Why does Google say my site is “Not Secure”?

An SSL/TLS certificate is needed to not show “Not secure”

If you have paid any attention at all to Internet industry news in the past year or so, you know that Google (and others) are pushing for the adoption of security certificates across the board for all websites. Technically, your website does not really NEED a security certificate unless you are doing online transactions or capturing sensitive data from your visitors. In those cases a secure site is not just recommended, it is required. However, there are a few things you might want to consider before you dismiss the idea of a secure certificate on your run-of-the-mill web presence.

Let’s first talk about the fact that having a non-secure site (no SSL/TLS certificate) is now broadcast to everyone who visits. Odds are they won’t really think twice about it — but what if they do? People are getting more security conscious every day and a welcome sign that says “this site is not secure” isn’t exactly going to lend them an air of confidence. SSL certificates can be relatively inexpensive (and sometimes free) and they are cheap insurance for giving your visitors the warm fuzzies. Without a security certificate, any traffic to your site can be inspected by their ISP or even by your own network administrator. This is more problematic in some cases than others, but avoiding the whole scenario is by far the better path.

Why Your SEO Failed

Then there is the issue of the SEO on your site. If placing well in the search engines is any concern at all, then the fact that Google gives bonus points to secure sites should strike a chord with you. No SSL? Google says, “meh”. SSL? Google says, “Good Job!”

If you want to know more about how SSL/TLS affects your website and how to go about implementing it, give us a call at 706-826-1506. We’re happy to help.

Beware the Tech Support Pop-Up Scam

scam page image from MalwareBytes

scam page image from MalwareBytes

Once again there are reports of the scam that went around some time ago where you are innocently (at least we presume you are) browsing the Internet when a pop-up window reports that your ISP HAS BLOCKED YOUR PC. It even gives a helpful, though completely bogus, error #268D3. If you call the number (PLEASE DON’T) you will be asked to provide credit card information so they can fix your PC. All of this is, of course, a scam to rob you of your money and your credit card information.

The reason this is happening (again) is because of a newly exploited browser bug. The scam technique works by abusing a particular programming interface and rapidly saving a small file to disk repeatedly, so fast that it’s impossible to see what’s going on. The end result is your browser becomes completely unresponsive, panic sets in, and you wonder whether you should actually call the number to get it fixed. Don’t. Instead, close the browser down completely.

If you are unable to close the browser, you may need to use Task Manager. You should be able to right click on your taskbar and choose Task Manager from there. Ctl+Shift+Esc should also open it. If not, press Ctrl+Alt+Del and choose Task Manager from the list. Then click on the browser name and choose End Task. Once your browser is closed, reopen it — but DON’T allow it to reload the last page you were on.

If you’re not able to do any of that, call the helpful person you usually call when you need this kind of help.

You have somehow picked up some malware and it needs to be removed before you can use your computer normally. Here is a link to Malware Tips that will help with this process: https://malwaretips.com/blogs/remove-error-268d3-virus/

Both Chrome and Firefox users (which means almost everyone) are vulnerable and both browser companies are reportedly working on a fix. So, be sure you are updating that browser regularly.

What Happened To My Email?

Another Episode in the Continuing Saga of Email Woes and Worries

If you have not had email problems in the past few months, consider yourself one of the lucky ones (plays Fortunate Son by CCR). In their ongoing attempts at stemming the onslaught of spammy and spoofed email, the large service providers (AKA #BigEmail) have instituted a variety of measures to check where email is coming from and verify its validity. These measures include coordinated sets of text records with the sexy and thrilling names of SPF, DMARC, and DKIM. Space is too limited here to go into an in-depth explanation of what they are and how they work (besides the fact that I probably don’t understand it as well as I’d like to think), so Google it if you’re interested.

Once the email has been checked against these records for validity, #BigEmail does one of several things with it:

  1. Pass it – If everything looks good the email is sent happily on its way to its intended recipient.
  2. Quarantine it – If something smells funny in the email, they still send it, but it goes into the recipient’s SPAM or Junk Mail folder where it will sit forlornly hoping someone will retrieve it. My experience has been that most people don’t check their spam folders very often. If that sounds like you, you might want to start checking it more regularly.
  3. Reject it – If the email fails its validity check, it won’t be sent. Instead, it will be returned to the sender with a bunch of codes that hopefully indicate why it could not be sent. That’s assuming the return address is valid. If it’s not a valid return address, it goes to Email Purgatory where it awaits its ultimate destiny along with millions of other emails. My experience has been that no amount of praying or sacrificing will retrieve these lost emails, so don’t even try.

