Google chrome browser will soon flag every site that doesn’t use HTTPS encryption. Starting in July, with the launch of Chrome 68, Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as ‘not secure’ and prominently highlight this in its URL bar.
It is possible to backup your domain emails from your web mail account to ensure you do not loose those important information that are very crucial to your business. There is is no fee required to do this, just your gmail account and your web mail account account.
SSL certificate is the gateway to secure online commerce. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and its purpose is to encrypt data that is send between the browser and the site’s servers. You can check whether SSL certificate is installed on a site by looking for the secure protocol. Sites that begin with https:// have the certificate installed and are thus considered secure, while sites that begin with http:// are not. Secure sites have a padlock sign on the url that has important information about the site.
Every second on the internet, several new websites are created and uploaded to the web space. Finding an ideal domain name has now become such a daunting task that you don’t even know what to call your new site because most of the time your preferred name is not available. Good news is that searching for a domain name will only take a click of a button especially if you already have several names in mind.
When you buy a domain name, your registrar gives you the option to choose a term ranging from 1 year to 10 years. Domain names renew annually at the same time depending on the duration of your term. Depending on your registrar, you can set your domain to renew automatically once the term expires. Most registrars will send you reminders when your domain name expiry date draws close. However, people still forget to renew their domains upon expiry.
Buying a domain name is not always as easy as typing in a desired name on a domain seller and then placing an order for it. Sometimes, the address you want has already been reserved by someone else and getting it will require a little extra work. Apart from domain auction sites, you can buy a reserved domain name directly from the seller!
Are you planning to start building your online presence but do not have enough money to buy hosting? The good news is that you do not need to worry. You can always start where you are. If you can have free beer during happy hour, free bundles and free talk time, you can also get free web hosting services to get you started.
Bandwidth Limit Exceeded or Error 509 is a common error on the webspace. This error means that your site is receiving too much traffic than the host can allow, depending on the plan/package that you have purchased.
Every website requires some virtual space where files and emails can be stored. This space is called hosting. If you are thinking of building a new site, the first thing you buy is a domain name and then server hosting. When someone searches for your site, it has to be retrieved from your host’s servers. The amount of bandwidth you purchase will depend on the number of files you intent to upload to your site...
5 factors to consider when choosing a data backup provider
1. Your needs
How much data you are willing to lose will determine how frequently you backup your data. Daily backups means you can lose a day’s worth of data. Weekly backup means you can lose a week’s worth of data among others. If you are transacting every hour, it is prudent to create hourly backups, which translates to more storage space.
It is also important to note that some industries have to comply with specific regulations. If you are in such an industry, ensure that the vendor is compliant.
Different providers charge differently for their storage services. Conduct a price comparison against features so you do no compromise on other important factors such as reliability, uptime and reputation. There are two pricing strategies namely pay-as-you and fixed.
Ensure that your provider offers encryption of data from your computer to their data centers. In addition, no third parties should have access to the centers including the vendor’s employees. They should also be able to secure your data with a secure username and password.
4. Reliable support desk
You need a provider who will be able to pick your calls, answer your mails and help you troubleshoot problems.
Conduct a background check to see whether they have a clean score card. Ask them the right questions, seek recommendations from friends and industry insiders and also read reviews from current or former clients. It is also important to ensure that the vendor has the right certification to offer that service.
In conclusion, when shopping for a backup provider ensure that they are available, flexible and reliable. However, remember that even big firms such as Amazon can go down sometimes and so it is good to store your data in multiple locations for maximum security.
Everybody, whether as an individual or company, needs to take care of their data. Your personal certificates, photos, notes, work history, music, client lists, supplier database among others are just some of the data that you do not want to lose. When it comes to security, it all begins with a solid backup plan.
Data protection involves three main stages namely; backup, retrieval plan and time taken to complete these processes. Backup alone does not provide the full protection but the first step towards data protection. It only offers a solution to make it available in case the original files have problems. Data can be corrupted or lost, and this is where backup comes in handy. It is easier to restore lost or corrupted data if there is another copy of it somewhere.
The web space is full of threats and a simple security glitch can cost you millions. An employee, accomplice or third party can decide to attack your website you can lose everything. Website backup is a kind of insurance cover for your website. It is a plan that keeps your website up during times of uncertainties. Backing your website up means keeping another copy on a different location so as to limit interruptions in case of unforeseen circumstances.
What does your domain name say about you?
When you want to build a website, the first thing you need to buy is a domain name. Domain name is your unique identifier on the internet. Everybody who wants to use your services will find you through this address. A web address mainly contains your domain name and the protocol. It should be short and memorable, but just like Google.com, it doesn’t have to make sense.
Finding a good domain is not easy. You may think that because you already have registered your business, you will just use the same name for your website. Well, if you are lucky things will be easy for you. However, the web space is large and good domain names are scarce. You may find that your preferred address was registered even before you knew there was something called internet.
Currently, almost all one-word .com domains are gone. The global population is swelling and more people are registering new websites every day, leading to the demise of all two-letter, three-letter and four-letter domains. Most of these domains are just on packing waiting for a potential buyer.
You can try looking up these domain names using your country TLD such as aaaa.co.ke. Some of these domains are available on auctions.
A domain name comprises two components; TLD and your unique address. Traditional domain extensions such as .com, .net, .org, .edu, .or, .org, .gov are few and crowded. If your preferred .com domain name is already taken, it is advisable to check if the .net or .org is available. There are also new generic TLDs such as .ninja, .me, .biz among others. You can also try country code TLDs such as .ke or .co.ke.
Domain names appreciate with time, just like in real estate. The owner of your preferred domain name may not be interested in the website at all, just waiting for the price to go up. You can find whether it is on sale on auction sites.
If you cannot come up with a good name, get ideas on auction sites or website sellers. People have bought domains with a high authority while others have bought websites that were already be making money!
Malware attacks can dislodge you completely and destroy years of your hard work in a split second. When you have the right malware protection program, you will be able to browse without fear of attack. Malware protection tools have been designed differently for different users. There are some that work alone while others work better with your regular anti-virus software.
Below are some of the best free anti-malware software in the market today:
#1: BitDefender free edition
This software has a free and paid version. It works silently on the background except when giving important alerts. The upside of this freeware is that it scans your PC as soon as it boots, checks suspicious links, apps, malware and spyware on your PC eliminating any kind of risk and security threat. For more advanced options, consider buying BitDefender Antivirus Plus.
#2: AVG Antivirus Free
This is not as silent as BitDefender as it keeps giving you updates on your security status. However, it has a user-friendly interface that allows you to even scan your PC remotely from your mobile phone. AVG offers protection against downloadable threats and links, and has a paid version for more advanced protection features.
#3: MalwareBytes Anti-Malware
This is a premium software that gives you a 14-day free protection against threats. The program updates daily and is thus able to offer real-time protection against new threats.
#4: Adaware Antivirus Free
This tool works perfectly with your regular anti-virus program and offers great defense against evasive malware. It also offers protection by scanning downloads, links as well as analysing programs on the background to detect threats.
#5: Spybot Search & Destroy
This is a freeware tool for Windows. It scans, removes and modifies malware to offer total protection even if your files have been altered.
This software works by creating a backup of your registry, confirming if Windows Recovery Console is installed on your PC and then scans your system fixing threats. Any threat that cannot be fixed is listed in the scan log for manual removal.
If your browser is infected with malware, it may redirect your search to unwanted sites, force you to install wallpapers on your homepage or display annoying ads that won’t go away. Some of these ads are riddled with spyware and other malicious software. Torrent sites are the vectors for malware attacks. They will give you free movies, audio books, games and music but leave you with spyware.
When someone offers to give you something for free, you need to ask yourself what is in it for them. If they just seem friendly and benevolent, run for your life. That could be a bait to get onto your browser or computer.
These tips will help you to remove malware from your browser:
1. Run an anti-malware software to detect infection and neutralize threats. Even the best anti-virus programs can fail to detect dangerous spyware on your browser. To be sure, combine your anti-virus with secondary scanners such as SuperAntiSpyware, Ad-Adware, Spybot Search, Malwarebytes and Destroy.
2. Clean up your browser. The following steps will help clean up your browser:
a. Remove toolbars that you do not use. Remove downloadable toolbars and clutter or just stick to known browsers such as Chrome and Yahoo. To remove unwanted toolbars from Explorer and Mozilla, right-click on the toolbar to display menu and then deselect all unwanted ones.
b. Remove add-ons that you don’t need. Different browsers have different procedures for add-on removal. For Internet Explorer, go to Tools – Manage Add-ons _ All add-ons – right click to disable. On Firefox, go to the top-left corner, click the orange menu then Add-ons to remove the unwanted ones. On Chrome, go to settings – extensions then remove what you don’t use.
c. Browser-hijackers. On Internet Explorer, go to tools – Manage add-ons- search providers. On Firefox, click the search box and then go to Manage Search Engines. On Explorer, go to Tools – Manage Add-ons – Search Providers.
The web runs on adverts, so getting rid of them completely is not possible. However, your online behavior will determine how vulnerable you are. To be safe, it is advisable to avoid free downloads especially from suspicious websites.
Creating a great landing page for your business is not enough. You need to make sure that you are reaping maximum benefit from every visitor who lands there. Most website owners limit their site visitors’ activity by adding only pages on the services they offer. Here are 4 pages you should include on your site right now!
Websites have made it possible for businesses to connect to a global audience. It is likely that majority of the people who will land on your website do not know much about you. After clicking on a few pages, your visitors will be curious to know who you are and what you do. Once the search engines do their work of directing people to your site, offer them as much information as possible to make them stick around. Give them a reason to feel connected and desire to come back to your site.
Error 404 page
Deleted pages that have no 301 redirects always give the most dreaded error 404 page not found message. Instead of telling people that the page they are looking for is no longer available, give them something valuable to keep them browsing. A search bar, sitemap, resources including blog posts or alternative content are some of the ideas you could try.
Thank you page
This page is important in measuring goal completion. It should appear at the final stage of an event such as making a call, requesting for a quote, signing up, downloading a promotion material, entering a contest, check-out or even reading a page. The list of ideas is endless, but you can use this page to build your social following, cross sell or up-sell a product.
Do not leave a silent telephone number or email address on the site header. Contact pages are great locations for a creative call to action. Most people leave a contact form but you can make it social by adding your business email address and a working telephone number. Place a call to action here to boost conversions.
When creating a new website, it is important to ensure that it is both useful and easy to use. This is because the first time someone visits your site, they are likely to create an opinion based on that first experience. Here are 4 components of a great website:
The first impression is the lasting one and when it comes to websites, design outweighs content in creating first impression. Over 70 per cent users weigh your credibility based on your website design. A great design makes your website look usable as well as trustworthy. A friendly user interface is an important design element, so make your site easy to navigate.
Great web content
What will keep the visitors coming back to the website? A good design is not good enough. People will keep visiting if being there adds value to their lives. This is where great content comes in. What message do you want to pass to your unseen website visitors? Do you want to inspire, educate, inform, entertain, or persuade them in some way? This should reflect well in your website content. This can be in the form of text, video, image or infographic or a combination. If you are running an e-commerce site, you need to write clear descriptions of the things you are selling.
Call to action (CTA)
Now that people have come to your website, what next? You are likely to achieve your goals if you tell your site visitors what to do once they get there. This is a component that many site owners overlook yet its impact is great.
Measure your site success. After setting your goals, you need to monitor how visitors interact with your site. Analytics ell you whether you are making any progress in your digital journey and inspire modifications if any. You will be able to know who visits your site, from where, and how they found your site. You will also be able to see which page receives most views and which channels brings the most conversions so you can focus on what works and drop what doesn’t.
Malware is a term coined from the phrase “malicious software.” The software is designed as a code that runs on your browser without your knowledge and initiate activity that can either cause damage on your accounts, device or software. Once the software has bypassed your defense wall, the authors can log onto your website or account and commit a crime. Often, financial and identity theft are the two popular damages that arise from these kinds of attacks. You can download malware as a file attachment, browser extension, screen saver or torrent.
You may have received an email or instant message from a friend asking for money, but when you called them they did not have any idea how that happened. Perhaps you have been informed about a funny posting on your Facebook page that was only visible by other people. Malware takes advantage of your online missteps. If you clicked a funny link or play a deceptive game, you are likely
to be hit.
Here are the symptoms of malware attacks:
Symptoms of malware attacks
1. Pop-up window that won’t go away. This is one of the most common signs that you have malware. This may be in the form of a flashy advert that opens more pop-up windows when you click on the close button, fake software update alert, file download or funny advert content that is not related to your browsing history.
2. Your settings have been changed and/or administrator control revoked. If you log into your website or blog and find another administrator whom you did not add, you have been hit. sometimes the software will even change your email recovery address and deny you the opportunity to change the password.
3. Strange browser extensions that will not go away even after deletion.
4. Slow computer. With all the background activity running on your computer or browser, your computer is likely to slow down. Some programs may start crashing, and sometimes crash the entire computer system.
Keyloggers, spyware and worms are the popular types of malware. However, as technology advances so does malware evolve. Today, cybercriminals are deploying AI technology to circumvent cyber defense systems by launching evasive malware. These programs are hard to detect as they change their behavior depending on the status of your computer. They modify themselves so as to attack at the most opportune time. In order to avoid malware attacks, it is necessary to update your OS, browser, apps, and other software regularly. In addition, consider using newer computer/smartphone models.
1. LastPassThis is among the top-rated free password vaults. It has been around for over 10 years and can save passwords for MS Edge, Google Chrome, Safari, Opera and Mozilla. LastPass has he following features:
2. LogMeOnceThis is another top-rated password manager that is compatible with most browsers. It has the following features:
As long as you’re online, you’re a target of cyber-attack. Most attacks are automated and hence have no personal scores to settle, only IT savvy individuals trying to make a living. Here are
tips to keep you safe online:
1. Use a trusted anti-virus software. An anti-virus software will help detect suspicious software and activity on your computer and browser. If the software has advanced internet security features, it will detect scam websites and even prevent you from visiting or making transactions there.
2. Manage your passwords well. Generate a strong password by combine special characters and symbols from your keyboard. You can use online password generators to help you come up with a secure password. Remember not to share your password and be careful when inputting it as it can be captured on CCTV or by bystanders.
3. Create data backup. Save a copy of your important data in a secure location for backup in case of attacks or file corruption. This will help you to destroy what is available in case your
computer or server is infected.
4. Stay safe on social networks. Connect with the people you know. Avoid connecting with people whose profiles are new or do not have any mutual friends.
