5 Tips For Creating Your Company’s Social Media Policy

Create Company's Social Media Policy

Social Media PolicyIt's a fact in today's day and age: social media is an important part of many people's lives. They share photos of their children, big moments in their lives, and gripe about many topics. Yes, they complain about Mondays and the government, but there's something else a lot of them are complaining about: their jobs.

Long hours, employees that drive them crazy, and the slave-driver boss who runs the show. People don't hold back on a free hosting social media platform like Facebook and Twitter, as if it's a safe place to vent their frustrations. But when does it cross the line? When should an employer hold that employee accountable, possibly terminating that person for what they've said?

Company's Social Media Policy: Think Before You Act

It's true that employees should exercise caution regarding what they choose to divulge in a post on a free hosting social media site. However, an employer needs to exercise caution regarding how they discipline an employee for that post as well, or else they go against the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). This important law guarantees the employee can discuss aspects of their job, good or bad, like the hours they work or how much they make.

However, it's not an absolute protection, giving them the right to say whatever they please, no matter how damaging. This is why creating a solid social media policy is so important. This will give the employer peace of mind that their company keeps a good reputation, spelling out ground rules for what employees can and cannot say regarding the company and its activities.

Five Tips To A Decent Social Media Policy

1. Watch your wording.

It's hard to use terms like “offensive” when offensive is a relative term. One person's idea of offensive is harmless to another. The more broad your terminology is regarding unacceptable social media behavior, the better your chances of restricting an employee's rights under the NLRA.

2. Be as specific as possible.

Don't just say “Employers cannot divulge any confidential information on a social media platform” and leave it at that. You need to provide clear definitions as to the types of information considered confidential.

3. Provide clear examples.

When you provide examples of unacceptable behavior, it makes it easier for the employees (who, again, will interpret the rules differently from person to person based on their own set of values) to interpret exactly what is expected of them. This makes you more NRLA-compliant as no one has to interpret the rules for themselves.

4. Review periodically and update when necessary.

Keep an eye on the National Labor Relations Board for new rules and regulations so that you can amend your policies when things change, ensuring you're always compliant.

5. Review company-wide policies for guidance.

In certain cases, an employee might be violating another policy completely unrelated to social media. Review all of your company's policies periodically, like harassment and discrimination, to ensure they are also NLRA-compliant.

Creating a social media policy can be tricky business. It requires close and careful attention to every last detail to ensure your company and the rights of your employees are equally protected.

Do you have a social media policy in place?

Select best Web Hosting Provider

The Key To Providing Killer Customer Service

Providing Killer Customer Service

question The Key To Providing Killer Customer ServiceYour dedicated hosting business relies on its customers. That is a given. You wouldn't be in business without them. However, you run the risk of losing customers if you're offering a shoddy customer service experience.

If you want to provide fast and reliable customer service, look no further than the cloud. If you haven't integrated cloud hosting for your customer service representatives yet, you should. Doing so gives you the power to provide support and answer customer questions efficiently and effortlessly while allowing you to change the customer service call center model as you know it entirely.

Providing Killer Customer Service: Reducing Operating Costs

First, let's think about the space it requires for your medium- to large-sized cheap hosting company to employ a call center staff. The more customers you have, the more support staff you'll need. But you only have so much room for them in your building!

Cloud hosting of your data means giving employees the flexibility to work from anywhere. You can choose to rent cheap office space to house additional employees, or even allow them to work from home. You won't need to purchase expensive equipment. All that's required is a computer and an Internet connection.

Providing Killer Customer Service: Consistent

Even if a customer gets through to one of your reps at her home 50 miles away from the office, the customer's history can be pulled up at a moment's notice. Updates can be seen by any other call center employees, no matter where they are. The data remains consistent across your entire call center operation, even if there is no physical call center to speak of. There's nothing more frustrating for a customer than explaining their issue over and over again!

Providing Killer Customer Service: Happier Employees

When employees are able to work from home or wherever is most comfortable to them, they will provide a higher level of quality service. A happy customer starts with a happy representative!

Providing Killer Customer Service: What You Shouldn't Do

Whatever you do, don't take the personal aspect of talking to a human away from your customers. Yes, you can have a great FAQ section to direct customers to, and a support forum where automated responses full of tech jargon are given to customers asking questions, as well as an online contact form. However, don't cut your customer support staff altogether. People still want to speak to a real human being every now and again.

