Speed Up Your Office Today with These Simple Tricks

Does your office feel like it runs too slowly? Having a relaxed workplace is one thing. But allowing this to take over to the extent that it causes a loss of productivity is something else altogether. In the end, this will have a seriously negative impact on the office, the workforce and, ultimately, the business. So, you can’t let it go on any longer. Instead, you should look for ways to bring your office up to speed and make it more productive. Read on to learn more about doing this.

Enforce Rules in a Friendly Way

The first thing you should do is make sure that the office rules are being followed. If people are wasting time or doing things they shouldn’t, that could be the reason why your office is moving slowly. Make sure that everyone knows what the rules are, and do what’s necessary to enforce them. You don’t want to take an approach that is too strong or forceful, though. When you do this, you just cause more rifts and grievances in the office, and that won’t make the situation better. If anything, it’ll make it worse, so take a friendly approach.

Get a Faster Internet Connection

These days, all offices rely on the internet and their computer system. If these things are moving slowly, then it’s no surprise that work is getting done too slowly as well. You should try to find a better internet service provider if your connection is too slow at the moment. Making that one simple switch could be enough to make your office faster and more productive. Companies like leased line can help you with making a switch if that’s what needs to happen.

Provide Suitable Workspaces

Is your office suitable for your employees and the kind of work that you want them to do? If it’s not, then they will never be able to get things done quickly or properly. When employees are crammed into a small space, it puts them under pressure and causes stress. And they will also be more likely to argue when the workspaces are not adequate or suitable. To avoid this problem, change the layout of your office and the furniture you fill it with. If you can create spaces that are adaptable and varied, people will be able to choose where and how they work.

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Give Breaks to Employees

This might seem like a crazy idea when you are trying to make the workplace more productive and speedy. But it’s actually not as strange as it might sound. When your employees are forced to work continually without enough breaks, it’s not good for them. It’s not good for anyone. They start to become drained and tired. They can only look at the computer screen for so long without getting bored and fed up. Whereas, if you give them more breaks, they will have time to get away from the desk. That means they’ll be able to get refreshed and come back with a more positive mindset. Then, they’ll work faster.

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The Secrets Of Handling Customer’s Christmas Orders With Ease

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As Christmas starts to draw nearer, people from all over the world have already started ordering gifts for their loved ones. If you run an online retail store, this could be a good and a bad thing. You might see an increase in sales and traffic to your site as consumers search for the perfect gift. But if you aren’t prepared for this rise in demand, you could find yourself stressed and overworked. If you can’t get your customers orders to them in time, this can leave them feeling frustrated and unhappy. This can understandably have an adverse impact on your company’s reputation. So to remain in control of your customer’s online order this Christmas, follow these tips.

Provide multiple options

Only offering one type of postage and delivery to your customers can be a big mistake to make. If the option you offer is not convenient or doesn’t cater to your customers needs, it can put them off buying from you. To avoid this, you need to be able to provide multiple delivery options for your customers to choose from. You could look into parcel collection points or courier services in addition to standard postage. Your customers might also appreciate next day delivery or tracking codes if you are able to provide them. It can also be worthwhile to hire logistics consultants who can help you plan how to deliver your orders quickly and safely.

Set a Christmas deadline

Setting a deadline for Christmas orders is an excellent idea as it provides some structure to the process. It also gives you some time to process priority orders that need to arrive before Christmas. When choosing a deadline, be realistic and consider the postage and transport required for each order. Try not to leave it too close to Christmas Eve either.

Make sure your deadline is featured on every page on your site and is in a clear and prominent position. You should also remind your customers of the deadline date by using social media as it gets closer. As long as they are made aware of it regularly, customers won’t mind complying with the buying deadline you have set.

Don’t forget about returns

As well as experiencing an increase in orders, you might also find that you get an influx of returns too. If your returns process is too complicated, your customers are unlikely to want to shop with you again in future. So before the rush begins, make sure your returns process is as simple and straightforward as possible. Give instructions on how to return products on your website and on a card inside each order. Don’t forget to provide contact information if your customers have any issues too. You might also want to consider hiring a temp during the Christmas period who can help you process returns. That way you can keep new orders, and returns separate and keep your sanity.