5. Check email attachments before opening. Most email services have spam and virus detectors, so allow it to run a check before opening. Ensure the email address is genuine before hitting the reply button or opening any links and attachments.
6. Avoid public networks. It is tempting to use that free wi-fi at the food court or coffee shops, yet such unsecured networks can be very dangerous to your privacy. You could be giving away your mobile number, passwords, private messages, photos, mobile contacts and email addresses to strangers by just logging into a public wi-fi. If you visit a cyber café or use another person’s computer, ensure you logout completely. If you suspect a breach, change your password and log out of all other device once you get home.
7. Use wo-step verification. This will ensure that nobody can access your accounts without the SMS verification code.
8. Stay safe on online shopping sites. The world is going e-commerce and soon it will be hard to avoid shopping online. Shop from secure shops whose domain contain https://. If possible, have a card designated for online shopping and don’t share your card number with anyone.
9. Stay updated. Keep updating your website, email, device and software. Old versions of software can contain vulnerabilities that can give a leeway to hackers. Upgrade your computer and phone. Run regular updates on your apps and OS.
If you have a self installed WordPress website then Botnets around the world have turned their attention from sending out spam emails to systematically hacking into WordPress installs; it’s a lucrative business given that WordPress powers 40% of all blogs.
They usually make use of brute force attack method on your admin page using the username admin. If you usually leave your default WordPress username as admin and make use of a simple password susceptible to a dictionary attack, then you are at a high risk of having your WordPress installation hacked into by one of these numerous bots.
There exists a number of ways to protect your WordPress site against these forms of attacks, and here they are:
Limit login attempts
You can make use of this incredible yet free plugin called Limit login attempts that enables you to set the limit of the number of log in attempts one can make over a given period of time on a given IP. With this plugin, you can limit the number of failed log ins to any desirable number and even set an IP ban for a specified time when a set number of failed log ins is triggered from that IP.
You can even configure it to automatically email you a notification when any given IP is locked out a number of times and gets a ban. A log of all failed log in attempts is also saved by this plugin and it might surprize you just how many times automated bots try to carry out a brute force attack on your WordPress site once the log file begins to accumulate.
Install Google two-step authenticator
If you already have two-step authentication enabled for your Gmail account or other services, you can use the same authenticator app with this plugin for WordPress.
Take Regular Backups
It is always good practice to take regular backups of your WordPress installation through zipping and downloading all WordPress files on your site and also exporting a copy of your current database.
Take daily or weekly backups depending on how often you update your website so that you always have a recent backup of your entire WordPress website. Incase of a successful attack on your website, you can always re-upload your previous backup to minimize any downtime and or stress associated with trying to recover from a badly damaged WordPress installation.
Delete Unused Plugins and Themes
The less executable code you have on your server, the better – remove the chance of having old, vulnerable code by deleting themes and plugins you’re not using anymore. Disabling them will simply stop their functionality loading with WordPress, but the code itself may still be executable by a hacker.
Remove The “admin” Account
Most brute-force attacks on WordPress involve repeatedly trying the admin account – the default for all WordPress installs – and a dictionary of common passwords. If you either login with admin or have the admin account listed in your user table, you’re vulnerable to this.
Two ways to fix it: either use wp-optimize plugin – a great plugin that amongst other things, allows you to disable post revisions and perform database optimization – to rename admin account. Or simply create another account with admin privileges, log in as the new user, then delete the “admin” account assign all the posts to your new user.
Even if you have disabled the admin account, it may be possible to identify the username of your administrator account – at which point you’re vulnerable to a brute force attack again. Enforce a strong password policy of 16 or more random characters consisting of upper and lower case, punctuation and numbers.
Always ensure that you have the latest version of WordPress installed at all times. This also applies to plugins that you may have installed. Updates majorly contain bug fixes, performance enhancements and most importantly security updates that help to seal up any loopholes that might have been recently discovered in the system.
If you manage plenty of WordPress and or Joomla websites, there is usually an occasion when you try to access their admin panel and can’t seem to recall the password you used. The worst case is when you can’t make use of the password reset options since you are either running the installation on a local server that is not configured to send out mails or you don’t have access to the default email where a password reset URL will be submitted to, so what do you do now?
Luckily if you have access to the database then there is no need to worry, just follow the simple steps below.
Log on to phpMyAdmin and select the exact database that runs the WordPress installation whose access you want to gain.
Locate the wp_users table, each row on that table represents a single user; so if you only had one user admin set up for WordPress then you will locate only one row.
Select the edit option corresponding to the row/user you want to change his/her password.
On the user_pass field, copy the usually long string of characters and paste it on notepad or a text editor of choice. This is only necessary if you want to restore the old password for the user once you are done with the task you wanted to carry out on the admin panel.
Clear the string of characters on the user_pass field and type in a password of choice that you can easily remember, in my case: mypassword
On the Function field click on the drop-down menu then select MD5, once done click on Go to save your changes and you will notice that your clear text password will be converted to a string or random characters.
Now open your WordPress admin log in page and specify the username whose password you changed from the database and supply the password you provided without doubt this should work.
In a case that you are working on somebody’s installation and would like to revert back to the previous password which you did not have, simply go back to the WordPress database, and under the user_pass field where you specified your own password, erase the characters then paste back the initial characters you first copied to a text editor. This time do not select anything on the Function field since the password is not in clear text format but simply click on Go and you are done.
The above steps also apply to a Joomla database, only that in this case you will need to locate the *_users table to apply them. (* is determined by your specified DB prefix)
These days computing trend is shifting towards the Internet. With the introduction of cloud storage and cloud servers, users are increasingly moving towards the Cloud Storage and it has become an easier way to backup all your important data & files online where you can access them from anywhere in the world using an Internet connection.
Best of all, with Cloud Storage you can always rest assured that you have a ready backup of your crucial files should anything happen to your computer.
What is cloud storage?
Cloud storage is a model of networked enterprise storage where data is stored not only in the user's computer, but in virtualized pools of storage which are generally hosted by third parties and can be accessed from any computer over the internet.
There are many free and paid Cloud storage service providers where you can select them according to your need. Each Cloud Storage Provider have their own applications which can be used on Windows, MAC or Linux Operating Systems and even on iOS, Windows and Android Smartphone Operating Systems.
Here are 6 of the best known cloud storage services currently on offering:
Google Drive is a file storage service provided by Google Inc that is now integrated with the former Google Docs meaning that with it you can create, store and share your documents, spread sheets, presentations as well as upload files and photos from your mobile device and or computer.
You can edit your files in the Google drive itself collaborate with your team mates on any given file. It comes with an initial free 5GB of cloud space to start with. There are different plans to increase your cloud storage capacity from 25 GB to 16 TB. The Maximum file size allowed in Google Drive is 10 GB. Google Drive is available for PC and Mac, Chrome OS, Android devices, iPhone and iPad.
Dropbox is another well known and popular cloud storage provider in the present market. which was started in the year 2007. With it you can store your documents, photos and just about any file
In Dropbox you get 2 GB of Cloud space to start with and you can also increase it up to 18 GB by referring your friends, colleagues, etc (500 MB per referral). There is no file size limit to the files uploaded to Dropbox via the desktop application or mobile application and files you upload through the website must be 300 MB or less. You can also opt to purchase more storage when need comes.
File sharing options are available on Dropbox as well as folder sharing where you and a number of invited parties can have a common shared folder synced across all your devices. This feature is quite handy in a departmental set up where regularly updated files can be stored for easy access to anyone whose dropbox account is linked to that folder.
The Dropbox application is available for PC, Mac, iOS, Android and can also be accessed through the browser.
SkyDrive is a file hosting service offered by Microsoft where users can upload their files and Sync to cloud storage.The Initial release of SkyDrive is on August 1, 2007 and the Stable release is on August 14th 2012. SkyDrive offers 7 GB of free cloud storage space to start with.
You can also purchase additional storage if need be. As a direct counter against Google Docs merger with Drive, Microsoft added office web apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and One Note to SkyDrive, making it possible to create, edit and share Microsoft documents within your browser. SkyDrive allows up to 2GB single file size uploads which can be done via the SkyDrive desktop application.
Amazon Cloud Drive
Amazon Cloud Drive is a web storage service where you can store your important documents, Photos, Videos, and many more. This Service is provided by Amazon Inc and was started on March 29 2011. Amazon Cloud Drive provides 5 GB of cloud storage to start with and you can also increase the space by purchasing additional space, i.e 1 additional GB costs 1 USD per year.
The Amazon Cloud Drive supports a maximum file size up to 2 GB. If you purchase any song or MP3 from the Amazon store it is automatically stored on your cloud drive. The Amazon Cloud Drive supports a music application called Cloud Player where you can play all the music which is stored in your cloud drive from any PC or from your mobile phone through an internet connection.
iCloud is a Cloud storage service which is provided by Apple Inc. This service started on October 12 2011. iCloud allows users to store data, Music, iOS applications and many more. This service provides 5 GB of cloud storage to start with for users who own iOS or Mac devices.
The Maximum file size allowed in iCloud is 25MB for free users and 250MB for paid users. You can purchase additional space if need be. This service also allows users to back-up their iOS devices to iCloud. iCloud storage supports OS X, Microsoft Windows, and iOS.
Box is an online file storage and cloud management service. This service started in the year 2005. Box provides 5 GB of Free cloud storage to start with and you can also add additional space by purchasing it according to your needs.
The maximum file size allowed is 25MB. This service has an app available for mobile devices on Android, iOS, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone.
Dropbox vs Google Drive vs iCloud vs SkyDrive: the key info
Free space: 2GB
Premium space: $99/year for 100GB
File size limit: Unlimited
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, BlackBerry
Best for: Seamless syncing
Free space: 5GB
Premium space: $59.88/year for 100GB
File size limit: 10GB
Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android
Best for: Web apps
Free space: 5GB
Premium space: $100/year for 50GB
File size limit: 25MB free/250MB paid
Platforms: Mac, iOS, Windows
Best for: Heavy iTunes/Mac users
Free space: 7GB
Premium space: $50/year for 100GB
File size limit: 2GB
Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone
Best for: Windows/Office integrationFree space
So which one do you prefer?
Ever been in a situation where a work colleague, close friend or a relative asks to use your computer for a couple of minutes to either check something on the web or carry out a given task and you just can't say no even though you would rather not give in since you are worried that they might stumble upon a confidential file or folder should they decide to snoop around without your knowledge.
Its a fact that most people who own personal computers and or laptops usually have some confidential files stored in them and resort to just about any means to keep them hidden. Such means include creating a long directory tree and placing the files deep inside, renaming the files to something else that will not arouse curiosity or simply changing the file attributes to Hidden and memorizing the location of the file for future access.
While the above methods are effective to some degree, they are still nowhere near perfect and they always leave you looking over the shoulder of the one who has borrowed your machine just in case they get a bit adventurous. Worst yet, should you loose your machine in a theft incident, someone can easily gain access to your confidential files.
So how can one secure their files against prying eyes? Well, there exists quite a number of software out there that can aid you achieve this, however the best free option is one called TrueCrypt.
TrueCrypt is a lightweight free open source software that offers the following features:
Creates a virtual encrypted disk within a file and mounts it as a real disk.
Encrypts an entire partition or storage device such as USB flash drive or hard drive.
Encrypts a partition or drive where Windows is installed (pre-boot authentication).
Encryption is automatic, real-time (on-the-fly) and transparent.
Parallelization and pipelining allow data to be read and written as fast as if the drive was not encrypted.
Encryption can be hardware-accelerated on modern processors.
Provides plausible deniability, in case an adversary forces you to reveal your password
It is available for Windows, Linux and OS X operating systems and is quite simple to set up and configure.
For the most basic and or essential use of this application is to create a virtual encrypted disc where you can safely store all your confidential information and secure it with a strong password or better yet a Key File meaning that your encrypted data is almost impossible to decrypt without the correct password or key file.
Creating an Encrypted File Container
To get started simply download and install TrueCrypt on your machine.
Afterwards, run the application, click on the Volumes menu then select Create New Volume
On the Volume creation wizard window, leave the first option selected: Create an encrypted file container then click Next
On volume type select Standard TrueCrypt Volume
Specify the volume location of your encrypted file container, make sure it is a well hidden location that is not regularly accessed so as to avoid accidental deletion of the encrypted container. (Later on after creating it, it is recommended to locate the encrypted container and set its file attributes to hidden to avoid accidental deletion)
Memorize the location then click on Next
For encryption algorithm, simply leave it to the default AES or select your preferred choice from the drop down if you are knowledgeable then click Next
Set your preferred volume size then click on Next
Here set your preferred password, a minimum of 20 characters is recommended but you can choose to ignore the prompt if you want to stick to a shorter one. Additionally for added security, you can also choose to make use of a Key file which can be in the form of a .mp3, .jpg, .avi, or in any suitable file extension, but unlike your ordinary password, in event that you loose your key file or any bit of its first 1024 Kbits is either changed or damaged, you might permanently loose access to your encrypted data so only use key files with great caution.
Once you have set your password click on Next
In this step, specify the file system to be used to create the encrypted file container depending on your OS. Leave cluster to default then randomly move your mouse pointer several times over the window to generate strong encryption keys then finally click on Format
Depending on the size and speed of your computer, the format step duration can vary from a few seconds to several minutes. Once it is completed, a prompt will pop up and let you know.
You can now exit the wizard window and head back to the application's main window to mount your new encrypted container as a drive.
Mounting your encrypted container
To do so, open TrueCrypt then specify the location of your encrypted container. On the windows below, the location is at C:\users\edutchz\mna1 in which case mna1 is the name of my encrypted container.
Click on any empty drive letter say G: then click on Mount button at the bottom, on the pop up window that shows up, enter your password and or Key file if you made use of key files as well.
If your credentials are correct, your encrypted file container will be mounted as a drive and you can either double click on it or simply go to My Computer and locate it there listed among your drives.
You can then add, edit and remove files on your mounted encrypted container. Once you are done, go back to TrueCrypt, select the mounted drive from the list and click on dismount to close it.
Things to Note
After creating your encrypted file container, you can freely move it from one location to another or even store and mount if from a flash drive or external hard drive.
The encrypted file container has no extension and therefore windows will not recognize it and it will appear as a white icon with the name you specified. To avoid accidental deletions of the file, it is recommended you store it in a less frequently accessed location and if possible, memorize the location and set it's file attribute to hidden.
