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3 Email Directives to Help You Avoid the Ingenuity of Virtual Crooks

 

When you're running a business, security is really important. There are many things that are sent via email that are of a confidential nature. These might include financial spreadsheets, formulas, blueprints etc. You obviously don't want these things to fall into the hands of hackers or competitors.

 

There are many people out there who could use all this information against you in some way. If people come to know that your business is doing well, you could become a target for thieves and scammers of different sorts. In fact, the ingenuity of virtual crooks is constantly on the increase. So what should you do in order to maintain email security?

 

How Complex Should You Make Your Email Password?

 

Try to make your email passwords as complex as possible. Include letters, numbers and special characters such as !@#$%. You can also throw in some capital letters, if possible. However, don't make your password so complex that you can't remember it. You should have your password memorized rather than written down somewhere that others can access it.

 

Meaningful Passwords That No One Can Guess

 

Don't use an email password that others can guess, like your date of birth or your wedding anniversary. The best thing is to go with something that's personally meaningful to you that not that many people know about, such as the name of your favorite first grade teacher along with the year that you were in her class. Obviously this technique doesn't work if you go around telling everyone about this teacher. But if it's something that you will definitely remember and that no one else knows about, then you should be safe.

 

Using Memory Sticks and External Drives Instead of Email

 

Another thing you can do is curtail the type of information that gets sent on email or that gets saved in the cloud. Of course, this is a difficult thing to do. Everyone communicates using email these days and you might need an important piece of information from your accountant, which necessitates the use of email. However, it's better to get this information on a memory stick or an external drive. This way, it doesn't get sent over email and there's no possibility of it being hacked.

 

Contact us for more great tips on email security and choosing strong passwords.

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Is A Custom Website A Worthwhile Investment?

 

Today, there are many turnkey solutions you can use to build your website, and these options are both fast and easy to use. However, the challenge is that using templates for developing your site may not serve as the best representation of your company or brand. Additionally, other businesses including your competitors may opt for the website design you choose to use, which can affect your competitiveness in the market.

 

For that reason, considering a custom website is a wise idea because it can help you achieve much more than what you may gain through ready-made solutions. Here are some reasons why custom websites are a worthwhile investment for businesses in various sectors.

 

Increased Functionality 

 

It is quite frustrating when users cannot find a particular feature on your website, and that is one of the reasons why you may lose business to your competitors. On the other hand, site building templates may not include all the features that users need, and if you settle for this solution, it becomes a limitation for the success of your enterprise.

As such, tailor-made solutions can help you build any functionality for your website to enhance user experience. The reason is that as you develop your custom website, you can identify the features that users need and in turn, you can add the same conveniently to enhance functionality.

 

Outstanding Appearance 

 

Most customers opt to visit a company's website first before they walk into a brick and mortar establishment. The implication, in this case, is that your site becomes the place where customers get the first impression regarding your organization. Therefore, other than focusing on enhancing the appearance of your lobby for walk-in clients only, you need to ensure that your site captures the best impression of your brand for online customers as well.

 

A custom website is the best solution, in this case, because it gives your brand a unique appearance that is appealing to customers.

 

Proper Structuring 

 

Sometimes, you may discover that most customers have several unanswered questions, even after visiting your website. In that case, the implication is that your site is not achieving its objectives as earlier intended. So, proper planning as you prepare to embark on a site building project is not an option. Once you capture all the requirements of your website, you can begin the task of building your custom site.

 

As a result, the launch of the end product will feature a site with proper structuring, capable of marketing your business in the best way possible. If you need more information on the reasons for considering a custom website, contact us today!

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Featured Client - Five Nines IT

Featured Client
- Five Nines IT Solutions -

IT . JUST . WORKS

Five Nines IT Solutions

 

About

Five Nines IT Solutions is a leading edge Strategic Services Provider and IT Solutions firm operating and servicing our global client-base out of our Kitchener, Ontario HQ, and support centers throughout Canada.  Five Nines brings our extensive knowledge, experience and strong relationships with the technology industry to the table in every interaction with our clients and their businesses, ensuring "IT. Just. Works.", so clients can focus on their core business!  Let's Talk!

 

Five Nines Main Contact Person: Douglas Grosfield, President & CEO

Contact Douglas at:    dwgrosfield@fiveninesit.ca   or   1-519-893-3359 x300

 

No. of Employees: 140

Established: 2015

Location: Kitchener, ON

 

Visit Five Nines IT Solutions website

 

Q:

Why did you choose REM?

