Get Estimate

Category Archives: Industry News

GDPR: What You Need to Know and What it Means for Your Company

By | Industry News | No Comments


If you’re online, then you’ve no doubt been hearing about GDPR. But what even is it? Why is it a concern? And what do you need to do to make sure you’re compliant? We’ve got the answers to all your GDPR questions.

What is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new set of laws and regulations designed to better protect the privacy and sensitive data of EU residents. Since coming into effect earlier this year, GDPR has shaken up the way companies interact with consumers and their data in a variety of ways:

  • A company’s terms and services for having consumers consent to an online service now have to be clear, concise, and easily understandable. Consent must also be as easy to withdraw as it is to give.
  • Data subjects now have the right to obtain information on if and how their data is being processed, and to have the controller of their data fully erase and cease the use of any their data the company has on file. The data subject also has the right to receive a copy of their provided data
  • Customers and data controllers must be notified of data breaches within 72 hours of the breach being found.

Companies that fail to comply with GDPR regulations can be fined up to 4% of their annual turnover or €20 Million (whichever is more).

Will My Company Be Affected?

If you’re located in the EU, the answer to this one is pretty simple – YES. But you think you’re excused from these new regulations by not being a European company, you’re probably mistaken.

The jurisdiction of GDPR extends not only to European companies, but any company that holds or processes personal data of EU residents. This means that if it offers goods and services to, or otherwise monitor data of EU individuals, a non-EU company is subject to the same rules as a company based in the EU.

How Do I Stay Compliant?

With the steep penalties for non-compliance, your concern is probably (or at least should be!) making sure your company is up to the necessary standards. The first thing you should be looking at is your privacy policy. The changes to consent conditions have made largely changed what makes an acceptable privacy policy, and frankly, most pre-GDPR policies don’t meet the new requirements.

Another important step is auditing your databases. Make sure all of your data is complete, consistent, and most importantly was given with perfectly clear consent from the data subject.

Any holes in your data put you at big risk of breaking compliance, so it’s a little bit of spring cleaning is well worth your time.

One more thing to consider is the importance of communication. Silently making adjustments in the background may not be enough, especially if there are new terms and policies that customers need to agree to. Make sure you’re being clear with your customers about their privacy rights and informing them of any changes to policies or terms.
If all this still sounds confusing, there’s no need to worry! At Socialfix Media, our team has the resources and the know how to ensure your company’s website and operations are 100% GDPR compliant. So what are you waiting for? Reach out to us today and let us help you, we can’t wait to get started!

The Digital Flu: The Importance of Website Maintenance and Best Practices

By | Industry News, Security, Web Development | No Comments


Website hacks are certainly not a new thing, but these days the threat of being hacked is more prevalent each and every day. With the explosive growth of E-Commerce and the importance that companies (correctly) place on their online presence, hackers are ramping up their game, with even big name companies showing up in the news over high-profile hacks. But there’s no need to fear! The hackers aren’t going away, but there are best practices that can (and should!) be followed to keep yourself safe.

Updates Updates Updates!

Listen, we get it. Nobody likes having to update things, but that’s the first thing you should be doing to keep your website secure. Plugins, themes, and anything else that could present a potential for security breaches need to be kept up to date. Above all, the most important thing to maintain is the CMS installation itself. A number of very popular CMS platforms such as WordPress and Drupal are completely open-source, which means it’s code is available for anyone and everyone to get into, for better or for worse. Because of this, developers are in a constant war against those who try to take advantage of this for nefarious purposes. Whenever vulnerabilities are found, patches are usually pushed out very quickly. If you aren’t installing these patches just as quickly, you’re leaving easy targets for hackers to exploit. Keep in mind that depending on how your website is developed, you may run into compatibility issues and other bugs when updating your CMS, plugins, or themes. For this reason, it is always recommended to have someone with development experience on hand to assist if needed.

Strong Passwords = Stronger Security

Now, this one should be obvious, but it’s so important that we had to include it. One of the first thing a hacker will do is try to break in through the front door by capitalizing on weak logins. For this reason it’s important to ensure that all usernames and passwords are strong and hard to guess. Passwords should be completely random with the max character limit allowable. Best practice is to use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and special characters. For usernames it should be a similar story, making your username something harder to guess than “admin” can go a long way.

