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Category Archives: Tips

Cool and Creative Ways to Say It’s Broken

The web has become a bastion of cool and innovative designs and ideas to say almost anything. This is especially true for 404 Error messages or when pages are broken or no longer running. In a recent article by Fast Company, the author showcased some pretty cool broken messages.

Like many of us you have probably stumbled upon 404 errors that head very little pizzaz or simply had the standard like the one shown below:

404demo

 

Well, needless to say, this is a very dry 404 error message. With such a vast internet, there are has to be more than one way to say that something is broken. So, after admiring the list of 404 errors provided by Fast Company we decided to come up with a list of our own to showcase some of our favorite 404 errors. So without further ado here is a run down our absolute favorite 404 error pages.

Mashable

Cool 404 Error Pages Mashable

 

Mashable is known for its cool and interesting news and industry stories. They hit this 404 error page out the park.

Lego

Creative 404 Error Pages Lego

This kid (and the kid in all of us) friendly site take on the stresses of 404 errors with a quirky angle that is sure to make users of any age laugh.

CSS- Tricks

Creative 404 Error Page CSS-Tricks

CSS- Tricks provides web design veterans and newbies with the latest tips and tricks without boring them to death. They use humor and enthusiasm to teach coding and their 404 page shows their cheekiness to no bounds. Our in-house web design team was clamoring to have this little gem added to the list.

MailChimp

MailChimp 404 Page

 

MailChimp is one of the leading email marketing providers. Our team uses the platform for our email marketing endeavors. MailChimp decided to stick with its roots and use a monkey in a jungle to convey to their audience that they stumbled into the unknown.

Hot Dot

Hot Dot 404 Page

But, it’s Hot Dot that takes the cake with a cool interactive 404 page that can be a major time suck if you are easily distracted. The page allows for you to move your cursor and take the have a field day. You can break the text and change your perspective. How cool is this!

These examples show that brands can add character to their 404 pages using humor, stunning graphics, and personal touches.

 

This post was originally published on greatcirclestudios.com. See the original here.

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5 Lessons Superhero Movies Can Teach Us About Content Marketing

As the summer comes to a close, we can look back on our favorite blockbusters, look forward to the upcoming ones, and judge which ones reign supreme (hint: it’s not Fantastic Four =/). While we all have our preferences,we can look at some the current trends in the superhero movie genre and draw some inspiration on how we can use some of their techniques so we can be our own heroes for our brand or clients. Check out some quick tips and techniques to think about and see how content marketing can come to the rescue.

1) A little planning goes a LONG way

When Iron Man landed in theaters in 2008, it wasn’t just the debut of another superhero on our screens, it was the birth of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There had been superhero movies and sequels to those movies, but nothing of the magnitude that Kevin Fiege, the main MCU producer, had in mind. His idea was to incorporate a larger number of superheroes and bring more of the stories from the comics to life on a much grander scale. In the comics world, crossovers are much easier and much more common – so why not bring this to the screen?

Where he succeeded was realizing this vision through a plan. Iron Man debuted in 2008 and set the groundwork for a string of connected movies that will come to their conclusion some time in 2018. 2018! That’s 10 years and something like 20 movies or so. Whoa. That had to have been a pretty thorough plan to pitch to the studio.  Even now, recent negotiations have allowed superheroes that were previously barred due to studio conflicts to enter the universe (::cough:: Spider-Man). The plan, however, is flexible enough that it allows for the addition of another movie and more characters without much stress.

Marketing, and content marketing, function best when they have a plan to guide the efforts. As we can see with the Marvel movies, an outline and plan can provide solid guidance in the long term. This isn’t to say that the plan you come up with has to be rigid. The best plans provide long-term guidance and structure, yet also allow for adjustments and improvements down the road.

When developing a content marketing plan, think about your keyword strategy, your audience and methods of promotion and distribution. Remember that, in an ever-evolving digital world, things are always changing, so allow room for adjustments and updates.

Our TakeAway: A PLAN is crucial to your marketing efforts. Develop on that provides long-term structure and room for adjustment and growth. 

2) Users appreciate a story

Perhaps some of the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – besides the wide appeal and large fanbase of comic book heroes – can be attributed to the story unfolding on screen. Each movie has its own story while also contributing the overall arch. It’s kind of like television on the big screen. But when you really think about it, a movie event of this magnitude leaves a lot of room for the audience to get exasperated and annoyed. So what keeps them coming back? For the sake of the argument, let’s say it’s the story – and, not only the story, but also the storytelling. Audiences come back to see what will happen next – and, of course, to be entertained.

