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Score One for the Little Guy

As of June 2015, telecommunications and cable companies were knocked back on their heels when new government regulations took effect prohibiting those companies from allowing some company websites to download faster than others. The move restores what has commonly become known as net neutrality—or equal access to the Internet.

SEMA News—July 2015

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Windows 10

Microsoft’s Mea Culpa to PC UsersBusinesses that reacted to Windows 8 with howls of incredulity can take heart: Microsoft is bending over backward with its next Windows release to win back the mouse-and-keyboard crowd. With Windows 10 (there will be no Windows 9), due for release in the summer of 2015, Microsoft will make it simple once again to navigate the operating system with a keyboard and a mouse. Moreover, the Redmond Goliath will be bringing back other features, such as the Start Menu that made Windows a hit in previous incarnations. “It’s a practical approach, which is ‘customer first,’” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.
SEMA News—June 2015

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Ransomware

IT security experts warn that there’s been a spike in the scourge of ransomware—malicious software that freezes a computer, encrypts all of its data and demands a ransom for the system’s restoration. Since February 2013, more than 600,000 victims worldwide have reportedly been infected with just one variant of the malware, CryptoWall, according to an October 2014 report released by Dell.“This is the next generation of ransomware, and you can expect this new version to spread like wildfire,” said Stu Sjouwerman, CEO of KnowBe4, a firm that specializes in IT security awareness training for small- and medium-size businesses.
SEMA News—May 2015

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Is SEO Dead?

For Bad Actors, Pretty MuchWhile search-engine optimization (SEO)—the art of optimizing a web property for the highest possible search-engine returns—is not dead, the antics of those looking to game the system pretty much are. The reason: During the past few years, Google has gone out of its way to aggressively thwart practitioners of “black hat” SEO techniques, to the point where their tricks and ruses have been mostly neutralized.Specifically, Google’s updates to its search-engine algorithm, with code names such as...
SEMA News—April 2015

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Securing the Cloud

Key Contract ProvisionsWhile untold numbers of businesses are saving money by moving to the cloud, IT experts say that these companies need to ensure that their cloud contracts include ironclad security protections or they’ll suffer an uncertain future.“Look at the news on any given day,” said Ron Zalkind, chief technology officer at CloudLock, a service provider that helps companies secure public cloud accounts, such as Google Apps and Sales Force. “You’ll clearly see that the number of risks and data breaches is accelerating.” Moreover, getting from “uncertainty” to “protected” can be more difficult than you might expect, given that many providers of cloud services are reluctant to put their security assurances in writing.
SEMA News—February 2015

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AntiVirus Software is Dead: Now What?

Earlier this year, antivirus king Symantec sent shockwaves through the business community with the statement that antivirus software was “dead”—leaving businesses wondering, now what? Symantec dropped the bombshell to make a point: These days, a PC armed with a good firewall and some topflight antivirus software is simply no match against a sophisticated, determined hacker. The reason: The number of new viruses unleashed on the public every day can be as many as 200,000, according to Kapersky Lab, a computer security firm.
SEMA News—December 2014

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The New Sexy

E-Mail Retains the TitleWhile digital marketing always seems to have its own version of the “It Girl” each year, one thing has remained constant for nearly 30 years: E-mail is still the new sexy. According to a barrage of studies released during the past year, e-mail marketing still surpasses all others in the digital realm when it comes to return on investment (ROI) and increasing sales. And companies still see e-mail marketing as a stalwart when they’re looking to hang on to customers, build loyalty and increase website traffic.
SEMA News—December 2014

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QR Code Marketing

With the Right Demographic, a Potential BoonBusinesses with a significant demographic skewed toward “hipper,” generally younger tech users—people who like to stay on the edge of what’s happening digitally—should take a serious look at QR-code marketing. Most of us have come across a QR (quick reach) code in our travels. It’s that framed square of hieroglyphic-like symbols that we flip to in a magazine, which triggers our smartphones to reveal a company website when scanned. Or it’s on that advertisement we see at an airport or train station that, when scanned, conjures up an electronic coupon on our tablets that can be used at a coffee shop, often only steps away.
SEMA News—December 2014

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Web Analytics Update

The Latest Tools for Getting the Most From Your Web and Social-Media MarketingBusinesses looking to evaluate the return on their efforts in web and social-media marketing can take heart: There are scores of analytical tools available that can precisely show them how well their campaigns are doing. In social media, those just getting started in analytics would do well to check out Hootsuite. A powerful social-media dashboard that allows users to manage all of their postings and other activities on all the major social-media networks, Hootsuite is also packed with a wide variety of analytical tools that show how well you’re doing on social media.
SEMA News—October 2014

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By Joe Dysart

Facebook’s Crackdown on Free Business Posts

For Many, a Bitter PillBusinesses smarting over Facebook’s decision to severely limit their ability to communicate with people who like their business pages on the social network recently got an explanation from the web titan about the policy change. But many aren’t buying it.“Facebook wants us to pay for real estate that we used to get for free,” said Leslie Nuccio, creative strategist for Meltwater, a social media monitoring and press relations firm.
SEMA News—September 2014

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By Joe Dysart

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