Speros Expands Web Design and Technology Support with New Hires

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Speros Expands Web Design and Technology Support with New Hires

(SAVANNAH, GA) Speros, a full-service technology company headquartered in Savannah, announces three new employees have joined the firm: Mary Elizabeth Sancomb, web and graphics designer; Dean Baynon, IT technician; and Michael Redmond, technology technician.

“Each of these new team members has a unique skill set to serve the increasing needs of our clients, and they will help us continue to provide the prompt personal attention customers expect from us,” said Susan Speros, chief executive officer of Speros. “We are excited to welcome them to the Speros team.”

Speros

Mary Elizabeth Sancomb

Sancomb, as a web and graphics designer, will be responsible for overseeing social media accounts, designing logos and websites and developing the firm’s marketing projects. The Savannah native is a 2017 graduate of the University of Georgia.

“I am excited to develop my design skills and help our clients find their personal brand and voice while developing their websites,” Sancomb said. “I’m also looking forward to helping Speros better connect with our customers on social media as well as developing new skills working with the knowledgeable staff at Speros.”

Dean Baynon, Speros

Dean Baynon

Baynon, as Speros’ newest IT technician, will be responsible for managing backups and anti-virus software and will help clients with equipment installations. He grew up in Statesboro and graduated from Ogeechee Tech in 2018 with an associate’s degree in IT. He also has completed an internship at Digital Office Equipment in Statesboro.

“I am pleased to work at Sperosbecause the company has an efficient, yet relaxed atmosphere,” Banyon said. “My coworkers are very friendly and helpful to everyone, both customers, and other employees. When I came on board, no one hesitated to answer any questions I had. Everyone here truly loves what they do.”

Speros

Michael Redmond

Redmond, a technology technician, will be responsible for the installation of cabling, structured wiring and all hardware required for various services. The Savannah native graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design and has 15 years of experience as a low-voltage technician and high-voltage electrician.

“I am happy to be part of such an experienced team. I hope to contribute by bringing my various experiences in the low-voltage field,” Redmond said.

ABOUT SPEROS
Established in 1984, Sperosprovides technology solutions for businesses, offering telephone systems, IT services, surveillance systems, web design and branding solutions and cloud computing. Sperosteam members continually stay updated on leading-edge, certified technologies to maximize solutions and ensure businesses succeed in this fast-paced, technology-driven world. For more information, visit speros.com, call 912-354-8900 or email info@speros.com.

MEDIA INQUIRIES
Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade Public Relations®
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com
912-856-9075
www.carriagetradepr.com

Speros Wins Local Food Drive Competition: Bytes for Bites, Benefiting Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia

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Speros Wins Local Food Drive Competition: Bytes for Bites, Benefiting Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia
Over 70,000 Donated and 9,000 Pounds of Food Collected

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Technology Association of Georgia has announced that Speros, a full-service technology company in Savannah, won Most Points Per Employee and Total Points for the Savannah area in the 3rd annual Bytes for Bites— a two-week fund and food drive competition benefitting Georgia food banks.

Sponsored by the Georgia Food Bank Association, the goal of Bytes for Bites is to help children in food-insecure homes during the summertime when children no longer have access to free or reduced-cost school meals. According to their website, more than 1 in every 4 Georgia kids at risk for hunger.

Competing against two other technology companies in town, Speros was recognized as the winner for the Savannah area. “We used social media and videos to help gain community support,” said Lauren Dingus, the Director of Web Design and Marketing at Speros. “The response we received from our partners, clients and followers was overwhelming. We truly appreciate everyone’s help to make this a success.”

In total, the Georgia Food Bank Association reported nearly $70,000 raised and over 9,000 pounds of food collected in this year’s statewide competition, which is twice as much food as last year.

For a full list of the 2018 winners, visit http://bytesforbites.org/awards/.
For more information, visit https://georgiafoodbankassociation.org/make-a-difference/campaigns/bytes-for-bites/

Speros Bytes for Bites CompetitionSperos Bytes for Bites Competition

ABOUT SPEROS
Established in 1984, Speros provides technology solutions for businesses, offering telephone systems, IT services, surveillance systems, web design and branding solutions and cloud computing. Speros team members continually stay updated on leading-edge, certified technologies to maximize solutions and ensure businesses succeed in this fast-paced, technology-driven world. For more information, visit speros.com, call 912-354-8900 or email info@speros.com.

