Run Your Business on Your Second Computer

virus[1]Can you remember when you had only one computer? If your answer is; “What do you mean? I have only one computer now.” You are welcome to stop reading here and start shopping. If you do have a second computer, you are welcome to skip the next two paragraphs or read them for your edification.

If you need some advice about buying your second computer, here’s something quick and easy. Buy as much processor speed and memory (horsepower) as you can afford. Get a large screen (again – to the limit of your budget.) Excessive horsepower and huge display dimensions translate into satisfaction that lasts a whole lot longer. There’s more to say on this topic, but you are better off running out to buy something now.
So, go. Get something good, and set it up just like your main business computer, same software, same online data storage access, same cloud-based backup system, etc. Yes, there may be exceptions. But, anything you don’t put on this computer now (like your accounting software, etc.), you’ll have to install later, if disaster strikes.

Assuming we don’t have to go into details about your cloud-based backup plan… You do have that, right? Let’s talk about running your business on the new, “plan B” computer. You really MUST be able to do this, to reap the full benefit of this plan.

If you are wondering what is the point to all of this, I’ll make it for you here. When your main computer fails, you should be able to take it in stride. Or, at least not have it completely ruin your day – given that you can continue to do business on your second computer, while you ponder the cost of repairs to, or replacement of, the original workhorse. Is there an equine theme running through this? Need a break, yet? Now comes the hard part!

You need to make your second computer as close to a clone of your main business computer as possible. Ideally, you would have a second computer in your office that you can simply turn on if your main computer fails. Yes, that’s pretty difficult to achieve. It can be done, but more likely is the prospect of creating some reasonable facsimile for this purpose. This is where that cloud-based storage comes in handy! If you are not using Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, or even Carbonite, let’s talk soon. Backup is essential to the survival of your business.

With your second computer in place, you must now conduct regular fire drills. That means every once in a while, perhaps as often as once a week, or at least, once a month, you have to fire up the “plan B” computer and work with it for as long as it takes to convince you that you could, indeed, run your business there. Yes, I’m serious. You need to run your email, open some files, do what you do until you feel pretty confident that you could just keep chugging away at what you do.

Full disclosure: At last count, I think I have ten working computers and I could run my business on at least four of the ten. Three of them have the kind of power and speed I need for my work. And, at least three of them could be substituted for the first three (but, I would curse the lack of performance!) An extreme example, to be sure, but I almost cannot remember when I didn’t have at least two computers. You have to decide if you can live (and work) without your main computer. If your answer is “no”, create “plan B.”

A Blogging Primer for Adults – Extracted from Rouzell

A Blogging Primer for Adults

Here we will begin to explore the value of blogging for people with a lot of history to share. The purpose here is encourage our elders to “put down in words” the experience they have to share with the world. If we fail in doing so, I fear we will lose an opportunity to learn so many lessons from our greatest natural resource – people who have something interesting to share!

Just so we don’t close without a few words to illustrate these lessons, we offer this:

Blogging is a term you can look up using Google or Wikipedia, but here is what you will find: A blog is short for weblog – meaning a place on the web for writing your journal entries. Think of it as a kind of electronic memoir site, where you can write anything you are thinking about that day, or memories from a time long ago; anything you think might be interesting to your readers. The key is to have fun and use your collection of experiences to tell stories and entertain yourself and others.

Search “blog” and Wikipedia will tell you it is a portmanteau – woo hoo! Search “blog” on Google and you’ll find (at least) dozens of sites that are hoping to be the host site for your memoirs.

Come back here for more advice on how to get started. We’ll steer you straight and give you the honest truth about how to get started the right way. In our next post, we’ll discuss some of the websites you can use to get started for free. And, we’ll talk about how you make a good choice, based on your needs.

Brian Rouley – Rouzell Enterprises (Becoming Mousehelp Communications)

A Big Fan of Expressions

Mousehelp at Rouzell may soon become Mousehelp Communications

Why the change? It’s a simple and very complex answer. Let’s just say that Mousehelp does so much more than computer support. Communications is so much more.

Searching for the expression about a shoemaker’s children, I found details on several sources. Since I suffer this malady (or some of my websites do), I thought to mention it and perhaps ask other website makers how they manage to maintain their own sites while working on client sites.

As goes the expression, my websites need “new shoes.” This one (Rouzell.net) should be my first target, but it may be relegated to the archives soon. Most likely, Rouzell will fade away and simply be replaced by Mousehelp.

Having run rouzell.net through a speed test, I’ve found it scores well below the majority of sites and one speed test ranks it with a solid “D” for Performance grade. Sheesh!

On the upside, my Mousehelp Web Design is faster than 99% of the sites tested by this service.

