Tech Tip: Identify secure websites

SSL URL viewed in different browsersOne thing to look for when shopping or entering sensitive information online is that you are on a secure website. Websites with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates transfer data more securely than those without. Any reputable organization that deals with money transfer or sensitive information should have an SSL version of there website.

You can identify these secure  websites by a URL starting with https:// rather than http:// in the address bar of your browser. A little padlock icon is usually also displayed near the website address to indicate that the connection is secure. You can click on this padlock to see the details of the SSL certificate.

SSL allows you to better verify the identity of the website owner as well as ensuring that the information you submit to these websites are encrypted. It is a good hit to check the address of a website and look for the padlock before submitting any sensitive information.

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Tech Tip: Optimize your Facebook cover photo

Change cover photo screenshotFacebook is one of the most popular websites on the internet and arguably the most well known social network. In addition to your display picture, Facebook allows you to specify a cover photo to be displayed on your profile. If this picture is too large you can reposition it. There are however, guidelines that you can follow to ensure that you get the best size and position for your cover photo and that the photo’s quality is not degraded too much.

Facebook’s FAQ gives us two valuable pieces of information about the cover photos:

  1. The optimal dimensions are 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels high.
  2. Photos should be less than 100 kilobytes in size.

If you open your desired photo in an image editing program you can ensure that it is the right size by cropping out the parts of the image that you do not want in the cover photo. Once the image is 851px x 315px you do not have to worry about repositioning and the entire image will be visible as a cover photo.

Facebook automatically adjusts the quality of large images and if your image has text or logos the quality loss is very noticeable. Ensuring that your file size is below 100KB will also ensure that Facebook does not reduce the quality of your image dramatically after it is uploaded.

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SeizerStyle Designs Newsletter- September 2012

SeizerStyle Designs Newsletter

September 2012 Newsletter

Welcome to the SeizerStyle Designs Newsletter. This is a new monthly publication highlighting what we are up to here at SeizerStyle Designs. Look out for interesting developments as well as information on special promotions and discounts we are offering. We have made several changes to our website to make it more secure and standards compliant.

Website Security Improvements

Website Security logoWe now have a secure version of our website which can be accessed at https://www.seizerstyle.com. When using the secure version of the website the information you enter into any of our forms is encrypted for added protection. This gives you an added layer of security and we take your security and your privacy very seriously. This is a very crucial in the direction that we want to go with our business. Ensure that you are using the secure version of the website whenever you want to enter sensitive information in our website.

HTML 5

HTML 5 logoOur main website is now HTML 5 compliant. HTML5 is the newest standard language for creating websites that offers more features and improvements from previous incarnations of HTML. By making our website standards compliant we have shown our commitment to the future of the web based on open standards.

All our client websites will eventually also be converted to HTML 5. We hold the websites we create to the same high standards as our own and we will make the transition carefully ensuring minimal downtime for clients.

Special Offers

We are still running our Remix My Website and Redo My Logo special offers.  These promotions offer reduced pricing on upgrading websites and logos that already exist but need to be updated. If you are interested or have any questions feel free to contact us.

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Tech Tip: Check multiple email accounts at once

Outlook & Thunderbird logosIf you have multiple email accounts you probably know the pain of having to log in to  various websites to check your mail. Using a desktop email client you can check multiple email accounts in one convenient location. Once you have entered the credentials for the account in your desktop email client you can receive and send mail without having to log in to many different websites.

There are many desktop email clients available including Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird. These clients can access mail via POP or IMAP protocols while Outlook can also connect to  Microsoft Exchange. If you log into your email accounts via the web you can find the appropriate settings required to make it work with desktop clients (most likely in the Settings section). You then create a account using the email client of your choice and enter the appropriate information to set it up.

There are many advantages to using desktop email clients:

  • Once set up you can use one master password and have the desktop client remember your individual passwords for you.
  • You do not have to use an internet browser and navigate through multiple email websites.
  • You can use the various special features of desktop clients such as sorting, filtering and features provided by add-ons.
  • Desktop clients can automatically check for new messages after a designated time period.

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Tech Tip: Choose the right display resolution

Screen resolutionThe resolution of your computer monitor affects both the size of objects displayed on your computer screen and how clear they appear to you. Resolution is a measurement of the number of horizontal and vertical pixels used to display content on the screen. As the resolution gets higher, more content can be displayed on the screen at a time. The content may also appear clearer. Higher resolution does not mean a bigger picture though. In fact a higher resolution actually makes displayed objects appear smaller on the screen and there is more space to display content.

