Protecting Kids Online

Protecting Kids Online

Let’s face it….Kids are online. They are online for school, they are online for games, they are on Facetime online talking with friends and family. It’s going to happen no matter how much we, the parents, would rather them just go outside and play. With this in mind, it is important to learn how to reduce the risks that kids may encounter while online. Let’s go over what are the best steps for protecting kids online and what to look out for in the cyber world.

“I am always concerned when my child is online. I want her to be able to join her friends to play a game online or simply have a live chit chat on Duo. But, I always talk to my little girl about proper internet safety.” ~Cheryl Bauman, CFO of Planetguide

Protecting Kids online 2

Computer Security & Kids

The security of your computer can affect the safety of your child and is the first line of defense when it comes to protecting kids online. Talk to your kids about what they should and should not do online. The most important items to protect are social security numbers, account numbers, passwords, and yes even birthdays. All of this personal information should not be posted online or even answered as part of an app download. This is the one time it is essential to lie if asked. For example, if you are allowing your child to download an app, a very popular question is the birthday followed by the full name. Don’t answer these correctly. You can still play the game if you use Jane/John Smith and a birthday from the year 1960. Free stuff online is never free. Everything comes with a price online whether you have to watch advertisements to play a game or you have to subscribe to emails. Unless it is a trusted source, don’t download anything. Don’t forget to use strong passwords.

Socializing Online

It is wonderful that kids can join a Zoom conference and talk in real time while actually seeing their friends. Networking sites, chat rooms, virtual worlds and blogs are all wonderful ways for kids to virtually socialize but they are definitely an obstacle for protecting kids online. It is important to make sure they navigate this virtual world safely. Make sure to emphasize the importance of your child’s privacy. Strangers are still dangerous, even virtual ones. Don’t share too much information like photos, comments or videos. Predators use information they have acquired online to befriend kids. In some cases, the information has led to child abductions. Remind kids that online actions do have consequences even if it is gossiping with a friend. Nothing is deleted off the internet. It may not be on your feed anymore, but someone could have saved it, screenshot shot it or snipped it and saved it before it was deleted. Be the mom or dad that says, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, just don’t say it.” This also applies online, but even more – don’t type it, skype  it, facetime it, zoom it, tiktoc it, instagram it, tweet it, facebook it, or any other online it, unless you want everyone in the world to see it and know about it.

“Protecting your kids online is a full time job. It seems so innocent because nothing is, shall we say, real. But, the virtual world can be just as harmful and the real one. So keep on top of what your kids are into and how you can keep the virtually safe.” ~ Cheryl Bauman, CFO of Planetguide

Protecting Kids Online

Video Games Online

Most likely your child is playing video games online. This is okay! But, as a parent, it is still an important parting of protecting your kids online to know what they are playing and its impact on them. Do you know what Fortnite is? How about Call of Duty? If the last video game you played was called Tetris, you may want to do a little Google searching to learn more about the most popular video games out there before you look further into what all the kids are playing. Did you know that some video games are actually used to train troops for battle? Some of them include Full Spectrum Warrior and Virtual Battlespace 2. It is important to check those game ratings before you agree to let your kids play them. Next, make sure that your kids have a time limit for video games. Otherwise, you may find your child plays them 24/7. Also, don’t give your kids access to your credit card because these games love to sell coins, weapon upgrades, and so many other enticing items. Talk to your kids and think about moving all game systems into a common area so you can keep an eye out.

406 Buzz Montana News

Are you in the Buzz?

406.Buzz is your best resource for the latest events happening around the Montana Flathead Valley area. From Kalispell and Whitefish to Eureka and Columbia Falls, we’ve got the hottest events, best outdoor activities, restaurant lists, and so much more.  From farmers’ markets and breweries to festivals, music events and family fun entertainment, we know all the buzz happening around town.

Whether you are a local or a visitor, we have all the insider information on the best places to check out every day of the week. Check out our  Events Calendar – HERE –  and get in the buzz!

Social Media Is Not A Substitute For A Website

Social Media Megaphone

Why Social Media Is Not A Substitute For A Website

Social Media is a wonderful marketing tool, but it is not a professional website. A Website builds relationships and is the best way to show that your business is a professional one. 