Always be extra cautious if you choose to make use of Key files. Loosing the key file, modifying it or having it damaged by a computer virus could mean permanent loss of all your secured data.
All mounted volumes are automatically dismounted every time you restart or switch off your computer without manually dismounting them.
Android is without doubt the largest mobile OS platform out there due to the fact that it is open source software and is developed and backed up Google. Unlike Apple’s iOS and Blackberry which are only restricted to run on their developer’s hardware, Android can be adopted by just any device manufacturer and incorporated into their own set of devices and this is what has made it very popular as consumers now get to experience and interact with Android across a plethora of devices.
Android being a Google backed system comes heavily integrated with Google services and features some of which are unknown to many users but quite useful and fun to use.
In this post we will be reviewing 2 such features, first one being Google Location history and the second being the remote ring feature to locate a misplaced device that is on silent mode.
Google Location History
Back in the day when Google Latitude (retired on August 9th, 2013) used to be the in thing where people could share their current locations using their GPS enabled devices so that friends and or family around could easily locate them, Google also had a location history feature that kept track of all the places where you had visited.
When Google latitude was retired, the location history feature was still retained and continues to live on in the shadows as it is receives little to no mention these days. If you have a GPS enabled Android device with Google location services enabled then head to: https://maps.google.com/locationhistory/b/0/ on your computer’s browser and sign in with your device’s default Gmail account (that is if you have multiple Gmail accounts on your device) and be amazed at how your phone has been 'secretly' tracking your everyday movements and relaying this data back to Google.
This might be a concern to some as you might have opted in to Google’s location services without a care in the world to read the T&C of what really goes on in the background without your knowledge.
On the Location history page you will find a rough estimate of all the locations you might have visited each day, you can select any date from the calendar on the top left to view the location data for any particular date.
Remote ring feature
Have you ever lost your phone someplace either in your car or house and it was on silent? Well you might feel out of lack since you will have to spend more time trying to locate your phone the hard way and probably end up even more frustrated.
If your phone has an active data connection then you might have one trick up your sleeve. Simply log in to the Google play store using your device’s default Gmail account then locate and click on the gear icon on the right end.
Select Android device manager from the drop down menu.
On this new page you have the option to Ring the device which will force your phone to ring at maximum volume for a period of 5 minutes even though it was on silent mode in the first place. Pretty cool feature don’t you think?
In today's world of rapid information sharing over the internet, people more than often stumble upon multiple blog articles and or news features of interest either while browsing the internet on their computers or on their mobile devices but it might not be possible to read each and every one of them at once. Keeping track of all these chunks of information then becomes a problem as most would love to have the chance to read the articles at a later time when they are more relaxed and have plenty of time.
Doing this through use of bookmarks on a browser is not always effective as having a large number of bookmarks can sometimes make locating a specific one an unpleasant task. If the article of interest was say in a standalone mobile application which updates frequently then chances are you either read the article there and then or risk losing track of it for good.
Bloggers and writers on the other hand also have the task of doing plenty of research and cross references online, reading through countless articles and online publications on a daily basis and in most cases saving some of these information for future reference is always a good idea.
If you are either a blogger, a writer or just a plain content lover then Pocket is the app to provide a solution to most of your problems. Pocket previously knows as 'Read it later' is a free application available for both Android, iOS mobile platforms as well as a Windows PC application. It's main purpose is to simply enable you save all your favourite online articles which you come through either on a desktop browser (through the pocket add-on/extension on either Mozilla or Chrome browser) , on your mobile browser or on a mobile application through the share option.
Best of all, what you need is to simply register a single account and sign it with this account on all your devices, be it your smartphone, tablet, desktop or laptop. All articles you save do not show up as saved links but rather the entire article (including images) is saved to your pocket account for easy offline access.
All saved content is automatically synced across all your signed in devices hence you can save something of interest on your work PC and pick it up on your mobile device at a later time. If this isn't pure convenience then I don't know what is.
Web browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are loved by most due to their ability to extend their functionality with the use of third party applications known as browser add-ons or extensions. Both Mozilla and Chrome have web portals where you will find thousands of free add-ons.
Here are 5 browser add-ons worth a mention:
DownThemAll (or just dTa) is a powerful yet easy-to-use Mozilla Firefox extension that adds new advanced download capabilities to your browser.
DownThemAll lets you download all the links or images contained in a webpage and much more: you can refine your downloads by fully customizable criteria to get only what you really want.
DownThemAll is all you can desire from a download manager: it features an advanced accelerator that increases speed up to 400%, it allows you to pause and resume downloads at any time and, last but not least, it's fully integrated into your favorite browser!
Download page (Mozilla)
This is probably the best Mozilla add-on out there that easily lets you download streaming video from just about any website. Once you have the add-on installed it will place an icon on a browser toolbar and once you open a webpage with either streaming video or audio, the add-on will automatically detect it and change its state from a gray icon to an animated colour icon.
To download video or audio available in the webpage, simply click on the small arrow besid the icon and it will show you a list of video or audio streams that have been detected on that particular page. Click on the one you want and start downlading right away. On a YouTube page however, since each page only has one video stream, on clicking the arrow next to the icon you will be presented with all the available video formats and resolutions which you can download the video in.
Download page (Mozilla)
The video download helper icon as seen on Mozilla with a list of video formats and resolutions available for a YouTube video[/caption]
page context menu on Mozilla with the MAFF add-on[/caption]
The Mozilla Archive Format (MAFF) is a web page archiving format add-on that can be used to save one or more web pages together with all their associated resources (audio, video, etc) to a single file.
This is a very effective and more organized method of saving webpages to disk as opposed to the default file saving method by Mozilla which will save the web page and its resources independently. In which case all resources will be contained in a separate folder. This can get very messy when you are out to save a number of webpages not forgetting you are never assured of getting a proper saved copy.
Download page (Mozilla)
Mozilla Archive Format creates a ZIP container which holds the webpage and all its associated resources while the likes of MHTML (another single file webpage saving format used by Internet Explorer and Safari browsers) use MIME encoding to save the data within a single HTML file.
Adblock Plus (Mozilla & Chrome)
If you are sick and tired of all the intrusive and flashy Ad banners that seem to dance their way in every single webpage you visit then Adblock plus is the solution to fixing this menace once and for all.
Download page (Mozilla)
Download page (Chrome)
Adblock Plus not only blocks Ad banners across webpages but also goes ahead to block out Facebook Ads, YouTube video ads and pop up windows.
iReader (Mozilla & Chrome)
iReader allows you to view news stories and other articles in a single clutter-free page, discarding all the unnecessary distractions on the page and presenting the article in an easy and pleasing to read format which one can further customise to suit his/her needs.
[caption id="attachment_335" align="alignnone" width="700"] iReader in action on Google Chrome.[/caption]
Download page (Mozilla)
Download page (Chrome)
How it works
When you come to a web page that is identified as an article, iReader icon will appears on the address bar.
Click the icon (or use the hotkey if enabled) to open iReader window.
To close iReader and return to the webpage, click anywhere in the background or click iReader icon again.
Internet electronic mail or simply email, is one of those technological breakthroughs that has greatly revolutionized the way in which people communicate today. Email has been around for a while now and just about everyone with an online presence has at least one email account.
Email has become so common and the preferred mode of communication online where millions of emails are exchanged every single minute worldwide. You will be surprised to find out that very few people who make use of email services actually know and appreciate what goes behind the scenes after they click on the send button.
To them, email has become this virtual thing that seems to instantly deliver messages to their intended recipients regardless of their geographical location. In actual sense email delivery these days is near instantaneous, but that email message you have just sent out to your boss or work mate might have travelled thousands of miles just to get delivered to their machine which is just a few feet away from you.
To be able to track down the actual path of an email message in transit, Brucker-Cohen has created a plugin by the name Email Miles that uses GPS technology and internet tracking to log where a message was sent and where it was received.
Email Miles is a free plug-in for email programs such as Apple’s Mail and Google's Gmail.When an email is sent, the location of the server sending the message is tagged into the code of the mail.
Email Miles scans an email for this so-called Geolocation tag, every time an email is received by a new server, the new location tag is added to the email.Brucker-Cohen's plug-in tracks the different server locations of the emails and calculates the distance, in miles, between the two using GPS co-ordinates.The distance is direct, from one point to another, and may not account for the length and shape of the cables it passes through.
Given the nature of packet routing, email messages can travel very long distances to reach the recipient, in most cases even longer than the actual physical distance between the sender and receiver.[/caption]
One of the program's more interesting revelations is how indirect the route of many emails can be.For example in the image above, an email sent from New York to Dakar in Senegal travelled a total of 12,115 miles - much further than the actual distance between the two cities.
This is because the email first travelled 790 miles west to Chicago, then another 2,163 miles west to Mountain View in California.After that it finally started making its way back east - first 1,699 miles to Dallas, then 4,745 miles to London, before eventually heading 2,718 miles south into the West African city.
The nature of email and web traffic means that for emails to travel long distances, it sometimes has to be passed through different servers as it enters and leaves different countries. Brucker-Cohen claims the program does all of its time and distance calculations using the internet and a coordinate mapping system.
'Email Miles is beneficial because it adds a physical component to a phenomenon like email that is perceived as purely virtual,' he said.
In this digital age of social media and double identities, most people find themselves hard pressed whenever a close relative of friends pops them a friend request and for one reason or another they would rather not have them as part of their social circles on Facebook.
So comes the dilemma, do you accept or reject the friend request? It could be your parent, your church pastor, a work colleague or worse yet your boss, who you simply don’t want to see what you go about in your online social life; you know - those crazy party pictures last weekend your friends tagged you in, or those profanity filled updates you have a habit of posting or those crazy groups you have joined or pages you have liked.
Of course declining the request would put you in an uneasy situation with the person, and accepting it would mandate that you begin gauging everything you post and what you are tagged in. As it would go, eventually you will have to accept the request and immediately change your online habits or go for the last resort if worse comes to worst – deactivate your account and sing up for a new one with a fake identity.
But it doesn’t have to be like that, Facebook has some great tools that can help you out in such situations when you simply don’t want specific people to see some posts you make.
Hiding a single post
Create a status update, and hit the pull-down menu to the left of the Post button.
Under the “Don’t share this with” heading, type in the names of any people you don’t want to see the post.
The status update menu options[/caption]
Hide all future posts from a person or people
Click the gear icon in the upper right corner, and choose Settings.
Choose Privacy from the left-hand menu.
Under the “Who can see my stuff?” heading, choose Edit.
Hit the pull-down menu to the left of the Post button.
Under the “Don’t share this with” heading, type in the names of any people you don’t want to see any of your posts from now on.
Approving Tagged posts and or photos before they can appear on your profile
Click on the gear icon, click on Settings
On the left column select Timeline and Tagging
Locate the option: Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline? Click on the edit option beside it the enable it.
The timeline review option for tags[/caption]
It’s that simple, now you have the knowhow of how to hide specific posts from anyone on your Facebook friend list and best of all you now have control over what your friends tag you in before it can appear in your profile.
CloudFlare is a content delivery network and distributed domain name server service that helps accelerate a website’s load speed, save on bandwidth to your server through a number of techniques and best of all it’s free. Users can also choose to upgrade to a paid plan for additional features.
CloudFlare also helps protect your website against some known online threats and also collects and provides analytical data about your website visitors.
Apart from the basic features provided by CloudFlare, there are yet other ways you can make the most out of the service as highlighted below:
Access to SRV, SPF, LOC and AAAA records
Unless you are running on a VPS or dedicated server, gaining access to the likes of SRV, SPF, LOC and AAAA records on a shared hosting account is never guaranteed and if you must have access to these zone records for online services such as Microsoft Office 365 and Lync to properly work on your domain name, chances are you will have to pay a fee to get your host to set this up for you.
But why incur any additional expenses from your host while you can set these records up on your free CloudFlare account? Simply navigate to the DNS settings of your domain name and from the dropdown menu select the record you want to add and input the details accordingly. Once done, submit the changes at the bottom and you are done.
Hosting subdomains on independent servers
You might find yourself in a situation where you are working on 2 different web applications which require a different server environment to run in but you intend to have them running under the same domain name. This can leave you in a difficult situation but the best option in this case would be to have one application run on a sub domain which you can later on host on an independent server.
How to achieve this is rather simple, first of all you will need to sign up for a CloudFlare account, configure your domain name then point your domain’s nameservers to the one’s provided by CloudFlare.
Secondly, set up your second web server where your subdomain will run from. Configure it to host your primary domain name (eg. example.com) then add the subdomain name of choice say app.example.com. Take note of the server’s IP address or A record.
On your CloudFlare account, under the DNS settings for your domain name, add the subdomain app and point it to the A record of your second server. Confirm changes and within 5 minutes it should start working if everything is configured correctly.
In this scenario we have example.com pointing to the A record of your main server, while the subdomainapp is pointing to the A record of your second server. This works since CloudFlare is the one responsible for resolving your domain name since your domain’s NS record point to it.
You can go ahead and add even more subdomains and host them on different servers using the above method.
Switching to a backup server in no time
If you have a secondary backup server lying around should your primary server go down for one reason or another, having your domain name already configured on CloudFlare will come in as a great advantage.
Often when your primary server goes down, the first thing to do is usually upload the latest backup you took from your primary server to the backup server then point your domain name’s nameservers to the backup server. The only problem with updating NS (nameserver) records is that it will take ages to completely propagate and this beats the logic of having a backup server in the first place since there will be an unavoidable downtime during the propagation period and by the time propagation is complete chances are, your primary server might already be back online again.
Switching back again from the backup to primary server through a NS record update while both servers are up and running is also another daunting task as it brings about a unique problem unless you put one server offline and risk downtime yet again during propagation.
The issue here is that since propagation does not occur uniformly, you can have people from one part of the world still accessing your backup server (where propagation is slow) and another set of people from a different location (where propagation is fast) accessing your primary server all at the same time. If your website runs on a database and you have people transacting in such a situation, then you will most definitely end up with a messed up database which will be another pain to fix.
However, with your domain name running on Cloudflare, should your primary server go down, all you have to do to switch to your backup server is simply change the A records to point to your backup server and it should start working in less than 3 minutes, it’s almost instantaneous since no DNS propagation takes place at all.
URL Forwarding and more page rules
You can configure how a specific URL or URL pattern is forwarded once a user tries to access it from his/her browser. This feature is also available in a standard cPanel under the WWW Redirects option but it is much more superior and does a better job.
I have successfully forwarded a URL that contains query strings of a GET request using Cloudflare and was unable to do the same on cPanel.
