SLK Blog

The official SLK I.T. Solutions Inc. blog

New Website and logo for First Class Fleet Services / First Class Spring & Suspension

 

Letting your customers know what you’re really about can go a long way. When First Class approached SLK to revamp their logo and create a custom website, we knew people had to get a glimpse of the hard work and professionalism that goes on behind the scenes. We were able to do this by incorporating high quality photography into the website and letting the pictures speak for themselves. Visit our portfolio to read more on how SLK helped First Class Fleet Services / First Class Spring and Suspension stand apart.

first class portfolio screen

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Tips to Strengthen Your Passwords

 

tips password

Whether it’s for social media, work, shopping, or your own business, you have a password. Hopefully, more than one. But are those passwords really as secure as you think they are? Recently even Bill Burr, regarded as the father of the modern password, has said even he has regrets on the advice he gave on password strength.

So how do you improve your passwords to make sure they are as secure as they can be? Here are some simple tips:

1. Use multiple passwords

You’ve probably heard this before but are you actually putting it into practice? Creating a new password for every account you have may seem tedious at first but there is nothing worse than a hacker getting a hold of one of your accounts and now having access to all of them. A good tip for creating multiple passwords is to stick to a central theme to create passwords for certain sites. For example, all of your social media passwords may start with the letter “H”, or maybe all your work accounts have a fruit related word in them.

 

2. Keep it simple… sort of

When we say keep it simple we don’t mean name your passwords “Password!1”. Use difficult to guess yet easy to remember words or phrases rather than a short, complicated string of numbers, letters, and symbols. Speaking with CBS news, Burr said “It's probably better to do fairly long passwords that are phrases or something like that that you can remember than to try to get people to do lots of funny characters,".

The trick here is the length rather than the complexity. The longer the password the harder it is for a hacker to brute force their way into. That said, it doesn’t hurt to add a few numbers and symbols into your passwords, just try to put them in less predictable places.

 

3. Do not share your passwords!

Again, if this one seems obvious to you, that’s a good thing. You should never share your passwords with anyone, not even close friends. Sharing your passwords either online or in public increases the potential of someone learning your password that you didn’t intend.

If using a group or company account where there is no individual access password, be sure everyone in the group is aware that this information is confidential. Furthermore, be careful of where you log in with your passwords. If you are on a public computer or using public Wi-Fi, you may not be as secure as you think. Think twice before signing in with your precious information.

 

4. Consider a password manager

There are a variety of free programs and web services out there that allow you to generate powerful passwords for every site you go to but only require you to remember one master password.

These managers are great for work or home computers where you may be frequenting several sites on a regular basis and don’t want to constantly try to remember everyone of your passwords.

 

So, the next time you're asked to create a password, keep these tips in mind and remember a strong password is hard to guess but easy to remember.

 

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Social media: Identifying the platform that works best for you

Social-Media

For every busy social media marketer, there is an allure to scheduling the exact same social media messages across multiple platforms. It's easy and saves you a lot of time. But is it really the best way to reach your audience and increase your engagement?

Making slight changes/tweaks to your messages for each social network can help you engage your audience, and increase your reach and your engagement.

So how do you write social media content across multiple platforms? Here are tips to help:

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New Webiste and Logo Adjustments for Chasing Happiness

Word travel and life happiness is what made this website stand out. Redesigned logo and custom mockup let SLK transform this outdated website into an easy to manage outlet for Crystal to stay in contact with all her readers and followers. Visit our portfolio to read more of how SLK helped Chasing Happiness reach her audience easier.


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New Website for Hitherfield School

Elegance and a touch of nature is what made Hitherfield School’s website come to life. Freshened up the logo and a full mock-up allowed SLK the ability to transform their outdated site to a newly modernized and easy to use website that will stand apart from other private schools. Visit our portfolio to read more of how SLK helped Hitherfield School with the transition.


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New Logo and New Website for TWT Productions

SLK is happy to add to our ever growing family. We are proud to launch a new logo and website for TWT Productions. We were able to capture Tony's love for all things multimedia in the website and logo. Visit our portfolio to read more of how SLK helped TWT stand apart.


