Is your business secure? It may not be. Many unscrupulous individuals are operating online looking for new ways to exploit honest people.
I was recently pulled into a scam enacted by someone yet to be identified via a freelance work website. Because of how personally this affected me and my brand reputation, I’ve decided to write today’s blog post about securing your business online.
My personal experience involved Upwork.com, which is a website boasting about the value of freelance talent.
Well as the old saying goes: there is nothing more expensive than cheap labour.
Someone posing as me purporting to be a writer/editor from NYC took a job writing a book for a client and the results were bad. 3 chapters completely plagiarized bad.
Even worse – the fraudulent work got blamed on me! This person’s profile had my name and my photo and her client found me (the real me) through a Google search that matched my profile photo. You can imagine the shock I felt of being falsely accused of ripping someone off!
After realizing this was a clear case of identity theft, I immediately contacted UpWork to have the fake profile taken down. This person’s client did the same; we hope they were able to get a full refund of the monies spent on the useless book written for them.
Scary stuff. But compared to what others have encountered it’s small potatoes.
While hiring and supporting local talent has always been my thing, if you have to outsource (overseas or via those freelance sites), then a great idea to protect yourself is to insist on seeing a scan of government issued ID. Take your identification proof one step further and insist on a video conference before making any commitment.
Fraud is on the rise
2016 saw a significant increase in fraud over 2015. While the numbers show the amount stolen went slightly down the volume of theft went up. A lot.
While those figures relate more to consumer fraud if you’re the seller, you can be out of pocket money if the claim means sending the now used product back to you.
The point to take home is fraud is up so you need to take action to prevent yourself and your customers from becoming victims.
How to prevent and report cyber crime
According to The National Cyber Security Alliance there are several steps you should take to protect your business and customers:
• Evaluate Risks
Identify what types of fraud or crime you may be most susceptible to. Do you work with medical information? Financial information?
Even if the purpose of your business is simply B2C there are steps to be taken to protect yourself.
Users who purchase through your website are trusting you to keep their financial information safe so take steps to do so such as having SSL installed for any e-commerce or sensitive information and it’s wise not to store it.
• Monitor Threats
This can be as simple as making sure no spam messages are opened or any emails with attachments are scanned with some sort of antivirus software. While the software is not 100% effective it will stop the better circulated scams.
Click here to read more about potential threats. https://staysafeonline.org/business-safe-online/monitor-threats/
• Report Attacks
If you are the victim of a cyber attack you are going to get frustrated and with good cause.
Currently Canada is really vulnerable when it comes to cyber crime and your best hope is just to call the police. While promises have been made to address this, very little has been done and international criminals are impossible to go after.
If you are a victim of cyber crime contact local law enforcement and cross your fingers. But the bad news is you are likely to get no resolution. This is something to consider if you’ve been hiring anyone overseas.
In the US reporting cyber crime is much easier. You contact the FBI via this website. They have the capacity to address international criminals and recently America has cracked down on international crime operating within its borders.
For those reading from any other country I encourage you to do your own due diligence regarding protocol for reporting cyber crime so you’re prepared should you ever need to be.
• Execute a Security Plan
For this the recommendation is to work with your ISP on a cyber security plan. While your ISP may be worth talking to you should really speak with your website’s hosting company first and foremost.
The security of your customer’s info and your business is delicate so make sure your host knows to have things such as routine backups of all information made and stored on another server.
Most of the majors stay on top of things but it’s always worth calling them for a quick review especially if you have pertinent info for them that may help.
If you have been a victim already let your host know what happened. The information may help others down the road.
• Safeguard Your Clients
The suggestion found in this article of scanning all USB drives routinely is a good one. Sometimes the information can be air tight behind the most advanced firewall but it still gets out.
One of the easiest ways to exploit technology is social engineering. Many times the information isn’t so much stolen as leaked by someone internally.
Make sure all software is updated and that all computers connected to your network are running the most updated version of their operating system.
• Educate Your Team
This is an easy one.
Have protocol in place that ensures your employees follow all steps noted above.
All computers must be scanned when attached to a network and all USB drives as well.
