L’Observatoire des médias sociaux en relations publique de l’Université Laval à Québec a publié un document dans lequel plusieurs pistes de solutions très intéressantes peuvent contribuer à gérer efficacement votre page Facebook, LinkedIn ou tout autre page publiée dans d’autres médias sociaux.

Médias sociaux : comment gérer les commentaires?

De plus en plus d’entreprises utilisent les médias sociaux pour rejoindre les consommateurs.  Il s’agit d’un moyen très économique, par exemple une page Facebook pour les entreprises, où il est possible de parler des produits, des nouveautés et des promotions.

Tout ceci semble bien intéressant, mais il arrive souvent que des commentaires négatifs, sarcastiques ou haineux figurent sur le fil de discussion. Comment gérer tous ces dialogues ?

L’Observatoire des médias sociaux en relations publique de l’Université Laval à Québec a publié un document dans lequel plusieurs pistes de solutions très intéressantes peuvent contribuer à gérer efficacement votre page Facebook, LinkedIn ou tout autre page publiée dans d’autres médias sociaux.

L’organisme recommande de trier les messages selon leur nature et d’effectuer des catégories comme cet exemple:
1. Propos positif sur l’entreprise ou un produit;
2. Question spécifique sur un produit ou un service;
3. Commentaire négatif ou plainte concernant la compagnie, un produit ou un service.

Puisqu’il s’agit de votre entreprise, il faut agir comme si le consommateur était devant vous, c’est-à-dire de conserver un ton neutre, poli et courtois. Ainsi, préférez l’utilisation du « nous » et répondez au message le plus rapidement possible, de façon à démontrer que votre entreprise est à l’écoute des commentaires sur le Web.

Si l’échange avec un internaute exigeait une conversation plus longue et plus personnelle, le message peut alors être redirigé en lui demandant la meilleure façon de le rejoindre. En appliquant le Netiquette et en conservant un ton courtois, vous ne risquez pas de vivre une mauvaise expérience sur les réseaux sociaux. En terminant, n’oubliez jamais le vieux dicton : les écrits restent !

How many Canadians really use the Internet?

These days, it seems like everyone’s on the Internet, from consumers of all ages to celebrities. This is because the Internet has grown from a smattering of Web pages to an overarching platform on which people can accomplish things like shopping, connecting with family and friends and paying bills. There isn’t a lot individuals can’t do as long as they’re armed with a solid Internet connection.

As such, it follows that most people in Canada have access to the Internet. For the past year or so, the overall claim was that about 80 per cent of individuals in the nation go online regularly, but thanks to recently released information published by the Canadian Internet Registration, that statistic can be more accurately assessed as higher.

How many people go online?
First and foremost, it might surprise highly connected Canadians that the majority of individuals on Earth do not use the Internet with regularity. Although there are more than 7 billion people alive, only about 2.5 billion are able to go online.

As far as Canada is concerned, however, CIRA determined that 87 per cent of Canadian households are connected to the Internet, securing Canada 16th place in Internet penetration as of 2013, and second among G8 countries. Only the United Kingdom ranked higher. Canada took 20th place among all nations in terms of Internet users, with 29.7 million citizens using the Internet regularly.

Of course, use varies by province, the 2014 CIRA Factbook discovered. For instance, British Columbia and Alberta tied as the most Internet-savvy regions, boasting 86 per cent connectivity, while New Brunswick lagged behind at 77 per cent.

“We continue to find that Canadians are unique in terms of why and how we use the Internet, the values we uphold online and the pride we take in having .CA as our unique identifier,” stated CIRA CEO Byron Holland.

But who wins?
At the end of the day, everyone with a good Internet connection – i.e. a way to stay connected with the outside world at all times – wins out because they have access to a vast repository of information. However, a select group of people are so tech-savvy that they get a better deal and don’t have to pay an arm and a leg in order to go online.

That sector is made up of people who establish their connection through an independent Internet service provider. Sure, the major, incumbent ISPs tend to have a large following and long-standing reputation, but smaller indie companies can almost always provide a better deal and more attention to customers. The cost of Internet access is cheaper over time, and because indies often have a smaller customer base, they can take the time to help each and every one of their customers with whatever issues they’re going through.

