How to keep your Computer and Network Safe

Keep all software up to date including the operating system

Software isn’t perfect. It’s bad enough that bugs in the code occasionally make a program crash. What’s worse is that cyber criminals are constantly seeking flaws in operating systems and other software, vulnerabilities that will let them steal your passwords, install malware, and otherwise give you grief. For these reasons it is vitally important that you install the recommended updates. Recommended updates can also address non-critical problems and also make your computer and network perform better.

Install antivirus and malware protection

This will protect against viruses and malware that can come from emails, files on disks or downloads from the internet. Make sure to use the very latest version of your antivirus or security suite. The bad guys are always inventing new tricks to try to correct your Computer and network. If you’re using an old security tool you won’t have the new fixes. If you make certain to keep these essential programs up to date, you should stay safe from most known threats.

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5 Digital Success Tips For Small Business

Our competitive landscape has completely changed. Customers expect more from businesses, on and offline. Technology is transforming the way we search, connect, engage and purchase. New tools, platforms, lower barriers to entry and accessible insights are evening the playing field for small businesses.

Is your mobile and digital technology use currently limiting your digital potential?

Here are five tips to help you become a leader, not a laggard.

1. Get the basics right

•    Stalk your customer – Understand your customers’ buying journey and exceed expectations. Tailor the online experience to complement your other channels and customer interactions.

•    Have a realistic budget – Customer attraction and retention are crucial for small businesses. Have you set aside a budget for marketing? As a guideline 5% of revenues is recommended for existing businesses and approximately 10% for start-ups. ROI (return-on-investment) should always be key when measuring your marketing efforts. Smart investments will ensure you are well positioned to attract consumers now and in the future.

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Keeping It Simple to Stand Out

Branding is more important for big corporate business right?

Wrong.

Branding is even more vital for small business, where there is usually limited time and budget available for promotion and you can’t afford to waste it on marketing that doesn’t work.

Without a brand. most businesses end up with WOFTAM marketing – a waste of flipping time and money, because they lack the simplistic yet clear message that a brand provides.

A brand is like a compass for your marketing, keeping you in the right direction, ensuring your message is on-brand and that you consistently stand out and engage with the right target audience.

And standing out is crucial when competition is fierce.

Without a strong brand a small business disappears amongst others in the industry, leaving you competing on price alone and that’s a race to the bottom. That’s especially important for service providers where you are exchanging your time for money.

Without a clear brand direction you tend to get a bit lost, you waffle and flounder when it comes to explaining why someone should choose you.

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How to Maintain Business Continuity in Uncertain Times

Business continuity planning should be an essential priority for any business including small and medium sized companies just as it is for large companies. Every year, around 20% of all businesses face an event that is unplanned and unwanted that may just challenge their survival. The threats may come from fire, flood, theft, illness or something much worse, but regardless of the problem, businesses that successfully recover are those that have planned their response in advance.

All businesses are unique and there is no generic template that can be applied to every business. However, the following areas of consideration when it comes to continuity planning can act as a start point to prepare your own plan:

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How Small to Medium Sized Businesses Can Use Video Content Marketing

For a long time, content marketing has been a key channel in any successful online strategy. Quality, unique content is the best way for companies to increase their social signals, obtain natural inbound links and engage prospective customers en masse.

Recently, more and more brands are turning to video content marketing. And for good reason: it’s estimated that by 2017 video will make up nearly 70% of all consumer traffic. Currently YouTube receives more than a billion unique visitors every month. A well-crafted video can say a lot about your brand in a short space of time. This makes it an effective way to get your brand’s messages out quickly to many people.

We often hear about successful video marketing campaigns from global companies with huge advertising budgets. But how can small and medium sized businesses with more conservative budgets leverage the power of video content? We look at a few simple ways companies can increase the reach and impact of their campaigns.

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Pricing Your Products and Services

Some people wildly overprice their products. The more common mistake though by those just starting out in businesses is to be too cheap. As a freelance copywriter and web marketing guy who’s been around a few years, I’ve seen the effects of this both in my own business dealings and in those of clients.

My Early Mistakes

My first venture into selling web marketing services was selling cheap and cheerful search engine optimisation plans to local businesses. Years of experience writing and promoting web content on my own websites meant I knew the work backwards, but that didn’t mean I was totally new to dealing with clients.

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A Startups Guide To Bring Your Own Device Policies (BYOD)

By 2017, one in two firms will no longer provide devices for use by their employees. Under deliberate or default “bring your own device” (BYOD) policies, an increasing number of employees are using their own phones and computers in the workplace rather than hardware owned by their employer.In a 2013 study conducted by Dell, 59% of IT Decision makers said they would be at a competitive disadvantage if they didn’t embrace a BYOD policy. And the companies at the forefront of the movement? Startups of course.

But is BYOD as great as it sounds? Start up companies are among the most financially savvy businesses, always looking for ways to stretch a small budget. At first glance, asking employees to purchase their own devices seems like an easy way to save company funds, while improving staff morale (19% of firms believe BYOD improves employee satisfaction) and offering other benefits.

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Why Working With Your Loved One is a Great Idea

My partner and I registered our business name not long after we went on our first date. We’d been close friends for a while and connected through our shared interest in travelling and a yearning to escape the 9-5 grind.

Luckily, we found entrepreneurship at the same time that we found each other, and since then our business and life partnerships have developed very closely alongside each other. For us, our business opportunity presented itself in the form of ecommerce. Now, three years into our business journey together, we have established a small empire of stores that provide us with income and more importantly, the freedom and time to spend more of our days with each other.

So what exactly are the benefits of building a business with your loved one? I think there are many and I’ve compiled a simple list of some of the best ones below:

●  Shared values and beliefs – Being on the same page as your business partner is essential and given the amount of time that couples spend together means that it is highly likely that you share some very similar core values and beliefs. These will make all the difference if (and when) the going gets tough and will help you to make better decisions when moving your business forward.

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Keeping Computer and Network Safe for SMEs

We’ve all heard of the most recent cyber attacks; Ashley Madison, David Jones and K-mart to name a few. What many people haven’t heard is that in 2014, 60% of targeted attacks hit small and medium businesses1.

So why don’t we hear about the smaller scale incidents? In Australia, it’s not mandatory to report cyber attacks. To avoid reputational tarnish, customer dissatisfaction and the chance of repeat attack, it’s no surprise that most businesses choose to stay quiet.

Not only does being a small or medium business make you a greater target, the consequence is also greater than that of a large enterprise. According to research from the Ponemon Institute2, the cost of a cyber attack costs SMEs $755 per capita, more than double the $282 per capita that larger organisations get struck with. And according to a different study3, 60% of small organisations go out of business within 6 months of a data breach.

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