Online Business Model For Your Website
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Does Your Website Fit Your Online Business Model – 5 Questions You Want To Ask Yourself

In 2017 – everything is online. Communities, shopping, music, and entertainment – it’s all online. Your business should be too. As of January 2017, 77% of Americans own and use a smartphone every day. 88% of America is on the internet daily. What does this mean for you as a business owner?

It means not only should you have a mobile-friendly website, but you need the RIGHT kind of website.

Your website should fit your online business model – think “what is the true purpose of your business”. The wrong kind of website can severely impact your new client base and potential profits as well.

Not sure if the website you have fits what your business is about?

Check out some 5 questions that point to whether your website matches your online business model.

5 Questions To Determine Your Online Business Model

1-    Am I Using My Website To Provide Information About Services?

Is your online business model more about providing a visual aid to the types of services you offer? Instead of focusing on actually selling items, the website functions like a business card or brochure, providing useful information about what your company does and how it does it. Most small business websites are modeled after this one – The Portfolio site. They require minimal content updates and provide a useful visual aid for sales staff. However, unless your business has a powerful sales staff referencing and using the site– don’t expect too much natural or organic lead conversion via search engines.

2-    Am I Using My Website To Provide Sell Products and Services?

Does your business sell products and/or services? Can potential customers purchase what you provide without visiting a physical location? If you provide products directly to your customer than your website should be set up as a Commerce site. What is a Commerce site? Well, similar to a portfolio site, the website not only provides information but also a shop that allows users to purchase products or services online. The Commerce site is a great way to gain additional profit from users who might not necessarily shop at a physical location. With ecommerce becoming more and more of a trend as technology advances, you don’t want to miss out on this potential profit market!

3-     Am I Using My Website Primarily As A Space To Share My Message or Educational/Entertaining Content?

Is the sole purpose of your website to provide specific educational or entertaining content to your desired audience? Are you providing this content for free while advertisers pay you to get their message or product in front of your audience/subscribers? If so, then your site follows the Content model. Imagine the front-page of “Yahoo!” or “Buzzfeed” – There are various types of free content surrounded by ad space. Essentially, advertisers fund you. Consider the classic newspaper and magazine business: whose main source of revenue came from ads mixed in with the daily news or various articles. This “business model” isn’t really new but many business owners and content creators use it to turn profit while sharing their message with the public.

4-    Am I Using My Website To Provide A Sense of Community?

Are you a government body, a support forum, or a collaboration of freelancers/consultants? Then you know the way that your business survives is based on the level of community users feel when accessing your website. Success of the site is determined by the amount of users who interact and collaborate together – bringing them together as a community. Sites dependent on interaction and collaboration are called a Community site. The purpose of the site is to not only provide information but to provide a space for people to work and collaborate – providing a hub to voice concerns and ideas.

Why is this important for an online business model? Because having a place for constituents to interact directly with higher ups provides a sense of inclusion that this opportunity to work together and even interact with “industry experts” creates brand and user loyalty. This is a very unique business model but when leveraged properly online, you can see great success through your digital presence. NOTE: These sites are highly dependent as well on social media integration and management. After all, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are just another example of the community online business model.

5-    Am I Using My Website To Provide Ongoing Services?

Are you providing ongoing service to existing and potential clients? If so, then you might fall into the final online business model type: Subscription. The Subscription site is just that – providing users an ongoing experience for a reoccurring rate (either monthly or annually). Think Netflix, Spotify, HBO – all of these adhere to the Subscription style website – providing content via ongoing registration to their content at a set price. Other business have taken this model and applied them for their services or tools.

An example of this would be MOZ – a well-known SEO campaign tool and report compiling service. Access to their software and reporting toolkits are only allowed via a subscription – something set at either a monthly or yearly rate or which will allow for the user to access their tool or content. This is extremely profitable if you have a particular service you are wanting to sell to potential customers – something that is wholly online.

What is the difference between Subscription and Commerce? Commerce is a one-time payment of a good or service that is bought and sold online but can result in physical products being delivered and inventoried. Subscription is ongoing and service-focused, usually providing the user access to a particular tool or content. Both are quite successful, as long as you are applying it the correct way for your business.

Online Business Model – Where Do You Fall?

Overall, the 5 types of online business models are fairly easy to implement, the hardest part is figuring out which one works best for you and your business. Most successful business websites usually end up being hybrid of 2 or 3 of these items. Research and strategic planning allow for designers and owners to accomplish multiple business models/approaches with a single website.

The key is to figure out what your true online business model is and apply it in a way that achieves maximum potential.

Not sure how to achieve that yourself?

Andromeda’s website development team is here to help you analyze and maximize your online business model and provide your end users a satisfying experience. Call one of our reps today!

Integrated Biometrics Security
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Say Goodbye To The Password – Integrating Security, Biological Data & Your Bank Account

Biometrics have held a home in many a sci-fi fan’s heart for decades now.

Does the phrase, “Open the pod bay doors” mean anything to you?

What is Biometrics Data?

Use of biological data (fingerprints, voice, retinas and more) as an access tool used to be reserved to television sets and movie theaters.

Star Trek made great use of biometric technology for storytelling.