As such, with an increasing amount of people considering using the Internet, those new to the game or just branching out on their own and in need of access should always thoroughly consider using the services of an indie ISP.

L'usurpation d'identité est un crime en pleine croissance au Canada.

Vol d’identité et le Web: pensez prévention et sécurité!

Avec les médias sociaux, il est facile de discuter avec les amis et la famille, de retrouver d’anciennes connaissances et même de faire de nouvelles rencontres !

Mais attention! Le vol d’identité est un crime en pleine croissance au Canada et le Web est un terrain de chasse pour les fraudeurs…

Pour empêcher ce genre de fraude devenu malheureusement trop courant au pays, beaucoup d’internautes doivent repenser leur comportement et s’assurer que ce qu’ils affichent publiquement au su et au vu de tous et de toutes ne leur porte pas préjudice.

Ainsi, bon nombre de personnes publient leur date de naissance, leur ville de résidence et racontent leur vie de tous les jours sur les médias sociaux.

Sachez qu’avec une date de naissance, le nom de fille de la mère d’une personne et quelques autres informations très facile à trouver, un fraudeur pourra voler une identité, pour notamment demander une carte de crédit ou un prêt. Bien sûr, ceci sera aux frais de la personne flouée et d’ici à ce qu’elle découvre le pot aux roses, le mal sera fait !

Plus vous mentionnerez de renseignements sur votre vie privée sur le Web, plus les fraudeurs potentiels auront de la matière pour voler votre identité. À ce sujet, le site www.pensezcybersecurite.gc.ca donne de très bons conseils pour protéger votre identité sur le Web.

Le Web et les médis sociaux sont des outils extraordinaires, mais il est important de les utiliser de manière à se protéger des individus qui malheureusement ne pensent qu’à profiter des autres. Avec des bons comportements sécuritaires  lorsque vous utilisez les médias sociaux, il ne vous restera que de bons moments à partager avec les amis et la famille !

Wizards head to Hogwarts online

Online courses have become more popular in recent years. Thanks to the growth of the high-speed Web and streaming technologies, among other advancements, nearly half of college students now take at least one course online. That figure has doubled in the past five years, according to Campus Technology.

Now, it seems people will be able to enroll in a new course – Canada.com recently reported that people can now enroll for classes at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from the famous Harry Potter novels. As students, people will be able to complete assignments, take quizzes and interact with professors to complete the content. Users can go through the content at their own pace to make sure they get the most out of their Hogwarts experience.

“With enrollment in classes not being a necessary factor of being enrolled in Hogwarts is Here, users of the website can interact with fellow witches and wizards in an online dormitory consisting of Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin house,” the news source added. “Students can chat about courses, collect frog cards, earn House Points from trivia questions and buy items from their very own Gringotts Wizarding bank account.”

Each course spans nine weeks, with one lesson per week. People must wait a week after completing a session before they can do the next one. In the mean time, they can also keep up with school-wide activities through a campus newspaper and take part in other competitions and online events throughout the world.

Leveraging online education
On a more serious note, unlimited Internet can play a huge role in helping people complete their college degrees. More people are taking online classes because of the convenience they offer, enabling students to acquire their degrees on their own time.

“With more social tools, not to mention better bandwidth, people can learn – and share ideas – from anywhere. That has helped to popularize the massive open online course (MOOC), which got its start about six years ago,” The Globe and Mail reported.

Some online courses have upward of 100,000 students enrolled and can be taken by anyone with an Internet connection. Sometimes, courses are even provided for free, offering students an easy window into a new area to see whether they like the subject matter.

Are Canadians crowdfunding?

We no longer live in a time when, if an organization needs to raise money, workers go door-to-door asking for donations. While individuals might still see nonprofit employees with clipboards asking for signups in public areas or commercials for fundraising events on television, it seems as if charities are jumping on the bandwagon and joining the rest of the world in the Digital Age.

One of the main ways to do this within a nonprofit setting is to set up an account on a crowdfunding website. On a host platform like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, leaders of such organizations, or even individual consumers who are passionate about a cause, can create their own site on which friends, family or complete strangers can donate safely. They can entice people with rewards and/or keep them updated through every step of the journey before the deadline arrives.

