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By Matt Gates on 24/04/18 | Category - Web Design

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new regulation designed to protect the data of EU citizens and EU residents both residing in the EU and around the world. Simply put, it is legislation that tells businesses that if they offer their products or services to EU citizens they must look after their data or face some pretty severe consequences. How does being fined 4% of your total global revenue sound? Not good. The new regulations come into force on 25th May 2018.

GDPR are you ready?

Will this affect my business?

The GDPR is likely to affect the majority of businesses trading today, regardless of size or industry. If you collect or process any personal data, you will be required to comply in accordance with the new legislation. This includes companies that use internal databases, apps, CRMS or even good old email to store the personal data.

If you are looking for a little light (and yes, there is some sarcasm there) bedtime reading, the GDPR website makes for some interesting reading. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the things you can do to your website to ensure you are compliant.

The digital age of consent

Consent is a huge part of the GDPR. If somebody makes an enquiry through your website of any kind, that means you can no longer automatically add them to your mailing list. It also means you can’t pre-populate any checkboxes when they send you a query that they have to untick if they don’t want to be added to your mailing list. Consent can also be withdrawn by data subjects at any time.

And to make matters more complicated, consent doesn’t just apply after the GDPR comes into effect. You will need to prove that the people on your existing contacts or mailing lists have given their consent for their data to be gathered. For example, can you prove that everybody you send your newsletter out to has requested this information?

An easy way to prove this and keep consent on record is to send an email out to all contacts asking them to opt-in or opt-out of your mailing list. Sure, you may lose some subscribers along the way, but the main thing is that you are acting in compliance with GDPR and protecting your reputation and bottom line.

Making Your Website Compliant

If all this talk of fines and compliance is getting you a little hot under the collar, the good news is that with a little organisation and understanding of the rules, you can get your website compliant in no time.

Start with a personal data audit across the data that you currently hold on your users and customers. What are you using the data for, do you still need the data and where is it being stored? This will help you to define which data you still need to keep and which can be archived or deleted.

Start to work your way through the following steps. These are some of basic considerations that will apply to most websites:

  • Forms - All forms that invite users to indicate contact preferences or subscribe to a mailing list must be set to blank. This consent must also be presented separately to any tickbox asking users to accept terms and conditions. You must also specify clearly how users can unsubscribe from newsletters. An unsubscribe option must be given on every newsletter and item of communication you send.
  • Terms and Conditions - You must update your terms and conditions to make a mention of GDPR and in particular, how you plan to use and store personal data that falls under the regulations.
  • SSL certificates - Ensure you have SSL encryption in place. This will ensure all data sent between your website and your users is encrypted.
  • Create a privacy policy page - While your terms and conditions may specify how you plan to use data, a privacy policy page will give your users clear information without them having to trawl through other paragraphs.

Need help? Get in touch.

GDPR isn’t that scary once you get to grips with what you need to do to comply with the new guidelines. If you would like help with your website, get in touch. We can carry out a full data and website audit and make recommendations for improvements.

By Matt Gates on 23/04/18 | Category - Search Engine Optimisation

It’s a rare thing for Google to reveal any of its search ranking factors, which is why we really sat up and took notice last year when they revealed they would reward sites that used SSL (secure sockets layer) certificates by boosting their search results.

GDPR are you ready?

What is an SSL Certificate?

An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that is used to encrypt sensitive information and authenticate a website’s identity. This level of encryption prevents information such as credit card details, addresses or passwords from being intercepted by anybody other than the intended recipient.

How do SSL Certificates work?

SSL certificates use HTTPS encryption; a protocol that protects the privacy and integrity of exchanged data between a user and the site they are visiting. In the same day that a key locks and unlocks a door, SSL certificates apply the same type of system to authenticate and protect confidential information.

Putting this type of security in place can be tricky, but the payoff is certainly worth it in terms of advanced security, enhanced referral data and a promised boost in rankings. There is also the issue of compliance to consider, but more on this in a moment.

Making the world of search a better place

In recent years, there has been a big debate over how important SSL certificates are, and whether they are a requirement on every website. Google has always had the end user experience in mind and by putting SSL certificates in place, webmasters can help to ensure this experience is as safe and secure as possible.

The benefits and the challenges of SSL - Is it worth it?

As we have already touched on, the main benefit of Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is to provide a secure connection between users and the page they are viewing or sharing personal data to. You will often see the https:// prefix when you visit secure shopping websites or when you are doing your online banking. HTTPS offers an additional layer of protection, essential when you are sharing credit card or personal address details.

In order to deploy HTTPS on your website, you’ll need an SSL certificate. This SSL certificate will be unique to your business and operates as a padlock between a browser (your users) and your web server (your website). You will also need to create a certificate signing request (CSR) on your server. This creates a private and public key pair that is used between endpoints (user and website) to validate and protect information in transit.

SSL and GDPR - Are you ready?

On 25th May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force. The new regulations will require personal and sensitive data to be encrypted both in transit and in storage. By installing SSL on your website, you will be on your way to GDPR compliance.

If you would like to find out more about installing SSL certificates on your website and discovering the search rankings and compliance benefits this level of security has to offer, get in touch with our team today. We can take care of the entire process for you.

