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Chrome and Firefox Extensions Alert You to Stolen Passwords

With new stories about hacked websites and stolen passwords emerging almost daily, here are some new browser tools that alert you if you sign in anywhere using a password that has been breached. Here’s How To Find Out If Your Password Has Been Stolen By Hackers By Robin Andrews, IFLScience.com May 27, 2018 [Statistically, you] are likely to be someone who uses the same password for several logins, across websites or computers. There’s a fairly decent chance that at some point, one or several of your passwords have been stolen and posted on forums for other hackers to try out. Enter, Okta, whose plug-in for Chrome (a version for Firefox is coming soon) lets you know how safe, or unsafe, your passwords really are. Okta is described by CNET as a login management company, which doesn’t sound particularly thrilling. Popping over to their website, it appears that this is indeed what they do, but to put it in a mildly more exciting way: They are the guardians of the virtual gateways, those that stop nefarious hackers getting to you as you log in to whatever digital platform you or your company are using. They’ve recently gone one step further and released a browser plug-in named PassProtect. When you use a password to sign in to Twitter or anything of the sort, it’ll inform you just how many times the password in question has been exposed in a data breach. As noted, PassProtect is currently available as an extension for Chrome only, although they say a version for Firefox is in the works. In the meantime, if you are a Firefox user, you can try a similar add-on called Prevent Pwned Passwords. Prevent Pwned Passwords helps make sure you don’t use any password that’s known to have been part of a

Facebook Users Visit Local Business Pages Weekly

Here is another study showing the importance of both smart phones and social media in how the potential customers of local small business research and conclude the purchase of products and services. If you don’t have a responsive internet presence coupled with social media marketing, consumers won’t find you. But they will find your competitors! Nearly 2 in 3 Facebook Users Visit Local Business or Event Pages Weekly by Courtney Dobson, LSA Insider May 29, 2018 A recent Facebook study of over 6,000 local businesses and over 10,000 people around the world found that 2 in 3 people on Facebook visit the page of a local business or event at least once a week. The study defined local businesses as, “one that isn’t part of a chain, franchise or non-profit and isn’t purely online, but has fewer than five store locations in a single market.” Additionally, while ecommerce is seeing growth, in-store experiences offer a personal appeal that is unparalleled to digital experiences. In fact, 87% said trust and security was the main motivator for local-based purchases, and 40% said that the store offers a more personal customer experience. When looking further into the motivations for in-store vs. online, people prioritize things like conveniences, ease and cost savings. According to the survey, the top three reasons people shop in-store are goods being immediately available, goods that are close by and not having to pay for shipping costs. On the other hand, the top reasons for shopping online included not having to leave the house, not being limited to shopping during store hours and comparing costs easily. Mobile-first shoppers, however, pave the way for opportunity, as they seek to interact with and learn more about a business and its offerings. Eighty percent of people surveyed said they use their smartphones to

Small businesses may face sanctions under the GDPR

Canadian business may face sanctions under EU’s new privacy law CBC News May 25, 2018 The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation covers everything from giving people an opportunity to obtain, correct or remove personal data about themselves, to outlining rules for disclosing security breaches, to providing easily understood privacy policies and terms of service. Any Canadian business that collects personal information about residents of the European Union — whether they’re tourists, students or online customers — risks maximum fines of $30 million or more if they violate a sweeping new EU privacy law that takes effect Friday. But privacy experts say many small- and mid-sized Canadian companies have only recently become aware that they may be covered by the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, which was adopted by the 27-country regional government in 2016 with a two-year delay before enforcement starting on May 25, 2018. “Anybody that is collecting personal data from European residents — not only citizens — needs to comply with this,” Ale Brown, founder of Kirke Management Consulting, said in a phone interview from Vancouver. That’s equally true for a boutique fashion company selling purses, a university with students from a European country or a website using cookies or other information tracking features, she said. The GDPR could even affect small tourism-related business such as a resort or tour operator, because they have guests from all over the world. Besides having potentially hefty fines, the GDPR’s scope is also sweeping. It covers everything from giving people an opportunity to obtain, correct or remove personal data about themselves, to outlining rules for disclosing security breaches, to providing easily understood privacy policies and terms of service. One of the criticisms of GDPR has been that it could impose higher administrative costs on every company that wants to comply with

