Ransomware Attacks: How to Stay Safe

Ransomware Attacks

Data thieves are getting wiser and more technical, and that means heightened threats to personal and company information. Cryptojacking, sophisticated malware, spyware, ransomware, Trojans- you name them- have become the new weapons of mass destruction (in the digital world, that is). Businesses and other organizations, as well as private citizens, can no longer depend on simple antivirus protection to keep data spies at bay. We can only counter these weapons through awareness and knowledge; knowing how they occur and how to prevent them beforehand. That is why this article focuses on ransomware attacks: What they are and how to prevent your digital infrastructure from them.

Understanding Ransomware

What is ransomware? Simply put, ransomware are cyber-attack software that hold your personal and important files at ransom, until you pay the sum of money the involved attackers demand. These ransom payments are in most cases demanded in digital assets such as cryptocurrency. Attackers will demand that you buy Bitcoin, for example, and transfer them to their untraceable accounts.

Unlike other malicious software, ransomware doesn’t steal or copy your data but instead encrypt some files in your computer so that you are unable to access your own files. They make it nearly impossible to recover affected data unless their demands are met in totality, after which they send you the decryption key. It is like a burglar breaking into your house, collecting all your valuables, and instead of stealing them, he locks them in a room or a safe within your house and then leaves with the key. If you can’t unlock the safe or room, your only option is to do as the burglar says.

With that understanding, how can you stay safe from ransomware attacks?

1.      Don’t engage attackers in any way without consulting a trusted IT expert first

This tip might not help you recover the ransomed data, but it will help you keep the rest of your digital files safe. So, if the attackers call demanding that you provide them with some personal information in exchange for the decryption key, please dismiss them immediately. Don’t download or install any software they recommend. Don’t pay the ransom because there is no guarantee that they will send the decryption code. They are criminals, after all. In fact, don’t reply to any of their text messages or even click on their emails. The best thing to do immediately you learn of the attack is contact a trusted IT expert (or your IT department if company files are attacked) for expert advice.

2.      Backup your data regularly

Take regular backup of your data to keep it under lock and key. That keeps cybercriminals guessing. If there are no files in your computer to hold at ransom, cyber attackers will have no business corrupting your computer. Some attackers choose to lock victims’ operating systems when they find no data to hold hostage, but you’d rather deal with locked OS than locked data, especially if that data is confidential. Client data, for example, can precipitate unwanted losses, reputation damage, and lawsuits if held hostage.

3.      Avoid clicking links in spam emails or on unfamiliar websites

How does malicious ransomware get in your computer to begin with? Mostly, attackers trick you into downloading malicious smartphone apps, clicking spam emails, and downloading corrupted images or videos from unauthentic sources. You will stay safe from ransomware attacks by staying away from unnecessary downloads. Even when you need to download software or apps, be sure to confirm the authenticity of your sources.

4.      Protect your remote connections

For businesses that allow flexible working, don’t forget to protect your remote workforce. Most remote collaborations happen via personal devices that, if protected, can make the entire system vulnerable. You should invest in Nord VPN, a virtual private network service provider, to keep all your office tech equipment as well as employees’’ connected devices secure. This VPN has desktop applications for Linux, Windows, and macOS operating systems. For people using iOS or android smartphones, you can trust NordVPN to secure your mobile apps.

It is best to avoid public Wi-Fi at airports and restaurants but if you have to, ensure that you use a trustworthy, secure VPN.

Other safety tips:

5.      Keep your computer software up to date

6.      Do not open email attachments from suspicious senders

7.      Use an advanced, dynamic antivirus protection to help you identify malicious activity early enough.

8.      Make sure your computer has a strong, hard-to-crack password  


Ransomware attackers used to target large-scale companies, but they are now targeting everybody including private citizens and small businesses. Some are just malicious people who are happy to see you suffer even if they don’t get anything from your woes. That is why you have to stay woke and ready to repel them before they access your system. 

