Stay Smart Online is a service provided by the Australian Government to advise and educate Australians about scams and privacy attacks on the internet.
Wisefocus Designs is proud to announce that we have been accepted as a partner by Stay Smart Online to help assist in raising awareness about the ways that business and individuals can protect themselves online from scams and attacks on their privacy.
First of all, it’s important to establish that the responsibility for your online security, and your privacy, is yours, and not the internet’s. This is because the internet is not an entity but a state of linked communication – rather like a virtual ocean of digital shipping lanes transporting information from port to port, and it would be as absurd as believing that an authority controls every cubic centimetre of our worldwide ocean, and can protect us from everything in it.
The larger the company, the more robust the security that they tend to have. Of course, no private information can ever be guaranteed to be entirely risk-free from being taken and used by someone, but the tools that the bigger companies employ to protect against hacking, phishing, spam and malware are constantly developed and updated to ensure continued trust with internet users. *Statistically, there is a much greater threat to our security that we open ourselves in our email inbox, with email breaches responsible for 40% of deceptive practice, while the internet makes up only 8.5% (in large part thanks to antivirus programs). An interesting fact to note is that the original electronic communication, the telephone, is how 35.8% of frauds are made. To protect yourself, don’t react to what you like to hear, use your critical thinking to protect yourself from being seduced by fear or favour into signing up or giving money to scam artists. If in doubt, say no. It’s your right.
YOUR INFORMATION – THE WHERE, HOW & WHY:
Most large internet companies such as Google, Apple and Microsoft have privacy agreements for their account holders. In the video below from Google, they explain how your data is accrued, protected and used.
Do use a paid for and well known antivirus program on you computer.
Don’t use a public computer or any computer not yours for any banking or entering of any private information.
Don’t use the internet as a user with administrator rights – this is a recommendation from Google Security, and which almost no one ever thinks about or does. If you only have one user on your computer (you), then there is a good chance that you have administrator’s rights to install programs and modify your system setup.
Some interesting stats from the Australian Bureau of Statistics website taken from the Australian Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2014-15 survey. There were some surprising facts revealed that certainly shows that the truth is probably not what we thought.
7.7 million Australians were using the internet back then in 2014. Today that number would be significantly higher as more people now have Smart TV’s with internet connection.
Homes with children under 15 years of age who had access to the internet accounted for 97% compared to those households with children over 15 years of age (82%).
94% of home occupants used their desktop or laptop computers to access the internet, while 86% used their smart phone and 64% used their tablets.
While there was probably no surprise that 85% of people over 15 years of age used the internet, it was revealing that 51% of the elders of Australia (65 years of age or older) were using the internet for an average of 7 hours a week.
While an internet user’s gender doesn’t play much of a difference, the level of education of individuals does, giving a dominant place to those having a bachelor degree or above, with 23% more than those who are unemployed (the affordable cost of connection could play a big part in this differential).
G-suite, formally known as Google Apps for Work, is a business platform that we believe is the perfect answer for any business, from small to large, to run their business on. G-suite is the next generation of software that runs in the cloud – providing email domain control with an easy to use and very reliable email system with vast storage. Along with the Gmail service is the online equivalent of Microsoft Office, that has the easy to use Docs (MS Word), Sheets (MS Excel), Slides (MS Powerpoint presentations), and, of course, Gmail (MS Outlook). It also includes Google Drive storage from 30Gb per user up to infinity storage per user (for $10 per month). We use it and we like it because it works, has everything we need, and while not as complex as MS Office, it is much cheaper than MS Office 365, starting at only $5 per user per month – that’s only $60 per year!
Get more work done, faster.
G Suite is a cloud-based productivity suite for your business that helps you get work done from anywhere on any device.
Look professional with Gmail Get custom email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and
more than 30 GB of inbox storage. Compatible with Microsoft Outlook and other email clients. Smart scheduling with Google Calendar Schedule meetings at times that work for everyone.
Get reminders directly in your Gmail inbox.
Store and share in the cloud with Google Drive
Save work files in Google Drive, access them from any device.
Collaborate in real time.
Try G Suite free of charge for 30 days.
Ask us about the 30 DAY FREE TRIAL
G Suite helps you and your team work together and get things done from anywhere.