By Matt Gates on 12/04/18 | Category - Web Design

Opt out of ad tracking on your phone and web browser

With all the interest around Facebook data breach and how they track you through your browser, its worth pointing out that you can easily turn off this advert tracking through your smart phone and web browser settings.

Facebook doesn't actually track your browsing history, this is in fact caused by the websites you visit.

These sites are using re-marketing advertising to try and get you to come back and complete the initial purchase enquiry. Once visited they add you to a list that is then used by Facebook to advertise to you on their platform.

Some people find this useful but if you don't you can easily change your smart phone and browser settings.

Change your browser privacy ad tracking settings in Google Chrome

Google have the following instructions for this:

  1. On your computer, open Chrome.
  2. At the top right, click More More and then Settings.
  3. At the bottom, click Show advanced settings.
  4. Under "Privacy," check or uncheck Send a "Do Not Track" request with your browsing traffic.

See the screen shot below:

Chrome privacy settings

Change your browser privacy ad tracking settings in Firefox

Mozilla have the following instructions for this:

  1. Click the menu button in the top right corner and choose Options.
  2. Select the Privacy & Security panel.
  3. Find the Tracking Protection section.
  4. Underneath Send websites a "Do Not Track" signal that you don't want to be tracked , choose the Always setting.
  5. Close the about:preferences page. Any changes you've made will automatically be saved.

See the screen shot below:

Firefox ad tracking privacy setting

Change your browser privacy ad tracking settings in Internet Explorer

Microsoft have the following instructions for this:

  1. Open Internet Explorer and select the Tools button .
  2. Select Safety Turn off Do Not Track requests.

See the screen grab below:

Internet Explorer opt out of ad tracking

Change your browser privacy ad tracking settings in Android

Android have the following instructions for this:

  • Go to your phones Settings menu
  • Scroll down and click on the 'Google' option. 
  • Then choose 'Ads' and then switch on the 'Opt out of Ads Personalisation' option

See the screen grab below:

Opt out of ad tracking on Android

Change your browser privacy ad tracking settings in Apple IOS

Android have the following instructions for this:

  • Go to your phones Settings menu
  • Scroll down and click on the 'Privacy' option
  • Scroll down again and click on the 'Advertising' option at the very bottom
  • Select the 'Limit Ad Tracking' option to activate

See the screen grab below:

Opt out of ad tracking in Apple IOS


By Matt on 22/02/18 | Category - Logo Design & Branding

This website and logo design was produced for a wedding and events planning company based in Somerset.

We first developed a striking, up-market looking logo and then went on to design and develop a bespoke website.

You can visit the completed website here:

Phoenix wedding and events

By Matt Gates on 14/12/17 | Category - Audio

Phuse hosted the launch of the Alien: Perimeter CD last night on the Courier record label.

Great night was had by all and not a bad venue either, some pics of the night!

By Matt Gates on 10/11/17 | Category - Social Media Marketing
Promote your business on Instagram

Not using Instagram yet? Here are 5 reasons why you should be!

The world is a connected place, and while it can be daunting knowing how to market your business in the digital age, there really are only a handful of tools and resources you should be focusing on. Instagram is one of them.

You may already be using Instagram to share photos and videos with friends and family - it’s a great way to show what you are up to visually and at the touch of a button. It’s also highly interactive. Whether you are a creative agency, in the construction business or offering financial services, there are ways that you can leverage the sharing power of Instagram for your business.

1. Showing off your creativity

Instagram is a great way to show off the products and solutions you have to offer. No matter what offering you have for your customers, this social media platform will allow you to show it off in a visually appealing way - by the way, visual information is delivered to the brain faster than any other form of advertising.

2. But my business operates in quite a 'dry' sector

It’s important not to underestimate the power of social media marketing. While insurance or financial services may be difficult to make look pretty, there are ways that you can deliver visuals that will boost your appeal and make your business more memorable. Instead of showing corporate images, calculators or pound signs, think about the solution you offer to your customers, your mission and ultimately how you can make the lives of your customers better. Colourful images of happy families, personal assets, travel destinations and photos that illustrate stability, comfort and confidence are all great choices here.

5 reasons to use instagram

You can follow us by visiting our page on Instagram.

3. Tell your own story

Instagram is so much more than a way to display photos. Instagram Stories allow you to display your photos in a slideshow format that tells a story about who you are, your products or a particular promotion you have running. You can also use video to tell your story and include hashtags that make it easy for you to link your stories to other photos you have posted or other Instagram accounts.

4. Take your customers behind the scenes

In a world where competition is fierce and customers are curious about the brands they use, giving a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes could be a winning move for your business. Perhaps you sell environmentally friendly products or maybe you are opening a new branch. Why not give your customers an exclusive look at how your products or made or the people who make your business tick?

5. Increased engagement

All of those pictographic posts may look beautiful, but they also need to do some serious work for you if you want your efforts to pay off. The good news is that Instagram, when used well, can command crazy levels of engagement. In fact, a recent report by Forrester revealed that content posted to Instagram generates 120 times more engagement than Twitter and 58 times more than Facebook.

If you’d like to find out more about the power of Instagram or any aspect of social media marketing, we’d love to help. Give us a call on 01702 482011. It could be the making of your business.

If you have found this article helpful, why not check out our other social media articles on marketing with Facebook and promoting your business with Twitter.

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