Windows 10 – Is your privacy, your soul, worth the “free” price? And When does an upgrade become a downgrade?

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Drone spying through window your living room. Privacy policy concept.

Summary: “All your data belongs to us.”

Will we be the gods? Will we be the family pets? Or will we be ants that get stepped on? I don’t know.’ – Steve Wozniak, Apple Founder

There are many reasons why Microsoft is offering Windows 10 for free…

People like free things and the whole Windows 10 roll-out implies revenue comes from harvesting data and providing it to advertisers, and other agencies, who’s non-productive “peeping-tom” jobs train them to want to know exactly what we are all up to; analyzing every nook and cranny of our otherwise private lives; such as our conversations with our spouses. The core of the Windows 10 issue regarding privacy seems to be right there. People want things “for free” and companies are more than happy to oblige, since people don’t mind paying with their privacy. Windows 10 has all sorts of user spying and profiling baked right in. Also, it might be logically stated that you, or a class action suit regarding everyone’s privacy, can’t be eventually thrown at Microsoft because this operating was given out “optionally” and “for free”.

All of Windows 10’s features that could be considered invasions of privacy are enabled by default. Sign into Windows with your Microsoft account and the operating system immediately synchronizes settings and data to the Microsoft’s servers. That includes your browsing history, saved favorites, and the websites you currently have open – in real-time – as well as saved application states, website and Wi-Fi network names, passwords and any mobile hotspot passwords. Signing in with your Microsoft email, Live or Outlook, account means Windows has access to your emails, contacts, and calendar data. The new Edge browser serves its users personalized ads. Even the Solitaire game is also tied into the mix and now comes with targetted ads. We are stunned that the settings, in fact, all default to “incredibly intrusive”. From experience, we know that almost for certain most average people will just accept the defaults despite any realization of any degree of risk and have no idea how much personal, business, and otherwise private information they are unwittingly and automatically giving away.

New CRTC Ruling Affects fibre access rights which are owned by top telecoms

Reading Time: 4 minutes

4GoodHosting-fiber-optic-cableCanadian Radio-television & Telecommunications Commission helps sustain competition in broadband market

The CRTC’s services framework sets out the terms & conditions and rates whereby telecommunications providers are required to partition a percentage of their networks over to their competitors.

“As Canadians participate more actively in the digital economy, they will need access to higher Internet speeds to power their broadband homes and businesses. By continuing to mandate certain wholesale services, and including access to fibre facilities, we are continuing our work to drive competition so Canadians have access to more choice, innovative services and reasonable prices. At the same time, we fully expect that companies will continue to invest in their networks, including in fibre technology, to meet the growing needs of consumers.” – Jean-Pierre Blais, CRTC Chairman

On July 22nd, the CRTC announced measures to facilitate competition between companies that offer broadband Internet. These measures are intended to provide Canadians with more choices, foster innovation, and provide services at reasonable prices.

After conducting an extensive review, the CRTC found that large broadband companies continue to possess leveraged market dominance and anti-competition provisions of high-speed access services and the CRTC is requiring that they make wholesale access to these services available to competitors.

* The CRTC will continue to take action to ensure that Canadians have more choices for high-speed Internet services.

* The CRTC will continue to mandate access to wholesale services, including high-speed access services, to encourage competition in the broadband Internet market.

* Additionally, the CRTC is requiring that competitors have access to wholesale high-speed services of the large established companies that use optical fibre facilities.

* The CRTC is encouraging further investment in high-quality networks.

GMAIL a cover for BlackMail? They even modify what you write!

Reading Time: 5 minutes

No Watch camera

If you send an email to a friend who has a Gmail address, then according to Google’s own admission, “You have No Legitimate Expectation Of Privacy”, as brazenly announced by Google in August 2013.

blackmail[blak-meyl] noun

1. Any payment extorted by intimidation, as by threats of injurious revelations or accusations.

Would you be surprised to find out that Gmail actually modifies the text of personal emails if either the sender and/or the recipient of the email are using Gmail? You can conduct a test of your own to verify. Just send a Youtube link to or from a Gmail server. You will see that it has automatically replaced the Youtube link with a hyper-linked Title of the Youtube Video! Test it out. Send an email with a Youtube link (such as this one:–qp1hzsDCM ) to your Gmail account. It will show up with the Title of the Youtube video as shown on Youtube itself, instead. This clearly shows that all of our emails are scanned.