By following the advice in this guide, you can keep your customers happy by getting their orders to them on time. The run up to Christmas day is likely to be your busiest time of year. But with some planning and thought beforehand, you can make it as stress-free as possible.

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What Do You Do If Your Business Goes Bust?

It’s a fate no-one want to think about when they’re setting up a business. When you pour every bit of your soul, energy and effort into it- failure is a difficult pill to swallow. Unfortunately, it does happen (and often too) and so if you have found yourself here then know that you’re not alone. There are a number of legal and practical issues that need to be sorted out, here’s what you need to do.

Sell What You Can

Your remaining stock, business supplies, even office equipment can be sold to raise money to help pay outstanding bills. You are likely to need to sell at reduced prices to get it shifted quickly, but any money you can raise to pay things down is a good thing. Your competitors may also be interested in purchasing your intellectual property too. This includes trademarks, copyrights, and patents plus any works or jobs you have in progress. Your customer lists, company name or product names may also be of interest. There are quite a few aspects of your business that you may not even have considered that can help you to raise money, so do your research.

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Speak To Your Creditors

Once you have raised as much money as you can from your business, you will need to speak to your creditors. Having this lump sum to offer them is helpful, from there you can look into negotiating a payment plan to cover the rest. Sometimes cases are a little more complex, and so if you’re unsure cut straight to the next point.

Hire an Insolvency Practitioner

When you can no longer afford to pay your creditors and have gone bankrupt, or your company has gone into liquidation, you are considered ‘insolvent.’ An insolvency practitioner (who usually has a background in accountancy or law) is licensed to advise on and undertake appointments about your insolvency. As this part of the law can be complicated, and particularly since you will be going through a difficult time dealing with the liquidation of your company, it’s advisable to seek professional help. A company such as Hudson Weir will be able to guide you through the process.

Learn From Your Mistakes

Don’t let your failure deter you from starting in business again in the future. Businesses set up by former bankrupts grow faster and do better than first timers, which makes sense. Think of everything you now know about business. A failure can show you what doesn’t work and put you on a better path for something that will. Evaluate everything that happened in the lead up to your failure and work out what you could have done differently. When you do start up a new venture, you’ll be much better prepared.

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Have you ever experienced a business going bust? What was your next move?

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Getting to Know Your Business Better: Why It’s Useful & How You Can do It

When you own a business, you rely on a team of people. That’s why it’s possible for owners to become relatively detached from their business. But you are still the one in charge, so doesn’t it make sense to know exactly what’s going on and how the business is functioning? Read on to find out why this is important and what you can do to change things.

Why Should You Know Your Business Inside Out?

Knowing your business inside out is a benefit to you and your business in all kinds of ways. For a start, it allows your business to become more adaptable and changeable. When you know what is going right and wrong, you will be able to make specific and pointed changes to how the business is run. This is hugely beneficial because it ensures that the business can always be as good as it possibly can be. You will also be able to build relationships with employees and important people.

You will be the one who is responsible for the success or failure of the business because you own it. So, it makes sense to be fully involved with how the business is run. If you’re not, then this will give you less control. When your business fails, it will be your fault for not playing a bigger and more influential role in the business. Your hands-on approach will certainly pay off, so here’s how to make it happen.

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How You Can Do It

The tips and advice you’ll find below will really help you to change how your business is run. You will know more, learn more and be in a better position to do more for the business. So, once you’ve read the advice below, you can start to put the ideas discussed into action.

Use Data to Track Performance and Efficiency

Using data better is something that any business owner can do right now. There are so many tools to help you with analytics and data tracking. When you use them properly, you can learn more about how your business is performing and how efficient it is. Having this information can help you to make changes to how you run the business, which is vitally important. Cefar Systems can be used for doing that, so use all the tools and equipment out there to learn more about how your business performs. Not knowing will only hide the deficiencies from you rather than solve them.

