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Dealing with spam comments on any platform of your online presence is sadly a very common thing that almost everyone deals with. In part three of this blog, we are going to be talking about how to deal with spam comments on your social media pages!
Hello readers and hello to our fellow Summerville businesses, residents, and friends! Welcome back to the Creative Consulting blog! We hope business is going well for you, and that you're working towards reaching your end of the year goals one day at a time! If you're not quite there yet, ask yourself what might be going on or getting in the way. One of the most overlooked things that can turn your business around is your social media presence. First of all, do you have any? Is your website skillfully designed and easy to navigate? Do you regularly post to your social media pages, do you respond to comments, emails, and direct messages promptly? Do you actually work on your SEO and Google ranking? If you answered no to any of those questions it might be time to reach out to us at Creative Consulting to help give your website a little TLC and truly give you the power that social media can provide. It's what we do, and what we are passionate about. We are also constantly dedicated to learning more about the social media industry to be up to date as much as possible to help our clients stay above and beyond their competitors!
In part one of this blog series, we began talking about the impact spammers and hackers have on your social media and internet presence and focused on how to deal with them in blog comments. Today, we are going to be discussing how to deal with spam comments and potential hackers on your social media platforms. While so many think that spammer comments and posts on your social media can just be ignored and buried by other comments, it is not a situation to be ignored or a time to hope that they won't be seen. These comments, posts, and the presence of spam comments can be very dangerous and damaging to your company and your brand. Remember, social media can be an incredibly powerful tool for your company; it can help build it up or spammers can help tear it down in an instant. They come in the form of fake accounts, spamming comments filled with hashtags, links, and one too many emojis, and direct messages that are not welcome. It takes time to deal with all of this, but it is well worth it to avoid any malicious intent or harm to your accounts or your actual trusted followers.
Taking responsibility against these spammers and bots is a responsibility that comes with having your business online. These are just a few of the tips available to you to help combat these issues. If you've come to the end of the road with these tactics, there are many others out there. Remember too, having an active social media account and monitoring your pages can help cut down on these malicious and annoying attacks. Active accounts can help you remain creditable and keep you in contact with your customers and target audience. While it might seem tedious, please believe us when we say that these actions are worth it. If you're having these issues or if you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out! Until next time, stay safe and caffeinated Summerville!
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Continuing with our current blog series, we are going to be discussing how to deal with spam and phishing in your inbox. Today's focus will be on how to spot these hazardous emails, how you can fight back, and how to protect yourself from any and all dangers lurking in your email!
Hello readers! Hello Summerville! Welcome to the Creative Consulting blog, coming to you from the heart of Summerville, SC just a little drive up from Charleston, SC! We hope that wherever you are that this blog finds you healthy and well! While we are still battling with the effects of a global pandemic, there is another difficult fight that many companies have to deal with daily; fighting spam and phishing comments, messages, and emails across their entire digital fingerprint. The scams and those behind them are becoming harder to recognize as spam, and they are becoming more intelligent and malicious every day. As we've been discussing through this blog series, it's something that everyone deals with, something that you can't give up fighting on, and something that sometimes is very hard not to fall into.
As we hinted in the first blog of this series, spam emails are starting to look more legitimate every day, becoming more tailored to their target audiences, and hard to recognize as spam. These emails can cause fear, frustration, lead to a virus destroying your personal or work computer, or expose sensitive information from your personal or professional life. We've seen it in the news multiple times as cybercrime has grown; a giant corporation will get hacked and millions will have their personal information exposed or personal information gets into the wrong hands. However, even more frightening is the fact that these scams can happen to anyone and any size company. These spammers and hackers don't discriminate, they just keep on working. How can you recognize spam emails and how can you protect yourself against them? That is what we will be discussing today!
How Do You Recognize Spam Emails?
