Should you convert your website to HTTPS?

Whether you’re a website owner or simple visitor, everyone wants to experience a fast loading website which can carry out sensitive exchanges of information securely.

In 2014, Google announced that it was beginning to use HTTPS as a ranking signal, signaling an increased emphasis on secure connections from the world’s biggest search engine.

Then, last month, the news came that Google’s Chrome browser will begin displaying a “Not Secure” warning message for unencrypted webpages. This message will be displayed in the address bar of websites not running the HTTPS protocol. Imagine a situation where your visitors withdraw from your website after seeing this warning message.

Google does check whether your site uses HTTP or HTTPS protocol. It might not be a crucial factor if you are not truly serious about your website. However, if you are an online business, this is not something to overlook – website visitors demand secure connections to the websites they are interacting with.

If you aren’t very familiar with the technicalities of SEO, working with HTTPS might seem a bit intimidating. However, it isn’t as complex as it seems to be. Also, the good thing is that you do not have to understand the behind-the-scenes work when it comes to implementing HTTPS.

So, is HTTPS important?

Yes, HTTPS is undoubtedly essential, and many websites have already made the shift.

At the time that HTTPS was announced as a ranking signal, it was only a “light” one and affected less than 1% of global searches. But Google warned that this could strengthen over time, and we have already seen with Mobilegeddon how Google can shake things up once it decides to put emphasis on a particular element of the web.

For a website that has an HTTPS protocol, the search bar in the browser will display a lock symbol, and on Google Chrome, the word “secure”. However, if it isn’t on HTTPS, you won’t see the symbol and users may consequently be more wary about what data they enter – especially if soon, they start to receive a warning about the site’s security.

Exhibit A: Search Engine Watch

Benefits of shifting to HTTPS

Makes your site secure

This is the most obvious benefit of shifting to HTTPS. When you are enforcing HTTPS on your site, you are guaranteeing that the information passed between the client and the server can neither be stolen nor intercepted. It is basically a kind of proof that the client’s data wouldn’t be tampered with in any form.

This is great for sites that need the customers to log in and accept payments through credit or debit cards.


Okay, so if someone even does manage to intercept it, the data would be completely worthless to them. In case you are wondering why, it is because they obviously wouldn’t have the key to decrypt it. As website owners, you would have the key to do so.


You must have heard of middleman attacks. However, with HTTPS, it is close to impossible for anyone to trick your customers and make them think that they are providing their personal information to you, when in reality they are providing this to a scammer. This is where an SSL certificate comes into light.

Good for your site’s SEO

You definitely want your site to rank higher in the search engine results and HTTPS would contribute to doing that. With your site ranking higher, you would have more customers, an increased traffic and an improvement in your overall revenue. It’s not just us saying that – Google said so itself!

Now that you know all of its benefits, let’s look into the steps that you need to follow.

Getting an SSL certificate

SSL is the protocol that HTTPS uses and is something that you need to install. The SSL certificate would have your company name, domain name, address, country, state and your city. Several details including the expiry date of the certificate would also be mentioned here. Now, there are three different kinds of certificates that you can choose from.

Organization Validation and Domain Validation are the kind of certificates that you can get if you have an e-commerce site or a site that collects personal information from users. The third type, Extended Validation Certificates, are for testifying the legal terms of a HTTPS website.

You can purchase these certificates from a lot of websites. The prices differ, so compare them and then make a purchase. Once you have purchased one, get it installed.

Create your site’s URL map and redirect

The ‘S’ in HTTPS makes a huge difference in the URL. HTTP or HTTPS before your domain name are entirely different URLs. This implies that you would have to create copies of each and every page on your site and then redirect them. This redirection would be from your old HTTP page to the new HTTPS page.

It might all sound pretty complicated, but it isn’t in reality. Your URL map can just be a simple spreadsheet. When shifting from WordPress, all of the 301 (permanent) redirects can simply be added to the .htaccess file.

Work on getting at least one page working on the front end

You also have to work on getting your front end on HTTPS. If you’re not confident with the technical side of things, this can seem a little complicated. Therefore it is best to begin with just one page.

If you are an ecommerce site, you can begin with the page that accepts payments. This is the page where customers are sharing their personal banking details and therefore it has to be secure. There are several plugins available that can help you with this, such as WP Force SSL. With such plugins, you can easily force pages to be SSL.

Update internal links, images and other links

There will be several internal links throughout your site and these might redirect to your old HTTP page. If you have been using relative links, you have been lucky. However, if not, you would have to find each of the links and then correct it with the new URL. You would also need to correct links to other resources like stylesheets, images and scripts.

Also, if you use a content delivery network (CDN), you would need to make sure that the CDN supports HTTPS too. These days most CDNs support HTTPS, but not all of them. So, make sure that you check that too.

Re-add your site to Google Search Console

After you have made all the necessary changes, get Google crawling on it as soon as possible. If you don’t do it, your traffic would be affected negatively. But why is re-adding required? Well, it’s because an HTTPS site is considered a completely different and new site.