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Hold Meetings in Smaller Groups

Meetings can often be useless and meaningless. Those kinds of meetings if you want to do things properly. As the head of the business, it makes sense to hold meetings because it helps you to understand what your employees are working on. You can then coordinate their work and give feedback when necessary. To make the most of meetings, however, you’ll need to hold them in smaller groups. When you do this, you can give more precise feedback and get to know people on a one to one basis more easily. This matters a lot when you want to motivate and engage your workforce, so give it a try.

Talk to Buyers and Customers

The people who come at the end of your production process should also be paid closer attention to. After all, they are the ones that matter most when it comes to running a profitable business. If your buyers and customers are not happy with the products or services you’re providing, it won’t be long before they leave you. They can easily try out alternative companies if you’re not giving them what they need. That’s a big concern for you, or it should be anyway. Talk to them, start to understand their thoughts and opinions. Then you can make the changes that will keep them happy.

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Seek Out Wastage

All businesses waste money and resources in different ways. This is something that you will have to deal with if you are going to run your business in an efficient and profitable way. If you run your business from a distance and you’re not fully involved in what it does, you won’t be aware of this wastage. So, by making changes, you can get more involved and seek out these areas of wastage. You will then be able to identify changes that will allow your employees to use resources in a smarter and more efficient manner. In the end, that will turn out to be something that is massively important for the business.

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Add Some Glorious Prestige to Your Business Today!

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Prestige is something that small businesses often have a hard time getting. But it can be essential if you want to ascend to the big leagues. Here are a few tips for those looking for extra prestige!

On the shoulders of giants

A lot of small businesses owners can be pretty stubborn. They want to live this romantic business dream of starting out with nothing and building the business with their own hands. To get any sort of assistance from someone renowned would seem to taint that somewhat. But if you want to add some prestige to your business, this is the sort of thing you need to do.

Networking may reveal to you some very respected organizations or individuals. Teaming up with them can do wonders for your business. This can take the form of getting direct assistance from them, or even partnering up. Their strong reputation will help others see you in a more positive light. Read more about networking at http://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2014/07/28/how-to-network-the-right-way-eight-tips/.

Celebrities

Of course, who is more “giant” than a celebrity? The companies that celebrities choose to endorse have to be chosen very carefully. The kind of prestige that celebrity backing can offer is definitely high. But there are a couple of things you should keep in mind. There are many out there who will see that tactic as a little tacky. And celebrities, of course, generally result in a bill that will make your eyes water. It’s worth considering, but there are probably better ways. Read more about it at http://opendorse.com/blog/celebrity-endorsements/.

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The physical address

So where is your business located? Is it in a popular commercial city, the kind that we see in classic and modern movies? Where it’s all “happening”? Cities like London, New York City, Tokyo, Paris – they all have a certain prestige about them. But not a lot of small businesses are located in such areas!

Unfortunately, a lot of these businesses are often dismissed because they’re located out of the way. A similar business located in a bustling city will always seem more professional and successful than one based on the outskirts. It shouldn’t really be that way, but that’s how it is. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to fight this. Let’s say you’re based somewhere like Bushey or Croxley, in England. Close to London, but no cigar. You could actually get yourself a virtual address based in central London. This can help you a lot in the prestige department! Read more at www.yourvirtualofficelondon.co.uk/london-mail-address-business-services/mail-forwarding-london/.

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The not-so physical address

There are an alarming number of businesses out there who don’t have an online business domain for their email. What this means is that they have to use email addresses that name Gmail or Hotmail or Yahoo. This doesn’t exactly look very prestigious!

When you’re emailing people in businesses, you should be using a professional-looking email address. It should read your.name@companyname.com, or something to that effect. If your current web host hasn’t allowed for this feature to be bundled with your current website plan? Then you should probably find a different web host!

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Life in the Fast Lane: A Need to Know Guide to Taking Your Business on the Road

Starting and running your own business is one thing, but taking that business out on the road is something else. You have to do what you can to ensure that you can achieve success as much as possible. This is all about preparing and planning so you’re able to run the company effectively when you’re away from the office.