Most people are accustomed to this now so don’t worry about implementing it suddenly.
By taking measures to protect yourself you’re ahead of the game should something occur. Scrambling after you’ve been a victim only helps the people who have stolen from you by giving them time to disappear.
Online business is only likely to grow even more and along with it fraud. The complexity of the scams will evolve and hopefully so do the solutions. In the interim I hope you enjoyed these tips and that you never become the victim of cyber crime.
According to forecasts by the International Business Travel Association, world expenditures for business trips will grow by 12% in 2017. This upward trend has been going on for many years despite world disasters, financial crises, and technological advancements that allow many problems to be solved from a distance. At the same time, travel conditions and preferences of business travelers have changed constantly.
1. Apartments for Rent
A major trend recently has been the use of private housing instead of hotels. This has reduced costs for companies by 37% on average!
Hotels are ready to do anything to stop the outflow of customers. For example, they assume that business travelers are no longer willing to pay for Wi-Fi or access to scanners and printers in business centers. Many now offer these services free of charge, and they’re working to meet other needs of business travelers.
According to surveys, most clients want more power sources and USB ports in the rooms. Hotels are reconstructing their premises in an attempt to provide guests with comfortable and convenient work settings.
2. Digital Wallets
In 2017, the Worldpay system predicted that payments through credit and debit cards will fall from two-thirds to half of all transactions by 2019, and will be replaced by mobile payments.
With a digital wallet, you can pay for lunch or metro travel by simply attaching your phone or smart watch to an NFC-sensor. You can also store boarding passes and loyalty cards.
3. Baggage tracking
New technology has significantly reduced the number of bags lost in transit. In the next few years, we can expect the appearance of home-printed bag tags, electronic receipts, automatic luggage systems, and GPS tracking to improve the situation further.
By next year, according to forecasts, 60% of carriers will send updates to your phone about the location of your luggage. Some brands already sell suitcases that notify you automatically of their whereabouts.
4. Designer clothes in hotel apartment
Carrying a lot of clothes, when you want to travel light, is tiring. Some hotels deliver fashionable designer clothes directly to your room.
Hotel guests can order garments in advance or call the reception desk to get a rack of clothes brought in for free. The Berkeley Hotel in London, for example, started cooperating with the clothing brand Vestiare Collective for this purpose.
5. Mobile booking of tickets
Booking hotels and air tickets is more often being done “on the go” through mobile applications rather than from an office.
However, despite the propensity of travelers to use the Internet to arrange trips, there are those who prefer to minimize their sharing of personal information.
According to recent studies, many people have no problem indicating their bonus card numbers or preferred seats on a plane, but they are not willing to report in on social networks or discuss where they were earlier in the day.
6. Negotiations on the Train
Saving time, or rather the rational use of it, drives the demand for holding business conferences while traveling by rail.
The Swiss even offer a special charter train, Red Double-Arrow Churchill. Sir Winston Churchill himself traveled on it 75 years ago, and now the train has been restored and equipped with the latest technical apparatus.
There is a conference car designed for 110 people and equipped with sound technology and Internet. In order not to burden business travelers with concerns about luggage, Swiss Railways has express delivery and transfer service from one hotel to another or to the airport.
7. Jet rent
It is not only ordinary employees who have to look for affordable options in business travel – so do their bosses. Sometimes this search for savings leads to the leasing of private aircraft.
Indeed, how else can one quickly move around the world, especially to hard-to-reach places where there are no regular flights? This desire to save time and money has allowed VistaJet, an airplane leasing firm, to significantly increase its profits in recent years.
8. Bleisure = business + leisure
The popularity of “bleisure travel” – when a mini-vacation is added to a business trip – is growing worldwide, especially in the US and Australia. According to the International Business Travel Association, so-called Millennials (those who are now 18 to 35 years old) are more likely to combine business and leisure travel.
On the other hand, “boomers” (those born from the mid-1940s to the 1960s) are satisfied with established practices for business trips and are less inclined to change anything.
