How To Turn Your Google Accounts Into Fort Knox

Online services become more important to everyday life with each passing day.  Your email accounts are the keys to all your online kingdoms. Your Facebook page, Twitter stream, and even your bank are all registered using one or more of your email accounts. If you’re selling goods or services, email is often the most important avenue for your online marketing strategies. It’s common for the average email user to use the same password across most or all their accounts to make them easier to manage. However, using the same password on multiple accounts can set you up for disaster.

Gmail is one of the most popular email providers in the world. Because Google uses the same login information for all their services, keeping your Gmail account safe is vital for internet security. If you’re using Gmail and associated Alphabet accounts for your business or personal email, use these handy tips to secure them properly.

Check Connected Apps and Sites

It’s convenient to connect various applications, websites, and cloud services to your Google account. It makes it easier to log in, and easier to collect important information in one place. However, having many connected accounts increases the amount of damage that can result from a security breach. The first step on your path to a truly secure Google account is to review all your accounts on the Connected Apps page.  Be sure to remove any services you don’t use anymore. This will limit login access to your account, and that will lower your security risk.

Look at Device Activity

You probably use multiple devices to work on your various Google accounts. This is especially true if you use your email account for your online marketing strategies. Visit Recently Used Devices. From this page, you can view a list of all the computers and mobile devices that have access to your account. It’s smart to revoke permissions from any device that you don’t use for your account anymore. In addition to reviewing and managing access to your account, the Recently Used Devices page also lets you choose when and how you get email and text alerts for suspicious activity.

Use Two Factor Authentication

Two Factor Authentication is the best way to secure your Google accounts. When you use two factor authentication, you make a fundamental change to the way your account is secured. You still use your regular password, but Google also archives a second identifier like your mobile phone number. A mobile phone number allows Google to send you a PIN that verifies a second layer of login security on your account. This is very helpful if you travel often, and need to log on to your accounts from different devices in faraway places. On your everyday computer, logging in and out of your Google account still will only require your password.

Use Passphrases Instead of Passwords

Passwords strategies are as numerous as passwords. Everyone, whether an expert or a novice at computer security, has a favorite method for writing and remembering passwords. The most common method is to mix up numbers, letters and symbols, and to use both upper and lower case letters. Complex passwords made from random letters, numbers, and symbols are much harder for hackers to crack, but they’re no good if you can’t keep track of them. Instead of using a single, convoluted password, try using a passphrase. Passwords like “S3l3ct10n” are more difficult to remember than “My Glasses Have 2 Tinted Lenses!” Any password that contains dictionary words is less secure than a purely random set of characters. However, a long passphrase is more secure than a short string of random characters, and easier to remember.

Use a Password Manager

If you have too many passwords to remember easily, try a password manager like LastPass, Dashlane, or Zoho Vault. These services plug in to your browser, and they automatically fill in usernames and passwords across all of your sites. These services are invaluable for online marketing strategies where your usernames and passwords can really stack up. Each of these services offers a free plan, and they’ll work on almost any browser, so you’re sure to find one that works for you.

Your connected Google accounts contain a treasure trove of valuable information. Hacker understand that access to your email account can mean access to all your accounts. Smart password management on your email account is the first step to make all your accounts as secure as Fort Knox. Luckily, with many different security features available, securing your account is easier than ever before.

5 Fast Ways To Tell if an SEO Company Is Right For You

Everyone with a business knows that the internet is important. No matter what kind of business you’re in, potential customers are searching for you online. If they can’t find you, they can’t buy what you’re selling. That’s why Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important. Simply having a website is no longer enough. There’s too much competition to simply set up your website and forget it. You need professional help to boost your visibility online. That’s why help from an SEO agency is a must for a modern business. But how do you know how to hire an SEO agency ?  It’s hard to ask questions about a process that seems pretty mysterious to most outsiders. We’ve assembled a list of 5 fast ways to tell if an SEO company is right for you.

They Value Transparency

Transparency is the first thing you should look for when you’re evaluating a potential SEO agency. There are a lot of ways to boost a website online. A lot of them aren’t ethical, and could lead to big trouble for you down the road. A good SEO agency only uses White Hat SEO techniques to boost your website. What’s White Hat SEO?

In the online  world, techniques for moving your website up the search engine rankings are divided into White Hat and Black Hat. In old western movies, the directors wanted to signal to the audience who was a bad guy, and who was a good guy. They put black hats on the bad guys, white hats on the good guys, and the description stuck. You want an SEO company that wears a white hat.

A reputable SEO agency will have no problem explaining exactly how they plan to optimize and boost your website. It’s hard work, and it has a lot of moving parts, but there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be able to explain exactly what they’re up to, and how it will help you. White Hat means transparency. Demand it from your SEO company.

They Track Results

Once you’re satisfied that an SEO company is trustworthy, the next thing you want to look for is the ability to track and show results. It takes time to achieve SEO goals, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to track your progress.  Ask your prospective SEO service what kind of analytics and ranking reports they will provide, and how often they will provide them. SEO work is an art and a science, but it can be measured. Make sure it’s going to be measured for you.

They Work To Understand Your Business

So far, you’ve been asking all the questions. That’s important, of course, but if you don’t receive a lot of questions about your business in return, it’s unlikely that an SEO agency will be able to help you. Why? Because one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to the business world.

A successful online marketing campaign requires a lot of information about your business to succeed. If the company doesn’t try to understand your business, and your customers, they won’t have any idea how to properly attract the kind of customers your business needs.

They Work With You

You think you’re hiring someone to help you with your website. That’s only half the work. SEO companies do important technical work that makes your website more attractive to search engines, and that’s very important. However, a really good SEO firm will work symbiotically with you to boost your business, not just your online presence.

Don’t settle for SEO companies that only know about SEO work. To them, the website is the product. Ask a prospective SEO agency what kind of experience they have in boosting a business, not just a website. If they can’t answer, they can’t help you.

They Cover All the Bases

It’s easy to think that SEO agencies can be ranked as either good or bad, and try to choose a “good” one. That might be too simplistic. It’s probably more useful to look for an agency that provides a good fit for you and your business. Improvements in online visibility don’t happen overnight, so you’re going to be dealing with your SEO company for a long while. That makes it doubly important that you feel comfortable with their approach. If an agency brings some good qualities to the table, but is lacking in others, you’ll find that your campaign will stall after a short while. Choose an SEO agency that combines transparency, accountability, business acumen, easy communication, and a holistic approach.

If you’d like to learn more about how SEO marketing can help your business, contact Nimbus Marketing today for a free, low-pressure consultation. You’ll be glad you did!