By Eric Nudelman
While the headlines often highlight major data breaches in corporations and government agencies, the truth is that the majority of businesses being hacked are small. Why is this the case? Because small businesses are generally under-protected.
If hackers can break into huge corporations, with all the resources dedicated to cybersecurity, what’s to stop them from targeting smaller companies that can’t afford the same level of protection? The good news for small businesses is that adequate computer security is not beyond reach.
Below are some simple steps that you can take towards securing your technology.
Improve Password Protection
Passwords for accessing office computers and emails should be complex and include a combination of letters, both capital and lower case, numbers, and special characters (i.e. $, %, &, @, etc…)
Employees should use passwords that are unique and required to be changed every three months.
When it’s available, multi-factor authentication should be used. This is often done through the use of security codes sent as text messages, or through mobile apps such as Google Authenticator or Microsoft Authenticator.
Secure Mobile Devices
If you or your staff utilizes mobile devices for accessing email or other business-related applications, make sure the devices are password protected.
Establish basic security practices and policies for employees, such as requiring strong passwords, and establish appropriate Internet use guidelines. Educating employees on the tactics used to bypass security through email phishing attacks is critical as 91% of successful data breaches started with a spear-phishing attack.
Online tools such as KnowBe4 offer free security tests to identify what percentage of your employees are phishing prone.
Make backup copies of important business data and information
In the event of a security breach that corrupts, encrypts, or deletes business data, having a reliable back-up is essential in the process of recovering from the attack.
Utilizing backup software that allows you to keep multiple copies of your files is critical because if days go by before you become aware of the hack, your current backup may be of the encrypted files and not one that you can recover from.
Control access to business data
Computers that access business information should not be positioned in a space where non-employees are able to access it. In addition, each computer should have a unique user account configured that controls what files that person should be able to access.
Settings on the computer can be configured to automatically force a person to enter the password if the computer has been idle for a period of time.
One of the best ways to find vulnerabilities is to hire consulting firms or IT specialists to audit your system in search of weaknesses. From there you can begin to make changes that will better protect your business, your network, and your customers.
Taking the above steps is sure to reduce your risk liabilities and create a tech-safe environment for you to run your business.
By Philip Salvagni
Effective advertising is made up of various elements and today we will focus on – Offers!
No matter how good your advertising may look, there is still one critical element that the success of the ad hinges on – the offer. The offer is the hook that draws the reader in and it should be the focus of an ad; a strong offer demands attention meanwhile a weak offer can turn people away.
The idea is to compel a consumer into using your business or service and turn them into a loyal customer that returns again and again. The stronger the offer, the higher the chance they will commit.
Think about it like an investment. While offering a big discount or free item may seem risky, the gains of making a loyal customer are what you are after. Not only do you get their repeat business, but loyal customers can tell their friends and family as well as followers on social media about their positive experience with your business, adding to your gains!
The offer should be strong. Nobody is going to jump out of their chair for 10% off an item or service. Strong offers should give a free item or heavily discounted service to greatly increase the chances of conversion and gaining a loyal customer. Be sure to include a disclaimer to ensure it is used by the intended target audience.
Stay tuned to learn about other elements that make up an effective ad. Happy advertising!
By Jennifer Troyan
Sunday, March 21st was World Poetry Day and we created a post on social media inviting everyone to collaborate on creating a poem using a well-loved quote to kick it off.
Special thanks to all who contributed (Greg Chrisos, Leslie Berumen, Andrea Mallozzi & Michelle Jukanovic).
Here is our poem:
The best way out is always through.
It can be done and it’s all up to you.
Keep your focus forward and not in the rear view.
Slow and steady wins the race.
But, oh, how great to kick up the pace.
Consistently is key, then you will see…
how fun it is to just BE.
This month we have a timely and FUN business we are featuring, just in time for Spring: Wheel Fun Rentals. Founded in 1987 and in business for 33 years, Wheel Fun Rentals is all about getting outdoors and enjoying clean, healthy family fun. They offer recreational rentals of all kinds specializing in unique bikes and recreational activities.
For over 13 years, owner/operator Rodney Knight has pioneered recreational rental outlets across Minnesota, Milwaukee, Chicago, and New Orleans, including cycles, swan boats, and miniature golf, servicing more than 2 million customers.
They have been with us for 5 years and counting and we are proud to recommend Wheel Fun Rentals to new movers. They shared, “We have participated in the Welcome Wagon Program in our Milwaukee, Chicago, Minneapolis, and New Orleans markets and value the program as a way for us to reach new members of each community we serve and help them learn about their new city and enjoy the unique outdoor recreation their new community offers.”
Wheel Fun Rentals supports Big Brothers Big Sisters, Tickets for Kids, Step Up, plus a program they ran in 2020 for first responders who served their communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the past year, it has been even more important than ever to find activities that are safe, outdoors, and that keep your body moving for mental wellbeing and physical health. The CDC encourages outdoor recreation stating, “Staying physically active is one of the best ways to keep your mind and body healthy. Visiting your local park is a way to relieve stress, get some fresh air, and stay active. Low-contact outdoor activities like bike riding . . . are great ways for people to get their bodies moving.”
Visit wheelfunrentalsmn.com for locations in MN and wheelfunrentals.com/find-a-location Nationwide.
Refer a business to Welcome Wagon and be entered into a drawing to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card
Email: email@example.com and put “Referral” in the subject line and tell us who you are referring and you will be entered to win the gift card.