What is SSL (the "little padlock")?

SSL ("Secured Socket Layer") is a protocol used to encrypt the communication between the user's browser and the web server. When SSL is active, a "little padlock" appears on the user's browser, usually in the status line at the bottom (at the top for Mac / Safari users.)

This assures the user that sensitive data (such as credit card numbers) can not be viewed by anyone "sniffing" the network connection (which is an increasing risk as more people use wireless networking).

Common web site owner questions about SSL:

How do I get the little padlock on my site?

To get the little padlock, your site must have an SSL Certificate from a Certificate Authority. Once an SSL Certificate has been purchased and installed, it provides three things:

  1. The ability to show a page in "Secure Mode", which encrypts the traffic between the browser and the server, as indicated by the "little padlock" on the user's browser.
  2. A guarantee by the issuing Certificate Authority that the domain name the certificate was issued for is indeed owned by the specific company or individual named in the certificate (visible if the user clicks on the little padlock).
  3. An assurance that the domain name the certificate was issued for is the domain name the user's browser is now on.

Once obtained, the certificate must be installed on the web server by your web host. Since your web host also has to generate an initial cypher key to obtain the certificate, very often they will offer to handle the process of obtaining the certificate for you.

My web host has a "shared certificate" that I can use. Should I?

It's still fairly common for small sites to use a shared certificate from the host. In this circumstance, when a page needs to be shown in secured mode, the user is actually sent to a domain owned by the web host, and then back to the originating domain afterwards.

A few years ago, when SSL Certificates were quite expensive (around $ 400 per year), this was real attractive for new sites just getting their feet wet in e-commerce. Today, with a number of perfectly functional SSL certificates available for under $ 100 (exclusive of installation, etc.), it is a lot less attractive. Since your user can look at the address line of his or her web browser and see that the site asking for the credit card number is not the site he or she thought they were on, the cost savings is probably not worth the risk of scaring off A sale.

What's the difference between the expensive SSL Certificates and the inexpensive ones?

Usually, mostly price. Some expensive certificates have specific functions, such as securing a number of different subdomains simultaneously (a "wildcard" certificate), but the effective differences between basic single site certificates are very slight, despite the wide range of prices:

The encryption mechanism used by all of them is the same, and most use the same key length (which is an indicator of the strength of the encryption) common to most browsers (128 bit).

Some of them ("chained root" certificates) are slightly more of a pain for your web host to install than others ("single root" certificates), but this is pretty much invisible to the site owner.

The amount of actual checking on the ownership of the domain varies wildly among sellers, with some (usually the more expensive) wanting significant documentation (like a D & B number), and others handling it with an automated phone call ("press # 123 if you 'Ve just ordered a certificate ").

Some of them offer massive monetary guarantees as to their security (we'll pay you oodles of dollars if someone cracks this code), but since it's all the same encryption mechanism, if someone comes up with a crack, all e-commerce sites will Be scrambling, and the odds of that vendor actually having enough cash to pay all of its customers their oodel is probably slim.

The fact is that you are buying the certificate to insure the safety of the user's data, and to make the user confident that his or her data is secure. For the vast majority of users, simply having the little padlock show up is all they are looking for. There are exceptions (I have a client in the bank software business, and they feel that their customers (bank officers) are looking for a specific premier name on the SSL certificate, so are happy to continue using the expensive one), but most e -commerce customers do not pick their sellers based on who issued their SSL Certificates.

My advice is to buy the cheaper one.

I have an SSL certificate – why should not I serve all my pages in "Secured" mode?

Because SSL has an overhead – more data is sent with a page that is encrypted than a page that is not. This translates to your site appearing to run slower, particularly for users who are on dial-up or other slow connections. Since this also increases the total amount of data transferred by your site, if your web host charges by transfer volume (or has an overage fee, as most do), this can increase the size of your monthly hosting bill.

The server should go into secure mode when asking a user for financial or other sensitive data (which may well be "name, address and phone number", with today's risk of identity theft), and operate in normal mode otherwise.

What's The Difference Between A Reseller Program And Affiliate Program?

Many people ask me what's the difference between becoming an affiliate or a reseller? What's the simple answer? Let's say there is a resellers and an affiliate, they both sell the same digital service for XYZCO; However, there are significant differences between each person's agreement.

What is a Reseller? A reseller creates a reseller account with XYZCO, and then solicit (proprietary) for customers to sign up under it for products or services. The reseller can sometimes provide the technical support for his or her customers and in some cases manages the billing directly with his / her clients then the order is fulfilled by the reseller company. Many companies offer while label solutions and ever customer support can be included to look like your service. With digital products, you get paid by your clients $ xxx.xx amount then your reseller fulfills the order charging you your wholesale reseller rate $ xx.xx so you make the difference on each order. Customers deal with the reseller directly, and sellers may set their prices at any level they choose.