 

A:

We are in a highly technical business, and as such we do lots of research on the organizations we intend to partner with when bringing technology to bear in addressing the needs of our clients.  We see a lot of options for organizations to partner with, and have developed a keen eye for quality and capabilities. 

 

We employed that same degree of due diligence when we were looking for someone to help us develop our brand and the face of our company, from a web perspective.  Having known Rob Matlow for years, and having seen the results of REM’s work performed for other organizations, we knew what we were getting into with this project, and were comfortable that we would receive high value for our investment and faith.

 

Q:

What was it like working with REM?

 

A:

Like any project involving technical subject matter, combined with creative content creation, there is a fair bit of back and forth required to ensure alignment and adjustment as necessary.  REM does a great job of ‘herding cats’ when it comes to holding our feet to the fire to ensure we are not the barrier to progress throughout the project.  Overall, the experience was exactly what we were hoping for, and the results speak for themselves!  Check it out at www.fiveninesit.ca and “Let’s Talk!”

 

We knew what we were getting into with this project, and were comfortable that we would receive high value for our investment and faith.

 

- Douglas Grosfield, President & CEO

 


 

Learn first-hand how we can help you with your website needs.
Contact us today!

 

Toll Free: 1.866.754.4111

Phone: 519.884.4111

Sales:
sales@remwebsolutions.com

Support:
support@remwebsolutions.com

 

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Data Security: Secure Email & Strong Passwords

 

When it comes to keeping your data secured and preventing it from being stolen, keeping your email secure and choosing strong passwords are a vitally important, yet often overlooked aspect of data security. Many people simply gloss over these aspects. This is especially true for passwords where it is disturbingly common to hear it suggested that an individual or group should change their password to a certain easy to remember set of letters or numbers such as password or 123456. This is rather disheartening because it shows how so many people put little stock in something as critical as password security.

 

Password Security

 

A secure password is one of the most vital aspects of ensuring your data security as the password serves as the first line of defense for your data, so having a strong password is especially important for anyone who wants their data to remain safe and secure. Some important ways to keep passwords secure are:

 

  • Use different passwords for each account
  • Make sure nobody watches you enter your password(s)
  • Log off whenever you leave your device
  • Only enter your passwords on computers you control
  • Avoid entering passwords when using unsecured connections
  • Don't tell anyone your password
  • Change your password regularly

 

Following these tips and others like them will help you to make sure that your passwords remain secure and prevent your accounts from being hacked because of weak passwords.

 

Email Security

 

Email is a vitally important tool for everything from business to casual conversations between friends. Unfortunately, the security of email is often severely neglected to the point where it is virtually nonexistent as this form of security is usually seen as far less significant than other forms of internet security. It is a fact that information stored and sent by email is vulnerable. There is, sadly, no way around this. That said, it can be mitigated by following these practices:

 

  • Don't open attachments from email addresses you don't recognize
  • Do NOT click on suspicious links
  • Pick a strong password and change it on a regular basis
  • Don't check your email when using unsecured WiFi
  • Don't send personal information except when absolutely necessary

 

If you have any questions about e-mail security and password security, then please contact us.

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Three Ways Responsive Websites Get Results

 

Every business needs to have a website. This is a place where your customers can find you online, whether they are looking at their computer or their smartphone. They can look through the services and products that you offer, as well as contact you for any concerns.

 

However, there are websites and there are responsive ones. So, what is a responsive website? It simply means that the website is easier to view, whether you are on a smartphone or a computer. It can also be called a mobile-friendly website.

So, why would your business need a responsive website? Basically, responsive websites get results! How do they do that?

 

Since it is easier to view, more people are likely to take a look around your website. Instead of having to pinch the screen to try to move around, they will be able to see what they want. Most people will only look at your website for a few seconds before they decide if they are going to stay. If it is too hard to see, they will simply move on to the next website that is better.

 

Even if you have loyal customers, they will not be happy if they have to struggle to navigate your website. They may stick around to order something but, you can guarantee that you will be hearing about it later! Unhappy customers don't always come back so you should do everything that you can to ensure your customers have a good experience every time that they deal with you!

 

Even more important, Google recommends responsive sites over other websites. If you are serious about your business and want to get your website in front of as many people as possible, you need Google on your side. By having a responsive website, your business is more likely going to be found in the search engines.

 

You need to make sure that your website is going to attract customers instead of turning them away. By having a responsive website, your customers will be much happier and more likely to use your website. Google will also be more likely to recommend you in search results – which is a powerful tool that shouldn't be overlooked.