Did you know that Gmail launched officially over 11 years ago on April 1st, 2004? April Fool’s day. A bit of foreshadowing perhaps? Although the majority of the public has held Google in high esteem, revering them as good “corporate citizens”, past performance has not always been a guarantee of future behavior. In other words, we should not go to sleep, and should remain vigilant to report any malicious activity on their part. Google contends that they have an obligation to report on Gmail users who break various rules outlined in their exhaustive privacy policy. Needless to say most people who sign up for Gmail simply do not take an hour to read over Gmail’s lengthy privacy policy. Also, as stated: it is subject to change at any time!

Gmail might not ultimately fit into the above definition of blackmail, however the payment being extorted doesn’t necessarily have to be a payment in “money”. In today’s world, “information” is a form of currency, which can be traded with a 4th party for real money or other favors, which can be secretly transacted under contract. In such a potential situation the recipient Gmail user would be the 1st party. You, the sender of email to your friend, the 2nd party. Google who processes, analyzes and stores your email content is the 3rd party. The 4th party could either be a government agency, another data-mining corporation, or perhaps a private investigator. Email goes along way today doesn’t it?

Google has stated, in 2013:

“Just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipient’s assistant opens the letter, people who use web-based email today cannot be surprised if their emails are processed by the recipient’s [e-mail provider] in the course of delivery. Indeed, ‘a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties.'”

eCommerce revisited, as the Internet is not going away…

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Internet shopping, e-commerce, online shopping set. Vector illustration

Have you had an idea to create an online, or e-commerce store? It is certainly possible to sell products over internet the if you have the proper resources, passion, time, and dedication. No doubt there is plenty of competition out there, but building and managing an ecommerce website has at least become easier and more affordable then ever before, especially with 4GoodHosting’s services.

What is needed?

There are many free applications available, so setting up a store does not require a large outlay of money to get started. We offer many e-commerce shopping cart selections to choose from – installation is straightforward and easy with our Softaculous application installer. OS Commerce, PrestShop, ZenCart, Magento are some of the popular choices, but there are about about 14 different choices within our installer. These solutions have been built to help get your shop online as quickly and effortlessly as possible. All of them offered for free, at no additional charge with your hosting account.

You can read about them and compare their capabilities and test-drive a demonstration within the Softaculous installer. These solutions may not possess the custom perfection of an in-house solution, but showcasing your products on the Internet sooner rather than later is a clear advantage.

With a working ecommerce store in place under the domain name of your choice, decorated with the theme of your choice, and populated with your product line its important next to be able to facilitate transactions.
Customers are likely only going purchase your products if there are many payment options available that they trust. PayPal typically offers the easiest integration, although their 2.9% surcharge + $0.30 fee per transaction can add up quickly. Once you have made some sales, there is no better solution than setting up merchant accounts with card vendors to enable credit card transactions.


Basics About the Look & Feel of your E-commerce store website

If you already have an existing business website, and you are expanding to offering a e-store, then your online store should blend in with the theme of your website as much as possible. Doing so adds a proper touch of professionalism that people have come to expect.

Most eCommerce solutions at least allow you to select a color scheme and upload your company logo, which is a good start. You can research how to do further modifications yourself, if desired, or you can hire an appropriate website designer to help you with any additional modifications. Many e-commerce applications are open-source and even come with instructions on how to further modify the application’s programming code.

Presentation of Your Products

Modern day shoppers have specific expectations when shopping online, outlined by the unique context of digital purchases. Online visual presentation should be done extremely well as online-shoppers don’t have a way to touch the products and likewise gauge for themselves product quality.