You can get the URL forwarding feature under page rules as well as other features such as: custom caching, browser cache expire TTL, performance, rocket loader, security level, browser integrity check among other option.
From all the above features that I have pointed out, it is clear to see the benefits of having your domain configured to run on CloudFlare and best of all all these features are available for free!
If you are an Android user, you might have heard the term rooting a couple of times and probably wondered what it all means. Upon further investigation or simply put - a Google search, you find out that rooting your Android device gives you more control over it thus enabling you to do things you previously couldn't.
Now you are all hyped up and clicking away at numerous websites which present varying options on how to root your specific device. With all the information you go into overload mode and it becomes increasingly difficult to proceed with rooting your device as you can't quite put a finger on which method will work best. Then comes the idea of glimpsing through the comment section to see what other users have to say after they attempted to root their devices with the method at hand. A not so familiar term pops up..BRICKED, yes some unfortunate soul actually messed up the steps and rendered their device useless; In most cases this is however reversible.
The thought of it happening to your expensive Android device that you probably had to save for months to purchase is enough to deter you away for good. This probably happens to people with little to no experience with the Android OS and the less adventurous.
Rooting doesn't have to be that scary anymore thanks to Kingo, a one click rooting application that saves you all the worry of something going wrong and best of all it's absolutely free!
How to root with Kingo
First of all be sure to check the compatibility list before you proceed, to see if your device is supported. Your device might not be on the list but it wouldn't hurt to still give it a shot.
Step one: Download and install Kingo Android Root.
Step two: Enable USB debugging mode on your phone. If it's running Android 4.0 or 4.1, tap Settings, Developer Options, then tick the box for "USB debugging." (You may need to switch "Developer options" to On before you can do so.) On Android 4.2, tap Settings, About Phone, Developer Options, and then tick USB debugging." Then tap OK to approve the setting change.
On Android 4.3 and later (and some versions of 4.2), tap Settings, About Phone, then scroll down to Build Number. Tap it seven times, at which point you should see the message, "You are now a developer!"
Step three: Run Android Root on your PC, then connect your phone via its USB sync cable. After a moment, the application should detect and connect to your phone.
Step four: Click Root, then sit back and wait while the utility does its thing. The aforementioned Supreme took all of about two minutes, including the automated reboot at the end.
And that's all there is to it. If you decide you want to reverse the process, just run Android Root again, connect your phone, then click Remove Root.
With root access on your Android device, you can now be able to remove system apps that came bundled with the phone of which you never make use of, you can install ad-blockers to remove ads that appear on some free applications among other advanced functions.
Computer security, technically known as cyber security, is a growing concern among economies of the world. Computer threats are increasing every day, with cyber criminals targeting private personal or client information, data, files and confidential communication. When information lands to the wrong hands, it can lead to irreversible damage.
An increasing number of people, companies, brands and even government bodies have suffered from computer security breaches. Statistics indicate that the global economy lost over $450 billion to cyber crime in 2016, and this figure keeps rising. Healthcare remains the most vulnerable industry, with millions of records being at risk. This means that data is more valuable to hackers than money. The four other industries that top in the vulnerability list include Financial institutions, manufacturing industries, government and legal institutions in that order.
Imagine what would happen if your boss was able to access your internal WhatsApp conversations with other employees. Or you found your business competitor reading a client or supplier list and gaining all advantage over you.
Many times, cyber criminals use the data we avail freely to explore other vulnerabilities. Remember the last time you visited a cyber café and downloaded your resume into a public network. Perhaps you even logged into your email or Facebook page and forgot to sign out. You have probably clicked on Facebook links that purport to analyse your profile, messages and contacts in order to predict certain things about your personality, career, relationships among others.
Maybe you did not, but can you really pass the computer security test? Chances are high that someone you know did, which also puts you at risk in some way or another.
In this age of internet banking and AI, a small security glitch can sweep all your accounts clean, expose embarrassing private conversations to the entire digital community, compromise your reputation or bring an entire company down.
Learn more about cyber security here:
You have probably come across the term 32 bit and 64 bit operating systems when either shopping for a new desktop or laptop machine or when looking up your machines specifications. Most people don't know what all these means and what effect having a 32 or 64 bit system has.
Most computers these days come pre-installed with 64 bit version of the operating system, this can also be referred to as x64 systems while the 32 bit versions are also referred to as x86 systems.
Checking which version you have
To figure out which version of Windows you are running, just head into the System properties in Control Panel, or you can take the easy route and right-click on your Computer icon in the start menu or desktop, and choose Properties from the menu. Windows 7 or Vista users will be able to check the System type in the list, while the few XP users with 64-bit will see it on the dialog.
Keep in mind that your CPU must support 64-bit in order to be running a 64-bit operating system—if you're running a modern CPU you should be fine, but some of the budget PCs don't include a 64-bit processor.
Where the difference comes in
In any 32-bit operating system, you are limited to 4096 MB of RAM simply because the size of a 32-bit value will not allow any more. On a 32-bit system, each process is given 4 GB of virtual memory to play with, which is separated into 2 GB of user space that the application can actually use at a time.
Not only does 32-bit have a hard limit for the amount of memory it can address, there's also another problem: your devices, like your video card and motherboard BIOS take up room in that same 4 GB space, which means the underlying operating system gets access to even less of your RAM.
While 32 bits of information can only access 4 GB of RAM, a 64-bit machine can access 17.2 BILLION gigabytes of system memory, banishing any limits far into the future. This also means that your video cards and other devices will not be stealing usable memory space from the operating system. Windows 64-bit Home editions are still limited to 16 GB of RAM for licensing reasons, but the Professional and Ultimate versions can use up to 192 GB of RAM.
The per-process limit is also greatly increased—on 64-bit Windows, instead of a 2 GB limit, each application has access to 8 TB of virtual memory without any special API, a huge factor when you consider applications like video editing or virtual machines that may need to use enormous amounts of RAM.
Do 32-bit Applications Work on 64-Bit?
The vast majority of your 32-bit applications will continue to work just fine on 64-bit Windows, which includes a compatibility layer called WoW64, which actually switches the processor back and forth between 32-bit and 64-bit modes depending on which thread needs to execute making 32-bit software run smoothly even in the 64-bit environment.
There are some exceptions to that rule, however: 32-bit device drivers and low-level system applications like Antivirus, shell extensions that plug into Windows, and some media applications simply won't work without a 64-bit equivalent.
What should you get?
If you are ordering a new PC with 4 GB or more of RAM, you should probably be running a 64-bit version of Windows so you can use all of the available memory, especially if you want a machine with a large video card and RAM for some serious gaming or video editing work.
Privacy is something most people usually take seriously especially when it comes to their smartphones. One will usually dread when someone borrows their phone for a few minutes with the fear that they might stumble upon something you wouldn't want them to see..be it a confidential message or maybe an embarrassing picture in your gallery.
Simply refusing to lend someone your phone could possibly solve all your problems but this usually leaves you in an uneasy situation as people will suspect you are hiding something from them.
Screen unlock codes come as an easy way to secure your phone from unauthorized access but once you have unlocked your device and handed it to someone you no longer have any control on what they cab access unless you sit right along them and monitor everything they do.
The best way to solve such concerns and rest easy when you hand someone your phone is to simply make use of AppLock. AppLock is a free Android application that allows you to lock individual applications thus when one tries to access a locked application, they will be prompted to first input a pin to gain access to the application.
This nifty app can be used to lock down applications such as Messages, Whatsapp, Camera/Gallery, SIM toolkit, Facebook and just about any application that you have on your phone so no more sweating it when you have handed out your phone to a relative or friend.
Google Apps for Education customers will now get unlimited Google Drive cloud storage space as part of a new program called Drive for Education.
Google says, "With Drive for Education, users can put an end to worries about storage limits and more easily maintain a safe, effective and compliant learning environment." Students, teachers, and anyone else using a Google Apps for Education account will soon be given unlimited storage and the ability to keep files of up to 5TB in size on Google Drive.
The Drive for education program from Google features:
Unlimited storage: No more worrying about how much space you have left or about which user needs more gigabytes. Drive for Education supports individual files up to 5TB in size and will be available in coming weeks.
Vault: Google Apps Vault, our solution for search and discovery for compliance needs, will be coming free to all Apps for Education users by the end of the year.
Enhanced Auditing: Reporting and auditing tools and an Audit API easily let you see the activity of a file, are also on the way.
With the current Ebola outbreak situation making headlines worldwide for months now, some people have managed to score a big payday through selling the domain name ebola.com for more than $200,000 (roughly Ksh 18million) in cash and stock. Get this..that is Ksh 18 million for a domain name people usually buy for Ksh 1160 or $12.
This deal highlights the rewards and risk of industry trading and speculating in domain names that see high interest after news events. People usually purchase and hoard large numbers of domain names that they suspect would become relevant to a brand, person or company someday in future and with that they can make a killing out of it. It is more like gambling but when you hit the jackpot you really turn in a good amount.
The Oct. 20 filing said the price was $50,000 cash and 19,192 shares of Cannabis Sativa, which promotes medical uses for marijuana. Those shares are worth close to $170,000.
The reasons for the sale were not clear, but Cannabis Sativa chief and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson has publicly said he thinks marijuana may be used to treat the deadly disease.
The Ebola.com website contains articles offering facts and frequently asked questions about the disease, which has infected almost 10,000 people worldwide, killing nearly 4,900.
Fitness is something just about all mainstream mobile manufacturers have been pushing for on their flagship devices. Not only do they incorporate an array of sensors on their mobile phones to keep track of fitness activities, you can now get the same from wearable devices - most notably smart watches.
Be it walking, cycling, running or nutritional intake, today's phones can help one keep track of all of these activities through use of manufacturer specific applications such as the S health App for Samsung devices and Apple's Health App for their iOS devices.
Google has now thrown in its own fitness application for Android called Google Fit, to make use of the existing array of sensors on most mobile devices to help users make a healthy change in their life by becoming more active, aware and motivated.
[caption id="attachment_1117" align="alignnone" width="892"]
Screenshot of Google Fit[/caption]
Google fit also enables one to set goals based on given activities and you can see your progress throughout the day and receive performance-based recommendations for activity goals. The new application does not need one to have the latest and greatest of flagship devices for it to work, you don't even need to own a wearable device.
The new application only requires your phone to be running on Android 4.0 ICS and above to work, It simply makes use of the sensors readily available on most devices. People with wearable devices such as smart watches have an added advantage however.
The Google play store currently has a good number of fitness applications but this being an offering from Google, it is bound to catch on pretty quick.
Brackets is available for Windows, Mac and Linux and is aimed at web designers and developers with focused features like Live Preview to easily jump between browser view and source code for quick edits, inline editors to work on specific bits of code without pop-ups or additional tabs, and preprocessor support baked in. Users can also download and use extensions to add functionality to aid their workflow, such as Git integration and JSHint support.
The release of Brackets also includes a preview of Extract for Brackets, which is an extension that automatically pulls design information from a PSD such as colors, fonts, gradients, images and more and then it generates clean CSS. This is a feature that most web developers will surely love as it will lighten their workload.
If you are a web designer or developer looking to try out Brackets, then head over to this link and download it.
Popular Android app AirDroid which let's users easily transfer files between their Android phone and PC as well as carry out a number of functions such as taking screenshots of the device, accessing the device's camera, viewing and sending text messages as well as managing applications now has a desktop application.
The new AirDroid desktop app now lets you control your device right from your desktop. Previously this was all done through a web browser after inputting a specified URL given by the app running on your Android device. The latest update brings a native desktop app for Mac and PC, with better notification handling and remote device control right on your screen.
This new version includes a feature called AirMirror - which lets you see and control your Android device right on your desktop by simply using your mouse to tap on buttons and fields and your keyboard to type. This means that you can now interact with apps on your device such as WhatsApp messages from your PC without having to pick up your phone. But for this to work you’ll need to have a rooted device.
The desktop app while still being new lacks a number of features that are present on the web-based counterpart. Such features include ability to allow users to browse their devices’ files, use the camera, locate them on a map, view photos, take screenshots, change ringtones and more.
You can download the app for free from the Google Play, as well as the desktop client for Mac and PC on AirDroid’s site.
For majority of people, high speed cameras are ones that can capture footage from 120 to 240 frames per second or even from 1000 to 250,000 frames per second. These camera's do remarkable things and can slow down a bullet in motion giving one a chance to view how a bullet travels, or how glass shatters among other cool things.
High speed cameras don't come cheap though, so unless you have a huge chunk of money to spend you might as well just stick to those cool YouTube video shot at high frame rates to get a feel of how the cameras work and what they are capable of.
There has been advancements in the high speed camera to a point that one has been used to actually slow down a beam of light to a speed that one can actually see it bouncing off a mirror. As we all know, light travels at roughly a speed of 300,000 Km/s meaning that whatever needs to be used to capture it in slow motion also needs to have a super high frame rate.
Using a technique called "compressed ultrafast photography" (CUP), researchers at Washington University in St. Louis can track light as it travels and interacts with objects.
With this new technique, they are able to capture a laser beam bouncing off a mirror at an impressive 100 billion frames per second, see the below video.
So far, researchers have used the technique to explore a number of phenomena, including how light reflects and refracts, as well as how photons behave when transitioning from one medium to another. It is claimed that the CUP technique could be used in the development of so-called invisibility cloaks that work by bending light around an object.
It has been brought to our attention that there happens to be a new form of email scam targeting top level domain name holders - this includes domains ending in .com, .net, .info and the likes.
The email comes up with the title: yourdomain.xxx INFORMATION! It then goes ahead to give false information about the expiry date of your domain name and that you should renew it soon.
Below is a screenshot of a sample email
Since WHOIS information for a particular domain is usually publicly accessible, these scammers are able to utilize bots to harvest this information which includes the owner's email address and then send them fraudulent emails as seen above.
In event you receive any email of this nature kindly ignore it and do not click on any of the links within it. Any email regarding your domain or hosting renewal needs to come from us EACdirectory directly. You will can be able to tell by verifying that it originates from an email on our domain @eacdirectory.co.ke
If in doubt, feel free to notify us either through an email or opening a ticket from your client area.
Google has brought its data saving technology to the web through a new Chrome extension called Data Saver which is currently in beta. Google's data saving technology has been around for a while but only on the mobile version of the Chrome browser but this time round, web users can also take advantage of it.
The extension utilizes Google’s data compression proxy service to optimize pages before serving them to your browser. It doesn't work with SSL and incognito pages at present, and you’ll need Chrome 41 or newer to use it.
