Mobile browsers are a bit pickier – select your target for links.

Some sites take care of this by creating a default target for your links. Depending on your system: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, straight HTML – your EDITOR may automatically put in a target for any link you make within your content. BUT, it may not. By default in most desktop browsers, it will open in the …

Read moreMobile browsers are a bit pickier – select your target for links.

PayPal, Square and other POS Accounts – what was that charge?

With the ability to swipe our cards at any POS at a retail business, including: restaurants, salons, antique stores, boutiques, hobby stores, there is an increased opportunity for fraud and confusion. Our poor bookkeepers – having to wade through all of those one-of charges through those devices and decipher what you paid for, is it …

Read morePayPal, Square and other POS Accounts – what was that charge?

Who are you paying and who has access to your accounts?

This episode covered spring cleaning your accounts, who has access, recurring payments and stored information. 

  • Review these types of sites to check for stored credit cards and recurring payments.
  • Stock photography sites and Theme sites
  • Printing sites like Shutterfly & VistaPrint
  • Video clip sites
  • Podcast hosting sites
  • Web site hosting
  • Domain hosting
  • Banks
  • PayPal and related
  • Amazon
  • QuickBooks Payment Gateway
  • Airline & Travel sites
  • Pubs & Subs
  • eBay, Etsy
  • Google for Adwords
  • Membership sites including professional organizations
  • Training Sites

Look for these items:

  1. Any place you have credit cards listed in accounts – make sure they are current.
  2. Review recurring charges and fees – monthly and annual.
  3. Clean out old addresses, old credit cards.
  4. Check who has access to these accounts and clean them out.

Create a document on Google Drive that you can regularly edit with a list of all the places you have recurring payments set up. Update your passwords to these sites if you have recently changed a service provider or team member who previously had access.

If you do, you’ll have to also update your devices with new logins and perhaps update your password managers if you use tools like LastPass.

3 Data Security Myths – Stop blaming IT

Highlights include: 02:50 Learn about Linda; what it takes to be a part of the International Association of Privacy Professionals and how she became a Certified Information Privacy Manager.05:25 In business is a security breach or possible breach the concern of the IT department only?
What other departments play a role in keeping personal information secure?
 

06:58 Why your sales department needs to understand privacy, security and what is considered confidential information.

08:00 Security Data Myth – Is hacking the number 1 way data is breached?

What is the number one way that security is breached at a company?
What percentage of company security breaches are actually caused by hackers?

09:02 Who caused the security breach at Morgan Stanley?

Can employees accidentally give out customer confidential information?

13:23 What is the number one type of information hackers are after?

Why do hackers want medical records?
Can an independent contractor be held liable for leaked private information?

19:42 What is social engineering and how does it play a role in information breaches?

Hear how hackers can ask “everyday” questions and use that info against you.

26:25 Where does the information leak start 40% of the time and what is the solution?

27:25 Examples of how information can be stolen by employees right in front of your face.

You can read it below, too. WOW! It can happen so easily through a “friendly” conversation. People want to reach out and connect to others. It’s human nature. That’s what the weasels prey on.

A gift from Linda to help you get started:

 
 
Linda Zimmer is a certified privacy manager by the International Association of Privacy Professionals. She is also the President of MarCom|Interactive – specialize in digital marketing
 
The biggest myth:
It’s all about technology and we have to be paranoid and pour a ton of resources into our it security.
 
Data breaches come from a lot of different areas within the business.
It’s a brand issue, a reputation issue and a financial issue.
 
The IAPP makes several certifications available. Linda encourages ANYONE wanting to embellish your career.
 
The certification she currently has is CIPM: Certified information privacy manager.
It is the foundation in data security concepts.
How do we operationalize security and privacy within our organizations?
This will help you develop the processes across the organization
It will create a culture of security and privacy throughout the organization.
 
It’s a big hit in the decision of how they shop and where they shop.
It isn’t just a marketing thing.
If marketing and sales don’t have at least a degree of this knowledge, it’s difficult to weave into your online plans, marketing strategies.
 
