Website Video Leads to Success

 Information on the Internet is vast. What is important to a business is to stop that surfing when a potential client lands on your page. Two things to remember: (1) People will not stay on a boring, drab looking site. It doesn't catch their attention and engage them and (2) People will not stay on a site where they are forced to waste their precious time reading paragraph after paragraph of text. Grab their attention quickly, give information easily, and make it fun for them!


ENCHANCING A WEBSITE WITH BRANDING AND VIDEO


A customer recently came to us needing our help with keeping visitors on their website for long enough to become interested in contacting them for further information or a sale. We visited the site to discover that its content was mostly text. There was very little color or eye catching graphics. Other than the gray menu buttons and generic logo there was black text on a white background. 

They needed help!

Upstate Digital Solutions incorporated the company's branding (colors, fonts, etc..) over to their website in the form of buttons, background color/image, and the format of the page's text. Some of the text was replaced with engaging images. This gave the same information as the text once did, but in a more pleasing and enticing way. 

Video was added to welcome visitors and showcase the company's services. In the video some of the current customer's were included to not only give the website visitors that warm personal feeling, but also to show how much the current customers enjoyed the company's services.

Due to these improvements visitor engagement increased and, as a result, so did the company's revenue. 



Here is yet another video that was created by Upstate Digital Solutions for Ultracore, a game server. The video included their membership information, cast of game characters, as well as exciting heroic music. 




Audio Leads to More Patience and Sales

 When left in silence while being on hold caller can become frustrated (and potentially hang up the phone) is if they perceive their time on hold to be excessive. Even if someone has only been holding for 2 minutes, this time “feel” longer than it actually is.

Dead air, or “unoccupied” time makes the time seem to drag on, whereas if there is content filling this time—such as music or a spoken message—the time feels like it’s going more quickly. Explained waits (informing them that the call will be answered soon or stating a current approximate wait time) are more favorable to a holding caller than unexplained waits.

ON-HOLD AUDIO EASES TENSION & INCREASES SALES


A business recently contacted us needing help with creating an on-hold message and accompanying music. In checking their current method we found it to be mostly dead air except for the "We appreciate you. Please continue to hold" vocal message.

Sales were dwindling and, according to customer surveys, it was due to being on hold too long and feeling ignored. This made them frustrated and gave them the feeling that the business didn't care about their customers.

In speaking with the business owner he expressed a desire to have both music and voice. Simultaneously playing music and a vocal message makes the on-hold sound chaotic and cluttered, which can be irritating. Upstate Digital Solutions separately recorded clearly spoken messages and music. Because it has been shown that callers respond the most favorably to music and messages that are produced according to a simple pattern we kept the music selections to the same duration as the spoken.

Since hold music is the first representation of a business that a new client gets it was important to select royalty-free tunes that reflected the face of the business. Not all music is right for every business. Because this was a pizzeria that was owned and operated by people in their mid 20's, fun Italian music was chosen. The vocals were recorded by the owner and other employees. Each stated their names for that personal touch. 

The results of having the on-hold audio was dramatic for Santoro and Sons. Those who had to sit on-hold were more calm and relaxed once they were able to talk to an employee. Because of this they were more receptive to additional purchases such as adding additional pizza toppings or a dessert pizza. 




Data Mining



Data mining started with computing in the 1960s. Organizations can collect records, logs, website visitors’ data, application data, and even sales data. It's often easy to confuse data mining with analytics because data mining often includes multiple data projects. Data mining specialists clean and prepare the data, create models, test those models against hypotheses, and publish those models for analytics or business intelligence projects.

Data mining is most effective when done to a business goal, answer research questions, or be part of a solution. Data mining helps in making accurate predictions, recognizing patterns, and shows forecasting. It also helps organizations see errors in processes such as bottlenecks in supply chains or improper data entry.

It might be a little scary to think of someone going through what you are doing online, but no one is seeing or using any of the information that you keep private. Big data is using the information that you put out there to come to conclusions and make the world a better place.



A Growing Industry

Not much of the data that companies collect from you is actually used. Data companies do not use about 88% of the data they have. It is difficult to use all of the data that go through big data companies every day. The industry is growing. The more people who go into a computer career the more information can be collected and used. There are currently more jobs than there are people in the data mining field.


Real Life Data Mining


There are a lot of real life examples of data mining:

  • Adjusting credit scoring for banking institutions
  • Websites optimization
  • Video hosting services
  • Card fraud detection
  • Government
  • Health Care
  • Education




More Resources...




John Bio


John is Upstate Digital Solution's consultant, advisor, and analytical thinker . He's the guy you go to when you have questions about what equipment or software you should be using. John's extensive background includes programming, consulting, instructing, repair, website design, and system analysis.

