Staying Up-To-Date With Your IT Security

Technology is here to stay and it seems like businesses are having a tendency to get behind the times, or at the least, they are getting too comfortable. Security breaches have been on the rise lately, and only after a few major attacks, like Home Depot and Target, do other business start to become more aware.

One of the most important things a business, large or small, can do to continually help protect the security of their customers in this IT world is to always keep their systems up-to-date, and always be aware of what they are doing online.

Paying Attention To Updates

When you get a notification that it’s time to update your security measures on your IT system, don’t hesitate. Even just one day behind and you could be hacked and have tons of your customer’s information stolen.

Most internet security program are updated whenever there are new risks perceived, so updated quickly helps protect your computers from new malware and viruses. Viruses and malware are one of the ways that security breaches are instigated.

Teaching Current And New Employees

In a list of security tips from Tripwire, #4 says a lot about what companies really need to do when it comes to keeping things secure. You can never teach your employees too much, especially when it comes to security.

Take time to even just go over the basics with them, such as having a good password and logging out of systems when they are not at the computer or terminal. These reminders may seem repetitive, but they help keep up awareness.

Considering Safety Measures

Bankrate suggests paying attention from the very beginning. Don’t even start suffering the internet super highway until you’ve got some sort of safety set in place. That’s what all this stuff was created for, to protect computers and the people using them.

Check your firewalls, make sure that security is up and running. You may even want to download something additional to help protect from adware and/or malware.

Invision, experts in IT, have an article that suggests always staying aware and having a plan. Take time to encrypt info and keep it safe. Always do your updates. Teach staff and make sure they understand the best practices of logging in.

Lastly, always use equipment and services designed for businesses, not consumers or individuals. You want something that is made to protect your business information on a far grander scale than someone’s personal computer.

There is always the chance that a breach can happen even under the most protected IT systems, but it’s always better to stand against attacks ahead of time, just in case. Don’t wait to work on customer protection until after someone steals their information.

Webcasting Tips and Tricks for Presenters

There are all sort of different options when it comes to webcasting and webcasting technology these days. In order to find out what path is most suited to your particular theme, approach, and content, there are a few tips and tricks that you can wander through mentally to check in with current standards.

Depending on size and scope, some of your research categories are going to be approaching your webcast from an enterprise-grade standpoint, approaching your presentation from a more casual standpoint, finding the right format for your presentation, and then choosing how technical and specific you want to get as far as editing and publishing go.

Approaching from an Enterprise-Grade Standpoint

Webcasting is an entirely different animal when it comes to the professionalism and efficiency required for appropriate presentations on a corporate level. Good thing there are companies that specifically sell professional webcasting solutions for people who need an efficient way to talk to between 50-1000 people in real-time. After purchasing, these services are typically extremely easy to set up and very effective at allowing your message to be produced and reproduced at will for the duration of your project.

Approaching From a Casual Standpoint

Casual webcasting is something that many people appreciate because it shows the casters to be human. Mistakes are made. Because it’s in real time, the timing between segments isn’t perfect. Things may not look quite right, or sound quite right. Anyone who watches one of the casual webcasts expects these things, and the familiarity of the mistakes is part of the draw. If you look up gamecasts, they fit into this casual webcast category, and some of them are insanely popular and make millions of dollars for the people who run them. It’s all about knowing your audience at that point.

Finding the Right Format

The basic formats for webcasts are all over the place. There’s the talking head. There’s the PowerPoint presentation version. There are webcasts that rely on video, and others that are more audio based. If you are planning on webcasting yourself, the choice of format is almost as important as the content you’re streaming itself. It’s the whole “the medium is the message” concept at its finest, and that theory should not be ignored.

Choosing Whether To Edit or Not

Video editing is hard, tedious, technical, and time consuming. If it’s an integral part of your professional output when it comes to uploading your webcast after the fact, plan on spending some serious time learning video editing techniques and then rendering it all together into something usable. Some people find the whole process very rewarding, however, so depending on what category of people you fall into, you may find that you enjoy it more than the webcast itself!

Personalizing Check to Match With Tech Business Themes

Even in a tech-heavy world, every once in a while you’re going to need to have a few manual checks from a checkbook around, so there are a few things that you can do to make sure to keep organized and secure. First, look into which business offer reliable short-order possibilities and keep that info handy. Also, if there’s any kind of custom artwork you’d like include to match with the theme of your company, look into companies that specialize in that kind of printing as well. As you’re looking through your options, also be sure that the companies that you work with have the latest security options available, and from your end, be sure that your bank numbers, addresses, and business info is kept up to date on record.