It gives you bird’s eye view of the organization.
 
Probably using CRM or SalesForce – very silo-ed, this is the information they own. BUT they may use it to transact and record financial transactions which means that credit card info resides within SalesForce or the CRM so there is overlap with finance and sales. 
 
Sales has the most access to the most important asset a company has: their customer database. It is all connected. Where does our data sit, where is it stored and what happens to it when it’s on the move.
 

Myth 1:

Hacking is the number one way data is breached.
 

Truth:

40% of all data breaches come from employee mistakes, stolen laptops, negligence with sign-ons, flash drives, external storage.
25% comes from hackers.

Myth 2

Data security is the job of IT
Be careful when you purchase data, Check the reputation, ask the security questions. 
 
Be careful when you do a friend a favor by sharing data. It may be with good intentions, but that data you share, may get commingled with other data and then possibly, that gets sold or hacked. Did you have the permission to SHARE that information with any other company? Do not betray your customers and lists.
 
Be aware of HIPA compliance. This is the number one thing hackers want: Medical Records for medical identity theft. If you work with a company who has to follow this compliance, you need to as well. They should require it of you, as well.
 
Consultants and marketing firms:
We can be held LIABLE for who we hire to handle data.
 
Takeaway:
Need to review the contracts you have with your vendors and be sure that your contact obligates them to follow all of the data and privacy laws. That will go a long with the regulators. The FTC is broadening their scope. There are about two dozen guidelines we have to all be compliant with.
 
Social engineering is the way our data is compromised most frequently.
Someone using known, easily available information to defeat your security systems and protocols.
 
Security analysts love to go into a company and say, “I can hack into your company.”
A security expert, Chris Hadnagy, comes in to pitch a CEO of a large firm. CEO is complacent and brags about how tough their IT dept. is on security, it’s all locked down, etc. Presenting guy accepts this with a wry smile. He leaves and proceeds to look up public information about the CEO. He finds out his favorite team, learns he’s a cancer survivor who promotes a specific charity and goes into action…
 
He calls the CEO pretending to be from that charity. He asks for a donation and says that for this campaign only, if he makes a donation they are giving donors pair of tickets to – get this – a game played by his favorite sports team! WOW ! How fortuitous… It gets better.
 
Then, the fake caller (sales guy demonstrating how easy it is to hack into their company) says he wants to send this CEO a flyer with the info. He want to make sure the CEO can view it in his version of Acrobat Reader and asks him which version. The CEO gives the information gladly and the fake charity guy emails him a PDF. The PDF when opened, launched malware that grabs all access to all network computers the CEO can access and all of his passwords since the fake charity guy knew which version of Acrobat – it told him which operating system, too.  He knew where to hunt for the digital keys to the company. 
 
This sales guy was making a point, but you can see how easy it is to get information through a seemingly innocent conversation. BE CAREFUL what you tell to strangers. A stranger is someone that you would not invite to your house for a BBQ. They are not an acquaintance. You don’t know them, their face, or if they are whom they say they are!
 
These are the NEFARIOUS folks. Don’t let them in. 
 

About Linda Zimmer:  LinkedIn Google+ | Twitter

 

Save time by naming your files logically.

Having one friend who is the author of a book called, “Stop Burning Money Wasting Time,” (Lany Sullivan) and another who is a systems analyst and designer (Deb Davis)  keeps me on my toes. They have great ideas for the big plans, life habits and business efficiency. Sometimes, I like to bring a simple time-saver to the table for those, “DUOH!” moments. This is one of those moments.

Most of us save files, import them from our phones, download attachments from many sources, for varied purposes. When it comes time to search for those files, chances are you spend a ridiculous amount of time remembering, A. where you saved it, and B. what you named it.

Read moreSave time by naming your files logically.

Do you know the difference between JPG, GIF, PNG?

Images done right – What’s the difference? png? jpeg? gif?
 