It should come as no surprise that Canadians are pursuing this end to raise money for subjects that matter to them. After all, according to the Canadian Internet Registration Authority’s 2014 Factbook, 87 per cent of households in the nation have an Internet connection.

So what are consumers in Canada donating their hard-earned money to when they go online? And how can companies harness this power?

Medical breakthroughs
It’s common for researchers in various fields to turn to crowdfunding to reach their monetary goals in order to take more steps forward. Take the medical sector, for instance – making new advances often means putting up a lot of money.

As such, experts may find relief in crowdfunding. Recently, for example, Canadian microbiologist Elizabeth Bent started a fundraiser on RocketHub in order to finish initial research on using bacteria found in the human body to reduce the risk of disease. She’s seeking to garner $20,000.

Entrepreneurs who want to get started off right
Another emerging trend is that startup owners who are just starting out are using these types of websites to get some capital in order to create new products or invest in goods like computers or desks before they open their doors for business. According to Ottawa Business Journal, while it’s generally difficult to completely fund a new company using this method, it can be very helpful for some.

This is especially true given the new plan proposed by the Ontario Securities Commission in March to sponsor equity-based crowdfunding. The source explained this would allow owners to pursue two models – the traditional setup enabling donors to give money as they please and one allowing individuals who give money to actually invest in the business.

In business terms
Company and nonprofit leaders can use this growing trend to benefit their own organizations. At its core, crowdfunding is about asking a large number of individuals to donate a small amount of money – whatever they can afford. As such, charity leaders need to make their clients feel comfortable giving money online. It might be a good idea, rather than asking for donations on the corporate website, to fundraise through one of the most notable platforms, like Kickstarter or GoFundMe. As long as the site is reputable and the organization invests in worthwhile rewards and advertising campaigns, it should see positive results.

Authorities are cracking down on BlackShades malware

Every few months, it seems that new reports emerge outlining the latest virus or other hacking strategy that has the potential to affect Internet users across the globe. In fact, these have become so common there’s a worry that individuals are becoming desensitized. For instance, take the recent Heartbleed bug. While many people are sure to have changed their passwords in the wake of the situation, chances are good that others decided not to, thinking that if they didn’t see any evidence of identity theft on their bank statements, they didn’t have to worry about anything.

Plus, it’s not like anyone is going to stop using the Internet. It’s become a basic part of our everyday lives at this point. Consider this: Almost 90 per cent of households in Canada are connected to the Internet, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority’s 2014 World Factbook revealed. These people go online for everything from paying bills to talking to friends to watching TV. They’re not just going to upend their lives because criminals want to trick people.

It’s all about staying alert and aware of your digital surroundings. This is certainly true now, as news of the massive, worldwide spread of a piece of malware – BlackShades –  has become known.

What is BlackShades?
Unlike some of the more famous viruses or hacker rings, chances are good that not many people have heard of BlackShades – yet. According to CTV News, BlackShades is a type of malware nefarious characters download to tap into their victims’ computers remotely. It essentially gives the criminals full reign over others’ devices.

“You can record information that they’re typing in, see what they’re doing, turn on their webcam or listen in. You can do whatever you want,” Ottawa’s Defence Intelligence Information Security Expert Keith Murphy told the source.

As CNN Money explained, this malware can sell for as low as $40 online, meaning that virtually anyone can use it.

The current situation
It recently came to light that numerous hackers across the globe are using this malware to extract information from other individuals, a lot of whom are unaware that their devices have been corrupted. The news outlet reported that authorities in a number of countries, led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, began making arrests in mid-May. More than 90 arrests have been made so far, many after cases of extortion and bank fraud.

What’s happening in Canada
Canadians simply need to follow the guidelines for staying safe online, as they should always be doing, and there should be no worries about BlackShades. Things like frequent virus scans, creating firewalls and installing popup blockers are crucial.

That being said, Canadians do need to be aware of the dangers, because authorities have acknowledged that the nation is one of the largest targets of criminals using the malware. CTV News reported that Murphy stated Canada is “definitely at the top of the target list.”

The main reason for this is the close relationship between Canada and the United States, Murphy told the news outlet. Hackers want to exploit this fact and find out secrets. However, the source made it clear that individuals, not just governments, need to take the proper precautions.

