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What we Learned from Facebook’s Privacy Breach

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Last year, Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, was asked to answer questions from congress regarding improper privacy practices, but how well do you know the backstory?

Facebook’s trouble came when the New York Times published a story about election consultant, Cambridge Analytica, gaining users’ personal data via Facebook. Cambridge Analytica saw opportunities from a Facebook app, “This is My Digital Life,” to give out personality tests to users. The app, which users downloaded, harvested personal information from the users and their friends. The professor who made the app gave the information to Cambridge Analytica so they could influence users with targeted ads during the presidential election.

So why was Facebook responsible for this privacy breach?

Facebook knew that Cambridge Analytica had gained the data and requested Cambridge Analytica delete it. But in reality, the data was never deleted and Facebook neither followed up nor went public about this incident back in 2015.

The moral of the story is: When we have any sort of privacy breach, small or not, as a business owner it is very important to come clean to your customers, take the necessary actions, AND FOLLOW UP! It’s not an easy thing to admit you made a mistake, but in the long run it’s the only way you can retain your customers’ trust and stay out of hot water.

The other moral of the story is: Be wary of surveys or personality tests or even seemingly innocent quizzes on social media platforms. It’s best to ‘not click on’ or download any new apps or give out any information because you don’t know if the source or app developer can be trusted.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Technology #SmallBusiness #BusinessTips #Facebook #PrivacyBreach #DataHarvesting

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Be Aware of Credit Card Identity Thieves

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"Carding" became a thing in the 80s as the use of credit cards became more popular. It’s a form of fraudulent activity where your credit card (or bank account) is hacked and used to purchase expensive goods. It’s sad there’s a group of bad people taking advantage of something that is supposed to make our lives more convenient. These hackers are also known as “carders.”

Be aware of these common techniques carders use for hacking:


Carders can embed malware onto your computers and devices, trying to steal your personal and login information. Scan your devices with anti-spyware and anti-malware software regularly. Don’t click on any links you don’t trust.


Hackers pretend to be legitimate service providers with phishing emails/sites that will trick you into entering your personal or credit card information. Do not click any emails warning you to take action immediately – always check to make sure they are legitimate first. Most of those emails and websites look like the real thing, even though they’re not. For example, the IRS will never email you to enter your info online. General rule of thumb, if an email is asking you to verify or enter personal data, don’t do it unless you call or check with the source from a website you know is legitimate.

Carding Forums

There are many forums for hacker wannabes to visit. It is said Russian carding forums are bigger than anywhere else. They exchange stolen identities and credit card information.

Always, always check your statement; do not click any links that ask you to make payments, and stay on top of your credit card and bank activity! If and when you find questionable activity, please call your financial institution right away.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Technology #SmallBusiness #BusinessTips #Carding #Carders #Hacker #Hacking #Malware #Phishing

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The Dangers of Smart Phone Connectivity

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I don’t know what I would do without my smart phone. I use it to check traffic so I can find the best route in the morning. I use GPS to go to my meetings, no more printed maps. I use it to check-in for flights and show my e-ticket. I don’t even carry cash or credit cards because it’s all on my phone, including person-to-person money transfers using Venmo.

Everything is available to us on our phones, which is very convenient, but also risky.

When you’re using an app on your smart phone, be aware you are connected and at risk of being hacked. You share a lot about you and your behaviors through your smart phone. So here are some tips to keep in mind when using your phone:

- Use a PIN to unlock your device. In fact, biometrics are probably safer so it may be time for you to consider upgrading your device with one that uses fingerprint or a facial recognition to unlock your smart phone.

- In public places such as an airport or coffee shop, be careful and mindful of choosing “Free WiFi” because there may be people nearby who are literally “listening” and waiting for you to enter your passwords onto your Virtual Private Network, or onto an unsecure website.

- If you need to get connected in public places, use your cellular service instead of the Free WiFi.

- Bluetooth is not safe from cyber attacks either, so only pair with trusted devices and turn off connectivity if you suspect you’re in a public place where cyber security could be an issue.

- Be wary of apps you download on your phone. Remove it if you don’t need it and don’t install it if it isn’t from a trusted source.

All this “connectivity” and convenience comes with more responsibility. Just like our physical security, we need to be mindful of the things around us (i.e. our phones) that could pose a potential threat.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Technology #SmallBusiness #BusinessTips #SmartPhones #Devices #CyberAttacks #Hackers #Wifi #Passwords #Biometrics #Bluetooth

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The Importance of a Strong Password

The Importance of a Strong Pa...
It began with the ATM PIN and passwords have since become prevalent in our daily lives, a critical piece in our IoT way of life. With all of our personal information online, and internet hackers becoming more sophisticated, it’s now more important than ever we protect our information with strong passwords.