After that, submit your new sitemap in your new listing and above that, re-submit the old sitemap as Google will notice the 301 redirects and make the necessary updates.

Once you have carried out all of the steps, you may or may not notice a slight positive change in the search rankings. Whatever you do, make sure that the first step of installing an SSL certificate has been done correctly. Alternatively, you can also use plugins like Really Simple SSL, Easy HTTPS Redirection etc. to accomplish the task.

At the end of the day, the decision of switching to HTTPS is solely yours. If you just have a blog with an email newsletter that people can subscribe to, you might not need to make the switch. However, if you are an online business, switching to HTTPS would be a wise decision.

If you see some issues, keep researching and fixing them. Even if you’re not a technical person, it’s easier than you think.
ABCO Technology teaches a comprehensive program for web development. You will learn how to use SSL and many other exciting technologies. If a web development career interests you, contact ABCO Technology. Reaching our campus by telephone is easy. Call us between 9 AM and 6 PM, Monday through Friday. Call today at: (310) 216-3067.
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Google Search Console updates in 2017, get on the platform and benefit.

Google Search Console has been the ultimate platform for SEOs on a daily basis.

Search Console provides invaluable insights into how your customers are finding your websites that you built, but also allows you to monitor and resolve any issues Google is having in accessing your content.

Originally known as Google Webmaster Tools, Search Console has benefited from some significant upgrades over the past decade. That said, it is still far from perfect and few would argue that it provides a complete package in its current guise. A raft of industry updates, particularly those affecting mobile rankings, has left Search Console’s list of features in need of an overhaul.

Therefore, Google’s recent announcement of some ongoing and upcoming changes to the platform was warmly received by the SEO community. These changes go beyond the cosmetic and should help site owners both identify and rectify issues that are affecting their performance. There have also been some tantalizing glimpses of exciting features that may debut before the end of the year.

So, what has changed?

Google categorizes the initial Search Console changes into the following groups: Insights, Workflow, and Feedback Loops.

Within the Insights category, Google’s new feature aims to identify common “root-cause” issues that are hampering the crawling and indexation of pages on a website. These will then be consolidated into tasks, allowing users to monitor progress and see whether any fixes they submit have been recognized by Google.

This should be extremely beneficial for site owners and developers as it will accelerate their progress in fixing the big ticket items in the platform.


On a broader level, this is in line with Google’s drive to use machine learning technologies to automate some laborious tasks and streamline the amount of time people need to spend to get the most out of their products.

The second area of development is Organizational Workflow which, although not the most glamorous part of any SEO’s work, should bring some benefits that make all of our lives a little easier.

As part of the Search Console update, users will now be able to share ticket items with various team members within the platform. Given how many people are typically involved in identifying and rectifying technical SEO issues, often based in different teams or even territories, this change should have a direct and positive impact on SEO work streams.

Historically, these workflows have existed in other software packages in parallel to what occurs directly within Search Console, so bringing everything within the platform is a logical progression.

The third announcement pertains to Feedback Loops and aims to tackle a longstanding frustration with Search Console. It can be difficult to get everyone on board with making technical fixes, but the time lag we experience in verifying whether the change was effective makes this all the more difficult. If the change does not work, it takes days to realize this and we have to go back to the drawing board.


This lag is caused by the fact that Google has historically needed to re-crawl a site before any updates to the source code are taken into account. Though this will remain true in terms of affecting performance, site owners will at least be able to see an instant preview of whether their changes will work or not.

Feedback is also provided on the proposed code changes, so developers can iterate very quickly and adjust the details until the issue is resolved.

All of the above upgrades will help bring SEO to the center of business discussions and allow teams to work together quickly to improve organic search performance.

In addition to these confirmed changes, Google has also announced some interesting BETA features that will be rolled out to a wider audience if they are received positively.

New BETA features

Google has announced two features that will be tested within a small set of users: Index Coverage report and AMP fixing flow.


As Google summarized in their announcement of this new report:

“The new Index Coverage report shows the count of indexed pages, information about why some pages could not be indexed, along with example pages and tips on how to fix indexing issues. It also enables a simple sitemap submission flow, and the capability to filter all Index Coverage data to any of the submitted sitemaps.”

Once more, we see the objective of going beyond simply displaying information to go to a deeper level and explain why these issues occur. The final, most challenging step, is to automate the prescription of advice to resolve the issues.

Other platforms have stepped into this arena in the past, with mixed success. SEO is dependent on so many other contingent factors that hard and fast rules tend not to be applicable in most circumstances. Automated advice can therefore either be too vague to be of any direct use, or it can provide specific advice that is inapplicable to the site in question.

Technical SEO is more receptive to black and white rules than other industry disciplines, however, so there is cause for optimism with this new Google update.

The second BETA feature is the AMP fixing flow. AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is Google’s open source initiative to improve mobile page loading speeds by using a stripped-back version of HTML code.