Safe and Secure, Inside and Out

Hacks don’t always come from faraway sources over the internet. Sometimes the breach can come from inside, making internal security just as critical as external. Now don’t worry, we aren’t implying your employees and coworkers are scheming to take down your site, but ignoring the threat of internal breaches leaves you open to unexpected attacks. Make sure all employee logins are secure, admin access is restricted to only those who need it, and every device that enters your network is scanned for malicious software.

Stay Alert to Stay Safe

Ok, so you’ve secured your logins, and everything on your site and on your network is up to date, so now everything is safe, right? Unfortunately, security just isn’t as simple as that. Unexpected attackers can slip through unseen cracks even on the most secure sites. Catching these incidences early can be the difference between a slight scare and a complete catastrophe. The same way you go to the doctor for checkups, you should be scanning your sites regularly for malware, phishing, and scamming; the most common symptoms of a hack. We recommend monitoring for malicious files and activity on a daily basis.

Keep a Backup (Or a Bunch of Them) Just to Be Safe

But what if the worst case scenario happens? What if someone managed to not only get into your website, but majorly mess it up? Cases like this are why maintaining a site well includes making regular backups of it. Monthly, or even weekly backups of your website and its content prevent hours of development time and irreparable damage to your company’s reputation by allowing you to roll your website back to a previous and untampered version. In some cases, daily backups may be the most appropriate option if you are updating your website very regularly.

The threat of hackers is a real and dangerous one, but that doesn’t mean you or your company should avoid or abstain from the internet to be protected. Maintaining proper security practices and protocols can help immunize your site from this plague that’s sweeping the internet. That’s why at Socialfix Media, we do it for you! We offer comprehensive website maintenance and protection plans to keep you and your customers safe, and prevent your website from catching the virtual flu. Let’s connect and discuss your website’s cyber-security strategy!

Socialfix Media Attends Cultural Networking Trip to Havana with Leading Women Entrepreneurs

By | Branding, Business, Digital Trends, Events, Industry News, Social Media, Socialfix News | No Comments

 

LWE Retreat Attendees pose for a photo in Havana, Cuba

LWE Retreat Attendees pose for a photo in Havana, Cuba

On the week of Dec. 4, Socialfix’s very own Terry and Marion Tateossian attended a cultural networking trip to Havana, Cuba with the Leading Women Entrepreneurs (LWE) organization. This was the first time an all-female delegation of business owners has visited Cuba since the United States eased travel restrictions to the country in 2015.  

Cuba was an interesting choice for a group of female entrepreneurs due to its predominantly state-controlled economy, but between recent development in Cuba’s private sector and the empowerment of Cuban women, it was an illuminating journey that allowed for each side to learn from one another.

“It really seems as though Cuba is making great strides to encourage new businesses and entrepreneurship,” said Marion Tateossian. “What resonated with me was the overwhelming feeling of hope that the Cuban people seemed to exude.”

While in Cuba, Terry, Marion, and the rest of the LWE group were exposed to a mix of the performing and visual arts, they toured local businesses and had some time to explore Havana for themselves. What they found was a country that has been held back by a state-controlled economy and aggressive international embargos, but was poised to enter the world of private sector growth, increasingly free markets, and international trade.

Cuba’s path to gender equality has rich historical roots. Dating back before the revolution and continuing to modern day, Cuba has been striving to reach true equality between men and women. Before the revolution, women had the right to vote, could not be discriminated against based on sex, and laws existed that required equal pay for equal work.

After the revolution, the Cuban government created the Federation of Cuban Women, which was recognized as a national mechanism for the advancement of women in Cuba. Since its inception, the Federation of Cuban Women has developed a literacy campaign that resulted in Cuba being declared a “territory free of illiteracy” only one year after its inception, increased the share of women in the workforce from 25% to 43.9%—women make up 45% of STEM related jobs, 70% of banking jobs, 50% of healthcare jobs, and they make up 66% of professionals and experts within the country—put in place anti-sexual harassment and domestic abuse laws, paid maternity leave, and a myriad of other solutions to shift power away from the patriarchy into an equality-based system. Women also hold approximately 50% of the positions in government.

“It was really eye-opening to see the leadership roles that women are taking on in Cuba,” said Terry Tateossian. “It’s like a matriarchal society, women have achieved equality in the workplace, and the country’s new push to grow its private sector is led predominantly by women.”