Password “strength” is a way to measure its effectiveness. As our computing power increases, so does the bad guys’ technology. They can systematically scan different logins with possible combinations. This technique is called “Brute-Force Attack.” They run the possible combinations by machines hoping to get a match before their fake attempts are blocked by the system.

If you use a short, easy combination, the likelihood of your passcode getting cracked increases much faster. So, what constitutes a good password?

Today we recommend:

- Using 8 to12 digits minimum
- Mixing lowercase and uppercase
- Mixing numbers and special characters

Do not use common words like “password” or “1234” for your password. Make sure you update your passwords once in a while. Hackers are getting smart - they don’t scan the possible password combinations all at once; they may go slowly so the system is less likely to flag them as hackers.

Consider this: It may be a pain to determine a “strong password” and try to remember it, but how much more painful and inconvenient would it be if your information was hacked? Stay ahead of the hackers and protect your identity and accounts with passwords they can’t crack!
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Technology #SmallBusiness #BusinessTips #Passwords #PasswordStrength #Hackers #CyberHackers #CyberThreats

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5 Tips for Responsive Websites

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If you’re in the position to have a responsive website designed for your business, here are 5 things to consider that will make it worthwhile.

1. Minimize

A website that is displayed on a mobile device has a smaller screen and less real estate than a desktop monitor. Look over each of your pages and decide what information is absolutely necessary. Design your pages with minimal content to keep them from appearing too busy and messy.

2. Hide Content

Another useful technique for minimizing the amount of content on a single page is to hide it. You can do this by simply deleting content or by using dropdown buttons that expand text or images.

3. Scalable Images and Graphics

Visiting mobile websites with extra large or too tiny images can be frustrating. If possible, use a responsive image or graphic that can respond to the screen size. If you can’t, or don’t know how to make an image responsive, try using two different sized images for desktop and mobile.

4. Clickable Buttons

Take a few minutes to think about the layout of your website. Are the buttons displayed large enough on mobile? Is it hard to click on a link, image, or button with your thumbs? Give users plenty of space in-between clickable objects.

5. Fonts

Fonts go hand-in-hand with creating clickable buttons. Because of the smaller screen you should consider how your fonts would be displayed on mobile devices. Clear and easy to read fonts will be greatly appreciated by your site visitors.

Bonus Tip:

When users browse your website on mobile devices they have different features than when they browse on their desktop. The main one being that they can make calls directly from websites.

#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Technology #SmallBusiness #BusinessTips #Websites #WebDesign #ResponsiveWebsites #MobileWebsites

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What is Responsive Web Design?

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Responsive design is a technique used by web designers where the pages of a website “respond” and reconfigure to a mobile-friendly view on whatever device is being used. Not too long ago, designers had to create one website for desktop and a separate one for mobile. The mobile website was usually a watered-down version of the main site – but times have changed.

Even before Google announced mobile-first indexing, web designers were already transitioning to a single website that worked across all devices. They do this by using fluid and proportion-based grids that adjust their size by a percentage relative to the display size.

This type of web design has become the standard for how websites are built today. And this is because of the increase in smartphone and tablet users, which now make up over half of all website visitors.

One major issue that designers have to deal with when designing responsive websites is mouse vs. touch. A website displayed on a desktop is navigated using a mouse but mobile devices use our thumbs. Designers have to build a website that responds and adapts to the display size while still making the site easy to navigate.

According to a Pew study, 77% of Americans now own a smartphone, which is more than double the number of smartphone owners in 2011. If you track your website traffic, look at the devices that your website visitors are coming from. You’ll probably be surprised at the amount of mobile users. If you don’t have a responsive website you should consider building one to make the best use of it.

For more information about responsive web design watch our video below:

#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Technology #SmallBusiness #BusinessTips #WebDesign #Website #ResponsiveWebsites

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Press Release : PSPinc Listed on the Puget Sound Business Journal’s 2019 Corporate Philanthropy List

PSPinc listed alongside top Seattle companies; Alaska Air Group, Boeing, REI, and Starbucks.

Bellevue, Wash., May 23, 2019 –Pacific Software Publishing, Inc. (PSPInc) has been listed with 74 other companies on the PSBJ 2019 Corporate Philanthropy List. This is PSPinc’s second time that PSPinc has been named to this list, the first time was the 2014 Corporate Citizen list. PSBJ will separate the list into three categories for further awards at the Corporate Citizenship and Healthy Community Corporate Champion honorees event, at 11:30 am, May 23rd.

The PSBJ Corporate Philanthropy list recognizes the top 75 businesses that give back to their community. This year, the 75 companies have donated almost 170 million dollars. This will mark the 10th time that PSPinc has been named to a Puget Sound Business Journal list in the past nine years including Top Minority-Owned Company 2018, 2017, & 2016, and the 2014 Corporate Citizen list.

