Is Too Much Technology Bad for Business?


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Tim Berners-Lee: The World Wide Web - Opportun...
Tim Berners-Lee: The World Wide Web -
Opportunity, Challenge, Responsibility
(Photo credit: Fräulein Schiller)

By Carl Weiss

Having worked the web professionally since 1995, I can remember a time when we weren't so hardwired to technology.  Sure a lot of the elements of online life that we take for granted today were already in vogue back then, like Apple vs PC, inkjet printers, zines (the forerunner of blogs), and even cellphones had already made the scene.  The chief difference between then and now was the way in which the public viewed the wired world.  Back then going online was more of a convenience than a way of life.  While some people (particularly the young) were addicted to certain aspects of technology, more teenagers were hooked on video games then the Internet in 95.

That was Then and This is Now


Flash forward 16 years and the Internet and the cellphone have sunk their technological hooks into every aspect of modern life.  Most people would find it hard to function professionally if they couldn't surf the web 24/7 on PC, cellphone and tablet.  Gone are the lines that separated one form of wireless technology from the other.  Far from simply being able to read the printed word, the twenty first century version of the Internet now offers everything from streaming video to voice activation.  But while the web has insinuated itself into our daily lives, has that been a help or a hindrance to businesses on the whole?

Through the Gorilla Glass


If we view the past sixteen years of online "progress" in terms of competition and opportunity we get mixed results.  On the one hand, there are certainly more people using the Internet.  In 2000 there were more than 108 million people in the US and 360 million people worldwide who were using the Internet.  By 2011, those numbers had jumped to 273 million in the US and 2.2 billion worldwide, an increase of 528%.  So from a strictly statistical level, the Internet offers more mouths to feed, which is a boon to businesses hungry for more customers.

Now for the downside.  Back in 2000 there were lots of search engines that could provide businesses with both position and traffic.  Companies such as Alta Vista Ask Jeeves, Excite, Infoseek, Lycos, Magellan, and WebCrawler made it possible for companies large and small to get into the online game.  Sure, Google was also in the mix back in 2000, but they hadn't muscled their way into dominance back then to become the 800 lb gorilla in the room that they are today.

A data visualization of Wikipedia as part of t...
A data visualization of Wikipedia as part of the World Wide Web, demonstrating hyperlinks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
While even the smallest of businesses can generate page 1 results on Google today, it is a far more complicated affair.  And in the wired world, complicated translates into time and money.  Whereas back in 2000, it was relatively simple to have an SEO expert tune up your homepage, in the modern world of Internet marketing, there are 31 points of light that every search engine spider alights on today, including such things as blogs, social networks, backlinks and video.  If your web presence is lacking in any of these, or you aren't adding compelling content to them on at least a weekly basis, then your chances of achieving a page 1 result are slim at best.


Back to the Future



Not only are there far more stops on the technology train in 2012 then there were in 2000, but a number of the stops have siderails.  Consider social networking.  If you are serious about making the grade online, then being on Facebook (the second most visited destination online after Google) isn't enough.

You also need to Tweet.  Not to mention the fact that back in November of 2011 Google launched its own social network Google+.  So if you are looking to make the grade with Google, it's probably a good idea to add this to your online marketing mix as well.

English: Mubarak Tripping On Tech Generation Media
Mubarak Tripping On Tech
Generation Media (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Overwhelmed? Take a deep breath because we're not done yet.  While more than half of the cellphones in the US are smartphones capable of surfing the web, that doesn't mean that every business in the US shouldn't also take the time and money to invest in a mobile version of their website.  Why's that?  First of all, in the world of web surfing, it is a fact that in two years or less there will be more people surfing the web via smartphone and tablet computer than via PC and laptop. Add to this the fact that not only do these sites fit smartphone screens picture perfect but mobile search engines as a rule look for mobile sites, and you need to go mobile.

No End in "Site"


Courtesy of www.pinterest.com
Not only isn't the Internet going to get simpler as time goes on, it is inevitably going to get ever more complicated.  As time passes there are going to be more must-have portals and networks that business will be coerced into joining, there will be more technological marvels (such as Google Glasses) launched that will not only hit the market, but will be required if you are going to keep up with the Joneses.  While you read this article more than 8,000 websites were launched, all of which want to be on Google Page One.

To put things into perspective, while there are infinitely more online opportunities for businesses to engage in in 2012 than there were way back when, remember this: In order to keep up with the herd, you have to know where it is heading.

If you would like to find more articles like this type in your key phrase in the search box at the top left of this blog. If you found this article useful, share it with your friends, families and co-works. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the comment sections below.  If you would like a free copy of our book, "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century", fill out the form below.





Since 1995, Carl Weiss has been helping clients succeed online.  He owns and operates several online marketing businesses, including Working the Web to Win and Jacksonville Video Production. He also co-hosts the weekly radio show, "Working the Web to Win," every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern on BlogTalkRadio.com.

Working the Web - Is There a Cyber Attack in Your Future?