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Taking your business on the road is essential for helping you to grow and expand your client base. You’re giving people the kind of service they want and promoting a positive image for your business. That’s why you need to ensure that the company can be taken on the road with relative ease as soon as possible.

Get the Right Vehicle

It’s so, so important to make sure you choose the right vehicle when you’re taking your business out on the road. You need something that’s reliable, the right size, and fuel efficient. Speak to anyone you know who has a van and is on the road a lot and listen to their advice. It’s so important that you get this part right and pick the best vehicle you possibly can. You are going to be running your business from this car or van, so it needs to be right. It’s essentially going to become your office while the company is on the road. Think carefully about this decision, and make sure you thoroughly research before making it.

Stock it Well

Once you have secured the right vehicle, you have to make sure it’s well stocked. And this means figuring out the stock you’re going to need to carry out your job on the road. Now, it will, of course, depend on the sort of business you run. But you’re going to need to equip your van or car with all the essentials necessary for making a portable business thrive. Things like nightsearcher floodlights, cabling, step ladders and tools are all vital. Consider everything you need to run your business on a daily basis normally. Then think about how much of it you need to take with you. You might be able to get hold of equipment that will allow you to kill two birds with one stone, and make your life easier.

How Far Will You Travel?

You also need to give some thought to how far you’re going to travel. The whole point of taking your business on the road is so you can get clients you wouldn’t normally get. You need to travel outside of your business comfort zone and drive your brand elsewhere. But, you also need to think about how much extra this is going to cost you. Fuel costs are going to be a factor, but then there are also things like man-hours and staffing costs to consider. So, make sure you weigh up how far you are willing to travel, and then make a decision based on that.

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Taking the business on the road is an exciting new chapter in your life as an entrepreneur. But, it’s also an important one to get right. It could open up many more doors for you as a company, so it’s important to spend the time getting it as right as you can.

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Pssst! These 3 Business Website Secrets Can Push You To The Top

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Is your business website lacking? I bet it is and you don’t even know it yet! Here are some secrets that will help you improve your site:

Implement A Night Mode

Regular users of the Twitter mobile app will see that a recent update included a night mode. This changes the colour scheme of the app, making it easier to read during the night. For me, this is something every business should implement on its site. At the very least, it shows you’re a forward thinking online business. Consumers will be very impressed by something like this. It will make your site easier and more pleasurable to read during the night. So, people can lay in bed and read your blog/browse your products comfortably. Plus, this is also something that very few business sites are doing. So, it will only serve to push your site above the rest and make you stand out from the crowd.

Copyright Your Content

I’m amazed at how many companies forget to copyright their website content. You copyright a lot of stuff in your business, so, why do you forget this? For most people, it’s because they don’t know it’s necessary. Well, let me break it down for you right here. No doubt you’ve created and posted original images and videos to your website before. (If you haven’t, then you should’ve, so get cracking!) When these have no copyright licenses, anyone can take and use them. What’s more, people could make money from them too. They’re using your original image as a clickbait thumbnail to get people to read a blog post that they get ad revenue from. But, by copyrighting your content, you get to decide how it’s used. You can let it be reused, and just demand some credit every time it’s used. Or, you can demand payment every time someone wants to use your content. For more info click here, and you can learn more about copyrighting. At the end of the day, you should copyright your content as it prevents people stealing and misusing your work.

Don’t Make Your Site Feel Intrusive

One of the most annoying things on the internet is pop-ups. About a decade ago, everywhere you clicked would spring up hundreds of pop-up adverts. Luckily, nowadays, this is under control. However, pop-ups are still a problem on some business websites, in a different form. Often, you’ll get a form pop-up for you to fill in and you have to spend ages looking for the X to get it away. Or, you have something that asks you to put your email address in and sign up for a newsletter. In some ways, this is a good thing. I actually think your business should have at least one pop-up for new site visitors. But, the key is ensuring it doesn’t become intrusive. Don’t bombard visitors with pop-ups and make it easy for them to dismiss. Also, have an option for them to select that they never see this again. So, when they visit your site next time, the popup doesn’t appear.

