11 Sure Signs You’ve Been Hacked

August 17th, 2017 by TCC No comments »

In today’s threats-cape, antivirus software provides little piece of mind.

In fact, anti-malware scanners on the whole are horrifically inaccurate, especially with exploits less than 24 hours old. After all, malicious hackers and malware can change their tactics at will. Swap a few bytes around, and a previously recognized malware program becomes unrecognizable.

Here are 11 sure signs you’ve been hacked and what to do in the event of compromise.

Sure sign of system compromise No. 1: Fake antivirus messages

In slight decline these days, fake antivirus warning messages are among the surest signs that your system has been compromised. What most people don’t realize is that by the time they see the fake antivirus warning, the damage has been done. Clicking No or Cancel to stop the fake virus scan is too little, too late.

Why does the malicious program bother with the “antivirus warning”? This is because the fake scan, which always finds tons of “viruses,” is a lure to buy their product. Clicking on the provided link sends you to a professional-looking website, complete with glowing letters of recommendation. There, they ask you for your credit card number and billing information. You’d be surprised how many people get tricked into providing personal financial information. The bad guys gain complete control of your system and get your credit card or banking information. For bad guys, it’s the Holy Grail of hacking.

What to do: As soon as you notice the fake antivirus warning message, power down your computer. (Note: This requires knowing what your legitimate antivirus program’s warning looks like.) If you need to save anything and can do it, do so. But the sooner you power off your computer, the better. Boot up the computer system in Safe Mode, and try to uninstall the newly installed software (oftentimes it can be uninstalled like a regular program). Either way, follow up by trying to restore your system to a state previous to the exploitation. If successful, test the computer in regular mode and make sure that the fake antivirus warnings are gone. Then follow up with a complete antivirus scan. Oftentimes, the scanner will find other sneak remnants left behind.
Please call us if you are experiencing any of these problems: 860.635.0500

Sure sign of system compromise No. 2: Unwanted browser toolbars

This is probably the second most common sign of exploitation: Your browser has multiple new toolbars with names that seem to indicate the toolbar is supposed to help you. Unless you recognize the toolbar as coming from a very well-known vendor, it’s time to dump the bogus toolbar.

What to do: Most browsers allow you to review installed and active toolbars. Remove any you didn’t absolutely want to install. When in doubt, remove it. If the bogus toolbar isn’t listed there or you can’t easily remove it, see if your browser has an option to reset the browser back to its default settings. If this doesn’t work, follow the instructions listed above for fake antivirus messages. You can usually avoid malicious toolbars by making sure that all your software is fully patched and by being on the lookout for free software that installs these tool bars. Hint: Read the licensing agreement. Toolbar installs are often pointed out in the licensing agreements that most people don’t read. Again please call us if you are experiencing this problem: 860.635.0500

Sure sign of system compromise No. 3: Redirected Internet searches

Many hackers make their living by redirecting your browser somewhere other than you want to go. The hacker gets paid by getting your clicks to appear on someone else’s website, often those who don’t know that the clicks to their site are from malicious redirection.

You can often spot this type of malware by typing a few related, very common words (for example, “puppy” or “goldfish”) into Internet search engines and checking to see whether the same websites appear in the results — almost always with no actual relevance to your terms. Unfortunately, many of today’s redirected Internet searches are well hidden from the user through use of additional proxies, so the bogus results are never returned to alert the user. In general, if you have bogus toolbar programs, you’re also being redirected. Technical users who really want to confirm can sniff their own browser or network traffic. The traffic sent and returned will always be distinctly different on a compromised computer vs. an uncompromised computer.

What to do: Follow the same instructions as above. Usually removing the bogus toolbars and programs is enough to get rid of malicious redirection.

Sure sign of system compromise No. 4: Frequent random popups

This popular sign that you’ve been hacked is also one of the more annoying ones. When you’re getting random browser pop-ups from websites that don’t normally generate them, your system has been compromised. I’m constantly amazed about which websites, legitimate and otherwise, can bypass your browser’s anti-pop-up mechanisms. It’s like battling email spam, but worse.

What to do: Not to sound like a broken record, but typically random pop-ups are generated by one of the three previous malicious mechanisms noted above. You’ll need to get rid of bogus toolbars and other programs if you even hope to get rid of the pop-ups. Call if you need help.