Professional email addresses, online storage, shared calendars, video meetings and more. Plus create, edit and share files on the go from your phone, laptop or tablet.
You are never alone with 24/7 support — you are only ever one phone call away from Google experts with advice and support.
Starting at $5 per user, per month, you can bring your team together with professional email, online storage, video meetings and more.
Google apps is now 10 years old and they have just announced that they are changing the name of their Apps Suite from Google Apps for Work to G Suite
These are the names that Google has given their productivity suite up to now:
Google Apps For Your Domain
Google Apps for Business
Google Apps for Work
and now [drum roll]… G Suite
This welcome name change comes with some new enhancements to their suite of business productivity apps, including better accessibility for teams to collaborate with files in the same shared space. Google calls this software productivity “machine intelligence”, a technical moniker for “working smarter”.
For my part, I look forward to this name change – not having to speak out or type out the whole title for Google’s suite every time I refer to it, will shave hours off my conversations about Google Apps every year.
If you would like to know more about G Suite, go to Google’s official blog
You may already have a free Gmail account and you know may already be aware of all the apps available to you with your free account. However, you may not know that there is a subscribed version that gives you proper and professional organisational control for your business – it is called Google Apps for Work. If you haven’t already done it, now is always a good time to set your business up on Google Apps for Work, as it protects your business correspondence and information on one of the most reliable email systems in the world.
What is Google Apps for Work?
It is a minimal cost, subscription-based administration and productivity tools suite that is run from the cloud. By using cloud-based software, you can access your software used for business via your web browser or an app on your phone or tablet. All changes are saved in the cloud, which means your data is safely stored on secure, secure servers all over the world. Even if your computer, or even a whole country, loses power, you can still access your files and software through any browser just by logging in.
Have a look at the introductory video from Google explaining it all here, or, if you prefer you can read about the benefits outlined further down the page.
What are the benefits?
Well, aside from never having to worry about backing up your files yourself, it also has a suite of productivity tools that are widely used and well integrated – after all, it is from Google.
There are great advantages to using Google Apps for Work for your business or organisation:
Google Admin allows you to control all your own business email accounts using your own domain, assigned to user and/or group, like your accounts department, sales department, support, etc.
You can add users to your account for each person in your company or organisation, and individually assign them access to the many software apps that come with Google Apps. With these you can communicate and collaborate with each other and your customers by using not only your own customized Google Gmail, but also access to the many handy productivity apps that are included with Google Apps for Work.
Ideal for communication, cloud storage or collaboration, Google Apps for Work gives you the tools for your business to work better with staff, contractors or customers.
Gmail – for all your email needs
Docs – Google’s online wordprocessor
Hangouts – Google’s own communicator (like Skype)
Sheets – easily create and share spreadsheets
Calendar – schedule appointments and invite others
Forms – create your own questionnaires
Google + – A better networking tool for business than Facebook
Slides – create and share your presentations
Google Drive is also provided with Google Apps for Work. With Google Drive you get 30Gb of online (cloud) storage per user, as a starter. One Terrabyte per user for a 5 user account, or unlimited storage for accounts with more than 5 users is also available. For an extra $10 per user per month, this is a cheap and reliable storage option.
There is no “save” button, only undo and redo buttons when editing Google Docs files. This means you don’t have to remember to save all the time, and it saves you the worry of backing up your files on your computer (which you should do nevertheless). If your computer or device fails, you lose nothing. Simply log into Google Drive from another computer or device and you have access to your files again!
You can share any file from your Google Drive to anyone else without having to attach it to an email.
For example, let’s say you type a document with product information on it. You want to have someone else, a staff member, or a supplier check the details are correct. You simply “share” the file with the co-editor, who can also edit the file. Once the document is ready, you can send it to the intended recipient with permission set to view only. This way, the document can’t be changed by the recipient but they can view and print it.
Try it out
Why not give Google Apps for Work a trial run for 30 days? It’s relatively cheap compared to other similar services available – and if you decide within the trial period that you don’t want to use it, you can cancel the service without any trouble.
If you google “printers” these days, you will find pages and pages of links to office printing machines, but much less for links to companies that offer print services. What most office laser or inkjet printers can’t do is give you the infinite choice of stock to print on, give the economies of scale for large print runs, provide die-cut shaping, consistent depth of colour and accuracy, or guillotine sizing to your requirements. If you wanted to do all this in-house, you may as well start up a printing business yourself.
