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Security Tips for Internet Marketing

Reaching out to your existing audience while simultaneously marketing to a new one can be a challenging job. You have to manage multiple online accounts and keep up with as many conversations as possible in order to ensure maximum exposure. Even if you don’t suspect it, you’re knee deep in data. It is for this reason why your organization is such a valuable target to cyber criminals who hope to sell that very data to the highest bidder. They won’t even take into account the good nature of the people you work for and market to.

This is why you need protection, and fortunately there are plenty of ways to get that protection so long as you commit. Half-measures don’t work in cyber security, but the dedicated practitioners will find that they can move on quickly from concerns of lost work and tattered reputations and focus on the task of spreading positive messages and good words.

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Here are some of the main things you should know in order to be safe while helping your brothers and sisters connect to what they need to:

Use the Latest and Greatest Applications and Software

You can’t mess around with applications that don’t guarantee you the very best security and the finest features available on the market. Building on top of that, they make sure that they take advantage of security features available in those apps. Convenience in the short term often turns into problems down the line.

In regard to the use of your applications, you should note the following recommendations:

  • Whatever products and services you use need to be updated frequently. If you ever feel as though your app of choice is slacking off in its security updates, it might be time to update to a different app entirely.
  • If there are additional verification options, even if you need to enter multiple forms every time you use the app, use them. A stolen laptop or phone could spell disaster otherwise.
  • Also think about how easily the security features integrate with your usage of the software. If it is discouraging you via inconvenience to the point where you turn said features off, it might not be the most secure piece of software.

Have a General Security Procedure

Many of the rules for cyber security for marketing professionals are no different than what you hear recommended in general for consumers. It is important that you have general security rules in place for yourself and your business so that you don’t fall victim to a basic slip-up. Here are some of the things you will want to consider:

  • Passwords are still extremely important. Combined with other verification measures, they are the first line of defense against hackers. They need to be more than 10 characters, contain no words found in the dictionary and not be anything that could be easily guessable. Different accounts should use different passwords, and you may want to consider a password manager such as LastPass.
  • Whatever devices you use for your endeavor should have a security suite installed. It should be a quality service, and it should be updated frequently.
  • Social media should be used of carefully. It is often the public face of your organization and you don’t want to have people get the wrong impression.

Keep Your Email Safe Under Lock and Key

The email address of an internet marketer is the gateway to everything else. Take a moment to think about what your email address is connected to. How many days do you think it would take to recover everything, if it were even recoverable? Above all else, you need to keep this account safe.

Here are a few tips to keep your email address safe:

  • Never share your passwords or other verification measures with anyone.
  • Internet marketers should get in the habit early of keeping their personal and business accounts separate.
  • Take every opportunity to better secure your account. Link it to a phone number and second email account. Lock it down to only a few devices if those are the only devices that are going to use the account on a regular basis.

Use a Virtual Private Network When Outside the Office

The outreach specialist doesn’t always work from home or the office. Hackers know this, and they’ll be happy to intercept your personal and account information over a public network. All they need is a simple program, a laptop and some time on their hands.

This is why you need to have a Virtual Private Network (VPN) equipped whenever you’re taking work devices outside the office. A VPN is a service that will connect the user to an offsite secure server via an encrypted connection, hiding their IP address and keeping their data safe regardless of the network they use.

They are easy to install and are compatible with most devices. The main thing that you need to worry about is picking the right one for your security needs, for which it is recommended that you read some reviews on the subject.

Be Suspicious of Scams

Last but not least, when improving your internet marketing security, you need to be aware of social engineering and other scams. Most hackers would prefer to simply send a few scam emails and get a response rather than look through code all day. It makes sense too given that the vast majority of all cyber security breaches result from human error instead of hacker know-how.

You need to look out for the following and follow these tips in particular:

  • If something sounds too good to be true, it positively is.
  • Avoid sending any personal or account information over email or another messaging service. Most attempts will likely be scams or phishing, and even the legitimate needs can be worked around. If someone legitimately needs information, find a more personal way, such as the phone call, to give it to them.
  • New types of scams pop up every day, so always follow your instincts. If something seems suspicious, investigate further. Don’t forget you can look up people and “companies” online if you’re curious.

Conclusion

The more that people do to stay safe online and the more people who are safe online, the better the internet as a whole will be for community leaders and marketers. No matter how much you might want to work on making contacts, you need to create a safe environment for the people you represent and hope to help.

Do you have any recommendations of your own concerning this important topic? Have you ever run into security issues or found your organization a victim? This is not the time to sit tight and keep information to yourself. Please share your thoughts and experiences with your fellow readers by leaving a comment below.

 

Responsive Web Design Vs Mobile First

Would you be brave enough to launch a mobile version of your website, while ignoring the desktop users altogether? Well, it is your call after all… but from my personal experience, I can safely say that not many people would do that. It is quite customary for the business owners and even for the website designers to launch the desktop version, which is otherwise known as the standard version of the website, first.