Sure sign of system compromise No. 5: Your friends receive fake emails from your email account

This is the one scenario where you might be OK. It’s fairly common for our email friends to receive malicious emails from us. A decade ago, when email attachment viruses were all the rage, it was very common for malware programs to survey your email address book and send malicious emails to everyone in it.

These days it’s more common for malicious emails to be sent to some of your friends, but not everyone in your email address book. If it’s just a few friends and not everyone in your email list, then more than likely your computer hasn’t been compromised (at least with an email address-hunting malware program). These days malware programs and hackers often pull email addresses and contact lists from social media sites, but doing so means obtaining a very incomplete list of your contacts’ email addresses. Although not always the case, the bogus emails they send to your friends often don’t have your email address as the sender. It may have your name, but not your correct email address. If this is the case, then usually your computer is safe.

What to do: If one or more friends reports receiving bogus emails claiming to be from you, do your due diligence and run a complete antivirus scan on your computer, followed by looking for unwanted installed programs and toolbars. Often it’s nothing to worry about, but it can’t hurt to do a little health check when this happens.

Sure sign of system compromise No. 6: Your online passwords suddenly change

If one or more of your online passwords suddenly change, you’ve more than likely been hacked — or at least that online service has been hacked. In this particular scenario, usually what has happened is that the victim responded to an authentic-looking phish email that purportedly claimed to be from the service that ends up with the changed password. The bad guy collects the logon information, logs on, changes the password (and other information to complicate recovery), and uses the service to steal money from the victim or the victim’s acquaintances (while pretending to be the victim).

What to do: Call if you need help. If the scam is widespread and many acquaintances you know are being reached out to, immediately notify all your contacts about your compromised account. Do this to minimize the damage being done to others by your mistake. Second, contact the online service to report the compromised account. Most online services are used to this sort of maliciousness and can quickly get the account back under your control with a new password in a few minutes. Some services even have the whole process automated. A few services even have a “My friend’s been hacked!” button that lets your friends start the process. This is helpful, because your friends often know your account has been compromised before you do.

If the compromised logon information is used on other websites, immediately change those passwords And be more careful next time. Websites rarely send emails asking you to provide your logon information. When in doubt, go to the website directly (don’t use the links sent to you in email) and see if the same information is being requested when you log on using the legitimate method. You can also call the service via their phone line or email them to report the received phish email or to confirm its validity. Lastly, consider using online services that provide two-factor authentication. It makes your account much harder to steal.

Sure sign of system compromise No. 7: Unexpected software installs

Unwanted and unexpected software installs are a big sign that your computer system has likely been hacked. In the early days of malware, most programs were computer viruses, which work by modifying other legitimate programs. They did this to better hide themselves. For whatever reason, most malware programs these days are Trojans and worms, and they typically install themselves like legitimate programs. This may be because their creators are trying to walk a very thin line when the courts catch up to them. They can attempt to say something like, “But we are a legitimate software company.” Oftentimes the unwanted software is legally installed by other programs, so read your license agreements. Frequently, I’ll read license agreements that plainly state that they will be installing one or more other programs. Sometimes you can opt out of these other installed programs; other times you can’t.

What to do: There are many free programs that show you all your installed programs and let you selectively disable them. My favorite for Windows is autoruns It doesn’t show you every program installed but will tell you the ones that automatically start themselves when your PC is restarted. Most malware programs can be found here. The hard part is determining what is and what isn’t legitimate. When in doubt, disable the unrecognized program, reboot the PC, and re-enable the program only if some needed functionality is no longer working.

Sure sign of system compromise No. 8: Your mouse moves between programs and makes correct selections

If your mouse pointer moves itself while making selections that work, you’ve definitely been hacked. Mouse pointers often move randomly, usually due to hardware problems. But if the movements involve making the correct choices to run particular programs, malicious humans are somewhere involved.

Not as common as some of the other attacks, many hackers will break into a computer, wait for it to be idle for a long time (like after
midnight), then try to steal your money. Hackers will break into bank accounts and transfer money, trade your stocks, and do all sorts of rogue actions, all designed to lighten your cash load.

What to do: If your computer “comes alive” one night, take a minute before turning it off to determine what the intruders are
interested in. Don’t let them rob you, but it will be useful to see what things they are looking at and trying to compromise. If you have a cellphone handy, take a few pictures to document their tasks. When it makes sense, power off the computer. Unhook it from the network (or disable the wireless router) and call in the professionals. This is the one time that you’re going to need expert help.

