How to Protect Yourself, Your Business and Your Family from Scammers

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How to Protect Yourself, Your Business and Your Family from Scammers

Scams are an unfortunate side effect of the growth of technology, and many businesses and families find themselves feeling exposed after losing data to a hacker. These days, it seems it’s easier than ever for thieves to gain access to personal info after we go shopping or sign up for a credit card. Sadly, the bad news is they often target seniors and young people who don’t have the experience to recognize a scam when they see one, especially since social media is often used to gain trust. As for businesses, both large and small business owners are faced with a constant threat of firewall penetration to get to corporate and customer information.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help protect yourself, your business and your family members from scammers and hackers. These thieves rely on easy access to your personal information, so the first step is to make sure they can’t get their hands on it. Changing passwords often, using a two-step identification process when signing in to social media, and making your online accounts private are all great ways to prevent theft of your personal info. The next step is to educate yourself on what scams may look like and how to avoid them.

Here are a few quick tips from Business On the Internet on how to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from data theft.

Get Familiar with Malware

Anytime you invest in a device — whether it’s a smartphone or a desktop computer — it’s essential to get familiar with ways to protect it against malware and viruses. Do some reading to find out what the most common issues are for your specific device and what to do should you be faced with one of them. For instance, knowing how to backup and encrypt mobile data will be extremely helpful when it comes to making sure your smartphone is protected.

Secure Your Devices

It’s important to not overlook the physical vulnerability of our devices as well, be it desktop computers, tablets, thumb drives, or smartphones. Leaving devices unattended means you’re leaving them open to theft. A good part of your security strategy is ensuring devices are kept behind locked doors, especially when your business is closed for the night or when you’re settled in for the evening or away from home.

If necessary, change out your door locks. Search online for “locksmiths in my area” and use Angi.com to find a qualified locksmith for the job. For homeowners, it can cost $50-$150 to rekey a door, a worthy investment when it comes to protecting your data.

Talk to Your Kids About Social Media

Your kids and teens may know not to interact with strangers online, but do they know how to spot a scammer pretending to be someone they know? It’s not always easy, but there are some clues that can give away a scammer or fraud online.

On social media, scammers will often create fake posts that lead to malware, or they’ll steal photos and other information from a public account and make a new account using that info in the hopes of drawing in the victim’s friends. Once that’s done, they can send messages asking for money or any number of requests while assuming the victim’s identity. Talk to your kids about how to spot a scammer on social media and about the dangers of giving away any information online.

Change Your Passwords Often

Even if you don’t spend a lot of time online, if you’ve ever had to set up a password for an account, it needs to be maintained often. How-To Geek notes that this means making sure it’s detailed and strong — such as using a mixture of capital letters and lowercase, adding numbers, and using special characters — and updating it. Leaving a password unattended for a long period of time may mean leaving it wide open for hackers to take advantage of.

How to Take Action

You may be wondering what steps you should take if your information is stolen or if you fall victim to a scam. The first step is to take stock of the information itself; if it was a credit card number or info tied to your bank account, CreditCards.com says to call the institution immediately and let them know your information was compromised (you may need to cancel the card). If it was personal info, such as a password or your address and email, change the password ASAP and consider investing in security software that will help you monitor your info’s safety online.

Learning a little more about computer systems can boost your confidence as well. Taking some IT classes through flexible online institutions is a great way to do this, and a big plus is that they’re affordable and easy to enroll in. You could even take coursework leading to a computer science degree. Western Governors University, for example, offers a bachelor’s in computer science for just $3,625 per six-month term, and the entire program can be completed within a two-year time frame.

Protecting your business and your loved ones from scammers and thieves can take a lot of planning and energy, but it’s simply a necessary part of owning technology these days. By educating yourself on what to do and how to prevent issues, you’re already ahead of the game.

Claim Your Late Payments: The Do’s and Don’ts of Collecting From Customers

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Late payments happen, no matter what your business is or how timely most of your clients are. If you worry about the impact of late fees on your customer relations, there are do’s and don’ts of how to handle collections without ruining your relationship – Business on the Internet presents some ideas below.

Don’t Start a Business Unprepared

Even if most customers are reliably punctual, you will likely have to deal with late payments now and then. You should cover how you plan to deal with clients who pay late from the start. Start with considering late fees. Figure out how much you want to penalize your client. You do not have to charge a significant amount. Most clients want to avoid any and all late fees.

Always have terms available before you begin a project with a client. Put everything out for the customer to see. You have expectations of payment, and the client needs to understand when to pay and what happens when payment does not arrive by the deadline.

Do Create Incentives for Clients

Your relationship with your clients is the foundation of your business. You should build a customer relationship based on listening and offering feedback. When you listen to what your clients want, keep in mind incentivizing them to pay on time.

First, try providing a discount for those who pay early. As well, make it as easy as possible to pay you. Clients who have difficulty paying may procrastinate or have trouble getting you the money even when they want to pay on time. For example, if you do not accept credit cards, you may lose money. Offer a variety of payment methods that clients may use.

Don’t Diminish Your Value to the Client

Late payments do not necessarily mean that you have to cut off your relationship with a customer. While you need to be firm and receive your compensation, do not be aggressive. Consider creating an email script for late payments. Try several friendly emails before you become serious with your terms. If you receive no response, you may need to pick up the phone and contact your client.