While it’s much harder for individuals to be entrepreneurial in Cuba, social systems such as gender equality and access to healthcare seem to be more progressive than the United States. This provides the perfect opportunity for both groups, the women with LWE and the Cuban entrepreneurs they met with, to have an exchange of ideas that mutually benefits them. The LWE women showed the Cuban business owners how to be successful in their business ventures, and the Cubans showed LWE some ways that women can be advanced through policy agendas that prioritize it.

“This revolutionary adventure brought 16 women together to experience the multiple dimensions of Cuba and of each other,” said Caroline Gosselin, CEO of The Gosselin Group and member of LWE. “This was a trip of a lifetime and we have made lifelong bonds! Music, politics, arts, business, law, food, culture… it was all on the table and enriching beyond belief!”

The trip also provided all those in attendance the opportunity to network and develop relationships with other strong female entrepreneurs. The friendships forged in Havana are the reasons why LWE organizes these retreats.

“What a gift—actually two gifts! The retreat exposed us to an unfamiliar culture, yet afforded us the opportunity to connect and share the vibrancy, talents, and charm of the people of Cuba,” said Alexandra Zetlin, founder and president of Zetlin Strategic Communications and member of LWE. “Sharing the experience with a group of impressive women of accomplishment who retain humor and a sense of adventure and fun made the retreat even more memorable.”

The LWE retreat to Havana was illuminating. Though Cuba may be only starting their foray into private sector growth, the lessons that can be learned from a burgeoning economy are limitless, and Terry and Marion plan on incorporating those lessons at Socialfix Media in the near future.

 

Congratulations Terry! Socialfix Founder Named to Top 25 List of Leading Women Entrepreneurs

By | Business, Events, Industry News, leadership, Socialfix News | No Comments

Take a walk around the Socialfix office and ask the team how they’d describe founder and leader, Terry, and you’ll get some interesting responses.

Terry Tateossian: Leader of Warriors
Terry Tateossian: Entrepreneurial Innovator
Terry Tateossian: Champion of the Creative

Okay, so maybe it seems like everyone has been watching too much Game of Thrones…but what all of these have in common is that Terry is the kind of employer that inspires others and makes everyone proud to show off their Socialfix spirit.

Terry is the kind of employer who leads by example, she’s in the trenches with her team, making sure that everything is delivered at the highest quality. That’s why it’s no surprise that Terry has been named a Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneur.

The LWE Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs recognize women business owners that fully embody the entrepreneurial spirit and demonstrate outstanding performance in four areas: market potential, innovation, community involvement, and advocacy for women. These qualities are all found in the Socialfix founder and lead engineer.

Terry has shown her understanding of the market potential of the services Socialfix Media provides. Recently, Socialfix has incorporated virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality into its marketing mix, including a new, completely rendered VR experience for sports enthusiasts.

Beyond the walls of Socialfix Media, Terry works with various philanthropic groups and is on the board of several organizations that work towards training women to take on leadership roles and helping other women owned companies. 

The awards ceremony will take place Nov. 13, where 25 women will be honored for their commitment to the entrepreneurial spirit and their leadership within their community. The team at Socialfix would like to congratulate all of the wonderful women being honored, but especially their founder, Terry.

How To Protect Your Website From Digital Pirates

By | Business, Digital Trends, Industry News, Security, Web Development | No Comments

shutterstock_646057006

When you hear the term “Cyber Pirates” I hope that a dashing image of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow coding at a desktop monitor doesn’t come to mind. In fact, cyber pirates are more threatening (and possibly more composed) when it comes to their method of pirating. 

More now than ever before, Cyber Pirates are using RansomWare to hold companies’ most important assets hostage, while releasing confidential information to the public. These attacks are happening all over the globe and amongst companies of all sizes. You might have read about the HBO hack that happened just a few weeks ago where hackers who used the same software accessed and leaked confidential information about upcoming television shows.  

So what exactly is RansomWare, and how can you detect and prevent the attacks from happening to your company? 