“Our contributions through our PSP Children’s Foundation would not be possible without the help of generous companies and close friends who support our vision of helping the entrepreneurs of the future in our community.”
- Mayumi Nakamura, CEO

PSPinc has been serving the Puget Sound community for over 30 years. As a small business, we understand how much work it takes to be successful With a focus on helping businesses succeed online, PSPinc and its sister company Dreamersi, provide all the digital tools needed to run businesses of all sizes and in all industries, from online websites to web hosting, email accounts, custom hosting, and e-commerce tools.

About PSPinc: PSPinc was founded in 1987 by Ken Uchikura, who at that time was developing software out of a room in his apartment on Mercer Island, WA. Three decades later, PSPinc has grown into a full-service software company offering web hosting, web design, and marketing solutions. Headquartered in Bellevue, WA, PSPinc houses 50 employees with two additional offices in California. More than 40,000 companies worldwide trust them for websites, email, and online services. To learn more about PSPinc, please visit PSP Children’s Foundation was formed in 2012 to provide programs and opportunities for children who are overcoming great challenges. PSPCF is partnering with UW to host a golf tournament to raise scholarships for 5 students. For more information on our children’s foundation you can follow us on Facebook.
#Engblog #PressRelease

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Overview and Video of IMAP

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What is IMAP?

IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol. Try saying that 5 times fast…we’ll wait!

In layman's terms, it’s simply the method used to retrieve email from a mail server. * Emails are sent and received through mail servers. When you log into your email client, IMAP is being used to show your emails.

One great function of IMAP is the ability to check email on multiple devices because it synchronizes your emails with the mail server. With other mail protocols, like POP (Post Office Protocol), your emails are downloaded and then removed from the mail server.

We recommend using IMAP for your email clients instead of POP. Still don’t understand IMAP? Watch our YouTube video explaining it in more detail.

*Mail Server: a computer system that sends and receives mail.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Technology #SmallBusiness #BusinessTips #IMAP #Email #EmailServer #MailServer

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Overview of Content Management Systems (CMS)

Overview of Content Manageme...
What is a CMS?

A content management system, or CMS, is a software application designed to add, edit, and delete digital content – usually associated with a website.

For instance, our CMS is called WebdeXpress and it allows you to add pages to your website, edit text and image content, update your blog, add plugins, and manage your website settings.

The nice thing about content management systems is that they let you edit the content of your website separate from the design. WebdeXpress offers professional templates that make it easy to continually update and change content without messing around with the design.

Most CMS are great for SEO because they give you the ability to customize your page titles, URLs, image names, metadata and more, which help with your search engine ranking. Plugins are another feature that can help with design, content, or SEO by letting you expand the functionality of a CMS with third-party tools.

WebdeXpress and Wordpress are both considered a CMS but have very different levels of usability. WebdeXpress is very easy to use for people without web design or coding experience. Wordpress offers a lot of plugins and themes but can be very difficult to learn and is often hard to keep updated with each new security patch.

When looking at a CMS you should consider your website and management needs along with your skill level. If you have questions regarding WebdeXpress you can call us at 800-232-3989 or email
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Technology #SmallBusiness #BusinessTips #CMS #ContentManagementSystem #WebDesign #WebHosting #Websites

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Tips for Hosting an Effective Video Conference

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Whether your meeting is in person or online, it’s important to make the most of the time you have. If you really want to get things accomplished, here’s a list of things you should do before the meeting:

1) Define the goal.

Having the meeting is not your goal, producing results via the meeting is what you want to do. Make it clear up front to your meeting participants what the objectives and goals are for your meeting so everyone will come prepared. It also helps people stay on topic.

2) Set the agenda.

To help you stay on track during the meeting, prepare an agenda and distribute it to all the participants beforehand. This would list important talking points, goals, and perhaps who should lead certain topics of conversation.

3) Allow everyone to participate.

Meetings should give everyone the opportunity to express themselves. Allowing everyone to give their feedback and opinions is important. Give everyone a chance to have the floor, otherwise it’s a waste of their time.

4) Keep the meeting on schedule.

Someone should be accountable for keeping the meeting on track, on a timely schedule, and sticking to the agenda. Stay on course to meet those goals.

5) Define the answers and action steps.

Discussions are good but coming out of the meeting with answers and next steps is what’s it all about. Getting those results is your end goal and the sign of a successful meeting, not to mention a great use of your time.

6) Distribute meeting minutes.

Before the meeting starts, designate a person to take notes. By distributing those notes afterward, you are confirming everyone is on the same page and has agreed on the same things. It makes your next steps clear and effective, eliminating any misunderstandings ahead of time.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Technology #SmallBusiness #BusinessTips #Conference #Meetings #VideoConference #VirtualMeeting

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