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Online Security Tips

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By James Pruitt, Senior Staff Writer

No company is a fortress, least of all small businesses. However, threats from outside are very real. Outside hackers as well as internal saboteurs can ruin a company. As the Internet comes of age, the good business practice requires that business people grow in sophistication just as the motley crew of potential scammers does the same.

1) Relationships with Employees

Creating a culture of security can save a business. One data breach can ruin a company. Access to a company’s online records merits careful consideration.

On an ongoing basis, workers should receive education about the dangers of online interlopers. Not every computer operator may understand even basic security concepts, such as the dangers of opening attachments. Periodic security courses can refresh employees’ knowledge regarding outside scammers, and the education can even benefit the employee in the long term.

At the very least, measures should be taken to ensure the separation of online life between work and home.  The use of workplace confidential information on unsecured home devices could make easy marks for scammers hungry for confidential information they can sell online.

Assuming the employee has an email account, the employee should know the basics of online scams such as “phishing,” fake online antivirus scams, and any of a host of more insidious schemes that may install malware or spyware onto company computers. Here is a link to some of the most common scams: https://uk.norton.com/internetsecurity-online-scams-5-most-popular-scams-in-2020.html.

Additionally, former employees commonly defraud small businesses with the information they carry off from the worksite. Employers should be as realistic about their own needs as they are about their relationship with their workers. As employees leave the team, their logins should be deleted immediately. Password management software may help with this process. Applications such as Dashlane or Lastpass may prove invaluable in managing IT aspects of any sort of offboarding.

In any case, good business practice demands (1) careful education of employees regarding good security practices, and (2) consideration of the terms of employee separation.  

2) Consider Industry Standards: Different Industries may have Different Forms of Sensitive Information

Some businesses may handle specialized information subject to unique legal requirements. For example, medical records may constitute PHI (Personal Health Information). In such cases, contracting businesses need to adopt practices under HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) to ensure compliance. These practices may include seemingly extreme measures including computer privacy screens, injunctions against in-office cell phones, and measures to keep medical records out of the open air. Such measures may seem silly but are important for small businesses contracting with medical organizations that handle protected health information (PHI). Violations of HIPAA may range from medical ridicule to identity theft. These violations may also result in any range of consequences from jail time to monetary fines.

Other similar privacy laws may include the Family Educational and Privacy Act (FERPA). Many smaller businesses handle confidential information under FERPA and HIPAA. Protection of such information is crucial and may require special training under each statute.

3) The “Right” Security Expertise

Many companies now outsource their information technology needs. As these companies become more affordable, Veteran Business Owners should research IT services that best fit their niche. Many independent companies specialize. For example, legal, medical, and educational IT companies may provide the right expertise for various relevant companies. The expertise of such companies may provide crucial expertise for the unique logistical and legal demands of smaller companies handling sensitive online information.

Finding the right security software can present another problem. The tricky landscape of online security can daunt the most discerning business managers. Some online security applications are outright scams. Others may not quite provide the necessary airtight protection against the most skillful breaches. Many small businesses find larger, established companies such as Norton satisfactory. Others choose to do their own research.

The Bottom Line

In sum, honesty and common sense should prevail in the management of company information. The most sensitive information may include private customer information, gatekeeping data such as passwords, and internal proprietary information hidden within company records. In fact, the standard should be airtight security whenever possible, rather than mere due diligence.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hope that this article has not only been valuable but provided some unique perspective.  We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful, and timely information and are the “go-to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:  

https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/vamboa

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VAMBOA

Do not forget that VAMBOA members receive significant discounts on technology needs.   Check them out here: https://vamboa.org/dell-technologies/

Social Media Terms : Part 7 of 7

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By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

 

With all the new social media terms popping up all the time, it certainly can be very confusing to keep up with all of them as well as trying to understand what they mean or how to use them. Below are even more terms to add to your glossary.

 

 

Social Selling

Social selling is the practice of using social tools to find leads, connect with prospects, and nurture business relationships.