Small Business or Work-From-Home Orders

When it comes to small business or work-from-home checks, there are a number of different companies that do this work expressly. There are very competitive rates out there, depending on the number and format of checks that you need, so don’t rush to purchase from the first place that you find. Look to various customer reviews of the companies as well to make sure that mistakes are handled accordingly. Sometimes there are shipping fees to be aware of as well, so reading into details and fine print is a must when choosing the best contractor.

Look At Custom Art Options

Having custom art on your checks is something that many people appreciate. It shows that you’re serious enough about the theme of your company to want to be as consistent as possible across all mediums. If you work for an architecture company, for example, there are really brilliant architecture graphic check designs that you can use to show your interest and background in that particular industry. Find your own custom graphics examples online at will to complete that process. It’s just another one of those details that you can think about when trying to make your own personal standpoint stand out from the competition.

Be Sure To Keep Data Accurate and Secure

In order to keep your business finances, as well as personal finances, it’s important to make sure that whatever checks you order, you have all of the latest safety features on them as well. This often involves some type of laser printing. In addition to that, be sure to have the feature selected through your bank where, when they see some strange charge being made, they call or text you. This type of check fraud prevention is something that is very worth investing in, especially if you’re in a startup company that can’t afford to make any big legal mistakes as you’re incorporating your idea in a business flow.

Technology That Helps Your Business Stay On Track

From small businesses to big ones, there’s no doubt that you have some sort of technology that helps your business plug along. Did you know that it’s important to have some kind of program in place to help you keep track of the technology you do have?

Think back to a time before computers and all of the technological advances the world has now. File cabinets were the norm. Every office had them and some had a lot of them. You even needed to hire a file clerk to keep them all organized and put in the right place. With the technology and software out there now it’s as easy as typing in a word or two and you’ll have the document you need.

Cloud Storage

Nowadays you don’t need to fill up your entire computer memory with your saved files. Instead you can use cloud storage to store your stuff where you can get to it from any computer anywhere around the world. While cloud storage can take the headache out of losing files and information, it’s still important to make sure you name your files in a way that makes them easy to find. Come up with a strategy and stick with it.

Asset Management

One of the biggest assets to your company is probably your technology, including computers. How do you keep track of your computers? Well, you should be doing it with IT Asset Management Software. According to Synetic Technologies, a company that specializes in IT asset management, the right technology can put your business at a competitive advantage.

Smartphones

While smartphones may seem like a luxury purchase to most people, businesses know that they are a great asset to the company. Between all of the amazing apps that are available for smartphones that can help businesses and business people greatly, they also help you stay in constant contact. There is nothing worse than losing a potential client because you just stepped out of the office to run an errand and missed their call.

The bonus of technology for businesses is that you can usually recoup the expenses, even if you are a small business or a contractor. Since they are business expenses they give you a little cash back when tax time rolls around.

There are plenty of choices when it comes to computer software, cloud storage and other cloud services, smartphones and apps. Take some time to look around and find out what is the best choice for your business and your business type. What’s good for a small business may not be the best choice, and vice-versa. Find out about free trials too, and you may be able to find out the easy way something wasn’t right for your company, instead of the expensive way.

Identity Theft: Easier To Accomplish, Easier To Stop

The idea of identify theft wanders in and out of public consciousness depending on a number of factors. If you or someone one know has been a victim, it’s probably on your mind. If there is a major movie released or book published that has identity theft in it, it’s probably on your mind. If it’s been in the news, same thing. But those ideas are fleeting. Identify theft itself, is extremely pervasive, which means just as a matter of organization, you should understand that with new technology, it is easier for criminals to perpetrate, but it’s also easier for you to prevent.

Who To Contact If It Has Already Happened

If you already know you’ve been a victim, immediately contact a reputable law firm, and particularly consider ones that specialize in those kinds of crimes or who have long histories of success. Laws can be very finicky in this area, and you don’t want to cut corner or pinch pennies when it comes to having the right people represent you. Once it has already happened, it’s too late to think about prevention or future damage control – it’s time to have the best lawyers you can afford make sure that you get your life, money, and property back.

Ways It Can Happen

Some of the common ways that identity theft can happen, especially with new technology and networking connections being so common, is through data mining and phishing on the Internet. Many people don’t have great ideas the differences between legitimate places to put your information in online, and places that are just searching for your information, either to rip you off or get you on some crazy email list. New tech allows people to scan for credit card numbers as well, so be aware that every time you are connected to a network, there is the possibility that someone or something is sniffing around your data transfers.

How To Protect Yourself

Common sense is the best protection against identity theft. Primarily, this means you should have your bank account and credit card account settings set up so that if there is any strange behavior, you will be alerted immediately. This is the single best way that technology has helped people out with identity theft as related to money. As far as other information goes, if you regularly check out information related to your social security account, that will tell you if anyone has scanned through any of that information as well. It’s very important that you protect that number in particular, as someone can use it slowly over the years for different applications, and ultimately learn all about your habits, gradually splitting off your actual life events.