The world has definitely embraced all forms of social media from Facebook and Instagram to YouTube and Snapchat. It is a great way to expose potential customers to your business. You can advertise to a specific audience and gain exposure in a fairly inexpensive way.  But, here is the big BUT……Social media is only a part of what you need to have complete online presence.  The most important thing to know about social media is today it is popular and tomorrow it may be gone. Do you remember MySpace, Vine or even Google+? They are all gone today and no longer popular. If you had invested all of your time into one of these social media apps that no longer exists, all of your efforts would have been for nothing. But, if you had taken the time to purchase a unique domain name and then created a website that you own, then your investment in time and money would have continued to pay off. 

Social Media

Benefits of a Website

A Business Website has many benefits, but the most important one is that you own your website and the domain name. There are platforms out there like Wix and Squarespace that offer platforms to design your website, but there is always a catch. They reel you in with offers of free websites only to find that the it will cost a lot and the real kicker is that you don’t even own the website….. think about that for second. If you want a website design that you own, make sure you work with a company that has this as part of their website design package. 

“At Planetguide, we want our clients to have as much control of their website design and maintenance as possible. Our clients are given access to their websites and they have the freedom to make any changes they want at anytime. This is what makes Planetguide unique in the industry,” according to Brett Bauman, CEO of Planetguide.com.

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A Website & Social Media Work Well Together

Remember, there is no social media substitute for a website, but they work very well together. If you blog on your website about your products and services, it will help your overall presence on the internet. Blogging is one of the best ways to increase your organic ranking on Google. Blog about anything that may foster interest in your business, but try to make it interesting.

For example, if you make jewelry, talk about your inspiration and how it impacted your design. If you are a Chiropractor, consider discussing the benefits of stretching or a regular workout schedule to help with back pain.

Once you have completed your blog, it is important to share it on your social media accounts. When someone clicks from your Facebook blog link to your website, they can actually see everything that you offer on your website. If you have the product or service that they want, you may have just earned a new customer. 

Don’t get bogged down with technology as it is just a tool to help market your business. If you need help, call Planetguide.com at 406-333-0393 and we would be glad to offer a free consultation. 

406 Buzz Montana News

Are you in the Buzz?

406.Buzz is your best resource for the latest events happening around the Montana Flathead Valley area. From Kalispell and Whitefish to Eureka and Columbia Falls, we’ve got the hottest events, best outdoor activities, restaurant lists, and so much more.  From farmers’ markets and breweries to festivals, music events and family fun entertainment, we know all the buzz happening around town.

Whether you are a local or a visitor, we have all the insider information on the best places to check out every day of the week. Check out our  Events Calendar – HERE –  and get in the buzz!

Website Hackers: Why Would They Attack Your Website?

Website Hackers Lock

Why would a hacker even consider bothering with your website when there are so many others to choose from on the world wide web? There are bank websites, credit card websites, large corporation websites….why would a website hacker look at a small business website in the Flathead Valley Area of Montana when there are so many bigger fish in the virtual sea to steal from?

Website Hackers Cell Phone

Website Hackers Are Not Attacking You Personally

It may not seem personal, but it certainly may seem that way if you have ever been hacked. In most cases, website hackers are not going to target your website because it is is your website. Website hackers do not care if you have a small shopping cart website selling jewelry or if you simply have a website for your Air Conditioning Repair Services or Roofing Company with information on your maintenance plans. Website hackers want the software powering your website. They are trying to sneak through the back door through a piece of software that is out of date or a compromised plugin with the ultimate goal of stealing sensitive customer data. They may also just want to hijack your website and use it for their own nefarious reasons.

“Website Hackers from around the world are always trying to break into servers and trying to break into websites. Hackers don’t care how big or small the site is, they just want to gain access to it.” ~ Brett Bauman, CEO of Planetguide.com

“Most websites, about 35% of all website, use WordPress. WordPress is popular because it is a secure platform that has lots of options to build a website, blog, or e-commerce site,” according the Brett Bauman, CEO of Planetguide.com. “But, because WordPress is popular, it will be popular for hackers too.”

Website Hackers Steal Money

What Does A Website Hacker Do With Your Information?