Businesses and consumers prepare for the Internet of Things

To say that the Internet has revolutionized the way that people connect, communicate and do business on a global scale would be putting it lightly – the movement is still gaining momentum as more people plug into the Web via a range of personal devices every day. But the functionality of this worldwide phenomenon doesn’t stop there. According to Dynamic Business, the Internet of Things is quickly becoming the new standard of connectivity, synchronizing everything from smartphones and tablets to household appliances, family vehicles and even wearable tech such as watches and glasses.

A natural extension of the Web
Although the idea of IP-connected microwaves and minivans may seem foreign to most consumers, the gradual expansion of the Web makes perfect sense. The development of the IoT is not revolutionary, but rather a logical step forward in the Information Age, Dynamic Business explained. The source pointed out that with 200 billion devices already connected on a global scale – and more booting up every second – the future of the IoT is beginning to resemble the sci-fi worlds predicted in years past.

Despite the concept still finding its footing in real-world applications, the IoT is garnering attention from a variety of audiences. Not only are consumers eager to see how their daily lives can be streamlined with the assistance of an interconnected digital ecosystem, but the corporate world is also keen on adopting such technologies for use in and out of the office. IT Business Canada recently noted that small businesses in particular have expressed interest in the IoT to boost productivity, even though few organizations have been bold enough to take the first steps toward implementation.

“Research plainly shows that while there is a lot of enthusiasm for [the Internet of Things] among small businesses, they also have serious reservations when it comes to cost, complexity and risk,” said Marco La Vecchia, AVG’s vice-president of channel sales, in a statement.

New markets, new opportunities
Besides hinting at a brighter digital future, the IoT is brimming with potential for capitalization in a range of sectors. IT Business Canada pointed out that companies and consumers alike are anticipating the opportunities that await in this new era of synchronization. Internet service providers especially will need to take heightened expectations into account and act accordingly.

“This demand for more backup, security, support and other services are especially good news for IT service providers with small business customers,” continued La Vecchia, according to the source. “One likely side effect as IoT spreads over the next 2-3 years will be to increase small business reliance on services from IT providers.”

The Web shows no sign of slowing down, and businesses worldwide will need to get up to speed in order to satisfy ever-growing consumer demand for interconnected hardware and applications.

What should you tell kids about social media?

Parents still rule the roost, there’s no question about it. It’s mom and dad who decide bedtimes, pick out what’s for dinner, set curfews and so on. However, at this point, especially because we live in such a connected, digital age, there’s not a lot they can do to stop kids from going online.

The Internet is simply too popular and useful these days. Anyway, it seems like most children have to go online sooner or later, at least for schoolwork.They also need to be prepared for life ahead of them – kids need to know the ins and outs of the Internet or they likely won’t be able to succeed at school or work when they’re older.

One thing kids love doing is setting up personal social media pages. Of course, this is within reason – there are age restrictions on such websites. However, even when children reach their teenage years, many moms and dads still want to keep tabs on them when they’re on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

So, what should Canadian parents do to make sure their kids, no matter their age, are safe when hanging out on social networking sites?

Have the talk about what and what not to post
It’s critical that kids are made well aware that what goes on the Internet stays on the Internet, even after a person has deleted a post, Tweet or even the entire page. And while teens might tell their parents they already know this, the chat is still necessary – things can be written in the heat of the moment or by accident that kids can’t take back easily. It’s important they realize that cyberbullying is a real issue and more cases are making their way into court. They also need to know that posting sensitive information – address, financial data and even current location – is very dangerous.

Don’t cause them embarrassment
Many kids don’t even want to be Facebook friends with mom and dad, but to keep an eye on them, it might be appropriate to make this a rule in the house. That being said, parents need to make sure they don’t do things like post embarrassing baby pictures or write lovey-dovey posts on their walls. Not only is the kid going to be furious, but it might affect their social standing. Keeping an eye on goings on is alright and even encouraged, but don’t stunt their social media growth.

Make it easy to go online
One of the best things parents can do is to make sure they have good Internet access. At least this way, they won’t have to listen to the meltdown that occurs when a slow connection results in the latest pictures of their daughter’s crush loading at a snail’s pace or the frustration that comes when their son can’t make weekend plans because the Internet keeps freezing.