You can head over to the Chrome web store and install the new Data Saving (beta) chrome extension and start saving on some precious data especially if you are on a capped connection.
Did you have a website under Google's KBO service?
Google sent emails notifying you about their intention to discontinue the service.Check your gmail address that you used to sign up with on this service. You will get it there
As per their email, the Google Business Site builder (www.kbo.co.ke) ceased to be accessible from March 15, 2015 meaning that you can no longer have access to your website.
Subsequently, your website might have also ceased to exist and in place of it you receive a similar error message as displayed below.
Since the service has been scrapped off completely, it is time for you to look for alternative means of having your website back online.
We strongly recommend acquiring the services of a professional web designer, as well as a domain name (if you didn't have one registered already) and hosting space for your new website - all of which you can easily get from EACdirectory.
In case of any further clarifications or questions, feel free to contact us using the information on our contacts page.
For Android users, Google has decided to move a feature that was usually located under the Android device management option on the Google Play website right on the search page. Now when you're signed in to the same Google account on your phone and PC, all you have to do is type "find my phone" into Google and your top result will be a live Google Map with the locations of your Android devices.
You can also ring your phone at it's maximum volume direct from the result - handy when you have lost your phone somewhere in your house. You can't however use the Google search result to wipe your device or lock it like you can inside Android Device Manager.
The location map includes a drop-down menu in the top right corner to choose which of your Android devices you'd like to find. Google's search feature is pretty smart too. It will work if you type in "find my phone" or "find my tablet." "My phone is lost" worked as well.
The new search feature is live on Google.com, but your Android devices also needs the latest version of the Google app before "find my phone" can work. Lastly, your phone will need to be connected to the internet either through WiFi or a cellular data connection for the feature to work as well. You can head over to Google.com and give it a try.
Unless you want to see your website buried in search results, Google yesterday introduced a new algorithm that changes how mobile results are prioritized. If Google finds your website to be mobile friendly, then it will prioritize it over similar websites that are not mobile friendly.
The change will impact millions of websites, more than Google's last major search ranking algorithm update, Google Panda. Panda, which was launched in 2011 and has been updated several times since then, down-ranked 12% of all sites that Google rated low-quality.
Given that 89% of all smartphone owners worldwide conduct searches on Google. It’s unclear how mobile and desktop search results will differ until the search ranking update is fully implemented - something that could take several weeks at most, but users can expect a mobile experience that’s not only easier on the eyes, but also easier to navigate.
If you are running a website that is not mobile friendly, then here is your wake up call..it might be time to consider making it one or risk losing out big time on ranking.
Google is making it easier to control certain aspects of your Android device right from the Google homepage by using the search bar to complete certain tasks. From last week Google enabled the option of searching for a misplaced Android device right from it's homepage.
You can also send Google maps directions from the Google homepage to your Android device and now Google has added the ability to send a note or set an alarm right from the desktop search and send it to your phone.
To do this you will simply need to be logged in to your Google account on the desktop search, the same one as the primary account on your phone. Then simply type in "send a note" or "set an alarm" on the search bar.
Once you enter the command of choice it will bring you to the next screen, where you enter the information. For alarms you will see big numbers with the time, from which you can set your alarm with then click on 'set alarm on phone'. It will takes a few seconds to process, before it completes and your phone will now have a new alarm set.
Sending a note is just as easy, simply type the note you want and send it off, and you will receive a notification on your phone with the note. From here you can either copy the note, or save it.
The features requires the latest version of the Google app installed on your phone, Google Now notifications enabled, Web & App Activity enabled. It might work for some users and not others so be patient as it appears Google is rolling out the feature in phases to users.
Looks like North America (US and Canada) could be about to exhaust their IPV4 addresses that have been in long use on the internet. This is according to estimates, that they will run out of IPv4 addresses (the familiar 184.108.40.206 format) over the next few months. While some companies might stall this by letting go of IPv4 numbers they don't use, many others will have little choice but to move to IPv6 (hexadecimals) if they want to add new addresses on their networks.
The newer IP addressing (IPv6) standard is already in widespread use. Companies like Facebook wouldn't even be functioning unless they had already migrated a lot of their servers to IPv6.
Smaller companies that are using dated hardware that is not compatible with IPv6 might face a bit of a challenge as they will incur some costs when it comes to upgrading all their incompatible hardware and reconfiguring their networks all over. The good thing about networking equipment that supports IPv6 is that they are also backward compatible with IPv4 networks, so migrating to the newer IP standard will not break how the internet works.
Content marketing has gained a tremendous momentum over the last 5 years, this is in the sense of blogs and social media being used by businesses to drive traffic to their websites.
Ever since human beings could speak content marketing has been around because it’s all about story telling. However, even before this explosion of content creation was used by businesses search engines have existed, and still serve users with their most relevant and useful information.
SEO and content marketing can be used interchangeably, whereby you can use one of them and don’t need the other. So the myth behind SEO and content marketing being the same is not always true, instead they are more of partners working on the same team.
Search engines play a major role when it comes to content research ideas and distribution. You can get huge volumes directed at your material and also distributed across most industries. In this article you’re going to learn how to improve your content marketing using SEO.
Google Hummingbird Update
Back in the day marketers used to put keywords in weak irrelevant content to highly rank in Google’s search results. But Google became smart and launched panda algorithm set in place to prevent this cheeky practices. Now it relies on searched keyword history, personal data, past behavior and other data to give searchers the most relevant links in their results.
So, when you search for “Cars” you’re understood to be looking for nearby car dealers. And that’s why Google pops up its maps results.
The keywords research though has not yet lost its shine because you can use it to develop your content subjects, taking their keyword volume into account. So instead of using the key words exactly and repeatedly inn your article, make it meaningful by breaking down each word in the query.
By using tools such as FAQFox, a blogger is able to find most frequent questions the audience is searching with, and write an article with them. Also when you put synonyms in your content other than repeating your keywords, helps Google understand your theme.
Research and choose wisely target keywords that your target demographic is looking for in Google, then give relevant information. Google will favour you article if you merge long tail variations of your target keyword, because long tail keywords tell much more about the searcher.
Connect your content with a larger audience with keyword data
Keyword research is done to find the words used by target audience and incorporate them in your content to express their pain points. This way when you write articles in the language that your audience is using in search engines, you’ll end up getting higher traffic due to engaging content.
So to find right keywords within your reach and that make sense for your target assess the keyword competition both off page SEO and on page factors. Since you most likely are competing with major brands, you’ll need to assess the type of content that’s ranking for your target keyword right now.
Find your ideal content format for every piece and reflect on your content frequency
Presenting your content can be done in many various ways such as writing a blog post, producing a video, making an info graphic and so much more.
You can decide on an ideal format based on a couple of ways.
(a) Looking at your historical analytics data
You can log into Google Analytics and find out the characteristics of posts that have received maximum conversions. Also available resources and marketing goals can be used on making decisions for choosing a format.
Moreover, you also need to decide on your content frequency, so if most of your traffic is from search engines, then you can get away with posting a smaller number of articles. So use Google Analytics reports to find out the breakdown of your traffic numbers and find a frequency that suits your budget and time.
(b) Look at the existing pieces of content that rank your target keyword
Say your keyword is “how to create a video.” You will encounter the following results.
As you can see, people are mainly looking for tools to create videos. If you don’t have a video creation tool, then you can either compile a list of creation tools, like creative blog.
Perform regular SEO audits and technical SEO optimization
When content marketing efforts have gained momentum, you should check your search console in order to find keywords for which your content is getting ranked and discovered. Then, be sure that you incorporate long tail and LSI versions of these keywords in your content.
Finally, now that search engines have become smarter in understanding content on webpages, you can leverage by fixing user experience issues on your website and still take the lead. Taking care of these aspects will put you ahead of most competition.
A number of clients have received an email claiming to be an expiration notice of their domain.( Sample below)
Please note that this email does not originate from EACdirectory if it does not come from the domain '@eacdirectory.co.ke'. All emails from us will come from the domain < @eacdirectory.co.ke >
It is a phishing scam aimed at getting them to give out their credit card or personal information.
Indicators that an email is not genuine:
1.The section at the top of any email should show you the sender of the email. Emails from EACdirectory should show you that they are from email@example.com instead of, in this example's case, firstname.lastname@example.org
2.The email portrays a lot of urgency to make the victim panic and complete the transaction. As you can see it asks you to "ACT IMMEDIATELY" and gives you a deadline.
3. The email contains a lot of links that lead to unfamiliar websites requiring you to enter your credit card information.
Please take note of these scams. Make it a point of also educating your employees to stay vigilant towards such attempts.
If you've clicked such a link or given out your information do the following:
Scan your computer and your company's for malware.
Change passwords to any accounts you may have submitted.
For more information, check out this short video on Phishing:
Feel free to leave comment below and we'll get back to you ASAP!
Finally, Google has launched a fully functional Google Analytics demo account available to everyone. I know your probably asking "why?" since there are loads of resources about Google Analytics either from articles written, the community, various books and guides. Plus Google themselves offer training and courses on the subject. Well not everyone has access to a fully implemented Google Analytics account, so it may be tricky to gain the practical knowledge. This demo gives you a real time chance that goes beyond theoretical knowledge.
This demo utilizes information from Google merchandise store for you to practice with when learning Google Analytics. It also has all the features that you would typically implement such as Adwords linking. Moreover, the Google Analytics team have come up with a solution for the universe to get real world experience. There are lots of ways the demo account can benefit you personally:
You can use it when following a training course.
To determine the whether the features you haven't implemented are beneficial to you.
Learn how to compare audience, acquisition, behavior and conversion performance to a previous date range period.
On the other hand, the demo can be used by tutors to set quizzes, test and other learning material for students. Even organization can implement is use to teach employees on the same. Some of Google Analytics partners have also started using the account demo to provide beginners and advanced classroom and online learning. Well now you know, go access the demo account here and start analyzing.
Assuming you've been browsing the Internet for a while you've probably come across the above image depicting a site that has been blacklisted by Google.
Users still have the option to visit the website at their own risk but in most cases you hit the go back to safety option. Most of these websites belong to people or companies who have been prey to Malware and Phishing attacks and don't have a clue of how to resolve it.
Sometimes they may not even know that they have been compromised until they start receiving complaints from their clients.
Its important to note that even though you may contact your hosting provider to find a solution, the website will still show the warning since its still on Google's blacklist.
And that's where Google Webmaster Tools Comes to your rescue.Having Google Webmaster Tools ensure that you stay on top of the situation. In-case of an attack you are instantly notified with an email such as the one below ensuring that you act swiftly.
These tools are free and all you need to do is to submit your website to Google Webmaster tools. Then make a Malware review request to Google.
Google then scans your website to determine the infected pages and after you fix the issue the website now becomes accessible to your users.
Below is the step by step guide of requesting a Malware review using Google Webmaster Tools. (In case you find the procedure difficult, find a professional on ujiajiri.com to help you out )
1.Access the Google Search Console.
Follow this link to get to the search console page and login using your gmail account.
2. Enter your website's URL and click on add property.
3. Google asks you to download an HTML verification file that you upload to the root folder of your site.
You are then supposed to access the file as shown below in order to verify that indeed you own the website.
4.You'll receive the message below after successful verification.
5.Click the security issues link and if your website is clean, you'll see the message below.
In the case that malware is present, google will show you the infected urls and ask you to fix them before requesting for a malware review.
So that's it, and now you have Webmaster tools on your website but you don't have to stop there. Explore the search console for more tools . Again, if you find the process a bit too technical you can always hire a professional on ujiajiri.com to help you at an affordable fee.
In case you have any challenges or comments, feel free to put them across on the comments box and we'll get back to you asap. Also, look out for more updates from us concerning how to better secure your website.
Without the proper tools to monitor data about your mobile or website performance, you might be missing out on very important indicators that can help you drastically improve on the shortcomings your mobile app or website might be facing.
Lucky enough, there are plenty of both free and paid tools out there that will help you do just that; that is data analytics tools that will collect and break down data about your mobile or web app's performance in a meaningful way. Here is a list of the applications you can opt to use:
Analytics tools for cross-platform apps (both mobile and web apps)
This is suitable for those who have both a mobile and web app and would like to monitor and evaluate their respective performance through a single interface. If you want simplicity, fast implementation, and a tool to use on any other platform you add later, choose a cross-platform app analytics tool.
Piwik (Free and Paid) - Piwik is an open source app analytics tool for every platform. Piwik has real-time data tracking, event tracking, and campaign tracking. Piwik has a ton of integrations for almost any platform you're working with from Node.js to Wordpress. You can pay for a hosted version or download Piwik onto your own server and host it yourself for free. Now it's not the most beautiful analytics tool on the list, but it does exactly what you need it to do and more. Piwiki even has mobile app for iOS and Android to help you view your analytics on the go.
Heap (Free and Paid) - Heap tracks your app users, clicks, form submissions, and anything else you'd want to track. You can create user segments and even see everything a particular user did in your app. My favorite feature of Heap is their dead-simple integration process. They've made their analytics so easy to "install" that you don't even have to use code. You just select what you want to track on your website and you it's tracked. It's like magic. Heap is cross-platform too. It's made for websites and iOS apps.
Opentracker (Free and Paid) - Opentracker is another tool that helps you track everything you'd ever want to track. Opentracker has real time reporting, geo-location user tracking, and lets you tag users for later viewing. Opentracker also has an API that allows you to build features not in the app. Opentracker supports websites, iOS, Android, and web apps.
Foxmetrics *(Paid )-* Foxmetics, like a few of the other analytics tools, helps you track your user's actions and activities. With Foxmetrics you can see things like which user viewed which page, who used which app feature, or even how long your users take to convert.
Google Analytics (Free) - Google Analytics is the "household name" of the web analytics space, but people forget about their mobile offering. They have all the typical analytics like page view tracking and page-overlays, but sometimes the tool is too big to get the information you need without a lot of work. The good news is, if Google Analytics is your only option you can download one of the many availableAnalytics templates to get you started quickly.
Analytics tools for web apps
Google Analytics is by no doubt the most popular in this category, but you would be surprised to know that there are plenty of other analytics tools from different companies that you can also choose from. Here is a list and you try out any of them:
Clicktale (Free and Paid) - Clicktale is more than your average analytics tool. Clicktale helps you go beyond the numbers and shows you see exactly what your users are doing on your site. With Clicktale you can record and watch exactly how a visitor used your website, track user sessions, and view heatmaps. Clicktale also has in-form conversion funnels that tell you where users left off filling out your web forms.