 

Snap

Snap is the company that owns Snapchat, the photo- and video-messaging app launched in 2011. Each post on Snapchat is also called a Snap. Users can add filters, text, drawings, or emoji to their content before sending it. Direct messages last only up to 10 seconds before they disappear forever and are erased from the company’s servers. Snap Stories allow users to share re-playable Snaps for up to 24 hours.

 

Spam

Spam is unnecessary, unwanted, or repetitive content that clogs inboxes and clutters social media feeds. The term “spam” has been used to refer to junk messages since the earliest days of the Internet.

 

Sponsored Posts

Sponsored posts are social media posts in which an influencer or celebrity highlights a brand or product that they have been paid to promote. These posts must be identified as ads using a hashtag like #ad or #sponsored.

Sticker

Stickers are a feature of stories formats like Snapchat and Instagram Stories. They allow users to add extra information to a post, like a hashtag or location. Some stickers offer interactive features such as questions and polls.

 

Stories

Stories are a form of ephemeral content on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat that disappears after 24 hours.

 

Tag

A tag is a keyword added to a social media post to categorize content. You can also tag someone in a post or photo, which creates a link to their social media profile and associates them with the content. Users have the option to remove unwanted tags from their profile.

 

Targeting

Targeting is the practice of selecting a specific audience for social ads to maximize conversions. Social networks offer many targeting options based on factors like demographics, location, and interests.

 

Thread

A thread is a string of messages that make up a conversation. Threads begin with an initial message and then continue as a series of replies or comments. Threads are essential to keeping track of conversations in most forms of online communication, including social media and email.

 

Throwback Thursday (#TBT)

Throwback Thursday (#TBT) is a hashtag used to share old photos on social media.

 

Trending

A trending topic or hashtag is one that is popular on social media at a given moment. Trends are highlighted by social networks such as Twitter and Facebook to encourage discussion and engagement among their users. The “trending” concept was first popularized by Twitter and has since been adopted by other networks. The trends that you see on Twitter and Facebook are based on your location, who you follow, and the content you like.

 

Troll

A troll is a social media user who makes deliberately offensive or annoying postings with the sole aim of provoking other users.

 

Tweet

A Tweet is a Twitter post. Tweets are limited to 280 characters and can include photos, videos, and links. They are public by default.

 

Unfollow

To unfollow someone is to unsubscribe from their social media account. If you would prefer to maintain the social connection but don’t want to see their posts, you can mute them instead.

 

URL

URL is short for Uniform Resource Locator. It means the address of a website page or other resource on the Internet. URLs can contain codes called UTMs that help with tracking and analytics.

URL Shortener

A URL shortener is a tool that condenses a long URL into a shorter (and more social media friendly) format. URL shorteners such as ow.ly can also provide link tracking capabilities, which allow businesses to measure click-throughs from social media and attribute website conversions to individual social messages.

 

User-Generated Content (UGC)

User-generated content is content created by the regular people on social media, rather than brands. Brands collect that content through contests, branded hashtags, or simply reaching out to ask permission. When brands re-share that content with their own followers, they are implementing a UGC campaign. User-generated content can help increase brand awareness and loyalty by allowing businesses to tap into the excitement and creative energies of their customers.

Vanity Metric

A vanity metric is an analytics item that can be measured but is not a signifier of real return on investment. Examples include the number of followers, likes, or comments. These metrics are best contextualized by more concrete numbers such as click-through rate or visitor-to-lead conversions.

Vanity URL

A vanity URL is a web address branded for marketing purposes. Vanity URLs replace common URL shortened formats with something related to an organization’s branding. For example, Time Inc.’s vanity URL is ti.me. The New York Times uses nyti.ms.

 

Verified

To be verified on social media means that you have proven your identity to the social media platform provider and gained a verified label in return, usually in the form of a checkmark. This is usually reserved for brands, journalists, and other public figures as a way of preventing fraud and protecting the integrity of the person or organization behind the account.