“Co-habitation” is something between co-working and co-renting housing. Co-habitation allows a person to stay in a favorable environment together with like-minded people who are also on extended business trips.
Work is the main thing, of course, but equally important is the possibility of joint dinners and socializing. This situation is something like a modern commune for professionals.
10. Robotic Staff
According to market research, robots will eliminate 6% of all jobs in the US by 2021. For example, the McLean Hilton in Virginia has Connie, a robot with artificial intelligence that speaks several languages, working as a “concierge student.”
At the airport of Marrakech, Leo (also a robot) can register you for a flight, print baggage labels and carry your bags to the drop-off point. In Taipei, EVA Air has Pepper – she scans boarding passes, gives weather forecasts, and even poses for selfies.
It is interesting that, according to polls, even young people with all their love for Internet technologies, prefer to meet partners in person to conclude deals. So, forecasts about business trips increasing in coming years could prove to be accurate.
Modern-age businesses are in constant need for advanced product master data management solutions for intensifying the growth of the business in a sophisticated manner. According to the latest survey product management software is the single most significant tool which can accommodate proper data storage.
In today’s era, the business owners are seeking for hassle-free software which can consolidate their data and easily magnify their business potential. To encourage these concepts professionals have come with the striking notion of product master data management solution! This brilliant perception has enriched an unbelievable excitement and enthusiasm in numerous business workflows across the world. This astonishing system supports the companies to consolidate all the mandatory information like technical feature, product and customer’s information, etc. There are many constructive uses of product master data management, let’s catch up with those points.
Check Out the Top Five Prolific Uses of Product Master Data Management Solutions:
• Customer Retention: A relevant and sophisticated data storage system will allow you to amplify the marketing strategy and brand awareness. The product master data management solution is really beneficial to enrich the productivity, customer retention, and ROI. This astonishing software will allow the management staff to build a great relationship with the customer by providing them accurate information of the products.
• Hassle-Free and Time-Saving Formula: This astonishing tool can diminish the amount of time to generate and gather accurate data of the new product, suppliers, and customer. So, the administration doesn’t have to bother about time management issues. And also if you have well-organized data of your product and customer then you can easily switch on another operation without any hassle.
• Enhanced Efficiency: By employing product data management software in your workflow entrepreneur can enhance the operation efficiency of the organization. As we discussed above that this application saves a lot of time and the employees can use that time in some other production or maintenance work. It also can develop integration with existing enterprise function and can generate new opportunities which ultimately to enrich the efficiency and value of the organization.
• Generate Revenue Opportunities: According to the current analysis, the businesses which have trusted product data management software application to consolidate their data in a sophisticated way will always shine in the market. A reliable organization has the leverage to enlarge their business across the world through several channels and uphold the other revenue opportunities.
• Chain Integration: Undoubtedly, with the help of this systematic data management system entrepreneur can focus on the chain integration process. To run the business effectively, chain integration is the key factor. It has the ability to enhance the coordination with suppliers, manufacturers and product information like manufacturing date of the product, purchasing details and supporting services. Basically, they tend to put more efforts into feeding data with rich content for the sake of customers.
Above mentioned are some of the lucrative uses of the astonishing product master data management system. So, why wait? Try this amazing data management system with your business workflow and amplify your profits.
For a successful business, you have to keep a close watch on productivity and cost. If you do not adhere to project deadlines, you will lose your customers to other businesses. But, meeting client expectations doesn’t mean developing in-house capabilities for every skill that the client requires. And, with the constant developments in the IT industry, it is not possible for every small business to hire people with different types of IT skills. So, what is the solution?
IT Staff Augmentation makes meeting Deadlines possible
IT staff augmentation is a flexible staffing strategy that helps you to meet client deadlines and achieve business goals. With the help of IT staff augmentation, you will be able to ascertain the existing capabilities and then determine the requirement of additional skills. It ensures making optimum use of your in-house capabilities and hiring only when they seem insufficient to handle the rising demand.
Why IT Staff Augmentation is becoming a Go-To Strategy for Business?