What's an Affiliate? An affiliate is strictly an evangelist for our service. He or she refere customers or traffic to XYZCO, where they open their own accounts with the affiliate's special code to let us know who referred them. Affiliates are paid on commission by XYZCO and the current rate is an ongoing percentage of referred sales. Many affiliate programs pay a one-time commission; However, companies like SendPressReleases.com – Send Press Releases affiliate program offer a free program to sign up and you get paid forever on any of your referred clients allowing you to build a real affiliate business with digital products that sell.

There are pros and cons to each type of account, and which is right for you will depend upon how much time you would like to invest.

Key Points to Consider When Becoming a Reseller;

Getting started as a reseller is very easy and can be done within a few minutes. I would recommend taking some time and do a little research on the type of monetization terms each reseller program offers. Many key points for both reseller and affiliate can be the same and really come down to your potential profit and success with the individual program.

  1. How long does the software track client visitor cookies? Most reseller software will have a tracking cooking so if you refer someone using a referral tracking link, it will keep a record if they then purchase for up to 30/60/90 days and sometimes longer. Many people take time to get started and execute an order so this defiantly is a very important factor.
  2. Many reseller programs will pay you for your first referral that orders but then the terms might change. Ideally you would like to get paid on that client whenever they order.
  3. Simply said, read the terms a reseller provides you and see if they are fair and profitable. There are many types of reseller businesses that you could start so first you need to identify which type of reseller business model is right for you. Maybe the overall key factor is reselling something you have an interest or passion in? Choosing a reseller for the profit is not always a bad idea either!

Key Points to Consider When Joining an Affiliate Program;

  1. Minimum payment threshold, this can be the amount you must generate before a payment will be released to you for your affiliate marketing efforts. The payment threshold can vary from program to to program and can be anywhere from $ 5 to $ 100 and in some cases if you do not meet the terms (within 120 days as an example) you would forfeit your affiliate earnings. I would recommend learning the terms before joining any program no matter how great the initial profit model looks.
  2. Are the products you want to become affiliated with profitable and easy to process? This might be a very good question to ask your-self. Keep an eye out for shockingly high transactions, yes, sometimes Internet marketing is like pyramid schemes and if an affiliate program sounds too good to be true, it probably needs a closer look.
  3. Make money type of products and MLM. I am sure you know someone in one of these product categories, maybe they are even making money. Do not do it. Move in another direction, the statistics and numbers do not lie. These type of programs work on your greed and in many cases do not provide a products that justifies the potential. Do your homework ..

What's a Better Affiliate Program or a Reseller Program?

This is the questions you need to determine yourself. With each comes their own set of pros and cons. With a reseller program you might have more of a standard business that you can grow over time, however an affiliate program is easy to get started for free in many cases and can be a great part time business or second income.

Here is some statistic to reflect upon while you consider your options;

  • Affiliate marketing spend matches $ 5 Billion in the US
  • Affiliate marketing drives a whopping 1% of the country's total GDP in the UK.
  • Approximately 15% of all digital media industry's revenue comes from affiliate marketing.
  • In 2016 over 80% of brands utilize affiliate marketing.

Why Does it Have Setup Fee?

Many reseller and affiliate programs will charge a setup or account fee to get started, and yes this is very common. Reseller programs that offer you a great program, support, even white-label client support to assist and help your clients for you on your behalf. This can be a fantastic situation and can allow you to operate your own business and have it sully supported by your affiliate reseller company. I find digital products that are in high demand, that also offer your clients support in your behalf are some of the best most effective programs.

Embracing Uncertainty

If you ask investors, they will tell you one thing that they dislike. It is inexainty. Investors always fear uncertainty. In fact, they hate uncertainty. If you ask further, everyone will give different answers but the main reason why they hate uncertainty is that they do not like losing money.

That is right. Losing money is what we as investors want to avoid. However, avoiding uncertainty is not the answer. You see, life is always full of uncertainty. Therefore, taking risks is necessary in investing no matter what your background is. Tell me what kind of assets with no uncertainty at all. One common answer is placing your money in Certificate of Deposit. (CD). The proponent of this investment claims that your money will always accrue interest no matter what happens to the economy, oil price and other things affecting stock investment. But is that so?

Let me answer your question with another question. Why do different banks give you different interest rate for your CD? Sure, it is affected partly by their money supply and demand. If a bank can take in more money than it can loan, it will generally give lower interest rate. However, do you notice that larger established banks generally give lower interest rate than say, an internet CD from e-trade? The answer is uncertainty. Big banks are less likely to fall and therefore, investors are willing to accept lower return investing in their CD. On the other hand, internet banks are more uncertain to survive ten years from now. Thus, the higher interest rate. You see, when you embrace uncertainty, you will earn a higher return on your investment. How about risk? The risk here is that when you invest in small unestablished banks, it may go bankrupt and bring your money down with it. Sure, in theory, your money is protected up to $ 100,000 from FDIC. If you loan your money to a friend, he or she will always say that they will pay your money back, no matter what. But banks are not your friend. In fact, you friends who borrow money from you, can default on their payments.