It is key to make the process as simple as possible. Make sure the price of each product is clearly visible so that customers know what they’re getting into. List product information and specifications that are relevant to its quality. If you can, mimic an in-store experience as much as possible, with multi-angle high-res photos and a few images of the product line being worn or used by someone. This inspires customers to visualize themselves using the items, which will help generate more sales.

Basics of Shipping and Logistics

It is important to present clear store policy and protocol; such as refund policy or handling returns. Shipping and returns/exchanges is another component of your store. It is best to build a relationship with a carrier as having an account with an established carrier may help you earn a discounted rate. Most eCommerce platforms automatically calculate and display the shipping costs upon checkout.

Promoting Your Store…

Once your store is online and all the essential pieces are in place, it’s time to take it to market. The Internet definitely is a crowded place. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a critical concern. You will want your store listed as high as possible in ranking, if not on the first page of google for your specific product offerings. Making a good first impression in the minds of prospective customers is essential.

Find out where your core audience resides and build your strategy around those channels. Having and promoting a facebook page for your store will help develop your brand and its credibility. On Twitter use a #hashtag that exemplifies your brand in order to spread the word. Another idea to reach more customers is to post pictures of your new products on Pinterest.

Creating a store is also about letting your creativity flow. Present your products with the customer’s needs in mind. With time and effort, administered slowly but surely, your website’s success can be built on these ecommerce webhosting founding principles.

Techniques for learning from the competition

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Learning about our competition is one of the best ways to improve what we do. It takes a sense of humility to understand that we may not be the best, most popular, or at least the most-established service yet. But we essentially have to keep an eye on our competition in the marketplace, and that is relatively easy to do through the Internet. There are various factors that will either help us advance or fall behind in market-share; so managing those factors appropriately is key to maximizing success.

Pride can be a good and bad thing. It can be a rewarding feeling for a job well done, or it can blind us in turn from learning how we can further improve our business.

A willingness to set pride aside, perform an analysis of your competition, and implement the better aspects of their strategies – will ensure you the greatest possible success.


Confidence and humility go hand-in-hand because it takes confidence to confront our shortcomings. Accepting our individual situation is the first step in properly understanding our competition. We must put our egos aside and we shouldn’t sugar-coat hard truths as doing so can defeat the purpose of the overall analysis. Where do business’ analytic results fall short from your current goals, and by how much? How far of a distance are you from meeting your goals?

“RWD” stands for Responsive Web Design

Reading Time: 3 minutes


If you haven’t thought abut enhancing your website with responsive design features by now, you’re at risk for losing some business in the future. How? The reason for the huge shift is due to the way people are browsing the Internet now days. A sub-optimal design/layout experience may occur for those who browse the Internet on a smaller-screen device.

By 2016, browsing by mobile device is expected to exceed desktop use; making it ever important that your website will be easily viewable on the variety of screen-sizes.

The acronym “RWD” stands for Responsive Web Design

RWD’s beginnings go back to mid-2010, yet it is still fairly new to the majority of business website owners. Most simply defined, it is a website design using HTML5 features that automatically adjusts your website to fit on a desktop, and tablet, or smartphone. If you ever have browsed a website on a mobile device, and it loaded the desktop version then you understand it can often be difficult to navigate, zoom in and pan around. Users probably won’t be that impressed or may choose to keep surfing. Google has the incentive to give higher rankings to responsive websites, and they are implementing such factors in their ranking algorithms.

A summary of how it works:

ImageAs shown above, the webpage content has been adjusted and re-sized when necessary to fit into the confines the particular screen’s resolution. The methods of RWD utilize what is termed ‘media queries’ to sense the resolution of the device the webpage is being displayed on, to subsequently scale content and images on the screen.

Years ago, web designers would develop a conventional desktop site, and secondly an entirely different mobile version to try to accommodate many of the many different mobile devices.

Business Websites: Try to avoid these common mistakes

Reading Time: < 1 minute

small-business-websites1Not every small business has a website; and perhaps there are some types of businesses that might not require a website, but the rule of thumb remains – if you have a business it is a good idea to have website to help potential customers learn about your business and also most easily look your business up. The internet certainly is the new ‘yellow pages’.