Why put such a big focus on spam in email form? Why disguise them as big bank chains, Netflix, or Amazon? Email is a very cheap and costless platform that allows spammers and hackers to reach high volumes of individuals very quickly. Why the popular chains? It's the fact that almost everyone is connected to at least one if not all of these popular resources, making the scams look incredibly believable. According to westtek.com, more than 95% of emails sent throughout the world are more than likely spam. According to the Cisco Talos Intelligence Group, it has been found that 84% of world wide email traffic is unsolicited and malicious. With statistics like that, how can you fight against something so powerful? How can you recognize what is spam and what is not?
How Do You Protect Yourself From Spam Emails?
How Do You Report phishing or scamming?
Checking your email and text messages should never bring you worry or stress about spamming or phishing, but sadly it happens every day. We hope this guide helps you to combat this daily issue, that it helps give you peace of mind, and that it helps to keep you and your company safe! If you have any more questions or comments, please never hesitate to reach out to us! If there is a topic you would like to see as a future blog, don't hesitate to reach out and share that with us as well! Until next time, stay safe and caffeinated Summerville!
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Spammers, fishers, scams, viruses, and their threats have become a dangerous daily reality for businesses of all sizes. To help keep you safe and sane we wanted to talk about the realities of these situations, how to recognize them, and how to deal with them.
Hello, Summerville, and hello to you, reader! Welcome back to Creative Consulting's blog. We hope we find you happy and well. Are you feeling stumped or stuck with where your company is going or with your overall business goals? We might be able to help with that! We specialize in branding and online exposure marketing through social media and SEO, we build websites, create content, and run all of your social media pages, and much more. Help the world know who you are and what your business is through the explosive power of social media. You can't afford to put it off any longer!
We have a very soft spot for social media, and we are very aware of the highs and lows that come along with it. It is an incredible business tool that is always growing and expanding. It helps you stay in touch with your customers, helps be aware of your target audience, helps you stay ahead of your competitors, and helps you share and show off what makes your company unique. However, with the good comes the bad. The internet is such a vast expanse that allows anyone the freedom to get behind their keyboards and share how they feel, oftentimes without a second thought to who or what company they could be damaged. Often time these attacks come without doing any proper research, too. The internet is so free and open, it also allows for some very scary, dangerous, and disastrous cybercrime to exist alongside us all.
Cybercrime doesn't just attack multi-billion-dollar businesses, it targets small mom and pop sized businesses too, and it can appear in many different forms across multiple different platforms. Emails have become a very powerful tool for hackers, and they have become more eloquent in their attacks. Sometimes it is very easy to spot a spam email with its awful design and terrible grammar and spelling mistakes. However, they are becoming more advanced, look more professional, and claiming to know more personal information than they ever have before. They're becoming more aggressive, nasty, and frightening as time goes on. A trend we've started to see is spammers and scammers showing up in your direct messages on Instagram and Facebook, in comments on your social media, commenting on your blogs, and even emailing you regarding the copyright of images and graphics being used on your social media platforms. Since this trend is becoming popular as time goes on, we wanted to explore and discuss the topic with our readers.
First off, if you've been through an issue with a scammer or spammer, please don't be embarrassed, it happens! As we mentioned above, these scams and attacks are becoming harder to distinguish as being fake or not. No one is immune to these attacks, they can appear in anyone's inboxes and in response to the content you choose to use on your social media platforms. Even Creative Consulting isn't immune to it! Below you will find two examples of spam that we've received, and these aren't the only ones we've received either. We get emails like this more often than you might think.
The first image on the left is of an email we received regarding an image on our website claiming that it didn't belong to us, but that it belonged to and was the work of the sender of the email. However, the graphics in question were designed by us in house, so it was something we were able to laugh off and knew was fake. However, pay attention to the tone of the email, if this was received by someone who didn't design their website or have a trusted source that did, it could be very scary. Also, note the links that have been embedded into the email offering proof that the images in question are the author's, and they have also included a link for "legal documents". The author invites and then demands the reader to click on them in a very believable manner. Both of these links are probably some kind of scam, virus, or a tool that could open up your computer and allow a scammer to have access to whatever they wish. As the message continues, the threat becomes even more heated, saying the images that are hers need to be removed, cursing is used, and more threats are delivered. While we knew this was a harmless threat for us, it's still uncomfortable to read, and could be very scary to someone else.
