Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA)

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"Internet of Things" and "Smart City", is the time ripe?

Two technological innovations/revolutions that are changing the World: Internet of Things and Smart City. The Internet of things (IoT) is the interconnection via the Internet of everyday computing devices enabling them to send and receive data while Smart City is an urban development that integrates information and communication technologies to enhance the quality and performance of urban services. Constant power supply is the backbone to the success of these innovations.

Internet of things (IoT) technology is a revolution that is already shaping the world in every sphere of life. It is a secure means of managing a city's assets. Making our cities ‘smart’ will promote the use of urban informatics and technology to improve the efficiency of services. This could be as basic as sharing power generation and availability information over the grid, so that non-critical loads can be turned off, to make power more available, or delivering bus tickets via SMS linked to RFID tags on commuter phones. 

Some people doubt that smart devices are important and could be the next technological revolution. Few also stop to consider that, amid the new conveniences and wonder, IoT also promises to bring new problems and concerns, some technical, and others social or environmental. So far, most of these new problems and concerns are barely acknowledged, although many are already starting to appear. Top of the list of concerns are security and privacy issues.

 

None of these challenges is necessarily a reason to oppose the Internet of Things. Just as purposes for smart devices will be found that we cannot fully participate in today, so challenges are likely to emerge that we cannot anticipate today.

Just imagine the progress we have made, from registering domain names by filling forms and sending off via email to be manually processed, to the current situation of Registrar servers talking to the Registry servers and the very many automated tasks that keep the Domain Name and hosting ecosystem working. Obviously, we have come a long way!

We must continue to push the envelope and use technologies that will enhance the quality of lives of our people. Access should be universal. We must seek avenues to include everyone and make communications ubiquitous.

We can be better prepared to meet the challenges that we didn't anticipate, if we work at enhancing those things that will enhance the quality of our lives. We can only accomplish in proportion to what we attempt!

I remain at your service.

Rev’d Sunday Folayan

President, NIRA Executive Board

 

NITDA Advises Nigerians On Ransomware Attacks

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) being an Agency under the Federal Ministry of Communications, created in April 2001 to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy and coordinate general IT development and regulation in the country, sent an alert to the Nigerian public on the Ransomware Attacks.  In addition, to advising government on how to enhance the security of the nation, NITDA works  with critical stakeholders to come up with ways in which the Nigerian cyberspace can be adequately protected. Nigerians are called to support the Agency by doing their best at protecting themselves as well as the information and systems under their care.

On the 13th of May, 2017, The Management of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), headed by Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Director General/CEO, brought to the attention of Nigerians, the recent cyber-attack that was affecting computers across the world – the ransomeware attack. This attack, known as “WannaCry” or “WannaCrypt”, spreads by itself between computers and does not require human interaction. It restricts access to the affected system as well as demanding for payment of a ransom. As of that date, it was reported that the attack, had affected over 150 countries and 200,000 machines.

The ransomware attack was reported as exploiting vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Windows Operating System, especially those not currently supported such as Windows XP, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003. Microsoft released a patch for the vulnerability in March and machines that were updated with the patch would have been automatically protected.

For infected systems, remedies were outlined to prevent further spread and the recommended line of actions were:

      Remove the system from Network;

      Do not use flash/pen drive, external drives on the System to copy files to other systems;

      Format the System completely and get fresh OS copy installed; and

      Contact NITDA Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (CERRT) for assistance. They can be reached via telephone on 0800-9988-7766-5544 or e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Individuals and organisations were advised to:

      Regularly update their operating systems with the latest patches;

      Regularly update their software applications with latest patches;

      Avoid downloading and opening unsolicited files and attachments;

      Adjust security software to scan compressed or archived files; and

      Avoid indiscriminate use wireless connections, such as Bluetooth or infrared ports.

 https://nitda.gov.ng/2017/05/15/nitda-advises-mdas-and-others-on-ransomware-attacks/

FREELANCING

A freelance worker is a self-employed person offering services to multiple clients at a time. The type of work varies. Every type of service required by any business can be provided by a freelancer at a cost/fee. Some freelancing jobs pay hourly rates to the extent that freelancers earn full time wages or more. A freelancer can set hourly rates which are often higher than the freelancer would earn as salary for the same job.

The regularity of the freelance work can vary. Many work for the same clients over a period of time whilst others work on specific projects. Some of the services include providing web programming and design, social media marketing, copywriting, publicity, interpreter/translator, multimedia artist, writing articles and blog posts, creative works, etc. Freelancing is something you can start today with next to zero up-front investment. And if you take the time to master a specialized, in-demand skill – you can easily earn good money every month. Some people start freelancing with after office hours’ jobs to earn additional source of income.

Freelancing provides one the opportunity to work from home full time. The hours of work of a Freelancer are flexible and a freelancer can set his/her own work hours/days on projects of choice.  It is good to note that freelancing is different from owning your own business as a freelancer provides services and do not hire other people to do the work.

Although freelance world is very robust globally, it is arguably seen as a fiercely competitive marketplace. Many Nigerians have joined the league of those who offer their skilled services online. Several websites advertise these jobs. Freelancers also visit these websites to offer their services, of course for a fee.