It is hammered into your head that EVERY blog post, every article and update needs an image.
We know those posts generally get the most activity – but only if they are quality and interesting images. But what about the format of those images and graphics, especially when they need to be LARGE such as on Google+ and Pinterest? There are several formats for online images: jpg/jpeg, gif and the current favorite, png.
 
Instagram allows 15 second marketing videos, Pinterest allows you to pin all images, some videos and animated graphics – but what makes the most sense to get your message out there?
 
What’s the difference?
How do we know which we want?
Can we simply rename an image?
What about saving as, a save as after saving as?
 
A copy of a copy of a copy – even digitally – begins to lose quality. We’ll give you tips on how to avoid that issue and keep your images as crisp, clear and lovely as possible.
 
————————–
Helps:
Here is the link to Stackoverflows site, nicely describing differences:
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2336522/png-vs-gif-vs-jpeg-when-best-to-useAnd for crazy nerds, Google Developers “Image Optimization”:
https://developers.google.com/web/fundamentals/performance/optimizing-content-efficiency/image-optimization

 
Free programs to edit images:
PicMonkey, Canva
 
Apps to edit images on your phone or tablet:
A Beautiful Mess!, Photoshop Express
 
Tips highlighted:
Start with the largest possible image and use SAVE AS to create variations and other formats. Name them all the same at the front and add: _500-lowres, _1200-highres, etc. so when you sort them they stay in a group and are easier to find.
 
Just because you can animate things, doesn’t mean you should. Let’s go back to that gooey baby from 1992!
 
Comment from event attendee, Brian Shea:
For those going back to the old days of dial-up in the 90’s, keeping file size small was one of the most important lessons, as we had to upload those images via 28.8/56k.  So, we quickly understood and appreciated filesize.  When broadband came in, and digital cameras, all the new designers thought nothing of using photos directly out of the cameras.
Yes, I’ve seen 4mb files being used on websites.
Even for some old timers, they didn’t get the concept that even though ‘everyone’ has broadband, the images still need to be optimized.  It wasn’t until they got hit with major mobile data charges that they realized that filesize is not just about performance and speed. It’s also costly.

Time for W-9s and 1099s for Taxes Year 2014

Here is a reminder. If you have paid ANYONE in the US, or who lives abroad and files taxes in the US more than $600 in the calendar year 2014 AND they are not a CORPORATION, YOU must issue them a 1099 by February 28, 2015 if you are planning on using this cost as a deduction on your Business (Schedule C) or Rental Property (Schedule E) Taxes. A copy to them, a copy to your tax preparer to copy and send in.

Read moreTime for W-9s and 1099s for Taxes Year 2014

Podcasts from your Video or Audio Event

You had a video event or was in an audio interview – NOW WHAT? Is that all there is? Heck NO! Time to make that great event pay off for you.

Did you know YouTube is NOT a podcast? Just because you have something there, doesn’t mean it gets to iTunes, Stitcher and the rest of them. You need to bring them the files through a podcast venue such as Lipsyn, Podbean, Blubrry.

We’ll show you how we are doing this for a few folks and give you some other ideas of what to do with that great content. What about those interviews where you don’t have the original file – how can you use it in your podcast channel?

We will have a part 2 of how to go from video to audio and audio to video for podcasting or creating more content for YouTube.

Venues we covered in this show and getting your audio or video content to:

  • iTunes
  • Stitcher
  • Windows Phone 7/8 (formerly Zoon)
  • Miro – it’s the iTunes of Windows, so we hear.
  • Tunein Radio – radio/podcast station on your phone
  • DoubleTwist
  • Pocketcast
  • Roku – you heard us ROKU. Your content could be set up on a Roku channel – but it’s not simple. It usually requires the help of experts in this specific category. It has its own programming language.
  • IMBD – it’s not just for movies. It’s for YOUR content. Again, you may want to hire someone to help you with this.
  • Pandora – if you are posting MUSIC or COMEDY.