With the weight of one of the world’s biggest companies behind it, AMP has taken hold with an increasing number of industries and looks set to widen its reach soon within both ecommerce and news publishers.

Google has bet on AMP to see off threats from the likes of Facebook and Snapchat, so it stands to reason that they want to help webmasters get the most out of its features. Any new coding initiative will bring with it a new set of challenges too, and some developers will find a few kinks as they translate their content to AMP HTML.

What’s next?

The one aspect of Search Console that all marketers would love to see upgraded is the lag in data processing time. As it stands, the data is typically 48 hours behind, leading to some agonizing waits as marketers hope to analyze performance on a search query level. Compared to the real-time data in many other platforms, including Google Analytics and AdWords, Search Console requires two days to source and process its data from a variety of sources.

That may change someday, however. As reported on SE Roundtable, Google’s John Mueller has stated that they are investigating ways to speed up the data processing. Although Mueller added, “Across the board, we probably at least have a one-day delay in there to make sure that we can process all of the data on time”, this still hints at a very positive development for SEO.

With so many changes focused on speed and efficiency, a significant decrease in the data lag time on Search Console would cap this round of upgrades off very nicely.

ABCO Technology Teaches a comprehensive program for the Certified Internet Webmaster. This program includes search engine optimization. If you are interested in building websites, which will generate high traffic, it’s time for you to call ABCO Technology. Reaching our campus by telephone is easy. Call us between 9 AM and 6 PM Monday through Friday at: (310) 216-3067.

Email your questions to:
Financial aid is available to all students who will qualify for the funding.

ABCO Technology is located at:
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Los Angeles, Ca. 90304.
Become a successful web developer today!

The Best Cisco certifications for 2018

As we reported previously on ABCO Technology’s Facebook page,, 85% of CIOs predict that they will continue to hire new people in 2018. Anyone who has spent time in the IT industry knows that in-demand jobs and skills change rapidly—so what does 2018 have in store for the IT job market?

All the talk of hacking, cybercrime, and data theft means one thing for sure: Cybersecurity experts are going to be hot commodities. Network administrators are also predicted to be in high demand next year, and both of those fields are right up Cisco’s alley.

SEE: The Future of IT Jobs: Critical Skills and Obsolescent Roles (Tech Pro Research)

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MCSE Data Platform Certification Exam Prep (ABCO Technology)

So which Cisco certifications should you get to advance or jump start a new IT career? Here are five that will get you far in 2017. Each comes in three levels (CCNA, CCNP, CCIE) but this piece is focused on CCNA, the entry level of the three.

What: CCNA/P/IE Security

Why: Security is going to be a huge topic in 2017 and beyond. Just look at the latest news headlines and you’re likely to see a variety of cybersecurity topics. From Russian hacks of the US political system to Yahoo leaking another billion account credentials, security professionals are going to be in demand for the foreseeable future.

What: CCNA Cyber Ops

Why: Cyber Ops is an entry-level security certification that focuses on working in security operations centers. It’s the first step into a cybersecurity career that focuses less on maintaining firewalls and antivirus software and more on responding to cybersecurity threats.

What: CCNA/P/IE Data Center

Why: Cisco’s Data Center certification focuses on design, implementation, and maintenance of networks. Each level of the certification adds more complexity and greater understanding of Cisco networks, allowing holders to further advance their careers.

It’s not just security that will be in demand—network administration is right up there as a hiring priority.

What: CCNA/P/IE Routing and Switching

Why: Just as network administrators are essential to the maintenance of enterprise infrastructure, network engineers are needed to understand and implement the newest technologies.
The Routing and Switching certification focuses on Cisco core network engineering skills and is designed for professionals who want careers as network engineers, support engineers, systems engineers, or network technicians.

What: CCNA/P/IE Collaboration

Why: The Collaboration certification series focuses on voice, video, and other Cisco collaboration software and hardware. Network administrators are in demand, and good ones are going to know how to manage enterprise-level collaboration equipment as well. The Collaboration certification is just one more way to diversify your skillset.

The datacenter keeps evolving, and so does the IT world. Find out how to stay afloat by going to ABCO Technology’s Facebook page.

ABCO Technology offers a comprehensive program for cyber security. Call our campus between 9 AM and 6 PM Monday through Friday. You can reach us by telephone at: (310) 216-3067.
Email your questions to:

Financial aid is available to all students who can qualify for funding.

ABCO Technology is located at:
11222 South La Cienega Blvd. in STE # 588.
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304.
Learn network administration and cyber security today!

Apple’s forthcoming Face ID technology will support just one face, could this be a problem?

Apple’s new face id will identify only one face per device, at least initially. This has been reported by multiple publications who spoke to Apple at this week’s iPhone event, and confirmed separately by TechCrunch along with other publications, but it’s worth noting because it could change some user behavior regarding the device.

Face ID supporting just one face makes a lot of sense on the face of things (sorry), since unlike with Touch ID, users have only one face to use for their unlocking purposes. Touch ID ostensibly allows multiple fingers to be registered because you have quite a few digits of your own, and depending on how you’re using the device or in which pocket you keep it, one might be more convenient to use than another.