Using another known good computer, immediately change all your other logon names and passwords. Check your bank account transaction histories, stock accounts, and so on. Consider paying for a credit-monitoring service. If you’ve been a victim of this attack, you have to take it seriously. Complete restore of the computer is the only option you should choose for recovery. But if you’ve lost any money, make sure to let the forensics team make a copy first. If you’ve suffered a loss, call law enforcement and file a case. You’ll need this information to best recover your real money losses, if any.

Sure sign of system compromise No. 9: Your anti-malware software, Task Manager, or Registry Editor is disabled and can’t be restarted

This is a huge sign of malicious compromise. If you notice that your antimalware software is disabled and you didn’t do it, you’re probably exploited — especially if you try to start Task Manager or Registry Editor and they won’t start, start and disappear, or start in a reduced state. This is very common for malware to do.

What to do: Call if you need help. You should really perform a complete restore because there is no telling what has happened. But if you want to try something less drastic first, research the many methods on how to restore the lost functionality (any Internet search engine will return lots of results), then restart your computer in Safe Mode and start the hard work. I say “hard work” because usually it isn’t easy or quick. Often, I have to try a handful of different methods to find one that works. Precede restoring your software by getting rid of the malware program, using the methods listed above.

Sure sign of system compromise No. 10: Your bank account is missing money

I mean lots of money. Online bad guys don’t usually steal a little money. They like to transfer everything or nearly everything, often to a
foreign exchange or bank. Usually it begins by your computer being compromised or from you responding to a fake phish from your bank. In any case, the bad guys log on to your bank, change your contact information, and transfer large sums of money to themselves.

What to do: In most cases you are in luck because most financial institutions will replace the stolen funds (especially if they can stop the transaction before the damage is truly done). However, there have been many cases where the courts have ruled it was the customer’s responsibility to not be hacked, and it’s up to the financial institution to decide whether they will make restitution to you.

If you’re trying to prevent this from happening in the first place, turn on transaction alerts that send text alerts to you when something unusual is happening. Many financial institutions allow you to set thresholds on transaction amounts, and if the threshold is exceeded or it goes to a foreign country, you’ll be warned. Unfortunately, many times the bad guys reset the alerts or your contact information before they steal your money. So make sure your financial institution sends you alerts anytime your contact information or alerting choices are changed.

Sure sign of system compromise No. 11: You get calls from stores about nonpayment of shipped goods

In this case, hackers have compromised one of your accounts, made a purchase, and had it shipped to someplace other than your house.
Oftentimes, the bad guys will order tons of merchandise at the same time, making each business entity think you have enough funds at the beginning, but as each transaction finally pushes through you end up with insufficient funds.

What to do: This is a bad one. First try to think of how your account was compromised. If it was one of the methods above, follow those
recommendations. Either way, change all your logon names and passwords (not just the one related to the single compromised account), call law enforcement, get a case going, and start monitoring your credit. You’ll probably spend months trying to clear up all the bogus transactions committed in your name, but you should be able to undo most, if not all, of the damage.

Years ago you could be left with a negative credit history that would impact your life for a decade. These days, companies and the credit
reporting agencies are more used to cyber crime, and they deal with it better. Still, be aggressive and make sure you follow every bit of advice given to you by law enforcement, the creditors, and the credit-rating agencies (there arethree major ones).

The hope of an anti-malware program that can perfectly detect malware and malicious hacking is pure folly. Keep an eye out for the common signs and symptoms of your computer being hacked as outlined above. And if you are risk-adverse, as I am, always perform a complete computer restore with the event of a breach. Because once your computer has been compromised, the bad guys can do anything and hide anywhere. It’s best to just start from scratch.

Most malicious hacking originates from one of three vectors: unpatched software, running Trojan horse programs, and responding to fake phishing emails. Do better at preventing these three things, and you’ll be less likely to have to rely on your anti-malware software’s accuracy — and luck.

Please call us if you are experiencing any of these problems: 860.635.0500

Computer Networking

Eliminate Your Computer Support Problems

  • Network down?
  • Printer offline?
  • VPN underperforming?
  • Email over capacity?
  • Overwhelmed by spam?
  • System under a virus attack?

We have designed many IT administration and support solutions specifically to solve all these problems and others. Growing organizations do face computer support obstacles like these.  But TCC has already faced every obstacle and we know how to ramp your business back up to full efficiency.