Gosquared (Paid) - Gosquared is a simple, good looking web analytics tool that just works the way you'd expect it to. Besides the standard analytics features, Gosquared has visitor tagging to help you dig deeper into one user's visit. Gosquared even integrates with popular chat tools like Olark or Zopim to help you talk to users in real-time, which is great for user onboarding.
Clicky (Free and Paid) - Clicky is a robust web app analytics tool. Besides website visits and conversions, you can also track your video and audio analytics on your website. Clicky also has heatmaps, website uptime monitoring, and bit.ly integration. Clicky seems to be the most feature-rich option on the list, which is helpful only if you actually need all of these features.
Woopra (Paid) - Woopra helps you track where your users are coming from, how long they've stayed on your site, and even shows you a picture of your users. You can create custom funnels, perform cohort analysis, and get real-time notifications of any in-app activity with Webhooks.
Mint(Paid) - Mint is a self-hosted analytics solution. This means you have to install and manage your analytics on your own server. This is helpful for those looking to save money, as you can simply pay one-time for the license (which is pretty inexpensive already) and use it as much as you want.
Going Up (Paid) - Going Up is the solution for web app marketers looking to manage SEO analytics and web app analytics with one tool. Going Up shows your referring keywords, heatmaps, recent visitors list, and even your Alexa traffic ranking. If you don't want separate tools to manage both and don't mind a basic looking tool (I'm being kind) then use Going Up.
Chartbeat (Paid) - Chartbeat is another beautiful, real-time app analytics tool for web apps. Chartbeat helps you visualize your current visits, shows you which devices your web app users are using, and even helps you track your social media activity on one screen.
Gauges (Paid) - Gauges is a real-time web analytics tool. With Gauges you can track multiple sites in one place, which is helpful for tracking front-end and back-end activity separately. You can also see which browsers your users are using and the keywords they used to find you.
Reinvogorate (Paid)- Reinvigorate is a simple but nice looking real-time analytics tool with heatmaps.You get all the basic analytics features plus visitor tagging and CDN hosted tracking code for speedier page loads.
Crazyegg (Paid) - Crazyegg is a heatmaps only analtyics tool. Crazyegg shows you exactly where users clicked and how they viewed your page. Crazyegg is more ideal for A/B testing and backend feature testing than general visitor and user tracking.
Inspectlet (Paid) - Inspectlet is another web app heatmaps tool. Inspectlet is a bit different because you can get real-time analytics and views of what users are doing. You can also record user sessions and get custom metrics with the tool.
Mouseflow (Free and Paid) - Mouseflow gives you live analytics and heatmaps. With Mouseflow you can record user sessions, track page scrolling, and get data on how long your users hovered over a button before they actually clicked.
Statcounter (Free and Paid) - Statcounter is one of the ORIGINAL web analytics tools available. In fact, it's so old people don't realize it's still around. The good news is Statcounter is still updated and a good option to handle your web app analytics even today. You get the typical analytics feature set plus custom branding and HTTPS tracking, which is important for anyone tracking backend app activity.
Snowplow (Paid) - Snowplow is the analytics tool for web apps with a lot of data. If you have a large app, with lots of users, and want to manipulate the data, Snowplow is the analytics tool for you.
Clickmeter (Free and Paid)- Clickmeter is a bit different because it's an analytics tool that helps you track marketing campaigns. You can track exactly which users converted from which ad and monitor your ad's click fraud.
Digital Analytics (Paid) - Of course, if you can think of a problem on the web, Adobe's trying to solve it. And managing your web app analytics is no different. Adobe's offering gives you the standard analytics tools plus some that large organizations can use. Unfortunately, since this tool is about $1,500 a month this isn't the best option for the little guys.
Sitespect (Paid) - Sitespect is somewhat of a full-suite web app analytics tool. It includes A/B testing, multi-variate testing, personalization, and more. If you need analytics and A/B testing in one tool, I'd try out Sitespect.
Paditrack (Free and Paid) - Paditrack works with Google Analytics. You can analyze any data from Google Analytics, including the data you had before using Paditrack. Paditrack's main features include user segmentation, retroactive analysis, and easy reports.
Hitslink (Paid) - Hitlink is another simple web app analytics tool. It features real-time analytics, social media traffic reporting, and real-time dynamic segmentation.
Parse.ly (Paid) - Parse.ly is real-time web analytics tool with a focus on tracking content. If your web app has a lot of content built in like Quora or Techcrunch for instance, this is a real solution for you (although an expensive one).
Sessioncam (Free and Paid) - Sessioncam is more of a heatmaps analytics tool. You can record and get replays of your user's app activty. Besides the typical heatmap features, Sessioncam also helps you view your mobile website user sessions.
Loggr (Free and Paid) - Loggr helps you track your user events and monitor your web app. You can get sales trends and code errors all in one tool. I'd recommend this tool for technical marketers or single programmer founders, since it's a bit too "techincal" for non-technical marketers. But if you want to track bugs and user activity in one place, this is your tool. They even have a handy mobile app to help you see everything on your mobile device.
Kissmetrics (Paid) - Kissmetrics is a standard cohort analysis tool. It helps you track what your users are doing, when they convert, and how long it took them to do it. Kissmetrics gives you a quick view of your app revenue and other important business metrics.
Sitemeter - Sitemeter is old and ugly. But it's an analytics tool so I included it on the list. Honestly, I can't tell if it's still updated, but it's an option and still available online if you want to check it out.
Crawltrack - Crawltrack is another old and ugly tool. But if you need it, it's available. With Crawltrack you can track 404 page errors and it even claims to block hacking attempts. Again, there are plenty of other tools available on the list that seem better. But choose what you like.
Segment.io -Segment.io isn't necessarily an analytics tool. Segment.io is one tool that helps you integrate multiple app analytics tool with one piece of code. This is ideal if you're trying out multiple tools from the list. Just remember, they don't provide any analytics services themselves, they just bring all of your analytics into one tool from different services for you.
Analytics tools for mobile apps
If your main focus is purely on mobile apps, then these set of analytics tools will do it just for you:
Appsflyer (Free and Paid) - Appsflyer is an all-in-one marketing tool with analytics. You can track in-app purchases, app installs, and app engagement with one tool. Besides the typical iOS, Android, and Windows support, Appsflyer also supports platforms like Marmalade, Unity, Appcelerator. There really isn't a platform they don't support.
Amazon Mobile Analytics (Free) - Amazon does a lot and mobile analytics is just another thing they do. Amazon's analytics tool is multi-platform and basic. You can track your iOS, Android, and of course Amazon app analytics with one tool. It does all of the basic things you'd want from a typical analytics tool. Pair it up with theirmobile app A/B testing tool and you have everything you need to run a solid mobile app business from one place.
Tapstream (Free) - Tapstream handles user lifecycle analytics. If you've every wanted to know where users are finding out about your app and how often they actually download your app from that source, you can get that information with Tapstream. Tapstream supports iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac apps.
*Honeytracks *(Free and Paid) - Honeytracks is a little different because it's the mobile app analytics for games. Honeytracks is configured to help game studios track over 90 metrics includingmobile app user engagement and cohort analytics.
*Apsalar *(Free and Paid) - Apsalar is the analytics tool for larger app shops. It helps you track user analytics and handle your app advertising with one tool.
Roambi (Paid) - Roambi is another tool for the big guys. It's a 3-in-1 analytics tool that helps you track analytics, handle mobile app business intelligence, and app reporting. Roambi lets you send your data to Box and helps you create easy to read reports for the rest of your team.
Appfigures (Free and Paid) - Appfigures is a bit different because it helps you track your app sales with event tracking. Appfigures brings together your app ratings, sales, and payments from every app store in one place. Appfigures works for iOS, Android, and Mac apps. They also have an API that you can use to do whatever else you want.
App Annie (Free and Paid) - App Annie is another tool that doesn't necessarily track user activity but tracks your app sales. With App Annie you can track your app data from iTunes, Google Play & Amazon. You can also track your mobile app revenue, downloads, ratings, reviews & rankings in one place.
Appcelerator (Free and Paid) - Appcelerator is an entire mobile app marketing suite. But their app analytics tool can stand on it's own. With Appcelerator you can track user session times, if the user is new, and even create custom events.
Flurry Analytics (Free) – Flurry is pretty much the "industry standard" for mobile app analytics. Flurry helps you track user sessions so you can see if something was to hard for your mobile app users. You can also create custom segmentations to help you understand your app users better.
Askingpoint (Free and Paid)- Askingpoint is different because it helps you track your mobile app user ratings. In fact, it's main purpose is to actually prompt users to rate your app more. Although I don't think the best way to get users to rate your app is to ask more, this is a tool that can help you get more ratings and track them.
Countly (Free and Paid) – Countly is an open-source mobile app analytics tool. And unlike most open-source projects the tool is actually quite nice looking. Countly makes it easy to see your top mobile platform, what screen size your users are using, and even the top carrier.
HeatMa.ps (Paid) – HeatMaps is one of the few mobile app heatmaps for mobile apps. Heatmaps helps app developers record all app touches, gestures like pinches and swipes, and device orientation. You can even get graphs detailing user flow. Heatmaps is only available for iOS apps right now.
Capptain (Free and Paid) – Capptain is another real-time analytics tool that gives you a dashboard full of data. Not only do you get to track whats going on, but you can get user feedback, segment users into groups in real-time, and send real-time messages to users based on their geolocation. Capptain works on iOS, Android, HTML 5, Blackberry, Windows, and more.
Kontagent – Mobile App Analytics suite
Claritics – Intelligent Analytics
Followapps - Mobile Engagement Platforms
Applicasa – Mobile game management platform
Appsee – Visual Mobile App Analytics
Yozio – Campaign tracking for mobile apps
Distimo’s AppLink – Cross-platform app distribution and conversion tracking. They even have a mobile app in the Apple and Google Play Store you can use to track your mobile app analytics.
Trademob - Mobile Marketing Analytics
Swrve – In-app marketing platform
Adxtracking – Analyze and optimize mobile app advertising
AppsFlyer – Mobile app measurement and tracking
MobileAppTracking - Attribution analytics
Telerik - mobile app analytics
When it comes to content marketing, there are thousands of tactics to consider, but you have a limited supply of time, money, and energy. This is why we have come up with this list of 75 content marketing tools you can choose from that will guarantee you take your content marketing strategy to the next level with a proven record to increase reach, generate sales, boost traffic, and much more.
1. Quora – Quora was built on the premise of providing “the best answer to any question.”
Content marketers can use the popular social network to identify trends, communicate with others, and, most importantly, provide high quality answers to establish themselves as an authority on almost any subject.
2. Reddit – What was once considered nothing more than an entertainment site, Reddit is now a “go to” service for content marketers.
With the right subject matter, a targeted strategy, and a bit of luck, your post has the potential to go viral. With more than 36 million user accounts and billions of comments, Reddit is the stuff content marketers dream about.
3. Inbound.org – Think about Inbound.org as “Reddit for inbound marketers.” The top marketing professionals in the world use this site to share ideas, leave feedback for others, establish their authority, and discuss trends.
You can create your own posts, based on a question or a particular piece of content, while also jumping in on current conversations.
4. Alltop – Are you seeking the most popular stories on a variety of topics? From business to technology to breaking news, you will find it all on Alltop. This can serve as ammunition for blog posts and give you an overall idea of what is hot.
5. Buffer – The Buffer tagline says it all: “A better way to share on social media.”
Content marketing in 2016 means being active on social media. When time is tight, use Buffer to schedule posts across a variety of networks, including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. With this tool on your side, distributing social media posts is fast, efficient, and effective.
6. Hootsuite – Much the same as Buffer, Hootsuite is a social media management dashboard. With 10+ million professionals using the service, it has to be doing something right.
Hootsuite connects with more than 35 social media platforms, allowing you to distribute social media content more efficiently. The days of visiting each social site to create updates is gone.
6. Hootsuite – Much the same as Buffer, Hootsuite is a social media management dashboard. With 10+ million professionals using the service, it has to be doing something right.
Hootsuite connects with more than 35 social media platforms, allowing you to distribute social media content more efficiently. The days of visiting each social site to create updates is gone.
8. PRWeb – When it comes to online press release services, PRWeb is king of the hill. With the right package, you can get your release in front of 25,000+ journalists and more than 250,000 email subscribers. Press release distribution is not dead. With PRWeb, it is alive and well.
9. BuzzStream – This tool could fit under a few categories, as it’s one of the most powerful and advanced you will find. It can be used for everything, including conducting outreach, contacting influencers, and managing relationships.
One of the top features of BuzzStream is its ability to help you build a list and pitch to influencers, improving the chance of widespread distribution.
10. Kissmetrics – You knew this one would be on the list, right? Kissmetrics explains its offerings in one simple sentence:
“Kissmetrics delivers key insights and timely interactions to turn visitors into customers.”
It’s one thing to know who is visiting your website. It is another thing entirely to turn these people into customers. Content marketing is all about results, and Kissmetrics can help you reach your goals through a variety of solutions.
11. Google Analytics – It’s hard to go wrong with Google Analytics since it’s one of the top free analytics tools. You don’t need much knowledge to understand how this tool can improve your business. But if you need a little nudge, check out some of the case studies shared by the search engine giant.
Content marketing success is based largely on data. And data is what you get when you rely on Google Analytics.
12. Dasheroo – A newcomer to the business dashboard space, Dasheroo is a free tool that allows users to track KPIs spanning a variety of platforms and apps.
Dasheroo integrates with many of the tools you use as a content marketer such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Shopify, MailChimp, and many more.
In simple terms, Dasheroo imports all your data into a super-attractive dashboard. You can forget about opening multiple tabs and dealing with a crazy number of logins. Everything is in one place.
13. SimpleReach – With a focus on content measurement and distribution, SimpleReach is a must for content marketers.
After you create killer content, use this tool to get your content in front of your target audience. By “bridging the gap between measurement and distribution,” you can better measure performance and optimize content reach.
14. Simply Measured – Simply Measured wants you to realize that there is more to social media than publishing content. As a social media analytics and measurement tool, it helps content marketers research each post and measure its effectiveness.
Users have access to a variety of reports, including a competitor comparison analysis.
15. Zuum – You aren’t the only person in your space focused on content marketing. Regardless of your niche, you will have plenty of competition. Zuum is a tool to help you outdo the competition at every turn.