If you hire an IT professional to work for you, you will have to consider the additional cost of insurance and payroll taxes. But, with IT staff augmentation, you can obtain specialized skills without the burden of training costs. It makes sense to shoulder the burden of the cost when you are going to need the IT skills throughout the year. But, if you need the services of an IT professional on a project basis, it is best to choose the flexible route of staff augmentation.
An Agile Business is a Successful Business
To stay ahead of other businesses, you must be agile and scale operations according to the changes in the internal and external environment. With IT staff augmentation, you can judge the capabilities of your existing employees and ascertain the need of additional talent quickly. It allows you to step up your output as and when needed and gives you an edge over competitors.
Acceptance from Existing Employees
Businessmen consider IT staff augmentation a better option in comparison to project outsourcing or managed IT services. It is because existing employees can feel threatened with the entry of an outsourcing company. The employees may worry about job security and it can damage the productivity of your business. On the other hand, employees may not find staff augmentation a problem because it includes integrating existing employees with new talent.
Total Control guaranteed!
Outsourcing forces you to lose control over business operations. As you are not able to monitor every step of the process, chances of errors increase. By outsourcing a project, you cannot keep tabs easily. However, staff augmentation can provide you the opportunity to exercise total control over delegation of work and work-quality. It will help you to deliver quality results to your clients and result in long-term client relationships.
Opting for staff augmentation has considerable benefits for a business. It allows you to scale your operations according to your requirements and doesn’t put additional liabilities on the business. So, next time, you are in a desperate need of IT skills, give a thought to the flexible strategy of staff augmentation because it can work wonders for your business.
A calendar is a tool for tracking or scheduling events. People use them for different purposes. Some people put everything in a calendar. Some may write personal things such as birthdays and some may use it to keep a list of official meetings. Some people even keep their calendar empty to write the actions by them taken spontaneously. They have flexibility in time. They could track their decisive power easily. Some people use it as a to-do list.
A calendar helps you in your business strategy
Successful marketing depends on planning and using a marketing calendar provides numerous benefits beyond basic scheduling. A calendar can be used for all aspects of your marketing strategy: identifying your set of people, planning, and goal setting, tracking goals, achievements, and more. Creating a comprehensive marketing calendar makes it easier to track goals and progress across marketing initiatives.
How A5 desktop calendar is going to help you in your business strategy?
An A5 desktop calendar can be used widely because of its compact size. Because of its small size, people try to keep things concise; sometimes in secret too. One may not need a portrait calendar to write the performances of the company, which is in mere numbers.
A5 desktop calendar is portable
The dimensions of A5 portrait calendar are 148mm*210mm and there are twelve pages for twelve months. So, we can come to an estimation of its weight by looking these figures. Because of this advantage of A5 portrait calendars, you can access schedule wherever you are and stick to the plan because fantastic journeys are always pre planned. The more time you spend on strategizing, the less time you spend creating real content that will influence sales (which is the sole reason to buy an A5 desk calendar).
A5 desk calendars can help you in being focused
Imagine yourself using a smart phone for checking whether you have any occasion tomorrow. You just saw that and the next thing you tend to do is to switch on the mobile data or Wi-Fi. You say yourself that you would stop after seeing notifications. You saw the notifications and at the same time, you saw a message from an important person of yours (A crush has more importance, generally). You give an excuse for yourself saying that it is just a matter of one message. An immediate reply gives you more happiness. You start texting until the other side turns down and finally you end up scolding yourself for wasting that time.
A calendar of the same size does not give any thought of texting (it is not even digital).You can have it anywhere as it needs a bit of place in your bag and eagerness in your work too. It helps you to become a better planner, better marketer or a better salesperson.
An A5 desk calendar is a good gift for many occasions. It is a better choice when you value someone. It is better to gift your colleagues or co-workers a calendar than wasting money on greeting cards.
When you have large items to stack, store, hang, or repair in high locations, you may benefit from the aid of an electric scissor lift. Depending on the size of the lift, they can reach from 20 up to 60 feet above the ground. They can offer stability and safety that scaffolding and ladders cannot. Here are four industries in which a scissor lift may be useful.