Strengths and Skills

With our 24/7 customer support services, immediate response is guaranteed and we’ll stay focused on your needs until the problem has been resolved. Our total IT support services include:

Staff Support

We’ll augment your current IT staff and provide deep technical expertise at a rate more affordable than adding more staff

Risk Minimization

When your IT staff is unavailable, we can immediately resolve many IT problems. Use us as your emergency staff and always have IT help available.

Efficiency Optimization

Regular maintenance and system health reviews reduce downtime and increase the overall efficiency of your network. A thorough IT audit can reduce, if not eliminate, the expense of future infrastructure outages.

We provide, “IT Solutions Done Right.”

Hartford Location

15 Commerce Drive

Cromwell, CT 06416

860.635.0500

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Roger A. Grimes

Why are so many Businesses Moving to the Cloud?

August 3rd, 2017 by TCC No comments »

Why are so many businesses moving to the cloud? It’s because cloud computing increases efficiency, helps improve cash flow and offers many more benefits…

Check out ten of the best below.
By-the-way, any three of the benefits would be enough to convince many businesses to move their business into the cloud. But when you add up all ten? It’s time.

1. Flexibility

Cloud-based services are ideal for businesses with growing bandwidth demands. If your needs increase it’s easy to scale up your cloud capacity, drawing on the service’s remote servers. Likewise, if you need to scale down again, the flexibility is baked into the service. This level of agility can give businesses using cloud computing a real advantage over competitors – it’s not surprising that CIOs and IT Directors rank ‘operational agility’ as a top driver for cloud adoption.

2. Disaster recovery

Businesses of all sizes should be investing in robust disaster recovery, but for smaller businesses that lack the required cash and expertise, this is often more an ideal than the reality. Cloud is now helping more organisations buck that trend. According to Aberdeen Group, small businesses are twice as likely as larger companies to have implemented cloud-based backup and recovery solutions that save time, avoid large up-front investment and roll up third-party expertise as part of the deal.

3. Security

Lost laptops are a billion dollar business problem. And potentially greater than the loss of an expensive piece of kit is the loss of the sensitive data inside it. Cloud computing gives you greater security when this happens. Because your data is stored in the cloud, you can access it no matter what happens to your machine. And you can even remotely wipe data from lost laptops so it doesn’t get into the wrong hands.

4. Capital-expenditure Free

Cloud computing cuts out the high cost of hardware. You simply pay as you go and enjoy a subscription-based model that’s kind to your cash flow. Add to that the ease of setup and management and suddenly your scary, hairy IT project looks at lot friendlier. It’s never been easier to take the first step to cloud adoption.

5. Increased collaboration

When your teams can access, edit and share documents anytime, from anywhere, they’re able to do more together, and do it better. Cloud-based workflow and file sharing apps help them make updates in real time and gives them full visibility of their collaborations.

6. Work from anywhere

With cloud computing, if you’ve got an internet connection, you can be at work. And with most serious cloud services offering mobile apps, you’re not restricted by which device you’ve got to hand.

The result? Businesses can offer more flexible working perks to employees so they can enjoy the work-life balance that suits them – without productivity taking a hit. One study reported that 42% of workers would swap a portion of their pay for the ability to telecommute. On average they’d be willing to take a 6% pay cut.

7. Document control

The more employees and partners collaborate on documents, the greater the need for watertight document control. Before the cloud, workers had to send files back and forth as email attachments to be worked on by one user at a time. Sooner or later – usually sooner – you end up with a mess of conflicting file content, formats and titles.

And as even the smallest companies become more global, the scope for complication rises. According to one study, “73% of knowledge workers collaborate with people in different time zones and regions at least monthly”.

When you make the move to cloud computing, all files are stored centrally and everyone sees one version of the truth. Greater visibility means improved collaboration, which ultimately means better work and a healthier bottom line. If you’re still relying on the old way, it could be time to try something a little more streamlined.

8. Automatic software updates

The beauty of cloud computing is that the servers are off-premise, out of sight and out of your hair. Suppliers take care of them for you and roll out regular software updates – including security updates – so you don’t have to worry about wasting time maintaining the system yourself. Leaving you free to focus on the things that matter, like growing your business.

9. Competitiveness

Wish there was a simple step you could take to become more competitive? Moving to the cloud gives access to enterprise-class technology, for everyone. It also allows smaller businesses to act faster than big, established competitors. Pay-as-you-go service and cloud business applications mean small outfits can run with the big boys, and disrupt the market, while remaining lean and nimble. David now packs a Goliath-sized punch.

