Posted on July 7, 2021 by Casey Houser
Today’s guest post was written by HostingPill, a reviewer of website hosting options for individuals and businesses.
Taking precautions to protect your WordPress website can help ensure you are protecting your business’s website from cybercrime activities. Today, we’ll share five WordPress security tips that are easy to follow yet effective in keeping you safe.
Reports conducted by WP WhiteSecurity show that 73.2% of WordPress installations are vulnerable to exploitations. With a little preparation, you can keep your site outside the bad end of that statistic.
WordPress is one of the major players in website hosting and building, but this doesn’t make it invincible to these kinds of threats. Take a few minutes today to check your website, make a few simple and practical updates, and keep it safe and secured.
1. Update Your WordPress Site, Themes, and Plugins
It’s important to update your WordPress website, themes, and plugins regularly. The changes you receive as part of updates may seem insignificant at first, but small changes can provide you with more than a couple of user-facing feature changes; they may be mandatory for your site’s security.
A lot of small website owners opt to skip updating their websites. They assume that hackers will avoid their websites as they consider themselves of lower value. When in reality, hackers tend to check on smaller sites. They have weaker security measures, making them susceptible to exploitation.
Understandably, some users may find themselves struggling to find the theme appropriate for them, and one that’s regularly updated. There are popular WordPress themes you can try; many are also free so you can easily find one that fits you well. Free versions of plugins can also be of excellent quality and have security updates applied to them regularly that you should take advantage of.
2. Always Update and Make Strong Passwords
In making passwords, it is tempting for most of us to create short ones. It is easy to remember and effortless to input. However, short passwords are considered weak passwords. Hackers can access your website by trying multiple combinations and guesses.
Research done by securityboulevard.com shows that 65% of internet users reuse their passwords. Despite the fact, all of us knew the risk associated with reusing a password. Another issue with weak passwords is users make passwords based on their pet’s name, birthdays, or any significant detail about themselves. It is advised to prevent using passwords made out of personal details.
To create a strong password, you can use an online password generator. It can be burdensome because it is composed of random numbers and letters. But, there are also apps and online services available that can keep your password safe. It is better to have a confusing password than being hacked for a password like “123456.”
3. Opt to Limit User’s Access to Your Site
Security can be created from the inside and the outside. When you have fewer users with access to your site, you create fewer opportunities for security breaches from both angles.
Hackers need only look for the easiest method of attack to gain entry to your site. With respect to multiple users, they may find that one of your logins has a simple password attached to it. By taking advantage of easy entry, they can inject malware, and attempt to access your sensitive information.
Furthermore, you may have created separate logins for staff members and contractors you work with. You should limit their permissions on your site as much as possible to start. Then if you stop working with any of these individuals, it will be necessary to remove their usernames and passwords. You don’t want them sitting around as a possible entry point for bad actors.
You can additionally make sure to limit login attempts to your site by using a plugin. Be sure to keep it updated! A plugin like this will let you set a maximum number of login attempts and, when that number has been exceeded, can automatically block the person at that IP address from accessing the login page for a certain time. This is an excellent way to prevent brute-force attempts at logins to your site.
4. Use HTTPS on Your Site
A lot of site owners are not aware of the difference between HTTPS from HTTP. The hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) was created without specific protections in mind; it doesn’t have robust security measures in place to guard sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, while a person is browsing your website.
This WordPress security tip largely applies to the safety of your users. If you complete financial transactions on your site or you handle sensitive user data (including any type of on-site login process), you will want to use hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS). Using HTTPS on your site will offer protections for your users on both public and private networks so individuals are protected from wherever they browse your site.
Although HTTPS costs a few bucks more than an HTTP, it offers additional services that HTTP lacks. It uses TLS to encrypt HTTP requests and responses that result in secured communication over a computer network. You can check with your hosting service providers as to their HTTPS offers. There are a lot of awesome hosting service providers for WordPress to choose from.
5. Protect With Firewall and Malware Protection
Though not all of our WordPress security tips should come from the use of plugins, we can deny their abilities to make tasks easier. Plugins that offer a firewall or malware protection can offer a great way to make sure the content on your site is clean. A plugin like MalCare that offers both a firewall and malware scanning can reduce the number of apps you need to rely on for these purposes.