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Watch Out for Domain Phishing and Scams

slk phishing social

Whenever you receive an email or letter parcel asking for information regarding your domain and you are unsure about it, don’t hesitate to contact us for clarification. These emails are created to scare you into providing personal information without investigating. They use words and phrases like ‘final’, ‘failure to pay’, ‘failure to reply’, ‘and immediate attention required’. These are all used to trigger the fear of the unknown. Always remember to take some extra steps to verify when your personal information is requested.

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New Revive Skin Clinic & Boutique Website

Every time we launch a new website it’s always a momentous occasion for us. Our clients at Revive Skin Clinic & Boutique put their faith in us to create a website that showed the elegance and exclusivity of their business, and the treatments they offer. It was a great experience for all of us, and we look forward to continuing to help their business grow. Visit our portfolio to take a look at their serene and beautiful website.


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Typography and your website

typography header 2

Now that we’ve gone over colour, let's look at another seemingly small element that can make a huge difference in the look of your website. And you’re looking at it right now, your website’s typeface and font.

Before we go any further, let’s clear up what we mean by those terms. Contrary to popular belief, font does not refer to the different names of different texts, i.e. Times New Roman, Helvetica, Cambria etc. Those are typefaces. Font refers to the different forms within a typeface, i.e. bold, italics, size of the letters etc.

It’s important to use a typeface to its full potential. A website can be completely transformed just by a simple typeface switch.

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Adding IMAP Email to Outlook YouTube Video

SLK has uploaded its first how-to YouTube video for adding IMAP email to Outlook. In this video you will get step by step instructions for configuring your Outlook 2010 with an SSL IMAP email account. With the growing need for access to email and the popularity of how-to videos, we wanted to make sure we had the best tools for our clients when making any transitions.

SLK’s YouTube channel will be a one stop place for all Email, Joomla, Magento and Computer tips, as well as some how-to’s that are relevant in today’s industry. Check back here for any updates or new releases.

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Manual Photography Cheat Sheet

 

Trying to wrap your head around photography can be very hard and time consuming, which is why we've created this handy Manual Photography Cheat Sheet. Print it out and keep it next to your camera, we promise you'll have fun and be amazed with the results.


 

 

manual photography1

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Picture Perfect: Tips for Any Photographer with Any Camera

As we know by now, images are far more effective at catching people’s attention than text. However, not any old image will get you noticed. With the rise of high quality cameras in smartphones, it seems that anyone can become a skilled photographer. But just because the technology has gotten more advanced, doesn’t mean the basic rules of good photography have changed. An image can be high resolution, colourful and in focus, but if you don’t follow these basic rules of design, your photo will fall flat.

Ensure Every Post has Value

Despite our first instinct to put the subject of our picture in the centre of our frame, a subject that is offset to one of these intersections is actually more visually appealing and more dynamic than a subject that’s photographed head-on. This is because the rule of thirds follows the natural eye movement that people experience when looking at an image for the first time. Here is an example of how we used this principle for Whole Home Solutions.

rule of thirds firstrule of thirds second

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Considering Lighting

Lighting can be the deciding factor between an outstanding photograph and a lackluster one. You always want your subject to have as much natural light as possible, as sunlight is usually always softer and more flattering than artificial light. If there isn’t enough natural light, you can get great results with properly placed light, but make sure that you don’t try to combine light sources in an attempt to brighten the image. Sunlight and artificial light are different hues and having them both in one image can cause a disruption in the white balance and negatively affect the colouring and atmosphere of the shot.

Also avoid flash whenever possible. We’ve all been on the receiving end of a shot that washes the colour out of our face, gives you red eye and looks the complete opposite of capturing a natural moment. These photos used for NuSkin+ Estetika is a great example of using light to create a soft and natural final product.

natural lighting

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Don’t Be Predictable

If your website is going to contain a lot of visuals (which it should to be eye catching for your viewers), you’ll want to keep the images new and exciting, so that viewers don’t get bored and to ensure every page will be uniquely eye-catching. Changing up the subject matter, angles, colours and depth of field are all great ways to get a diverse collection of images. Here are a few examples of how using close ups, different perspectives, and highlighting different colours can keep photographs that all have a common theme unique and stand out from one another.
With these tips in mind, get your camera out and start shooting! The best way to find out what works and what doesn’t is by practicing. And not to worry, if you’re too busy to have a photo shoot or are still lost behind a lens, that’s what we’re here for. Contact us today to see how SLK can help your business stand out with beautiful photography.