4 Top Email Marketing Platforms for SMEs in 2020

Email Marketing Platforms

Out of all available online marketing methods, email marketing is said to have the highest ROI of them all, with one study putting it at 4300%. This ROI is possible because sending thousands of emails costs very little, and it can easily be combined with customer relationship marketing to send personalized messages. The challenge is finding an email marketing platform that allows you to achieve that ROI while minimizing the work involved. 

While some people might assume that there is little that separates platforms, they’d be surprised. As a matter of fact, the choice of the platform alone could dictate how successful their campaigns are, even if they do everything else right. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular email marketing platforms for small and medium businesses and what they have to offer.


Mailchimp is one of the biggest players in this industry and has gained a solid reputation over the years. One reason is that there is a free version of it available, and there is no time limit on it. The rates also stay affordable as you grow your business. This makes it a popular choice for bloggers and small businesses.  

Mailchimp has some social media integration and a reasonably sized email template library. It also allows you to run A/B testing of marketing campaigns and send segmented emails. With Mailchimp, you can send out messages at a set time based on the customer’s time-zone. It also provides customers with email auto-responders and offers a number of app and service integrations.

However, Mailchimp is not the only tool out there. One of the issues people have with Mailchimp is how limited it can feel. This is because it has a fairly low cap on the number of emails you can send on each plan. Also, their basic version, while being practical to some and one of the main reasons why so many end up signing up, doesn’t have many of the important features like send time optimization, advanced segmentation, or multivariate testing for instance. So, don’t expect it to take you very far.


Mailerlite made this list because it is one of the few other email marketing services with a free email marketing plan for small mailing lists. You have to pay once you hit a certain threshold on emails sent per month or the size of your subscriber base.

Mailerlite has an easy to use interface. This is true even for business processes like setting up landing pages and creating pop-up forms. There are some advanced features, such as allowing you to automatically resend messages to people who didn’t open the email the first time they received it. It is features like this that explain why 90% of Mailerlite customers are small businesses versus 70% of Mailchimp customers.

If you are torn between Mailerlite and MailChimp, then PieSync’s review should help. It gives a rundown of the differences between the two email marketing platforms. It discusses the features each has and explains when you should go with one or the other.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is one of the biggest email marketing platforms. It is still growing, too. It is easy to use out of the box. You can manage contacts, email campaigns, and templates and your calendar from within Constant Contact, and it has tons of built-in social media sharing tools

Constant Contact gives you access to a free image library you can use when you need to insert graphics in your emails. There is also a massive database of email templates for various niches. It integrates seamlessly with online ads and e-commerce modules and has good customer support.

The biggest issue with Constant Contact, however, is that there aren’t any automation tools. That’s a drawback given how much you pay for it.


GetResponse is an all-in-one marketing platform that allows you to create landing pages with it and send out marketing emails via a drag and drop interface. It also has advanced features like list segmentation, A/B testing of marketing messages, and auto-responders. 

GetResponse is unique for allowing you to host webinars through the platform. It has better than average data analytics. For example, its Perfect Timing tool will mine your email campaign data to tell you when the best time to send the next one will be, and nearly everything is very intuitive. 

This tool is a great choice for mid-sized businesses. It is also ideal for those who are selling their expertise via webinars or want to use webinars as a perk for those who signed up for their email list. Also note that pricing is based on the number of subscribers you have, not per list.

Most email marketing platforms will hold email lists and let you blast a cookie-cutter template to your followers. However, you need something better if you want to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace.

6 tips to ensure your web site is ready to perform again

Is your website ready to perform again?