In content marketing, a good way to structure your plan is to think in themes. Following this, each piece of content stands on its own, but also contributes to the larger overall theme. This makes it easier on your team to develop new ideas for content.

Furthermore, storytelling concerns itself a lot with how the plot presents itself – what happens and how it plays out. Consider the best way to present what you want to say. But don’t forget to keep your customers in mind. In content marketing, a users-first approach is never a bad thing. When you consider what your customers want to see and how your business or brand benefits them, and then create content that caters to that, it’s hard to lose.

Think about ways to provide critical information, but also be entertaining. Be stylish, but not too flashy. Be creative, but not outlandish.  In a digital world, there a number of tools and mediums you can utilize – slideshows, parallax scrolling, social media, email marketing, etc… Give it some serious thought.

Our TakeAway: Consider over-arching themes based on a users-first approach when creating content for the web. What do they want to hear? How will they see it? What’s the best way to say it?

2) Users appreciate a story

Perhaps some of the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – besides the wide appeal and large fanbase of comic book heroes – can be attributed to the story unfolding on screen. Each movie has its own story while also contributing the overall arch. It’s kind of like television on the big screen. But when you really think about it, a movie event of this magnitude leaves a lot of room for the audience to get exasperated and annoyed. So what keeps them coming back? For the sake of the argument, let’s say it’s the story – and, not only the story, but also the storytelling. Audiences come back to see what will happen next – and, of course, to be entertained.

In content marketing, a good way to structure your plan is to think in themes. Following this, each piece of content stands on its own, but also contributes to the larger overall theme. This makes it easier on your team to develop new ideas for content.

Furthermore, storytelling concerns itself a lot with how the plot presents itself – what happens and how it plays out. Consider the best way to present what you want to say. But don’t forget to keep your customers in mind. In content marketing, a users-first approach is never a bad thing. When you consider what your customers want to see and how your business or brand benefits them, and then create content that caters to that, it’s hard to lose.

Think about ways to provide critical information, but also be entertaining. Be stylish, but not too flashy. Be creative, but not outlandish.  In a digital world, there a number of tools and mediums you can utilize – slideshows, parallax scrolling, social media, email marketing, etc… Give it some serious thought.

Our TakeAway: Consider over-arching themes based on a users-first approach when creating content for the web. What do they want to hear? How will they see it? What’s the best way to say it?

3) Put your money in the right places

What good is a grandiose movie if nobody goes to see it (::cough:: Fantatsic Four ::cough::)? As I’m sure you’ve seen over the course of any summer in the last 15 years, the studios put a lot of money into promoting these movies. There’s the standards like television and radio commercials, but recent years have seen creative approaches to advertising like Snapchat ads and BuzzFeed sponsored stories. But further than that, Marvel has created an immersive universe that goes off the big screen to connected television shows, and, of course, the place where it all started: comic books. Depending on the level of engagement you choose, you can truly get an immersive fan experience.

Promotion is one of the 4P’s of marketing. It really shouldn’t be any different when it comes to content marketing. When creating your content marketing plan, be sure to account for a budget for content promotion. Once again, there are many methods for this: your social media outlets, paid content distribution services like Outbrain and Taboola, and of course topic bloggers. Beyond that, think back to the previous point – how can you can create an experience for your consumer? You can be cautious about this, but don’t always expect it be cheap.

Our TakeAway: Content promotion. Hey, it’s gonna cost some money. Plan accordingly.

4) Take some risks

At the time of the MCU introduction, the superhero genre was kind of stagnant. Not to say that they weren’t making money – Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, X-Men and others constantly pulled in hundreds of millions of dollars for their respective studios whenever they were released – but the genre was mostly reserved for popular, household-name superheroes and many sequels. Before the first movie, Iron Man wasn’t that popular of a character in the mainstream. Neither was Thor or Captain America. Of course, that all changed when the movies were introduced, but it was kind of a risky move. Even bigger of a risk was Marvel’s decision to add much lesser-known characters, like Guardians of the Galaxy and AntMan, to the cannon. Guardians of the Galaxy was a surprising hit both financially and critically. This proved to be beneficial for the universe, the studio, and fans alike. Risk-taking can have a nice payoff.

When it comes to marketing – content, online, or otherwise – sticking to the same old routine can hinder a greater payoff. Explore trends and see how you can fit. Make sure your business or brand is appropriate in the channel or medium and that the users don’t find you intrusive. If maneuvered correctly, you could see benefits.