4 Online Tools to Pump Up a Tech Resume

While many jobs are becoming obsolete, according to Bill Snyder on InfoWorld, there is no end in site for the boom in technology related jobs. With business being increasingly reliant on the Internet, big data, and e-commerce–and entire new markets being created by mobile device and applications–there’s an increased demand for qualified tech workers. A career path in tech can be both lucrative and personally rewarding, so it’s no surprise that many are trying to grab these jobs. For employers, however, there’s often a gap between the skill-set they are looking for and what potential employees have to offer. With a wealth of resources available online, there’s a number of things tech hopefuls can do to pump up their resume.

Get a Degree or Certification

Undoubtedly one of the best ways to pump up a tech resume is to get a degree or complete a certification program in a technology related subject. Whether it’s computer science or software programming, there’s no requirement stipulating that the degree has to be completed on a university campus. Dozens of schools, including MIT are offering online degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate level as well as a host of other online learning opportunities, according to a report by U.S. News. It’s relatively simple for those who wish to complete an entire degree from the comfort of their home; with the option of doing so either full or part time.

Complete Online Training Courses

Getting a degree is useful but often it’s not enough. According to training experts CBT Nuggets, in order to get specific training for very specific skills or a desired career track, consider completing tailored online tech training courses. A tailored course can help fill in the gaps. Since many employers are often looking for very specific skills, it’s crucial to check exactly what is necessary for the desired position. After that, there’s a vast number of courses that teach the ins and outs of tech, like programming and development, network administration and engineering, project management and more.

Build an Appropriate Resume

Even with all the right qualifications, according to Dori Reuscher, a tech certification expert, many job seekers find their biggest hurdle is building the perfect tech resume. The first step in creating a resume is simply drawing up a list of all the skills one has acquired. For tech resumes, it’s essential to categorize these skills into general tech related categories such as ‘network security’ or ‘database administration’. Listing the certifications they have completed and formatting the resume so it’s readable are the final steps. There are countless tools online to help with the organization and proper creation of professional resumes.

Leverage Social Media Profiles

While sending out resumes once included printing and placing the paper into someone’s hands, much of the groundwork is now laid on the Internet, and social media profiles suddenly have a place in the professional world. LinkedIn, in particular, is one of the networks that many tech companies are using to aid in their recruitment and hiring processes. Leveraging the profile in a way that makes them more attractive to employers is important and can be done by carefully organizing and adding qualifications and certifications. Instead of only covering the basics, job seekers should do their best to use all the tools and enhancements LinkedIn offers to make themselves more visible, impressive, and, consequently, more employable.

Using Social Media Technology To Find the Right Legal Representation

If you need legal representation, for a court case for instance, where can you go to begin researching what firm or which lawyer may by your best option? In days past, options might be limited to local places, or perhaps word-of-mouth reputation from friends and family. Now, though, with the speed and filtering options possible on the Internet, and through social media specifically, you can find the perfect fit in no time at all. To begin your search, think about what the primary social search platforms are, what your desired company or personal characteristics would be, and what financial bracket you plan to operate inside of.

First, the Main Social Media Platforms

To begin searching through social media and crowdsourcing information, start with the big three – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. For professional considerations, LinkedIn is the best place to start, with organized resumes, endorsements, and data readily available. Look for lawyers and firms with reputable backgrounds and high ratings, and then look at their individual websites. Dig through sites that have FAQ pages for your personal type of trial, like insurance-related, marriage-related, or personal injury related, for example. Just a few clicks in any direction on these sites will give you a wealth of up-to-date information.

What Characteristics Fit Best With Your Case?

Use all available search technology to find out descriptive words of firms or lawyers. Are the serious, easygoing, social-centric, business-centric, or advertised to be expensive or inexpensive? Are their advertisements aimed at your demographic? Is their success rate impressive? The more questions you ask, and the better you can search for the answers to your questions, the more likely you will find a good match. If your court case is local to a specific county or state, keep that in mind as well in part of your search string.

Keep the Money in Mind

For better or worse, regardless of your type of case, keep money in mind. How much do you have to pay the lawyer? Is it based on success, or an hourly rate? Is your case about money in the first place – child support, for example? By entering in an agreement where you know all of the financial considerations ahead of time, you can save yourself some serious issues later on, especially if your particular case gets hung up on a timeline you are not in control of.

With social media platform technology available as an amazing way to search through an otherwise prohibitive amount of data, with the right amount of focused effort, you can find the right kind of legal representation for the needs of any type of case. Give yourself the best possible chance to succeed with the legal campaign you are involved in.