Speros, Speros Technology, Carriage Trade Public Relations and Cecilia Russo Marketing, Savannah Public Relations

MEDIA INQUIRIES
Cecilia Russo
Cecilia Russo Marketing
912-665-0005
info@crussomarketing.com

Malware Protection

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WannaCry Malware Protection
by Jason Ryals, Chief Technology Officer at Speros

Recently making global headlines, a new variant of ransomware referred to as WannaCry has been put part of a large-scale cyber attack that has infected over 200,000 computer systems and over a 150 countries. Ransomware acts by infecting a computer through opening a malicious email or website which then encrypts your data to the user, in exchange for a payment to unlock (Decrypt) these files usually in the form of digital currency called Bitcoins. Infection can also spread to other network connected resources and perform the same operation locking an entire business from accessing their own data.

At Speros we have multiple layers of defense from NOT being apart of this exploit.

1. SonicWALL firewalls are installed and up to date with latest Security definitions and at the Speros Data Center , scans all traffic incoming and outgoing blocking anything suspicious. This also performs website filtering that will help restrict access to sites known to host malware.

2. Barracuda Networks, our anti-spam email filtering solution, inspects all email messages, unusual content,infected attachments, malicious links etc. and quarantines those messages.

3. Speros Managed Services applies Windows Updates which are tested, approved and applied to each managed workstation and Managed servers.

4. Trend Micro Antivirus is installed on each workstation and server. In the event that a rogue piece of software does happen to come through the above layers of security, the antivirus software will quarantine the suspected files and alert Speros HelpDesk.

In addition to the above security measures , Speros recommends backing up your data, your servers end or workstations , to ensure critical files are safe. While backups are not a level of prevention they are a layer of protection against loss whether from accidental or malicious intent.

Jason Ryals, CTO of Speros, Inc.

Jason Ryals, CTO of Speros

Jason Ryals is the Chief Technology Officer at Speros. Ryals’ certifications include VMware Data Center, ADTRAN Technical Support Professional, SonicWALL CSSA&CSSP, Microsoft Certified Enterprise Administrator, Linux & A-plus, Cisco, and IBM AIX Unix based server systems. He has in-depth knowledge on troubleshooting Local Area Networks and Wide Area Networks, routing, VMware and complex software designed data centers, and SD-WAN solutions. For more information, visit speros.com, call 912-354-8900 or email info@speros.com.

Speros Vice President
, Heather Radtke to Speak at Savannah Chamber’s May 2 SMART Luncheon on How to Prevent Hackers from Compromising Business Security

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Speros Vice President
, Heather Radtke to Speak at Savannah Chamber’s May 2 SMART Luncheon on How to Prevent Hackers from Compromising Business Security

(SAVANNAH, GA) Heather Radtke, Vice President
 of Speros, Inc., on Tuesday, May 2, will discuss five steps small business owners can take to avoid having their data hacked.

Radtke will outline the suggested safeguards during the Savannah Chamber’s Small Business Council SMART Luncheon from 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. in the Savannah Morning News auditorium, 1375 Chatham Parkway.

“If you are a small business owner, there is a 50-50 chance your company will be the victim of a cyber attack,” Radtke says. “But there are several things you can do to safeguard your online data and avoid being hacked, or minimize the impact.”

Radtke will outline five ways small business owners can lessen their chances of a data breach, including how often and where they should back up data. She will also discuss firewalls, antivirus software and anti-spam systems and will dispense tips on detecting hackers and minimizing damage if an attack should occur.

“Like any emergency plan, business owners need to have a plan in place in advance so they can respond quickly if their computer system is hacked,” Radtke says. “This includes everything from physically disconnecting computers from the network to breaking the news to business partners, vendors, customers and other stakeholders.”

The event is for Savannah Chamber of Commerce members only. Registration will begin at 11:30 a.m., and the cost is $12.

RSVP at SPainter@SavannahChamber.com or call 912-644-6458. Small Business Council SMART Luncheons are hosted each month with guest speakers presenting topics relevant to small business owners and employees.

Heather Radtke, Vice President of Speros

Heather Radtke, Vice President of Speros, Inc.

MORE INFORMATION ON SPEROS
Established in 1984, Speros provides technology solutions for businesses, offering telephone systems, IT services, surveillance systems, web design, branding solutions and cloud computing. Speros team members continually stay updated on leading-edge, certified technologies to maximize solutions and ensure businesses succeed in this fast-paced, technology-driven world. For more information, visit speros.com, call 912-354-8900 or email info@speros.com.

MEDIA INQUIRIES
Cecilia Russo
Cecilia Russo Marketing
912-665-0005
info@crussomarketing.com

How To Create Strong Passwords

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By Lauren Dingus

The internet is literally at our fingertips day in and day out. With all of our information, from bills to banking to medical records, being available through apps on our smartphones and online portals, keeping your accounts secure should be one of our biggest concerns.

