Protecting Your Business from Negative SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a website design technique to maximize how a search engine like Google ranks and displays a website search result. This article discusses how "Negative SEO" can potentially harm your rankings and damage your business.

Negative SEO -- does it really exist?   And if it does, what is it and how can you protect your site?

Consider this post a short whirlwind tutorial for a typical small business website.

What is Negative SEO?

Negative SEO is when a third party targets a website and attempts to lower its rankings and placement in search engines.  In other words, someone with bad intent uses search engine optimization techniques to harm another site.

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Staying on Top of Your Email Inbox

We've all been there. You return from vacation or a holiday and what do you find - hundreds of unread emails! It's tough to sift out the relevant emails from the spam.  And you might miss an important work emails from your employees, co-workers, or clients.  So, what to do?

Here are some tips on how to cut out the spam, irrelevant emails, and other detritus clogging up your inbox. A lot of this junk comes from years of giving out your email address when you sign up for accounts and services, ranging from your email address being sold, to mailing lists you once signed up for but are no longer interested in now.

Try these tips for a few weeks and see how your inbox looks then.

  1. First, start unsubscribing. Look for the unsubscribe link or button on any repeating emails that you don’t want to be on. Multiple emails every day from that vendor that sold you software years ago? Unsubscribe. Never actually read that newsletter you signed up for? Unsubscribe. (Yes, even from our eNewsletter if you don't find our information useful!)

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Oh "!*&^" Our Website Just Got Hacked!

About once a month, we get the call - "Something or someone has hacked our website, email, desktop, or server."  The calls rarely come from regular Computing Center clients but it does happen. We are there to help and have a lot of experience in recovering and restoring and getting systems going again. This article from HP descrbes the major steps that are taken to deal with hacks. You can do-it-yourself, but as we tell our clients - we do this work all the time and isn't your time better spend doing what you do?

What do you need to do to get your site back online? Three steps to recovery.

After the initial panic subsides, your mind starts racing and you find yourself asking the question, “What do I (or my IT folks), need to do to get our site back online?” Read on for more...

What are the first few things you do when the alarm goes off on Monday morning? If you're anything like me, your morning ritual includes a bold coffee blend and a quick perusal of social media before settling down at your desk for the day.

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Remember Holiday and Travel Safety

Many of us start traveling and have guests in town during the holiday season. Schedules get scrambled, everyone is busy and stressed.  So, now, before it all starts,  is a good time to take a few minutes to prepare for a safe holiday season.

In the office, remember to notify clients ahead of time of closures and support hours.  The Computing Center is traditionally closed the day after Thanksgiving.  We'll be open and available every other working day through the end of the year and will be open on January 2, 2018!

And at home, consider these winter holiday safety tips. Turn off lights at night, water your Christmas tree to reduce flammability, keep an eye on what's cooking, and more. And finally, during this time when we see our friends and loved ones, consider creating and discussing a family emergency plan.

 

Researchers Discover a bug in WiFi Encryption

Nearly everyone with a laptop, "pad" or smartphone regularly uses public and private Wi-Fi access points. Many have what's called WPA2 Security on them. We all dutifully setup a relatively complex password to get on these WiFi systems. Once done, our machines automatically connect to these networks when we're in range.  Perfect, easy, and secure - well not quite.

Several months ago, a vulnerability in WPA2 was discovered. Most of the big guys (Microsoft, Apple, etc.) quicly patched their operating systems, some even before the WiFi access point manufacturers. If your systems were automatically updated, you were likely fine. The non-technical press recently caught on to what's been going on and the articles started flowing and so did the phone calls and emails to us about the condition of clients WiFi systems. 

This article from the FTC does a good job of reviewing the issue in a non-technical fashion. Be cautious as always about how you access WiFi networks, particularly public ones.

You’ve read recent news stories about a vulnerability discovered in the WPA2 encryption standard. (Some reports refer to it as KRACK – Key Reinstallation Attack.) Should this be of concern to your business? Yes. Does it warrant further action at your company? Absolutely.

If you or anyone at your business uses a smartphone, laptop, or IoT device connected to a Wi-Fi network, the information sent over that network could be at risk. Researchers have found a bug that lets attackers “break” WPA2 – the encryption that protects most wireless networks – leaving data you send exposed.

The bad news is that this isn’t just a problem with a specific device or manufacturer. It’s a problem with the encryption standard nearly all Wi-Fi devices on the market use to scramble communications, prevent eavesdropping, and deter tampering. The upshot is that if anyone at your business uses a device to connect to a wireless network at work, at home, or on the road, this bug means they can’t rely on that connection being secure.

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