Monthly Archives: April 2015

Make Your Web Site Mobile Friendly for Google

Mobile Friendly

On Tuesday, April 24, Google will make an important change in the way it ranks web sites for search.

For at least a year, Google has been pushing web site owners to make their sites more mobile friendly. In fact, they’ve even noted in the search results which sites are optimized for mobile devices.

The biggest change of all in this new mobile front will come when sites are actually demoted in search results if Google deems them not mobile friendly.

Are you ready?

Google’s Mobile Friendly Test will tell you: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

mobile ready

WordPress Makes It Easy

If your web site is built with WordPress, you are probably all set.

Here are the things you need to check:

  • Are you running the latest version of WordPress? Update if necessary
  • Is your theme up to date?
  • Is your theme mobile ready? WordPress calls such themes “Responsive Themes.” They look good on either a desktop or mobile device. If you are planning to update the look of your site, now would be the perfect time to switch to a new responsive theme.

Jetpack to the Rescue

If you like you web site the way it is, but it isn’t mobile friendly, there is a quick and easy WordPress solution – a plugin called Jetpack

JetPack has lots of useful tools, but for the big Google re-ranking, the most important part is its built in Responsive Theme. It will leave your desktop theme as is while adding a new, mobile friendly theme that will be detected by mobile browsers (and Google!)

Jetpack’s Mobile theme. Instant and customizable lightweight responsive theme designed for phones and tablets.

To use Jetpack, you’ll need a WordPress.com account.

You don’t actually have to build a blog on WordPress.com to open an account. You just have to select Create Account Only at sign in.

Make a note of your WordPress.com user name and password, and return to your own WordPress powered web site.

Download and install the Jetpack theme, sign in with your WordPress.com credentials when prompted, activate the plugin, select Mobile Theme, and you are done.

Your site is now ready for Google’s Mobile Friendly search.

 

Google 2 Step Verification – Part 1

2 step pc and phone

Stay Safe with Google’s Two Step Verification

One of the handy things about Google’s apps is that they are “platform agnostic.” It doesn’t matter if you use Windows or a Mac, iOS or Android. Google Maps, GMail, Google Docs, Google Drive etc will work in similar ways on any computer.

This is a boon to those who use devices with different operating systems (Android smartphone and Windows desktop, for example) as well as to those who collaborate with people who may use entirely different devices.

Google’s mantra of “One Password, All of Google” adds greatly to the convenience.

If you have to edit a spreadsheet with someone using Windows 8, but you only have your iPhone handy – no problem. Open GMail, find the sheet in your Google Drive, and email it to your Window using friend.

This degree of interoperability and convenience, combined with 15 GB of free cloud storage, encourages users to store lots – lots and lots! – of information in Google apps.

But with convenience comes vulnerability. A stolen GMail password gives a hacker the keys to your kingdom: years worth of archived email, gigabytes of documents, your calendar, your contacts, even your YouTube account are all laid open.

Fortunately, Google’s Two Step Verification is as easy to set up and use as other Google products – and it will do a very good job of keeping your information safe.

ENABLING TWO STEP VERIFICATION

get started

Begin by going to https://www.google.com/landing/2step/

If you aren’t already signed in, sign in to your Google account.

About half way down the page, you’ll see a link to 2 Step Verification. Click  Set Up.

Remember, two step verification works with
* Something you know: your password – and
* Something you have: your phone

verification codes

To start, enter your phone number. You can then choose to receive your verification code via an SMS (text) message sent to your smartphone or through the Google Authenticator app.

In most other circumstances, SMS is simple and direct, without the need for an additional app, and it is the method many people choose.

(Google Authenticator is a downloadable iPhone or Android app that generates one-use verification codes. It is useful if you frequently find yourself outside the reach of cell service. If you later decide the method you selected isn’t right for you, just revisit the page and pick the other method. You can switch back and forth freely.)

Click Send Code and you’ll receive a 6 digit verification code via text message on your smartphone. Enter the code and click Verify.

registered computers

Once verified, you’ll probably want to check the Trust This Computer check box. (Of course, never do this on a public computer.) This will allow you to use any Google app or service from this computer without having to enter a verification code again. Like other 2 Step Verification settings, this can be changed later.

Click Next, then click Confirm.

Congratulations! You have enabled 2 Step Verification for your Google account,. Your private information, email account, and documents will be much safer.

Next: Using Google 2 Step Verification Part 2: Backup Phones, Backup Codes, Google Authenticator

Welcome

devices

There are many great articles, tutorials and videos here on The Web Sellers’ Circle. Please take a look around.

We have articles and videos on eBay and Amazon, on using the technology that keeps online businesses humming, and on mobile as well as desktop computing.

You can search by Category or by Title. Click anywhere on the sidebar to begin.

So dig in!

Two Factor Authentication

two-factor-authentication

Using Two Factor Authentication

Strong passwords are the necessary first step in prottecting your data. But they are only the beginning.

If you want to ensure that you remain safe, even if your password is stolen, you’ll need a second defense: Two Factor Authentication.

The theory behind Two Factor (also sometimes called Two Step) Authentication is simple: a log in from an unknown or untrusted source requires two different types of verification

  • Something you know: your password
  • Something you possess: usually your phone

Two Factor Authentication Stops Hackers Before They Get Into Your Account

How does this protect you?

Consider this familiar scenario: the password for your email account was stolen in a data breach. Sadly, you had no idea this happened, and thousands of SPAM messages were sent out under your name in a matter of minutes.

Unless you had Two Factor Authentication enabled.

In that case, even if the hackers have your password, they cannot log in to your email account because they will not know the one time code sent only to your smartphone.

Hack attack foiled.

Setting Up Two Factor Authentication Is Easy

Setting up Two Factor Authentication isn’t difficult. Nor is it especially cumbersome to use.

First, find out if a particular app or service or web site you wish to use supports two factor authentication.

The Two Factor Auth List is a good place to start for a comprehensive overview.

Next, you need to enable Two Factor Authentication for the site. There are actually many possible ways to do this, but in general, the web site will have an option to enable two factor authentication, if it is available, somewhere in its security settings.

Finally, you will receive a text message with a one-time use code you will need to enter on the web site to prove you are you.

At this stage, you are usually able to designate the computer you are using as a trusted source – meaning you will not have to be verified again everytime you log in.

If you primarily use a desktop or notebook computer, congratulations – you are probably done.

If you use a smartphone or tablet, you’ll have to authenticate yourself within particular apps on those devices.

We’ll look at Google as a specific example next, to see how authentication works across platforms as well as how to use something called, “App Specific Passwords” on a mobile device.