However, most of us have become complacent when it comes to the passwords we use to protect our personal information. This leaves us vulnerable to identity theft. With large scale hacks from celebrity iPhones to Yahoo, it’s time to rethink our passwords.

  • Always Use a Unique Password
    Using the same password for all of your accounts is a big no-no. This leaves you vulnerable to having all of your information out there for the taking. The average person has more than 20 different logins spread across a wide variety of websites, but they probably don’t use 20 unique passwords. To make sure all of your information is secure, you need to have a unique password for each of your online accounts.
  • Avoid Being Predictable
    Steer clear of the obvious, such as using your birthdate the names of your kids, street address or anything else that can be easily tied to you. Also, try not to use any of the most common passwords, including “password”, “123456”, “baseball” and “football”. All of these were in Splashdata’s top 10 worst passwords list for 2015, and should definitely not be used to secure your personal information.

If your password is predictable, consists of one word or is on the list of worst passwords, then it’s time to rethink your account security.

  • Follow a Strong Password Formula
    While there is no standard for creating a password that will guarantee your account won’t be hacked, there are formulas you can follow to increase the strength of the passwords you use. Generally, the higher the quantity, and wider the variety of characters you use, the stronger your password will be. According to Microsoft’s website, you should choose a password that uses at least 6 characters and mixes uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Use a Password Manager
    A password manager is essentially a digital address book for all of your online accounts. You can use this to keep all of your usernames and passwords stored in a secure database. This frees you from having to remember every single password for every single account and also prevents you from having to do multiple password recoveries when you inevitably forget a password. Instead, you have one, hopefully very strong, password to remember so you can access your online accounts database.
  • Use 2-Step Verification when Available
    Two-Step Verification, or Two-Factor Authorization, gives your account a second layer of protection. First, you enter your password to sign on, then a verification code is texted to your phone that you have to enter in order to complete the login. By enabling this feature, you are ensuring that no one will be able to access your account without your knowledge. You will receive a verification code if someone attempts to access your account.

Following these steps will have you well on your way to keeping your personal information safe. You will be able to significantly decrease the likelihood of your personal information becoming compromised by creating strong, discreet passwords and avoiding untrusted sources when online.

Lauren Dingus of Speros

Lauren Dingus is the web and graphics designer at Speros, responsible for the website development division, including graphic design and branding, content writing, and consulting on digital marketing strategies. For information, contact Lauren at ldingus@speros.com or 912.354.8900

How to Keep Your Online Business Identity in Check By Lauren Dingus

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Jeb Bush recently made headlines for allegedly forgetting to renew his domain name. It was discovered that JebBush.com was pointing to Donald Trump’s official campaign website. Since this news originally broke, we have learned that Bush never owned JebBush.com, and Trump never had control of that domain. A company in Australia owns it.

This brings to light the important, and often overlooked, point that maintaining your domain name is crucial for your business. While Bush didn’t actually lose his domain to Trump, well known businesses have let their domains expire in the past. Big name brands like Google, Microsoft, and the Dallas Cowboys have all let their domains expire, and a mistake like that can be very costly for any business.

What happens when your domain expires?

If you forget to renew your domain, and it expires, you will lose access to it. Domain registrars, like GoDaddy, will give you a certain period of time to buy it back, sometimes with a penalty attached. Once that grace period has ended, your domain will be auctioned off or awarded to someone who has it backordered. If no one has bid on or backordered your domain, it becomes available for anyone to register.

You may think that a temporary lapse in your website being available is no big deal, but letting your domain expire can cause a serious hardship for your business. For example:
You and your employees will have no access to your company email. Meaning any electronic communication between you, your staff, and customers is lost.

You can lose customers to your competitor if they are searching for your services online and can’t access your website.

Your competitor can purchase your domain and have it redirect to their own website.
An individual or business can purchase your domain and require you to pay a premium price, sometimes thousands of dollars, to get the rights to it back.

Protect your domain name by taking these precautions:

It’s easy to forget about renewing your domain. Logging into your registrar is not something anyone needs to do for the normal day-to-day operations of their business. However, ensuring that your domain doesn’t expire is essential for your brand image. Follow these steps to safeguard your good name:

Renew your domain name for multiple years in advance
Registrars will often allow you to pay in advance for more than one year; sometimes up to 10 years in advance for a .com. It is a good idea for you to renew your domain for as many years in advance as you can. Just be sure to make a note in your calendar of the expiration date, so you can renew again before your domain expires.