RansomWare is a malicious software that holds business websites hostage or threatens to release sensitive data to the public for a handsome fee. Cyber pirates will utilize a variety of avenues including emails, network traffic, user behavior and application traffic to insert RansomWare. These types of attacks are typically carried out using a “Trojan”  that is disguised as a legitimate file. For example, the Trojan might be an innocent looking email from your boss instructing you to check out pertinent information. Unknowingly you click the link, because you trust the source. But once you click the link, it activates the download of the malware and the hacker can encrypt your files until you supply the bounty.

via GIPHY

According to a recent article published by Barracuda.com, “ a Ransomware variant will infect between 30,000 to 35,000 devices a month, with some variants reaching up to 150,000 infections.” However, most of these attacks can be prevented. Follow our guidelines below to keep your website safe so you don’t become one of the statistics.

Although we always recommend first that you prevent threats before they happen, sometimes this isn’t always feasible. We also offer website maintenance and support to repair websites after they have been hacked.  Take a look at our Top 9 must do’s to keep your website running optimally while guarding it against any potential threats. 

  1. Run daily, weekly or monthly backups of all of your files. If a cyber attack occurs you want to ensure that you can recover the website from the most recent version.
  2. Host your website on a secure server. Our dedicated servers provide our clients with a variety of weapons to fight cyber security attacks. These include Firewall Protection, Anti-Spam and Anti-Virus Protection, HTTP Intrusion Protection, Daily security audits and more that all monitor threats and prevent them from attacking the website.
  3. Always make sure that you have an SSL certificate for your website., to initiate a secure session with browsers. Websites with SSL certificates have the “Secure” stamp of approval in the URL, also known as HTTP. 
  4. No website is self-sustainable, make sure to update your plugins. New plugins are constantly being rolled out to patch old bugs and potential vulnerabilities. So keeping your website backend up to date is instrumental in guarding it against possible threats.
  5. Use Strong Passwords and 2-Factor Authentication: Making sure that your website password is complex and updated bi-monthly and you have dual authentication for website access is crucial.
  6. Make sure to blacklist all bad or suspicious IP’s.
  7. Make sure to whitelist all trustworthy IP’s.
  8. Daily Attack Monitoring.- Sign up with a hosting and support company that offers Daily Attack Monitoring so that you know the exact moment when an attack is occurring. Responding quickly to an attack can be a deal breaker.
  9. Most importantly, be aware of suspicious emails, websites, and apps. In order for RansomeWare to work some has to unknowingly download malware onto their device.

via GIPHY

For more information on how to keep your website safe and secure from those digital pirates, contact us through our live chat option or click here to fill out our contact form and we can create the right Maintenance and Security package for you. 

The results are in… And we have been named a Top NYC Digital Agency by Clutch!

By | Digital Trends, Industry News, leadership, Marketing | No Comments

Clutchicon

Socialfix was announced as one of the Top New York City Agencies and Developers of 2017 by Clutch!

Clutch provides ongoing research on leading B2B firms in New York to identify the top providers in the advertising, branding, public relations, social media management, SEO, pay-per-click, digital, mobile app development and custom software development industries.

Socialfix was announced as a top digital agency for 2017. We stood out amongst our competitors for our branding and digital strategy, digital design,  and digital marketing. We were evaluated on our market presence (services, clients, and past projects) and by client interviews conducted by Clutch analysts which are published as reviews on our company profile.

“All of the companies featured today have proven themselves as leaders in their industries due to their commitment to clients, passion for work, and ability to generate results.” said Jenna Seter, Business Analyst at Clutch. We are honored to have been recognized by Clutch as a top agency in this space. With 12 years of experience working in the digital marketing space, we have become fluent in all digital forms of communication and marketing. However, we are most satisfied that our experience has contributed to our clients’ success.

Most marketing companies don’t realize that the digital ecosystem is changing so rapidly. New trends are emerging and transforming quicker than we’ve ever seen before. At Socialfix, we are attuned to the ever-shifting digital world and we embrace the change, delivering marketing programs that make the biggest impact. What sets us apart from the rest is our approach to our client strategy and project management. The relationships that we form with our clients evolve into partnerships where we can work collaboratively to provide tailor-made solutions depending on the industry and each client’s respective goals.

Check out our profile at Clutch and how we have helped clients in the past, and how our digital services could enhance your company’s marketing initiatives in the future.

Don’t Change the Channel: YouTube Marketing Just Got Really Important

By | Digital Trends, Entertainment, Industry News, Social Media, Video Production | No Comments


Have you ever gotten lost binge watching hours of YouTube videos? Well, you aren’t alone. According to YouTube, viewers are reportedly watching a total sum of one billion hours of YouTube clips per day.

