How To Fix A Data Breach: Fast And For Good

The Australian Federal Government this week launched the annual Stay Smart Online Week. In conjunction they have released the Stay Smart Online Small Business Guide. Business owners can use this guide to ensure they are following safe online practices, and have sufficient security in place to protect sensitive data from a potential breach.

This comes at a time when businesses, organisations and government departments are increasingly being subject to data breaches on a regular basis. Yet in what is a growing concern, there appears to be little consensus about what entities should do once a breach is discovered.

Defining a data breach is an exercise in itself. At its core, it refers to an unauthorised access of information on a computer or network. Hacking is the most common example, however the guidelines below apply not just to data breaches but to instances of online bullying, defamation, threats and similar problems in the digital space.

So who should you call when you want to investigate a data breach? The straight answer is that it all depends on what you want to achieve.

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Mastering the Art of Mumpreneur

Running my own business has been one of the most rewarding but challenging experiences of my life!  It fulfils a lifelong dream I have had to work for myself and be master of my own destiny.  Working from home gives me the flexibility to work hours that suit me and the opportunity to work in with our crazy family life.  BUT… it is not for the faint of heart!  The challenges sometimes seem insurmountable and on occasion my confidence wavers and I am left wondering if I can do this.  Here are some of my tips for surviving the journey.

Be Confident

I have a fundamental belief that I can do anything, it all comes down to how much work I am prepared to put in to achieve a goal.  As a small business owner you need to have an unbreakable belief in your ability to make it work.  Self-doubt is corrosive and can very quickly undermine your energy levels whereas positive thinking breeds positive energy.  Surround yourself with avid supporters and energetic, like-minded individuals who will encourage you along your start-up journey.

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Adjusting to Life – Working from Home

Have you ever tried to work on your business with a toddler at your feet, a partner off at work and an ever growing pile of emails and missed telephone calls?  Welcome to my day and that of many other mumpreneures around.

When I was first pregnant I went to great lengths setting up my office to make sure that it was “child friendly”.  Naively I had thought that by bringing my baby into a world where I work from home, she would adjust and understand that quiet is needed when I am on the telephone and patience is required when I need to answer an urgent email.  Now I just look back and laugh! What was I thinking?

My daughter is 2.5 years now; and realistically it took me almost 20 months to figure out how to wear all 3 of my hats and not feel like I was letting anyone down.

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How to Juggle Being a Dad, Husband and Business Owner

Juggling being a dad, husband and business owner can be challenging at times.

My name is Paul Ames and I operate “Skye’s The Limit Career Counselling” which helps professionals who struggle to roll out of bed each morning for a job that makes them miserable, we help you to create an unstoppable positive mindset and uncover a career path you desire.

I named my business after my 2 year old daughter Skye, creating a balance in all of the above areas requires great time management, compromise and a positive and driven mindset. When I first started , I found myself falling into a common pitfall of focusing too much on growing and expanding my business and as a result I didn’t spend enough time with my family. I believe that whenever you have kids you develop and refine amazing time management skills and learn to prioritise your tasks more efficiently.

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The Study of Excellence – What Makes Some Excel and Others Merely Competent

In the 1970s linguist John Grinder and mathematician Richard Bandler studied individuals who were excellent in their field to find out what made them different to those who were merely competent.  They discovered that their beliefs, mindset and strategies are what set them apart.

Beliefs

Did you know that our perceived limits are not our actual limits?

Most of us are limited by what we believe is possible.  For example, no one believed it humanly possible to run a mile in four minutes.  When Roger Banister was training for this feat, doctors told him that his body would not cope.  They said his lungs would explode and his heart would stop under the pressure.  He didn’t listen to them.  He just did it!  He ran a mile in 4 minutes and lived to tell the tale.  That same year 35 runners completed a mile in four minutes too. Once they believed it was possible, they challenged themselves to do it and they did it!  A teacher once told me that I was no good at foreign languages, so I stopped studying French at school.  Years later I had the opportunity to live in Spain but was worried about the language barrier, so much so that I nearly didn’t go.  Within three months I was contributing confidently to conversations and many Spaniards said I had a great accent.

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A plan, some understanding and a few resources can keep the bad guys away…

Every business, whether large or small, needs to have a customer-facing website these days, and in the past twelve months Australians spent $17.5 billion on online retail sales. In fact, according to Avast Software, online shopping is Australia’s number one online activity, social media, banking and emailing…before we get down to adult content, illegal torrent sites and checking the weather forecasts, which are also in the top ten.