Here is what it can do for you: compare your social media efforts to that of your competition’s, pinpoint your competitor’s top campaigns, and identify on whom (influencers) they are relying to amplify their message.
Influencer Marketing Tools
16. Traackr – “Influence marketing” is a buzz phrase you don’t want to ignore. The same holds true for this content marketing tool.
Traackr does more than just help you identify influencers in your niche. As an “Influencer Management Platform,” it also allows you to manage relationships and track their impact on your business. If you want to learn more, check out this two-minute video.
17. Klout – Klout takes a simplistic approach to content marketing: “The best way to have an impact online is to create and share great content.”
Klout assists with this process by suggesting content your audience has yet to see and tracking the impact. And don’t forget about the Klout Score, which measures your influence. The higher your score, the more influence you have.
18. Kred – In the same vein as Klout, Kred was designed with the idea of connecting people with social media influencers. To go along with identifying influencers, Kred helps you boost your social media standing.
19. Socedo – Is social media lead generation enticing? Socedo takes the guesswork out of the process, allowing you to find your target audience, engage them, and fill your funnel with leads.
A big part of what social media can do for you is its ability to bring prospects into your pipeline. Socedo assists with every step.
20. Storify – Every minute of every day, there are millions of people sharing their thoughts online. Storify is a simple way to identify, collect, and share what others are saying.
A big part of a successful content marketing strategy is the ability to create something unique and valuable. With Storify, you can create a unique story and then share it with your audience. Best yet, Storify has built-in distribution tools to make this a breeze.
21. Quuu – Time is money, right? If you believe this to be true, Quuu is the tool for you. By putting your social media marketing on autopilot, you have more time for other areas of your business. All the while, you can rest easy knowing that your social media strategy is in good hands.
You start by selecting categories relevant to your business. From there, hand-curated content is sent to your Buffer account (see #5 above). Finally, you can manually edit the posts, if you desire, before they are scheduled or published.
22. Tweepi – Content marketing and Twitter go hand in hand. The problem with this is that Twitter management can eat up many hours of your day. Tweepi protects against this by helping you “make sense of your Twitter account.”
You can find users, interact with influencers, and use a variety of tools to get noticed.
23. SocialBro – The more you use Twitter, the more help you will need to stay organized. SocialBro offers tools for:
Discovering competitors and leveraging their communities.
Understanding your audience.
Executing your social media plan.
Tracking and reporting your campaign in great detail.
24. Tweriod – Is there anything worse than finding out that nobody is paying attention to your tweets as you tweet away? Tweriod protects against this by determining the best time for your business to tweet.
After you run a report, you will know which days and times to tweet. This ensures that more people see your content, thus increasing the chance of engagement.
Tweriod is a simple tool that churns out serious data.
Image and Video Creation
25. Spruce – There are many benefits of visual content, including an increase in a person’s willingness to read.
Spruce allows you to create social-media-ready images in seconds. Search millions of photos, add your own text, and post to the social media platform or website of your choice.
With Spruce, you never have to concern yourself with using a copyrighted image. Talk about a load off your mind!
26. Meme Generator – You don’t have to be serious all the time. There is a time and place for fun, and when you are ready to have it, you can use this free tool to create a killer meme.
Search popular memes, or create your own. This tool is fun to use, and if done right, your meme can yield some serious results on social media.
27. Visual.ly – By now, you probably understand why infographics are so effective. What you may not understand is how to create one.
Visual.ly takes all the work out of the process. You can hand off the creation to a third party, allowing you to focus on content marketing techniques that better suit your skill set.
28. Uberflip – Here’s how Uberflip describes itself:
“Uberflip helps marketers create, manage, and optimize content experiences at every stage of the buyer journey—without relying on IT.”
The big thing here is that you don’t need any tech knowledge to use Uberflip.
Look closely at the home page, and you will see my face, accompanied by a testimonial for the service. It reads:
29. PowToon – An animated video or presentation could be the type of content that puts your business on the map. Share it on social media as a standalone clip, or add it to a blog post. Whatever you choose, you know that an animated video will provide a unique experience.
With drag and drop templates, you can create a captivating and engaging message in 20 minutes or less.
30. Canva – With Canva, anybody can become a designer. With access to a powerful online image creation tool, as well as a stock photo library, you have everything you need to get started.
If you require graphics for your blog, website, or social campaigns, Canva can help you generate professional results.
31. Easel.ly – Since launch, Easel.ly has attracted 900,000 users who have created more than two million infographics.
You can start fresh with a blank infographic or choose from hundreds of templates. From there, drag and drop your content into the appropriate place, download the image, and use it to ramp up your content marketing efforts.
32. Magisto – There used to be a time when making a movie to promote your company, product, or service was an expensive endeavor. Not anymore. Magisto allows you to turn your photos and videos into professional videos you will be proud to share with the world.
Choose from a variety of themes, select your music, and customize it as you go. The final result is a video that will give your content marketing strategy a shot in the arm.
33. Animoto – If you need a high quality, professional video to “share what matters most,” Animoto could be the answer.
More than 13 million customers have fallen in love with the Animoto’s three-step process:
Choose a style and song.
Customize your video using text, photos, and videos.
Produce, and share with your audience.
34. Nutshell – Some may not consider Nutshell a content marketing tool, but once you dig deeper, you will see what it can do.
Nutshell is more than your basic CRM software. It brings a lot to the table, including tools for collecting data in one place, automation features for reporting and lead distribution, and features to nurture and develop relationships at all stages of the sales cycle.
35. Pardot – A lead management tool that never disappoints, Pardot (by Salesforce) focuses its efforts on B2B marketing automation.
If you need to automate some of your marketing to free up time, this tool has a lot to offer. It gives you everything you need to excel, including:
Tools for generating leads.
Option to create custom and targeted emails.
Ability to calculate return on investment.
36. Marketo – Marketo is all about one word: integration.
It brings together your content, email, social media efforts, and more, allowing you to target the best leads, create content specifically for your target audience, and measure performance.
It may not be the best tool for beginning content marketers, but for those who are more advanced and those who want to combine content marketing with other strategies, it is a reliable solution.
37. Right On Interactive – An advanced marketing tool that uses customer lifecycle mapping to help you understand where a prospect fits into the sales funnel.
This automation software can be integrated with many of your content marketing tasks, such as email and social media marketing.
38. Silverpop – More than 5,000 brands use this marketing tool to bring together all aspects of their marketing programs.
It offers many solutions to users, including an email marketing platform allowing for the simple creation and distribution of personal, relevant messages.
39. Route – You can generate as many leads as you want, but you won’t feel good about yourself until some of them turn into customers.
Route begins to track people as soon as they land on your website. Once the tool identifies them, you can use it to provide valuable content, follow up, and move the sales process forward. Think of this tool as your personal assistant, helping you better understand how visitors interact with your website.
40. Salesforce – Quite possibly the biggest brand on this list, Salesforce has long been known as the number one CRM solution in the world.
Although the tool has many sales components, it also has plenty of marketing tools that deserve your attention. For instance, you can provide a better social experience for your audience by using Salesforce to engage with them on a personal level.
41. IFTTT – An interesting name for an interesting tool. IFTTT makes it easy for web applications and platforms to work together.
Given that the tool is compatible with nearly 300 “channels,” it won’t be long before you find a way to complement your content marketing efforts with this tool.
42. Optimizely – With Optimizely, you can “test, personalize, and optimize” your website. Doing so helps increase conversions, thus improving your content marketing ROI.
With a code-free visual editor, ROI data generated in real time, and best-in-class integrations, this tool will fit in nicely with any and every content marketing strategy.
43. Wootric – To understand Wootric, you must first become familiar with its tagline: “Wootric is the Net Promoter Score platform for boosting customer happiness.”
Here’s what it can do from a marketing perspective:
Tools that allow for easy follow-up with promoters.
Targeted campaigns to convert consumers who like your product or service into loyal customers.
44. Act-on – This marketing platform is a beginning-to-end solution, providing management for the entire lead-to-revenue lifecycle.
Generating leads through content marketing is a great start, but what matters most is converting these people into paying customers. From attracting prospects to building relationships, Act-on will provide you with the help you need.
45. Contactually – The more effort you put into content marketing, the bigger your network will become. There are leads from your blog, social media, and referrals.
Contactually is built with the idea that you can “turn relationships into results.” Every prospect is as important as the next one, and this tool allows you to cultivate each relationship into something special.
46. Ahrefs – You don’t know content marketing if you don’t know Ahrefs. This tool allows you to track key data associated with your marketing strategy, including the number of backlinks, where your backlinks are coming from, keywords, and brand mentions.
Last but not least, Ahrefs has tools for tracking your competition.
47. Zapier – With Zapier, you can connect the apps you use the most, automate a variety of tasks, and dig deep into all sorts of data.
For example, you can set up a “Zap” that does the following: shares all new tweets from a Twitter list in Slack.
With 400+ supported apps, there isn’t much that Zapier can’t handle.
48. HubSpot – HubSpot has quickly become one of the top brands in the inbound marketing game. Given how much this tool has to offer, it would be impossible to explain all the details associated with HubSpot marketing software.
Visit this page to take a product tour as this will give you a clear understanding of what the software can do for you.
HubSpot has tools for every marketing task imaginable, including:
49. Cision – With 100,000 customers, you know Cision is doing something right. Cision provides a variety of software solutions, covering areas such as content marketing, media monitoring, and press release distribution.
With its content marketing component, for example, you get help with all aspects of content creation, content amplification, and results measurement.
Content Writing Tools
50. Contently – Do you have dreams of scaling your content marketing strategy? This is where Contently excels. With this award-winning platform, you will get all the help you need in creating, distributing, and optimizing content.
Best yet, you can create and manage all your content in one place, ensuring that your entire team is on the same page.
Contently also has an advanced analytics tool that tells you what to do next, allowing you to get every last bit of juice from your content.
51. NewsCred – NewsCred is a unique platform that helps your brand “grow with efficiency, agility and scale.”
For those who require help with content creation, NewsCred can solve this problem. With a large network of creators, you can leave the content writing to somebody else.
52. Textbroker – Textbroker considers itself a leading content writing service, and there are many reasons to give the service a try.
With a self-service platform, you are in charge of the content creation process from beginning to end, despite the fact that you will never write a single word. You can also decide on the level of quality, which corresponds with the price you will pay.
You can’t succeed in content marketing if you don’t have access to quality content. Textbroker helps many marketers attack this issue.
53. Trello – Are you the visual type? Are you seeking a tool to help you and your team stay organized? Trello helps you do just that.
Trello has helped many content marketers rid themselves of spreadsheets, sticky notes, and long email threads. Simply put, it’s a better way to get organized and stay organized, all in a visually attractive environment.
54. Basecamp – It doesn’t matter whether you are managing a project or group, Basecamp gives you the tools you need to succeed.
For instance, content marketers use Basecamp to manage outreach projects. It keeps everyone involved on the same page, ensuring that nobody steps on another person’s toes.
Something else to note: Basecamp 3, complete with an all-new interface, was released in late 2015.
55. Google Calendar – Content marketing success, in large part, depends on your ability to stay organized and complete tasks on time.
Google Calendar is a free tool that makes it easy to keep track of important events and tasks related to your content strategy. Share the calendar with anybody who needs access, from coworkers to clients.
56. MindNode – Mind mapping can go one of two ways. It can lead you towards a great idea, or it can cause an extreme sense of frustration. If you often find yourself in the latter group, MindNode can help.
The MindNode app provides a visual representation of your ideas, allowing you to better map out your brainstorming process and eventually take action.
How many times have you forgotten a great idea for a blog post? How many times has analysis paralysis slowed you down? This is no longer a concern thanks to MindNode.
57. Asana – Make no bones about it, Asana has one goal: to help you keep your projects on track.
It doesn’t matter if you are a team of one or 100, every project needs to move through the pipeline in an efficient manner.
Trusted by Harvard University, Major League Baseball, and Uber, Asana makes this possible by providing tools that track projects from beginning to end.
58. Evernote – If you have trouble with your memory, no matter the reason, Evernote can be your sidekick. This nifty tool is one of the top organizational platforms around, used by many who want to remember everything associated with their business.
Use Evernote to list blog post ideas, brainstorm your next steps, keep an editorial calendar, and share your thoughts with others.
59. Wunderlist – Planning is a big part of any content marketing strategy. You plan when to write your next blog post; you plan when to publish it; and you plan your outreach strategy. You get the point.
Wunderlist has many features to simplify your life as a content marketer, including setting reminders to write a blog post and sharing lists with a business partner.
General Content Tools
60. BuzzSumo – Reading the BuzzSumo tagline will get you excited:
“Analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor.”
Enter any topic or domain into the search box, and let BuzzSumo do the rest. Within seconds, you will be presented with the most shared content on any topic, including a breakdown by social platform. You can even view the backlinks generated by each post.
Use it for yourself, and/or use it to track the competition. It’s by far one of the most trusted and relied upon tools by content marketers.
61. Help a Reporter Out (HARO) – If you need a quote for an upcoming blog post (or another piece of content), HARO helps you connect with journalists.
You can also use the service to get featured in a variety of publications. Sign up as an expert, and you will soon be presented with opportunities to share your knowledge to enhance your personal brand and authority.
62. Google Drive – The more content you produce, the more content you need to store. You don’t want to lose any of it, which is why Google Drive is so popular.
Content marketers use Google Drive to save and share content. As a free cloud storage provider, this tool has a place in your toolbox!
63. iSpionage – There are times when content marketing is more about the competition than yourself. With iSpionage, you can unearth your competitors’ PPC strategy.
iSpionage positions itself as the “only competitive intelligence tool that monitors the entire conversion funnel.”
If you want to examine the inner workings of your competition, with a close eye on paid advertising, this tool can help you do just that. You might just uncover a strategy that could boost your business.
64. Pocket – There will be times when you come across a story that you want to revisit later only to forget all about it.
Pocket protects against this, providing a way to discover and save any story of interest. Compatible with more than 300 apps, this tool will save any resource for you for your future use.
65. Aweber – Affordable. Easy to use. Full of features. These are just a few of the words and phrases that describe the Aweber email marketing platform.
If you want to do email marketing the right way, Aweber won’t let you down. An industry leader in deliverability and mobile tools, this platform will help you, as a content marketer, to achieve great results.
66. MailChimp – Don’t let the name fool you. There is no monkeying around when you use this email marketing solution.
MailChimp has one goal and one goal only: to help customers “send better email.”