The second image on the right is a much different example. This comment, and many that we have received like it, have been sent in for approval to comment on a client's blog. Many social media management companies and blog writers will turn on the option that requires the approval of comments before they're seen by the rest of the world. While we have the power to stop a lot of spam messages, sometimes we don't. These messages range from very tame and kind messages to threats, similar to what you saw in the first image. While this comment might seem kind, we've received the exact same comment from multiple different "people", who are most likely bots. Also, note the circled name on the image noting where the email is coming from. Obviously, that is not an appropriate or real IP address of someone you want to be attached to your website or blog. Having spam comments like this, even ones that seem harmless can damage your reputation, your Google Standing, and credibility. So, how do you deal with this?
Also, not staying on top of these comments, no matter how many you're dealing with, shows a lack of moderation and care for your website and blog, according to Forbes.com. Who wants to believe or follow the audience of a blog or website where it looks like no one takes care of it? Also, the readers you've had might lose faith in your credibility. What happens if you've been a long time follower and reader and because you put faith into this blogger, you don't question the authenticity of a link in a comment. Then, to your horror, you click on it and you have a virus and your personal information begins to leak out. You would quickly lose faith in returning to that website or blog again, right?
Next, you can use certain settings to help moderate your spammers. One option is to moderate comments from first-time users, according to NeilPatel.com. This will place these authors in moderation if they change their names, email addresses, or use an email link. If your blog platform allows it, turn off trackbacks, or you can install some plugins that have been built and designed to control spam. You can also shift the conversation to social media. Invite any questionable commenters to email you or continue the discussion on your social media platforms. This will show your fellow readers that you're handling the situation, and if you get no response, it's another way to justify deleting these questionable comments. If you use WordPress, make sure the settings to minimize and control spam are on. You also can turn off the comments on your blogs. However, according to Forbes.com, this can be a big disservice to your blog and company. If you decide to turn comments off on your blog, you could be missing a huge marketing opportunity.
Don't be discouraged by spam or the time you might have to dedicate to managing it. It is a battle you can win and we hope these tools and suggestions help you feel prepared. Please check back for part two of this new blog series discussing spam on social media posts and found in your direct messages! Until next time, stay safe and caffeinated Summerville!
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In this follow up blog, we are going to be continuing our discussion on ADA compliance on your website and what you need to know right now.
Hello Summerville, and welcome back to the blog! There is just nothing like a new year in Summerville. The whole town seems to be buzzing with new exciting energy working towards this new year's goals, new projects, and resolutions. It's a wonderful energy, and we can all feel it in the office. It has helped each of us stay focused, get to work, and inspired us to keep up with our own goals and resolutions. Thank you, Summerville! Let's make the best out of 2021 together, and let's be kind to one another. Who knows what this year or any year might hold for all of us!
One of the very first blogs we've shared this year was all about being ADA compliant, what that means, the challenges small businesses are facing right now because of it, the fact that many issues are caused due to lack of official guidance, and how the officials are going about correcting websites to ADA complaint before a bully shows up to do it first. Today, we are going to be following up with part two of that blog with even more helpful and important information to make sure your business is safe and ready to handle the changes ADA online compliance might bring this year.
What are the best ways to make your website ADA compliant?
Remember, you can do many of these changes yourself if you want to. Do not, we repeat, do NOT let anyone bully you into believing that they are the only ones who can make your current website or build a website for you that is ADA compliant and that you must spend an obscene amount of money to do so. You can work with us at Creative Consulting to achieve an ADA-compliant website or any top-notch design company that won't force or bully you, and our rates will be reasonable. Remember, outside of following these loosely based guidelines that have started to appear about being ADA compliant online, being ADA compliant can help position your business for long-lasting success and help to expand your customer base. While rules and guidelines are still not black and white, the WCAG (the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) and other groups are paving the way. Until then, here is a list of suggestions and tips on how to make your website ADA compliant right now.
