"The night is dark and filled with terrors."
- Melisandre, Game of Thrones
"So is the Internet."
- Eric Jackson
There is so much greatness available on the Internet. Anyone over the age of 40 knows. Remember when gathering information for a school project or settling an argument didn't involve who could find the answer first on Google? You actually had to work to get an answer.
Today we have a different problem. We're constantly bombarded with information, much of it bad or even malicious. Here are a few things you need to Stop and Start.
Stop patronizing Click-Bait. What you should start will SHOCK YOU.
"If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." Your parents passed this adage along to you and at some point along your journey your learned that it's true. This is especially true on the Internet. Clickbait websites like BuzzFeed or Upworthy are making millions of dollars by capturing your curiosity and convincing you to click on advertising and tracker-filled articles that are the journalistic equivalent of bubble-gum. Do you really want to know Demi Lovato's reaction to Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner's engagement? Please stop clicking on this garbage and stop feeding them!
Stop opening everything. Start questioning the legitimacy of everything.
One of the most common ways hacking occurs is through social engineering. Wikipedia defines social engineering as "psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information." I've seen scammers register domain names that look like a company's real domain...but off by one letter. They'll then use the fraudulent domain name to email attachments to people within the organization, counting on the recipient to not notice the difference. You have to pay attention to everything.
Stop manual marketing. Start Marketing Automation.
If you're still start-up mode and cash is tight, you may have to do a lot of boot-strapping to get your message out. But at a certain point, marketing automation is too good to ignore. We're big fans (and users) of InfusionSoft, which enables us to automate much of our marketing tasks. Furthermore, InfusionSoft gives us tons of usable data to make our campaigns more effective over time, increasing the value of our efforts and decreasing the chances that campaigns will fail to meet expectations.
Stop rolling through 4-Way Stops. Start coming to a complete stop.
Is is just me getting old and grumpy or has everyone just become lazy and/or narcissistic? What's the deal with people just NOT stopping? I for one, refuse to be that guy. I'm going to come to a complete stop. And if you wreck me at an intersection, smile for the camera. Yes, I have a dash cam, because I'm not getting into a he-said-she-said situation.
Stop remember passwords. Start using a password application.
I preach the gospel of complex passwords generated by a password application like LastPass (which we all use at Keystone) every chance I get. Yet, because it requires a little extra effort and maybe a few dollars a month...the vast majority of people I talk to refuse to secure their digital world and continue using lame, hackable passwords. If I had a nickel for every person who sat in front of my trying to remember their password, I'd be retired right now. Start making your world more secure and employ a password application!
If you're looking for a deeper explanation to any of the above, I'm happy to tell you more. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.