The issue is that people also often register the fingerprints of their significant others, or even kids, depending on how they use their device. The phone can store up to five fingerprints, which makes it relatively easy to keep a few of your own as well as those of a significant other on your device just in case.

A one phone, one face policy obviously won’t support that kind of arrangement: If you want to give your loved one access, you’ll need to smile for the camera, or share a backup passcode so they can get in that way. The passcode option is simply marginally more inconvenient than a registered Touch ID fingerprint, of course, but it still makes a difference, especially if someone occasionally accesses your device and might not have committed a pin to muscle memory as a result.

I think this is more of an issue if Apple ends up moving Face ID across its product line, to devices like iPads that are much more often shared gadgets. Still, depending on how your use your phone, it might be another decided factor in whether you go with iPhone 8 or iPhone X – or, of course, neither device.

ABCO Technology teaches a wide variety of courses in the field of information technology training and certification. If you are interested in having a fulfilling career in information technology, it’s time to call ABCO Technology. You can reach us by telephone Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 6 PM. Call our campus at: (310) 216-3067.

Email your questions to:
Financial aid is available to all students who can qualify for the funding.

ABCO Technology is located at:
11222 South La Cienega Blvd. in STE #588
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304.
A career in information is very rewarding. Join this group of professionals who are in demand.

The Walkie-Talkie is back and its worldwide

It looks like popular walkie-talkie app Voxer is about to get some competition in the mobile voice chat space. A new app called Zello is growing like crazy, too – in fact, it’s growing faster than Voxer internationally (although it’s behind in the U.S.) and it has reached the #8 spot in the free Android social app list. The app’s position is about to change because of the large amount of publicity Zello is receiving for efficiently handling search and rescue messages during hurricane Harvey. Zello has already saved countless lives as ordinary people communicate like professionals during this time of disaster.
All you need is a smart phone and you are in business. The cross-platform mobile app just reached 1 million unique users per day, is nearing 4 million unique per month and is adding on 100,000 users daily.

But while Zello shares some similarities with Voxer, it’s not a Voxer clone by any means. Instead of approaching voice chat from the more utilitarian standpoint of a mobile push-to-talk type experience as Voxer does, Zello’s focus is on social, voice-enabled communities. Voice Twitter, if you will. Oh, and the app doesn’t spam you either, the company says.

Party line reborn for a digital era? Apparently. While some folks use Zello more walkie-talkie style, there are hundreds of thousands of “channels” in the app, which are communities that you can tune into in order to listen or chat about the subject on hand. Today, 300,000 channels have been created, and around 60,000 are active in any one day. Because of its international footprint, many of these are non-English channels. Zello CEO Bill Moore (who you may remember as the founder of TuneIn radio) says that Spanish is the most popular language, and Portuguese is popular as well.

Moore, who joined Zello’s newly relocated Austin-based team in December of 2016, knows that while the Voxer comparisons are inevitable, the two companies seem to be moving in very different directions. “Voxer is a communication utility…it’s kind of a Swiss Army knife communication tool,” he says. “That’s a tough space.”

Zello, he says, is more of a social radio or voice Twitter. The channels in Zello are more like public forums, “it’s a very different value proposition than just a simple utility. It’s much more social. It’s somewhat similar to why people listen to radio: you’re bored, you want a friend.”

The interesting thing about Zello is that it emerged from a company called LoudTalks, which used to operate in a space that’s more closely tied to what Voxer is doing now. LoudTalks was a TechCrunch 40 participant back in 2007. The older app was focused on building an enterprise push-to-talk experience – and that’s exactly where Voxer is headed now. (Maybe LoudTalks was just too early?) In any event, LoudTalks changed course, and just axed its enterprise features – including the SDK and the two-way radio gateway – which were pulled down from its website this week.

LoudTalks brought on Moore as CEO in December and officially rebranded to Zello in January. The Zello app on iPhone launched in April, joining the Android app, BlackBerry app and PC app already available. So, to be clear, the traction Zello is seeing is cross-platform, not just on iPhone. But given its recent spikes, it’s likely attributable to the iPhone launch.

Not Spammy?

And so far, so good, as they say. Zello’s one-month retention is 20%. “It’s exceptional for a utility,” says Moore, “and not bad for a social app.” It’s also not bad considering that Zello isn’t too spammy about re-engaging users, according to Moore.

“Voxer is pretty invasive…it pulls your address book in,” Moore says frankly. “You could see [Voxer] has a decent team, but I’m assuming that aggressive viral marketing has helped them get to some numbers. And I’m assuming that it’s also responsible for some of the fade, and that it gets worse.” Ouch. Zello, he says, doesn’t save your address book, you can choose to share it with contacts or not, and it doesn’t notify you as new people join the app. (That last one is a personal pet peeve. I. DO. NOT. CARE.)