Well, readers, it looks like the topic of ways on how best to make your website ADA compliant needed its very own blog! Don't worry, we still have a lot more to talk about, and will continue to do so in our next few blogs. This topic is becoming more important every day, and we want to make sure you are prepared and informed. We appreciate you coming on this ride with us about ADA compliance. We hope that with each of these blogs, you are taking the correct steps to ensure that your website fits these guidelines. Please take this topic very seriously. While there are no official guidelines set in stone by law right now, that most certainly doesn't mean that it couldn't change soon. This is one of the main reasons why it is so important to get ahead on this topic, so once it is set in stone, you either will already be compliant with the law or you will just need to make a few adjustments! Until next time, stay safe and caffeinated Summerville!
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Keeping your business and personal information safe needs to be one of your top priorities if you run any part of your business online. If Facebook is part of your business plan, are you utilizing all of the privacy settings they offer?
Facebook is an incredible and powerful tool. We talk about it all the time! It's amazing what it can do for your business when used correctly. It can gather amazing information about your clients, the demographic that follows you, how you can achieve a better reach, and how to improve your content and ad campaigns. There is no other platform that knows how to learn about you better than Facebook. With every post liked, every ad you click on, every group or company you follow, Facebook learns more about you. It's so intelligent that it will keep showing you more of what you love as time goes on. As much as it learns, is there ever a point where it's learning too much? Even the strongest, smartest, and most powerful companies have their flaws. Facebook privacy has been breached and private information has been leaked before, it's not immune to these attacks. Some of these leaks have been due to hackers, some have been due to apps that use Facebook to log into them, and many other reasons.
When it comes to private information getting hacked, it can be a difficult thing to recover from. When a company's information gets leaked, it can be devastating. Privacy needs to be one of your top priorities when running your Facebook Business Page. Thanks to the built-in safety precautions Facebook has added to the platform, you have the power to maintain and control your Facebook pages at all times. Don't let it control you. To help keep you and your company as safe as possible, we wanted to share some tips and suggestions on how to utilize the built-in privacy settings on Facebook. Please note; these tips and suggestions can be found on every Facebook page. You can access them through the Facebook Help Page or your Settings page. To learn more about each of the settings, you can read more about them on Facebook's help page (listed at the bottom of this blog) or through countless videos on YouTube!
There are more safety and privacy settings available to you than what we have listed here. Make sure to utilize all of them, or at least know and understand where they are and what they do. Spend time going through your privacy settings on your personal and business account on your phone and your computer. If there is something you don't understand, we urge you to look it up and not pass it over. If you would like more in-depth training and someone to help you walk through your issues, we can help you with that. We offer individual social media training to walk you through on how to use each platform. If you or your company wants to take another step up in your online business world, we are here to make that happen. Don't hesitate to reach out. We are here and excited to help your company grow. Thank you for continuing to follow us, learn with us, and support us. We are here for you Summerville, no matter what!
To directly visit Facebook's privacy settings visit the link below:
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SSL Certificates. The need to have them has been in debate for some time now - and it looks like Google is going to make the final decision for us all. But what does that mean for the future of your websites and will you be paying for this protection?
Happy July everyone! It's been an exciting month so far for Creative Consulting and we are so excited for the rest of this year to follow suit! There has been an important topic on the back of our minds though - with SEO being our bread and butter, there is one particular topic that has grabbed our attention. The need of an SSL Certificate and what that means for the future of web design, the future of websites SEO, and if you have to pay for this protection or not.
