on any device with the right authorization, allow you to save by having less need for your office space, too.

Know your costs before you plunge in

One of the ways that businesses can often get in trouble with the costs of their tech services is that they don’t factor exactly how much it will cost in the long-run. Even if you can manage the costs of growing your IT systems, it can force you to reallocate funds and assets that could be better spent elsewhere in the business. However, some services are now offering IT cost benchmarking to help you be able to get a more precise grasp of how that growing presence of tech is going to affect your budget. Make sure you do your math before you agree to any new service or software installation.

Identify the ROI

When you have figured out how much your IT plans are going to cost you, you then to work out just how worthwhile it all is. Finding the return on investment for tech services, solutions, and software/hardware isn’t always easy but one of the best ways is to look at how it will save you time and money. If you are able to quantify an estimate of how much more efficient you can be, or what costs you can reduce, you can look at those numbers against the long-term costs of the IT. If you’re unable to identify a return on investment, it may be worth considering whether or not the current plans are the right ones for you or if there is another solution that might be worth more.

Hire your IT team the right way

As your tech grows, so too will the responsibilities of maintaining it, fixing it, and overseeing its growth. An IT team is going to be essential, often sooner rather than later. However, if your tech needs are still relatively small and you don’t think you could justify paying the full price of a full-time employee who doesn’t have enough work on their plate to fill a full-time role, you may instead want to look at other ways of hiring. Outsourcing your IT support can be much more cost-effective for the immediate future. As your reliance on tech continues to grow and you have a bigger network or more devices to oversee, you might want to switch to in-house eventually.

You don’t always have to pay

When you’re implementing new tech plans in the business, it’s always easy to fall into the temptation of pouring as much money into improving all your current processes and systems as possible. However, it’s not only worth identifying those investments worth making but also the investments that aren’t worth it, as well. While software improving your core work processes might be a worthwhile investment, there are some processes that might not be as important that could instead benefit from the use of free software. While there is something of a quality dip in most free software, it can still help you manage your admin much more efficiently, like free accounting software.

A keen understanding of the costs involved in implementing new tech, whether it be software, hardware, networking, or new services is crucial. Once you implement that IT in your business, it can become crucial to its survival so you can’t afford to lose it because you can’t pay for it anymore.

The Most Common Causes Of Data Loss

Losing important data can be frustrating – almost all of us have experienced it before whether it’s a personal photo or a work document. For businesses data loss can have devastating effects, possibly inconveniencing clients and negatively impacting your company’s reputation. Whilst this data can sometimes be recovered, it often isn’t easy to retrieve it. Here are some of the most common causes of data loss and how you can avoid them.

Viruses/malware

Viruses and malware may corrupt data. Cybercriminals may even steal files or hold them hostage – threatening to delete them unless a ransom is paid (commonly known as ransomware). Small businesses that are not digitally secured enough can often fall victim to this type of data loss. The best way to defend against this threat is to improve your cyber and data security. This could include using firewalls that scan emails and websites for malicious content before opening them, encrypting files and having strong passwords.

Accidentally deleting files

Human error can also result in data loss. Files may get accidentally deleted whilst moving documents from one folder to another. When it comes to touchscreen devices, failing to lock these devices when in your pocket may also result in photos or contacts accidentally being deleted. You can’t always prevent human error, however you can prevent this data being lost forever by having it backed up somewhere – this could include backing it up on the cloud or using an external hard drive.

Hardware damage

Damage to hardware can also result in data loss. This could be the result of accidentally spilling coffee on a laptop or a natural disaster such as a fire or even vandalism. Whilst you can prevent this damage by treating your devices with care, for those times when damage is unpreventable, you’re best off simply having data backed up. The cloud is the safest place to back up files – whilst you can use external hard drives and USBs, these will often deteriorate over time (if you’ve got a flashdrive that’s over eight years old, you may want to transfer some of the files elsewhere as these devices don’t last forever).

Software failure

Sometimes software can fail and result in data loss. This can be the result of all manner of faults from not cleaning up your computer to not running important updates. Software may even get corrupted from hardware damage. By keeping your computer well maintained you can often prevent this type of data loss.

Computer theft

Old-fashioned burglary is still a leading cause of data loss. By securing your devices and backing up files, you can usually prevent this. Businesses should consider physical security measures such as burglar alarms and CCTV to deter thieves. Keeping devices locked with passwords can also prevent thieves being able to access files even after obtaining your machine – modern computers are now using facial recognition which is harder to crack than a password.

Online Safety: Top Tips for Parents

Each generation of parents has something different to worry about — something that has changed since they were young. You might have had internet access when you were a teenager. It might have been an invaluable source when it came to tackling big homework projects, and you might have even made friends in the odd teen-friendly chat room. But, times have changed, and most of us look back glad that social media wasn’t a big deal when we were younger.

You might have had a Facebook page. But, the internet wasn’t like it is now. Nowadays, it’s a massive part of everyday lives. We’ve all heard horror stories about children and teenagers being bullied online and about the darker parts of the internet we’re all keen to avoid. As a parent today, the internet is one of our biggest concerns as our children grow. Even very young children have tablets and some level of internet access, which only grows as they do. Let’s take a look at some tips to help you to keep your family safe online.

Explore Together

Remember, it’s better that your children learn about the internet with you, instead of picking up bits and bobs here and there. When they are young, and first getting online, do it together. Show them some websites and apps that you think they’d enjoy and give them a little freedom to explore with you.

Put Safety Measures in Place

However much you trust your children, it’s never a good idea to let them out on the web alone without putting any safety measures in place. Set parental controls on younger children’s devices. Turn off in-app chat and location settings and use your own app to monitor their usage, these are inexpensive and widely available. For older kids, you might want to speak to them about setting their own safety and explain the importance of keeping some things private and hidden.

Talk About the Risks

You won’t want to tell very young children the worst horror stories out there. But, you can explain to slightly older children that the internet can be dangerous. You can tell them about people trying to contact them online and explain some of the risks. Tell them what they need to watch out for, and teach them how to report any suspicious activity.

Don’t Be Too Critical

If you are too critical, or too overprotective, it will become a secret. They’ll start to hide their internet usage from you. They’ll spend their time online behind closed doors. They won’t want to speak to you about it, and they won’t be comfortable coming to you if they are worried. Remember, children are curious, and that’s fine. Try to be understanding and supportive, even if you are worried or don’t approve.

Encourage them to Trust Their Instincts

Instinct is essential when it comes to safety. If someone started talking to you online, you’d get a feel for the situation straight away, and it’s essential that your children learn to do the same.

Chat With Them

Take an interest in their usage. Ask about games they play and the sites they use. Let them tell you about the things that they enjoy, and take an active interest, even if it means you have to listen to too many Minecraft tales. It’ll help to keep your relationship open and honest.