Our TakeAway: Explore industry trends. Take some risks and see how you can fit in appropriately without being intrusive.

5) Take it up a notch

Other studios have taken notice of Marvel’s success and have decided to do the same. But they’re taking it up a notch. BAM! DC Comics are stepping to the plate with a universe of their own – the DC Extended Universe or DCEU. 2013’s Man of Steel was the official kickoff, but the next movie skips the basic levels and goes right to ‘Advanced’ by featuring the TWO most popular superheroes!

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is set to rival or eclipse the success of the first Avengers movie, but it takes it to a new level by bringing these two conglomerates. Following what is sure to be a success of a movie, the DCEU is sending out Suicide Squad. Once again, it’s banking on the universe to bring in audiences to see a film of lesser-known villains (although Jay Leto’s Joker easily sells the whole movie).

In the future, DC is taking a twist on the formula and supposedly releasing a Justice League movie, bypassing most of the solo superhero films and diving right into the juice. They’re experimenting with the tried-and-true formula, taking it up a level, and hoping they’re audience rewards them with continued support and renewed fandom.

When it comes to your marketing, similar to taking risks, find out how you can stand out from your competitors. Don’t be afraid to be different, but don’t neglect your base in the process. Once again, think about it from the consumer perspective. How can you surprise them in a good way?

Our TakeAway: Surprise your consumers in a good way.

 

This post was originally published at greatcirclestudios.com. See the original here.

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How “Happy Chewbacca” Shows the Force of Social Media Video

The laugh heard round the web. When Candace Payne made a “joyful” video wearing a Chewbacca mask, little did she,  Kohl’s, or Facebook for that matter, know that it would start a viewing phenomenon, break records as the most watched Facebook video of all time, and result in sold-out merchandise for Kohls. Not only did Payne steal the hearts of Americans and the world, she solidified the power of video as a marketing tool.

The price of the Chewbacca masks has reached as high as $200 on Amazon and garnered Payne more than 136 million video views. Needless to say, “Happy Chewbacca” has become a viral video sensation.

This phenomenon can also be categorized as the new sweet spot for marketers as video moves to the forefront of digital marketing. Companies such as YouTube and Vimeo have long since seen the appeal of videos and the new savvy consumer, but there has still been some lag by social media savants, as they struggle to truly grasp the power of social media-centered video.

Viral Videos In the Modern Age

Today’s consumers are looking for and practically salivating at the prospect of finding the next new thing on the market in the form of video. What used to be an organic process, has now turned into a multi-million dollar industry, with firms touting that they specialize in viral videos. Some of them have actually been extremely successful.

According to SocialBakers, video posts have 135 percent more organic reach than images. Furthermore, Facebook serves up a staggering 8 million videos per day.

Interestingly enough, marketers have gotten so crafty that there are viral videos out there that ads and the average consumer wouldn’t even know it. Then there are those videos that strike like a bolt of lightning and start a frenzy, thus resulting in increased sells and brand visibility, without a company even lifting a finger. That’s where ” Happy Chewbacca” fits in.

Consumer Created Content and Brands

It isn’t the first time that a consumer has created a video that resulted in sells for a brand. Just a few short months ago, James Wright put singer Patti LaBelle’s sweet potato pies on the map in a hilarious rendition of Ms. Labelle’s riffs and one-of-a-kind personality, all while eating some of “Patti’s Pies”. This video resulted in sold-out pies across the United States from retailer Walmart. The video has 4.9 million views on YouTube.

That’s the power of social media video and the consumers that want to share their experiences with their friends and family. Instead of brands creating ads for themselves, consumers are taking over the role with honest reviews, that equate to huge dollar signs for the brands. But, the golden thing about this new surge in user-generated content is that brands and advertisers can get in on the action and make a good viral video phenomenon better.

The Sweet Spot of Social Media Videos

Video is the present and the future of content marketing. Consumers have outpaced the appeal of images and have moved on to GIFs and videos. Everyone is looking for the funniest, craziest, most emotional, and weirdest videos on the web. When a video shows up on your newsfeed or is sent to via a friend, there is a certain rush of excitement in viewing the newest and hottest viral video. That is the sweet spot that marketers can and have tapped into. Whether it is agency created or user-generated, there is a real advantage and spark that videos bring to brands.

Candace Payne, James Wright, and countless other just keep showing us how it’s done.