 

Contact us to help you with your website so you can reach the customers that you want.

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Four Ways to Create Strong Passwords

 

We've been told often enough that it's important to pick a strong password. Use "PASSWORD" or "123456," and a crook will guess it in three tries or less. But it's not that easy to pick one that we can remember but no one else can guess. Creating a password that's so hard that it has to be written down and left next to the computer isn't great security.

Here are a few ways to create a password that's secure yet practical.

  1. Use a password manager. Most browsers give you the option of saving your password behind a master password. This lets you devise difficult passwords and not have to memorize them all. Just make sure that your master password is very hard to guess and you don't lose it.

  2. Pick a long, silly phrase. Length is the best way to make a password hard to guess. A nonsense phrase, like "Waterloo cats ponder endless walls," sticks in the memory yet is practically unguessable. If you can make a mental picture out of it, perhaps with two cats staring down an infinite corridor while wearing Napoleon hats, that helps you to keep it memorized.

  3. Use punctuation and digits in all your passwords. They widen the possibilities an attacker has to guess from and defeat dictionary guessing. You could make the last example stronger by changing it to "2-Waterloo-cats-ponder-endless-walls."

  4. Generate random passwords with software. There are many applications and websites that will give you a random string of letters and numbers, of whatever length you like. Ask for at least ten characters. Use the password manager so that you don't have to memorize it.

Whatever method you use, keep your passwords written down in a safe place, preferably locked away, just in case you forget or you need to move to another computer. If you've got a good system, you won't have to pull out the written copy very often, but it's a lifesaver when you need it. It also gives you the confidence to pick tough passwords.

 

No matter how strong your passwords are, make sure you're dealing with sites that hold up their end. Look for a lock in the address bar to make sure the website is handling your password securely. Good web design keeps good passwords safe. Contact us to learn about our design services.

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What the Speed Advantage of a Content Management System Does for Your Business

 

Information today is in a constant state of flux. What was cutting edge yesterday becomes obsolete tomorrow. If you have a business website, it's important that it stays current to avoid becoming irrelevant. But this is difficult if you rely on a webmaster to make content updates for you. A webmaster is a "technical middleman" who gets in the way between the content creator and her audience.

 

Depending on the webmaster's availability, the delay between the writer's content inspiration and its publication on the website can be days or even weeks. This impediment places the website at a competitive disadvantage with other more nimble websites powered by content management systems.

 

A content management system allows you to publish content without the need of a webmaster. This enables quick production of quality content that can have a profound impact on your business. Quality in this case means content that's engaging, relevant, and useful to your market. Quality content establishes your expertise and creates trust with your visitors, which turns them into loyal customers.

 

Rapid content production is important as well. The more rapidly you produce content, the faster the growth rate of search engine traffic. This means acquiring new customers faster and a more rapid profit growth. A blog with hundreds of posts that averages a modest ten visitors per post per day means your website as a whole draws thousands of visitors per day. This is the essence of content marketing, and is feasible with a team of good writers and a quality content management system such as WebWiz@rd.

 

 

WebWiz@rd makes it easy to produce the content your customers want. You can readily insert images or complete photo galleries, if you like, into your content. WebWiz@rd produces both web pages and blog posts.

 

Once your traffic builds up, you will want to increase your average visitor value by having them join your newsletter, another of WebWiz@rd's capabilities. Most people will require multiple exposures to your brand and marketing message before they become customers, and a newsletter does precisely this. To learn more about WebWiz@rd and how to get the most from this content management system, contact us at REM Web Solutions today!

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What are UI / UX and Why Do They Matter?

 

After digitally marketing for a while, you've probably come across the terms UI and UX. These two concepts are important to your marketing strategy, but it's easy to get them confused.

 

Typically these acronyms have the word "design" tacked on to them. They stand for User Interface Design (UI) and User Experience Design (UX).

 

What is User Interface Design (UI)?

 

UI has strong similarities to graphic design. Very simplistic job descriptions look no different from a graphic designer's responsibilities. But that would leave out much of what UI involves.

User Interface involves translating a brand's message and characteristics into a website, product, or any other place that involves an interaction between a customer and brand. UI emphasizes the visual aspects of the a brand, but behind the visuals lies extensive research and development.

 

What is User Experience Design (UX)?

 

UX is the more technical of the two. It holds more similarities to R&D (research and development) and project management. The concept behind UX is to design websites that always put the user first. In a word, UX ensures usability.