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Windows Firewall
Windows Firewall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


by Carl Weiss


When your head hits the pillow at night, do you fall asleep feeling secure that your online data, your identity and your financials are safe?  Do you feel bulletproof behind your Windows Firewall and Norton Antivirus?  Are you in the habit of downloading freeware on your PC and free apps on your Smartphone?  Do you use public wifi hotspots such as coffee shops, restaurants, hotels and airports? 

If your answer to any of the above was “Yes” then I have news for you.   It isn’t a matter of if you are going to be hacked, cracked or cyber attacked.  It’s just a matter of when.  Because the habits exposed above are an invitation for hackers and cyber criminals to gain access to your most sensitive information, hijack your computer and Smartphone and in short turn your life into a living hell where your identity, your financial data and intellectual property can be bought and sold like a commodity.

computer security
computer security (Photo credit: justonlysteve)
Does this scenario sound far fetched?  Let me provide you with a news flash.  During the past several months a shocking number of financial institutions, government agencies and the world’s largest domain registration service have all been hacked or denied service in one form or another.  Worse yet, all of these mammoth edifices have layer upon layer of protection that was designed to thwart even the most concerted attack.  Yet their security proved unable to stop hackers from entering and controlling their systems.


An organized cybercrime group is in the process of recruiting the operators of illegal botnets to participate in a coordinated attack on 30 American banks, according to security vendor RSA.  The attack, which is apparently planned for an undisclosed date this fall, would likely be the largest coordinated cyber attack in history, involving as many as 100 botmasters and their respective botnets.
According to RSA, the group will be leveraging a proprietary Gozi-like Trojan, which RSA calls "Gozi Prinimalka." The word "Prinimalka," which is derived from the Russian word meaning "to receive," appears as a folder name in every URL path to the gang's servers.
Microslave -- You're NOT Going Anywhere TODAY!...
Microslave -- You're NOT Going Anywhere TODAY!
...item 2.. Man Arrested After Selling Stolen Electronics
Online (August 27, 2011) ... (Photo credit: marsmet552)
Apparently this was the same group that in 2008 stole more than $5 million from bank accounts in the US.  Botnets are networks of robotized computers owned by businesses or individuals that have been hacked and turned to cybercrime by remote control.  Many times the hacker tool of choice is not to spend hours or days trying to guess passwords, but simply to piggyback a piece of malware onto a freeware package that most people are all too eager to download.  Some exploit known back doors to operating systems and public networks.  Once inside a laptop, PC, tablet or Smartphone, the malware or spyware can gain access to and in some cases take control of infected machines.  Unless this malicious software is detected and eliminated, then the person or persons who designed the malware can rifle through your files, detect and extract credit card information, and if desired, use your machine to abet their nefarious activities. 

We Have Met the Enemy and They are Us


Sad to say, but the biggest cyber security issues for individuals and business owners comes from the poor online discipline.  Former White House CIO and cyber security expert Theresa Payton pointed out in a recent televised interview that “In one instance we had a client that was convinced they were being bugged by a competitor.  We quickly determined that their employees were checking in on Foursquare everywhere they went.  Even worse, they revealed online who they were with and what they were doing.  So I told management that nobody needed to bug their offices.  All the competition had to do was follow them around on Foursquare.”

This problem is not relegated to the US.  Andy Prow, New Zealand managing director of Aura Information Security sums it up, "There is a growing need for privacy. More people are putting more information about themselves online - Facebook and other profiles -- but on the flip side we are becoming far more conscious that we only want our personal information given out if we give it, and we do not want it stolen.”

Is Your Smartphone Smarter Than You?


Unlike personal computers and laptops, most smartphones have little in the way of security.  According to a recent survey, 70 percent of users don’t password protect their Smartp
Audiovox SMT5600 with the new Qtek Smartphone
Audiovox SMT5600 with the new Qtek Smartphone (Photo credit: Josh Bancroft)
hones.  Many smartphone users have little or no antivirus software or malware eradication software installed on their phones.  And unlike PC’s and laptops, it’s all too easy to misplace or lose a smartphone, which if left unsecured has a 90% likelihood of being rifled through before being returned.

While no one, not even the government or big business are immune from cyber attacks, the mos
t pressing need is for individuals to take the matter seriously and to take appropriate countermeasures to defend themselves.  Below are the top 5 things you need to do protect yourself:

1.      One layer of cyber security is not sufficient to detect malicious software.  You need to have at least three layers of security to harden your system.  As well as using a primary antivirus package such as TrendMicro, Norton,  or McAfee, you should also add a secondary layer of malware detection such as IOBit’s Advanced system Care 9, and/or Malwarebytes Anti Malware. 

            2.      Install password and antivirus protection on your smartphone.  AVG antivirus, Lookout      Security, Dr. Web Antivirus and other security and anti-malware programs are available for iPhone and Android. 

            3.      Online you should always look a gift horse in the mouth.  Never plug in a flash drive or install a free software program with which you are unfamiliar.  If you are looking for software that you can rely on as being malware free, check out the ratings on CNet or Tucows. Paying for a program in most cases eliminates the adware that often come with the free programs. Buying that app you like can help protect your smartphone.