Try to be compassionate. When you treat your customers with kindness, they will more likely remain loyal in the future. Be empathetic: If clients are having financial trouble, they may be afraid of opening up. If your customer talks to you honestly about a hardship, try to be as compassionate as possible. You may offer a payment plan or other deal to work with the client’s situation. 

Do Seek Professional Assistance

As your business grows, it can become more difficult for you to track your finances. When you have a lot of sales, it becomes more challenging to track who owes you money and how much. An accountant can balance your books, track payments and create graphics to help you gain a better understanding of your financial situation.

When hiring an accountant or bookkeeper, look for someone trustworthy, with attention to detail and experience in the finance field. At first, you may not want to bring a full-time accountant on board. Many small businesses cannot afford to hire a full-time employee for bookkeeping. In this case, consider a contractor. If you don’t have the free time to look through potential hires or screen skills, hire a recruiting agency to connect you with skilled financial professionals.

When it comes to your business, you do not want to damage the customer relationship while asking for late payment. Take steps to encourage prompt payment while strengthening your relationship with your customers.

How Hiring Outside Talent Can Help You Build Your Business

Image via Unsplash
Image via Unsplash

Building a business is challenging and requires many skill sets. That’s why it can be helpful to hire outside talent when needed. And this is especially true when your company is growing or moving into new areas.

Outsourcing is an essential component in any business’s strategy when it comes to innovation and growth. It takes the pressure off the internal resources, which may lead them towards more worthwhile projects that are in their scope.

Plus, it provides your organization with access to people with skillsets that you may not have on their team, making it easier to reach your sales and marketing goals. By hiring outside talent specializing in the areas of work you need, you can ensure that your business is always on the cutting edge of technology and trends.

Freelancers can also expand the number of prospects available by opening up new markets such as overseas or remote locations quickly through their local knowledge. And as they’re not full-time employees, it’s easy for them to leave without any hard feelings, so it lets you manage peaks of work or projects with more flexibility.

The Business on the Internet presents some important questions you need to consider when you start thinking about outsourcing talent.

How do you hire outside talent?

It’s likely that as a small business owner, you already know many people who have also had to hire outside professionals for their business needs. The best way to find these professionals is by asking people in your network for referrals, as they can give you background on the potential candidates’ skills and expertise.

You can also search online or check out freelancer sites like Upwork or Fiverr with many users ready to take on projects. It’s easy to get started today by browsing through profiles of potential candidates and just reaching out.

When is it useful to hire outside talent?

Many business owners wait to hire freelancers when they have a pressing deadline for a project and find themselves stuck, so they turn outside. But it can be very beneficial to hire help when you’re early in the planning stages of your business, to make sure you use your resources more efficiently.

For example, hiring a marketing manager can provide you with a marketing plan to help your company grow and succeed. They will be able to incorporate all of the different elements to best suit your business, such as social media strategy, SEO optimization, content creation for blogs or other websites, and advertising on both traditional platforms like TV and digital platforms such as Google Ads.

It’s also a good idea to hire professionals for the more technical or legal aspects where you might lack the knowledge and where the stakes are high. For example, you can hire a formation service to help you form an LLC. They will be aware of the different regulations and help save you time on paperwork and money on taxes.

Off-the-shelf solutions

As well as hiring professionals to do specific work for your company, there might be areas where you can send to off-the-shelf services. These are more standard solutions already made, so you can just reapply them in your business. And as they are not custom-made, they will save you time and money.

Some examples include standard software solutions, contract templates, social media templates, stock photography, and logos.

If we have one piece of advice for anyone looking to grow their business, it’s this—don’t underestimate what someone else could bring on board! Hiring experts in different areas of expertise will only make your team more solid as they can share knowledge with your staff, helping them to collaborate more effectively than before.

A business solution alternative to smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco

Business information on Snus

Smoking is a large business worldwide with many products available for selling. Smoking at the same time has a lot of side effects that can cause severe health problems, such as potential lung cancer.

What is there was an effective alternative to smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco? The good news is that there is, and it is called Snus pouches. Where can you find more online information about snus online?  There is a lot of information and interesting facts that you might not know about snus and nicotine pouches. You can find content that is recent, popular, and trendy.

Snus products
Snus products

The history of Snus goes back to the 18th century where their origin was from Sweden. It is extremely easy to locate your nearest snus retailer and even easier you can buy snus online.

What is Snus and how is it made?

Snus is made from raw tobacco that is ground down to a powder that is similar in consistency to flour. Water and salt are then added to the mix. It is then heated to ensure it is safe from microorganisms before it goes on to have any ingredients, such as flavoring, added.

There is a section to buy Snus online, and before buying you can learn more about snus pouches. There are also tips for buying Snus online. Important tips that should be mentioned are that attention should always be paid to aspects such as quality control, the payment’s security, and having a secure internet connection. Additional important information provided are posts related to manufacturers and providers for Snus products, special tips for beginners, and the applicable laws and customs. The customs procedures are important for the EU and the USA. And it is important to know these tax procedures to estimate the cost of customs and any delays in the delivery of snus and nicotine pouches that may arise due to these procedures.

Business news March 21, 2020

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