Understanding Social Media Management for Your Small Business

Social media has become an integral part of business as we know it. Many companies even hire a Social Media Coordinator, Community Manager or Content Strategist full-time to oversee their accounts across various online platforms.If you’re just getting your feet wet in the world of social media, you may not be ready to hire someone exclusively to handle your online communications. However, having a presence online and creating relationships with your customers is important in today’s business management. Here is some information on understanding social media management for your small business. Hopefully, after reading, you will feel more confident in undertaking your own social media campaigns.

The Importance of Social Media

The days of one-way communication in which companies communicated to customers through advertising on television, radio or newspaper are gone. Today’s businesses must engage in two-way dialogue with their client base, ready to hear both positive and negative feedback, and to be prepared to act on that information. Social media allows your to connect with your potential customers in a whole new way, as well as to track that communication and to determine the return on investment of your outreach efforts. Being able to communicate with customers directly can give you a great deal of insight, as well as create a loyal following, unlike static media.

Assess Your Audience

In order to run successful social media campaigns, you need to first have a good idea of who your customer is and what they’re looking for. Market research will allow you to learn about your client base and their demographic. Find out what they like about your product or service, what they dislike. Determine which social media outlets they use most so that you know where to concentrate your efforts. In identifying your consumer type, you will begin to better identify your company’s own brand.

Follow the Hashtag

In order to find what people are saying about your industry, you want to be able to search for key words on social media. Hashtags make it easy to do just that. A hashtag is a word or phrase attached to the pound sign. Hashtags allow users to follow certain conversations or to find information on a certain topic. for example, if you own a pizza parlor, you could look for the hashtag #pizza or #pizzaplace to see what people are saying about the topic of pizza. Using hashtags allows you to keep track of your own company’s branding campaigns, as well as those of your competitors. There are numerous benefits of the hashtag.

Post Regularly and Strategically

When posting to social media, it’s crucial that you write updates about the things your customers care about and are interested in, rather than focusing on your own interests. The whole goal of social media is to connect with the people who will buy your product or use your service. It’s also important that you respond quickly to anyone who engages with you, whether positively or negatively. In addition, post regular updates so that your followers keep you in mind. Posting frequency varies by industry and social network, as this article from PatientSites.com points out.

These are merely some basics regarding social media for your small business. What’s important is that you get started, connect with your customers and find what works for you.

3 Keys to Successful SEO in 2015

SEO isn’t static—it’s changing all the time, and to be successful a company needs to stay on top of new trends and advances. 2014 brought many changes to the world of SEO, and 2015 will be no different. If a business were to apply the following three keys to their SEO strategy for the New Year, they would be well on their way to web marketing success.

Find the Problems

One of the first things that a business should do in order to prepare an SEO strategy for 2015 is to fully analyze their site so that they know where improvements can be made. In order to do this, the business will need to complete an audit in regards to their site’s online visibility.

Throughout this process, the business will need to look for ways that they can improve the site in regards to SEO and other factors that will make the end users’ experience better. Eric Layland, founder of Point It Digital Marketing, suggests that it is also a good idea to learn more about the SEO process while going through this audit. Knowing how the website is affected by Google algorithms is crucial. Businesses can learn more about the different algorithms through Google’s blog as well as their help center.

Determine the Infrastructure

Next, businesses should determine who will be responsible for developing and managing the SEO operation for the 2015 year. To do this, they will need to review the budget and compare the skills of the current staff. If there’s no one on staff who has experience with SEO or social media marketing, it may be necessary to hire someone new who does.

Even if there is someone on staff with the right set of skills, they may not have the time to dedicate to improving the company’s SEO. While many companies decide to go with an outside firm to help with this task instead of hiring new employees, there are several things that businesses should watch out for, according to Eric Enge of Forbes.

Implement the Plan

After the plan has been developed, businesses will need to take the necessary steps to implement it. It is important for companies to have a clear set of objectives in mind when they develop their plan. Along with these objectives, businesses should also have a set of goals that they are looking to reach within a certain time frame, as well as a plan that favors local search along with global or nationwide search results.

According to Neil Patel of Entrepreneur, one of the best ways to do this is to help Google Maps define your neighborhood by implementing neighborhood name descriptions and optimizing your business website with the neighborhood name. This will help to add the neighborhood listing to all local citation occurrences.

SEO should be an important part of any company’s marketing strategy and it is vital to have a strong plan ready for 2015. It is best to brush up on all the rules that have been put in place over the past year as well as look into the trends that take off during this year. By being prepared for the future, businesses will be able to kick their 2015 SEO program off the right way.