1. You Get a Ransom Demand
No joke, site-napping is real and growing. It's profitable because ransomware users are hard to track down and many people assume it's easier to pay off and be done than to wait for the site-nappers to be caught, and to hope that, once caught, they will restore your site in exchange for a reduced sentence.
2. Fake Virus Scan
A fading problem, but far from gone. It appeals to your ignorance and trust: "The wonderful folks at [insert cool-sounding company name] have detected [insert huge number] of viruses on your website. Let us do a complete scam — uh, I mean scan!" Plenty of people fall for this and hand over the credit card numbers. Your website won't get cleaned out, but your bank account probably will.
3. Browser Warnings or Disabling by your Host
You might see a red-flag warning like, "This website may allow others to obtain personal information" or "known phishing site" or something similar. Of course, it isn't you, you're honest, but, if hackers have hit you, browsers will react to your site and warn others away.
Hosts need to be extra cautious because one infected site can infect others. If they find malware, spam ware or other dangerous stuff in your site's code, they can shut you down.
4. Error Messages
When your code is good, you don't get them. If they appear suddenly, that probably means new code has been added — and not by you. When you find unexpected messages in your error log, or the file path looks unfamiliar, somebody's been playing in your sandbox.
5. Someone Else's Site Appears
Hackers have placed code on your site that redirects to some other page, probably one that collects private info.
Once your website is cleaned up and back in operation, and your new security system is in place, don't assume you'll stay safe. Hackers are, as a group, petty little jerks who like to cause trouble — for fun or profit. "Constant vigilance is the price of liberty," they say; it is equally true of web security.
When you contact Facet Web Tech, you're talking to a full-service information technology partner that can oversee your web security as well as all other IT needs. Our ongoing monitoring services provide the peace of mind you deserve. Spend your time and effort running your business without fear, we have your back.
A bot ("web robot") is a software application that runs automated tasks over the Internet. Most are harmless and useful; some are like viruses. If you're worried about getting infected — and you need to be — Facet Web Tech can inoculate you.
Cybersecurity is Vital
Just a half-century ago, smallpox infected 15 million people a year, killing around a third of them. Internet viruses don't take life, but they can ruin it. In 2018 alone, 50 million Facebook profiles were accessed by hackers; data on 57 million Uber customers was exposed and 2 million T-Mobile accounts (including payment data) were captured. It is impossible to accurately estimate the long-term economic impact on companies and individuals.
"I'm Too Small. I'm Not Worth It!"
Like hell you are!
Some hackers use malware ("malicious software") to steal, others use it to destroy — like a vandal might spray paint your walls or an arsonist might burn them down. There's a significant community of people who just want to break stuff and bigots who'll shut you down because they disagree with you. Some even claim altruistic motives; they hack to show where you are vulnerable — they'll break into your website as a public service! (Yeah, there are a lot of crazy people in the world!)
Your reputation as a business of integrity is one of the reasons your repeat customers are repeat customers — they trust you. A cyber breach can destroy that trust.
Web Security is Insurance
Don't fall victim to this 21st Century plague. You have insurance that protects you against accidents and more, get "insurance" against the criminals and the crazies. Don't wait for a breach to occur, contact Facet Web Tech’s cybersecurity experts. Let us assess the weaknesses of your website and find the best website security solutions to prevent hackers from entering your site and harming it.
If you've already been hit, the Facet clean-up team can get you back onto the web fast, restoring your page to its original state or improve it — we also have Peoria, Illinois', premier web development team, why not kill to birds with one stone?
As a final brick in your custom-built firewall, Facet Web Tech offers monitoring services for your system. Let us keep a constant overwatch for potential threats and attacks. Give yourself peace of mind and, even more important, assure your clients that their personal information is safe. Should an attack be launched, Facet will know it and defend against it, stopping the criminals and crazies dead in their tracks.
How many apps have you installed on your smartphone over the past couple of years? You probably started with games (from classics like chess to brand new stuff like Candy Crush). You then added shopping (from major retailers to local grocers or specialty shops). Certainly, you didn't forget banking, news, entertainment, tools — the list goes on and on. The "app" (short for "application") really has created a whole new cyber world, including becoming one of the best online marketing tools you can have.
If your business doesn't have an app, you're not alone. Across the USA, more than half the small businesses have not yet created custom software to support their business. It's an investment and, like all investments, not guaranteed to return a profit. If, however, your business can benefit from an app, it could be a huge return.
Is It Right for You?
Some businesses require a personal touch — no one is seeing cyber-barbers in their future — but even a barber can have an app to let customers book appointments whenever they decide they need a trim. Do what you do best (be it sell a product or provide a service) and let the tech-experts do what they do best. Facet Web Tech's software development team will do the research, draft the specifications and develop a complete turnkey application based on your business needs.