When you think of a scissor lift, you might first imagine it in a warehouse. Indeed, this is one industry where an electric lift can come in handy. With such spacious facilities, warehouse workers must make the most efficient use of the entire space, and this often means significant vertical storage. A scissor lift, which may be capable of supporting upwards of one thousand pounds, makes the process of placing and retrieving stored items safer, quicker, and easier.
Construction and Maintenance
In addition to lifting heavy storage goods, an electric scissor lift can be highly useful for raising workers and their tools in the industries of construction and building maintenance. Unlike ladders, electric lifts can support more than one or two people at a time, and unlike scaffolding, you can be confident with the lift’s stability. Furthermore, while scaffolding is often stationary and needs to be reassembled at each location, scissor lifts are mobile, meaning they can be easily transferred from one part of the site to another. Some lifts even come with all-terrain wheels to make mobility secure even in outdoor sites.
Rail and truck facilities are another sector which can benefit from the use of an electric scissor lift. As railyard jobs often require lifting, fitting, and raising workloads in narrow spaces between rail cars, scissor lifts may be available in various sizes to best suit the workers’ needs. Likewise, an electric lift can easily maneuver within a trucking facility to help move goods from storage to trucks and back again, and otherwise throughout the facility.
Scissor lifts can also be useful in retail stores. With high shelving and stacked products, both on the floor and in the back, electric lifts can help workers with stocking. Furthermore, because of ever-changing stocking needs, which may require shifting and switching several shelves or aisles worth of products at a time, the mobility, security, and ease of using a scissor lift can make it an ideal piece of machinery for the retail industry.
An electric or hydraulic scissor lift, therefore, has many uses across various industries. Before purchasing a lift, however, it is important to consider the needs it will serve and to choose a model whose size and specifications best serve those needs. Regardless of your choice, a scissor lift can bring safety and efficiency to all your high-raise tasks.
All of us would love to make a little more money. Sometimes just a little to supplement an income can be a huge help. Today it is easier that you think to get a little extra cash in your bank accounts. Most of us today have our own personal websites.
We can get them for free and use them as a method to keep others informed of what we are doing. You can actually turn your website into a way of making some extra cash for you. By placing some ads on your site, you have the potential to earn some cash.
When people go onto your site, if they see an ad that is interesting and click it on you receive what is known as a referral payment. The more clicks the better. Gradually your earnings will increase as your website gets viewed.
You’re not likely going to get rich with just your own personal website. However, it is a way to get started. There may come a time when you create another site and you can start turning this into a money making venture as well. You could sign up for an affiliate program and make money through their ads.
To do this well you need to think of an appropriate affiliate program that readers of your site would appreciate. For example, if you site is about pets, you may want to look for affiliates that work with pet supplies, pet food or veterinary services. You’ll want to have affiliates that will enhance your site. Having ads for rare books or sporting goods on a pet’s website isn’t going to attract too much attention.
Once you have a site up and running, you need to get a list of affiliate companies that will give you their advertising banners. There are loads of companies on the net that will help you. You can also get performance statistics on them as well. You will be able to track how much you will earn and how you will be paid. Once you get a few banners onto your site you’ll be able to check the progress for yourself.
Two companies that are incredibly popular are commission junction and link share. These will both help you find affiliates for your website. They have loads of good, accurate information available on what companies would be best and how well they perform.
Signing up for one of these affiliate programs is easy. You will be asked for personal information so don’t be put off. This is necessary because they will be paying you commission money. You’ll be expected to give your social security number as well as take information. Once you sign up you will need to think about which programs to choose.
Commission junction has all of the information available on which companies pay which rates of commission. They also have information on how well and timely they make their payments. If a company is a shaky reputation, commission junction will know about it.
If you’re looking to make a little more money, then it is easy. Why not take the first step and turn your personal website into a way to make cash. Fill up those blank spaces with advertisements and let the money roll in. you can always expand and create different websites. They more ads you can get the better. Affiliate programs are great ways to help you earn money. You can start off small with your own site and then expand into other areas. Eventually, you could build your own affiliate business. Look into affiliate marketing. It could be quite lucrative.