April is National Home Inventory Month: Find out more
28 Dec 2018

A Review of 2018

2018 was a very busy year, welcoming new members and congratulating more members who achieved their CIS and CAE certifications. Additionally, two major efforts were achieved this year.

Website upgrades and edits

We made many changes to our NICA website. Since these updates were “behind the scenes” so to speak, you might not be aware of our continued investment in time and funds to keep our website compliant. We are pleased that we were able to meet the deadlines on all requirements. These website changes include:

  • The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance. This requires that all people with disabilities be able to access all website information. Examples are 1) words must be associated with each photo for those who use a reader, 2) being able to use a keyboard for those who cannot use a mouse, 3) elimination of certain colors that are not allowed due to those with color blindness, etc. 
  • Assuring members and visitors that our website is secure. The Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP. This is the protocol over which data is sent between a browser and the website. The “s” indicates that it is encrypted. Any website that is not secure is or will be identified by search engines placing messages such as “Not secure” in the url bar, notifying the person visiting that site that the transfer of information is not encrypted.
  • Meeting new requirements in data protection laws. The biggest change in 20 years, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) established requirements to assure anyone who enters personal information (signing up for the newsletter, purchasing courses) via the website that their information will be used only for that purpose. This guarantees that we will not share their information. 

(If your website does not meet these 3 items, we recommend that you contact Associate Member Mary Gillen (mary@marygillen.com) to discuss what is needed to update your website.)

National Home Inventory Month

NICA organized and established April as National Home Inventory Month. This effort can be utilized to bring awareness to our industry as well as to each of our members’ individual home inventory businesses.

There are a variety of ways each home inventory professional can participate and provide education about this initiative. A few suggestions to participate in April are:

  • Offer a “Home Inventory Month Discount” on residential inventory services
  • Post information on social media, including the hashtags #HomeInventory and #NationalHomeInventoryMonth
  • Add “April is National Home Inventory Month” to your email signature line
  • Host an informational seminar or presentation
  • Participate in trade shows or vendor fairs in late March or April

The committee will reconvene in February to review what was accomplished last year and add any new ideas or efforts for this year’s National Home Inventory Month. If you would like to be on the committee this year, please send an email to the NICA officeand we’ll be in touch.

Complete information about this effort is here.

13 Jun 2018

Upgrade Your Website to HTTPS NOW

Mary GillenHyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP, the procedure that delivers data between your browser and the website that you are viewing.

The ‘S’ at the end of HTTPS stands for ‘Secure’, which means all communication between your browser and an HTTPS website is encrypted. This is especially important when protecting transactions like online banking and shopping order forms.

The most popular Web browsers (Edge, Firefox, and Chrome) display a padlock icon in the address bar as a visual clue that a HTTPS connection is in effect.


Changes are on the way
Google Chrome is the most popular web browser in use today.

Beginning July 2018, the Chrome browser will mark all HTTP websites as ‘not secure’.

This means that if a prospect uses Google Chrome to browse your HTTP website, he/she will notice a red message in the address bar:

Not Secure Notice

This red message sends a clear signal to the user: leave now or you could be exposing your personal data.

Once someone sees this message, there is a good chance visitors and prospects will hit the browser’s Back button fast…never to return. This can affect your business’ reputation…and your bottom line.

Other Reasons to Migrate to HTTPS
According to Search Engine Watch, there are other important reasons why you should update your current website to HTTPS:

HTTPS benefits user trust. When adapting to modern security requirements, you demonstrate that you are trustworthy, and you work on your reputation. Your users feel safer visiting your website, which works in your favor.

  1. Security and privacy. When your site is secure, there is less chance that your users will lose their data.
  2. SEO ranking boost. This makes webmasters happy and can bring you more traffic.
  3. More detailed stats. You will be able to see actual referral traffic stats in Google Analytics. If your website runs on HTTP, all your referral traffic simply appears as “direct”.

Upgrade to HTTPS NOW
Contact your webmaster. Ask him/her to geta SSL security certificate and install it on the server.
Your webmaster will know the details, depending on your hosting and server setup.
NICA is using Let’s Encrypt, a great free, open SSL certificate authority.

REALITY: The secure web is now a best practice when promoting your business online. If you don’t upgrade, you will be competing with secure websites that have the additional advantage of using HTTPS.
Associate Member Mary Gillen is an Associate Member of the National Inventory Certification Association.  She uses her 23 years of Web development experience to build responsive, accessible websites for tech companies, associations, non-profits and small businesses, blending professional design with measurable business results. She is also an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor, providing website testing & remediation for compliance with ADA, Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 A, AA & AAA Guidelines.