But the app landscape is super competitive these days; it’s hard to stay on people’s radar, and harder still to stay on their homescreen. Viral marketing may be aggressive, but it can work. And some people really like Voxer. A lot of people, in fact. Including investors. And fortunately, it’s not a zero-sum game here.

Zello has been angel-funded until now, but is raising a VC round of $5 million in the next 60 days. The app is available for download for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and PC.

ABCO Technology offers a wide range of courses in the field of information technology. Including programs, which will show you how to create successful apps like Zello. If you are interested in creating powerful online applications, contact our campus today. You can reach ABCO Technology by phone from 9 AM to 6 PM Monday through Friday. Call us at: (310) 216-3067.

Email your questions to:
Financial aid is available to all students who can qualify for funding.

ABCO Technology is located at 11222 South La Cienega Blvd. STE # 588.
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304.
Learn to build powerful apps today!

Warning! Google warns webmasters Chrome will mark HTTP sites Not Secure if they include forms.

Google has sent out a special notice to webmasters that HTTP sites containing forms and other input fields will be marked Not Secure from October 1, 2017.

Google reports that its Chrome browser will mark HTTP websites with input fields (such as contact forms or those that require login details) as not secure, starting later this year in October.

The search engine gave notice of this a few months ago but has now taken the step of formally notifying webmasters who will be affected as the change gets closer.

The notification said, “Beginning in October 2017, Chrome will show the ‘Not secure’ warning in two additional situations: when users enter data on an HTTP page, and on all HTTP pages visited in Incognito mode.”

The notifications were sent to webmasters via Google Search Console. Sites that are HTTP and have credit card fields and require passwords are already marked as not secure. The additional two scenarios represent a gradual increase of the security protocol, with Google saying in its official post that its efforts have already resulted in a 23% reduction in the “fractions of navigation to HTTP pages with passwords or credit card forms on desktop”.

When the new warning kicks in, HTTP sites will have a ‘Not Secure label displayed in the address bar as shown below:

Emily Schechter from the Google Chrome Security Team said more actions should be expected in the near future, remarking,

“Eventually, we plan to show the “Not Secure” warning for all HTTP pages, even outside Incognito mode. We will publish updates as we approach future releases, but don’t wait to get started moving to HTTPS! HTTPS is easier and cheaper than ever before, and it enables both the best performance the web offers and powerful new features that are too sensitive for HTTP.”

If your site is currently displayed as an HTTP domain, you will need to migrate to HTTPs before October to avoid your web traffic being warned off visiting your site.

The original Chrome post can be found here:

ABCO Technology offers comprehensive courses for building successful websites and increasing search engine traffic. If you want to improve your skills in this field, it’s time to call our campus today. You can reach us by telephone at: (310) 216-3067 from 9 AM to 6 PM Monday through Friday. Email all questions to:

Financial aid is available to all students who can qualify for the funding.

ABCO Technology is located at:
11222 South La Cienega Blvd. STE #588
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304.
Creating a successful and dynamic website is an important skill in today’s economy. Join a special group of web professionals who can build sites that attract customers today!

Your basic Guide to Linux certification

The CompTIA Linux+/LPIC-1 certification is designed to affirm learner’s skills and knowledge to:

•work at the Linux command line;
•perform easy maintenance tasks including assisting users, adding users to a larger system, executing backup & restore, shutdown & reboot; and,
•install and configure a workstation and connect it to a LAN, or a stand-alone PC via modem to the Internet.

The Linux+ certification is made up of two exams, each of which carries varying names/identification, depending on which vendor a learner chooses. ABCO Technology provides training that thoroughly covers the exam content:
•CompTIA Linux+: LX0-103 and LX0-104
•LPIC: 101 and 102

Typically, learners pursuing these certifications should have a basic familiarity with Linux, and the ability to create and manage virtual machines. These certifications are considered to be entry-level, so they are appropriate for learners who are fairly new to the information technology industry.

Exam Details
In order to take full advantage of the 2-in-1 certification opportunity, ABCO Technology recommends that learners register for, and complete the CompTIA Linux+ certification exams, which can then be applied to receive an equivalent LPI certification.

Time allotted for exam: 1.5 hours (90 minutes) per exam
Number of questions: 60
Passing score: 500
Question types: Multiple choice (single response); Multiple response; Fill-in-the-blank
Exam registration: Pearson Vue
ABCO Technology is a Pearson Vue testing center in Los Angeles, Ca.

Exam cost: $200 (USD) per exam
Exam objectives: Please note that exam objectives are available from ABCO Technology because we provide practice Linux certification exams. Learners can review any single vendor’s exam objectives and be prepared for the exams — there is no need to review objectives from each vendor.
•CompTIA Linux+ exam objectives: LX0-103 and LX0-104
•LPIC-1: 101-400 and 102-400

CompTIA certifications are valid for three years from the date of certification. The CompTIA Linux+ certification is eligible for renewal through CompTIA’s continuing education (CE) program.
If you are interested in becoming certified for cyber security, the CompTIA Linux+ is for you. Companies that have valuable data to protect will use Linux as their operating system on the back end. Network administrators who are able to place a Linux certification credential on a resume stand a much stronger chance of getting hired.