Research shows you have less than 10 seconds to convince potential customers that your website is useful. In order to make the most out of that short amount of time – this is what we recommend:

  • Make sure that each page serves a single purpose. If you try to do too much on a page, your message may get lost.
  • Place high-value content ‘above the fold’ (top visible area of the screen) to ensure visitors can find what they are looking for without needing to scroll.
  • Use a clear ‘call to action’ such as a booking button, to allow people to easily take the next step.
  • Use clear short headings to help people rapidly skim the page for relevant content.
  • Use quality images and graphics to help give fast visual context – which makes visitors more likely to understand your content.
  • Ensure your web pages have been optimised for the search engines. Without good SEO your site will perform poorly when people search for the services or products you offer.

Need help or advice?
Visit us at www.navegabem.com or send an email to info@navegabem.com

Professional Property Photography – Madeira

A quality picture really is worth a thousand words…

Professional Property Photography - Madeira

Before clients decide to book your holiday rental or consider buying a property, the first impression they get will be from the photos on your website.

If there are only a couple of photos to look at – or none at all, they are most likely to leave your website and find a better one.
It is essential to display the best possible high quality images instead of relying on mobile phone pictures or outdated photos.

Trust us, professional photographs of your holiday rental or real estate property are crucial for attracting new clients.
Our photographic services include full post processing and we deliver all images in a format that can be immediately used on your website, as well as full size images that can be used for printing and posters.


How to get the most from WordPress websites by keeping them safe and secure with the help of plugins?

WordPress lowers the barrier of entry to starting a website or blog by offering free themes available from the official website wordpress.org. The highly user-friendly themes encourage users to go ahead confidently in creating sites in the simplest possible manner, even without knowing anything about web design and development. Anyone familiar with the basics of using a computer can use the themes that do not involve codes and other technicalities. The easy navigation of the themes facilitates intuitive navigation, and it is possible to set up a website in just 10-15 minutes.  Although you might be suspicious about the quality of free themes, the reality is just the opposite. WordPress adopts a strict theme review process before uploading it on the official website, and you must download themes from the official website only and avoid unknown sources that offer similar free themes.

WordPress maintains high ethical standards by being completely transparent to users about its processes and offerings, and you can have an idea about the theme review process by accessing the checklist. Each theme undergoes testing for HTML and CSS, standard-compliant code and support, the standard features of WordPress as well as privacy, security, etc. Free WordPress themes allow developers to hone their skills because, during the audit of their code by the theme review team, they suggest improvements.  

However, there are limitations of WordPress free themes that do not meet the requirements of commercial applications due to its limited features and functionalities, and the support available is also limited. Since there are lots of users of free themes, it is hard to find unique designs, as many others might be using your chosen theme. Free themes do not have any warranties, and this could put you in difficult situations at times. 

Premium WordPress themes

For professional web development, you must use premium WordPress themes that you can buy from numerous third parties that sell WordPress themes and from the marketplace. Premium WordPress themes come with many more features and customization options with extensive support from the WordPress community that helps to keep websites updated and make it more powerful and effective. You can create a unique design for your website that sets it apart from the rest and makes it easy to pop its head above the crowd. From the plain and simple to the most sophisticated design, you get everything that you want to create the most splendid website that supports your commercial objectives. You can customize WordPress themes in the way you want at a much lesser cost than custom-built sites.

A word of caution 

However, you must be careful in choosing premium WordPress themes as there might be issues with poor code, and complexities may arise from themes having too many features. The biggest problem could be that WordPress themes sometimes overlap the plugins domain and offer functionality that they are not supposed to offer. Buying WordPress themes from trusted developers like Big Drop or reputed theme shops can help to avoid the problem.

WordPress plugins

WordPress offers endless opportunities in customizing websites according to the needs of users and the scope of adding features and functionalities are limited only by your needs. You can make the site perform specific tasks that suit your business process by using WordPress plugins. Plugins make websites more flexible and help in performing tasks according to the requirement of the business process. You can create and implement any marketing strategy and reinforce SEO by using suitable plugins. 

