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PSPinc will help your business thrive by providing for all of your technology needs. We offer a wide array of products, including Web & Email Hosting, Website Development, Email Marketing and Data Storage Solutions. Visit pspinc.com to learn more.

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How to Recognize Email Spoofing

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Beware: What you see in your email may not be what it seems. Although an email may appear to come from someone or an organization you know, the actual email address or the location of the sender’s server may tell you otherwise. Forged emails are the result of what is called “email spoofing.”

Just like any website, all emails contain what we call a header. Email headers are on the back-end (shown in email properties) and they can contain very valuable information about where your email originated from. It contains basic sender information along with the routing information.

Sometimes that basic sender information on the back end header does not match with the sender information you see on the front end in your email’s “from” field. Sometimes that from field won’t even show an address, just a name. And sometimes you’ll see a familiar name with a return-path email address next to it that doesn’t match what you have in your contacts.

Luckily, most email programs can spot these inconsistencies and direct them to a spam folder, but not always. It’s still a good idea to look for these inconsistencies if an email seems suspicious, comes unexpectedly, asks you to reply with personal or financial information, or asks you to open an attached file or click on a link you don’t recognize.

Just know the “from” field in your email may not always be telling you the truth. The name may look familiar, but it could be forged by a third party trying to cause harm.

To see your email header information in Outlook, double-click the suspicious email and go to “file,” then “properties.” For Mac Mail, select the email and go to “view,” then “message” to view either the default header (header only) or the row source. It will come in handy when you need to ask your IT person to troubleshoot the spoofing.
#PSPinc #Blog #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #CyberAttacks #CyberSecurity #CyberCrime #Equifax #Malware #EmailSpoofing #EmailVirus #EmailPhishing #ComputerVirus

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Understanding the Computer Virus (or Malware)

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Let’s kick off the subject of cyber security by talking about computer viruses. A computer virus is defined as “a type of malicious software program ("malware") that, when executed, replicates itself by modifying other computer programs and inserting its own code.[1] Infected computer programs can include, as well, data files, or the "boot" sector of the hard drive. When this replication succeeds, the affected areas are then said to be "infected" with a computer virus,” according www.Wikipedia.org.

Basically, a virus is a software program that penetrates your computer hard drive or files, and it can crash your computer, make it malfunction, or it can hijack and steal the data stored on your computer. Some of the more recent malware lives on your computer quietly, so you won’t know you’re at risk.

Computer viruses are not new. As a matter of fact, they’ve been around and detected as early as the 1960s. Some of the more well-known viruses in our history include the “Creeper virus” detected in the early 1970s, or “Michaelangelo” first discovered in 1991 infecting computers via floppy drives.

Not all viruses are passed via the internet, but they can also be found within infected files and spread through file transfers. Some viruses can unknowingly be installed on your computer when you click a link on a website that may be infected. Unfortunately, the website owner of that infected link may not even know about the virus, hence that quiet malware which can spread quickly. More sophisticated viruses can detect your key strokes so they can steal your passwords.

With cyber attacks on the rise, cyber security is needed more than ever, and luckily it is free. Especially if you are running a business, you need to make sure you have an anti-virus software installed on your computer(s) with malware detection that scans your computer on a regular basis. Many of these are free like Avast, Malwarebytes, AVG. Windows 8 comes with its own anti-virus software, Microsoft Security Essential, and for Windows 7, it’s free to download.
#PSPinc #Blog #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #CyberAttacks #CyberSecurity #CyberCrime #Equifax #Malware #EmailSpoofing #EmailVirus #EmailPhishing #ComputerVirus

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How to Combat Rising Cyber Security Threats

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The cost of cyber crime exceeded $1.45 billion in 2016 with almost 300,000 reported crimes, according to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).* To compare, the dollar amount was reported at just over $1 billion the year before. The growth could indicate more people are reporting cyber attacks now, but it’s more likely showing the increase in cyber crime overall. And these are just the numbers known by the FBI for American cases, which means we are probably facing a larger scale crisis when it comes to the world’s population.

Cyber attacks and security breaches are in our news often, and touch everyone’s life. The recent Equifax data breach goes to show we need to be aware of the tactics of those who try to trick us, and learn how to protect our online identities and sensitive information.

In October, we will cover some of the cyber security issues, as well as the protection methods you can take to protect both your business and personal information.

Let’s first define “Cyber Security.” According to http://whatis.techtarget.com:

“Cybersecurity is the body of technologies, processes and practices designed to protect networks, computers, programs and data from attack, damage or unauthorized access. In a computing context, security includes both cybersecurity and physical security.”