NextDoor or Alignable?

Which is best, which do you like best?

Here we will discuss the value and benefit of each to your business. At first blush, I’m guessing that Nextdoor will benefit service providers focused on homeowners and Alignable will be better for businesses who provide B2B services. I’ll be making a list and checking it twice, guessing that both networks turn out to be nice!

Networking With People

That may sound funny, but sometimes you have to say it that way. If you just say networking, it could mean at least a few other things to technical people, or social media enthusiasts, or to people who don’t meet new people face-to-face. English has so many ambiguities!

What I’m talking about, more specifically, is the networking you do where you show up to meetings that are prearranged and attended by basically the same group of people every time. For me, this is a combination of groups. Sunrise Marketing on Tuesday, Desert Networking Professionals on Wednesday, Toastmasters Thursday, and I’m invited to another networking group on Friday mornings. These are all morning meetings. And, that’s a lot of time to commit to being with people on a regular basis. Taken in total, it has the potential to consume around six to ten hours per week of what might otherwise be productive time.

While I could go on about the number of clients, and the new business I’ve been able to find through this method, I would rather focus on the wonderful personal and professional connections I’ve made. In the end, one drives the other. People who know me, like me, trust me – those who have met me via the “networking with people” approach, are far more likely to send referrals and people they know to me for the services I provide.

 

Original post: Published on: Jan 22, 2014

Updated April 9, 2017.

Another Day, Another Bug

Image source: https://stixproject.github.io/documentation/idioms/maec-malware/

An article I posted on Facebook a few years back led me to Ars Technica, where I found this report. Where they are simultaneously lauding Microsoft’s Windows 10 and detailing how this bug works, they cite reports by McAfee and FireEye.

Quoting the article on McAfee:

We strongly suggest Office users take the following actions to protect or mitigate against this zero-day attack before Microsoft issues an official patch. We notified the Microsoft Security Response Center as soon as we found the suspicious samples, and we will continue to work with them to protect Office users.

  •  Do not open any Office files obtained from untrusted locations.
  •  According to our tests, this active attack cannot bypass the Office Protected View, so we suggest everyone ensure that Office Protected View is enabled.

Here is a link to the full article. Question for you techies, Will McAfee ever live down its reputation? Now that Intel owns this security software, is it legit?

And from the post on FireEye:

FireEye email and network products detect the malicious documents as: Malware.Binary.Rtf.

Attack Scenario

The attack involves a threat actor emailing a Microsoft Word document to a targeted user with an embedded OLE2link object. When the user opens the document, winword.exe issues a HTTP request to a remote server to retrieve a malicious .hta file, which appears as a fake RTF file. The Microsoft HTA application loads and executes the malicious script. In both observed documents the malicious script terminated the winword.exe process, downloaded additional payload(s), and loaded a decoy document for the user to see. The original winword.exe process is terminated in order to hide a user prompt generated by the OLE2link.

The vulnerability is bypassing most mitigations; however, as noted above, FireEye email and network products detect the malicious documents. Microsoft Office users are recommended to apply the patch as soon as it is available.

How Mousehelp at Rouzell Does SEO

Image source: http://www.azquotes.com/quote/1364409

Where does one begin with applying SEO techniques? Is SEO a noun, a verb, a person? I’ve heard the term used in so many ways!

What it is is an acronym, which stands for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Even that expansion does little to enhance one’s understanding. We are NOT optimizing search engines. We optimize the content on your site so the search engines can understand the value of your web pages and provide links to same for people searching for the topic of your pages. Does that help? You tell me.

OK, enough on that. Let’s move on. How I do SEO is quite simple. I look for key words and phrases (and images) on your pages, then build links to other pages based on those words and phrases. For example, if your site is all about, let’s say, pet care, you might have pages on training, grooming, feeding, or perhaps even pet-sitting or boarding pets. There are five potential targets for new links, and if you have a page that discusses each of those topics, links to those pages would be created for those words and phrases on the home page.

OK, new example: See the phrase above that says, “SEO is quite simple?” I’ve highlighted that phrase and I’ve linked it to another post on this site. When search engines send their spiders to crawl the web, they will find that link and add it to their list of pages that discuss that topic. If I do this same thing in enough places, eventually, my content should rise in the ranking on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Yes, I just did the same thing for SERPs. By the way, that “spiders” link above takes you to my original experiment on ranking mousehelp at the top of the SERPs.

Maybe you are wondering about how we factor Social Media into all of this? Well, this post is just one example. Now, I’ll go share a link to this post on Facebook (in two places), then it goes to Twitter and then…. This is a subject for another post, another day, perhaps.