In fact, with tech-related services, it's almost a requirement. People need to be walked through a certain CMS, for example, and emailing back and forth just isn't going to cut it. If a customer doesn't understand the tech-terminology-laden auto-response you give them, what's their recourse?

If you're looking to improve your cheap hosting company's customer service model, cloud hosting is a perfect solution to save you from having to buy additional equipment while at the same time increasing efficiency and reducing response time one service ticket at a time.

What's your hosting company's customer service experience like? Is it time to rethink your strategy?

10 Essential Questions To Ask When Choosing Hosting Provider

Choosing Hosting Provider Hosting Provider Selection Criteria

Choosing Hosting ProviderMost businesses get rather flustered when choosing their cheap hosting company / hosting provider for the first time. After all, if you knew what you were doing, wouldn't you be hosting the website yourself? Probably.

There are so many factors that go into providing excellent hosting services for your website. How do you know what questions to ask?

Choosing Hosting Provider Hosting Provider: Crucial Questions

It's important you ask prospective cheap hosting providers many questions in order to ensure your site doesn't become prey for hackers, or experience unpleasant downtime. But what should you ask?

As long as you ask the following ten questions, you should be on your way to an excellent website experience!

Follow theste Steps While Choosing Hosting Provider

Questions

1. What's your security policy ? ask while Choosing Hosting Provider?

If you are going with a shared hosting, you want policies that address this type of hosting. The same can be said about dedicated hosting or cloud hosting. Security should not be solely your responsibility, and malware/virus scans should be conducted daily, not monthly or yearly.

2. Do you provide SSL? ask while Choosing Hosting Provider?

If your website is e-commerce or stores any sensitive customer/employee data at all, you need a good SSL certificate. Make sure if they offer it, it covers all of your security bases. If not, a multitude of third-party SSL providers exist for you to turn to.

3. How reliable is your network Hosting Provider?

No one wants downtime. This could spell disaster in the form of lost customers. What is their uptime guarantee? What happens when an outage does occur, and what's the response time guarantee (if any)? Contact other customers if possible to learn about their experiences.

4. Ask About Backup Policy while Choosing Hosting Provider?

Backups should be conducted at least once per day. More is obviously better, but be wary of companies that do it less often than once a day. Also, you should ensure your databases are being backed up just as often as your files.

5. What are you accountable for in terms of an outage?

Even if they answer this question, scrutinize the SLA in order to see when the company holds themselves responsible, and when it does not. Maybe there's a clause that states they are not accountable in the event of a tornado or power outage beyond their control. How flexible are they when you ask them if they'll amend this clause? It can be as simple as asking for charges to be suspended during this time period so you aren't stuck paying for service that isn't working properly.

6. How easy is it to scale up when needed?

You need more space and bandwidth. Will this process be painless? Are you bound in your current contract for a period of time, resulting in high charges to change your plan to suit your growing website?

7. How responsive is your customer service and tech support?

A quick response is key to running a good website. Will this company provide that to you? Again, contact other customers in order to determine their satisfaction with the quality of service. Their experiences are often more telling than the response you'll get from the hosting provider!

8. What if my needs change completely? Can you accommodate that?

So you need more than extra bandwidth. You need to change hosting environments altogether. How easy will it be to switch over, and is support provided?

9. Do you offer security monitoring?

This is often important in order to discover the moment a site is compromised, rather than a site visitor finding out the hard way. This includes things like firewalls and malware scanners.

10. What if I am dissatisfied?

Does the provider have a guarantee in place? Will you be penalized, or will you be fully refunded? There are many different satisfaction guarantee policies that vary from company to company, so if you aren't comfortable with one, research another.

Choosing hosting provider is not an easy feat, but if you ask the right questions, it can be less stressful of an experience.

Cyber-Crime: How Much Focus Is Necessary?

Cyber-Crime:

cyber-crimeGovernment shutdown or not, the United States Department of Justice is hard at work. While the majority of the government is placed on furlough, the DOJ has brought charges against 13 members of “Anonymous” for their attack against various websites like banks and government agencies. It seems they aren't so Anonymous anymore!