As defined above, cyber security doesn’t just protect your computer, emails and network; it also protects information that pertains to your physical security and your identity. We will cover many points and go more in depth on this topic throughout the month.

*Source: https://pdf.ic3.gov/2016_IC3Report.pdf
#PSPinc #Blog #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #CyberAttacks #CyberSecurity #CyberCrime #Equifax #Malware

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Promoting your Business Blog

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Let’s say you open up a brand new store inside the mall. What’s the very next thing you do?

You promote it. You place ads in magazines, and use all the media you can possibly think of and afford to get the word out that your store is open. The fundamentals are the same with a new blog; you have to promote it and get the word out once it’s up and running.

Here are some ways you can promote your blog site:

Social Media

Do you have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram? Share your blog posts on social media sites each time you publish a new one. Ask your friends to share them for you too. Some of the blog platforms even have tools that help you automate social media posts once the blog post is published. Many blog platforms allow you to schedule a post for a future date so you can plan ahead a series of fresh posts for your followers. If you’re including great images in your blog that are your own (not copied from another site), you can even post them to Pinterest with a link back to your blog.

Newsletter

Stay connected by newsletter. That’s what we do at PSPinc – every other week we send a digest of our latest blog posts in our customer newsletter. People may find certain blog topics interesting when they open up our newsletter and come back to our blog. It would be ideal to have people visiting the blog all the time without that reminder, but honestly who has time for that? You have to show people you have something worth their time to read in order for them to return to your blog.

Links from Existing Sites

You can link back to your blog in social media posts, but you can also add your blog URL to your profiles for LinkedIn, Facebook, or on your existing business homepage. Those links are not only good for your blog’s SEO; it’s good for your reputation too. By having a blog chock full of great information, you’re showing people you have a good grip on current industry knowledge and expertise.

Lastly, as this month-long series about blogging for business comes to a close, the point you need to remember most is to have interesting, useful content that draws people in and keeps them coming back for more. If you don’t write something people can relate to, or that helps them, you might as well be writing these blogs just to waste your own time. Quality content is important to engage readers and make your blog, and business, a success.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Blogger #Blogging #WordPress #BlogTips #BlogBasics

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How to Make your Blog a Success

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Do you know how many people have visited your blog?
Of those people, do you know how many people are returning visitors?
Is your blog doing its job of getting your information and brand out to the public?


The best way to find the answers is by viewing your site statistics. You can use the tools on your free blog platform, or simply use Google Analytics. This will help you understand what’s working, and what’s not working so you can fine tune your blogging efforts to be more successful and appeal to more people, or simply the right people. Telling your story is one thing, but it’s another to attract visitors from search engines, get them hooked on your content, and get them to return again.

Here are a few simple ways to make your blog more successful:

Get the word out.

If you are writing all these wonderful articles but no one reads them, it’s a waste of your time. So make sure you tell people about your blogs. If you have a newsletter, that’s a great place to advertise your blog posts. You can also post your blogs on social media, and ask others to share. The most important thing, however, is to work on your blog’s SEO. Be sure you are plugging in the right keywords that people are searching, and keep your blog in sync with your business strategy and goals.

Get people to come back.

If people are finding you online, that’s great! But getting them to return to your blog is a bit harder. Sometimes, it’s simply that they forget about you and your blog address. What can you do about that? You can offer to keep them in the loop through newsletter updates that include your latest blogs. That way they can get a sampling of your stories and knowledge in an occasional email reminder. When they see a subject that interests them, they will return.

Measure your success.

You will need to have a quantitative way to measure your success. We have made the mistake before of getting high traffic to our site, but the visitors were not our target audience so they never came back. We ended up offering lots of articles and materials online for free, but didn’t get people hooked since they weren’t the right customer base. Return visitors are often at the core of success for business strategy. So in the beginning, define your business strategy and goals -- the type of visitor you want to reach, and the percentage of return visits you’re looking for -- so you can determine if you are successful or if you need to change your approach.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Google #Facebook #Blogger #Blogging #WordPress #BlogTips

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The Dos and Don'ts of Blogging for Business

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A consistent brand message is key across all your marketing efforts, thus, applying to your blog as well. So far we’ve talked about keeping the design of your blog in line with your website and brand, but what about your actual content? You have to make sure your blog posts also remain relevant to your business, using topics and keywords your customers will find useful. Here are the Dos and Don’ts of blogging for business:

1. DO include important keywords within your blog content. Repeat them within each blog post whenever possible without over-saturating the article. Most importantly, your article needs to be easy to read, helpful, and include relevant content, so don’t just stuff keywords in there anywhere; add them in only where they make sense.