For those of you new to an SSL certificate, or a Secure Socket Layer Certificate, is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information sent to the server. It serves as an electronic passport that establishes online credentials when doing business or just surfing on the web. It creates a secure connection from a web server to a browser. If a hacker ever gets their hands on information or a website that is protected by an SSL, all they will see is a cryptographic code that cannot be broken. Even with the aid of a computer. It ensures total safety while browsing the web, as long as the pages your visiting have an SSL! When it is applied to your server correctly the application protocol, the HTTP, will change to HTTPs. The "S" stands for secure. Sometimes, depending on which SSL Certificate and web browser you're using, a small padlock will also appear in the browser bar and it might even turn green when visiting a website that has an SSL Certificate installed too. SSL Certificates have typically been used to secure credit card transactions, data transfer and login information, and protection on social media websites. But thanks to Google, it looks like it might become mainstream for everyone to have an SSL certificate.
Why do you need an SSL for your website? It keeps all data secure between servers, it increases your Google Rankings, it builds and enhances your customer's trust, and it improves conversion rates. Automatically if your website sells products or services and deals with credit card transactions there is no question that you should have one. If your website is not available over HTTPs you may see a loss in traffic, loss in user trust and your SEO ratings will start to go down. But even if you don't sell something on your website - it is something that you should highly consider. Once you've established an SSL for your website, all traffic to the webpage will be secure. But what does that mean for the future of SEO and your interaction with Google? We all know that drives so much importance in the traffic to your webpage, and Google has been an incredible tool for that. With Google Chrome being the most popular web browser in the world, it's no surprise that they're making the call for the need of SSL Certificates. But let's go back to the beginning.
In 2014 Google created a new algorithm update that automatically favored HTTPs over HTTP. So already, those websites that were going unprotected were getting fewer views. This continued into 2018 when they announced that if you were not an HTTPS website a "NOT SECURE" message would appear either in your browser bar or when you came to a page that wasn't protected. By October of that year, the warning went from being grey to red - they were getting serious. This year Google has made a push on how they will treat websites with and without SSL. The new default that you should expect in Google includes encryption and a secure connection that is required. It is no longer just a feature for online banking and shopping sites. When it comes to SEO ranking if two websites sell similar products or are similar in topic - if one has HTTPs and the other does not, the website with HTTPs will automatically receive a higher SEO rating. It is not a default in ranking just yet, but with the direction Google has been going in, it could become a default in SEO rating in no time.
Good news though! Most Webshots today provide SSL by default. There are also plenty of Certificate Authority companies that you can get them for free, like Lets Encrypt. It makes it easy and simple for most web users - and those making their websites. But there are still some roadblocks. Some of our favorite platforms to build our websites in are Wordpress, Weebly, Madesimply, and Wix!
Some offer SSL certificate protection, but they have two different sets of rules. Wix offers SSL for free as part of their platform, all you have to do is make sure that the SSL option is turned on when you first publish your website. If you already have a Wix website created - all you have to do is activate it!
Weebly and MadeSimply are a little different. You can automatically add an SSL certificate to your websites, but the only SSL certificate that works for the domains attached to these websites are the ones that come from their company. You cannot get a free SSL from Lets Encrypt and then add it to your Website that are run by Weebly or MadeSimply. It has to come directly from Weebly and MadeSimply. But, the SSL protection only comes with the paid website options, not the free options. Even if you decide to go with the free options, the free SSL won't work for their websites and will still have the "not secure" warning when anyone visits your pages. So, if you already have a page made on Weebly or MadeSimply - you will have to upgrade to a paid account for this protection. It is frustrating to pay for something else for your webpage. But it will protect your SEO ranking on Google - and your clients. So those few extra dollars a year just might be worth it. The other options might be more costly in the end. You could be facing a loss of clients, business, attacks from hackers, and more.
If you are using a website builder that doesn't give you free SSL security but does allow you to purchase an SSL Certificate, they can range between $5-$15 a year on the cheaper end - and can become more expensive depending on what kind of protection you're looking for. And don't forget - there are plenty of free options too.
So it looks like SSL certificates are here to stay - the transition might be a little frustrating for you and your business, believe me we can relate. But at the end of the day, the protection is worth it.
By: Maddie Casto