That’s a good place to start, but photography can be a tough maze to navigate. Find out how SLK can help boost your business with multimedia.
multimedia

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Getting Noticed on Social Media

Social media has saturated almost every aspect of communication, sharing and staying connected in today’s world. Having a presence of social media is non-negotiable for any successful business. But with more than 1 billion daily active users on Facebook alone, how can your business stand out?

1) Ensure Every Post has Value

While it seems that our newsfeeds are filled with pictures and videos of cute animals and funny comics, as a business it’s important to offer your clients something unique and important that they can only find with you. It doesn’t help to build your brand by sharing the most popular content just to keep up with the crowd.

good post
Example of Good Posts
bad post
Example of Bad Posts


Content you post and share should always support and reinforce your brand and remind your clients why they use your service or product to begin with. While funny content is a welcomed comedic break once in a while, it’s important to always offer your clients something that helps your business. Whether it’s a link back to your website, a call to action button that encourages them to contact you, engage with your page or website, or share your content for their friends to see, you should never lose sight of your business’s objective. Maintaining a strong brand will keep your brand at the forefront of peoples' minds.

 

2) Make Engagement Easy

The more people engage with your social media pages, the better. The first step is to offer them value, and the next step is to get them to participate. The more people that like, comment and share your posts will result in more people seeing your business, and ultimately more people visiting your page and learning about what you do.

A great way to get engagement is to offer a promotion or host a giveaway. Get clients to comment saying why they love your business or how it’s been helpful to them, and choose a winner at the end of the week and give them 20% off (or whatever discount you choose) on their next invoice. Be creative! See what product or service is most popular among your clients and tailor your deals to that. If you make participation easy and worth their while, they’ll be happy to spread the word for you.
add value to posts

3) Keep it Short and Sweet

Now more than ever, people are bombarded with new information and content constantly. Unfortunately, this means that our attention span has become shorter and shorter. People want to see the benefit of a post right away and if it takes too long to find, they’ll move on.

That’s why it’s so important to be direct, and most importantly, brief. Draw your clients in with a catchy headline and then link to an in-depth article so they can learn more. They’re more likely to stay and read more if you catch their interest within the first two seconds of reading. Or better yet, post a picture or infographic. Images perform much better than text-based posts across the board, as they’re bright, catchy and don’t involve a lot of time investment from the viewer.
bore audience

That’s a good place to start, but social media can be a tough maze to navigate. Find out how SLK can help boost your business through social media.


online marketing
ONLINE MARKETING

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Amaze Your Audience with the Power of Colour

When creating a website, most people think of content first. They want their written content to be strong and informative so that their readers will be more inclined to use their product or service. However, a strong and effective website doesn’t start with content. It starts with design. If your content is clear and well written, but your design is sloppy and doesn’t catch the reader’s eye…sorry to say, but they’re moving on. Before you even get to branding, or graphics, or layout, start with the most basic design principle: colour. While text takes times to read, colour can convey a message or feeling instantaneously. So how do you pick the right ones? Well for starters, it’s not as easy as just picking your favourite ones and integrating them all in your site. Different colours express different things.

Here’s a brief look at common meanings of the most common colours:

 

red
blue

 

yellow
green

 

white
black

 

gray
brown

 

From here, you can pick the colours that represent who you are as an individual or as a business. After that, it’s all about using your selected colours effectively. And here are some tips how:

get to know your colour wheel
Get to Know the Colour Wheel 


This will help you create a strong brand image and won’t overwhelm the viewer. Try to have two neutral or subdued colours, and one or two bright colours for added emphasis and visual intrigue. By keeping a consistent theme throughout your entire website, your viewers are more likely to remember your brand, and colour is the easiest way to achieve that
stick to three or four colours for your website
Stick to Three or Four Colours Throughout Your Website


Certain colours naturally complement each other, such as blue and yellow. Others do not, such as red and orange. Not surprisingly, blue and yellow are an example of complementary colours. These are colours that are opposite to each other on the colour wheel. Get to know these pairs and use them to your advantage. The colour wheel is also divided into cool tones and warm tones. This is also something to consider when picking a theme for your website.
use natural colours
Use Natural Colours


Bright reds, greens, and blues might seem like a good idea to attract readers, but using these bold colours can actually have the opposite effect. They can cause eye fatigue and confusion to the viewer. Using a more natural palette of colours will make your website feel more approachable and professional. These are colours such as taupe, brown, grey and white. Using a natural shade of a brighter colour, however, is great for emphasis and drawing the reader’s eye to a certain part of your website.