10. Environmentally friendly

While the above points spell out the benefits of cloud computing for your business, moving to the cloud isn’t an entirely selfish act. The environment gets a little love too. When your cloud needs fluctuate, your server capacity scales up and down to fit. So you only use the energy you need and you don’t leave over sized carbon footprints. This is something close to our hearts at Salesforce, where we try our best to create sustainable solutions with minimal environmental impact.

Not moved to the cloud yet?

Any three of the above benefits would be enough to convince many businesses to move their business into the cloud. But when you add up all ten? It’s time.

 

(this article was re-posted from: Salesforce UK)

Mobile Statistics You Need to Know About.

July 27th, 2017 by TCC No comments »

Mobile Statistics You Need to Know About.

The World Has Gone Mobile. In the United States, of the 260 million adults, 88% have a mobile phone, and roughly half have a tablet.

Mobile phones offer one option to drive sales and conversions. One of the mobile commerce trends that is creating a whole new stream of revenue is tablet users. In the United States, mobile commerce sales on tablets will to grow to $77 billion by 2018. The great thing about sales on tablets is the fact that there is more real estate to work with, giving brands the opportunity to go draw customers into immersive, engaging experiences.

Mobile Coupons

Over 105 million adults in the US used mobile coupons in 2016. This is a clear sign that whether it’s through SMS or push, mobile engagement drives sales directly. With the spread of mobile wallets on Android and iOS continuing to grow, sales on smartphones and tablets will continue to grow.

Important Mobile Commerce and Engagement Statistics You Need to Know About.

  • 75% of Americans bring their phones or tablets to the bathroom.
  • 80% of shoppers admit that they’re more likely to purchase from and interact with a brand that offers an engaging mobile experience (Source: Huffington Post)
  • 78% of small businesses attract new customers through social media (Source: Relevanza)
  • 62% of shoppers search for deals digitally for at least half of their shopping trips (Source:GMA/Booz & Company Shopper Survey)
  • 55% of US Internet users will redeem a digital coupon or code at least once per year (Source: Digital Marketer)
  • 80 percent of mobile users prefer locally relevant advertising and 75 percent are more likely to take an action after seeing a location-specific message (Source: Mobile Audience Insights Report from JiWire)
  • Mobile app store revenues worldwide are projected to grow to US $76.5 billion in 2017 (Source: CMO Council)
  • 44% of consumers say that they would like brands to deliver deals and coupons to their mobile devices (Source: CMO Council)
  • More than 33.3 million U.S. consumers already engage in shopping-related activities on their mobile phones, 7%, or 2.3 million, of those consumers have made a purchase on their devices, the report finds (Source: Experian Simmons, Mobile Consumer Report)
  • 87% of millennials always have their smartphone at their side, day and night.
  • 78% of millennials spend over 2 hours a day using their smartphones.
  • 68% of millennials consider their smartphone to be a personal device (Source: CMO Council)
  • 46 percent of consumers have used their phone to get product information while in a store (Source: Briabe Media)
  • 75% of heavy mobile users said mobile search makes their lives easier, 63% said access to mobile search has changed the way they gather information, and 32% said they use mobile search more than search engines on their computers (Source: Performics Mobile Search Insights Study, conducted by ROI Research)
  • 69% of retail executives said mobile is an important strategic initiative (Source: NRF)
  • 79% of smartphone users found it useful to download mobile coupons to their phones (Source: Accenture, reported by Internet Retailer)
  • 73% of consumers find it useful to receive an instant coupon as they pass by an item in a store (Source: Accenture, reported by Internet Retailer)
  • 73% of shoppers with smartphones prefer to reference their mobile device while in-store rather than ask a sales associate for help (Source: Accenture, reported by Internet Retailer)
  • 62% of consumers use their smartphones to search for a store location or directions (Source: IDC Survey)
  • 40% search for price and product information (Source: IDC Survey)
  • 38% check the status of an order, and, while in store (Source: IDC Survey)
  • 32% browse product reviews (Source: IDC Survey)

So what’s the point?

There is not turning back. To stay competitive we all need to keep moving into the future.

Do you know the Big Video SEO Secret?

July 20th, 2017 by TCC No comments »

There are video SEO tools, techniques, and secrets that all explain how to get videos and their hosting websites to the top of the search engines. These video SEO techniques all focus on a winning search on Google, the biggest search engine of them all, as well as Yahoo and Bing.

But the biggest video SEO secret?