Once we determine how we can help you, you'll get a proposal that spells out all the details: Exactly what the app will do, how long it'll take to design and test, how often updates should be required, and the all-important bottom line — how much will it cost.
Once you see the big picture, you can make the decision to go forward knowing you've done the due diligence.
Whether your application project is a start-from-scratch development or an update of software you already purchased that's showing its age, it's critical that your app stands out from the crowd. So, partner with Peoria's software development experts. We'll guide you through the entire development process. Once your team has explained your ultimate app-destination, we'll draw the map, build the road and give you a lift in a brand-new custom-styled app-mobile! We'll even help expedite marketplace application submission and approval processes. Contact Facet Web Tech and let's start talking.
Remember the old "Rules for Real Estate Success"? They are "Location, location, location." We'll help you make every smartphone in the world a potential new location for you to make money.
A generation ago, TV commercials were the exclusive realm of big companies with big budgets. Technology has changed all that. Today, your smartphone or digital camera is almost as good as anything in Hollywood, and videos posted on YouTube, your own website or social media can effectively demonstrate your products and their value to your customers. You already know Facet Web Tech is the place to call for web design, call on us to help you move into the next generation of web presence.
Today's Best Practices
Can you believe some people actually thought talking pictures were a fad that would be gone as suddenly as it arrived? Some people just don't see the potential of new or improved technology. Talking pictures were more lifelike than silents. Color was more lifelike than grayscale. BluRay has better resolution than DVDs. Companies that aren't embracing the future are getting left behind by it.
If you have a product that solves a problem, let people see it happen. Some technology appears to be idiotically complex, but it's really simple when you know how to work it, so show the customer how it works. Let your web presence include shortcuts, tricks of the trade, why your products outclass your competitors' junk.
E-commerce is big and will keep on growing.
In e-commerce, your online presence is your sales force. Every video upload is another reason for your current and potential customers to buy from you.
What's this Going to Cost Me?
So much less than you think! Numerous colleges and many high schools have video production facilities and courses. Students learn by doing, and they earn credit for helping build your business. Thousands of amateur auteurs will do a documentary, a commercial or a vlog (video blog) for you at very reasonable rates. If you plan to do a lot of video uploads, investing in a few pieces of quality equipment and a few classes for an employee may bring huge returns. (Not to mention big laughs when the blooper/gag reel hits your next company party!)
Seeing is Believing
Facet Web Tech is your complete web design and development partner in Peoria, Illinois. We can consult on strategy, help you decide what type of videos to produce to maximize your web presence and the return on investment. We can look at your videos with a critical eye and help you decide if they really meet your goals. When it does, we can integrate that video into your website so it really stands out and makes the statement you need it to make.
Looking for the "next big thing" to increase your sales? Forget it and focus on today's big thing – social media marketing – that's where sales are happening right now! Facet Web Tech is the leading source for effective e-commerce web design in Peoria and the surrounding Illinois communities. We can make social media work for you.
To many in the older generation, hashtags look really silly. If you're after the net-savvy audience, they are essential; young folks depend on them to know what's trendy. Pick one that really describes your business, then use it all over the place – "Repetition breeds confidence" is an old saying, but still true! Also, pick a few generic hashtags like #blackfridaybargains and see how they work. Keep using the ones that bring results.
Don't Hide Your Light
Of course, you already have buttons linking your web pages to your social media accounts – great plan, keep them there. Now, add links to your email signature and blog posts and newsletters. (Don't have a blog or a newsletter? Call us, we can help!) Every time you put a link in front of a customer, that's one more chance they will click through it and buy something.
Pictures are Still Worth a Thousand Words
Post on Facebook with a photo and you get more responses. Why? Because those posts are more interesting. Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat and other sites are all about pictures, so post a lot of them. The more other people like or tag or mention your posts, the more people see your products. It's as close to free advertising as you'll ever see.
Apps were the next big thing not long ago. Now, if your web presence doesn't include an app, you're behind the times. (Don't have an app? We can help there, too!) Display products, send individual messages to customers, let them place orders – you can even notify them when a package is to be delivered.
Give It Away
Giveaway promotions are classics because they still work. No reason you shouldn't insist on getting their contact info if you're giving them a big discount on a purchase or a little free info that they can use. Add an option letting them sign up for a newsletter and you've got them.
Facet Web Tech can develop an online presence and strategy that's right for you. We're a small, locally-owned business, just like you. Contact us for a review of your needs and we'll give your social media users just what you need for a very happy holiday season!