This type of plugin, no matter which brand you choose, can detect malware and clean it for you. You will receive an alert about any issues with the content on your site, and you can choose how to handle them — including whether or not to delete them.
Firewall protection can assist in mitigating potential hack attempts. By filtering visitors by their IP addresses. A blacklist can restrict users with IPs from specific regions, or which are associated with poor usage, and keep them from accessing your site in any way. Together, preemptive blocking of users and secondary scanning of files can go a long way toward keeping your site safe.
Try These WordPress Security Tips Today
We hope that these WordPress security tips will make it easier for you to protect your website. It isn’t always an easy task to keep your site secure, but with an application of the fundamentals and a reliance on good plugins, you can get well on your way.
You don’t need to accomplish all of the tips provided here in one sitting. Take your time to make sure everything is done properly and is accessible to your liking. Try a few similar plugins; research a handful of HTTPS certificate providers; initiate a workflow for user management that fits your business practices. We hope you will stay safe and can continue maintaining a polished website for years to come.
Posted on June 29, 2021 by Casey Houser
Independence Day, the Fourth of July 2021, is quickly approaching, and you will want your business to be ready if you plan to change your hours of operation for the holiday.
We’ve picked four aspect of our Business Phone Plans you should adjust to keep your customers informed about your business’s plans this year. Ready your VirtualPBX Dashboard to access your Auto Attendant, Voicemail settings, Call Queues, and Ring Groups as we discuss the adjustments available in your phone system.
Customers can learn a lot about your business through your Auto Attendant. Specifically while we’re addressing the coming holiday, you may need to adjust your attendant’s greeting to reflect your updated business hours.
For the Fourth of July 2021, since it falls on a Sunday, you may have already picked out the previous Friday (July 2nd) or the following Monday (July 5th) on which to give your employees a day off. This choice will be reflected in your greeting, which is easy to adjust from your system dashboard. We can even help you create a new greeting if you want something fresh.
Keep in mind that you can adjust the greeting for your primary business phone number and for the auto attendants as part of our Multiple Auto Attendants feature. In both cases, it will look professional to make this change a few days ahead of time and then adjust your greeting again after you return to the office.
Individuals on your team should also adjust their Voicemail boxes if they plan to be away from their desks at unusual hours.
Again, be aware that customers might not know you have chosen the 2nd or 5th as your weekday getaway. It only takes a second to change your voicemail greeting through your phone using the *97 feature code.
You can adjust any voicemail settings by pressing “5” in your main voicemail menu.
ACD Queues Pro
If you use our ACD Queues Pro, you can establish custom hold treatments for your customers as they wait to connect with a customer service agent.
Hold treatments allow you to play media files with music and greetings that you upload to your phone plan. In these on-hold situations, it may be worthwhile for you to remind customers of your upcoming vacation plans.
Keep your callers informed about your plans for Fourth of July 2021. They may be calling to address an issue about their billing or a product issue, but adding in helpful information about your business hours can give them peace of mind for the future.
Even if you will have reduced staff during the holiday – and therefore the ability to take calls – many customers will choose to wait until you return to full service before addressing an issue. Not everything is urgent, and your callers will appreciate knowing your plans so they can adjust their own.
Our Ring Groups feature might not have been top of mind when you considered the Fourth of July for 2021, but it is an important aspect of your business that might need to be addressed.
Only you know how your business will structure itself in the day leading up to, during, and following the holiday. If you have co-workers you know will be out of the office, consider removing them from ring groups if there are other individuals able to take calls in their stead.
Your distribution of ringing can also be adjusted to prioritize other members of the group. When customers will reach an individual expected to be in the office rather than being sent to voicemail, it can greatly improve their experience with your company and let you handle issues more easily.
Prepare Your Phone System for Fourth of July 2021
Keep in mind your customers when updating any aspects of your phone system for Fourth of July 2021. You know them best, and you know the schedule your business and employees will be following.
A quick message can let people know where you will be and when you will return. And a quick internal change to your call routing, like in your Ring Groups, can make the difference between an poor and excellent customer experience with your company during the holiday.
Posted on June 25, 2021 by Casey Houser
Hybrid workplaces require leaders to design workplaces that accommodate the needs of both onsite and remote workers.
While a range of working configurations poses complex challenges, 48% of executives will implement a flexible office model by summer 2021. That’s up from nearly 20% in Q1 2021. With no signs of slowing down, we’d like to highlight five phone system features that every hybrid organization needs.