The DOJ alleges the group of hackers are responsible for ‘Operation Payback,' an effort to combat the shutdown of peer-to-peer torrent hosting site the ‘Pirate Bay,' giving users a place to download copyrighted material.

Cyber-Crime: The Shutdown Complication

While it's true that prosecutors aren't affected by the furloughs, the staff they rely on are. Only “essential personnel” are unaffected by the furloughs, and these employees hired as part of the support team are not considered essential.

The fact the government isn't fully operational right now gives you an idea as to just how serious the Justice Department considers cyber-crime. But is this where the administration's efforts should be directed? Aren't there bigger fish to fry?

Cyber-Crime: Stay The Course

Some organizations (like the EFF) are pointing fingers at the current Obama administration. One issue that the Electronic Frontier Foundation has with the administration's ‘Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)' is that it is very vague in terms of what is punishable and what is not when it comes to “authorized use” and “permissions.”

Because of this, people are being prosecuted for things that don't even represent crimes involving hacking like in the case of ‘US v. Drew.'

Cyber-Crime: The Case of Lori Drew

This is a case involving a mother (Lori Drew) attempting to protect her daughter, the victim of the rumor mill. Drew created a fake MySpace account in order to catch the girl that started rumors set against Drew's daughter. Drew bullied the culprit (Megan Meier) to such an extend that Meier took her own life.

Drew was acquitted after being found guilty of breaking MySpace's ‘ToS Agreement.' The judge on the case determined that the law was so vague, each and every Internet user could be considered in violation of the CFFA if there wasn't some way of educating the public on appropriate Internet behavior.

Cyber-Crime: Credibility?

With all of the issues facing the United States at this time, in the middle of a government shutdown, how do the American people feel about the administration's focus on dealing with cyber-crime? Polls are pointing to a general disappointment with the Obama administration, and many are upset over the current cyber-crime cases being judged by the government.

In all fairness, aren't there bigger issues to be dealt with at this time than cyber-bullies? Leave that to local law enforcement to deal with. That's my thoughts on the matter – I welcome yours.

arkOS: Host Your Own Cloud

arkOS: Host Your Own Cloud

arkosThe cloud is hot right now. Although some are hesitant to put their data into a cloud hosting environment, they're probably using the cloud without even realizing it. Services like Google Calendar, Drive, Dropbox, and iCloud are becoming increasingly popular without being called “cloud” flat out.

Something can be considered “cloud” when you can access it from a multitude of devices anywhere in the world. But what if you don't want to rely on one of these cloud hosting services? What if you want your very own cloud?

arkOS: Enter Citizen Web Project

Citizen Web Project is attempting to make this a reality. Their big idea: if you have a Raspberry Pi computer, you utilize the operating system their team is designing in order to host your own cloud service. Seem like a good solution for you?

Any hosting provider will tell you it's hard to get cloud hosting off the ground. Setting it all up can become complicated, and if this is a home-based operation, even more so.

arkOS is designed to change this process into a more simplified version. Users still control their data, relying on the open source software package that those more technically-gifted users can feel free to contribute to if they so desire.

arkOS: The OS

At the heart of arkOS is Arch Linux, which is historically tough to configure and setup. However, since it is designed to run on a Raspberry Pi computer (a mere $35), just run the installer app on your PC, slide an SD card into the appropriate slot, and run the Raspberry Pi on that card.

Now, you see the Genesis GUI. Here, you can install apps or perform various customizations to your system. This GUI gives you the power to install apps like OwnCloud, which empower you to run the cloud service of your choice: RSS reader; file server; website; and others.

While you can run Genesis on other Linux distributions, arkOS was made specifically to run it. Furthermore, it doesn't allow you to host websites of large businesses. It just can't handle the traffic.

arkOS: The Sky Is The Limit For Your Cloud

As long as you're not getting millions upon millions of page hits, you should be able to host just about anything. Want to host your own, private cloud email hosting site? No problem. Miss Google Reader? Make your own!

And with projects in the works like Deluge, dynamic DNS service and port proxy for those who don't have their own domain name or static IPs, people are guaranteed a super easy way to get apps and services out there.

Would you give arkOS a try?