Archive for the ‘Websites’ Category

An Easy Way to Avoid Online Scams

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

There are so many online scams and come-ons these days. The L.A. Times had a good story on Thursday about staying safe online.

The story suggested online caution in general, but didn’t provide any real suggestions about HOW to guard your online activity. Sometimes an offer seems credible. Last month I received a scam email stating that we owed AT&T over a thousand dollars. Well, it just so happens that AT&T is one of our service providers. I went to our bookkeeper and asked if we had somehow missed our payment last month. The email looked valid, and of course, there was a link that they encouraged you to click on.

So here’s easy trick: just roll over any link you want to check into, but don’t click on it. Down at the bottom of the screen, most of the major browsers will show the URL that the link will connect to. If the URL doesn’t match your expectation, DON’T click on it. If it’s supposedly an email from AT&T, then any link within the email would naturally go to some ATT.net or affiliated page. But this one went to some odd looking domain somewhere in Russia (.ru at the end of the domain), and so it was obviously a scam and a link to be avoided.

Not all scam links are dangerous; some are just annoying. But many can infect your computer with nasty code that turns your system into a slave in a spam network, or worse, that lurks and looks for passwords that you enter and then sends them out to waiting hackers who will try to use them to access your bank accounts, hosting accounts, email accounts, etc.

So remember, if you’re not absolutely certan that you’re about to click on a valid, legitimate link…rollover before you click!

Protecting Your Website Investment – Part 2

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

In our last article we focused on protecting your domain name. If you are listed as the registrant, if the contact email is up to date, and if you have access to your domain account, and if you have your domains set to auto-renew you should be covered.

Now we’re going to focus on protecting your website. Websites are nothing more than a collection of files. Some files contain instructions about how the site should look, some files contain instructions about what the site should do, some files contain information about what content the site should display, and some files are images that are displayed on the site.

Most sites are hosted on an external web hosting server. This is the server that is contacted and that “serves up” your web pages when someone visits your site. The files that comprise your website are stored on the server. In order to protect your site, it’s important that you have copies of all of these files.

If you’re technically savvy you can download the site files yourself. You’ll want all of the web files, and in some cases, you’ll also have database files that are a part of your site, and you’ll want them too. Make a copy of all your files on a CD or DVD for safe keeping. If your site content changes regularly, you should make new copies of your files regularly as well.

If you’re not the technical type, ask your webmaster, website developer or web hosting company to make a copy of your site files for you. There is usually only a small fee involved, and once you have a copy of your files you’ll have taken the second and final step in protecting your website investment.

At eSolutions, we provide web development, hosting, marketing services to businesses worldwide. We invite you to contact us for a free consultation to learn how we can help you succeed with your Internet presence.

Protecting Your Website Investment – Part 1

Friday, May 29th, 2009

These days, most companies have at least a decent investment in their website, if not a sizeable one. So it’s important to make sure that your investment is protected from potential loss.

Over the years, one of the most common ways we’ve seen companies run into trouble with their website is to allow the contact information for their domain name to become outdated. If your domain registrar doesn’t have a valid email address on file you could have some problems down the line.

The best case scenario is that your domain expires because you didn’t receive your renewal notices, and your website goes down temporarily until it is renewed. Depending on your registrar, your domain could already be considered to be in the “redemption period” by the time you realize it is down, which could cost you hundreds of dollars to recover it. The worst case scenario is that you don’t realize your site is down (maybe you don’t use it for email) and your domain is actually deleted. If that happens your domain could be registered by someone else and you would lose all the marketing time and money that went into promoting it.

There are a few simple things you can do to avoid any problems with your domain:

  1. Update the email address that your registrar has on file any time you change your email address.
  2. Set your domain to auto-renew using a credit card that your registrar will keep on file.
  3. Make sure that you are listed as the registrant for the domain, not your webmaster or your hosting company.

You have a lot invested in your domain name and website, so take a few minutes to follow these simple steps to protect your investment!