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What is Ransomware?
Posted by Don Raleigh III on 07 April 2016 10:51 AM

Credit Card Theft, Ransomware, and Phishing Scams.



Many of us have been reading about what is going on in the credit card industry. From people using skimmers on gas station terminals to steal credit card information, to people sending you emails with odd attachments. Here is the article that the FBI relesaed, "Your computer screen freezes with a pop-up message—supposedly from the FBI or another federal agency—saying that because you violated some sort of federal law your computer will remain locked until you pay a fine. Or you get a pop-up message telling you that your personal files have been encrypted and you have to pay to get the key needed decrypt them." Here are some examples of what these emails could look like. 


If you notice, it has links that you can click on. This is called Social Engineering. It is not hacking, it is not coding, all it is is you giving the attackers your personal information. When you click on the buttons, and choose to accept the attacks its like stealing candy from a baby. If something seems off, or you're not sure what something is; dont do it. Once these attackers have your information they will go after your bank accounts, your credit lines, your identity, your families information as well as your clients identity. 

The team at Evolve Systems has seen everything from an email coming through stating that the user is required to appear in court the following for court duty and to view the case in a zip file, to emails saying that the FBI is investigating you and you needed to fill out information in a zip file. If you ever receive an email from the "government" that asks you to preform a task online, it is more than likely a malicious attack. Never open a .zip file unless you are completely positive you know what it contains. Sometimes, even personal contacts emails can be hacked, and will send you virus'. Here is a list of possible phishing scams that Indiana Univesrity has published. 

If you can take anything away from this, is that you need to back up your computers, not for if it happens, but for when it happens. "By backing up your operating system and all its contents to an air-gapped external hard drive every single day, you completely mitigate the risk of ransomware by circumventing the tool it uses to get you to pay up in the first place.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out and contact me on LinkedIn and I would be more than happy to help direct you to how you can upload and secure your computer in the cloud, get you connected to those that can help when you think your computer is being attacked, and answer any questions on how you can protect yourself from credit card skimmers. 

Thank you!

-Don Raleigh III

Evolve Systems





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Is Having a Mobile Responsive Website Really Necessary?
Posted by Don Raleigh on 17 December 2015 03:15 PM

Image result for mobile responsive sites

Is Having a Mobile Responsive Website Really Necessary? 

One of the largest technological advancements has been in all of our pockets over the past decade. From Mark Zuckerberg coming out with Facebook in 2004, to recently with the introduction of ApplePay, Samsung Pay, Google Wallet, and other similar software payment services. Because of these new advancements consumers no longer need different credit cards in order to make a payment at a retail store. Because of this, the consumer has also realized that they can create orders online through their mobile device, taking the brick and mortar store front out of the equation. Thus making the revelation that any type of E-Commerce transaction can be done from their mobile devices.

According to Tony Haile of Chartbeat, in his TIME magazine article, consumers only spend a total of 15 seconds on a website if it is not mobile responsive. So, how do businesses refocus their efforts in order to hone in on this "microwave", or the TL;DR generation? The answer may be simpler than one may think. Focus on the true purpose of the site, if the purpose is to raise awareness for an issue, sell a product or service, or reveal a solution to a problem. All of this can be done by using simple tools to make your site "mobile friendly" or transferring the site to a mobile responsive platform. Which, your friends at Evolve Systems can help with. 

In the world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experts have a key phrase that really speaks the truth about mobile websites:

"Google likes Google, and if you dont play with Google, Google wont play with you"

It sounds like one of those Russian jokes that we always hear, but, Google, last year put out an a new SEO rule where if your website is not mobile responsive, Google will punish you by not putting your website as high as its rankings in the search engine as your competition. Here is a link for more information from Google

One easy way to check if your website is mobile responsive is to follow this link, and put in your web address. It will show you what your site looks like on a mobile platform, and show you why it is important to have a mobile site. Here is a link for a great example of what a mobile site should look like. Notice how you don't need to "zoom" in with your fingers, and you dont run into the risk of the "American Thumb" syndrome and click the wrong button because said button was too small, and all of the critical information is listed immediately? That is what having a mobile responsive website looks like. 

The solutions are out there, its just taking the right step forward, and accepting the fact that the market is changing. Your market is no longer just about the people in your store, but those viewing you from their couches at home, so, what are you going to do to make sure that you are not losing those potential clients?

If you have any questions about moving your site over to a mobile responsive platform, or are curious on how to become more "mobile friendly", contact Don Raleigh III at Evolve Systems. Email him at [email protected], and his phone number is (651) 556-4635

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-Don Raleigh III

Evolve Systems

Lets connect:

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Tips for Optimizing Your Website for Mobile Users
Posted by Jon Elfstrum on 04 November 2015 04:12 PM

When someone is mobile, they’re expecting an entirely different experience from the one they’ll get on your standard website. Here are some tips for improving the mobile experience for your site visitors:

The first step in creating a mobile site is determining what content to include. Given the restricted amount of screen space, it’s important to determine what key pieces of information your visitors will probably be looking for. A store locator? Probably. A “Contact Us” form with 15 different fields to fill out? Not as much. It’s also important to keep the steps involved in going from entry point to purchase as simple as possible. Making your home page as simple as possible will make the mobile experience much less frustrating and time-consuming.

Utilize White Space
When designing any website, it’s a natural tendency to cram in as much information as possible. But fight that urge. Not only does white space give a cleaner, more sophisticated appearance, it also ensures that users can easily click the button they’re aiming for.

Do Not Use Pop-Up Windows
Navigating between multiple tabs and browser windows is more difficult on mobile and can cause slow load times. If you need to open a new browser window, make sure to provide instructions on how to navigate back to the original page.