It’s important for the entire household that parents don’t break the bank to enable a good connection. There are plenty of indie Internet service providers that offer affordable packages that still have great data plans. This might be the best course of action for moms and dads who want to give their kids access to the wide world of social media without financial consequences.

The constantly changing face of Canadian e-commerce

As anyone who’s even been interested in commerce – whether they’re shopping for movies, clothes, electronics, furniture or almost anything else – knows, trends are constantly changing. Overall preferences shift every couple of months, adding up to considerable changes every few years.

This constantly evolving landscape can lead to shaky ground for business owners. They have to be up on the latest trends to turn a profit and stay successful. Luckily, we live in an age when change is relatively easy, especially for those company leaders who run a website. With just a few clicks, administrators can allow customers to buy a whole host of products at once.

However, as recent studies have shown, many Canadian retailers still aren’t taking advantage of the Internet, despite the innumerable benefits it provides. That isn’t the only way the Internet is shaking up the sector – as e-commerce grows, the brick-and-mortar store environment is set to start pulling back. Entrepreneurs will want to take note of all Internet-related trends if they aim to stay on the cutting edge and be as successful as possible.

Some companies won’t buy in
Store owners can use the Internet for a plethora of things in an attempt to maximize their business. Think of it this way – a company that advertises using traditional print media and doesn’t have a website has a target audience made up of residents in the general area around the store, maybe the occasional tourist. A startup with a website, however, can use the digital environment to market products to people on the other side of the world – they just have to pay for the merchandise on a Web page and wait for their package to arrive in the mail.

A recent study published by MasterCard revealed that 90 per cent of small and medium-sized businesses in Canada, Germany, Brazil and South Africa have a presence on the Internet – think social media page or rudimentary websites without an e-commerce platform, Forbes reported. That being said, only 20 per cent of these companies can process electronic transactions. That’s a massive population that’s missing out on a large amount of business.

Rise of e-commerce means fall of physical space?
According to Financial Post, retailers are going to want to change these statistics sooner rather than later, because industry research has suggested that as e-commerce becomes more and more popular, consumers are going to start going to online storefronts for their shopping needs.

The news source, citing information shared at a recent retail panel, did note that the Internet won’t bring about the total destruction of brick-and-mortar stores, but owners are going to want to work the online landscape into their strategies. For instance, Toys ‘R’ Us Canada President Kevin Macnab told executives at the gathering that within the next five years, his company will probably start cutting down on consumer-facing floor space and expanding the backroom. This way, the corporation can dedicate more square footage to inventory and send out more product to online buyers.

Did a Canadian court just restrict free speech?

The Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled recently that the ubiquitous Google had to take down entire domain listings from its search engines. This has caught the attention of free speech advocates around the world. At issue was a trade secret battle between two companies involving design thefts and sales. The Electronic Frontier Foundation recently outlined the suit and said the complainant blamed Google for the sale of the proprietary product by allowing it on the search engine. The judge agreed and ordered Google to take down the offending domains, not just across the provinces but around the world.

What this means for Internet service providers
While protecting copyright law, the EFF explained there are far-reaching implications of this decision. While on its face, this ruling mimics the E.U.’s “right to be forgotten” edict of last month where Google was made to remove website articles about a man’s bankruptcy years ago, the EFF said a dangerous precedent may be set if Google’s appeal is defeated. Internet providers in Canada are facing a slippery slope if the ruling stands.

Can courts now remove anything they find offensive from the Internet?
As legal experts debate the ruling in Canada and across the world, does it now mean that any judge can order a search engine to remove content just because it is offensive to that particular judge?

The Toronto Star recently raised a number of questions. While a Canada-only ruling would have generated debate across the country, the judge ordering Google to drop the defendant’s domains from the Internet opened the door to the possibility of a court in Russia or Syria demanding religious or LGBT sites be removed. What would happen if Arab nations wanted to remove all things Israeli from the Web? Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa and author of The Star article, called the judge’s decision an overreach.

Geist added that Google and the courts need to establish some middle ground on this issue because if they don’t, increased legal battles over on-line content could escalate and freedom of speech on line could be impacted like never before.

Geist advised that Google and the court agree that the company will abide by the court’s ruling in Canada and the court should take a step back from its world wide order, as its jurisdiction could come under fire.