Westlinks Online - February Newsletter

February 1, 2018, New York / San Juan -- Wow, that month flew by fast! So much has happened in life and on the Westlinks Online platform. Read on to see what's going on here at Westlinks Online.

A brief note from the owner...

I am on a deployment to San Juan Puerto Rico to help in the Hurricane Maria recovery effort here. This is expected to last for several months. Although my time to devote to Westlinks is significantly reduced, we are still very much in business and the site is in good hands with a tight team. it came as no surprise that I would get this deployment and so in anticipation of it, several key development projects were built and put into place before I left. We have Olive Quizon keeping a close eye on customer activities and I work with Talgat Baltassov, our senior developer, daily to continue polishing up existing features as well as implement new ones. 

So although some of the chemistry shifted a little, rest assured that we are here, we are serious about success and open for business.



So let's move on with the newsletter!

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What's new this month?

These items were finished in January

Security Features

In this crazy world we live in these days, security is key. Whether it is your home, your vehicle, your finances, or travel (to name a few), we must be on-guard from attacks and vulnerabilities from all sides at all times. Sometimes it is hard to know the motives of these intruders, but regardless, they are out there, just looking for a way in. This month we have added two security features to help you protect your online assets.

Two Factor Authentication

2FA is now available on Westlinks Online. If you are not familiar with it, here is a brief explanation.

Normal web logins include a username and a password. Get them right and you gain access to the site. If your credentials somehow get into the wrong hands, then those hands can log into your account without your awareness. There are even hacking tools that criminals can use to robotically figure out your password. 

With 2FA you gain a 2nd level of verification to prove that it is actually you logging in. This is done by sending a code to your mobile device in the form of SMS or to MFA devices. We have used the Authy API which allows you to use the cool Authy app on your smartphone which cleanly interfaces with the login. Give it a try and we think you won't go back. Anything else is like leaving your door unlocked.

Server SSH Keys

For those customers who want to access their servers via the command line or SFTP clients, we now provide a place to insert your public SSH key during server creation and on your account in your dashboard. Using this we build your server and pre-load the SSH key to the server allowing you to log in using the passwordless login method. We block username/password login which eliminates a common vulnerability on VPS accounts.

Communication Options

This is a fun one. We try really hard to engage with you, our customers. We provide notifications for various events so you are aware of your assets. Previously email was the only way to receive these notifications. But email is not always the most effective communication channel. Most people don't stay glued to our email clients all day and night waiting for notification messages.

So what about SMS text messages? It is a known fact that most people react to incoming SMS messages within just a minute or two of receipt. 

We have added a section in your Settings where you can choose to have your notifications sent by SMS or email. You can switch back and forth at any time. You are in control. As we expand services we will continue to make further notifications available. 

Social Media Marketing Update

We have now exceeded 150 followers on Instagram. This growth is exciting and continues to astound me. Other platforms like Twitter, G+ and Facebook are growing as well (but a bit slower). Olive has also written a new blog article on the ease of WordPress installation. 

Read it here:

February Plans

We will continue to perfect existing features on the site with bug fixes and general cleanup. Other features are not ready to be announced at this time. Stay tuned. March is just around the corner! 

Do you have any suggestions or ideas of how you would like this to work? We welcome your thoughts and suggestions. Send them to suggestions@westlinks.com. Thanks!