April 2015 Newsletter
Who Else Wants To Win A $25 Gift Card?
The Grand Prize Winner of last month’s Trivia Challenge Quiz is Debbie Brown from Up & Open Imaging! She was the first person to correctly answer my quiz question from last month: According to Irish lore, St. Patrick banished all the snakes from Ireland. What other island nation is also devoid of snakes?
The correct answer was was c) New Zealand. Now, here’s this month’s trivia question. The winner will receive a $25 gift card.
One famous April Fools’ Day hoax occurred in the 1957 when the BBC aired a curious story that tricked quite a few viewers into believing they could grow what?
a) Musical Shrubbery b) Horse-sized Hamsters
c) Spaghetti Trees d) Chocolate Potatoes
Call us right now with your answer!
*Trivia winners are eligible to win again after 90 days of previous win.
Windows Server 2003 Set To Expire July 14th!
If your organization is currently running either Microsoft Windows Server 2003 or Exchange 2003 on any servers in your office, you need to know about a dangerous security threat to your organization that must be addressed very soon.
Windows Server 2003 and Exchange 2003 Replacements MUST Be Made By July 14, 2015
Microsoft has officially announced that it will retire all support on the Server 2003 operating system on July 14, 2015. That means any business with this operating system still running will be completely exposed to serious hacker attacks aimed at taking control of your network, stealing data, crashing your system and inflicting a host of other business-crippling problems you do NOT want to have to deal with.
This is such a serious threat that the US Department Of Homeland Security has issued an official warning to all companies still running this operating system because firewalls and antivirus software will NOT be sufficient to completely protect your business from malicious attacks or data exfiltration. Running Server 2003 will also put many organizations out of compliance.
Unless you don’t care about cybercriminals running rampant in your company’s computer network, you MUST upgrade any equipment running this software.
FREE Windows Server 2003 Migration Plan Shows You The Easiest,
Most Budget-Friendly Way To Upgrade Your Server
During the month of April, we are offering a FREE customized Windows Server 2003 migration plan to all businesses still running this operating system on any computers in their office. At no cost, we’ll conduct a full analysis of your network to help you determine what specific servers will be affected by this announcement. Additionally, we will provide a detailed analysis of all upgrade options available to you, along with the pros and cons of each option. While there, we will also assess other security, backup and efficiency factors that could be costing you in productivity and hard dollars. We will then put together a customized Server 2003 Migration Plan specifically for your office.,/p>
To schedule your FREE on-site assessment today, visit www.rangersolutions.com/expiringin2015/
Six Easy Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is a great social media platform for entrepreneurs, business owners and professionals. Unfortunately, your LinkedIn profile may not be helping you to create those connections.
So let’s tune yours up with six simple steps:
Step 1. Revisit your goals. At its most basic level, LinkedIn is about marketing: marketing your company or marketing yourself. Think about your goals and convert your goals into keywords, because keywords are how people find you on LinkedIn.
But don’t just whip out a keyword tool to identify popular keywords. Go a step further and think about words that have meaning in your industry. Use a keyword tool to find general terms that could attract a broader audience, and then dig deeper to target your niche by identifying keywords industry insiders might search for.
Step 2. Layer in your keywords. The headline is a key factor in search results, so pick your most important keyword and make sure it appears in your headline. Then work through the rest of your profile and replace some of the vague descriptions of skills, experience and educational background with keywords.
Step 3. Strip out the clutter. The average person has changed jobs six to eight times before they reach age 30. Sift through your profile and weed out or streamline anything that doesn’t support your business or professional goals. If you’re currently a Web designer but once worked in accounting, a comprehensive listing of your accounting background is distracting.
Step 4. Add in some personality. Focusing on keywords and eliminating clutter is important, but in the process your individuality probably got lost. Now add enthusiasm and flair. Share why you love what you do in your profile. Describe what you hope to accomplish. Remember, no one connects with keywords. People connect with people.
Step 5. Take a good look at your profile photo. A photo is a little like a logo. On its own an awesome photo won’t win business, but a bad photo can definitely lose business.
A good photo flatters but doesn’t mislead. The goal is for your photo to reflect how you will look when you meet a customer, not how you looked at some killer party. The best photo strikes a balance between professionalism and approachability, making you look good but also real.
Step 6. Get recommendations. Most of us can’t resist reading testimonials, even when we know those testimonials were probably solicited. So ask for recommendations, and offer to provide recommendations before you’re asked. The best way to build great connections is to always be the one who gives first.
VIRUS OF THE MONTH: Rootkit
"A rootkit is a piece of software that hides programs or processes running on a computer. It can be used to conceal computer misuse or data theft."
A significant proportion of current malware installs rootkits upon infection to hide its activity. A rootkit can hide keystroke loggers or password sniffers, which capture confidential information and send it to hackers via the Internet. It can also allow hackers to use the computer for illicit purposes (e.g., to launch a denial-of-service attack against other computers, or send out spam email) without the user’s knowledge.
Endpoint security products now detect and remove rootkits such as TDL and ZAccess as part of their standard anti-malware routines. However, some rootkits require a standalone removal tool to effectively remove them.
- “Rootkit.” Threatsaurus: the a-z of computer and data security threats.. Boston: Sophos, 2009. 60. Print.
