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Don't Get Hacked!

The Importance of Email Security and Strong Passwords

 

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Email security and password safety is important for individuals and businesses alike. As online scams increase, it's important to protect yourself, your clients, and all confidential information. 

 

Why Internet Security Matters

 

Internet safety means keeping private information in the right hands. If your emails, or your client's information gets hacked into or leaked, this will lead to future problems. It will also diminish client trust in your brand due to fear of information leaks. Sensitive information being leaked, computer damage, and even identity theft are risks of not taking internet security seriously. Long story short, it will end up costing you time and money to not take this stuff seriously.

 

How To Choose a Secure Password 

 

When trying to keep your business safe, be sure to follow these tips to create a secure password.

 

  • Use a long password, at least 8 to 10 characters long with a mix of capitalized letters, numbers, and special characters. It is important to note that this is a minimum, and you should generally try and use as many characters as the password field allows, with as much variety in the characters as possible.

 

  • Whatever you do, do not use the same password for every account you have. Even if the password is extremely secure, if it gets hacked in one location, you will lose literally everything that you use that password for. This includes banking info, social media accounts, the login password for personal or work computers, and even online gaming accounts.

 

  • Do not use personal information about yourself as a password, such as your birthday or the name of someone in your life, as this information can easily be found and used to hack your account.

 

  • There are programs such as KeePass which allow you to store passwords in an encrypted way to avoid letting them slip into the hands of a hacker, all the while allowing you to keep them in a well-organized list for reference. It is terrible practice to physically write them down, but if you do decide to write down your passwords somewhere, consider using a code that only you understand to avoid prying eyes from attempting to use it.

 

  • If available, consider using a password authenticator. These are usually either physical devices (see image below) or are attached to an app on your smartphone. They work by generating a random number or password every 10-12 seconds which a user must enter in addition to a password when logging in, and basically provide an extra layer of security. These are common for some high security companies and banks, and employees are often required to use them to access workplace computers.

 

  • If you are not keeping record of the password, use a sentence or phrase as the main base for your password to allow you to remember it slightly easier. Create an idea involving a memorable person doing a unique action with an object, and form your sentence. Then, using that sentence select a few characters and add in various numbers and letters. For example, if your sentence was "the Joker lifted a toaster with his elbow" your password could be something like "JokLif4Toa@3lb." 

 

  • Change your passwords every few months to keep yourself safe from hackers, and to interrupt any ongoing attempts to crack your passwords. 

 

 

user with a password authenticator banking security

 

 

How To Recognize When an Email is a Scam 

 

Along with keeping yourself safe by creating strong passwords, it's also important to determine whether or not an email is safe or not before clicking it. Make sure you know the sender before opening a message, and if you have never received an email from the sender, be wary.

 

Never open an attachment or links from an unfamiliar source. Check whether or not a link is legitimate by hovering over it (but not clicking it) and checking the bottom of your screen. Be extremely cautious of any links that are not a common .ca or .com domain.

 

If the sender is asking for money or giving you information about rewards, check facts and never share personal information through email unless you're completely sure it's safe (in fact in this case, it is best to just remember the saying "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is"). 

 

If you are recieving a high volume of scam and spam emails, consider using a spam filtering service such as FuseMail (which we offer starting next week as a part of our email package). These services will do most of the detective work for you, and you won't even see 99.9% of the spam emails as they will be stopped before they ever get to your mailbox.

 

Be sure to include opportunities for customers to share information or questions about scams in your web design, through forms or contact links. Ask them to let you know if any scam emails appear in their account attempting to impersonate you or your company. This way, your clients will know to trust you and you'll be aware of fraud attempts and possible disclosures of sensitive information. 

 

If you have any questions about this, or even have personal stories about this you would like to share, feel free to reach out to us at our Support Email. You can also contact us here through our website.

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How we do it? Part 2

This is a continuation from part one that talked about the creative brief process in our designs.  

 

After our design team, has reviewed the creative brief with our design team the begin the design process.  In a matter of days, the graphic designer provides an exciting look at the website concept and solicits early feedback from our clients.  This early feedback is unique to our process and is instrumental in designing the perfect website.  This feedback loop is repeated up to 4 more times.  To state it concisely, we allow up to 5 rounds of revisions per project. That’s more than any competitor we’re aware of.  We really want to make sure you love it before we build it!

 

Once a concept is approved by the client, the design files get send to our development team where all of the powerful WebWiz@rd components are attached by a dedicated developer. 

 

Every part of the project is tested during implementation by the developer and then double checked by your account manager.  A final check is performed between the completed product and the original agreement.  Once complete, the beautiful new website is held on our staging server and presented to our customer.  We call it a tour.

 

In conjunction with the tour, our technical support team will invite the entire client team in for training.  Training is designed to quickly demonstrate how the new tools work and to make it easy for our clients to make their own content changes in the future.

 

The new website remains on the staging server until the customer is ready show it to the world.  While on the staging server, the customer is free to modify their content, add new pages, transfer existing content from other sites, all while keeping their existing site up and running.

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Data Quality and Data Integrity

Growing up I would have never thought that I would find so much interest and enjoyment in validating data; specifically, in data quality and data integrity.  My interests and strengths were in the arts and to be quite honest I don’t even think I mentioned the word “data” for the first 25 years of my life let alone understood what data quality and data integrity meant.  Even if I had been told their meanings at a younger age I was never in a position to understand their definitions in a practical way.

 

As I write this blog I am trying to think of any instances throughout my adolescence that would have predicted my interest in this area.  I’m coming up empty handed for anything obvious.

 

Regardless, it is something that I enjoy now and it is something that I am very good at.

 

Data quality isn’t optional.  It is a must. 

 

It is essential that our data is unambiguous and accurate to ensure that our day-to-day operations remain productive and straight forward.  This level of quality prevents costly errors and when analyzed allows us to make informed decisions. 

 

Data integrity is essential.  Full stop.

 

In our business there is no excuse for a lack of data integrity and as part of my job I am tasked with reviewing, correcting and enforcing data integrity across a number of REM’s systems; project databases, client datasets and financial systems.

 

Providing high quality data that is accurate and consistent across all systems can be a bit more time consuming but it is worth the extra effort.  Incorrect and disordered data can have very negative ramifications and can take much longer to fix (if any issues that arise can be fixed at all).

 

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