So, what does all that have to do with YOUR email? What it means is that you more than likely have had an increasing volume of email winding up in your spam folder, IF it’s getting to you at all. You may have also noticed an increase in “bounce reports” that tell you your email was not sent, along with those aforementioned codes that indicate why. I have had more customers call in the last few months with email problems than all other issues combined.

AT&T, AOL, Comcast, GoDaddy, and Yahoo have been the most troublesome in my admittedly limited experience, but it’s safe to assume that ALL email, no matter the service provider, is now being affected. I have had a personal email account on my domain with Godaddy for over 20 years and a few months ago was suddenly unable to send email through my email reader. It still worked if I signed into the Web Interface, but not through my preferred email app.

If these things sound familiar, interesting, or simply befuddling, give me a call and I’ll try to help you work out your email issues. No promises — and it may require changing your email provider — but I’m here to help. 706-826-1506 ext.121. Ask for Don, the Customer Service Jedi.

By the way, did you know Powerserve is now an Authorized Google G Suite Reseller? Well, we are. If you are in need of upgrading your email, come talk to me.

Google Shines a Beacon on Local Business

Google has started a pilot program that involves sending electronic beacons to businesses with physical (aka, “brick and mortar”) locations to make their venues more visible to customers with mobile devices. 

What’s a Beacon you ask?

Beacons are small electronic transmitters that send one-way signals that are read by customers’ phones. This location information can be used to access a broad range of services on mobile devices.


Because beacons help mobile devices determine a user’s location more accurately, they can be used to find your location more quickly. A user’s smartphone that has a more accurate placement of their location unlocks a whole set of new features and sets up your business to use location-related features in Google, such as:

  • Helps your business show up on personal maps or saved places, where users have opted in to Location History.
  • Gathers photos, reviews, and other user-generated content for your business from people who have visited.
  • Provides features like Popular times and typical visit duration to help customers plan their visit to your business.
  • Helps provide Location Insights about how customers engage with your store.
  • More features are being planned and will be accessible as they become available.

How it works

Your beacon transmits your venue’s unique one-way code. When someone visits you with location services turned on, their phone uses the beacon signal and knows that it’s visiting you. The beacon itself does not collect or store any information. It only provides a helpful signal to your customers’ phones.

People who visit your venue can then contribute reviews, star ratings, and photos as well as answer questions about your venue. Once enough of your visitors’ phones have detected visits to your store, Google can activate features such as Popular times to show up on your venue’s Place Page.

The data shown in these products is based on anonymous, aggregated visit statistics. You can’t use it to tie a specific visit back to a specific individual. Google uses industry best practices to ensure the privacy of individual users.

Sound like an interesting way to engage your customers?

Give Mike Parsons a call at 706-826-1506 ext.122 and let us help you make it happen. 

Meet The Team: Don

Meet The Team: Don


What is your role at Powerserve? I am Powerserve’s Customer Support Jedi. I take care of most of our customer support issues, software training, domain management, and email administration, as well as managing our SSL Certificates and doing updates to customer websites. I also do a bit of graphic design and layout, although our newer designers are all better than I am at it. If I was the only designer all of our stuff would probably look like it was designed in the ’90s.

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Creative Ways To Generate Leads

Creative Ways To Generate Leads | Powerserve

Leads are a great way to increase your business as most of the time it’s free and is not time consuming. What are leads? Leads are in a way like hyperlinks. By clicking on a lead it will lead you to your business website or whatever you may have chosen it to lead to.

“Understand the difference in lead values. Some leads aren’t going to work with your campaign at the time you’re working on it. Which target audience are you after? Don’t market to anyone else. You can achieve success if you pick the right leads.” via

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Meet The Team: Chelsea

Meet The Team: Chelsea


What is your role at Powerserve?  Nicknamed the “Swiss Army Knife,” I do a variety of things. I design and build websites, create print materials for clients, and handle most of our social media activity. I’m also the go-to girl for all kinds of odd jobs that need to be completed.

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Things To Do Around Augusta (Not Including The Masters)

Things To Do Around Augusta (Not Including The Masters)

Augusta, GA. Established in 1736, and home of the annual Masters Golf Tournament. It’s certainly our claim to fame, but there’s also a great deal of other cool and interesting things to do in Augusta. If you’ve been here all of your life, or a couple of years, maybe you’ve visited a handful of these. If not, adventure on, friend!

Local History

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