CUSTOMERS EXPECT MORE
In today’s market, as in none before, it is crucial that we learn selling savvy. The sales environment has changed radically in four distinct ways:
1. Customers are better-educated, more sophisticated and more value-conscious. In other words, they are harder to please; they want more for their money. Think about your own demands as a consumer. You insist on quality goods and efficient service. You don’t want some slick con artist trying to trick you into buying a product or service you don’t want or need. And you don’t want to be abandoned after the sale. You expect follow-up service. If something goes wrong, you want to know that the salesperson and the company are going to stand behind the sale.
This means that salespeople have to stay on top of their markets. They have to be knowledgeable about the products and services they are selling. And they have to be honest—they have to be sincerely interested in helping their customers find value and derive satisfaction.
2. Competition is stiffer. Customers now have so many options that price will always be the deciding factor—unless you can offer a strong differential advantage. That means you have to offer something that sets you apart from all the other salespeople who are trying to get your customers to buy from them. You have to provide quicker service, more up-to-date product knowledge and better follow-up. Moreover, your customers must acknowledge the superiority of your products and services, and the object of your presentation should be to lead them toward that recognition and acknowledgment.
If you can’t lead your customers to that acknowledgment, you won’t get the sale, no matter how good your product. Your success in selling depends less and less on the product you are selling, and more and more on your skills as a salesperson.
3. Technology is rapidly replacing peddlers. People are buying more through direct mail. The Internet is making it possible to buy almost anything you want at the click of a mouse. Companies are no longer looking for peddlers to handle items that are much easier to sell online or through the mail. In many cases, they’re setting up self-service systems that can be operated by clerks. Of course, there are plenty of very good opportunities for really sharp salespeople who can sell with power and skill, especially in the industrial field.
To be successful as a salesperson, you must find ways to distinguish yourself from the inexpensive clerks and the commonplace peddlers. You must rise to the challenge with proficient skills, depth of knowledge and a positive attitude.
4. Time has become a priceless commodity. Prospects don’t want salespeople wasting their time. And if you’re serious about becoming successful, you don’t have time to wander around showing your products or services to anyone who will look at them.
To survive in today’s volatile marketplace, you need a clear and effective strategy. You need the skills to implement that strategy. And you need the know-how to make that strategy work for you. When you acquire and apply these things, you’re demonstrating selling savvy.
When we are surrounded by touchscreen mobile devices, sometimes we can get a little nostalgic for a good, old-fashioned keyboard. Sure, there are a number of apps that make typing on a touchscreen easier, but tactile feedback is nonexistent. Or we want to type something more substantial than a text message or quick e-mail, and we don’t want to go through the chore of typing it all out on a small screen. And then it’s often hard to find a wireless keyboard that is both practical and truly portable.
The WayTools TextBlade aims to solve these problems. The TextBlade offers a fully featured and responsive solution—while maximizing portability. Through a Bluetooth connection, you can sync it up to your favorite smartphone or tablet. The lithium polymer battery lasts upwards of a month with average use, and it’s quickly recharged via USB. Small but powerful magnets keep it held in place when you’re using it and when it’s tucked away in your pocket.
It’s priced at $99 and you can find it online at www.waytools.com.
Does This Password Sound Familiar?
You know the difference between a good password and a bad one. Many of us do like the convenience of a simple, easy-to-remember password that requires no effort to recall and type when we connect to our WiFi network, buy from our favorite e-tailer or use for online bill pay. But many of us also appreciate an added layer of security so we don’t use an effortless password when sensitive data is on the line.
In a recent study conducted by SplashData, they looked at a sampling of over 3 million passwords (all of which were leaked during a data breach last year). They compiled a list of the most common passwords—and the results weren’t all that surprising. 123456 was the No. 1 password used last year, followed by the classic password.
While these passwords may have the IT and security crowds shaking their heads in dismay, it’s not all bad news. These popular passwords may offer next to no practical security, but according to the study, the 25 most common passwords only represent about 2% of the overall total.
This means most people don’t use these passwords—or qwerty, or 111111, or iloveyou. The study found more variation among the most popular passwords versus the 2013 study. Is it a possible trend? Are people turning to more imaginative or secure passwords? Maybe, but only time will tell. Even if the study suggests most of us don’t rely on overly simple passwords, SplashData’s list serves as a reminder to use more secure passwords and to change them regularly.
The Lighter Side:
A Pleasant Drive with the Queen of England
In 2003, the recently deceased King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia paid a visit to the UK. During the trip, he met with Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral, the royal family’s castle and estate in Scotland. The queen asked then-Crown Prince Abdullah if he would enjoy a tour of the estate. The prince wasn’t initially keen on a tour, but he decided it would be polite to accept as a guest of the queen. He agreed.
When their transportation arrived—two regal Land Rovers—the prince stepped into the front passenger seat. It allowed him an exquisite view of the estate and the surrounding countryside. What happened next, he was not fully prepared for. The queen opened the driver’s-side door and climbed in. She swiftly turned the ignition, threw it into gear and hit the accelerator.
Keep in mind, women in Saudi Arabia are prohibited from driving.
Also keep in mind, the queen is a very experienced driver.
While giving the prince the royal tour, she did not hold back. It was pedal to the metal. As she blasted down the narrow country roads, she remained attentive to her guest and kept the conversation lively. It was an attentiveness the prince felt was misdirected. He pled with the queen to focus on the road. She did not.
Following Abdullah’s death in January, Queen Elizabeth takes the throne as the world’s oldest reigning monarch at a spry 88. Abdullah was 90.