Monday, September 16, 2013

Think you have ANY privacy?

I just had a horrifying experience and it's a wake-up call for anyone who still believes we have any privacy. My brother tried to refill his TMobile minutes with their automated phone system, but apparently the system kicks out random charges for "verification." He was unaware of this, but was getting alerts saying he was still running out of minutes, so he knew something must be wrong.
This morning, I spent an hour trying to sort it out with the bank and TMobile, and finally got the information I needed, but he had to call them back to 'verify his credit card.' OF COURSE, his phone ran out of minutes mid-call, so only way to solve the problem was for me to call and use my credit card so they could speak to the card holder (me) since they now had no way to reach him. Here's the scariest part—remember, I don't have an account with TMobile and never have— they asked me a series of questions using information from "publicly available sources." The questions included the last 4 digits of my Social Security number, the town in which a street I lived on (they named the street) was located in (from a list of towns they named), the state I lived in between 19xx and 19xx, AND THE YEAR I WAS BORN. And they knew all this… I feel sick…
#TMobile #publiclyavailableinfo #NOPRIVACY

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

what will a website cost?

What will a website cost?
Business owners always ask what a website will cost. Anytime a business owner is considering an idea they are not knowledgeable about, they look for parameters and information that will guide them in making a sounds business decision. It’s cost vs. value — will the value of the service outweigh the initial expense?

Answering the cost question is not simple. When I buy a widget, I am purchasing a specific, defined product, but a client rarely knows exactly what their website will encompass. They usually have a general idea and may even have a well-thought-out plan, but revisions and additions often surface and will affect the final price. Outlining the set-up costs, such as domain registration and web hosting, I then give clients a price range for design and coding. When/if I reach the upper limit of that range, I consult with them before proceeding, giving the client the option of moving forward or limiting their expense. (See also

Today I found an online calculator buyers can use as a guideline. According to the calculator, the website I just completed, a 5 page custom e-commerce site, was worth up to $7,500. (They break cost down into providers charging the most to the least—Professional Firm, Freelancer or Offshore Provider. I found it a bit offensive that this implies that freelancers and offshore providers are not professional!) I charged less than half that amount, in part because the design and images were provided by another designer and needed only minor tweaking. Granted, I have lower overhead than a “Professional Firm,” but I am always walking the fine line between providing a service at a cost my clients can afford and under-pricing my services, since that sometimes leads to prospective clients undervaluing them.

Website design can be template-based or customized, and most clients start out just wanting to have a site at the lowest possible price point. Their ideas change once they get involved, as they see the site’s potential and want the site to reflect the same level of care and expertise they take with their product or service. A slapdash site reflects a slapdash attitude towards your business and that’s not going to attract quality clients. As long as there are tv ads for ‘free’ websites and domain names for 99¢, business owners are going to think charging anything more than that is an attempt to rip them off. It’s anything but; our work as designers is to enhance users/customers perception of your product or service, thereby resulting in more business for our clients.

Put our knowledge and expertise to work for your business— visit our webpage and then contact Canzani Graphics today!
All content ©2013Canzani Graphics