We presume you haven’t made that mistake, lol. But beyond that… if your business does compete for attention on the web alongside other businesses, how well does your website ‘rank’ on search engines, and hold your viewer’s attention? Simply speaking many small businesses have websites that are much less effective than others.

Many businesses, usually small ones, make the same mistakes. Below we list the most common mistakes;

Does your website have a clearly defined call to action?

Let’s review your website. If you can, pretend that you are coming to your website for the very first time. Well, that is impossible, but the point is, a new visitor will be seeing your site for the very first time, so it is important to lead them along to what you would ultimately like them to do, which is to become your customer.

Many small business websites are fine with letting visitors wander around rather aimlessly perhaps until they wander away and most likely never to return. About 1/3rd of websites are designed fairly well, and the rest could use some help in this regard.

HTML5 & CSS3 can benefit your website and therefore your business. How?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

html5_blogWhat is HTML5?

HTML is an acronym for Hyper Text Mark-up Language. The initial standard was developed in 1990 by the World Wide Web Consortium. HTML 5 is the latest update of this specification used to build websites. Many people are still unaware of many of the benefits of HTML5, so here we will describe some of its top attributes and benefits.

HTML is a form of high level programming language used for structuring and presenting content on the Web consistently, across web browsers. HTML5 has been designed to meet the increasing demands presented by today’s rich media and mobile display requirements. Likewise it makes cross-platform mobile application development possible along with new styling options available in CSS3 (Cascading Style Sheets version 3). As HTML5/CSS3 it operates entirely within a web browser, as HTML5 does, it is not dependent on the underlying operating system, which frees applications from the significant development/support overhead to otherwise make it all compatible with Android, iOS, Blackberry, etc.

HTML5 is already supported in the latest web browser versions on PCs and tablets; of which about a billion new compatible phone devices are being produced each year. It is quite important not to ignore the importance of HTML5 when considering your mobile site.

CSS3: What is it?

CSS stands for ‘Cascading Style Sheets’. It is the language of format and design of web pages. It provides website designers the power to site documents that are styled. CSS is compatible with all popular web browsers regardless of device and operating system. It separates the structure of a web page from the details of how elements are displayed. CSS can also be used to tailor a web page specific to a particular screen resolution or device/screen-size. In short, CSS is the language used for implementing front-end web design.

Keep in mind search engines when changing your site

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Dollarphotoclub_74648742Being mobile friendly is the current ‘big thing’ going on in terms of search engine ranking for websites. If you are not just doing simple updates to your website, but rather replacing large portions of it in full, there are considerations to keep in mind. Maybe you are just handing your site redevelopment to a third party?

There are several other things at play than what can be visually seen, replacing your site structure could bring down your site’s rankings causing it to drop in terms of SERPs (which are “search engine results pages”)

So the following are some tips and guidelines to follow in order to keep your site safe from new Google penalties and to get your site maximum visibility in Google. Unfortunately, we all have to become Google conformists. Our society, our global culture as a whole, unfortunately believes in continuous centralization of power. Resistance is apparently futile.

1. Create a website map of your site

The first step is understanding where everything is placed on your website. If you have implemented SEO methodology in the past, then most likely at least a few pages rank well SERPs, and you don’t want to lose those gains when your website structure changes.

The benefit of socially enabling your website content

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Dear 4GoodHosting customers ,

As you probably are already aware of social media (ie. twitter, facebook, etc. ) is an extremely valuable tool for promoting your website content.

Other associated services, like ‘addthis’ and ‘sharaholic, make it 1-click simple to share content whether it be images, articles, comments, or other activities from websites to facebook, twitter, linkedin, pinterest and many more social media outlets as well. (as pictured above)

You have probably seen this in action already in many places on the internet. If you haven’t done so already, in this blog we are going to show you how to easily set up social media sharing buttons and tools on your website. By doing so you will be extending your website’s visibility and leveraging what is known as “inbound marketing”, or increasing your visibility from the inside-out (free) rather than the outside-in (paid). You already have great content on your site, so you want to leverage that fact. The following social media buttons/tools will help you fully enable that.