The use of smart devices is projected to reach 50 billion by 2020, according to Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group. With so many smart devices and the availability of easy to use hacking software, home-targeted cybercrime is a growing problem.


Here are tips on how you can protect yourself from cyber scum:

1. Change the default setting on your smart device.

Manufacturers add convenience by shipping devices with default settings enabled. When enabling a new smart device, change the default settings at initial start-up.

2. Update passwords at least once a year.

Multiple passwords are unavoidable. Make sure to change your passwords each year. Never use names, address or birthdays, or easy to guess passwords. While it is easy for you to remember, it's also easy to hack. It is equivalent to leaving the key under your mat.

3. Add an extra authentication protocol.

Bulk up your security with an extra step for gaining access. The added security layer could be a one-time pin you receive by text. Or, it could be biometric authentication, which relies on a unique thumbprint, eye-scan or user's unique keystrokes.

4. Check your smart devices for firmware updates.

While updates are annoying, and notification of updates equally as annoying, keeping your software loaded with the latest fixes helps keep out hackers.

5. If you experience a security breach, immediately take action.

Update passwords, notify credit card companies and file a police report. Never use public Wi-Fi networks and don't keep smart devices on the same network as your PC. This will minimize hacking across different devices.

Be as vigilant about smart device security as they are with credit cards, computers and locking the house when you're away.


Have you considered a home automation system that can control your security, lighting, appliances and thermostat from almost anywhere? Sign up with Jaqx which is one of the best and most reasonably priced systems out there.   

Our core goals in building your website have consisted of:
  • building a mobile-friendly site that functions equally on all devices
  • creating a clean appearance that allows the right messages to stand out
  • leaving users with a lasting impression of trust & quality
  • blending content with simplicity
  • making the site load as fast as possible

As the new year begins and technology gets more incredible, there will be certain trends that stand out in web design. People are incredibly visual beings, and the strongest trends are those that consider the human eye, along with our other senses. Websites boasting high resolution will be important in 2017, and brand-curated images to pique audience interest. But, images aren’t the only way to be visual. Typography will become more important this year, as more businesses will try to separate themselves from the competition with strong branding.

Video will continue to dominate trends. Video content is already strong on blogs and YouTube, but designers are tinkering with it in other ways. Background video and motion graphics will be enjoying some attention. The success of good animation depends on subtle gentle movements and simplicity.

As web designers, our job has changed considerably to the extent that we are now largely styling content containers. With the establishment of responsive design our page designs have to fit into simple re-configurable panels – there is less and less customization we can do.

Some clients tend to think the design work is over when the site is built and don’t really consider designing their content. It is so easy to mess up a homepage with an ill-cropped image or with a headline and image that do not really work together. Web users have grown to expect a professional look and feel to websites and organizations that can’t maintain it will lose out.

Infographics could be part of this picture. Using data to identify the areas in which a designer’s touch will make a difference and tying that in with your website’s user experience is the key. This will be a transformative year in the integration of user experience, design and digital marketing.

Flat design will continue being influenced by the simplicity and clarity of app design.

UI patterns will continue to develop, as behavior patterns that occur frequently in checkouts, logins and registrations are likely to become more constrained due to changes and developments in browsing security.

You may not realize it, but you are using keywords every time you write a blog post, or website content. Although, depending on how you use the words, Google may or may not “see them.”You must be relevant to chose up in search results. Start by choosing words that represent the heart of your service, and remember, not all keywords are created equally – some are more useful than others.

You can gauge the keywords that will be most useful based on the following:

1. Traffic 
Is anyone searching for that word or phrase?  Focus on keywords that have results, however they don’t need a lot of traffic, as popular words are harder to rank for.
2. Be Specific
Since the competiton for popular words like “bank” and “yoga” are high, look for phrases that are easier to rank for, like “Bank in Denver” or “yoga in downtown Denver.” In general, the more specific your terms are, the easier it will be to rank for them.
3. Be Relevant
Make sure the keyword is relevant to what you do. If you’re trying to rank for keywords that don’t fit your website, service or blog, you will have less relevance in a search engine result because you have less authority in that area. Don’t try to fool Google.

There are several resources that you can use to do your keyword research. Google makes it easy with Google Ad Words. People use this to buy ads, however you can use it to browse keywords for free! Enter the words you want to focus on and see how they’re doing, or if your website has been around for a while, enter the URL and they’ll give you their best guess on what to focus on. Don’t worry if Google doesn’t recommends words you want to rank for – you know your business better than Google, and you can choose how you want to position yourself online.

The keyword research results will be displayed based on competition and monthly searches for that particular word. Try to choose keywords that have a relatively high traffic score with a relatively low competition score, because you aren’t the only one trying to rank for these words!

Maybe you have been too busy with work and that the thought of holiday shopping slipped your mind. Or maybe, you got caught up in watching Elf and drinking hot cocoa that you didn’t take the time to finish your shopping? Whatever the case may be, weeks have passed, Christmas is almost here and perhaps shipping deadlines have passed and there is nothing you can do about it now. Or is there?

1. Make a list. No need to check it twice. Know who you still need to buy for, what you’re going to get them and how much you want to spend. Staying organized will save you a lot of time – no need to waste time browsing items in the store when you know exactly what you’re looking for!

2. Set a time limit. Look at all of those deals and goodies you want for yourself! JUST DON'T. Setting a time limit to find a gift will keep you from shopping for yourself, and help get your holiday shopping done a lot faster.

3. Look for sales. Just because you’re shopping last minute doesn’t mean you need to spend a crazy amount of money. Deals still exist! To save time, check for deals on the items on your list online before going to the store.

4. Give gift cards. Almost every retailer offers gift cards, which are a great way to allow your loved ones to choose their own gifts. Gift cards are a quick buy and the fact that you can choose a monetary amount will help you stay within your budget. To make gift cards a little more personal, creativelt wrap them or send a fun online greeting with an e-gift card.

5. Bake something up. Who doesn’t love baked goods during the holiday season? Bake something fun from Pinterest and dress them up with festive wrap, ribbon, tins or plates.

6. Get creative and personal. Create personalized gift baskets with simple items found at drug stores. Drug stores offer lots of options all in one place!

7. Shop local. Shopping malls aren’t always around the corner from us, which means they require travel time. Also, they’re often overcrowded with long lines. Save time by purchasing gifts at local shops. They’re just around the corner, and they’re likely to be less crowded.

8. Have some backup gifts on hand. No one is perfect, so just give yourself a break now and purchase some gifts that you can have on hand, IF/WHEN you realize you forgot to purchase something for someone on your list. These items can be things like: candles, a nice throw blanket, coffee sets, etc.