Forget about winning a search on Google, win a search on YouTube instead. That is because YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world, behind Google. Furthermore, the fact that YouTube is so popular, also gives YouTube videos a high ranking in search results on Google and other search engines online.

Why is YouTube so important?

When people have “how to” questions where they need to learn how to do something – how to replace a key on a keyboard, how to defrag a hard drive, how to change a car’s oil – there is a video of it. Or when they want to watch a music video from their favorite band or a scene from their favorite movie, they can find it on YouTube. Why not take advantage of this?

Think about it. Everyone is focusing all their attention on Google, using onsite search engine optimization techniques, trying to win the search for their chosen keywords. But what if it was possible to win search on YouTube instead? Imagine what kind of impact this could have on regular SEO efforts. Start paying attention to the Google search results page and see what shows up near the top of the search results every time. Videos! And not just any videos, but the videos that are most likely to be found during a YouTube search – videos that only have the most basic video SEO done to them will even win search on YouTube, and by default, appear high on the Google search rankings.

Since most people do not even bother to optimize their videos, it is only by luck and happenstance that most videos appear at the top of YouTube’s search in the first place. But by performing some basic video SEO techniques, it is possible to make a video appear high in YouTube’s rankings as well as Google’s.

Video SEO technique #1: Use Keywords in the Video Title. It is not enough to just give the video a clever title. The video needs a descriptive title that people will most likely use during a regular search, like “How to change a keyboard key on a laptop” or “How to change the oil in a car.” This tells Google and YouTube what the most important keywords in the title are.

Video SEO technique #2: Use Keywords in the Description. It is important to use the keywords or key phrase at least once, and possibly twice, in the description of the video. Just like in an optimized blog post, the description tells YouTube (and Google) what the video is about.

Video SEO technique #3: Include Backlinks in the Description. Backlinks are an important part of regular SEO, and should be a part of video SEO as well, being incorporated into the video’s description, which helps boost a website’s ranking. But then, be sure to point several backlinks from other websites to the video.

Video SEO technique #4: Use Transcripts and Subtitles. Another way to include keywords to a video is to include video is one person talking about how to replace keys on a laptop, or is an interview between two people, it is very helpful to include a written transcript as part of the video SEO. When editing a YouTube video, there is a window to upload a transcript or a subtitle file and have it play along with the video. This is additional text that Google and YouTube are able to index and count toward search results, which helps video SEO.

These video SEO techniques allow marketers an advantage. YouTube’s status as the world’s second biggest search engine, will help to ensure your videos show up at the top of the search results in regular Google searches as well as within other search engines, social media and article and press sites online. Follow these steps and begin ranking online!

Want to learn more and incorporate video in to your website contact The Computer Company for more information on how we can assist you. Please contact us today!

800 418 2358

info@computercompany.net


Article originally written by Julie Ann Ross.

How To Build a Better Landing Page.

July 12th, 2017 by TCC No comments »

What is a landing page?

Landing pages are pages that are designed for specific marketing products or services. They are usually not a main pages on your web site and it are not part of the global navigation. In some cases the only links to the pages are from marketing content—For example: the call-to-action in an email or a pages found from a search engine results.

1. Landing pages are created for ease of use and simplicity. If a customer cannot find what you intended them to find, there really is no purpose for your landing page. Your landing page must be organized so that main emphasis is placed on the right items and visitors find what they are looking for.

2. The navigation on your landing page should be clear and obvious to the visitor. They should be able to look at your page and know where they are headed when they click on a button. Any other options, or “call to action” steps, should be easy to see and follow.

3. When they take the “call to action” steps, customers should receive some sort of immediate feedback. The page should change when they click on a button or when they mouse over specific content. There needs to be immediate responses to every move and click they make.

4. The layout of your landing page is very important. The content should be clear, consistent, and created based upon the purpose of the visitor. It should also be separated into a few “chunks” instead of staying as one long piece. This allows the reader to quickly scan and read what’s being said.

5. Aside from being readable and maneuverable, it is important that the visitor actually likes what they are seeing. The content should be interesting and easy to understand, and should provide value to the customer; they should feel like they are getting something out of your website. The look and feel should be appealing, the tone should be appropriate for the context of the situation, and ultimately, visitors (potential customers) should feel comfortable and relaxed when visiting your landing page, never anxious or confused.

 

4 Ways to Improve Your Website

July 6th, 2017 by TCC No comments »

The goal of your website is to promote your company in a way that captures a visitor’s attention,  creates strong interest in your product or service and ends in a sale.