 

This post was originally published on greatcirclestudios.com. See the original here.

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A Game of Thrones Content Marketing Strategy

We’ve all seen the funny Game of Throne’s SEO and content marketing memes that are littered across the web. While their humor captures us the most, there are valuable lessons to be learned by HBOs content marketing efforts and the shows overall story line.

So you may be asking yourself, ‘what does GOT and content marketing have to do with each other?’ Well the answer is relatively simple, the show is a success because it pushes the envelope and so should your content marketing strategy. Discover how these two seemingly unrelated topics can be used to create stellar content.

It’s okay to kill off some content

article-2336669-1A1F8229000005DC-479_634x420

Much like the television show killing off major characters, killing off content can make for better story telling. Content marketing, when executed effectively, shouldn’t be weighty. Start off with a large number of content pieces and weed out the ones that may not be as important. (That’s not to say that the characters of the “Red Wedding” and Princess Shireen’s deaths were, okay. But, were they necessary? Maybe.) Killing off some of your frivolous and inconsistent content will help shape what your audience comes to expect from your brand.

If videos don’t make sense for your strategy, scrap them and create blogs and infographics instead and pretty soon your audience will start to expect infographics and blogs from you and not other things that can get in the way of your messaging.

Nothing Like Quality

game_of_thrones_ad-100274464-orig

As stated above, if content is weighty or just filler, scrap it and focus on the quality pieces or those that have the potential to be of quality. HBO creators don’t create marketing pieces for the sake of creating them. Consider their use of a dragon shadow as an advertising piece in a newspaper. The use was creative and of quality, the idea is to get your audience talking about your content pieces.

Quality content should provide your audience with a resource and/or information. Just like the latest batch of advertising offered by the folks over at HBO, you can refurbish content to work on a different platform. For example, if you have written a whitepaper convert it into a SlideShare presentation that offers up information in bite-sized, snackable pieces that consumers love so much.  Remember, it doesn’t have to be wordy, as long as it’s poignant. The use of infographics, videos, and SlideShare can achieve this goal.

Tell a Story

game-of-thrones-up-net-map-westeros-1214206

Your content should tell a story. Consumers want to interact with a brand. Story-telling is a great way to do just that.

Telling a story doesn’t always have to involve words, but can include images and visuals and in the case of the HBO smash hit, aromas and tastes. Game of Thrones marketers sent bloggers boxes with scents to awaken the aromas of Westeros and even hired a chef to create Westeros-inspired dishes that were sold across the U.S. While most content marketers don’t have access to that level of marketing, they are still capable of creating a brand story through visuals and social media.

Think Strategically

The_children_Tyrion_with_Bow_S4

Are you strategic like Jamie Lannister? If not, maybe you should be. In the series, Jamie is a very skilled strategic thinker who deploys spies to identify weaknesses in his enemies. No, I’m not saying that you should be as ruthless as Jamie, but a little bit of espionage can go a long way. Identify weaknesses in your competitors’ content marketing strategy and fill in those gaps for your own brand.

Better yet, in a world of Jamie Lannisters, be a Tyrion. Take small and measured steps to create content that is noteworthy and thought-provoking. In short, Create content that gives your target audience information that others in your industry don’t.

The Element of Surprise

jon-snow-finally-woke-up-in-game-of-thrones-season-6-episode-2

*A pseudo-spoiler alert*. In the season 5 finale, GOT decided to presumably kill off yet another character. Not many saw it coming. But, who really does see a death coming with this series and that is one of the series selling points. So much so, that other shows have taken to creating the element of (death) surprise such as ‘Scandal’ and ‘House of Cards’.

Nothing was more of a surprise than the return of Jon Snow, after his death at the hands of his fellow Night’s Watchers. Curse you Olly!

Surprise your audience by providing content that contains information they had no idea existed. For example, if your business focuses on arthritis treatment, give your audience a list of alternative solutions to pain management. This not only sets you apart from your competitors but can also build trust and can make you a brand to emulate.

Winter is Coming

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This concept may be the most important. Preparing your content marketing pieces is very important. Take time during the week or months in advance to plan a strategy that you will employ. Content marketing isn’t some one trick pony element of marketing.  It requires a great deal of planning and execution. Set out a plan and try to stick to it. If you are going to focus on blogs, infographics, and videos, do just that.  If your planning isn’t practically fool-proof you may end up like Eddard Stark out in the cold or worse –SEO dead.