How much off-the-shelf and custom software do you use? When was it written? How much have computers and the Internet changed since then? Is your software still providing optimal service to your business and customers? How could you possibly answer these questions, you're not software developers! You just need to call Facet Web Tech, Peoria's software development experts, because we have all the answers.
First, Ask the Right Questions
Does your software feel like it's running slower than it used to? Is the software not doing everything you need it to do? Does it cost you more and more to maintain and operate? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should consider an update, if you answered yes to all of them, call us immediately, you have a problem and your business is losing money needlessly.
Many major companies now require annual subscriptions to their software. It means that, over the years, you may pay more for that software, but you always have the latest versions.
For the software that doesn't require annual renewal, you need to take charge and make sure that your current editions match up to your needs. You can bet that a 3-year-old drafting program will mesh smoothly with a 5-year-old accounting package, but the day before a deadline isn't the day you want to find out you bet wrong.
Investment versus Loss
One recent study learned that IT downtime costs North American businesses over $700 billion annually. That means a potential loss of thousands for small businesses like those in Central Illinois. Yes, you will put money into software development – creating apps for smart phones and other custom software – but it will be money well spent. E-commerce is booming, generating billions in sales every day, and those unwilling to make the right investments lose out.
Partner with the Best
Facet Web Tech develops custom software that does exactly what you need it to do because that's exactly what it was designed to do. For 30 years, Facet has served the needs of Central Illinois' business community and we plan to keep doing just that for years to come. Whether you need a mobile app or branding platform built from scratch or you want an upgrade that will better interact with and engage your audience, contact Facet Web Tech, we'll put our decades of software development expertise to work for you.
In addition to hiring technical experts like Facet Web Tech for your cybersecurity needs, you can do a lot to reduce your own vulnerability. For example:
1. Have a Backup
It's the most important item on the list because no system is perfect. The bad guys win a few, so be ready. Have an off-site data storage plan. You may lose data but losing one day's worth is better than losing it all. Give access to the back-up server to as few people as possible.
2. Be Proactive
You didn't get where you are by sitting around waiting for good things to happen, don't sit around waiting for bad things to happen. Require individual user names and passwords for every employee and train them in cybersecurity. Install and update antivirus and antispyware software. Build the firewall. If an employee doesn't need access to your tech, lock them out. If an employee doesn't need access to specific hardware or data, lock them out. Secure your Wi-Fi. Change passwords regularly, at least every 90 days.
3. A Measured Paranoia is a Vital Survival Skill
Fortunately, in this scenario, "paranoia" is just common sense: Don't open emails from strangers. Don't click on attachments. Don't click thru links in emails. Pay attention to email addresses and URLs. If, for example, you get an email claiming to be from the IRS, but the return address is "firstname.lastname@example.org", that didn't come from the US government.
And, Finally, Partner with Experts
There are two types of hackers, professionals and amateurs. Pros may not care about you because you're small. Of course, it's much harder for a pro to steal $1 million that to steal $10 thousand a hundred times; many pros go after small fish figuring they're easier to catch. Amateurs just hack to hurt; it's a game, and their reward is knowing they beat you.
Call Facet Web Tech – cybersecurity has been part of our program since before they even coined that word. Don't wait for an attack to come bashing at your cyber-door like the Big Bad Wolf, let us consult on your web security status. Our experts can detect vulnerabilities and install the latest patches and safety features to prevent attacks. We also offer monitoring services to watch over your website for potential threats and incursion attempts. Should the worst-case scenario arise, we have a full-service cleanup team that will repair your website and get you back on the web, fast. Do your due diligence and leave the rest to us.
Don't feel bad, you haven't wasted all the money you spent on web security, it will keep you safe from most threats. But, we need to be realistic — hackers are everywhere and some of them are infuriatingly clever.
Some do it for profit, they are trying to steal your money or your data or whatever. Some for fun, they just want to see if they can get in. All of them cost you money and common sense requires that you assume someone, someday, will get in. Facet Web Tech is the full-service cleanup and repair crew that gets you back on the web, fast.
How Bad Can Bad Get?
Malware is software designed to damage or disable computers. Ransomware doesn't do anything to your system – it locks up your system until you pay for the key. A Trojan masquerades as something harmless (like an email attachment or an online form) then moves against your system in any of several ways. Spyware gathers data about people and organizations without their knowledge. Keylogging records what keys a user strikes – these are legal and valuable software security tools, but can be misused, allowing a hacker to learn your passwords and other private stuff.