Fueling his success is John's fascination with puzzles and his enjoyment of a good challenge. Following his thirst for knowledge John can be found quite often searching for information to advance his technological goals. 

Traci Bio


Traci has a long history in the computer industry. She began developing websites, programming, and instructing in 1993 and has been going strong ever since. While able to tackle other IT areas Traci's passion is graphic art. She creates eye-catching graphics that can be used for flyers, logos, business cards, banners,  brochures, websites, etc...

Through Upstate Digital Solutions Traci's goal is to give service that is unique, high quality, as well as something that will bring attention and greater success to her clients. Outside of work Traci enjoys writing, swimming, drawing, playing video games, volunteering with animal rescue, and spending time with family.




Who is a Graphic Designer

History of Graphic Design

Throughout history, technological inventions have shaped the development of graphic art. In 2500 BC, the Egyptians used graphic symbols to communicate their thoughts in a written form known as hieroglyphics. The Egyptians wrote and illustrated narratives on rolls of papyrus to share the stories and art with others.

During the Middle Ages, scribes manually copied each individual page of manuscripts to maintain their sacred teachings. The scribes would leave marked sections of the page available for artists to insert drawings and decorations. Using art alongside the carefully lettered text enhanced the religious reading experience.

Due to the development of larger fonts during the Industrial Revolution, posters became a popular form of graphic art used to communicate the latest information as well as to advertise the latest products and services.

The invention and popularity of film and television changed graphic art through the additional aspect of motion as advertising agencies attempted to use kinetics to their advantage.

The next major change in graphic arts came when the personal computer was invented in the twentieth century. Powerful computer software enables artists to manipulate images in a much faster and simpler way than the skills of board artists prior to the 1990s. With quick calculations, computers easily recolor, scale, rotate, and rearrange images if the programs are known.

Throughout history, technological inventions have shaped the development of graphic art. In 2500 BC, the Egyptians used graphic symbols to communicate their thoughts in a written form known as hieroglyphics. The Egyptians wrote and illustrated narratives on rolls of papyrus to share the stories and art with others.


Who is a Graphic Designer?

A graphic artist is a person who composes visual material for printing or digital display. The artist does most of his or her work completely digitally, on a computer.

Ads in magazines or newspapers and on the web are all created by a graphic artist. They may create the picture, use photographs or use stock imagery. Text is composed by the, usually, the client's copywriter. The artist is responsible for selecting the appropriate font, color and placement for maximum impact of the message. 

Graphic Designers handle the visual side of your company. The content that Graphic Designers create is often the first time a customer or client notices your company. Someone may learn about your company from an advertisement, and if your branding isn’t clear, you won’t reach customers. 

An experienced Graphic Designer can ensure your branding is consistent across all channels and that you’re making the most out of every penny spent on advertising. Other duties and responsibilities of Graphic designers include:

  1. Work with other creative team members to produce content.
  2. Create guidelines for how logos and other branding materials should be displayed and used.
  3. Help make design choices (e.g., fonts and colors) for content used.
  4. Work closely with the client to ensure you meet their needs.







Stop Remote Viewing



UPDATE YOUR PASSWORD

If your password is old change your password and make sure not to tell anyone.

LOCK YOUR SCREEN

If you are sure your new password is strong enough, the second step is to develop a habit of locking your screen every time you move away from the laptop. When you lock your screen if anyone is on your computer remotely they will get logged out and will need a passcode to enter again. The Lock Screen option appears next to Shutdown in the main menu.

LOG OUT OF EVERYTHING 

Logging out of everything will force anyone on remotely to log out too. You can log in again with a new password. 

MONITOR YOUR COMPUTER AFTER

If your antivirus and/or Anti-Malware software found malicious programs you may have removed the infection, but you'll need monitor the computer to make sure the infection hasn't remained hidden.


CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS

If your computer was compromised, it's possible that all of your passwords have been recorded with a keylogger. If you’re sure the infection is gone, change the passwords for all of your accounts. Avoid using the same password for multiple services.

Make sure your passwords are strong and unique. Each service or program you use that is password-protected should have a unique and difficult password. This will ensure that a hacker cannot use the password from one hacked service to access another. 


LOG OUT OF EVERYTHING

Go through each account and log off completely after making the new password. This will make sure that your new passwords will take effect and others will not be able to use the old ones.


EMAIL ATTACHMENTS

Be very careful with email attachments. Email attachments are one of the most common ways for viruses and malware to get onto your system. Only open attachments from trusted senders, and even then, make sure that the person intended to send you the attachment. If one of your contacts has been infected with a virus, they may send out attachments with the virus without knowing it.
In addition, be wary of any emails you receive that ask you for personal information. Sometimes phishing websites will closely mimic sites you trust in an effort to get your username, password, or other sensitive information.