  • Voice ID – A spaceship capable of identifying different passengers by their voice and more
  • Retina Scan – Passengers using retina data to access specific data
  • Basic Vitals – With a device called a “Tricoder” body scans when done that would give data on lifeforms, vitals and medical information.
  • Face Recognition – Face scans allowed characters to gain access into “Darkness”

Now, Star Trek was not alone in the creative use of biometrics for storytelling. Other films and shows have taken their own spin on futuristic uses of biometric data as well.

Biometrics Security In Reality

These days we have access to many forms of biometric security . . . many times at the tip of our fingers (pun intended).

The modern day smartphone has a fingerprint scan to unlock the phone, facial scanners that recognize eye contact directed at the screen, voice activated IA (think Apple’s Siri) and more.

At work, biometric scanners grant access to buildings and zones or clock employees in and out.

Facial recognition software allows government entities to find criminals and missing persons.

It is safe to say that the future of Biometrics has arrived and with ongoing advances in technology, these scans and devices will become more available for developers and engineers to integrate into our daily lives.

Just last week we published an article on different tips and tricks for best password practices.

Dual authentication increases security of your accounts in a big way. There are a few different options available. Users generate random number and sent it to their phone/email or some provide separate applications that generate timed codes themselves to use.

With Biometric data, dual authentication can use fingerprints, voice, face recognition or any other number of biological data points to ensure only the correct user has access to whatever is being protected.

The Use of Biometrics Data in Financial Institutes

To take this a step further, specific institutions such as banks and other financial services are producing their own biometric dual authentication applications for added security and protections.

Most banks have apps for phone access. This is almost a must for the industry and a commodity for users these days.

With heightened regulations and cyber threats every day, companies like Wells Fargo, Barclays, Citigroup and more are looking to security professionals and app developers to integrate biometrics with cell phone applications and produce security powerhouses.

With one out of every 2500 calls into financial institutions cited as a fraud call. It is in both the user and bank’s best interest to bring on this added level of security.

Companies like EyeVerify are developing applications. These applications make use of current/future technologies in smartphones to perform retina scans on the go. This is the perfect answer to the financial industries ongoing battle for user security and increased dual authentication practices.

Keep on the lookout for biometric advancement and integration across the tech and security sphere.

If you believe added layers of security or authentication via biometric data could improve your day to day or have a question, feel free to contact our account management team.

IT Password Protection Quick Tips | IT Data Networks
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Password Quick Tips – 6 Do’s And Don’ts

We’ve been polling our readers recently for topics of interest. Of course, cyber security and ransomware are hot topics but many of you mentioned that you are interested in quick tips you can follow or use yourself.

You ask – we deliver.

Without further ado – check out these 6 quick tips for best password practices

  1. Create passwords with multiple cases, symbols and numbers. Just be sure to avoid passwords such as “123456”, “qwerty”, “football”, “princess” or “password” – some of the most common passwords in 2016 according to SplashData.
    Password Security - IT Data Services Chicagoland - Cyber Security
  2. Don’t create a password based on personal details such as your birth date, an anniversary, phone number, social security number etc. While not everyone may know these details about you, they are among the first a cybercriminal or evildoer will attempt when trying to hack your account. Even worse, if your password data is compromised, imagine what a cybercriminal could do with that social security information if it was exposed.
  3. Avoid using the same password on multiple sites. We get it, remembering different passwords for all of your different sites and needs is difficult. It is important to create something unique for every login you maintain. Remember, if a hacker gets ahold of your password for one account, the first thing they will do is try that bad boy on bank accounts, social media, emails and anywhere else they can to grab sensitive information or even your hard earned money.
  4. Change your passwords regularly. We suggest changing passwords every 90 days. This can be a pain but if you maintain this practice you make getting into your accounts that much harder.
  5. Do Not keep a list of your passwords on your computer. Keeping a list of passwords is dangerous in any format. You open yourself up to great risk in doing so. The worst method for this is keeping a list of your passwords in a file on your computer. Instead, keep a list of each site and next to it write a specific clue that will only make sense to you. This can help jog your memory without spilling the beans if someone stumbles upon the file.
  6. Use Dual Authentication. Many apps and sites now offer dual authentication as an added security measure. Once you login to your account, you will be prompted for a code (either one you create or a randomly generated code). You put this code into the site as a second proof of your identity. This feature greatly reduces if not eliminates the likelihood of someone breaking into your accounts.

Password Security | IT Managed IT Services Chicago | Password AuthenticationPassword protection is difficult. The average Joe has anywhere from 20-200 passwords. We recognize that is a big gap but even memorizing 20 different passwords is a difficult task. With that said, we would like to provide you with a few useful tools that can free up your memory and manage your password security for you.

Password Managers

There are a variety of password managers on the market. We have used and enjoyed LastPass which comes with a free and premium subscription as well as an app for your phone. If you want to check out a variety of password managers and how they stack up – PC Magazine released their “Best Password Managers of 2017” earlier this month.

Password Security Tests

Platforms and websites do exist that will check the security of your password. There are even some websites out there that will tell you how long a hacker would have to spend to crack your code. Check out our recommended tool here .

Email Alias Tools

We’ve found an interesting tool that can help you keep track of your passwords but also creates aliases for your email address. This is useful because without your email address, a password is essentially useless. Now, of course you don’t want someone to have your password at all but this also helps you keep your inbox clear of spam and unwanted mail.

Any of these tools can help you out. If you have any questions feel free to reach the Andromeda Team Today!