 

Like UI, UX addresses any and all interactions between a company and its customers. The goal of UX is to improve the quality of each interaction.

 

 

Conclusion

 

To sum it all up, both UI and UX improve navigation and user experience. UI does this by ensuring that the layout and appearance are visually appealing and easy to understand. UX covers the technical side by ensuring that the information is well-organized and easy to navigate.

 

If you only remember one thing about UX and UI, remember:

 

  • UI = easy on the eyes
  • UX = easy to use

 

To learn how to implement vital marketing practices like UI/UX, contact our experts at REM Web Solutions today.

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Stay Ahead of Hackers - Why you Should Use an Up-To-Date Browser

Stay Ahead of Hackers - Why you Should Use an Up-To-Date Browser

 

 

Most organizations critically rely on their daily ability to use some form of technology, whether through applications, email or web browsing.  Those using technology have probably already noticed in recent years there are more and more hacking attacks that cause major disruptions to businesses.  There are a multitude of ways in which hackers can get access to a computer system and one of those ways is through a user's web browser.  If your employees are still using older browsers, then your organization is vulnerable for exploitation.  Listed below are some major browsers and how they stack up with regard to security.

 

Internet Explorer

 

With every passing month, Internet Explorer becomes more and more vulnerable for exploitation.  Although Microsoft does continue to update it with some security fixes, they have moved on to their Windows 10 OS and their newer Edge browser that takes greater advantage of some of the newer security techniques offered by machine learning and cloud-based intelligence.  

 

 

Microsoft Edge

 

Microsoft has recently announced some exciting new security features in their Fall Creators Update for Windows 10 enterprise users.  Within their Windows Defender Security Center is a new tool called "Application Guard".  This tool takes advantage of container sandboxing techniques that will prevent exploitation within their Edge browser.  By using virtual machine technology, the Edge browser cuts off rogue applications or web sites from going beyond the browser to hack into areas such as memory, local storage, other applications or even further into a corporate network.

 

 

Anyone who is using Internet Explorer and older versions of the Windows operating system, should give serious consideration to upgrading to Windows 10 and its default browser, Edge.

 

Google Chrome 

 

Chrome is a very popular browser, used by almost 2/3 of all internet users.  Considered the safest browser on the market, Google aims to keep that top position by providing the most frequent security updates of all the browsers.  Like Microsoft's Edge browser, Chrome uses virtualization techniques to create a quarantined space between a user's device and the internet.  One of the downsides to Google's Chrome browser is the lack of user privacy. Google essentially tracks, stores and analyzes every keystroke made through their Chrome browser.

 

 

Every organization needs to weigh the pros and cons of the various browsers, their need for privacy vs. security, and decide which browser is best for them.  Ideally, companies should never lag behind by using older versions of browsers, leaving their vital data open to hacking attempts. If you have questions about browser use or internet security, let us know and we will be happy to answer your questions.

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Effective Ways to use Social Media to Promote your Website

Effective Ways to use Social Media to Promote your Website

 

 

A social media presence is one of the best ways to promote your website. It takes knowledge, time, and effort to build this presence. Below are several ideas to get you started.

 

Make your posts stand out

 

A promotional post has several tasks. It must attract attention and appear interesting enough to click and share. To make a post look stellar, customize it for the social media platform you are using. Make sure that the post has an interesting, eye-catching image and an effective title. You can use a different title for your social media post than you used on your website. Titles that inspire or intrigue often attract attention.

 

Timing is the key

 

People on social media platforms are more active at different times. Posting during more active times is a good idea. Your audience may have activity patterns, too. As you get to know your audience, you develop a better idea of when they will best respond to a post. Do not be afraid to re-post often. You can post many times a day and on different days. Be sure to make use of multiple social media platforms.

 

 

Network

 

Part of building a social media presence is attracting attention and building an audience. Another part is networking. An easy way to begin is by interacting with your followers. Ask questions and engage them early on and keep them motivated to come back to your page. Reach out to fellow users who share your interests and build a network of people who are enthusiastic about your site.

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

 

You should optimize your social media page for search engines to attract more followers. Make sure you have enough text on your page and that the quality is high. Do keyword research to make sure you are using commonly searched for phrases. Include an eye-catching call-to-action that links to your site or business.

 

Summary

 

By optimizing the content and timing of your posts, you generate more traffic from them. You will start to build a social media presence as you make SEO optimized posts and network with others. To keep this presence, post often, expand your networking efforts, and continue producing quality content. Let us know if you need any tips on using social media to promote your site.

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