BABY steps. Start with iTunes and Stitcher. But how do you get it to them in a proper format? That’s where selecting the podcast venue that is best for you comes in. Only you can decide based on your needs, skills and budget. We suggest the following to consider: Podbean.com, Lipsyn.com, Blubrry for WordPress plugin, Soundcloud.

bigdaddyradio-podcast-logo-bgYou’ll need graphics of specific sizes, a channel/show description – it’s ANOTHER profile that uses your RSS feed from your podcast venue/blog. This includes the main podcast graphic – each venue requires a different specification, icons, episode graphics for each episode to display in the players and more.

Don’t go too fast, either – slow down. Think this through. If you create your iTunes channel and then change where your site is hosted, such as switching from Podbean to Lipsyn, etc. you’ll lose ALL that work unless you change the feed location. The way that Yvonne and I like to change the feed location is by FIRST creating a Feedburner feed address through http://feedburner.google.com. This will be the constant. You can edit the FEED DETAILS in Feedburner later if you need to. You won’t lose your iTunes channel then. BUT you will have to do one of two things:

1. keep the old podcast site around and let it just hang out so the old links work

2. recreate all of the old posts from the old podcast site on the new one, possibly backdate the posts

Episode27-sales-lead-management (tall)If you choose option 2, you’ll also want to create 301 redirects in case you have folks that have linked to that site. If they have embedded the OLD location players, they will cease to work. Something to consider. Choose your podcast blog venue CAREFULLY. What I’ve learned by dealing with Podbean. I like their simplicity. What I do NOT like is that they make changes to the admin and programming that effect the players, the layout, the link structure and more without warning. I find out and then post to their support frantic and then they reply and usually resolve my issue, but I’m caught off guard. In one instance, I had to go back through all posts and redo the players to go with their new code because old code stopped working.

  • Items to look for in your podcast solution:
  • Template options that give you the features you need.
  • The ability to give your guests player code for specific shows to allow further promotion and reach.
  • The ability to have a player of all shows/play list of your shows to use on other venues. 
  • The ability to subscribe to new post notifications.

nugget_jascha2Remember to have your guests help promote the show before, but more importantly, AFTER airing when you have your replay post ready to go. I suggest you give them a tidy “thank you” email package:

  1. thank you note highlighting a moment.
  2. graphic that you have as the featured image for that post/show
  3. embed code so they can post
  4. link to your post on your podcast site
  5. consider creating graphics with quotes from the show they were on – “nuggets.” so they can share in their posts in various social media venues.

This is enough to get your feet wet. We’ll be covering related topics in the upcoming episodes of Geekspeak Guides. See more episodes at geekspeakguides.com , look for us on Google+ in our community and on my Youtube playlist.

Flight or Fight School: Planning for a Crisis by Susan Finch

A crisis communications plan is critical for all businesses. When you are in crisis is too late. Join me as we hear from Marketing Communications Expert, Linda Zimmer . Linda is person to follow, know and learn from. 
She can be found EVERYWHERE that is digital and is called upon from companies and institutions around the world for guidance, planning and education. 

Highlights include:
13:03 – What is a REAL crisis? It’s in REAL time and needs to be dealt with NOW
13:48 – Small businesses need a plan more than ever because one crisis can take out your company.
14:15 – Remembering how the big change in Google search semantics has affected many small businesses who relied on keyword stuffing, SEO the “old way”
14:45 Google can change their algorithms overnight – if that’s what you count on, then that has be part of your plan.
20:15 – Social media is about
23:54 – Know what your company represents
24:11 – Without a known message and tone, your response can become fragmented causing more damage to your company than the crisis itself
30:29 – seeking legal council with your plan
37:39 – GEM: Know the difference between being right and being effective.
40:00 – GEM: Ask the question, “What can derail our success?” – those are your hotspots
44:28 – Caution against only relying on online media to get your crisis situation plan deployed. You need to include more traditional forms of communication because perhaps it’s your site and the internet that have gone down and your phone lines are exploding with frustrated customers.
51:00 – Who is creating your corporate message and maintaining it online? Was it the intern? The person who no longer works there? You need to have access to ALL accounts

GRAB EVERY PROFILE/VANITY URL with your name, your company name or brand name or someone else will. This will give a consistent message and the public will know it’s coming from you and will not be confused.