Once you have your colour scheme in place, the more in depth design is next. Confused about where to start? No worries, we can help you there. Check out how we can help design, create and brand your website here https://www.slkitsolutions.com/it-solutions/web-design-and-web-development

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Ransomware – A Lethal Malware Continues To Grow Stronger

9 easy tips ransomware webFor most of us the Internet has become an irreplaceable force in our lives. Just by surfing the web and punching in vital personal information, we can conduct many of our daily activities such as, banking, grocery shopping and applying for health insurance, etc. Many of us are aware of the threats that malware, viruses and Trojans pose to our information but there is a growing threat worldwide that can actually cost you a hefty price tag.


What’s the name of this new threat?
Its name is RANSOMWARE, which is a type of malware that prohibits or limits people from accessing their computer – putting your vital personal information at risk. Users are then forced to pay a ransom so they can access their computers again, pretty serious stuff.


How can Ransomware infect your computer?
Your computer can become infected with ransomware in different ways.
1) It can secretly be installed on to your computer with out you knowing or realizing it until its too late.
2) It can act as a legitimate file and then infect your computer once its been installed. This method is known as a Trojan and according to the FBI, the Trojan known as CRYPTOWALL had accumulated over $18,000,000 from early 2014 to June 2015.

 


Major Ransomware Events
Just recently the Kansas Heart Hospital in Wichita had all their systems and records locked for a ransom – the amount is undisclosed. The Hospital gave in and paid their ransom but all they received was “partial access” and a second demand for more money. The Hospital’s President, Dr. Greg Duick refuses to pay the second demand, calling it unwise. Another high-profile case was the attack on Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital. Their internal I.T. Systems were attacked and the hospital paid 40 Bitcoins which is the equivalent of $17,000 to gain back access.

 


What should you do if you are a victim of Ransomware?
The FBI urges and advises victims not to give in and pay the ransom because the money can be funding a criminal organization.

 

What can SLK do for you?
Our team of experts can perform regular back ups on your systems so there is an option to revert back to a stable version, keeping your work safe and secure.

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Visuals Vs. Text — How to Find to Right Balance for Your Website

visual vs text image

It’s no secret that websites are becoming increasingly more visual as opposed to textual. Think about it: visuals are the first thing your eyes go to, and they make a first impression way faster than any written word.
Many websites are shifting to increased visual content because it gets their product or service across to potential customers immediately. You only have about five seconds to capture someone’s interest before they decide to move on to another page or site, so visuals allow you to relay as much information in a short time as possible.
This is why we’re seeing more and more website with big, bold images that take up the entire homepage. If you can hook a customer in at their first glance, they’ll be more inclined to navigate the rest of your website to see what other cool things you’re offering.

 
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New Axiom Wealth Management Website

We are proud to announce that we have just launched the new Axiom Wealth Management Website. For over 20 years, Axiom Wealth Management has become a reputable boutique-consulting firm that specializes in Risk and Wealth Management for a wide range of entrepreneurs.  Visit our portfolio to see how we designed this terrific website.


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New Authentic Stitch Website

Today has been a terrific day and why is that you ask? It's because we have just launched a new website for our new and wonderful client. Authentic Stitch was established by Scott in 1995 and has gained a great reputation for specializing in Promotional Products, Corporate Apparel and a large variety of apparel services. Visit our portfolio to see how we designed this terrific website.


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New Exotic Flowers & Gifts Website

We have just launched the new and beautiful website for Exotic Flowers and Gifts. We like to thank Agnieszka for the beautiful images she supplied us with and it was an absolute joy to collaborate with such a talented individual. Visit our portfolio to see how we designed this gorgeous website.


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exotic flowers portfolio screen

 

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New Dr. Marta Bejuk Website

Today's launch of Dr. Marta Bejuk's new website has us all buzzing with excitment. The playful nature of the website made the process very enjoyable from beginning to end and we'll definitely miss the fun research phase of this project. Visit our portfolio to see the wonderful extensive project we embarked on with Dr. Marta Bejuk.


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