Plugins are the real source of power for WordPress websites as it allows enhancing the features and functionalities that add value to the business and impacts the outcome. Although you can install as many plugins as you want, you must exercise restraint because too many plugins can adversely affect website performance as there are chances of the plugins conflicting with one another. Being careful in choosing plugins and using it only with careful consideration about its compatibility with other plugins and the theme should help to avoid problems. At best, you should not use more than 3-4 plugins for the best website performance.  

Increase the website visibility for search engines

Most WordPress themes are SEO friendly to varying degrees, and you can implement SEO right from the start. But to enhance the SEO capabilities, you must fall back upon suitable WordPress plugins. Since the visibility of websites matters most to search engines to rank it, you must improve the visibility by enhancing the SEO features of the site with the help of WordPress plugins. It means that instead of relying on the default SEO capabilities of the theme, you must enhance it further so that it easily draws the attention of search engines as well as searchers.

One way of doing it is to enhance the relevance of the website. By looking at the name of the title post or page as displayed in the search result, it becomes easy to understand what to expect from the site and how much close it is to what searchers are looking for. Making the title more expressive and explicit helps to uphold the relevance of the page, and plugins are available for adding the website name to the title. Since the website name reveals much more information, it helps users to understand how relevant it is for them. It increases the chances of clicking on the link that displays the title elaborately at the top of the browser.

More relevant website title

The website title created by using the general settings of WordPress themes might lack relevance, and there is always scope for making it more relevant by using some plugin that creates more room for experimenting with the title. As a result, your SEO efforts also get a boost because the higher relevance of the title enhances the website visibility and helps searchers and search engines to understand how much use it will be for them quickly.  Inserting keywords in the title is one of the best ways to drive more traffic to websites. Keywords help searchers and search engines to quickly determine how relevant the site is in meeting their expectations by matching the purpose of searching.   However, small and simple the change might seem; its impact is far-reaching in turn, improving performance.

Create more SEO friendly content

Besides creating high-quality content, you must also ensure that it has enough SEO friendly features and WordPress plugins can help you a lot in this regard. Plugins can tell you how much SEO friendly the content is by highlighting the areas of improvement so that you can make it friendlier to search engines. Although you must create content with the audience in mind, it must also be friendly to search engines. Plugins can evaluate content based on the chosen keyword and determine its likely performance while pointing out the shortcomings so that you can make the necessary improvements. Plugins give enough learning opportunities in content creation, which leads to SEO betterment.

How safe are WordPress websites?

The popularity of WordPress comes at a cost, and users must know that WordPress websites are prime targets of malicious attacks, as evident for reports of hacking of a large number of WordPress websites every year. But most of the incidents happen due to lack of alertness of users who either do not keep the sites updated or do not follow strong password protocols.  The core WordPress software is secure enough to ward off the threats of cyber-attacks and hacking, and it is up to the users to reinforce the security by taking some right measures.

Use secure hosting

Even if you have the best security net for your website, breaches can happen due to the security vulnerabilities in the hosting service that you use. The hosting service provider should not only ensure round the clock surveillance of websites to detect dangers, but they must also have robust security for the database and install suitable firewalls that are impregnable. The hosting company should expand the security level so much that it should also be able to prevent DDOS attacks.

Backup your website

WordPress plugins not only improve the website functionalities but also help to protect website data by allowing users to backup all data by maintaining a regular schedule. Storing the backup files off-location ensures that it remains accessible in case of any eventuality and prevents the chances of getting infected. 

Follow strong password protocols

Using strong and secure passwords for the hosting account, as well as the website, ensures overall security by denying unauthorized access.  Following the basic guidelines like creating passwords, not less than 8 characters long, and using alpha-numeric combination together with uppercase and lower-case letters and special characters help to create strong passwords.

Be careful to change the default username in WordPress, which appears as ‘admin,’ and since it is well- known to all, is highly vulnerable to break-through by hackers intending to launch brute force attacks. Using a different user name by changing it immediately on launching the website reduces the vulnerability.

Following the best practices on the website, security should give complete peace of mind to WordPress users.