Game of thrones is a great series not only for its stellar cast and story line but because of the lessons that can be applied to content marketing efforts. Content marketing should be equal parts quality, strategy, captivating and resourceful. If you employ the Game of Thrones of Content Marketing you just may have a solid strategy. Remember SEO-Imping ain’t easy.

 

This post was originally published on greatcirclestudios.com. See the original here.

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Networking is for Everyone

If you’re more introvert than extrovert, that may sound like an insane idea. Your main goal is to build valuable connections after all. And the best way to grow your business is to attend networking events which expose you to the right people.

Networking is an art. And the more you practice, the better you get at it. With that in mind, here are our top networking tips fielded from our own networking experiences, discussions with other businesses and a search around the web:

  1. Decide your goals and prepare a list of objectives – Why are you going? What do you want to gain from this event? Use flashcards to make a list of your goals for the event and tick them off as you go along. Make sure you’ve ticked them all off by the end of the event.
  2. Manage your expectations – What do you think you’re going to find at the event? Prepare yourself for the type of people you will find and if you have a list of attendees, use it to research and prioritize who to speak to.
  3. Prepare your business cards – Never leave home without them. Your business card will go a long way in reminding people who you are after you’ve left. And nice business cards will speak for themselves. But don’t just hand them out to absolutely everyone. The business cards should only come out when there’s an exchange of some sort and a memorable connection has already been established.
  4. Have your elevator pitch prepared – People want to know what you do as a person. Not your company. What can you offer potential connections and how you do it? Be concise and limit yourself to 30-60 seconds. But most of all, practice.
  5. Plan you networking like is a project – Business networking is just like any other project, you need to research and manage it. Before it manages you. Business Balls has a great template for structuring your networking here: Business Balls
  6. Research the type of people attending – Make sure the type of people attending are people you want to network with but keep an open mind if your market is diverse. People attend networking events to listen, learn and develop valuable business connections. Even your closest competitors might be able to offer you advice.
  7. Check what the organizer says the event is for – Who are the organizers? What area do they work in? What is the purpose of the event in itself?
  8. Check the plan for the event – Will you be booked solid with lectures and tutorials and only get 15 minutes to talk to people? If that’s why you’re going to that networking event, great. But if you actually want to communicate with people, share ideas and build connections? You’ll be better off focusing your time on events that maximize your face to face networking time. Sharing ideas and meeting new people is a must in any industry.
  9. Consider why that event will benefit you – consider why you’re attending and what you hope to gain from the event. Knowing will guide you through the event but hosts and other businesses will ask and having an answer ready can only help you.
  10. Don’t “work” the room, as Forbes says – Don’t just rush through the crowd, trying to meet as many people as possible. You won’t make memorable impressions that way.
  11. Practice empathetic listening – put yourself in someone else’s shoes and listen, learn from their responses. Remember that you’re networking to build connections, learn and give back. The easiest way to do that is to take a genuine interest in the things people have to say. You’d want someone else to listen while you speak.
  12. Make an effort to speak to people – No matter how nervous or lost you may feel, make an effort. If no one greets you at the door, use your initiative and ask someone for information or help. Don’t retreat and don’t look at your phone. The moment you unlock your phone is the moment you disconnect.
  13. Take notes – Note down your impressions and what a particular person showed an interest in as soon as you can. Write notes on the back of their business cards to remind you when you met and what you talked about. It’ll all be handy when you follow up with them.
  14. Follow up the next day – Networking is pointless if you don’t follow up. In fact, it’s considered polite to follow up at least the day after. If you don’t the other person will just assume you weren’t really interested.

 

Useful links:

Business Balls – Business Networking

Entrepreneur – 7 Tips for Networking

Forum of Private Business – Top Networking Tips for Small Businesses

Forbes – 17 Tips To Survive Your Next Networking Event

Psychology Today – 11 Ways Active Listening Can Help Your Relationships

Telegraph – Networking: 9 tips to help you work the room like a pro

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Employee Motivation Day: Top tips to keep your team motivated

25 February 2016 is Employee Motivation Day in the UK. Founded by Argos for Business, the event has been set up to put motivation at the top of the list for business thinking by inspiring passion and appreciation across the country’s workforce.

Are you a manager? Have your employees been feeling demotivated at work? Wish you could do something about it? Well, here are some top tips to help build their motivation.

 

  1. Set clear goals

Set goals for your team that are based on a clear collective vision that will inspire your team. Make sure you set realistic targets so that the goals are achievable; if the goal isn’t in sight, many employees will lose focus.