As a business VoIP company with established hybrid and remote workers ourselves and thousands of customers across the remote spectrum, creating cohesive workspaces for distributed teams is our expertise.
VirtualPBX Softphone App
Our award-winning VirtualPBX Softphone App is a hub for hybrid team communications. It allows you to transform any cell phone, tablet, or computer into a VoIP extension. Without forfeiting their private numbers, your employees can make and receive calls from any location using their favorite devices. Plus, it offers collaborative features such as user presence, video conferencing, team chat, SMS, and file sharing.
When your staff is splitting time between home and the office you’ll need a virtual conference room to gather and focus. Our enterprise-ready video conferencing solution was designed to offer seamless collaboration from anywhere. You can start a conference instantly, schedule a call in advance, or copy your personal conference link to a clipboard. Furthermore, you can enhance your meetings by screen sharing, recording conferences, receiving conference reports, and fine-tuning conference settings.
Hot Desking perfectly suits organizations with staggered schedules or employees that split time between their office and home. It allows your employees to log into any phone in the office and turn it into their personal work phone for the day. If you’re looking to create an open seating arrangement, hot-desking helps create a familiar and productive workspace.
Flexible Device Options
It’s only natural that your employees will have their preferences for the devices they use daily. Flexible Device Options give your team the option to select from a smorgasbord of VoIP capable devices. These options include softphone apps on their personal devices, a browser-based Web Phone, desk phones, cordless phones, and conference phones. Plus, our Busy Lamp Field (BLF) feature will offer presence information, so you can tell when your co-workers are busy or idle. This feature is especially helpful for receptionists and monitoring employee phone usage.
Advanced Call Reporting
We trust our employees, but we also know that call data insights help us improve our agent performance. Advanced Call Reporting models and stores historical and real-time insights that allow you to create reports, workspaces, and filters. We can see who is making the most calls, call duration by talk time, and much more. Best of all, all of these powerful insights can be downloaded on-demand or sent to any manager’s inbox on a recurring schedule.
Create Your Hybrid Workplace
Want to safely reopen and create a modern flexible office? VirtualPBX offers fully customizable business phone plans designed for on-premise, remote, and flexible workers. Our cost-effective communication platform is a one-stop shop for your organization’s communication and collaboration needs.
Want to learn more? Design and deploy your workplace of the future by chatting with one of our VoIP experts today!
Posted on June 22, 2021 by Casey Houser
This week we want to thank our customer, 1st Classic Transportation, for participating in our new case study video that shows how successful the company has been in using its phone system to power through the economic slowdown caused by COVID-19.
We had previously written about 1st Classic Transportation in our case study about their business relationship with us. Now we have the chance to share the kind words of the transportation company’s owner, Chris Fagbolu, and provide a visual glimpse into the activities that take place at their headquarters in San Francisco.
“I Always Keep Going Back to Their Texting”
Although VirtualPBX provides a range of communications services to 1st Classic Transportation, it seems the most exciting feature for Fagbolu and his staff is our Business SMS feature.
“The most important reason why we chose VirtualPBX,” Fagbolu said in his interview for our video, “I always keep going back to their texting.”
He noted how SMS messages are customer friendly and can make communication between 1st Classic Transportation drivers and their immediate contacts simple for everyone involved.
“Customers that arrive at the airport can text us immediately,” Fagbolu said. This makes it easy for drivers to know when individuals have arrived at their locations for pickup. Sending a text message, for customers, is a task they’re familiar with, and 1st Classic Transportation staff can isolate their business communications to their VirtualPBX Mobile Softphone so their personal and work texts are clearly distinguished from one another.
“The Pandemic Has Hit Us Really Hard”
1st Classic Transportation started using VirtualPBX services in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fagbolu said in a previous interview with us that his company has used three other phone service providers across a period of 15 years, and it was looking for something more flexible and which could lower its costs.
“Being in the transportation industry, the pandemic has hit us really hard,” Fagbolu commented when asked about the overall effect of the economic downturn on his business. “With VirtualPBX, it enables us, when you stay at home, to answer calls. And it has cut down our expenses.”
The transition from 1st Classic Transportation’s previous communications provider to VirtualPBX has also allowed its employees to work from any location. Since COVID-19-related restrictions have forced many businesses to have their employees work from home, it has become essential for Fagbolu and his staff to use our phone system from a combination of homes and offices.