ABCO Technology offers a complete program for Linux certification. You can reach our campus by telephone from 9 AM to 6 PM Monday through Friday at: (310) 216-3067.
Email your questions to:

ABCO is located at:
11222 South La Cienega Blvd. in STE # 588
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304.

Financial aid is available to all students who can qualify for it.
Get Linux certified today!

Where Does the Network+ certification exam Take You?

So you have studied hard and prepared for the Network + exam, along with earning your Network+ Certification; the certificate arrives in the mail and you receive that extremely-important small blue-and-white card with your name and CompTIA ID number on it.
Where do you go from this point?

One aspect of the Network+ is its merchant independent universality. Unlike earning a CCNA or MCSE, earning a Network+ certification certifies you to work as a network technician in multiple platforms; this certification is not vendor-specific, but rather, vendor-neutral. International organizations including the Merchant Marines prefer the Network+ over the MCSE for this reason. As a Network+ certified technician, you should be prepared to work on (at a basic level in the field of network support). You will service most types of networks. This exam covers the generalities of networking and not so much specific information about certain types of networks.

More immediate than being ready to work on multiple networking platforms, however, is the ability to work in multiple job functions. The Network+ Exam certifies you as a “CompTIA Certified Networking Technician,” but “help-desk specialist” is certainly not the only position open to you as a Network+ technician. Actually, there are many paths open to you, as we explore below.

This path is of course the most obvious, but there are many opportunities for advancement. Of course, there are many industry certifications that are vendor-specific available to you. In fact, Network+ counts as a credit towards some of these certifications. As a technician, you will generally be involved in troubleshooting network issues (like you will have to do on the exam!) as well as “installing” network equipment.

The network+ opens the door to jobs in the security field, which is perhaps one of the fastest growing fields of expertise in the information technology industry. Several certifications are available in the Security field, including the CompTIA Security+ certification. ‘Networking is the most integral component of information security Today. Network knowledge is a requirement to be a proficient information security specialist.

Several certifications, such as MCSA/MCSE and CCNA, have been designated specifically as “Administration” certifications. You are highly encouraged to pursue these additional vender specific courses. However, with the Network + in your resume, employers are confident that you truly have the background to handle all assigned job tasks. A network administrator is typically charged with the duty of managing day-to-day network issues, attempting to troubleshoot these issues, and maintaining a high quality of service throughout the network. The network administrator also takes flak for “what goes wrong with the network,” but is paid handsomely for this burden in many cases.

One of the best aspects of getting any certification is that it almost automatically qualifies you to at least train others in your particular discipline. A certification adds credibility to your claims of knowledge, perhaps the most important qualification for any trainer or teacher. One of the most rewarding careers following certification is not to be a tech or administrator, but rather, a trainer for future Network+ students.

Networking is invariably connected to the web services industry (especially the web and data hosting industry); your knowledge of networking can therefore be useful to a web services firm. Many web hosting companies require “live” help-desk technicians to assist with customers’ connection issues, while others need technicians to assist them with their own networking issues.

Here are some other career paths, just to name a few:
 Web/network systems development (PHP, CGI/Perl, Java)
 Networking forensics (often linked with information security)
 Networking equipment purchasing/sales specialist
 Systems Analyst (speed, bottle-necks)

Beyond the aforementioned tracks, there are still other valuable career paths available to you as a Network+ technician that you may not even consider viable options. Allow me to introduce a small personal anecdote. A friend of mine got laid off a few years back from a large corporation that will remain nameless for now.

He was Network+ certified as well as CCNA certified, and also had a great deal of experience working at the company he worked for. Yet, he took a job as a grocery store clerk at the local chain store. Today, he works at “Corporate” as one of the senior network analysts and frequently recommends networking solutions for older stores that have not been fully integrated into the company’s supply chain system. So, what seemed to be a menial offer proved to be a gateway to an even more rewarding career than the one he had prior. The point is this: never let what seems to be a “menial” job detract you from participating in what could potentially be a rewarding opportunity.

ABCO Technology offers courses in the key fields of network certification. Job placement assistance is available to all graduates who successfully pass certification exams. Call our campus today. You can reach us by phone between 9 AM and 6 PM Monday through Friday at: (310) 216-3067.

ABCO Technology is located at 11222 South La Cienega Blvd. in STE 588
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304.
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The 2017 Guide to Microsoft’s best Certifications

Microsoft was the first company to offer vender certifications in the information technology industry. Don’t just take my word for it: Steve Jobs said exactly the same thing when he and Bill Gates were interviewed on stage together in 2007.

It follows that Microsoft was also one of the first companies to launch a vendor-managed training and certification program for software products. Microsoft rolled out its Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) program in 1992, with the first exams covering Windows 3.1, LAN Manager, and SQL Server.