Set your domain registration to auto renew
Pay attention to emails and renewal notices from your domain registrar so you know when you should expect a charge. Also, login to your account periodically to make sure all of your information is up-to-date; especially your credit card information and email. All too often, business owners lose their domain because the credit card on file was expired and they never received a renewal notice.

Make sure you are in control
If you have someone else managing your website, make sure your domain name is registered under your name, and that you have all of the login credentials. An issue we run into when building a website, or setting up email for our clients, is finding out what the login information to their domain registrar is, who setup the domain and who has access to this information. A lot of business owners pass off the job of renewing their domain to someone else in their company, when they should be the one in control of it.

Remember, your domain name is an extension of your business. It plays a major role in your online reputation with your customers and search engines. If you follow the advice above, you can save yourself the frustration and expense of trying to recover a lost domain name.

Lauren Dingus is the web and graphics designer at Speros, responsible for the website development division, including: graphic design and branding, content writing, and consulting on digital marketing strategies. For information, contact Lauren at ldingus@speros.com or 912.354.8900

Lauren Dingus

Businesses Beware: Mobilegeddon Might Affect Your Google Search Rankings By Lauren Dingus

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Google has many algorithms they use to serve the most relevant search results to you, and they update them around 500 times a year. These updates usually fly under the radar, and do not have any significant impact on the ranking of your business website, but the announcement from Google on Tuesday, April 21 has made everyone’s ears perk up and pay attention as techies warn of a looming “mobilegeddon.”

The effects of this change will influence search results worldwide in a significant way. For businesses, knowing the details of this update can help explain changes in ranking, and the amount of organic search traffic your website receives.

Mobile use officially surpassed desktop use by Americans as of February 2014. This means that potential customers are more likely to search for you via their mobile device than on their computer. Google’s new update will now reward mobile-friendly websites by giving them a higher rank when a search is conducted on a mobile device.

With the majority of your potential customers accessing the internet via tablet or smart phone, not having a mobile solution for your website is no longer an option. And, as the number of screen sizes grow, making your website responsive becomes crucially important to the success of your business.

What is Responsive Design?

Responsive design is the practice of building websites on a fluid grid that adjusts to the screen resolution of any device: smartphones, tablets, laptops and more. Your website will automatically adapt to give potential customers the best viewing experience regardless of what device they are using.

Benefits of Responsive Design

1. Avoid a high bounce rate: 48% of users say that if a website is not responsive, it is a sign to them that the company does not care.

2. Reach more customers: Over half of all local searches are done on a mobile device. Ensure that potential customers are able to easily interact with your site on their mobile device.

3. Better user experience: Have you ever viewed a website where you had to zoom in and scroll around the page to view all of the text and images? How long did you stay on this page before getting frustrated and leaving? A responsive website will give your viewers a pleasant mobile experience by adjusting to their screen size.

4. Convert more viewers into customers: 67% of customers were more likely to purchase products or services from a mobile-friendly website.

5. Save time and money: There is no extra cost of developing and maintaining a separate mobile site, so all of your time and resources can be spent making your company website the best it can be.

6. Avoid duplicate content: Having a separate mobile site will cause you to have the same content repeated twice. Google negatively ranks websites that have duplicate content.

7. Benefit from one URL: When your website is accessible from one URL, it is easier for viewers to find, share, and interact with your website.

8. Google officially recommends responsive site: Google’s Web Master Trends Analyst has gone on record saying responsive websites are easier for Google to crawl and index.

And now, Google has released a significant new ranking algorithm that will not only label your site as mobile-friendly, but will demote your website if it is not mobile-friendly, placing you lower in search results than your mobile-friendly competitors. The algorithm will take a few days to a week to take effect globally.

The fastest way to see if your website is mobile-friendly is to pull up your site on your phone. You can also use Google’s mobile friendly testing tool (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/) if you are still unsure. This tool will give you a yes or no answer to whether or not Google views your website as mobile-friendly.

Google determines if a page is mobile-friendly every time it’s crawled and indexed. Once you implement a mobile solution, like a responsive design, you can ask Google to re-crawl and index your site, and Google will become aware of the change.

I want to stress though, that while the mobile-friendly change is important, Google will continue to use a variety of qualifications to rank your website. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal. Be assured, if your site contains high quality content that is relevant to what people will search for, then it can potentially maintain a high rank if it is not mobile-friendly.

Lauren Dingus is the web and graphics designer at Speros, responsible for the website development division including high-end graphic design, integrated functionality and security components. For information, contact Lauren at ldingus@speros.com or 912.354.8900