This is not an event to be missed. Linda, who is a collaborative, liquid being said it would be great to get a couple of additional experts in the discussion in the filmstrip. If you think yourself an expert on this topic and would want to join in, please let me know.

You can get to know Linda Zimmer better here:
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lzimmer
Twitter: http://twitter.com/lgzimmer
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/znetlady/
MarcomInteractive: http://www.marcominteractive.com/

Susan Finch – Marketing, PR & Web Pro for DECADES!
With a background in public relations and advertising since 1986, Susan is a “gentle guide for clients trying new venues online.” She engages those skills as she helps create an online presence that will appeal to existing and future clients and/or investors. All these factors are considered before she constructs a suggested plan for clients. It goes way beyond an online presence. SLMA (Sales Lead Management Association)Director.

Web: https://susanfinch.com
Google+: http://plus.google.com/+susanfinch
Twitter: http://twitter.com/susanfinchweb
Shout-out: http://binkypatrol.org

The Mia Connect Power Chat – Design, Graphics & Shiny Images! by Mia Voss

 We definitely got on our learn on with guest panelists Aaron Wood, Jeff Sieh, Ryan J. Rhoades & Susan Finch on this episode of The Mia Connect Power Chat. Topics covered: graphic design, video, marketing, branding, shiny objects & how we can all work together:

Check out the Guest Panel List of Fabulous:

+Jeff Sieh – +His Design  – If you’ve ever seen any of those cool trailer bumpers on #TheManlyShow , then you’ve seen his work! A little more about Jeff: Creative brain for hire • Visual storyteller • Social media consultant • Speaker • Humorist   #Indeed

Susan Finch  – #SusanFinchSolutions   – _Marketing, PR & Web Pro for DECADES! LOVE my clients_  She’s also a “gentle guide for clients trying new venues online” – LOVE this!

Ryan J. Rhoades – CEO & lead graphic artist at Reformation Designs. Ryan and his wife Laura bust out some great work! “We do everything from business cards and posters to abstract art, book covers, infographics and video.”

Aaron Wood  – He designs things. And draws things. He made a pillow with the word “Bacon” on it. And he knits. And he’s currently working on the logo for the +Food & Booze Show!

Webfonts Smackdown: Google hosted v. web server hosted

The difference revolves around your hosting server and performance. But we’ll show you how you can over-font – not just in look but download time by having too many. We tested load time between having Google host the fonts (http://google.com/webfonts), hosting on your own server and the old-fashioned way – relying on your visitors to render based on the typical fonts they have on their computers: Arial, Comic Sans (ick), Georgia, Impact, Lucida, Palatino, Times New Roman and their pals rebuchet MS, Verdana, straight sans-serif and serif.

Yvonne Heimann and I opened up this 25 minute discussion through a hangout on air. Feel free to post your comments below – what has been your experience? Pain? We’d love to hear from you. I was taught decades ago about the simplicity of a headline front and a copy font. If you want more, stick to the italic and bold versions of those fonts and just STOP. Don’t cloud your message through distracting or unreadable fonts. Remember to check how it looks on different devices with different screen resolutions and browsers. You may be surprised how difficult it is to read your clever message.

Choosing fonts with personality for headlines and keeping the fonts in the COPY easy to read. No one cares about your themed fonts if they can’t read your content – DUH!

Sure you can get a logo for $99, but is it really YOUR logo?

I hear these stories regularly. Small businesses that don’t have the budget for a real graphic designer to come up with logo concepts for them so they turn to the fivrr and 99designs types of solutions for inexpensive logos. They think they are saving money because they are not hiring a professional designer (myself included) …

Read moreSure you can get a logo for $99, but is it really YOUR logo?