AVOID PUBLIC WI-FI SPOTS

Public Wi-Fi spots are risky because you have zero control over the network. You can't know if someone else using the spot is monitoring traffic to and from your computer. By doing this, they could gain access to your open browser session or worse. You can mitigate this risk by using a VPN whenever you are connected to a public Wi-Fi spot, which will encrypt your transfers.


BE WARY OF DOWNLOADED PROGRAMS

Many "free" programs that you find online come with extra software that you likely did not want. Pay close attention during the installation process to ensure that you decline any additional "offers." Avoid downloading pirated software, as this is a common way for viruses to infect your system.



Detecting Remote Viewing



DISCONNET FROM THE INTERNET

If you think your computer is being used by a hacker, you should first disconnect from the internet then you can try to find out where and how the hacker gained access. Some visible signs of an intrusion is your mouse moving without your control, programs being opened on their own, or files being deleted. Not all pop-ups are dangerous. Some programs update automatically and can generate pop-ups during the updating. 


CHECK RECENTLY ACCESSED FILES

Windows PCs allows you to view the last files and programs you've opened. You can do this in two different ways.
  1. On your keyboard press the Windows key and the [E] to open File Explorer. At the bottom check the section called Recent Files. Look for anything you don't recognize. 
  • Click on the Taskbar shortcut
  • Open the File Explorer window and then open the document folder.
  • Select Quick Access from the left side of the File Explorer window. 


CHECK THE BROWSER HISTORY

Regardless of what browser you use, you can check it's brsowing history. Here's the steps you'd take in Google Chrome. 

1. Go to Google Chrome
2. Click on the three dots on the upper right corner
3. Click History. Your search history will open. 
   You can now see whether or not you have made all the searches. 

   

CHECK RECENTLY MODIFIED FILES

A remote viewer can not only see your files but also make changes to them. 
Do the following to view files that have been recently modified on your computer:

  1. Open File Explorer on the computer
  2. Select the This PC option
  3. Click the Search tab, choose Date Modified, then select a time range that you want to check. 


CHECK LOGIN ACTIVITY

Follow the simple steps to check login events via the Control Panel:
  1. Open the Control Panel 
  2. Click on System and Security then on Administrative Tools
  3. Click Event Viewer
  • On the left side the Security option will appear. 
  1. Click and on it and wait for a window with all logon events to show. 
  2. By checking the administrative and standard logons and logoffs you will be able to tell if you have an intruder.


TASK MANAGER

Task manager is an ideal way to check on secret remote viewers. 
Follow these steps to check login events via the Task Manager:

  1. Open Task Manager from the taskbar. 
  2. Check your list of running programs on your computer. Any of the programs not executed by you is indication of a possible remote viewer.


LOOK FOR REMOTE ACCESS PROGRAMS

With Task Manager open, check the list of programs that are running. VNC, RealVNC, TightVNC, UltraVNC, LogMeIn, GoToMyPC, and TeamViewer are popular remote access programs that may have been installed without your permission. When researching the programs and processes remember that you can perform a web search for the process name if you aren't sure what a program is.


LOOK FOR UNUSUALLY HIGH CPU USAGE

While high CPU usage is common, and is not indicative of an attack. Sometimes it could just be a program updating in the background. High CPU usage while you're not using your computer could indicate that processes are running in the background which you may have not authorized by you. 


CHECK YOUR FIREWALL SETTINGS

If you see that a program has access past the firewall and you didn't give that program permission then someone cold be spying on you. To review your firewall settings in Windows do the following:
  1. Go to your control panel and click on the Windows Firewall option
  2. If the program has moved past your Firewall this could indicate that a programmer has empowered access
  3. Eliminate any recent progressions to your firewall, restart your PC, and run your antivirus so no risk factors stay behind.
If you're not running a program that requires remote access to your computer there isn't a reason to have any ports open. Most programs that require ports will open ports and close them again when the program isn't in use. 


SCAN YOUR COMPUTER FOR VIRUSES AND MALWARE

Scanning your computer for viruses and malware is not only an effective way of catching remote viewers, but it is a good thing for your computer in general. If you're using Windows 10, you can use the built-in scanning tools in Settings > Update & Security > Windows Security. 
  1. Go to settings and choose Update and Security
  2. Click on Windows Security and wait for scanning programs to appear. Run one of those programs and follow the on-screen prompts.
  3. If your anti-virus or anti-Malware detects any items during the scan, quarantining them will prevent them from affecting your system more.
Keep antivirus and antimalware software current. An updated program will detect most attacks before they even happen. Windows comes with Windows Defender, a competent antivirus that comes pre-installed and updates automatically.