Use these secrets to make your website even better than it was before. Trust me, you’ll leave your competition in the dirt!

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Avoiding A Titanic Disaster By Keeping Your Business In Ship-Shape

When you think of threats to the business, you might think of those huge issues that can pop up. A PR disaster, a disagreement with a big client or those kinds of things. It’s more likely that a business is going to suffer a longer, harder fall, however. It’s the little leaks that add up that can sink the whole boat. So you need to get your magnifying glass out and make sure you’re taking care of the following.

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Everything in its place

Loss of physical materials and assets is a big problem in a lot of businesses. From construction to production, these problems cost you money. So you should be actively making sure that it isn’t happening. A proper inventory system can help you do just that. From managing asset locations to logging equipment, track as much as your physical inventory as you can. Services like NFC Direct can help you fit the system to the specific model of your business. That way, you’re not missing out on anything important.

Avoiding tech disasters

The hardware you use is just as important for keeping work flowing smoothly. There are a lot of ways you should be ensuring they’re not proving a liability. Regular maintenance and repair checks should be done to stop them from degrading all too quickly. Then you need to consider the security threats present in digital equipment. Most businesses that suffer a data breach close in under two years after it happens. Make sure any devices used in your workplace are fully protected with antiviruses and firewalls. Don’t let people bring in foreign devices like USB Drives which could harbour malware.

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Tackling work interruption

Having faulty equipment is going to interrupt work, but most of those work interruptions are actually going to come from your staff. There are two kinds to tackle. Internal interruption is caused by things like distractions. Engaging employees in their tasks and making sure they can’t access distracting websites can help you tackle that. External interruption is caused by other people. Fixing that is about fixing the culture of the workplace. Teach people to prioritise and keep checklists of tasks that come their way. Teach them to send their requests for co-workers in emails marked with codes based on how high a priority is. If someone needs help that will free up their otherwise obstructed workflow, that needs to be a code red. Whereas tasks that aren’t as important can be marked so and thus prove less of a distraction.

Track absolutely everything

Just like tracking the physical assets in the business, you should be tracking the workflow of the office as well. Get an objective overview of how employees are doing by developing key performance indicators. Set measurable goals. Make sure they’re crafted with them to help, so you measure them by the roles they’re supposed to be doing, not some arbitrary numbers.

Your employees, your equipment and your time all need to be used to the fullest of their abilities. Don’t find yourself sinking because of a pile of little problems rolled into one.

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Goodbye Boring Office! Create A Stylish Workspace In 3 Simple Steps

If you’re a business owner, then I urge you to pay attention to your office. Don’t settle for a boring one with a boring atmosphere. Not only will this be hell for your employees to work in, but it will also make your company look boring and dull. No, what you need is a stylish office, and these three steps will help you:

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Install Glass Office Rooms

Naturally, an office is often made up of multiple rooms. You may have your main office space where a lot of workers do their jobs. Then, you have a conference room, and some separate office rooms for people higher up. These are usually saved for the manager and assistant manager. As the owner of your business, it’s fair to assume you want the coolest office around. The best idea is to have a glass office room. Why? Well, for one, it’s incredibly modern and stylish. It will make your office look incredible. Secondly, it allows you to work without the distractions you’d have in an open office. Finally, the fact people can see in and you can see out is a big deal. It means they know you’ll see if they don’t do any work. And, it means they’ll see you working hard and get extra motivated.

Hang A Main Sign On The Wall

Generally speaking, the walls in your office should be quite plain. You don’t want to distract anyone with crazy colours or weird wallpaper. Instead, you just need a white backdrop and very little else. But one thing you do need is the main office sign stuck on one the main walls in your office. This sign should display your brand logo, as well as a motto if you have one. It should also have a brief description of your company and what you do. I like to think of it as the equivalent to a website home page. It lets everyone know who you are and what you do when they first enter. Your best bet is probably to get a sign like this designed and printed. Companies like GH Cityprint offer printing services that may be of use to you. Once your sign is printed, it needs to be framed and hung on the wall. Make it stand out and catch everyone’s eye when they walk in.