       4.      Do not respond to online come-ons or email addresses to which you are unfamiliar.  Phishing is all too common to be ignored.  And it is much more insidious than you think.  I had to explain to a colleague the other day that the reason she was getting tons of emails but no follow up calls from a Craigslist ad she recently ran was due to the high probability that her ads were being responded to by people phishing for active email addresses that can be sold to spammers.  She has since insisted that interested parties phone her for more information.

      5.      Use common sense when posting on social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, FourSquare and Flickr.  Remember while it may only take you a few moments to post online, your words and images will be available for years to come.  Therefore it is likely that they could be called up by employers, officials, spammers, stalkers and identity thieves.

While the age of information warfare is not as daunting a threat as thermonuclear annihilation, it can be crippling to a business or governments.  In 2011,  Iranian officials found out to their chagrin how vulnerable they were to cyber attack when their computers became compromised by the Stuxnet virus. Like many individuals they found out the hard way that online security is not something you can take lightly.

If you would like to find more articles like this type in your key phrase in the search box at the top left of this blog. If you found this article useful, share it with your friends, families and co-works. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the comment sections below.  If you would like a free copy of our book, "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century", fill out the form below.




Since 1995, Carl Weiss has been helping clients succeed online.  He owns and operates several online marketing businesses, including Working the Web to Win and Jacksonville Video Production. He also co-hosts the weekly radio show, "Working the Web to Win," every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern on BlogTalkRadio.com.

Are Online Hitchhikers Taking Your Computer for a Ride?

The Hitch-Hiker
The Hitch-Hiker (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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By Carl Weiss


Nobody likes freeloaders, particularly on their computer.  The problem is every time you upload a free game or trial program you can also upload other applets and toolbars that you don’t necessarily want.  Not only do these unwanted hitchhikers take up valuable space on your computer, but they can also cause conflicts with other programs, slowing down or even causing your system to crash.  Below are a number of ways to clean up and speed up your system.

The Brute Force Approach


Brute Force (video game)
Brute Force (video game) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
From time to time it is necessary to take an inventory of the software on your system in order to decide how to lighten the load.  On Windows 7 this means either hitting All Programs on the Start Menu or the Programs and Features option on Control Panel.  Take a few moments to scan the list of programs for unused or unwanted programs to uninstall.  Don’t make the beginners mistake of merely erasing the icon from the desktop, as this will delete the shortcut only.  When uninstalling you may receive a message stating that uninstalling the package may remove a file shared by another program.  Always keep these files just to be on the safe side.  They don’t take up much space anyway.

Another way to free up some needed hard drive space is to click on My Computer and run down the list of programs, mousing over files to determine file size.  If you have any video editing packages on your machine, they may create render files that can eat up large chunks of space.  Once you are finished posting the videos, you should eliminate these files. Some video packages also create other media files when importing video that can gobble up enormous amounts of space.  Find and eliminate them as well.

Downloads and Temp Files


Downloading is Prohibited!
Downloading is Prohibited! (Photo credit: Oliver Hine)
Another two items that eat up a ton of space are download and temp files.  These are created whenever you install a program from the internet or import an attachment from your email.  By clicking on the Start Menu and the Documents Tab you will find the Downloads tab.  Click on this to see all the junk that you have accumulated there.  Once you have installed any software package, you should remove the installer.  If you have finished reading an attachment or have moved it to another folder, why keep the ghost of emails past locked away in the download folder.  Give it the boot.  You would be surprised at how much space this will free up.

The Temp Tab under My computer is another place to dig for buried treasure.  You would be surprised at how many old video clips and long forgotten file folders are languishing in this techno-landfill.  Time to take out the trash.

Don’t want to take the time and trouble to do all of the above yourself?  No problem.  By clicking on My computer and right clicking on the C: drive, you can activate Disk Clean, which will automatically assess and purge unneeded files from your system.  Don’t be surprised if the number of junk files it identifies are in the thousands.  Terminate with extreme prejudice.

Automating the Process


Aproaching Automation
Approaching Automation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There are also packages available online that can automate the cleanup process.  One of them is Advance System Care, which is a package from IOBit that protects, repairs, cleans and optimizes your PC.  This free software not only frees up space and speeds up your system, but it also fixes your registry, scans and removes spyware, malware and adware.  Best of all, you don’t need to be an IT professional to use it.  Simply install and click on Scan Now and then Repair Now and ASC does the rest.  Since I started using it weekly, I have eliminated software conflicts and the appearance of the dreaded Blue Screen of Death.

Whatever it Takes


If you are tired of putting up with a PC that is slow or that crashes regularly, it’s time to identify and evict unwanted hitchhikers.  Whether you purge your system manually or automate the process, it’s time to give freeloaders the boot.

If you would like to find more articles like this type in your key phrase in the search box at the top left of this blog. If you found this article useful, share it with your friends, families and co-works. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the comment sections below.  If you would like a free copy of our book, "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century", fill out the form below.


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Since 1995, Carl Weiss has been helping clients succeed online.  He owns and operates several online marketing businesses, including Working the Web to Win and Jacksonville Video Production. He also co-hosts the weekly radio show, "Working the Web to Win," every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern on BlogTalkRadio.com.