A Plain English Summary of GDPR

The new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): What is it? Does it apply to you? What do you have to do to be in compliance with GDPR? Here are some helpful resources: The Ultimate Guide to WordPress and GDPR Compliance (in Plain English) WPBeginner.com May 22, 2018 Are you confused by GDPR, and how it will impact your WordPress site? GDPR, short for General Data Protection Regulation, is an European Union law that you have likely heard about. We have received dozens of emails from users asking us to explain GDPR in plain English and share tips on how to make your WordPress site GDPR compliant. In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about GDPR and WordPress (without the complex legal stuff). To help you easily navigate through our ultimate guide to WordPress and GDPR Compliance, we have created a table of content below: Table of Contents What is GDPR? What is required under GDPR? Is WordPress GDPR Compliant? Areas on Your Website that are Impacted by GDPR Best WordPress Plugins for GDPR Compliance Read more… ……. Some other sources you might want to consult: 5 steps to sustainable GDPR compliance | SAS GDPR Compliance Checklist What is the GDPR, its requirements and deadlines? | CSO Online 6 steps for GDPR compliance | CSO Online 5 Ways to Make Your Database GDPR-Compliant – DZone Security GDPR Compliance and Data Collection: How To Make It Work – EContent Magazine GDPR: What it Means for Google Analytics Online Marketing

Google: Final Warning on HTTPS for Websites

Google Chrome Issues Final Warning on HTTPS Search Engine Journal May 18, 2018 Google Chrome announced that it will show a prominent “Not Secure” message in the browser bar starting in October 2018. Consider this your final warning. After October 2018 Chrome and likely all other Chrome based browsers like Vivaldi will display enhanced security warnings that may create higher bounce rates for your site and concomitantly lower sales and conversions. Currently Google is displaying a green icon to indicate that a website is secure. Google reports that because so many sites are now secure, they will begin to flag the insecure sites with a prominent red warning. Additionally Chrome will stop displaying the green icon for secure websites. The reasoning behind this decision is that HTTPS should be considered the default state of a website, particularly now that so many websites are secure. User expectations should be that a site is secure. Thus it makes sense that a warning should be reserved for a dangerous situation, not for a safe situation. Read more…

How to Disable Gutenberg in WordPress

The new Gutenberg editor is coming soon to WordPress. Some welcome this change. Some disparage it. Whichever camp you fall into, if you manage client sites you may want to disable it temporarily (or permanently) for client sites, either site-wide or for certain types of posts. The good news is you can now easily do that. How to Disable Gutenberg: Complete Guide by Jeff Starr, DigWP.com April 18th, 2018 Gutenberg soon will be added to the WordPress core. This is great news for some, not so great for others. With 99.9999% (estimate) of all WordPress sites currently setup to work without Gutenberg, the massive changes barreling down the pike are going to affect literally millions of websites. And as swell as the whole “Gutenberg” experience may seem, the simple truth is that a vast majority of site owners will not be prepared when it finally hits. Nor will many small business have time or budget to test and update client sites to accommodate ol’ Gut’. If that sounds like your situation, you basically have two options: Buck up and fork out your time and money to test and update all existing client sites for Gutenberg. OR, simply disable Gutenberg until you are ready for it. The easiest way to disable Gutenberg is to install my free plugin, Disable Gutenberg. It is a simple plugin focused on one thing: disabling Gutenberg and restoring the default classic WP Editor screen. Just enable the plugin, choose your options and done. Options include: Disable Gutenberg completely (all post types) Disable Gutenberg only on specific post types Disable Gutenberg for specific user roles So it’s flexible yet simple, and super easy to use. Check out the documentation and homepage for more details. More options… I will be testing both the Disable Gutenberg plugin and a second

Does Your Local Business Still Need a Website?

