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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…

The #1 Marketing Tool Your Business Needs

  The No. 1 Marketing Tool Every Business Needs By Rieva Lesonsky, AllBusiness.com December 22, 2017 Do you think your social media presence or your word-of-mouth is so strong that you don’t need a website for your business? Maybe you have amazing online reviews or a stellar reputation in the community. But that doesn’t mean your business can survive without a website of its own. Unfortunately, a surprising number of small business owners seem to view a business website as an “extra” rather than what they really are: an essential foundation for their marketing efforts…. Why is a business website so important? It’s all about control. As a small business owner, you can’t control the algorithms that social media sites use to determine what posts people see. You can’t control whether a crazy customer writes a negative review that stirs up controversy and attracts unwanted attention. You can’t control whether a newspaper subscriber actually reads the ad you placed. On your business website, however, you’re in complete control of the way you present your business, the image you create, and the information you share. And if you use social media marketing, search engine optimization, content marketing, local SEO, and online advertising wisely, you’ll have a great deal of control over whether people searching for what you sell end up on your website. Here are some keys to making the most of your business website: Regularly update your website so it always looks contemporary and fresh. Outdated design elements will make your business look less competitive. Don’t forget about functionality. If your website isn’t working as well as it used to, perhaps you need to revamp some navigation features. For example, your website should be designed to not only look great but also function smoothly on a mobile device. Create high-quality

Marked jump in brute force attacks against WordPress sites

If you haven’t done a security audit on your WordPress sites recently, now is the time!   Breaking: Aggressive WordPress Brute Force Attack Campaign Started Today, December 18, 2017, @ 3am UTC by Mark Maunder, Wordfence December 18, 2017 A massive distributed brute force attack campaign targeting WordPress sites started this morning at 3am Universal Time, 7pm Pacific Time. The attack is broad in that it uses a large number of attacking IPs, and is also deep in that each IP is generating a huge number of attacks. This is the most aggressive campaign we have seen to date, peaking at over 14 million attacks per hour. The attack campaign was so severe that we had to scale up our logging infrastructure to cope with the volume when it kicked off, which makes it clear that this is the highest volume attack that we have seen in Wordfence history, since 2012. The campaign continues to ramp up in volume during the past hour as we publish this post. A graph of the attack volumes is shown below which shows the number of attacks per hour and the number of attacking IPs that we see each hour. Our infrastructure automatically blacklisted the participating IPs in real-time and distributed those to our Premium customers. This all happened unattended early this morning. We continue to monitor the campaign and are analyzing its origin and who is behind it. What we know at this time: The attack has so far peaked at 14.1 million attacks per hour. The total number of IPs involved at this time is over 10,000. We are seeing up to 190,000 WordPress sites targeted per hour. This is the most aggressive campaign we have ever seen by hourly attack volume. Read more…
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