This flexibility, however, will remain with 1st Classic Transportation’s staff when society has returned to normal.
“What we’re doing with the lockdown in place – we realize we can do that when we come back after COVID,” Fagbolu said about staying with VirtualPBX for the long term.
We’re happy to provide them with a phone system that can work well no matter what economic challenges they face.
“Their 24-Hour Service Has Helped Us a Lot”
Part of sticking with 1st Classic Transportation for years – and with all our customers – is providing them with excellent customer service. We offer 24-hour customer support through a variety of channels, including phone, email, and live web chat.
We know issues arise that companies need help fixing. Our 24-hour dedication to customer assistance is what sets us apart from many other phone service providers, as Fagbolu said at the close of our case study video:
“They are always there to answer us. [It’s a service] which other phone company providers do not have.”
Of course, we are proud to offer this level of service and stand out from our competitors. We differentiate ourselves by providing excellent customer support and by pairing that with a range of features that suit businesses small and large.
You can arrange a Free Demo with one of our sales reps today to see everything we offer in a personalized tour. We hope to speak with you soon.
Posted on June 17, 2021 by Casey Houser
One often-overlooked aspect of call reporting is the ability to use live statistics to help your business function. Statistics aren’t only something that happens after the fact; they can be examined live, which is the key target of our customizable wallboards that work with our Advanced Call Reports feature and the focus of our new Live & Customizable Wallboards Whitepaper.
When taking calls on a VirtualPBX Phone Plan, the Advanced Call Reports tool captures data related to your phone system use – including which user answered a specific call, how many calls have been answered in a period of time, and which agents are available to take calls when one arrives.
This sort of information transfers well to wallboards used in a call center setting. Live displays of call statistics can help your team be aware of their performance at the moment and the key performance indicators they are meeting that day. They help managers plan for what’s ahead by seeing information in the present.
Here’s a brief overview of how wallboards function and what you will see in our Customizable Wallboards Whitepaper.
Live Call Information On Screen
Wallboards give your team a look into the live statistics related to their calls in the moment. You can see points of information such as:
- The longest-waiting caller that has been on hold during a shift
- The number of calls answered in a day
- How many calls are queued at present
- Percentages for calls answered and calls lost
What these stats allow managers to do is make informed decisions about how calls are answered during a shift.
Say your call center wallboard shows an on-hold time of more than five minutes for the average caller. A manager can increase the number of staff members in that shift or in upcoming shifts.
Say your wallboard sees a combination of zero available agents and a number of calls queued as 10 or more during the day. It could be time to add more agents to handle the increase in call volume.
These types of statistics might be missed in between shifts when other business activities are taking place. A wallboard makes statistics easily readable and able to capture your attention. Dynamic color schemes and alerts can also be used to make it apparent when a specific KPI has reached either approving or concerning levels.
Key Features of VirtualPBX Wallboards
Our customizable wallboards whitepaper also highlights the key features available with its use.
As mentioned earlier, wallboards can be customized by setting limits for types of data. When a statistic passes a pre-set threshold, the color of the wallboard square can change to alert readers to successes or concerns related to a team’s performance.
Live data can also be paired with visual information in the form of graphics and videos. Any of the sections of a wallboard can be filled with a company logo to make it look more professional. Sections can also run video clips that extend useful information to teams, such as procedures for completing a specific type of call during a new campaign.
Manually-entered information can also be presented alongside live data. Managers can add any kind of text they want to the screen, including celebrations of team effort like the number of new accounts created within the last month by the existing shift. You can use spots on the wallboard to encourage your team and show stats and messages that work to improve morale.
Use Your Amazon FireTV
You can use a wallboard by connecting a computer’s output to an office television. That type of setup is available to all VirtualPBX users.
For Amazon FireTV owners, they can simplify the process of using wallboards even further. The Real-Time Wallboard app for FireTV can connect to your company data in the same way a laptop is able. You can customize your boards from within the app and leave your computer available for other tasks.
Read Our Customizable Wallboard Whitepaper
Check out our Live & Customizable Wallboard Whitepaper today to get a deeper look at everything available to your team with this Advanced Call Reports feature.
Whether you’re an existing customer of ours or want to try out a Free Demo, wallboards can give you greater insight about your daily activities and help you meet your KPIs.