Do Local Businesses Still Need a Website? by Jamie Pitman, BrightLocal.com April 16, 2018 While 97% of consumers looked online for an local business last year, fewer people are following up that research with a website visit. The median click-through rate for the number 1 ranking on Google was down 37% last year, suggesting that fewer search users are clicking through to local business websites. For SEO, link building, brand building, and meeting consumer expectations, having a great local business website is still critical. If you’re on the fence about having a website built for your local business, it’s easy to read all of the above and decide that there’s very little point. However, there are a multitude of reasons why every small business should have its own website, regardless of its Google My Business listing, directory listings or Facebook page popularity. Reason 1: It’s (almost) a pre-requisite for local SEO It’s far, far more difficult to rank in the local pack listings without your own website. While it isn’t impossible, it’s far, far more difficult to rank in the local pack listings without your own website.With the continuing advancement of mobile search and the increasing popularity of voice search, local search visibility is important for every local business. If you don’t have your own website, it is almost impossible to attain the level of visibility you need to drive footfall to your local business. Reason 2: Consumers expect it While consumers are increasingly able to find the information they need and take an action directly from search results, research from the Local Search Association confirms that most consumers expect a local business to have a website. In The Digital Consumer Study, the Local Search Association found that 63% of consumers used the website to find a local business or

Listing your local business to increase visibility

Creating a web presence is just step one. Now you have to make sure your business is visible in search engine listings. Here’s one important component of achieving that. Best Local Citations by Country – A 2018 Update by Nyagoslav Zhekov, Whitespark.ca April 12, 2018 Find out Which Sites Are the Most Important For Your Business In: The United States Canada The United Kingdom Australia Germany The Netherlands France Ireland New Zealand Singapore South Africa Spain Italy Brazil Poland Visit the top citations page to download our full list for all 15 countries, as well as learn more about our process for qualifying the sites that are included in our resource. Read more…

Testing WordPress Performance and Site Speed

5 Tools to Test WordPress Performance and Site Speed WPExplorer January 10, 2018 The following tools will give you a complete picture of your website’s performance. You can use a single tool, or use them all in conjunction to cross-reference website data. 1. Google PageSpeed Insights PageSpeed Insights is a brainchild of Google. This nifty web app measures your site’s performance across multiple devices, including desktop and mobile browsers. This is useful if your visitors are accessing your site from a variety of screen sizes and devices. 2. Pingdom Pingdom is a free tool that gives you full-site performance information including load time, page size, as well as a detailed analysis of each page on your website. Best of all, this app saves your performance history, so you can track if your efforts to improve loading times are working. 3. GTmetrix The report that GTmetrix generates will show you a complete history of the website’s loading speeds, as well as a detailed report that suggests ways to improve the performance of your website. Beyond the initial page analysis tools, this web tool also has a video playback feature that enables you to see where the loading speed bottlenecks occur. 4. WebPagetest WebPagetest gives you your site’s loading speed and a grade breakdown of your site’s performance. It’s unique in that it allows you to select a country to view your report from, so you can see how your site performs across the world. This is useful if you have a large overseas user base. 5. YSlow Browser Plugin YSlow is a browser plugin that lets you track the performance of any site you’re currently visiting. It doesn’t give you the actual load time, but it does break down over 20 different performance cues. This can help you compare other competitors site’s within your niche to see

WordPress 4.9.4 Fixes Critical Auto Update Bug in 4.9.3

WordPress 4.9.4 Fixes Critical Auto Update Bug in 4.9.3 by Jeff Chandler, WordPress Tavern February 7, 2018 Hours after WordPress 4.9.3 was released, the WordPress development team followed it up with 4.9.4 to fix a critical bug with the auto update process. The bug generates a fatal PHP error when WordPress attempts to update itself. This error requires [some] WordPress site owners and administrators to manually update to WordPress 4.9.4 by visiting your Dashboard and clicking the Update Now button on the Updates page. Alternatively, you can update by uploading the files via SFTP or by using WP-CLI. Dion Hulse, WordPress lead developer, says managed hosts that apply updates automatically for their customers will be able to update sites as they normally do. This may explain why some users have reported that sites running 4.9.3 have automatically updated to 4.9.4 without issue. Read more…
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