 

  1. Make training available

Offer training to your employees and help them to realise their goals. By giving them the education they need, you can help craft an innate desire to improve and drive success.

 

  1. Work smart, not hard

Just because an employee stays late every day doesn’t mean they have produced quality work. Without regular breaks, will they be performing to the best of their ability? Encourage your team to step away from their desks every so often to keep their work to the highest standards.

 

  1. Listen to your team

Make time and space to listen to your employees. They may feel that they are not in the right role, and by letting them use their talents they will feel a lot happier and begin to take pride in their work. Use your position to help bring out the best in others. Work with each employee to create their own personal development plan.

 

  1. Give your team members more responsibility

If you give your team members the responsibility to make decisions, you will see an increase in engagement and a greater commitment to tasks. Let them take ownership over certain projects and the results may just surprise you.

 

  1. Thank them regularly

Make sure you take the time to thank your employees when they do something well, but don’t wait until you are halfway out the door. Go out of your way to thank them whilst you’re still in the office; don’t let them think they are an afterthought. Keep your praise genuine though – a disingenuous pat on the back won’t make either of you feel good.

 

  1. Promote creativity

Many businesses have set processes and procedures that are efficient, but stifle the creativity of their workers. Ask your employees about company policies that don’t work well and work to eliminate or modify them. If you are sincere in this, energy will flow and employee engagement will be boosted.

 

  1. Money isn’t everything

Don’t use money as the sole motivator for your team. Think outside the box and come up with innovative, fun ways to incentivise your staff and create a sense of belonging. Reward exceptional performance with time off; offer parking spaces if parking is tight; organize cake days; serve them breakfast… The possibilities are endless.

 

  1. Organise team building workshops

Get your team to have face-to-face contact more regularly instead of just via email. Let your team spend some time together outside the office to promote inter-departmental co-operation.

 

  1. Be the best boss you can be

You can’t teach someone to play the piano unless you’re already pretty good at it yourself. Work on yourself first, and constantly. Just because you’re their manager, this is no excuse for you to relax and let yourself be carried on the shoulders of their hard work. Become your team’s source of inspiration. If you’re motivated, then they will be too.

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10 Tips for Safe Online Browsing

1.  Check your internet security connects – First you need to install a firewall. But be aware that some machines interfere with security software when switching on. Always check that your security software has loaded before opening a web browser.

2.  Use secure passwords – Passwords protect you from hackers for a reason. If your password is weak, the device is going to be vulnerable which means your sensitive data is vulnerable. Always use a password that contains lower and upper case AND number or symbols. Or both!

3.  Change passwords for different accounts – Online security exists to protect you, but if you use the same password for every single account, it’s going to fail. Don’t lay out the welcome mat for hackers. Always use unique passwords.

4.  Install internet security on ALL devices – You’re not just vulnerable on a laptop. Protect ANY device that you connect to the internet. Security software license now come with device licenses built in. They can be used on smartphones, tablets, iPods…. Always protect your devices.

5.  Think before you click – Some sites look dodgy even in a generic Google search. Just because Google presented you with that option, doesn’t mean you have to click on it. Always pause before you click and always consider your security software’s warnings.

6.  Protect your personal information – Be wary of the personal information you publish online and on social media. All those little breadcrumbs you’re dropping could lead someone to your bank account, or even your home. Always be sensible about the data you publish.

7.  Remember that the internet is forever – Once you upload data to the internet, it lives there forever in someone’s archives. Always be sensible about the data you publish.

8.  Update your social media security settings – Social Media’s default privacy settings are set to public. Do you want the random person sitting next to you in the coffee shop to find those badly lit photos from last Friday night? Do you want the entire world to see your homemade cookies on Instagram? If the answer is no, then you should alter your privacy settings. Always check the default settings when you join a sight.

9.   Look out for the warning signs – Internet security is smart. The big web browsers have warning signs built in. Watch out for them. If the site is deemed safe, a padlock will appear on the search bar. If the site drops the “https,” don’t shop! Always pause and consider the web environment before entering any information.

10.  Install parental controls on home internet ­– If you have young children, the easiest way to control the things they see online is to set up parental controls on your home internet. If you have BT, they also allow you to set up parental controls on any device which is connected to your internet. It won’t control everything since children insist on having access to social media but it does limit the threat. Always consider parental controls if you’re concerned for your child’s safety online.

11.  Bonus: Use your head.

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