2. DON’T copy and paste someone else’s work as your own – that’s plagiarism and it’s illegal. You can reference information from other blogs or websites and post it on your blog to prove a point you are trying to make, but you must give credit to the author (or organization). For any text you copy and paste from another website, cite the author and URL within your article so your visitors will know the source of information.

3. DO find your niche. If you’re unsure about your topic choices, Google it and see how many search results you get. That's the number just under the bar showing how many results there are under your search terms (or topic). It will show you how many other people are writing on your topic using your keywords.

4. DON’T play a video without visitors’ consent. It can be very annoying when you visit a blog or news site and all of a sudden a video ad starts playing. Allow visitors to choose whether they want to watch the video or ad, and don’t force it on them. If you do, people will bounce out of your site immediately and they’re not likely to return. You need readers to come back on a regular basis to make your blog more ‘popular’ so make it a pleasant experience for people.

5. DO summarize your topic in your title. Many blog engines will turn your title into part of your URL, and your URL address can be a powerful SEO tool. So think about how to name your blog title with the idea that it’s another opportunity to add important keywords for Search Engine Optimization.

6. DON'T overwhelm users with too much text. Find some nice imagery that correlates to your topic. The visual is the first thing to grab people’s attention when they land on your page, so it should help tell the story while staying in line with your brand message. If you do find an image somewhere online, even if it’s from a free image website, don’t forget to cite the source.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Blogging #WordPress #Blogger #Bloguru #BloggingTips

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Use a Free Blog Service or Host on your Company Domain?

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Use a Free Blog Service or H...
The choice is yours as to whether your blog is under your website’s domain name, or that of a free service like wordpress.com or bloguru.com. Here is a list to help you determine which one is right for you:

1) If your company identity and domain name is important, go with your own domain.

It helps promote your brand identity and domain name having your blog on your domain name instead of under a free service domain, which looks like: your_company.wordpress.com, or bloguru.com/your_company. The other option is having the free blog service, like bloguru.com embed the blog within your own domain. Contact us at PSPinc to help you understand this option.

2) If you don’t have a domain name yet and need a boost in search engines, go with a free service.

Going fresh with a new domain name is fine, but it requires work to get it known, and your blog posts may not appear in search engines right away. But if you have your blogs on established domains like blogger.com, wordpress.com, or bloguru.com, your articles will likely be indexed by search engines simply because those domains are very popular.

3) If you are particular about the design of your blog template, build it into your own domain.

There are tons of themes and (often free) templates to choose from when you’re working with a free blog service, but you will have limited ability to customize them, which means you may not get that perfect look and feel. Although it will require some technical skill to set up a completely customized blog on your domain, if your priority is the look and the design of it, then that’s the way to go.

4) If you aren’t familiar with PHP, MySQL, or Open Source, use a free service.

If you are going to install a blog on your domain, you will need the technical skills to set up some programs on the server. But, if you have no idea what PHP, MySQL, or Open Source means, either hire someone who does, or try using a free service first.

5) If you are planning to have tons of files like images and videos, consider using your own domain for freedom of space.

File storage space may be more limited on a free blog service compared to your own blog. If you have a blog on your domain, you can purchase additional space as needed compared to the limited space a free service offers, so check that detail if you are considering a free service.

Our service, bloguru.com, features the best of both sides – the free service and hosting under your domain. Email us to find out how we can help you start blogging on your terms.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Wordpress #Blogger #BlogBasics #Blogging101 #Domain #WebHosting #SEO

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The Benefit of Blogging for SEO

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The Benefit of Blogging for SEO
What can a blog do for your website’s SEO?
How should you strategize using a blog for your website’s SEO?


Good questions, right?

For your website to organically rank high in search engines, your site needs to be ‘popular,’ but what does that mean?

The true formula for search engine scores are not publicly available and the search engines often fine tune and change things, but if you work on the following three critical elements for SEO, you will have a ‘popular’ site, meaning it ranks well in searches:

1) Your site has high traffic.
2) Many websites (preferably high-traffic ones) mention and link to your website address.
3) You update your site on a regular basis.

Although being mobile-friendly is also key to your website’s success in Google, it’s more important you focus on the three important elements mentioned above. If you genuinely want to be recognized and rank high in search engines, you need work hard towards it.