 

Viral

To go viral on social media is to have a specific post bring in an unusually large number of engagements. An exceptional number of shares is the clearest sign of going viral, as your post spreads across the internet like a virus.

 

Virtual reality (VR)

Virtual reality immerses the user in an experience so that what they are doing looks or feels real. VR headsets are a common way of engaging with virtual reality.

 

Vlogging

Vlogging is a combination of the words, “video” and “blogging.” It means to create and post video blog content. Someone who vlogs is known as a vlogger.

 

Webinar

Webinar is a combination of the two words “web” and “seminar.” A webinar is a digital broadcast of a presentation intended to educate or inform. Webinars allow users to watch a presentation from their computer or other device, and often interact directly with the presenter or fellow attendees through chat or video.

 

Whew! That is a one long list.  VAMBOA hopes it is valuable and you learned some new terms.   Please print out your glossary and share this article.   Everyone stay safe, healthy and we wish you prosperity!

Social Media Terms : Part 6 of 7

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By Debbie Gregory.

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Since social media is always changing, it can be very difficult to keep up with all the new social media definitions that emerge every month. Here are even more terms for you to know.  We hope we are not making your head spin.

 

Recommendation

A recommendation is a testimonial provided on LinkedIn. You can provide recommendations for your connections or ask them to provide a recommendation for you. Recommendations appear on your public profile.

Regram

To regram is to repost another Instagram user’s image or video. Make sure you have permission to do so, either through a branded hashtag or by asking the user directly.

 

Repin

To repin is to save another user’s Pin to one of your own Pinterest boards.

 

Reply

Reply is a social media function that allows you to respond publicly to another user’s comment, creating a comment thread. On Twitter, you reply by clicking the comment icon under a particular Tweet.  On other social networks, you’ll find a button or link marked Reply.

Repost

To repost is to share another user’s content on social media. This can include regramming, repinning, or retweeting. It also includes sharing another user’s Instagram post in your Instagram Stories.

 

Retargeting

Retargeting is an online advertising strategy that aims to re-engage website visitors who left a site without converting. Retargeting starts with a small tracking tag embedded in your website’s code. You can then target these prospects on other websites, including social networks.

 

Retweet

To retweet is to share someone else’s Tweet with your followers. When you click the retweet button on the Twitter website or app, you can opt to republish the tweet as is, or add a comment to explain why you’re sharing it.

 

Rich pin

A Rich pin is a Pinterest post that contains additional content from the original website. There are three categories: article, recipe, or product. For example, product Rich pins include real-time information about where to buy the product, pricing, and availability.

 

RSS feed

An RSS feed is a format for syndicating web content. It may be short for Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication, depending on who you ask, but neither is an official acronym. RSS feeds are created in a standard XML format that makes them compatible with a variety of readers and aggregators that readers can subscribe to.

 

RSS reader

An RSS reader is a tool that allows you to collect articles from multiple RSS feeds in one place for easy reading.

 

Scheduling

Scheduling involves planning social media updates and content ahead of time using a social media management platform or other publishing tool. Scheduling saves time by allowing users to draft several messages at once, often as part of a publishing approval process or larger marketing campaign. It also enables posts to be timed for audiences in various time zones.

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization is the practice of increasing the organic visibility of a web page in search results. Although businesses can pay for ads on search engine results page, SEO refers to “free” tactics that enhance the search ranking of a page.

 

Selfie

A selfie is a self-portrait photograph, usually taken with the front camera on a smartphone and shared on social media sites.

 

Sentiment

Sentiment is a way of describing the way people feel about your brand on social media. Rather than just measuring the number of posts or engagements related to your brand, it captures the feelings and attitude contained in those posts.

 

Sentiment analysis

Sentiment analysis is an examination of how an audience feels about a brand, company, or product based on social data. Sentiment analysis typically involves natural language processing or other computational methods to identify the attitude contained in a social media message. Analytics platforms—such as Hootsuite Insights classify sentiment in a variety of ways. For example, some use “polar” classification (positive or negative sentiment), while others sort messages by emotion or tone (contentment/gratitude, fear/uneasiness, etc.).