After a website hacker has gained access to the sensitive information, s/he can sell it or just hold on to it for ransom. The ultimate goal for most hackers is simply money; however, some are interested in the power of simply having the skills to hack a site. Hackers will also try to gain access to your website to create SEO spam or infect it with malware. SEO SPAM allows hackers to control keywords and can funnel traffic away from your site to another one. Malware infected websites can even be hooked up to others and become a network of virus spreading machines.

“Today, most website hacking is actually performed by machines working 24/7 looking for vulnerabilities. This is why it is important to always update all software, including plugins, and remove software that is out of date or unused.” ~ Brett Bauman, CEO of Planetguide.com

Quick Steps To Protect Your Website

  • Update everything from plugins to software
  • Use Two-Factor Authentication
  • Update Passwords Regularly
  • Only Use Software From Trusted Sources
  • Use WordPress Security logging

Website hackers area ready to target any website that is vulnerable. If they can gain access to your site and the information stored on the site, you can be a target for a hacker. But, the good news is that you don’t have to be hacked because there are lots of security measures that can help protect your site.

406 Buzz Montana News

Are you in the Buzz?

406.Buzz is your best resource for the latest events happening around the Montana Flathead Valley area. From Kalispell and Whitefish to Eureka and Columbia Falls, we’ve got the hottest events, best outdoor activities, restaurant lists, and so much more.  From farmers’ markets and breweries to festivals, music events and family fun entertainment, we know all the buzz happening around town.

Whether you are a local or a visitor, we have all the insider information on the best places to check out every day of the week. Check out our  Events Calendar – HERE –  and get in the buzz!

Blogging: What Are The Benefits?

Blogging: What Are The Benefits?

You’ve probably heard about and you most likely have read several, but have you ever thought about blogging? A blog is one of the most inexpensive and cost-effective business tools available to promote a business. Whether you sell products or offer services, blogging is a great way to get information out to potential customers. 

“Blogging is basically the process of writing, posting, linking and sharing content on the internet. Blogging drives traffic to a website, establishes authority, provides SEO, and gives a business a voice on the internet.” ~ Cheryl Bauman, Planetguide.com

Blogging: What Are The Benefits?

What Exactly Is A Blog & Blogging?

The internet is an unlimited source of information and resources. If you have a question, there is probably some sort of answer on the internet. If you offer a service, why can’t you be one of the experts describing the benefits of that service? If you sell products, why can’t you describe some of the uses of that product? The answer is simple… YOU CAN and more importantly, YOU SHOULD. 

A blog is an online journal or informational article describing or discussing a topic. There are more than 500 million blogs on the internet and millions of bloggers writing them. Individual Bloggers and even business blog about anything and everything.” ~ Cheryl Bauman, Planetguide.com

You can blog about anything from the best shoes to wear when hiking to the best places to go to for auto repair. The key is to choose a topic, write about it on your website, and then share your custom blog to your social media, newsletters and more. But, why is blogging so important?

If You Aren’t Blogging, Your Competitors Probably Are….

We all know that advertising is important, but many advertising options are expensive. Television commercials, radio spots, Google Advertising, Social Media boosts, and print are all great forms of advertising that should be considered when creating an advertising budget. According to Planetguide.com, “A blog is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to reach potential customers. Businesses use a website blog to describe services/products, promote sales, and even to describe how to use the products.” Don’t forget to include photos, images, and even videos to further promote and explain your business service or product. A blog will help you boost traffic to your website and will improve your website’s search engine optimization. The more frequent you blog with interesting topics will further increase your chances of reaching your desired target audience. Also, great blogging makes a business more credible especially when the blog displays an expertise that makes customers get to know you and your business. 

Get Blogging Now

The hardest part about blogging is just doing it. Many businesses simply do not have the time to bother with writing articles because they are busy running their business. Don’t worry, sometimes it truly is best to outsource this form of advertising to another company. If you are interested in learning more, give 406.Buzz a call at 406-333-0393 or email us at info@406.Buzz

406 Buzz Montana News

Are you in the Buzz?