Let’s face it, printing can be an expensive service to use in Australia. It’s not the fault of the local printers, don’t blame them. It is because of high transport costs, currency exchange rates affecting cost of ink, paper or machinery, high wages, accounting, processing BAS reports, the burden of government regulation and bureaucratic red tape required to run a business in Australia – and the list goes on. However, if you live and work in Australia, then at least you know that we are all in this together and are interdependent, relying on each other for local support (with a wink for us in that as well!) There would be no communities, no towns and no cities if we all chose to buy products and services from outside. Yes, the internet has changed how business is done now, but, if anything, it has made it easier for money to flow from our domain to accrue in, and benefit, far-away lands. That is one of the important reasons why Wisefocus Designs prefers to use and buy local. That’s why we use eco-green Australian servers. We prefer to buy supplies and services from as close to our locale as we can. The important thing for any business trying to make a profit is to aim for economies of scale. When you ask a lot up front for products and services, you risk losing your goodwill. You can then spend a fortune like our telcos trying to convince your customers to return. In one of my former working lives, I worked as an optical technician for an optometrist in Perth. They were expensive and didn’t discount, but they provided good old-fashioned, friendly and informative service. It worked, and they did very well. The customers were happy to pay more for good service.
The choice we have these days for printing suppliers are through the online printers, the local printers, or even overseas printers. They all have their pros and cons for the consumer, and quality is not necessarily linked to price, location or ordering method – so shop around for your printer if you want to avoid having a lifetime’s worth of sophisticated scrap note paper for the desk.
Typically, unless you use a big printer like Vistaprint, an order for a set of 250 business cards on plain 300 gsm stock could set you back around $60 – $80. Vistaprint’s prices start from a ridiculously low $19.00 for very basic, one-side 4 colour cards. They are big on internet marketing to the point of spamming our email inbox with continuous offers. You will discover often that the order you just put in has been superseded with a better deal than you had before you paid. This tactic is designed to get you to make your own value-added purchase, but personally it leaves me feeling a bit deflated to know that I have to spend more to reduce my expenditure!
You can get some very cheap printing by ordering online from overseas, but communication can be limiting, especially if the overseas company does not have anyone there who speaks english reasonably well – and would you want a printer, who doesn’t speak english has their first language, to be printing your material?
It makes sense to support your local printer. If we support our local business, we support the community that we call home and we all help to sustain it and make it grow – because, what goes around, comes around – and we’re all in it together.
This is an area of internet crafting that has many areas within it. There is no single SEO answer to making your website popular on the internet and its search engines, except by making a well designed site with many link references and description attributes, along with much well-researched content included.
Content is the key
Every website is scanned by search engines like Google. Sites that are stale, unoriginal in content, uninformative and not engaging are assessed by search engines and ranked accordingly to be offered up in the search query results. Keywords, keyword terms and Keyword phrasing are a very important component of your website.
The fast fix
Think organic and think artificial. Your website, your referrals on the internet, your interest – this is organic SEO. The artificial promotion of your website is where your backlinks are installed on some irrelevant and obviously dodgy internet site.
Some SEO companies will tell you that they will get you on page 1 of google search very quickly. They may proclaim to know Google better than Google does itself. Nobody knows Google like Google and Google don’t give away the criteria that they assess websites by in their algorithms – that is their trade secret. SEO companies may achieve a great outcome in the short term, but if it is done incorrectly, your domain name will pay for it in the long term with being ranked down or even blacklisted for bad or “blackhat” SEO techniques. If you stop paying for SEO services, then the maintenance of fixing the problems stops, thus leaving the bad eggs to be discovered in the next indexing by Google. It can be a very expensive solution, but Paid Per Click options like adwords may be a better alternative, so do some thorough homework and ask whether your website will be assessed and worked with first. Keep in mind that the cost of SEO services can be way of proportion to the cost and time in designing and building a website, so ask what is the work in hours and tasks that is actually being done for SEO?
Fast-fix solutions will always come at a greater cost later on, so look for real examples, real testimonials and find real evidence for any promises made to improve your search engine results. Our experience has been good with some SEO people but it is World Wild West out there and cowboys are everywhere.