That is the risk of investing in CD. While, the risk seems remote, it always exists. On the opposite side, investors who fear accidently will probably stuff their money in the mattress, approaching little or no money. This is an extreme example but as you see, getting rid of uncertainty does not look that good here.

Embrace accidently does not mean investing your money blindly. To get a higher return, you need to embrace uncertainty and be educated to minimize your risk. In our CD investment case, what should investors do? Well, for example, you can research the trustworthiness of your bank to sites such as bankrate.com. Once you are comfortable about the status of your bank, you can then invest in CD which offers higher interest rate. A little bit of your time will earn you quite a bit. This is what I called embracing uncertainty. You accept that uncertainty is part of investing but you need to be aware of the risks that you take in any kind of investment. From there, you can weigh your risk and reward and decide which the additional risk is worth investing or not.

Similar case can be applied to stock investing. It is full of uncertainty and there is no way around it. However, by being educated in the stock market, you can minimize your risk and can earn additional return in the process.

Turnaround investing validates this concept. You can choose to invest in a well-run companies with seemingly no trouble in the horizon. Or … you can choose to invest in companies with short-term trouble and wait for them to turnaround. In these two cases, investing in turnaround companies will give you greater return. This is due to the uncertainty of investing in companies with short-term trouble. As always, you have a decision to make. Life is full of choice. Would you rather invest in CD and avoid uncertainty even? Or embracing uncertainty and reap a higher return on your investment?

Investing in Your Mental Well-Being

Hmm … where did I leave those keys? What did I come in here for? What was I going to say? Or in my case – 'you just asked me that question dad', to which I think, I do not remember getting an answer, in fact, I do not even remember asking the question.

Being mentally responsive and perceptive is something a lot of people take for granted and does not give a second thought to. Unfortunately, your memory is a precious thing that needs to be taken care of and kept 'in shape'. Believe it or not, we do not realize how valuable our memory really is until it is taken from us as we get older, or for some, when stricken with health issues.

Taking care of your mind means you will need to invest in things that keep it sharp and responsive. Believe it or not, it is as easy as having regular sleep patterns, uninterrupted rest, exercise, less stress and mental challenges. All of which, can cause a loss of mental alertness when ignored.

Investing in yourself is a foreign concept, especially for those with busy schedules and families to tend to. For example, mothers are unselfish and unwavering when it comes to their children. When a new mothers will tend to their babies while everyone else is eating. If she is lucky she will eat with the babies still in her arms or after everyone has gone to bed.

Improving your concentration and focus should be something you work at every day. If you do it consistently, it will definitely prove rewarding. Experts suggest that investing in certain food and brain fitness items will go a long way to sharpening your mind. Brain fitness is an actual term that means "the capacity of a person to meet the various cognitive demands of life."

To get your brain fit again, try:

  • Word searches
  • Crossword puzzles
  • Mind teasers
  • Sudoku
  • Scrabble
  • Taking a course in something new
  • Reading books that make you think

When I read the part about taking a course in something new, I suddenly understood why my children used to come home from school saying that their heads hurt. Learning a lot of new things is taxing and tiring, but education is an investment in their mental capacity, and should not be ignored. Teaching others is also something that keeps your mind sharp and thinking. Teaching a new college the ways of the office, walking a volunteer through what you do on a daily basis or helping your children with their math homework. All of these are good for you and should be thought of as investing in yourself.

In addition to brain exercises, physical fitness helps you maintain mental stability and focus. Studies have shown, and I have personal experiences that prove, that aerobic exercising several times a week will improve your self-esteem. Regular exercise clears your mind of everything else that was there and allows you to focus on the tasks at hand. Investing in a pair of running shoes and tackling a new and challenging sport will certainly pay off in more ways than one.

The phrase, you are what you eat, certainly applies when it comes to investing in your mental wellbeing. A deficiency in Vitamin B and Omega 3 Fatty Acids can lead to poor cognitive functions.

There are certain foods, seeds and natural health alternatives that have been linked to mental stamina. It is well worth looking into these items and investing in them. Some include:

  • Green tea
  • Dark chocolate
  • Garlic
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Flaxseed

Antioxidant-rich foods are not only tasty, they're also good for mental stamina. They include:

  • Fruit: black plums, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, sweet cherries, avocado, oranges, grapefruits and grapes
  • Vegetables: dark green leafy vegetables, orange vegetables, spinach and kale

In the end, investing in your mental health will not only result in a sound mind and body, it will also make a happier you. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Concentration is the secret of strength." Go ahead, invest in your mental wellness for a sharper more efficient you.