Some malware erases or disables your software, making it impossible to use or even access your website. Some can shut down your servers and workstations, effectively shutting down your business operations. Many hacks don't damage your system, but erasure of data could mean lost business records, including tax info, customer contact info and more, while removal (theft) of data compromises your business integrity and might result in lawsuits or worse or put your trade secrets up for sale on the dark web.
Your business needs your full attention. You do what you do very well because you are focused on delivering quality products or services. We do web, and we do web well, because we are focused on the web. When Central Illinois thinks cybersecurity, they think Facet Web Tech, the hacker's nightmare. Drop by our Peoria, Illinois, offices, call us (309-353-4727) or email us (email@example.com). We'll thoroughly review your web security needs, design a system that provides the level of security you need (including backing up data) so the bad guys have a minimal chance of winning. We can also keep an eye on your system in real time,so that, if the bad guys win, we'll make sure the celebration will be short.
Next to owning a website, having an application specific to your business could be the best thing for your bottom line. Facet Web Tech can customize an application to your specific products or services. The "smart phone" as a point of sale has exploded! People are doing everything from checking bus schedules to contributing to their church or favorite charity via apps. Your best customers are probably expecting your announcement, "I have an app!", so don't disappoint them.
Benefits of Having an App
What do apps do?
Customer engagement – if you're a charity or advocacy group, you want your target audience doing something, your app tells them what to do or how to do it and lets them share those successes with others.
Support – if you're information or service based, like a newspaper or a lawyer, your app helps your clients do their own thing.
Online sales – if you're sales-based, your app lets your customers buy anything you have, anytime of the day or night, anywhere they suddenly find themselves in need.
Promotion – whatever you do, your app advertises you and the great products or services you offer.
Go for the Gold
Your business is unique, so the one-size-fits-all the software model no longer works. Most people spend a lot of time hunched over their smartphones these days — good news for chiropractors, and for you. An app on their screen means increased visibility to your target market at all times. Apps market interactively, generating info about your customers that you can use, like demographics or locations while providing them more info about you.
Social media works because users are engaged. They see, they like, they comment, they share. Your app builds that sort of community but, rather than a bursting balloon splashing water all over the place, your app is a high-pressure fire hose putting all the water on a specific spot — your business. You offer special app-only deals; your loyalty program racks up points publicly; you don't stand out from the crowd, you are the crowd.
Creating an Effective App …
… Requires expertise. You know your customers and what they want in your cyberstore. (If not, call, we can help you find out.) We do web, and we do web well, because all we do is web. When Central Illinois thinks custom software, they think Facet Web Tech, the premier software development experts. Drop by our Peoria, Illinois, offices, call us (309-353-4727) or email us (firstname.lastname@example.org). We'll complete a thorough review of your customers' needs then design an app that get results.
What is "Web Presence"?
According to the dictionary, if you have a website, you have a web presence. Facet Web Tech, however, asks practical, real-world questions: Is your web presence noticeable? Is it positive? Does it move you closer to your goals?
We call it the World Wide Web for a Reason
You are competing with hundreds of online companies, all over the world — literally. If you're going to compete, you want your best foot forward in a way that reaches your target audience. Like any business project, you need three things: (1) A Goal. (2) A Plan. (3) Tools.
Your goal depends on your business: What do you sell? To whom do you sell? How many do you need to sell? What should your social media contribute to those sales? Where do you want to be in five or ten years? Nothing new here, businesses have been doing it for centuries. The difference is data — the web gives you more data faster that you can use to meet your goals.
Your plan must include an online presence: Everything your business does moves you closer to your goal, or you need to stop and do something different. The Yellow Pages used to be the place to advertise your business. Well, people still let their fingers do the walking but now it's through a search engine results list, not a telephone book.
Your tools are the home page, the landing pages, the capture pages and everything else you put on your site. Effective social media means you put stuff on the screen that people like, read and, most important, remember. The colors, the font, the layout, the text, pix and graphix (see what we did there?) create an impression (not an "imprexion", overdoing makes you look silly) that stays with the visitor until the visitor says, "It's time to buy, what was that company I saw on the web? Oh, yeah, I remember." That's the win!
One more vital item to keep in mind: The internet is changing every year — remember GeoCities and Friendster? Neither does anybody else. You need to partner with net savvy people who the next wave and makes sure your ride it instead of getting drowned by it.
Creating a Powerful Online Presence …
… Requires expertise. You do what you do and you do it well, whether you're a dentist or carpenter or farrier. We do web, and we do web well, because all we do is web. When Central Illinois thinks net savvy, they think Facet Web Tech, the website design and development experts. Drop by our Peoria, Illinois, offices, call us (309-353-4727) or email us (email@example.com). We'll complete a thorough review of your social media plan then design an online presence that gets the results you need.