Category Archives: Blog

Data Security Procedures to Implement Immediately

cyber-data-securityIt’s not just the big boys like Target that are at risk of a data breach. For every high-profile case, there are hundred of data breaches experienced by small businesses across the country.

Fortunately, there a many simple things small business owners can do to protect their sensitive customer data and their own business information.

Doing the following quick fixes will go a long way to reduce the likelihood of your organization falling victim to a data breach:

1.)  Require Stronger Passwords – this will cost your organization nothing but is potentially the biggest data-lifesaver. By now you should know that “PassWord2” is not acceptable; while it’s better than “password”, it still sucks. Use an 8-12 character combination of capital and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers. Make sure everyone is changing his or her passwords multiple times a year.

2.)  Encrypt Data – make sure data is encrypted on every deviced used to access company data (computers, mobile devices, laptops, etc.). Phones get lost, tablets get stolen – if your employees are bringing secondary devices to work, make sure you have an encryption process in place.

3.)  Get a Security Audit – if you don’t have an IT team, and you’ve never had a security audit, spend the money to hire a tech professional to evaluate your company’s network situation. They will be able to identify any weak points and make recommendations on how to be less at risk. It probably won’t be your cheapest expense of the year but we promise you, it will be worth it. According to a recent study, the average cost of corporate data breach is $3.5 million.

4.)  Back Up Important Data – you should also know this one by now. Backing up your data ensures that information can be recovered if lost or stolen. Regularly backing up data means less headaches down the road when a computer failure happens or data is stolen from a USB drive, as you will easily be able to recover important documents or information. In 2014, this can be done pretty much for free via services like Dropbox and Google Drive.

5.)  Surf Smarter – again, it is THE YEAR 2014, learn from the frequent digital mistakes of the past decade. Be wary of email attachments and links, don’t download anything from an unknown source, and if it looks sketchy – it probably is.

6.)  Train Employees Better – make sure anyone who your organization hires understands the importance of data security. Most employees who bring in a virus on their personal device or fail to spot a hacking ploy do so by accident – they simply aren’t aware that their actions are contributing to weak security. Thoroughly educate employees on the strategies in this guide and continue to keep them up to speed on the latest security procedures. Be sure to implement policies concerning how company members access and secure company information.

Best Time Tracking Apps

clocksEver feel like you don’t have a good handle on time? Most of us have only a vague idea of how much time we spend (waste) on personal and professional tasks each day. Luckily for people like us, there are plenty of internet-based services devoted to helping us stay on task. After all, there’s no shame in seeking a little digital assistance.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • Chrometa – This smart time tracker captures your activities without you having to click start or stop. It automatically records your software usage, like time spent on Facebook, or the length of time spent working on a spreadsheet. (Desktop, Android, Apple)

The Facebook Color Change Scam Is Back

don't like FBNO – you cannot change the color of Facebook. Well… you can (at your own risk), but that app you just downloaded, it’s a scam.

Cheetah Mobile, security software researcher and provider, was the first to confirm the reemergence of the hack. The scam appears as a Facebook app that can be shared or posted on the News Feed. So far, more than 10,000 people have been tricked into downloading the malware, according to the Cheetah Mobile Security blog post.

Google to Boost Encrypted Websites in Search Rankings

google encryptionGoogle is using its massive reach and power for good as the search engine pressures websites to better protect the people using their services. The move involves a change in Google’s formula for determining search result rankings. Websites that automatically encrypt their services will now be ranked higher in Google’s recommendation system. The goal is to pressure web developers to adopt technology that defends against hackers breaking into websites and stealing users’ sensitive information.

Edward Snowden’s revelations shined a light on the gaping security holes in unencrypted websites. Encryption makes it more difficult for hackers and the NSA alike to grab unsuspecting user’s personal data transmitted over unsecured Wi-Fi networks. You can spot an encrypted website by the telling “https” in the URL.

Billions of Passwords Stolen by Russian Cybercrime Ring CyberVor

hackerBy now you’ve likely heard about Tuesday’s New York Times report of the largest stockpile of stolen online credentials in known history. The mammoth hack job was brought to light by the cybersecurity firm Holden Security LLC, which revealed that a Russian hacking group has stolen 1.2 billion sets of unique login credentials, and more than 500 million email addresses.

The New York Times reports that the data comes from more than 420,000 websites ranging from well known companies to smaller operations. Holden Security says it isn’t revealing the names of the sites right now because doing so could pose additional risks to users. The so-called “CyberVor” gang collected more than 4.5 billion records in all, 1.2 billion appearing to be unique. There are about 2.9 billion Internet users worldwide… so it’s very likely that you’ve been affected.

How Do I Explain Getting Fired?

firedTRUMPYou got fired from your last job.

Perhaps it wasn’t a question of personal abilities, you didn’t do anything wrong, heck – maybe you didn’t even deserve it. But, you got fired from your last job.

You’re over it now, time to move on. But as you’re suiting up for the big interview, your mind begins to consider that inevitable question. Eventually, your prospective employer will look up, staring into your eyes:

“So, why did you leave your last job?”


Five Bookkeeping Tips For Entrepreneurs

accountingIf the mere thought of managing the company’s books fills you with dread, you’re not alone.

Most small business owners hate bookkeeping. Some see it as a time consuming task that takes away from running their business; for others, it brings an avalanche of nerves (I regularly have nightmares about the IRS). As a small business owner, it’s your job to make sure your company’s money gets managed correctly.

Successful entrepreneurs don’t view bookkeeping as an inherently negative thing. Rather, an obligation that needs to be handled with care. Even if you hate this aspect of running a business, you can apply basic procedures to stay on top of the paperwork. By doing so, you will save time, money, and a lot of stress.

4 Essentials For A Winning Resume


Great-Resume-Tips-300x297It’s time for that transition you’ve been waiting for! A new position opened up that you’ve been eyeing for months now. You’ve worked up the ranks, gained experience, and you’re ready to make the next move. So you click to apply…

“Please submit resume and cover letter”

Uh-oh. Resume? Cover letter? When was the last time you looked at those? 2005?

Well then, lets start fresh! You’ll find that there are various different ways to produce a solid resume, but no matter which you choose, there are 4 characteristics every resume should have.

How Internet Independent are you?

Social Media Addition Some count sheep and some count Facebook likes when they can’t sleep at night…which one are you?

Well if you found yourself attempting to scroll the pages of your newsfeed endlessly on morning of July 17 you may have experienced something unfamiliar, there was a 30 minute Facebook outage that displayed an error message, “Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on getting this fixed as soon as we can.” First thought, refresh the page…second thought, panic. Will I ever get to see Paula’s adorable cat again? Will I ever find out how my past classmates turned out? We live in an electronic age where we’ve become dependent upon Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Our generation has become a ‘sharing generation’ and without the ability to like, post, and comment we often feel lost.

What Small Business Owners Should Know About TLDs

coolcatLet’s face it: it’s hard to stand out in the vast landscape of the Internet of today, especially when it comes to your web address. If your business (like most) was a little slow to the .com game, your URL might leave a lot to be desired. For years, the Internet has been limited to just 22 generic top-level domains like the familiar .com, .net, and .org. Besides country domains (such as .jp for Japan or .ca for Canada), general-purpose domain choices have been very narrow.