 

Share of Voice

Share of voice is a measure of how many social media mentions a particular brand is receiving in relation to its competition. It is usually measured as a percentage of total mentions within an industry or among a defined group of competitors.

 

Social Customer Service

Social customer service is when a company uses social channels to provide service and support to customers. Larger companies often have a separate social handle for customer support issues.

 

Social inbox

A social inbox is the screen for reading and responding to direct messages on a social platform.

 

Social listening

Social listening begins with finding and assessing what is being said about a company, topic, brand, or person on social media channels. Then, the social team acts based on what the analysis reveals. Taking action could be as simple as responding to a happy customer or as major as revising the brand strategy.

 

Social Media Management

Social media management involves managing social media accounts, engaging audiences, and measuring the business results of social media activities. Effective social media management practices implemented at scale across departments and regions allow everyone within the organization to collaborate and achieve measurable outcomes on social media.

 

Social Media Management Platform

A social media management platform is a secure, scalable tool that allows businesses to manage multiple social media accounts across departments and devices. Social relationship platforms are used for monitoring, posting, and tracking social media, and help manage everything from customer service to lead generation.

 

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is the use of social media to increase brand awareness, identify key audiences, generate leads, and build meaningful relationships with customers. Social media marketing should be part of a larger social strategy that also includes social customer service, community management, and social selling activities.

 

Social Media Monitoring

Social media monitoring is like social listening in that it involves tracking what is being said about a brand on social media. However, while social listening involves analysis and action, social media monitoring is primarily concerned with finding and gathering data.

 

Social Media ROI

Social media ROI (Return On Investment) is a measure of how much you get out of the time, money, and effort you put into your social media strategy. It’s a way of evaluating which strategies provide the most value, and which areas of your strategy may not be delivering enough return.

 

We know you are waiting with bated breath for the final article in this series – ENJOY!

Social Media Terms : Part 5 of 7

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By Debbie Gregory.

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With so many social media platforms, it is quite difficult to keep track of all the different new social media terms. Our long list of social media vocabulary continues to grow!

 

 

Messenger

Messenger is Facebook’s instant messaging app. Originally called Facebook Messenger, this app allows Facebook users to send direct messages to each other through a mobile device. Users can also use Messenger through a desktop web browser.

Metric

A metric is a quantitative measure of social media success. Put simply, it is a figure based on real numbers and can be tracked and measured over time. Vanity metrics include ego-boosting engagement statistics like comments, shares, and likes. Other metrics, like conversion rate, can help prove social return on investment.

 

Microblogging

Microblogging is the practice of publishing short content updates to platforms such as Twitter and Tumblr.

 

Mute

Mute is a social media feature that allows you to edit users out of your feed without unfollowing or unfriending them. They still see that you are connected, and you can still interact, but you do not see any of their activity in your timeline.

 

Native advertising

Native advertising is a type of social media ad that matches the style and format of an organic post. A boosted post is an example of native advertising. Ads are always identifiable by a label that says “sponsored” or “promoted,” but native ads look just like organic social content.

 

News feed

News feed is the Facebook term for the screen that shows all the latest updates posted by people the user follows. On other social networks, this is simply called the feed.

 

Newsjacking

Also known as trend jacking, newsjacking is the act of referencing a news story or trending topic in order to connect with the audience following that story. Hashtags are a common way to attach content to breaking news. Newsjacking only works if there is a close tie to the story in question.

 

Notification

A notification is a message or alert indicating new social media activity. For example, if somebody Likes one of your Instagram photos, you can receive a notification on your phone that lets you know.

 

Objectives

Objectives are the goals of an advertising campaign on social media. Each social network has its own set of objectives that ads can target. For example, Facebook advertising objectives are divided into three broad categories of awareness, consideration, and conversions. The objective you select determines which ad formats and payment structures are available for your campaign.