Mobile version of the website comes next. When the desktop version of the website gets uploaded to the web server, web designers and the owner finally get their heads together to design a mobile version of that website so that the mobile users don’t feel left out.

Things have not changed much even after the rise in the popularity of responsive web design. People still start a web design project with the desktop version first and when they are done with that, they decide to delete some designing elements from the desktop version of the design and serve it as a mobile friendly version to the mobile users.

It is strange that some designers still don’t give much attention to the mobile users and the mobile devices. For them, mobiles are just some fancy devices that should be used as communication tools. But in the real world, things are just the opposite. Just go out and ask some random people in the street and you will realize the fact that a significant number of people are using mobile devices to browse the web.

Quite a shocker, is it not? You need to get this in your head that mobile websites are not something fancy that rich business organizations like to gloat about; rather they have become just as important as the standard version of a website.

In that case, let me inundate you with some mindboggling numbers

  • In the United States alone, 25% of the users have never used a desktop to browse a website.
  • Over 11 billion of time mobile apps have been downloaded by users.
  • Emerging markets like India and China are seeing a surge in the use of mobile phone.

Since mobile devices are easy to carry and as they are getting increasingly powerful and feature rich, we are more likely to see more traffic coming through mobile devices. This is the reason why we have to invest our time, energy and our hard earned money to design and develop a mobile website. However, if you don’t have the budget available to have the mobile interface designed and developed from scratch, you can check out some cool website builders like – MotoCMS available online.

Most of us are well aware of the importance of having a mobile version of a standard website but the problem is that we are not sure what approach we should be taking while developing a mobile version.

Should we be gracefully degrading a standard website to develop a mobile version? Or we should be aggressively tearing it down to create a water-down version of the standard website to cater to the mobile users?

Most of us are not sure about this. So, let’s take a deeper look at the two most popular methods of designing and developing a mobile website –

  • Responsive Web Design
  • Mobile First Approach

Both them have some advantages and disadvantages. So, take a close look at them first and then we will decide which the best approach is when it comes to design and develop a responsive design.

What is Mobile First After All?

Mobile First, as the name suggest, is the idea which advocates designing a website for the mobile users first and then keep on adding other designing elements as the screen size gets bigger and bigger and eventually designing a full-fledged website for the desktop users.

The obvious advantages of Mobile First Approach are –

  • Mobile users get the priority which is something unique as most web designers do exactly just the opposite. This approach will put a smile on the face of the mobile users.
  • The design will be more compact and there will be fewer distractions as the idea revolves around designing a clean interface for the mobile devices first and then keep on adding more functionality to cater the needs of the large screen devices.
  • The design will be more conversion friendly. Since designers will be adding different design elements on the interface after analyzing the requirements of the targeted device, there will be fewer elements interfering with the conversion.

But there are some disadvantages too that we should not be overlooking –

First of all, I have no idea why we should be giving this much attention to mobile devices. Of course, statistics show that 25% of mobile users have never used any other devices other than mobile to browse the web but does not that mean the rest of the 75% are using desktop devices? So, designing a website primarily for the 25% of users do not make any sense. We are not against mobile first approach rather we are against the idea of giving more attention to the mobile users at the cost of the desktop users.

Moreover, since the design is developed primarily for the mobile users, these websites tend to sport dull interfaces. So, if you are looking forward to design and develop a stunning website to woo the customers, probably the Mobile First approach is not your cup of tea.

What About Responsive Design

Responsive web design is exactly the opposite of Mobile First design approach. Designers first design the interface for the desktop devices and then they start removing elements as the screen size gets smaller.

Media Query is used extensively to target mobile devices or devices with small screen real estate. The best thing about responsive web design is that the mobile interface does not differ much from its desktop counterparts.

Some of the remarkable advantages of responsive web design are –

  • It is easy to implement. All we have to do is to create a separate style sheet to target smaller devices and then specifying the screen size via media query.
  • The look and the feel of the mobile website and the standard website do not differ much. The functionalities remain almost the same with some minor tweaks in the design to deal with the small screen sizes.
  • It is easy to hide elements that you may deem unnecessary for a particular screen size with responsive web design. All you have to do is to include a tag like – Display: hide; and it will do the trick.

Responsive web design has its own set of disadvantages but they are few and far between and therefore can easily be ignored.

So, basically both the responsive design and the mobile first approach has their own set of advantages and disadvantages but since desktop users still outnumber mobile users by a large margin, we believe that it we should be embracing responsive web design for the time being.

Author Bio

This article is contributed by Deb Dey, a blogger based in Kolkata, India. He does not like humans that much. He loves designing simple websites for small businesses and also helps them get some footholds on the web.

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