406.Buzz is your best resource for the latest events happening around the Montana Flathead Valley area. From Kalispell and Whitefish to Eureka and Columbia Falls, we’ve got the hottest events, best outdoor activities, restaurant lists, and so much more.  From farmers’ markets and breweries to festivals, music events and family fun entertainment, we know all the buzz happening around town. Plus, you can submit your own event to the website for FREE – HERE

 

Is Twitter Important?

Zoom Meetings By Telephone & Twitter

Over 300 million users are on the popular Twitter social media platform. Users can promote their businesses, chit chat with friends and family, or just scroll looking at other people’s tweets. Many different types of users exist including students, policymakers, politicians, and the general public. Businesses also use Twitter. Twitter can help businesses reach another group of people on social media, but is it worth the effort?

To Tweet or not To Tweet on Twitter…. That Is The Question

Twitter is a microblogging platform that allows users to send and receive quick posts called Tweets. Now, the tweets can only be up to 280 characters long, but they can include links to websites. This means that it can help businesses advertising their products, sales and services for free.

Twitter Cell Phone | 406.Buzz

The Positives of Twitter

The most important benefit of twitter is that it is FREE. Free is definitely something that designates with many businesses. It is also very popular which means a business can reach a lot of people with a single click.

“Twitter helps with brand identity and the cost to use the platform is free. Paid ads are available, but many businesses have enjoyed the organic benefits and interactions on the platform. ” ~ Cheryl Mintz, Planetguide.com

The Negatives of Twitter

Despite the positives of using Twitter, there are still some negatives to consider too. With so many different platforms out there for businesses and users, is Twitter worth committing resources to for maintenance?

“To use Twitter well, a business must use it regularly. It also means having the right person maintaining the twitter account. Just like with any social media platform, complaints must be addressed pretty quickly. If negative comments are not addressed quickly and with a positive outcome, the platform can become a liability for a business.” ~ Brett Bauman, Planetguide.com

The Final Answer

In the end, despite all of the positives of Twitter, it truly may not be worth the time and effort, even if it is free. Due to the limitation of the platform and the required maintenance, it may not be as valuable as other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. However, if a business has the resources and a good advertising team, then go ahead and incorporate the platform as another resource to reach potential customers.

406 Buzz Montana News

Are you in the Buzz?

406.Buzz is your best resource for the latest events happening around the Montana Flathead Valley area. From Kalispell and Whitefish to Eureka and Columbia Falls, we’ve got the hottest events, best outdoor activities, restaurant lists, and so much more.  From farmers’ markets and breweries to festivals, music events and family fun entertainment, we know all the buzz happening around town.

Whether you are a local or a visitor, we have all the insider information on the best places to check out every day of the week. Check out our  Events Calendar – HERE –  and get in the buzz!

Social Media vs A Website

Social Media vs website | 406.Buzz

Social Media is Not A Substitute For A Website

Many businesses have really embraced social media platforms from Facebook and Instagram to Twitter and Snapchat. Unfortunately, these same businesses are treating these platforms as a website. Yes, they have many wonderful uses, especially when it comes to advertising and getting your message out to potential clients, but Social Media is not the same as a website. 

“Social Media is a great way to expose potential customers to your business. You can advertise to a specific audience and gain exposure in a fairly inexpensive way. But, social media is only part of what you need to have a complete online presence. The most important thing to know about social media is today it is popular and tomorrow it may be gone. Do you remember MySpace, Vine or even Google +? They are all gone today and no longer popular. If you had invested all of your time into one of these social media apps that no longer exists, all of your efforts would have been for nothing.” ~ Brett Bauman, Planetguide.com

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Tips for Zoom Meetings

Zoom Meetings | Computer Desktop on Zoom | 406.Buzz

Zoom Meetings Are Very Popular Today

Have you ever been invited or joined a zoom meeting? They are extremely popular today for social events, study groups and business meetings from home.  The pandemic has impacted how many of us interact and how we do business. Now, we can host business meetings and social gatherings together using zoom. Whether you have been on Zoom for years or have just started on the platform, there a number of tips that can help improve your video communication experience and make your video meetings more professional and efficient.

“Zoom is a very effective way of doing business worldwide. Zoom meeting is a great tool for businesses, schools, and even friends and families to communicate virtually when in-person is not an option.” ~ Brett Bauman, Planetguide.com

Zoom Meetings By Telephone

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