Recently there has been a lot of discussion about the Heartbleed vulnerability, which is a serious bug that has been identified in the OpenSSL cryptographic library.
We have no reason to suspect that any Vision6 data was compromised by the vulnerability and our servers were quickly updated to fix the issue.
But this does serve as a timely reminder about the importance of account security.
There are a couple of easy things you can do to help protect the security of your Vision6 account (and other online accounts).
1. Use a complex and unique password
It’s important to use a unique password for all of your different accounts. This protects your Vision6 account if any of your other accounts are hacked.
When selecting a password make it complex and include a combination of letters, numbers, symbols and capitalisation, because this will make it harder for computer hacking software to ‘guess’ it.
First and foremost if your password is ‘password’ stop what you’re doing right now and CHANGE IT! This is one of the most common and easily guessed passwords. Check out the top 25 most common passwords from 2013, you might be surprised what makes the list.
In saying that, I don’t know many people who can easily remember a password of random letters 18 characters long.
Don’t be afraid to use a word you’ll remember, but just come up with a rule. For example replace every S with $ or O with 0.
2. Change your password regularly
Although recent studies found 38% of people would rather clean the toilet than change their password, it is important.
The reason being is that if you don’t change your password and it is compromised, whoever has access to it could stick around for months gathering information without you even knowing.
Changing your password regularly reduces this risk.
3. Don’t share your passwords with anyone, instead set up individual accounts
If you’ve set up your Vision6 account and everyone just uses the one login, you’re putting your account at risk.
Instead set up each individual as a user so you can ensure if they leave the company they won’t continue to have access to the account. You can also see a history of each account user’s actions.
To do this login to Vision6 and select Account > Users > New Account User.
4. Two-Step Verification
Using Two-Step Verification adds an extra layer of security to your Vision6 account. It is the golden standard for online security and you’re probably already using it for your online banking.
Once switched on it requires you to enter your password AND a security code sent to your mobile phone.
When you sign in, you can select not to receive a code again on that particular computer for 30 days. You’ll still be covered, because we’ll ask for codes when you or anyone else tries to sign in to your account from other computers.
If you want to turn on Two-Step Verification for your account please let us know via the Knowledge Centre.
Keep online security top of mind
If you have any questions about your Vision6 account please get in touch or drop us a note in the comments section below.
Over the years we have had lots of feedback on our drag and drop editor. Some good and some not so good. You’ll be pleased to know that the drag and drop editor has just received an upgrade. Over the next week you will see the new email editor available in your account.
As you might imagine, in my role at Vision6 I get to create a lot of emails and I am really excited about these changes… and I think you will be too.
Here are some of my favourite improvements.
Kick your send anxiety to the curb with the new quick test send
As someone who suffers from send anxiety I really love this. It’s now easy to send yourself a test at whatever point you want during the design process. This means you can send with confidence. Simply click the new send icon and type in up to 10 addresses to send a test of your email to. And you will notice you can do an automated Email Client test or send to your list straight from this menu as well.
Convert old templates to be mobile friendly in the shake of a lambs tail
If you’re editing an email that you created in the old editor it may not be mobile friendly straight away so just click on the mobile icon and convert your email. It might impact your layout a little bit. If it does you should be able to make some quick changes to get it looking good.
Consistent components that simplify your design process
The new editor gives you more control over your image and paragraph styles. Best of all there are more custom options to ensure your email looks exactly how you want it to.
A couple more key improvements include:
- All fonts are now in pixels not sizes
- Custom padding on images
- Component settings are consistent with each other
- Images can be centred within components
- Image aspect ratio is locked so your images won’t look distorted
- You can now have different image sizes in paragraph components
Also all the default components have been updated with better fonts and padding. So if you add a component you can rest assured it’s going to look good and be consistent. This means less work and a better result.
A few extra elements to help preserve your precious email design
We have made our drag and drop editor a bit more foolproof so that you can’t accidently break your email width.
You also now have the ability to lock the drag and drop template you create into a certain layout. To do this make sure the ‘enable customised layout’ option isn’t checked. If you do want to have a multiple column layout simply check the ‘enable customised layout’.
Lastly, we know you have been hanging out for new templates so the good news is you can soon say hello to some new professionally designed email templates. We will be releasing these new templates shortly after the new editor.
If you have any feedback on the new editor or any other product feature let us know. We love hearing from our customers on how we can make the product better.
Do you have an unlimited budget to spend on pricey images for your emails?
No? Me neither.
Which is a shame because we know that quality images make a huge difference to the overall look of your email. But unfortunately they often don’t come cheap!
And sadly emails full of corny stock photos just don’t cut it.
Even an email with an enticing subject line, engaging and relevant copy and a brilliant call to action can fall flat if it’s accompanied by a cheesy photo.
So I’d like to share with you four easy ways to source brilliant images, that won’t break the bank. In fact, they’re free!
1. Make the most of free image websites
A colleague recently shared Stock Photos that don’t suck with me. This article contains a list of where to find the best free photos on the internet – you can’t argue with that!
One of the great things about it is that the author continues to update it as more websites pop up.
It’s worth noting that a couple of sites on this list require you to attribute the photo – so keep that in mind if you use them.
2. Google’s advanced search can be your best friend
Google has added an advanced search option so that you can search for images that are free to use or share even commercially.
Do you want to edit the photos and make them your own? Well, now there’s a Google search option for that as well!
3. Use creative commons images
Many users of the site Flickr have chosen to offer their work under a Creative Commons license, and you can easily search for content under this type of license. This means in some cases you can copy, distribute, display images if you give the photographer credit – check the fine print for each photo.
4. Let your inner photographer roam free
Now this option might be a little out of some people’s comfort zone but it’s something we’ve played with here at Vision6 so I wanted to share it with you.
Take the photos yourself. All you need is a couple of willing co-workers or bribable friends and a back drop. Additionally if you’re selling products this is a fantastic opportunity to showcase your wares.
Here are a couple of photos from a recent shoot we did. We used a run of the mill camera and one of our colleagues stepped up to play photographer (thanks Warwick!).
Still can’t find the perfect image?
Wrong size? Too much going on in the background? Or maybe you need to add some text?
Well don’t worry, you can now easily edit all of your images in Vision6, so say goodbye to expensive photo editing software!
These are just a couple of my ideas, but I’d love to hear of any sites I’ve missed or tips you have for finding inexpensive images? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.