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The Gadgets Your Small Business Needs (and the Ones it Doesn’t)

By Small Business

It was another great week on the 3TechGuys -show! The guys – Ramon Ray, Gene Marks and Brent Leary – discussed this week’s top news, which included an announcement from Google on website security and rankings, Facebook's new messenger app that is raising questions about privacy and then, just for fun, a review of tech gadgets that you might want to stay away from. It was an informative week, and you won’t want to miss a moment, so check out the video below to watch the full show.

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Google Announces That Encrypted Websites Will Get a Boost in Rankings

In an effort to create a safer Internet, Google (GOOGL) announced this week that they will take things one step further and boost rankings for sites that are encrypted and sporting HTTPS. This decision came after months of testing performed using encrypted connections as ranking signals, which yielded positive results.

For now, the ranking is being considered very light weight and will affect less than 1% of global queries. It is anticipated, though, that as Google moves towards their goal of keeping everyone safe on the internet, the weight of this signal will increase and those that have made the switch from HTTP to HTTPS will benefit.

“Listen, if you are serious about your website, you can do what needs to be done to make it secure.” commented Ray.  His advice for small businesses that aren’t sure what they need to do to secure their site is to work with your web hosting provider and have them help you. “I just bought a secure socket layer (SSL) certificate from my hosting provider to secure my site and protect information my visitors give to me and my hosting provider helped me to make sure it was set up and working. Let them help you – this is what they do.” he added.

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While there is some concern over what the implications will be to those that do not move to HTTPS in the future Leary notes, “The overriding theme should be that Google is dedicated to making it harder for hackers to get peoples information and they are making the internet safer for all of us”.

Facebook Messenger App Raises Privacy Concerns

For some time now, Facebook (FB) has had two apps on the market: The general app that allowed you to use the Facebook application on your mobile devices and the messenger app that allowed you to direct message people in your network. While in the past you were able send direct messages through the general app, and weren’t required to use the messenger app, Facebook recently announced that its users will now be required to add this new app to use the service and certain other functions of the platform.

“There are certainly some privacy issues that are of concern,” notes Leary. What he sees as the real issue are the fundamental changes that Facebook is making and then requiring it’s users to accept. “When you started using Facebook the policies and user guidelines were set up a certain way. Now that they are trying to monetize things, they are forcing things that weren’t there to begin with. So the product that we were fine to use one way is now changed and we are forced to use the product the new way, which benefits Facebook – not the user.”

“What if Facebook starts charging $1 per month for use?” asks Marks. “How many people, from both a personal and business standpoint, could say ‘NO’ and then move away from it and stop using it? It’s a definite concern and really any cloud based vendor could do the same thing.”

“Facebook wants to know who you are, where you shop, where you eat and what you want so they can better market to you.” says Ray. “What can we do about it? Can we just go out and create a new Facebook because we are sick of the changes? If we did that, I’m pretty sure our circle would just be Gene, Brent and myself!”

It’s a Gadget Kind of World

On a much lighter note this week, Marks talked about a recent article on Yahoo Tech by Daniel Howley called “7 Gadgets You Should Absolutely Not Buy Right Now”. Leading the list are the Amazon Fire Phone, Google Glass and Android Wear Watches simply for the fact that they are new or beta technologies that haven’t had all the bugs worked out. Some other gadgets to avoid are those like the iPhone 5s, Microsoft Surface Pro 2 and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 because each of these is about to be replaced by the newer versions that have increased functionality and cool new features.

Marks posed the question to the guys, “Is there a gadget you wouldn’t buy or one that you would because you really want it?” He answered first noting that the one gadget her really wants to have and play with is the GoPro (GPRO) video camera. “I think it could be an interesting way to make videos and I could strap it to the dog!”

Ray, the one tech guy who openly admits to owning every tech gadget that comes along, offered a little advice to those out there that love to buy gadgets for the gadget sake: “Let the geeks like us pay for the gadget and then see what we have to say about it! It could save you some money!”