Listed below are some suggestions that can improve your website and draw a greater interest in your business.

Improve Focus: To start off, rid your website of excess clutter! Keep only what is necessary so users can focus on what’s important. How? You can do this by removing excess elements, emphasize or increase white space, and choose a great color palette with symbolic colors corresponding with your core values. You can look up color psychology online to see what emotions resonate with certain colors and create the perfect message. Improving Focus does not mean your website has to be bland or boring. Rather, it can be fun in a clean, sharp way.

Custom Photography: The young female receptionist, the handsome middle-aged CEO, the group of well-dressed business partners sitting happily around a conference table. These images could come across cliché. If possible, custom photography, images, and illustrations are preferred over stock photos, as long as the quality is good. Show everyone who you are! Research your competitors’ websites to see what photos they are using. You don’t want to copy their style or have the same images as them. If you opt for some stock images, always purchase images with a higher resolution. They are more professional and boost your aesthetic value. Most importantly, avoid bland, predictable images. Think outside the box and try to “wow” your customers!

Bold Typography: Web design is all about communication, and using bold typography is a way to subtly communicate an important message to site viewers. Start by reviewing your site, and choose the most important message you want to get across to visitors. Use a typeface that expresses qualities and emotions consistent with that message. If your site follows a specific theme, use a font that corresponds with that theme. Place the bold type in a prominent position, preferably on white space. Remember, typography is a form of art, just like images, illustrations, and colors, that work together to make up your web design. Selecting the right (or wrong) font can impact a design’s quality.

Call-to-Action: The main point of your website is always to make the visitor complete a task, known as a call-to-action. A defined call-to-action is essential to creating a successful website. Your site should have a clear purpose, whether it’s for visitors to download, sign up, purchase, or call. To do this, begin by keeping the language short, or they will lose interest in your business. Provide value within the content – “Free”, “Last Chance”, and “Hurry” are common phrases used to grab their attention. The button or bold typography you use for the call-to-action should be the largest on the page, and placed ‘above the fold’. The user should not have to scroll down to find it. Using bright colors is good, as long as the button isn’t too large. The call-to-action should not overpower your website.

Your site should convert visitors into buyers, and give you a competitive edge. It is important to continually measure and improve site performance, usability, and conversions.  Tools like Google Analytics can provide information on where customers are clicking, their time spent on the page, and their bounce rate (how quickly they leave the site). While this tool won’t turn a poorly designed site into a great one, it may provide insight on things worth changing that will help turn one-time visitors into recurring customers.

The Latest Ransomware Is Deadlier Than WannaCry

June 30th, 2017 by TCC No comments »

We hope you never see this screen.

Image from https://www.extremetech.com

The malware widely believed to be responsible is a version of Petya which security researchers are calling “NotPetya.”

Who has been Infected?

The world suffered another ransomware nightmare Tuesday, with pharmaceutical companies, Chernobyl radiation detection systems, the Kiev metro, an airport and banks all affected. One U.S. hospital also appears to be a victim. Worse is expected, thanks to some pernicious features in the ransomware sample.

Could this happen to you?
Perhaps most crucially, thanks to all these added features, the new strain will infect even patched Windows PCs, including those with Windows 10, as one IT professional noted in a blog, whereas WannaCry worked largely on older systems.

If Your System Fails, Could You Recover?

Disasters do happen.  The question is, when something fails, will it be a temporary inconvenience or a business-shaking crisis?  When a hard drive crashes, can you be back in business in hours? If a natural disaster shuts your network down, can you recover every business-critical application that day?

The Computer Company offers a full range of disaster recovery consulting services, practices, and solutions for your business to prevent many events, minimize any damage, and return your system to its full capabilities as soon as possible.  We do disaster recovery right.

Call 860-635-0500 today and get the protection your business needs.

 

Join a “cloud” and cut your energy costs by up to 90%

June 21st, 2017 by TCC No comments »

Cloud computing is becoming common and is transforming the way many businesses deliver and receive their IT services. What is cloud computing, you may ask? Put simply, it is a set of server-based software and services that are delivered to customers over the internet, instead of physically on-site. This includes customer relationship management (CRM) tools, email marketing programs, and shared databases, like Microsoft SharePoint.