Microsoft realized early on that linking professional certifications to specific products would enable established veterans and the new breed of IT professionals to help validate their skills with Microsoft software.

Microsoft’s meteoric growth acted as the perfect promoter for the MCP program. As Microsoft products took over the market, increasing numbers of IT pros became interested in earning an MCP credential. Microsoft expanded the MCP program to include designations targeted at specific IT job roles — database admins, network admins, and software developers.

Things became a bit difficult for the Microsoft certification program during the dot-com era. The enthusiasm for everything technology or Internet-based led to a mad gold rush for IT certifications, especially those from major industry players like Cisco, Novell and Microsoft. A glut of freshly-certified but predominantly inexperienced technocrats stormed the industry, lured by the promise of high wages, free lunches, and stock options that would make them millionaires before they were 28.

The reputation of Microsoft’s MCP program, and other vendor-managed training and certification programs, took a hit during the irrational tomfoolery of the dot-com boom and bust.

The passage of time has restored some much needed sanity and stability to the IT industry, and has also re-established an appropriate value for Microsoft certifications. There is now a much healthier relationship between Microsoft, its certified professionals, and the companies hiring these professionals to support their technical infrastructure.

Today, the Microsoft Learning program is a popular and well-respected source of IT credentials. The company has worked hard to make its certifications challenging and relevant to the IT industry. And the industry has responded.

Some quick facts from the Microsoft Learning website reinforce the value of MS certifications in the working world:

● In a survey of 900 IT networking professionals, 60% said that earning a certification led to a new job.
● Some 67 percent of IT hiring managers rate certifications as having extremely high value in validating the skills and expertise of job candidates.
● On average, Microsoft certified technologists earn 15 percent more than their uncertified peers.

The advantages granted by achieving a Microsoft certification are obvious. But which Microsoft credentials are currently in the highest demand in the industry?

To answer this question, we ran through job listings at Dice, Monster, and other large IT career sites. We consulted the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and looked at the latest numbers for projected high-growth job categories. We also consulted several information technology managers who have been hiring our students. The managers ABCO talked with have an average of ten years of managerial experience in our industry.

Here is a breakdown of our ten picks for the most in-demand Microsoft certifications. Please note that this is not a ranked list. Any of these 10 certs can impact your marketability and earning power in the current IT landscape:

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Server Infrastructure

The MCSE has been a highly sought after and well-regarded industry credential since it was introduced. The acronym originally stood for Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, and the certification was primarily concerned with creating and administering Microsoft-based networks.

The MCSE has since been split into several different specializations, but the MCSE: Server Infrastructure is the certification that remains closest to its august progenitor. Fast Fact: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS) predicts a solid 8 percent growth in employment for network and computer administrators between 2014-2024.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate: Windows Server 2012

The MCSA was introduced with the release of Windows 2000, and was meant to be an intermediate certification that covered mid-tier Win2K client and server support. Like the more advanced MCSE credential, the MCSA has been split into other specializations over the years. The MCSA: Windows Server 2012 certification covers installing WS2012, administering the network(s) built on it, and configuring advanced network services.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer: Application Lifecycle Management

The MCSD certification has been Microsoft’s premier designation for software developers over the last 15 years. The MCSD: Application Lifecycle Management credential adds some specific components taken from that particular discipline, including software testing. Fast Fact: The USBLS is predicting a strong 17 percent job growth rate for software developers between 2014-2024.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate: SQL Server

Years ago, Microsoft had a certification called the Microsoft Certified Database Administrator or MCDBA. This certification was eventually retired, and Microsoft’s SQL Server product was represented by different credentials here and there. Today, the MCSA: SQL Server certification is aimed at database developers and analysts working with SQL Server 2012 or 2014. (As well as, very soon, SQL Server 2016.)
Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Data Platform

The second MCSE certification in our list is the MCSE: Data Platform credential. It is an advanced step up from the MCSA: SQL Server designation, which is a prerequisite for this higher-tier certification. The MCSE: Data Platform certification includes more advanced emphasis on developing databases with SQL Server, as well as designing entire database solutions. Fast Fact: The 2015 median annual pay for database administrators was $81,710, according to the USBLS.

Microsoft Specialist: Windows 7

This selection may surprise some readers, but a very large contingent of government, military, and corporate enterprises are still very reliant on Windows 7 as a client OS. These organizations did not make the move to Windows 8, and they are not ready or willing to jump to Windows 10.

Microsoft retired the MCSA: Windows 7 certification, likely as a prompt to IT professionals and other stakeholders. What remains is the Microsoft Specialist: Windows 7 credential, which can be earned by passing one of three currently active exams. Fast Fact: Windows 7 is still the installed OS on more than 48 percent of all desktop PCs, according to the latest figures from Net Applications.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer: Web Applications

The mobile computing boom has created a massive market for web apps. Consumers can’t seem to get enough new apps, and they have high expectations for continual development and improvement. The MCSD: Web Applications certification focuses on programming in HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS3. It also requires knowledge of developing software using Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, Azure.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Private Cloud

For being such an ephemeral thing, you can’t turn a corner without bumping into the Cloud. Your path to the MCSE: Private Cloud certification starts by first earning the MCSA: Windows Server 2012 credential. Candidates must then pass two exams based on working with private clouds created using Microsoft System Center 2012.