Reduce the Amount of Text Entry Necessary
Do you suffer from fat-finger syndrome, which makes it difficult to use a smartphone keyboard? Most of us have trouble typing on tiny keyboards. When possible, use dropdown menus, checklists and pre-populated fields as a means of data entry. This helps minimize the challenges people face when typing text into a smartphone. 

Avoid Flash or Java
The obvious reason for avoiding Flash is that Apple products do not support Flash and have declared that they have no intention to do so in the future. Because iPhones make up about 30% of the smartphone market, a significant portion of your audience may not be able to access your content if you use Flash. Similarly, many phones do not support Java, and even if they do, using Java can be a huge drag on load time.

Those are just some basic tips for making your visitors mobile experience better. Feel free to submit a ticket with any questions you may have or call us at 651-628-4000.

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EMV deadlines are looming, are you ready?
Posted by Jasmin Whiting on 20 May 2015 01:44 PM

Introducing EMV

As the threat of fraud increases, the U.S. is taking necessary steps to protect cardholders, merchants, and banks alike. EMV, which stands for Euro Pay MasterCard Visa, is the new standard for credit card authentication and protection in the U.S today. Credit cards will now be imbedded with an EMV chip which will greatly decrease the probability of fraud for both cardholders and merchants. Along with the new chip technology, comes new credit card terminals enabled to “read” the chips and process payments.

How are you at risk?

In October of 2015, there will be a fraud liability shift in the credit card industry. At the moment, if a cardholder’s card is compromised and fraudulent activity occurs, the issuing bank is held financially responsible for it. However, this October, the shift will make you, the merchant, liable for any fraudulent charges, no matter the amount. The fraud saying goes, “the one with the least amount of security pays the bill”. In order to protect against this great risk, merchants are relying on new EMV compatible terminals. While no one is guaranteed to be 100% safe from fraud, the EMV terminals are the absolute best bet to protect against negative card activity.

So, what’s the next step?

The next step is a simple one! We understand some small businesses today are on a budget, and don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on a new terminal. While we believe this one-time investment could save you thousands in the case of fraud, we wanted to offer a cost efficient terminal as well! One of the best EMV compatible terminals on the market today is the Ingenico iCT250. It has both chip & PIN technology, as well as its ability to accept NFC payments like Apple Pay.

We’ve even taken the extra step so once you purchase the terminal, it gets sent right to your front door; all you have to do is plug it in! Keep in mind that as the October 2015 deadline approaches, these terminals will be in great demand and may be difficult to get your hands on right away. We are encouraging merchants to purchase now while the inventory is full. If you are interested in learning more about our EMV compatible terminal, you can either e-mail us at [email protected] or call at 651-628-4000.

We look forward to speaking with you soon!

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Homepage Recommendations for Your Website
Posted by Cheri Marchio on 30 October 2014 12:29 PM

For many of us 60-80+% of all of our traffic arrives at our website through our homepage  

Your homepage is a visual, SEO and functional workhorse for your web presence.  Keeping the design, functionality and content fresh will help you to attract and convert your web visitors.

So, where to start?  Start by asking a few questions:

  1. How long has it been since you have updated your homepage?  
  2. Was it originally designed to 'tell your story' or is it designed with the web visitor's needs in mind?
  3. How is it working SEO-wise and Google Analytics-wise?  Are you attracting the right kind of visitor, with low bounce rate and high click through rates to other pages?
  4. Does it relay the proper updated messaging for how you are doing business today?

Our checklist for your homepage

If not, we put together a checklist of recommendations.  We know that all suggestions are not right for every business - but these suggestions are really 'bare bones' concepts that all updated and successful websites need.

Your page header:

  • Logo that is clickable and returns visitors to Homepage - this is really an industry standard that most users are aware of
  • Tagline for your business - to help new visitors figure out what you do
  • A search box - to aid the visitor with something specific in mind
  • A phone number for quick contact information - make it clickable for mobile users
  • Social follow icons and a blog link - make it easy to find you elsewhere on the internet

Primary navigation options or menu items:

  • About Us - this is often the second or third most visited page after the homepage.  We want to know who we are doing business with.
  • Products - self explanatory
  • Services - self explanatory
  • Resources - quick links to things your prospects and customers need to know for support and education
  • Contact Us - a link to the contact page with a Google map and contact form

The body of the page:

  • Relevant, optimized, linked images - both search engines and people like to click on follow links and items of interest
  • Headline 1 <H1> a visual guideline humans and instructional meta tag for search engines to understand the page contents.  Also essential for keyword optimization.
  • Headline 2 <H2> a secondary heading or phrase that support the main headline - because we like summary information in small bites

Sidebar options:

  • Subscribe to newsletter - capture contact information from visitors to for remarketing opportunities like newsletters, emails, etc.
  • Offer - convince visitors to act now.  Give them a reason to click through and learn more.
  • Social Proof or testimonial - for new visitors proof is important to begin the trust cycle we build with all prospects

Secondary navigation:

  • Popular menu options - repeat popular menu items at the bottom of the page
  • Sitemap - used by humans and search engines seeking page content in an outline format
  • Privacy - Besides being prudent legal messages most analytics and 3rd party software require privacy statements.  


  • Copyright Information - show your site is cared for and current - with the current year displayed.
  • NAP - Name, address and phone number - this is information and used by search engines for local optimization

So there it is - a hit list for updates.  We are happy to help if you are too busy or just don't care to make the changes yourself.  But do plan to keep your site fresh and updated and begin at the front with your homepage.

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