Safeguard Your Website

by Karen L Simon & Renee J Goldberg

Websites are today’s business card. Most people won’t take a business seriously unless that business has web presence. Due to the threats of privacy invasion, viruses, and malware, it is imperative that businesses take steps to protect their site and its visitors with security features.

While users of the site have a certain responsibility to protect themselves, today’s litigious society puts business owners at risk of lawsuits for damages, including privacy issues.How secure is your website?

Secure Socket Layer (SSL)

SSL certificates protect websites and visitors. They should always be installed and active. Email communications should also be protected with SSL. Both incoming and outgoing messages are then scrambled (encrypted), preventing them from being seen or intercepted until they are de-scrambled by intended recipients.

A secured site is recognized by the “https://” designation in its full address (URL). SSL establishes private connections by encrypting information that is passed between the site and each user’s web browser. Whether it’s Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Microsoft’s Edge, these browsers check this security feature before displaying the site. With a “padlock” icon, they indicate to the user if a site has an active SSL installed. If not, a warning message appears notifying them that the site is “unsecure” and continuing would be at the user’s own risk. Upon receiving this warning, most users will immediately leave the site.

Should a user choose to continue to this site, they expose themselves and their personal information to data breaches such as contact information, password stealing, credit card fraud, and more.

If the site has an expired SSL certificate, some browsers notify users with a warning message, while others use a red padlock.These certificates are updated, renewed, and reinstalled every year since hackers become more sophisticated at breaking encryption codes.


A firewall is another safety feature that protects websites and visitors from hacking, viruses, and other malware. Just like personal computers and mobile devices, websites and their servers must be protected. They are constantly probed and attacked by hackers looking to inject malware into the server.

When hackers are successful, your website visitors’ devices can “catch” the virus and often pass it on to others. Further, the website could be destroyed, the administration section could be compromised, and information can be stolen.

Protect Your Site

Without these two key safety features actively installed on a website, businesses can lose the trust and confidence of customers, clients, and visitors. Additionally, search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing lowera site’s ranking in searches, pushing the website to the bottom of the list of search results.

Keeping SSL certificates and firewalls updated is a process. Renewing expired subscriptions can be a lengthy process. What’s more, cleaning and fixing damage to a compromised website is extremely costly to a business.

Always consult with your website and email hosting provider to protect your site and ensure the safety and security of your customers and visitors. This adds trust and confidence, reflecting well on your brand.


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Business Travel Without Internet – REALLY?

free wifiWhy do we still have to pay for Internet access in hotels? Do you realize how little it costs for them to provide it as a service? I know that not everyone travels with a laptop, but practically everyone I know has either a smartphone, iPad or tablet of some kind, even my mother!

As the founder of PC Tech Associates, I’ve provided tech support to small businesses since 1996 – before people even HAD computers in their homes, let alone Internet. So, I don’t understand why hotels continue to charge fees for Internet usage – wired or WiFi. Some might say, that while the equipment/hardware is cheaper today, the maintenance is what keeps the costs high and therefore, they’re passing it on to the hotel guests. Maintaining a network is really not that expensive, computer techs aren’t as expensive as they used to be, and there are lots of them.

The hotels could further argue that since they have guests who don’t use/need Internet service, why should those people have to pay for a service that they don’t use? But, hotels offer other services that  not all guests take advantage of. For instance, what is the percentage of people who use a gym or swimming pool during their stay versus the percentage of those who WOULD use Internet service if there was no charge for it? How much does it cost to maintain that pool or the gym? I guarantee that if you add up the cost per square foot to have the pool plus the costs to maintain it, that, by far outweighs the costs of providing free Internet to all the guests!

Sure, there are lower-priced, three-star chains that offer free Wifi, but I’m talking about the four- and five-star hotels where I pay a premium already – I expect to find it included and IN my room! Bottom line is that guests want Internet, and hotels are taking advantage of that by continuing to charge for it. Until we start demanding it by speaking out or choosing only hotels that include it, we’ll continue to pay extra for it.
Know of a site to help Find Free Internet Hotels? Help me build this list, post a
Here’s what I found:
Free Wifi Hotels
Hotels With Free Internet
Free In-room Wired Internet