Here’s how a blog can help make your site popular:

- You will (should) update your blog on regular basis with new articles - meets #3.
- As you continue and provide good content, visitors will start to share your blogs - meets #2.
- As people share your blogs, you will have more people recognize you for your expert opinions or stories, and therefore you will have more visits to your blog - meets #1.

You simply need to figure out what stories or expertise you would like to share with others, and make sure to include relevant keywords that get searched by users.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Wordpress #Blogger #Bloguru #BlogBasics #Blogging101 #SEO

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How to Choose your Blog Design

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How to Choose your Blog Design
Now that you’ve decided to start a blog, you need to set it up and add your personal design touches. This may vary depending on which blog platform you use. But, even before you decide on that, here are some things to know before you start:

- Decide on a URL: your own domain name, or a subdomain on a pre-existing site, or a folder under a popular blog service.
- Define your goals and keywords for your blog.
- Using the keywords, come up with the title and phrases ready to use in blog templates.

After you have your initial content, you are ready to get started! If you want to use a blog service, here are some popular platforms to choose from:

WordPress.com

With WordPress, you can either use their default design templates, or you can download some templates (some free and some for fees) using plugins. Whatever design template you choose, be sure to select one that is “mobile friendly” and “responsive” so your content will be easy to read on mobile devices.

If you choose to upload your own images, make sure they are a quality resolution so they don’t look pixelated. If needed, you can contact a professional developer to work with you like us, PSPinc!

Once you have the right look for your site, you can set up basic elements such as your blog title, and a description explaining what it’s about and who you are as the author.

Blogger.com

Blogger is a well-established blog service by Google, and it will let you create your blog under its domain blogger.com. You can choose from several templates, and if you are savvy, you can customize the template with HTML codes or CSS Stylesheet. After your look is complete, you’ll set up your content, much like WordPress.

Bloguru.com -- Our Free Service!

Just like Blogger, our service, Bloguru, provides plenty of themes for you to choose from. The look of your site should be consistent, or in line with your brand message, so choose wisely. Let us know if we can help you get set up, contact us today!
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Wordpress #Blogger #Blogging #BloggingBasics #Bloguru

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Blogging 101: How to Get Started Blogging

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Blogging 101: How to Get Star...
If you wish to start your own blog, please let us know and we'll be happy to send you an invitation to join our free blog service called bloguru.com. It's optimized for search engines and totally ad free. Meanwhile, if you are unsure on how to start your own blog, here are some things to consider:

What should I write about?

There are millions of topics you could write about. You may simply want to blog as if it were your personal diary, or you could blog about something on which you’re an expert. Whatever you choose to do, potentially many people could read it, so beware of posting private information. If you choose to start a blog for your business, stick with your comfort zones and publish on topics you know well that relate to your business.

“Julie and Julia” is a fun movie that came out in 2009, based on a true story about how one woman’s blog made a life-changing impact. The woman, Julie, challenges herself to cook her way thru Julia Child’s cookbook, and she blogs about the entire experience. The result of her blog became a book, which then became the movie. Without spoiling the whole movie (for those who haven’t seen it), it’s an interesting depiction about how a blog changed a person’s life. It’s also a great movie, so you should watch it!

What are the blog platforms?

By far, WordPress is the most known blog engine. Some of your websites may be powered by WordPress without you even knowing it. WordPress is an Open Source program you could install on your web server to be your content management system. But the true power is in its blog engine which lets you author and publish your articles online. You can choose if you want to install the blog on your own domain (using your existing URL), or simply use WordPress.com. Having your own domain will help you aggregate more keywords for your domain name and therefore should help your search engine rankings grow. But if you don’t have a domain you can attach your articles to WordPress.com and get your blog published that way.

There are other services like ours, lesser-known but well established. Our platform, bloguru.com, hosts your blog on our server as a service, and it also give you tools like RSS feeds, which enables you to deliver your updated content on other domains, feeding your content to anyone or any domain that subscribes to you. In bloguru.com, tags can be added on your website, so the title of each new article shows up on your homepage as it’s published, linking users back to the original article on bloguru.com. Or, each blog post can be embedded separately into your website, giving each article its own page within your domain. We have options for you to consider!

So do your research and figure out what is the best fit for you. Contact us if you need more help understanding your options. We’ll talk about how to set up and design your blog next week!
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Blogging #BloggingBasics #Blogging101 #Bloguru

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