Computers come with a recommended resolution setting but you can change this to suit your personal preference.If you would like content to be bigger decrease your resolution. If you would like content to be smaller increase your resolution. You can find details of how to do this below.

In Windows 7/Vista:

  • right click on the desktop
  • click Personalize
  • click Display (bottom left of screen)
  • click adjust resolution
  • select a resolution from the Resolution drop down menu.
  • Click Apply

In Windows XP:

  • right click on the desktop,
  • click Properties
  • click Settings tab
  • move the resolution slider
  • click Apply

Sources:

Change your monitor resolution (Windows Vista/7)

Change your monitor resolution (Windows XP)

 

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Tech: Tip: Cool down your laptop for better performance

Cool laptop for better performance

My gaming laptop kept stuttering when playing FIFA 12 while I had more than the minimum required specifications to play that game. I began to suspect a faulty graphics driver issue, but no matter how many driver updates I tried the problem was still there. I noticed however, that while running my laptop in a fully air conditioned building the stuttering did not occur. This led me to believe that the problem was not with the graphics driver but rather with the heat generated by the laptop.

There are many ways to cool down a laptop including cleaning, using commercial cooling pads or simply propping up the laptop. This Lifehacker article explains how this can be done by using alternative means. Whichever method you choose to use the point is to improve air circulation and keep the operating temperature of the laptop at an acceptable level. Cleaning dust from the vents and fan of the laptop will help air to circulate while it is running. Propping up the laptop on small sturdy objects increases the airflow beneath the laptop also providing a cooling effect. Next time you are having performance issues with your laptop try this technique and see if there is any improvement.

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Tech Tip: Choose secure passwords

Eyes prying password imageGone are the days when you could choose your mother’s maiden name or your favorite pet as a secure password. Any dictionary based word, along with common names, can be  hacked by someone with malicious intents and the right program to do so. This is why many online services require seemingly complicated passwords that are of at least a certain character length.

To help secure your accounts when choosing a password include numbers and symbols such as (!@#$%^&*_+). This may make your passwords a little more difficult to remember but it also makes it that much more difficult for an intruder to guess. It is also not recommended that you use the same password for multiple accounts because if the password is comprised once all your accounts using that password become vulnerable.

Related articles:

Dictionaries attack! Hackers use dictionaries to guess your passwords

 

 

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SeizerStyle Designs Shop Dominica 2012 Special Promotion

20% Off Shop Dominica banner adIn support of the Shop Dominica: Experience the Promotions campaign SeizerStyle Designs will be offering the following discounts on all quotations for graphic and website design jobs made between 24 – 26 August 2012 inclusive:

  • 20% off all graphic designs (calendars, fliers, t-shirt designs, logos, letterheads, etc).
  • 20% off all new website design and development costs.

This offer is only valid for quotations made from 24 – 26 August 2012 and will be applied to the job upon the date of completion even if that date of completion is not within the date of the promotion. Experience the promotions online now at www.seizerstyle.dm.

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Tech Tip: Click once and wait

Click once & wait graphicYou may have encountered a slow webpage and clicked on a link and it seems like nothing happens. You are tempted to click on the again and again to see if the page will load quicker. Clicking on the link multiple times does not, however, let the webpage appear quicker, it actually lets it  be reloaded and take longer to appear.

When you click on a link a request is sent to the server to allow you to download the page that you would like to view. Clicking multiple times  will send new requests to the server overwriting the previous one and downloading the page over again. This causes the page to take longer to display than if you had just clicked once and waited.

In the case that there is a problem with the server causing the page to load slowly sending several requests only adds to the problem. Depending on your web browser, be weary of the status of loading pages by monitoring either the messages in your status bar or the progress in your address bar. Only click on a link more than once when you are certain that it has timed out. You can also check to see if a website is really down to know if the problem is widespread or isolated to your computer.

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Pre-order customized 2013 calendars

Pre-order 2013 Calendars

Every year SeizerStyle Designs creates a series of customized calendars. Follow the year 2013 with a customized SeizerStyle Designs calendar. We offer custom calendar designs that match your personality and/or business.

Calendars are a great way to advertise for an entire year and to show appreciation to your customers for their continued patronage. They are also great personalized ways to capture special memories such as weddings, childhood and family photos or other milestones in your life.

If you would like a personalized calendar made please contact us. We can help you design the calendar you want including editing any special images you want included. You can also browse our previous work in our graphic design portfolio.

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