The company boasts more than 10 million users who send approximately 600 million emails every day. It’s impossible to list all the benefits and features of this email platform, but its flexibility deserves a special mention.
Regardless of industry, size, or personal style, MailChimp is designed to help marketers send better emails.
67. GetResponse – Another email marketing platform, GetResponse attracts customers based on the premise that its solution is the “easiest” in the world.
GetResponse has 350,000 customers spanning 182 countries. Every month, these customers engage with more than 1 billion subscribers via email.
One of the primary benefits of GetResponse is a feature list for both beginners and expert email marketers.
68. VerticalResponse – Are you interested in a tool that can combine your email marketing with your social media marketing? VerticalResponse does just that.
It is designed to help users create, send, and track emails and social media updates across every type of device.
With 15 years of experience in the business and more than 1 million customers, VerticalResponse is doing something right. It may be time to find out what.
69. iContact – With a focus on small and medium sized businesses, iContact provides a variety of tools for email marketing success.
All forms of content marketing are judged by results. And with iContact’s results-oriented features, you will feel comfortable with the path you are following.
70. Constant Contact – You have seen the commercials. You may even know a few people using Constant Contact for their email marketing. But until you try it yourself, you will never truly understand what it offers.
With easy to use features, including customizable templates, the tool can help anybody looking for help with email marketing to get started.
The company has positioned itself as the email marketing solution for anybody and everybody, which has turned it into a billion dollar company with customers all over the world.
71. WordPress – It’s not possible to have a list of the top content marketing tools without mentioning WordPress.
There are tens of millions of websites running on the WordPress content management system. This includes top brands such as TechCrunch, The New Yorker, and BBC America.
Even if you have no knowledge of blogging, you can set up a free WordPress website within minutes. From there, sharing your content with the world is a cinch.
For many brands, their WordPress-driven blogs are the basis for their entire content marketing strategies.
72. Yoast – Content marketing and website optimization go together like peanut butter and jelly. Yoast provides a variety of WordPress plugins that help users optimize their blogs.
Google Analytics by Yoast and the Yoast SEO plugin have been downloaded tens of millions of times.
If you have a WordPress-powered website, Yoast plugins can help you from an optimization point of view.
73. Google Keyword Planner – Which keywords get the most traffic? Which keywords are best for a PPC campaign? Answering these questions is simple with the help of the Google Keyword Planner.
Use this tool to view keyword ideas, cost per click data, and more.
Before you create a blog post, for instance, you need to know which keywords to target. Google Keyword Planner can help you identify keywords that will drive more traffic to your website.
74. Readability Test Tool – An interesting tool that tests the readability of any web page. You can test by URL or by direct input. Either way, the results are helpful.
This tool takes into consideration a variety of readability indicators, including Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease, Gunning Fog Score, and the Coleman Liau Index.
If your content has a low readability score, it’s time to revamp it.
75. Feedly – When you add your favourite blogs to this RSS feed, you never have to worry about missing an important piece of content.
There are many ways to use Feedly. For example, add your competition to the RSS feed. Are they doing something you should be doing? Are they overlooking an area you can exploit?
With the ability to personalize your feed, Feedly can quickly become one of those online services you can’t (and won’t) live without.
Choosing the best keywords for your website's SEO can be a daunting task for any new business owner who is looking to have his/her website stack up against the more established websites from competitors. Having the right keywords becomes key and a wrong decision can usually have some deep implications when it comes to ranking of your website.
With the right approach towards keywords, your website will generate traffic from targeted visitors who are interested in what you have to say.
So, this brings us back to one very important question: what are the best ways for new businesses to find and target the best keywords?
Like most, you probably have a general idea of your primary keywords. For example, if you provide web design services in Nairobi, obvious keyword choices include: Nairobi website design, Nairobi website design companies and the like.
But, you don’t want to stop there. There are two other things that you need to do:
Make a list of long-tail keywords to target, when creating blog posts and other content.
Learn more about your competition, including their target keywords.
With that in mind, let’s review seven tools that you can use to find the best keywords for your business.
1. Google Keyword Planner
As you launch your business, you need tools on your side that are easy to use, accurate and full of features. This is exactly what you get with Google Keyword Planner.
I’ll be the first to tell you that there are many keyword research tools out there, all of which you want to learn more about. At the same time, new business owners don’t need to become so bogged down with details that they can’t take a next step.
Google Keyword Planner helps you to avoid feelings of frustration and uncertainty. Upon signing in, you’re presented with three unique options:
One of the best things that you can do is run a search for new keywords. Type in your primary keyword and see what the tools spits out. Chances are that you’ll be provided with hundreds of long tail keywords, many of which may make sense for what you’re trying to accomplish.
Depending on your niche, you may also want to run a search for competing URLs. This isn’t the best tool for understanding your competition (more on these below), but it’s something to check, as you’re digging around for keywords.
Google Keyword Planner is free to use, so getting started only takes a couple seconds. Once you are presented with keyword data, you’ll find yourself in a position to make informed and confident decisions. And, that’s just what you need for your new business.
2. Keyword Tool
This isn’t important to every business, but it will definitely work in favor of many. For example, if you’re selling a physical product, an Amazon search could unearth important information related to your business and industry.
The only true way to determine if Keyword Tool will work for you is to run a few searches. If you like what you see, if you find that it’s every bit as powerful as Google Keyword Planner, it may be the tool you rely on in the future.
As a new business owner, you want to search around for the best tools. This often means experimenting with several to find the one that suits your style. It only takes a few minutes with this tool to realize that it provides many benefits.
SEMrush may be third on this list, but it’s definitely the top keyword research tool for many entrepreneurs and internet marketing professionals.
4. Long Tail Pro
Phishing attacks take various forms, and most target people who are active on the internet. These are the various types of attacks currently:
This mainly targets unsecured PCs to steal confidential business communication, employee information, and confidential company data. The phisher hen sells the data to competitors or other third parties for malicious purposes.
This kind of phishing prompts you to download email attachments or files from a specified site.
This modifies your computer settings so your favourite website URLs can redirect to fake lookalike sites. From there the hacker can steal from you.
Also known as pharming, it works by tampering with domain name system (DNS) or hosts files to direct you to a fake web addresses.
The phishers control only a specific section on the website in order to collect data. For instance, they may insert a code on the login or checkout page in order to collect information from you and send it to the hacker.
In this type of attack, the hackers locate themselves between you and the site you are visiting. Your activity on the website is not disrupted but the information they gather is later sold to third parties or used to access your account after you logout.
Phishing is an internet security threat aimed at retrieving sensitive private information to cyber criminals. The common phishing attack vectors are email, SMS (smishing) and phone call (vishing). Some of the mega phishing attacks that shook the world in 2017 include:
Computers have made life very easy, but with every technological advancement is a new challenge. It is possible to lose your data to unknown or malicious people even when you are no connected to the internet.
How do you communicate with your clients? Do you just provide them with a form to fill and a promise to get back to them? Or do you leave your mobile number or personal email?
Most small business owners do not know how to send company-branded emails. Whether you are operating a small garage, estate welding business, a road side garage or car wash, restaurant or consultancy, you can convince your clients to use your service by providing them with a credible communication channel.
Emails are among the most effective communication tools in the business world. Email open rates differ across multiple industries, with religious institutions recording the highest open rate of 24 per cent. In terms of click-through-rate, publishing companies top with 13.67 per cent.
Statistics indicate that only 20 per cent of small businesses have company-branded email addresses. Company-branded email addresses bear the company’s domain and logo. Customers are more likely to open a company-branded email because it looks professional and credible. Emails with ESP domain names such as @gmail.com, @outlook, @mail.com, @yahoo.com affect the company’s credibility. Anybody can open a Gmail account and send you fraudulent emails. Non-branded emails give the notion that the company is still new or not credible.
Gmail is an efficient communication tool not only for individuals but also for organisations. With the new advanced GSuite features by Google, you can now use your Gmail account to organize your work better and enhance productivity at work. These are some of the best practices you can observe when using this communication app:
Keep your conversation threads
Gmail organizes conversations in threads for easy tracking. You need to enable this feature so you can view all correspondence regarding a matter. This is a great time saver because you do not have to keep searching for old emails; if you get one message, you have found the entire conversation.
In order to keep the message thread, always reply on it. However, start a new conversation for new subject matters.
Assign label wisely
Gmail has already done the work of grouping your emails into various categories, from primary, social, promotions and updates. Make sure you turn on this feature before taking advantage of labels. You can label mail differently depending on the source or subject matter for easy retrieval, but do not exceed the set limit of 500 labels. Google can also detect important messages depending on previous labeling and give it a tag, making it more visible and hence easier to open important mails first. Labels also make it easy for you to conduct bulk actions such as deleting emails.
Observe limits when sending mail
Gmail has a daily limit for the number of recipients that can receive mail from one address every day. If you are sending mass messages, consider removing recipients who do not read their messages or engage with your brand. This will ensure that you have enough credits for the day.
Make your payments in time
When using Gsuite for your business, it is recommended that you pay for your emails early enough to avoid bounced emails. In addition, consider renewing your domain and hosting because your email account is attached to it.
There are over 280 domain extensions in the world, with .com and .net being the most popular. Technically referred to as a TLD (top-level domain), a domain name extension is determined by various factors, including the purpose of your domain and sometimes location.
For instance, today .biz is available for business websites, .me for personal websites, .edu for academic institutions, .gov for US government websites among others. Country specific TLDs denote the country where the website is based, such as .ke for Kenyan websites, .ug for Ugandan and .ng for Nigerian websites.
If you are doing business locally and targeting local clients, it is good to select a .ke name. This will send a signal to Google that your business targets local clients and thus increase your chances ofappearing in search engine result pages. This increased visibility in local search will certainly translate to more business for you.
Here is a video on how to use email marketing:
When you are typing documents on your computer, your machine is able to keep your document in a temporary storage before you could save them in your preferred permanent storage. This also happens when you are browsing the internet. The first time you visit a site, your browser saves a copy of the site contents for easy retrieval in the future.
Have you ever visited a site then received the response “open a saved copy’ from your browser? Browser caching is very important as far as page load speed is concerned. When your internet speed is slow, browser caching helps you to access sections of the page that had been stored previously.
However, sometimes the content stored on the browser may differ with the contents on the server because the browser does not automatically the site once the site owner makes new changes. As a result, you will receive a very old version of the site. Caching can also produce error messages such as 'run time error,' 'the action performed doesn't respond appropriately,' 'unable to save the Timesheet,' 'buttons missing on the page' or 'Timesheet doesn't allow you to enter time.'This is what necessitates the clearing of browser cache.
Clearing your browser cache is as easy as pressing the clear data/cache button on your browser or app settings. Here is how to clear cache for various browsers:
On Chrome browser, this can be accessed from the Time Range menu on the Advanced Privacy settings. From the drop down menu, click on cookies and site data to Clear Data on Cached images and data button.
On Safari browser, click on Clear History and Website Data from the Safari tab.
If you are on Windows PC, go to your browser download history tab and select cookies and other site data. Clear cached images and files from the Time Range menu.
On Microsoft Edge, select Hub icon – History icon then click clear all history. This will take you to browsing history where you can access cookies and saved website data. Clear all cached data and files from here.
On Internet Explorer II, follow the command Tools – Safety – Delete browsing history – Temporary internet files – cookies – cookies and website data – history – delete. To select temporary internet files, you need to deselect ‘Preserve favourite website data first.
On opera, go to privacy & security – clear browsing data, the beginning of time – browsing history – download history – cookies and other site data – cached images and files – clear browsing data.
Remember, clearing browsing history also clears url data of websites you visited recently as well as data saved while filling out forms. It is important to always remember to bookmark important sites for a better online experience even after clearing your browser cache.
Here is a video on how to clear browsing cache:
How much time do you spend on the internet? According to statistics, over 7 billion people, who represent 54 per cent of the global population, have access to internet. Out of these, 1.28 billion are in Africa. In Kenya, 43.3 million people are using the internet, accounting for 89.4 per cent of the country’s population.
On average, an adult spends 20 minutes daily on the internet. With Kenya having the fastest internet speed in both Africa and Middle East, many people are using the web for various purposes. There are those who use the internet to chat with friends on social media, look for jobs, shop or just find information.
View live internet statistics here.
Browsing history is the new gold mine for marketers who use this information to push products to you. Other third parties, however, use this information for various reasons. Law enforcement agencies use it to trace criminals. Researchers have found links to social media use and conditions such as depression and loneliness.
There is a popular saying, “You are what you do when nobody is watching.” This is true according to Five, a new tool developed to extract your personality based on your private Facebooking patterns. You can hide some things from your boss, spouse, friends or family, but you cannot hide them from Google!
Have you ever lost a very important email and wished you knew how to save emails in future? Or do you find the process of retrieving old emails for reference purposes tiring and cumbersome? Everyone eventually develops their own blueprint on how to access important emails fast, or preserve them for future use.
Popular email save options today
The most basic way to save emails is by organizing them into folders within the mail client. This option allows you to group emails according to topic or client name and then save all related emails in a single folder.
To do this, drag or click the ‘move’ icon then select the appropriate folder. In programs such as outlook, Yahoo and Gmail, you can set up filters from the mail options menu for incoming emails so that mails containing specified keywords or from specified addresses can go directly to a specified folder.
The problem with this method is when your company upgrades the email program to a newer version, or the server cannot handle archived emails. Most organisations have policies regarding the duration within which their servers can store up emails. Once that duration expires, they conduct a cleanup that can lead to loss of key emails.
At times, program corruption occurs and this can also lead to loss of emails. So, what do you do to ensure that your most important emails are secure?
Effective tips on how to make an email a PDF
You can save your emails on your computer hard disk. The most common format is PDF, though you can also save as text or Onenote file. From the email print menu, select ‘save as PDF’ and then select your preferred location and file name.
You can also download all email details by using the ‘show original’ button on the actions tab.
However, these options do not save attachments. Businesses need to be in position to save email attachments. For accounting and project documentation purposes, it is also important to learn how to merge multiple emails and save them on your hard disk.
Technology has made this easier through the Gmail to PDF extension. Available for Chrome users, this productivity tool comes with a ‘save to’ button that allows you to save mail as file at the click of a button. With this extension, you can merge multiple emails into one Excel, CSV, HTML, PDF, Text or zip file.
Once you have this add-on, you can always download other ‘save to’ extensions to save your emails to your preferred cloud storage.
Your browsing habits say a lot about you. Here is what you need to know about your digital footprints, and a guide on the mistakes you need to avoid when using the internet.