 

Organic reach

Organic reach is the number of unique users who view your content without paid promotion. People find social content organically through their own feeds—either from companies whose accounts they have liked themselves, or through content shared by friends or connections. If someone visits your social profile based on a search or any other non-paid referral, this is also organic reach.


Pay per click (PPC)

Pay per click is a type of advertising where an organization pays each time a user clicks on an advertisement. The costs incurred during a PPC campaign vary based on the competitiveness of the target keyword. The amount that you pay for each click in a pay-per-click campaign is your cost per click (CPC).

 

Pin

A Pin is the name of a post on Pinterest. Every Pin is made up of a picture and a description. When clicked, a Pin directs users to the source URL of the image. Other users can like or Repin your Pins. Users can also organize Pins by theme or event into collections.

 

Pinned post

A pinned post is a social media post saved to the top of your page or profile on Facebook or Twitter. Pinning a post is a great way to feature an important announcement or highlight some of your best content.

 

Platform

A platform is a social network or a component of a social network. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are all social platforms. However, some marketers may consider Facebook news feed and Facebook stories to be different platforms since they may have different audiences and use different marketing strategies. Platform can also refer to a social media relationship management tool. In this case it is called a social media management platform.

 

Post

A post refers to any social media status update, photo, or video, or an item shared on a blog or forum.

 

Private Social Account

A private social account or group is one that is shielded from public view. While the basics of the account or group, like profile picture and name, are visible to anyone, the content shared is accessible only for approved followers. On Twitter, a private account is referred to as “protected.”

 

Promote

Promote is a term used in different contexts by the various social networks, but it always indicates some form of payment to gain access to a wider audience than could be achieved through organic content. Facebook uses the term “boost” for promoting a specific post, but “promote” to describe promoting a Page. Twitter offers promoted Tweets, promoted accounts, and promoted trends. There’s also Promote Mode, an automated ad program on Twitter.

 

Reach

Reach refers to the total number of people who have been exposed to a social post or ad. This metric does not necessarily indicate that all of these people have actually seen your content. They could have scrolled right past it, for instance. Reach simply indicates that the content appeared in the user’s social feed at least once.

Social media analytics tools usually report organic reach and paid reach as two separate metrics.

 

Reaction

Reactions are a form of engagement on Facebook. In addition to Likes, reactions include Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry. Each of these reactions is indicated by an emoji. Facebook users can access the reaction option by hovering over or holding the Like button.

 

Real-time marketing

Real-time marketing is the practice of using a current event or popular trend to connect with an online community. It can be tricky to strike the right balance between jumping on a trend, maintaining your brand voice, and speaking to your target audience. A “right-time” strategy of focusing on your audience’s current needs and wants may be more effective.

 

VAMBOA hopes you are enjoying this timely series.  Stay tuned for the two final articles in this series, Part 6 & Part 7.

Social Media Terms : Part 4 of 7

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By Debbie Gregory.

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We all know the pain of too many terms and acronyms, especially on the web. What’s the difference between impressions and reach? A Profile and a Page? A Follower or a Fan? Here are even more of the most common social media buzzwords, keywords, terms and phrases…and their definitions.   We are creating your own personal glossary.

 

Geotag

A geotag is a specific location added to a photo, video, or other social media post. Geotags can expose your posts to more people, since content is often searchable by location.

 

GIF

GIF is an acronym for Graphics Interchange Format, a file format that supports both static and animated images. GIFs rose to popularity to react on social media without words. Facebook and Twitter both support animated GIFs.

 

Google Ads (Google Adwords)

Google Ads are a form of online advertising, previously known as Google AdWords. Google Ads appear at the top of the Google search listings for your target keywords. They can also appear on other websites through the Google Display Network.

 

Group

A group is an online community within a social network. Groups can be public or private. Within a group, community members with a common interest can share information and discuss relevant topics. Both Facebook and LinkedIn offer groups on their platforms.