Through freelancing, some businesses achieve more results. Freelancing makes it fast, simple, and cost-effective to find, hire, work with, and pay the best professionals anywhere, any time.

A FEW OF THE MOST IN-DEMAND FREELANCE POSITIONS are listed as:

     Computer Programing

     Graphic Design

     Article Writing

     Internet Marketing

     Customer Service

     Website Design

     Domain Name Reselling

The online freelancing industry is a generous provider of work for people. With specialized skills that can provide solutions to a task or problem, freelancing is opportunity to rake in extra money.  There are lots of people out there searching for experts in one field or the other; you should grab the opportunity without delay. You must also protect your freelance work. To be successful, you need to be proactive and constantly search for clients, diversify your income, consider when work can dry up, advertise, grow your network, etc. 

Being a Better Webmaster

As we all know, the Internet is the predominant way, businesses and organisations associate to their clients and each other. The organization and maintenance of the content of a website has become complex and requires special talents, focus and skills. Website content managers and webmasters are responsible for the information available on the website of most businesses and organisations.  As a site owner, it is required that you have the best possible webmaster.  In recent years, the profile of webmasters has risen with the increase and reliance on online marketing and online trading and businesses. The following are just a few of the activities carried out by webmasters who know their onions.  

1 – Regular Website Updates

After building a powerful website, it is important that regular updates are carried out. The first being regular update of the website content. Note that, adding new content to the site on a regular basis confers a powerful SEO advantage that could lead to higher site ranking in the natural search results.  This, in turn, leads to increased traffic and provides tangible benefits for investment.

2 – Run periodic usability tests

Whenever changes are made to a website it’s important to run periodic usability tests that identify any errors that may be inhibiting the site’s functionality.  Usability tests can be as simple as previewing the website in different browsers using available tools or as complex as navigating through every page on the site in order to manually detect errors.

3 – Manage broken links appropriately

When running usability tests, it is necessary to watch out for broken links.  Internal or external links that refer visitors to pages that are no longer live (whether due to the movement of the page, the closure of the site or some other circumstance) both frustrate users and prevent the search engines’ indexing programs from effectively cataloging the pages on a site. If broken links are encountered on the website, either remove the links or redirect the link to a different page entirely.

4 – Engage the community on social sites

Engaging in social media marketing is now a “must do” for all webmasters, given the expectations of today’s consumers and the SEO value that can be derived from social networking interactions. Start small by building a business profile on one of the top social media sites (including Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Instagram) and make a commitment to post new content and engage with followers once a day.  Once this becomes routine, expand business social presence to other networks or delve more deeply into marketing strategy recommendations for the chosen site.

5 – Solicit user feedback to drive website changes

Finally, good webmasters recognize that their opinions on their websites are just that – opinions.  Instead of building and managing their sites from this narrow point of view, these business owners ask their users for feedback and make changes based on this advice.

Truly, website management is an ongoing process that requires continuous commitment from site owners in order to maximize performance.  It is advised to add the tasks on the webmaster “to do” list, to guarantee increased website traffic and better natural search results rankings.

 

Called from: Hostgator.com

 

 

Online Branding Strategies That Work for Small Businesses

1.       Social media marketing

Social media is the best thing that could ever have happened to small business branding online. Both big and small companies create pages on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Minimal costs are associated with this. What these companies are doing is social media marketing. Profiles for businesses can be created in the appropriate social networking sites, after which, the owners start connecting with both established and potential customers. The key to success in social media marketing is participation. You need to be in there, and participate on a regular basis.

 

2.       Search engine marketing

Search engines are the biggest tools online, that can be used for business branding purposes. The great thing about search engines is that they drive highly targeted customers. Therefore, focus majority of your traffic-building strategies on driving search engine traffic.  This is referred to as organic traffic.

 3.       Blogging

Do not underestimate the power of blogging as a small business branding method. Search engines love blogs because of their ever current content. Blog for your business to achieve desired success.

 

4.       Pay per click advertising

Invest in marketing in order to build a brand online. Invest in a pay per click system, where you pay for every lead sent to your blog/website. Start with Google – set a budget and bid, select keywords and write a quick ad. Now you’ll be there when some “Googles it!

 5.       Article marketing

Article marketing is where you write short articles that are distributed throughout free article marketplaces. This is commonly used as a traffic-building strategy and quite effective in building brands online.

 

6.       Contests

People love contests and some of these are sponsored by businesses.  Build your own contests and watch your brand strength increase.

 7.       Promotional Giveaway

Give away products or promotional items on social media attract a lot of attention and traffic. Clients and potential clients are always eager to participate in competitions, etc. Pop the question about the product on whatever platform, even radio programmes, many would respond in the bid to win the prize.  Even on twitter, when people are asked to, “Retweet upon receipt,” many would respond to the challenge.

Concluding, every business owner should know that business branding takes time. There is no magic pill or overnight solution to business branding. It could take ages for the desired success. Patience, endurance, persistence and hard work are required to make success of any business.  

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