Adding Your Yahoo! Email Account To Outlook 2016

Hint: It’s not automatic. Too bad Microsoft didn’t buy Yahoo! Way back when, in 2008….

For now, here’s what you’ll need to know to get it set up the right way in Outlook 2016.

Don’t even try to choose Auto setup…. Check that box at the bottom left and click, Next >yahoo-email-setup-0

 

 

 

 

 

On the POP and IMAP screen, add your name and server details, as shown below. Copy and paste your email address, as it is also your User Name in line 6. Then, click “More Settings…” at the bottom.

yahoo-email-setup-1

On the Outgoing Server tab, check the box next to, My outgoing server….yahoo-email-setup-2

 

On the Advanced tab, choose SSL from both drop-down menus and double-check the port numbers are as shown here.

 

 

8 Tips for Do-It-Yourself SEO

Image source: https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo

Image source: https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo

Searching for Do-It-Yourself SEO Tips?

Here are 8 Tips for Do-It-Yourself SEO – written by someone who will do it for you….

If you have the time and motivation, you may be able to
avoid the cost of hiring an SEO consultant or agency.
Post good content, with appropriate links!

How to do SEO yourself:

  1. Before you jump into Keyword Research, think about your target audience.
    • Consider what phrases someone might put into their search tool when they need your product or service. Example: “Palm Springs Vacation Rentals” should be a good keyword target, if indeed, you offer rental properties in Palm Springs.
    • If you are selling pet supplies in Palm Desert, then it seems logical you should target “Palm Desert pet supplies” as a keyword in your strategy.
    • Remember, people searching for your product or service don’t know your business name, so use what you are selling to create your keyword lists.
  2. How do you think people will search for your product or service?
    • Obviously, we are going to focus our attention on what Google can do for you.
    • There are other search tools out there that can help with your SEO efforts, e.g., Bing and Yahoo.
  3. Consider the layout and navigation of your website. Sensible links get “SEO juice.”
    • A clean, easy to navigate website, with links to pages that are named with Keywords will also help Google to understand what your site is all about.
    • Sensible links means making sure that the link you create lands on a page about that topic. Your website visitors and Google will appreciate this consideration.
  4. Post new articles – on a blog, or update pages on your site, regularly.
    • It cannot be said too often. You have to create content with links back to your site.
    • Updates to your site’s pages are also seen by Google as fresh material, to be sure to re-index your site and keep your pages current. Change is good for SEO.
  5. Use Social Media to build an audience and amplify your message distribution (channels.)
    • “Sharing is caring.” It also puts your links in the hands of many more people.
    • The value of Social Media to your SEO efforts is immeasurable. One good post shared by hundreds or thousands of people can really help with getting attention.
  6. Explore other online sites for opportunities to share e.g. Alignable, Medium, Quora.
    • You can do a search on “guest posting opportunities” too.
    • There are probably dozens of places that make sense for your brand to be seen on websites with like-minded readers. Just one post shared by many will boost your SEO juice.
    • Consider posting well-crafted replies on some of the larger sites, like Huffington Post, Forbes, Fortune, Inc., Entrepreneur, or any other publication in a genre similar to your business.
  7. Explore Google’s resources for SEO best practices.
    • This should go without saying, but Google offers a ton of good advice on how to boost your SEO.
    • Google also owns YouTube, so using Video advertising for your business will truly amplify your reach across a wider audience.
    • Again, search for “how to use video to promote my business” and you’ll find a wealth of information from myriad sources.
  8. Learn as much as you can from online SEO resources, like Moz, Search Engine Land, etc.
    • Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list of SEO resources, so, you are on your own to continue this education process.
    • There are nearly nine million results (at this moment) for a search on: “how can I learn to do SEO” So, there should be no limit to what you can learn, with enough time and motivation.
    • If you like my writing, come on over to moushelp.org, where I’ve documented my journey through learning SEO and applied it directly to this website.

TFA (Two-Factor Authentication) a.k.a., 2FA

google-2fa

Something I mentioned in answer to a question about hacked websites and hacked Gmail this morning, while I thought it relatively new, has (now that I think about it….) been around for many years! By that, I mean decades. Way back when, before the Internet was known to so many people, we had really cool two-factor authentication services up and running at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, in Sunnyvale, CA.240px-lockheed-logo_winnie-mae

So, enough with the history, already….

Today, you can find many purveyors of this security feature. Below, I’ve included links to two articles on Google’s offering and two articles on Apple’s versions. Enjoy!

LifeHacker’s Article on TFA

Another LifeHacker Article on TFA

Two-factor authentication for Apple ID

And, one more, from Apple….

Security How-To: Enable two-factor authentication on iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan