Hacking isn’t just a Winter time sickness..!

So a lot of people just seem to be completely unaware of hacking…truth is I was one of those people….until it happened to me! Now, it wasn’t me specifically…but it did effect one of my clients. I did feel a little bad about the situation, but one thing I DO try to warn clients is, invest in the extra security just in case something goes wrong…..I’ll come back to that story in a bit. Let’s start with some basics like, WHAT IS HACKING?

It is simply the method somebody uses a computer to gain unauthorized access to data in a system.

Now you’ve seen major companies get hacked on the news, the Ashley Madison’s, the US Government, Yahoo, Google, Facebook….but what about ma and pa’s record shop, or upholstery cleaner? Why would someone want to hack them…. Simply stated because they can. Just like anyone who takes advantage of someone else who doesn’t have control, it’s to effect them mentally, and somewhat physically (functionally not being able to use their website).

Is it possible to stop, are there full proof methods? Not exactly…..there are tons of software, programs encryption methodologies and more….but nothing is full proof. Companies paying 1000’s of dollars monthly still get hacked. Why, because vulnerabilities pop up through the biggest weakness involved in the technical process, human error.

We forget to update plugins, we give weak passwords, we give our password out to everyone, we don’t add extra layers of security. we avoid minor costs. There are a number of reasons, BUT prevention starts first with:

1. PICK A STRONG PASSWORD – Please pick one you haven’t used before, hackers pick up on rhythmic things like that… Make up one using all types of cases and characters, write it down and move on.

2. Invest in extra layer of security – One I just invested in for a client that has worked like gangbusters is Site Lock. They scan daily, and send me warnings right away not only if or when I get attacked, but also if there are warning signs from the design infrastructure that say…”This could be a problem down the line”

3. Change can be good – This sounds a bit like one, and two as well – Change to a secure password regularly, don’t always have blog posts that people can comment on, eventually disable those comment areas.

There are a lot of things you can do….as I was telling you this did happen to a client, however they did not want the extra security or my reassurances, what was done was done…..learning lessons.

If you are looking for more information on the subject matter, there is a ton out there. However if you are infected, or feel like you might need help cleaning up your backend up, or getting rid of malware? Call the team at Market*TING – Central Indiana’s marketing and communication leaders. We do web design and development, branding and graphic design services. Social Media consultation and training, and lastly website design and development services for both new and existing clients. Let’s see how well your website might be protected.

Who Is James Scott? Apparel Marketing Story in the making…

This is all about our new clothing line James Scott Apparel. A lifestyle brand with sharp looks, great materials, and more in mind!

This has been an extremely involved marketing challenge overall because one it is a heavy product focus, and to be honest, the Market*TING team doesn’t work with a ton of products, more so services for companies and organizations.

The other difficult thing is, Owner of Market*TING, Ryan Scott, is the co-owner of the company, along with partner Fenrick James. What has happened is every element of Market*TING has been utilized and tested, and more! Initial company development focused on the naming of the organization. We quickly vetted that out internally, but next was the look that would develop and being the visual essence of what we eventually called James Scott Apparel. After getting a number of marks we had a good feeling about, I decided to attack our demographic, young women, looking for something high quality…so I went to a popular college watering hole in Downtown Indianapolis, and asked our demographic what they thought. That great feedback led to some of our first designs of our private label brand.

Other efforts that immediately followed in the next coming months included doing high caliber fashion photo shoots, developing our web and social media presence. Creating a marketing campaign that spoke to the essence of the brand #WhoIsJamesScott? Developing a variety of new looks for our t-shirt brand, and launching our university branded division. The company has been around over a year now, we’ve sold over 1000 shirts, and pushing for stores to pick up our brand for the holiday season.

We are not experts in fashion marketing by far, but we have developed a pretty strong road map for success, and would love to speak with other organizations that might be looking to expand their clothing and apparel ideas, or other products that they might be looking to push, and build the brand of.

Website Design Process

We’d like to talk about some basics of website design and development, and give you a better idea of what our process looks like.

What does the “typical” process look like when it comes to working with Indianapolis based Market*TING on developing a new, or redesigning an existing digital space online. First things first is our “discovery” process.

The discovery process is going to ask some basic questions like. What does your organization do? What is the purpose of developing the website? Who is the audience that we are designing for (this isn’t always your typical consumer, or customer).

After we get the main information for who, what, where, when (idea of), and why. We move on to the next steps of discovery.

1. Getting a sense of what is your online brand, and what does that strategy look like? Having a website is good, but it is never enough in this time and age of internet marketing.
2. What is the website structure that will make up your website? There are a multitude of ways we can build your website, but we need to figure out what road map and construction will be best for your particular audience. This could include building a wire frame, a site map, or simply determining which, and how many pages will be needed for the website.
3. Functionality is always the difficult part when it comes to websites, and what the client wants. A lot of times clients aren’t aware of the time frame that goes into the programming of a website, determining what functionality they want on the website will a lot of times determine how difficult of a programming challenge the design might be. Early on I was advised, anything under the sun can be designed on a website, it’s just how much time, and how much money does a client want to spend. Functionality could include flash graphics, special forms, drop down menus, custom branding, video, or a dancing baby going across the screen.

This is just the first phase of what we go through in the web design process. Stay tuned for our follow up on the “process” If you are exploring a new web presence and located in Central Indiana or beyond, give Market*TING a call. We would love to develop a web solution that is right for your organization.