Microsoft Office Specialist

Many IT professionals look down their noses at the Microsoft Office Specialist certification, considering it to be of little value. Don’t you believe it — the MOS is a highly respected credential for entry-level and higher level employees. Fast Fact: According to research quoted by Microsoft, “Holding a MOS certification can earn an entry-level business employee as much as $16,000 more in annual salary than uncertified peers.”

Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate: Windows 10

It’s new. It’s improved. It’s Windows 10, and if Microsoft has its way — which it probably will, eventually — Windows 10 is coming to your enterprise sooner rather than later. The MCSA: Windows 10 certification will eventually become Microsoft’s premier network client OS credential. The certification is still under development as of this writing; only one of the exams is currently available, with another due to come online later in 2017.

Microsoft certifications are an excellent path for a new candidate to enter the information technology industry. ABCO Technology has experienced counselors and admissions representatives who will help you to determine, which certification path is the best one for you. Call our campus between 9 AM and 6 PM Monday through Friday. You can reach ABCO Technology by phone at: (310) 216-3067.

Email your questions to:
Financial aid is available to all qualified students.

ABCO Technology has moved. We are now located at
11222 South La Cienega Blvd. STE 588
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304.
Phone: (310) 216-3067.
Call us today to get started on your new career.

Cyber Security job demand red hot

Cyber Security job demand red hot, another day, another Hack Attack

The HBO hack may have been worse than the initial leaks of a few unaired TV show episodes suggested by the network. A security company hired by HBO to scrub search results for the hacked files from search engines has told Google that the hackers stole “thousands of Home Box Office (HBO) internal company documents.”

The disclosure came as part of a DMCA take-down notice sent to Google Tuesday to force the search engine to take down links to the leaked files. For our readers who are not familiar with DMCA, it stands for the Digital millennium Copyright act, which protects copyrighted material from being illegally published.
The take-down notice also detailed that the hackers did away with “masses of copyrighted items including documents, images, videos and sound.”

The company in question, IP Echelon, is frequently being used by HBO to remove links to infringing material from Google. An HBO spokesperson declined to comment on the take-down notice and the nature of any files stolen by the hackers when contacted by several news organizations Wednesday “due to an ongoing investigation.”

Word of HBO getting hacked first broke Monday morning, when the hackers approached media outlets with the news that they had broken into HBO’s networks and released episodes of “Ballers,” “Insecure,” and “Room 104” as well as the script for an upcoming episode of “Game of Thrones.”

Also released by the hackers: Two episodes of “Barry,” the hit man comedy starring Bill Hader that is not scheduled to air until 2018 on the network.

The hackers appear to have also leaked personal information of a senior HBO executive. That information, published online in a text document, contains access information to dozens of online accounts, including paid newspaper subscriptions, online banking, and personal health services. At least one of these accounts may also have given the hackers access to the executive’s work email.

The perpetrators of the hack have claimed that they were able to access some of HBO’s key network infrastructure, and steal a total of 1.5 terabytes of data, and have suggested that they will release additional information in the near future. An image file published as part of the leaks seems to corroborate at least the first part of that claim, as it appears to show screenshots of HBO’s internal administration tools, listing employee names and email addresses and their functions within the organization.

Thousands of potentially sensitive internal documents, employee data and possible access to internal corporate emails were removed by hackers. All of this brings back memories of the famous Sony hack. Back in 2014, a group of hackers thought to have been backed by North Korea broke into the networks of Sony Pictures. The group subsequently released tens of thousands of emails, as well as scripts and video files, contributing to the ouster of Sony Pictures chief Amy Pascal.

HBO acknowledged the hack on Monday, and said that it was working with law enforcement and private firms to remedy the situation. “Data protection is a top priority at HBO, and we take seriously our responsibility to protect the data we hold,” the company said in a statement.

Cybercrimes of this type, create strong demand for cyber security professionals. Cyber security pros are becoming extremely valuable in the job market of 2017. HBO will hire additional network administrators who have cyber skills. Society is storing vast amounts of data online and that data needs to be protected.

cyber security jobs do not require a college degree, however in many cases the correct certifications will take the place of a four-year college degree. Ensuring that you receive the correct certifications, which will provide employable skills is the job of a solid ACCSC accredited computer training institution who is familiar with what it takes to join the increasing work force of cyber security professionals.

If you are interested in a career in cyber security, it’s time for you to contact ABCO Technology. You can reach our campus by telephone from 9 AM to 6 PM Monday through Friday. Call us at: (310) 216-3067.

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Classes are held seven days per week to accommodate those who are working during the week.

Cyber security jobs are growing fast. Train today and get one of these exciting cyber security networking positions!