Providers of cloud computing connects many businesses, small and large, to shared servers containing shared programs. This allows cloud customers to reduce their costs because they no longer need to purchase the infrastructure, let alone manage and maintain it. Cloud users have the ability to pay for the resources only as they need them. They are no longer hindered by predicting server traffic; customers on the cloud are given the freedom to promote and grow their business online as strongly and as often as they want.

However, not only does cloud computing save the customer money, providers of cloud computing are actually administering a green, sustainable way to run a business. A study conducted by Microsoft found that organizations, ranging from 100 to 1000 employees, can reduce up to 90 percent of their emissions by moving their business from on-premise business applications to those within a shared cloud. While Microsoft conducted the test on only their products, it is safe to say the findings apply to other cloud computing solutions. IT administrators should take advantage of the opportunity to reduce their environmental impact and achieve sustainability goals.

Why does this matter to you?

If you run a small business, your server infrastructure can be highly expensive to operate and may run at low utilization or even be idle for a good portion of the day. On-premise applications tend to run at a lower average utilization rate. Instead of taking on expense and maintenance hassles for on-site technology, invest in cloud computing. As the number of users in a cloud increases, the user-to-server ratio increases, and demand fluctuations decrease. This means demand can be predicted and allocated appropriately without deploying “just-in-case” infrastructure. Servers can function at a stable rate, with a lower energy cost.

Join the thousands of businesses who have decreased their energy costs and reduced their carbon footprint by sharing “cloud” services with other users. The Computer Company, Inc. is ready to support both the growth and sustainability goals of your business with cloud computing options.


 

How do Cloud Computing Services save time and money?

June 15th, 2017 by TCC No comments »

The buzz word is out there and everyone is doing it.
Now it’s time for you to take the first step.

Today users can work without knowing the location and other details of the computing infrastructure. Cloud computing services and cloud storage deliver software applications, data access, data administration and storage for everyday businesses saving time and money.

Because your server will be part of the cloud you will access your data from anywhere at any time.

Please watch video.

There are many benefits to moving your business to the cloud.
So How do Cloud Computing Services save time and money?

  • Flexibility of connection options. Access to your data while you are off-site, employees can connect to their virtual office, quickly and easily.
  • Automatic updates. Latest technology, up-to-date software, servers upgrades and computer processing power.
  • Reduced costs (everyone’s favorite!). Moving to cloud computing usually will reduce your cost of managing and maintaining your IT systems.
  • Flexibility for sizing. Your business will have the flexibility required as your needs change for your software and storage.
  • Business continuity. You can relax knowing that you are protecting your data and systems.
  • Collaboration efficiency. Employees can communicate and share work more easily.

Please watch video.

We look forward to hearing from you!

What can VoIP do for your business?

June 8th, 2017 by TCC 1 comment »

VoIP is a revolutionary phone technology that will more than likely one day replace the traditional phone system entirely. In fact, VoIP makes easy some things that are difficult to impossible with traditional phone networks. For example: Take your VoIP phone with you on a trip, and anywhere you connect it to the Internet, you can receive your incoming calls. (pretty cool, huh?)

Eliminate your phone services, phone systems, extra charges and only use the internet with no additional charges. Call for a FREE Audit!

As part of our Networking Service, the Computer Company can set up a business VoIP phones that runs through your high-speed internet. That means you get:

  • Huge Savings Compared to Traditional Phone Systems. Studies have shown that, compared to using traditional phones, using VoIP can potentially make you save up to 40 % on local calls, and up to 90 % on international calls.
  • Unlimited Calling – no per minute calls.
  • No additional cost to Keep Your Existing Number
  • No Hardware needed
  • Make Calls Anywhere in the World to any place in the world.
  • Simplicity (no closets full of wires, no PBX, no phone systems)
  • VoIP for Voice Communication with PC or Laptop.
  • Many Useful Features including Caller ID, Contact Lists, Voicemail, Record Calls, Monitor Employee Calls, Call Center Queues, After Hours etc.

Why keep paying higher prices?

In general, VoIP costs far less than an equivalent service from traditional sources, but not all VoIP setups are equal.  The Computer Company has designed many network and support solutions for our clients and with our experience you’ll get the best solution for you. With our 24/7 customer support services, immediate response is guaranteed. The Computer Company will get you set up and saving money in no time!

Eliminate your phone services, phone systems, extra charges and only use the internet with no additional charges. Call for a FREE Audit!

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15 Commerce Drive,
Cromwell, CT 06416
Phone: 860-635-0500
Toll Free: 800.418.2358