 

Handle

Your handle is your username on social media. It is usually noted as @username. It can also be used in your personalized URL for each social network.  It is a good idea to use the same handle across social networks to make it easier for potential followers to find your accounts.

 

Hangout

A Hangout is a video or voice call with one or more people using the Google Hangouts service. In 2019, Google Hangouts was divided into two products: Google Hangouts Chat and Google Hangouts Meet. Google Hangouts Meet is designed for video conferencing and includes features such as screen sharing, enabling video presentations to groups of up to 30 people.

 

Hashtag

Hashtags are used on social media to tag posts as part of a larger conversation (A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by the “#”. Clicking a hashtag reveals the latest posts that include the tag. Hashtags are searchable and serve a similar role to keywords.

Header image

A header image is the picture that appears at the top of a social media profile. Also known as a cover image or cover photo, it provides a chance to showcase your products, your team, or any other aspect of your business that will make people want to explore your profile.

 

Impressions

Impressions is a metric that counts how many times an ad or promoted posts is fetched from the server and displayed on a social network. It is not a measure of how many people have seen the ad. For example, one social media user might have the same ad appear in their newsfeed multiple times over a certain period. Each of these instances is counted as one impression.

 

Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing is a strategy that involves creating valuable content and resources that attract potential clients to your business. It is called “inbound” because the resources you create help people to discover and learn about your company themselves, rather than reaching out to them with a sales pitch. Your team can then nurture these new contacts until they are ready to become customers.

 

Inbox

An inbox is the screen on which you read, organize, and respond to messages. Email inboxes are a common example. Social messaging services also use inboxes.

 

Influencer

An influencer is a social media user with a significant audience who can drive awareness about a trend, topic, company, or product. From a marketer’s perspective, the ideal influencer is also a passionate brand advocate.

 

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is a strategy involving collaboration with an influential person on social media (an “influencer”) to promote a product, service, or campaign.

 

Instant message

An instant message (IM) is a real-time text message sent using an online platform.

 

Key performance indicator (KPI)

A key performance indicator (KPI) is a metric tracked over time to determine progress towards a valuable business goal. Social media KPIs might include audience growth rate, amplification rate, and customer satisfaction score.

 

Klout

Klout was a social tool that gave social media users a “klout score” out of 100 to define their level of online influence (or clout). Klout shut down in 2018, but other services have emerged to fill this data gap, including Hootsuite Insights and Followerwonk
Lens

Lens is the term used on Snapchat to identify augmented reality face filters. Anyone can create a custom lens through the Snapchat Lens Studio.

 

Like

A Like is a form of engagement on social media. It is a quick way of showing that you like the content posted by simply clicking a button. On Facebook, the Like button is a thumbs-up, while on Instagram and Twitter, a Like is indicated by a heart. Liking content also works like bookmarking, since you can go back later to view the content you have Liked.

 

Link building

Link building is a marketing strategy to boost traffic and search engine rankings by getting other websites to link to yours. Common techniques for acquiring links as part of a link-building campaign include guest blogging and offering valuable content to repost.

 

Listed

If you are listed, that means you have been added to a Twitter list. Twitter lists are a way of organizing content to make it easier to keep up with a large number of Twitter connections. Being added to a Twitter list may increase your chances of being followed by the list creator’s followers.

 

Live stream

A live stream is a real-time video shared over the Internet. Most social networks now offer live streaming options that include the possibility to interact with viewers, who can submit written comments and questions throughout the broadcast.

 

Lurker

A lurker is someone who watches a social media feed or belongs to a social media group but does not engage with the content with a like or reply.

 

Meme

An online meme is a joke or comment made for sharing on social networks. It usually appears in the form of a graphic or GIF with text above the image or superimposed.

 

Mention

A mention is the act of tagging a user in a social media message. Sometimes called @ mentions, these usually trigger a notification for that user and allow your audience to click through to their bio or profile.

 

Hope you are enjoying this seven part series – stay tuned for the rest!

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