That is a significant amount of time that consumers are spending on YouTube. So in terms of marketing, one might consider how to leverage your strategic marketing plans to take advantage of this premier digital platform.

Reach your clients where they already are. Right now, video marketing is more popular than ever and since consumers are spending a record high amount of time on YouTube, this is an opportunity to leverage your video content where consumers will be most likely to digest it.

Whether your business is completely new to YouTube, or it is looking to maximize existing video campaigns, we have the tips & tricks to perfect your video marketing strategy and get the most out of using YouTube to market your business.

  1. Focus on engagement, not views. YouTube reported that focusing on video engagement is more effective when measuring results. On the platform, videos under 2 minutes in length get almost 50% of all views. In terms of YouTube Ads, videos that are watched entirely will be given more visibility than videos that are abandoned early.
  2. Style of videos can vary from company spotlight,  client testimonials, product tutorials or quirky company culture clips. Don’t be afraid to diversify content, but remember to  keep the videos short and to the point. Don’t push out content that lags in its message, because viewers have the ability to click away instantly.  
  3. If your business is serious about video marketing, set up a dedicated branded channel for your business. During set up, pay attention to the details of your channel. Be sure to incorporate the company’s logo and a short yet intriguing description to assist viewers. Organize videos into playlists to motivate viewers to stream more content based on preference. Also take into consideration a compelling title for each video along with a thorough description. Although YouTube is a video platform, and emphasis is put on the visuals, the written content is crucial to creating the right first impression.
  4. Develop a content calendar to be consistent with posting on your business’ YouTube channel. Just like any other social media channel, a long silence in between posts won’t help with audience engagement and brand awareness. Plus, a calendar will keep you on track with collecting assets, scheduling production days, and editing content before the final cut should be delivered.  
  5. Use Analytics to know what is working and what is not. After Google, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. The platform allows for its users to access analytics about the reach and engagement of their videos. If your business is serious about using YouTube as a marketing platform, utilize the analytics to measure views over time, discover a breakdown of your sources of traffic and analyze the demographic of your viewers. There is a wide array of analytic specs available to understand how your videos are performing.
  6. Don’t worry about using annotations to engage your audience. This is referring to the pop-ups that appear while you are viewing a video as commentary or “Subscribe” links. As of May 2nd of this year, YouTube is getting rid of this featuring and focusing on “cards” and “end screens” to help engage your audience. Cards and End Screens will point viewers to other videos, playlists or channels on YouTube, call for subscriptions, promote your website, merchandise and crowdfunding campaigns, all of which will be compatible with mobile devices.  
  7. Consider paid ads on Youtube. You can promote your video with AdWords for Video in three ways: pre-roll ads before the videos that people watch, as a banner ad when you’re browsing the web, or as a promoted video when people search for similar video on YouTube. Keep in mind relevant keywords for your search, this might require prior research to understand what keywords are ranking for your industry and more specifically, your industry’s trends on YouTube.   

 

References:

https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/28/people-now-watch-1-billion-hours-of-youtube-per-day/?utm_content=buffer205bd&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

https://youtube.googleblog.com/2017/02/you-know-whats-cool-billion-hours.html

https://www.shopify.com/blog/12280057-7-ways-to-leverage-youtube-marketing-to-improve-sales

https://www.shopify.com/blog/6763696-youtube-analytics-10-ways-to-track-video-performance

https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/7342737

https://www.shopify.com/blog/6763696-youtube-analytics-10-ways-to-track-video-performance

https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/marketing-sales/marketing-promotion/online-marketing/youtube/how

 

Socialfix Acknowledged as Having Outstanding Company Culture by Smart CEO Magazine

By | Events, Industry News, leadership, Socialfix News | No Comments

The Socialfix team is proud to be honored for having a company culture worth noting. If there is one thing Socialfix Media values, it’s the employees that make it all possible! Our founding partners Terry Tateossian and Ken Krysinski know how to make everyone feel welcome and like they are “rockstars”. From holiday parties to intern farewells, we are proud to be recognized for being what keeps us together, an inviting environment where everyone is treated as family!

Learn more about the award below!

njceo_CorporateCulture_PreEventPR_2016 (1)-1njceo_CorporateCulture_PreEventPR_2016 (1)-3