While this level of online activity is great for commerce in Australia, it also brings with it a host of problems – potentially very damaging ones. Companies and web developers know that a website needs security, but many business owners do not understand the depth of online threats that exist, and the ever-evolving complexity of attacks.

Regardless of whether a website sells directly to the public, or simply exists as a tool to host marketing information and contact details, an attack can be disastrous to business credibility and continuity. Imagine a client happily selling from the web one minute, then having to contact an entire customer base and explain that their security has been compromised. Payment details may have fallen into the hands of criminals, a foreign entity may be blackmailing the company or perhaps there has been a malicious attack and sales can’t continue as the online inventory is down.

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Dadpreneurs – Balancing Business and Family Life

As a Dadpreneur, there’s no such thing as work-life balance, there’s just balance. I love what I do, but I also love my family and being equally committed to both isn’t easy to accomplish. It’s a constant battle to stay on top of both, particularly at the weekends when you have client work to do, but also realise that it’s the only time that you get to properly hang out with the kids.

That’s my choice of course and I could quite easily take a 9-5 job and have the weekends to myself like other Dads, but that would make me unhappy and no family wants a Grumpy Daddy.

When I decided to work for myself, my wife (who works full-time as well) and I decided that we would explain it to the kids. Despite them being 8 and 6 we felt that it was important that they understood what my being self-employed would mean and how it would impact their lives. Of course, there were positives and negatives. The negatives meant that I wouldn’t be able to go on all of the day trips at the weekend, whilst the positives meant that because I had more flexibility I’d be able to do more school drops off and even some pick-ups. The kids were great about it, but didn’t quite understand why I wasn’t going to the same place every day like other Dads!

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The 3 Questions Mumpreneurs Must Ask Themselves

We all know that there are some extraordinary women in this world. Women who not only raise a family and juggle the household, but create, kickstart and grow a successful business. What else do we know? Well there is a new word in the English language to describe such a person and that is “Mumpreneur”.

The Oxford dictionary explains it as “a woman who sets up and runs her own business in addition to caring for her young child or children”. To me that sounds so beige. Too compartmentalized. Being a mumpreneur is a serious commitment, where life and business simultaneously flow together. I believe mums can have a financially successful business that is also personally fulfilling while nurturing a family as well. They just need to know the steps and have the courage to do it.

If you are about to jump into this world or already have jumped, there are 3 important questions you need to ask yourself in order to create your success:

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Finding a balance between running your business and being a new mum

My husband and I run multiple ecommerce businesses, and as such, have everything from “mature” sites to brand new online stores that we’ve launched quite recently. It’s been quite a journey for us over the years, but last year we also decided that maybe it was time to throw a baby into the mix!

Of course, we had some idea that our life would change completely, everyone knows that right? But when our baby boy was born in May 2015, I really didn’t understand just how completely and utterly dependent he is on us. Much like our younger businesses really.

Fortunately, we spent the nine months of pregnancy relatively wisely. In hindsight, there was always more we could have done, but we spent much of that time focused more on developing systems and building our team than “chasing the next big thing”. This meant training people to do our customer support, shipping, web development, and marketing, so that we would be able to spend our limited time steering the ship, instead of rowing the boat.

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6 ways to use your email signature to promote your project for free

It’s often hard to allocate resources in marketing, especially for small businesses. Spending a large portion of your marketing budget on a large campaign might lead to an expanded customer base, tons of new sales leads and increased brand awareness. Or it might not. Calculating return on investment is tough.

If you need to promote a new product, a webinar, event, or website, and you can find a way to boost your project on the cheap (or even for free!), then you’ll be ahead of the game. Email signatures are an often overlooked way to convey your marketing messages. Here are a few email signature tips and tricks you can use to do email marketing on a shoestring budget:

1. Include a link to the landing page

Hopefully you’ve set up a landing page for your project. If you haven’t, go and do that now! Landing pages are a great way to describe your project and gather email addresses for participants. If you include the link to your landing page as part of a well-designed banner in your signature, you can really you’re your reader’s attention. This way, even if you’re not emailing someone specifically about the new project, they can still access the necessary information if the banner sparks their interest.

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