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Create A Swanky Break Room

For me, break rooms are very important. It’s crucial that you allow your employees some time to rest and relax during the working day. These little periods are great for recharging their batteries, and getting more out of them. With a good break room, you can keep your employees around the office too. Instead of having them go out for lunch and leave for an hour. It keeps everyone together, strengthening that comradery. You can get a cool ping pong table and some bean bag chairs, make it really chic and stylish. The cooler it is, the more likely they’ll stay in the office for their break.

Create a stylish workspace and it can benefit your business. You will see an increase in employee productivity and a positive impact on your brand too.

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The IT Security Threats That Could Take Down Your Business

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If you do any business at all online – and most of us do – then I hope you are looking into the right protection. There are hundreds – if not thousands – of genuine threats out there that could result in your business going under. And, even if you manage to stay afloat, losing customer data can be incredibly embarrassing. It’s a PR disaster that you might never recover from. Today, I wanted to highlight some of the most dangerous issues you need to make yourself aware of. Let’s get started right away.

Theft of devices

The increase in remote working for businesses has been a fantastic boost for businesses of all kinds. But it isn’t without its threats. A stolen or lost laptop can easily end up in the wrong hands – and the consequences for companies can be enormous. Customer data, employee records, sensitive information – the list is endless. If you are enjoying the benefits of remote working in your business, ensure you are also taking security seriously. Any data that you allow off-site should be encrypted, so it is unreadable to anyone without a password. It might not be enough to stop the best hackers out there, but it should give you enough protection for most incidents of theft.

Malware and viruses

Malware and viruses have been around for a long time, but they are still a major threat. They get ever more sophisticated by the year, it seems. If you want to protect your business against malicious code, make sure you take cyber security seriously. Robust systems in place will help, of course, but you also need to train and educate your staff. If everyone is aware of recent examples of malicious codes, Trojan horses, and viruses, they will be able to deal with any suspicious threats.

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Angry employees

Your employees are likely to have access to many of your IT systems, from your databases through to your social network accounts. It’s an issue for many reasons. What happens if the employee is disgruntled about the way they are treated? Or what happens if a third party gets them to act as an insider? Your employee might even be approached by blackmailers who want access to your data. As you can imagine, one individual could be responsible for a lot of damage. Make sure that you divide up critical tasks and functions so no one has access to everything. You should also make sure that most employees only get access to your social media accounts, rather than full admin rights.

Easy wireless network access

How secure is your wireless network? If you are a small business, the chances are that you setup the wireless as per your service providers instruction. But you are also more likely to keep your default password. The trouble is, lists of these default passwords are available to anyone in the world who wants them. It means that hackers can often access WiFi whenever and wherever they like. The results can have a serious impact on your business, as once a hacker gets into your online system they can wreak havoc. Change those passwords often, And ensure you are encrypting your network with Wi-Fi Protected Access.

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Spam & Phishing

Finally, spam and phishing emails are responsible for so many IT security issues that you will experience them on a daily basis. Some you can spot a mile off. But others are far more hard to see through. In recent years, I have received phishing emails that look like they have come from Barclays, Natwest, and even HMRC. And they can be incredibly convincing. It is essential that every person in your business understands the basics about phishing email. And, why it is so important to be alert when opening emails. While mail providers do a fine job in finding spammy messages, they don’t catch them all. All it takes s for a single click or the entry of a password and it can prove catastrophic to your business.

Don’t underestimate the threat of poor IT security. You might think you are a small business who isn’t of interest to a hacker or criminal. But the truth is that this is how they make their money – and you are every bit a target as the major global corporations. The scary thing is that hackers can gain access to your system, steal data, access money, without you even realising. And before you know it, you could be in serious financial strife and have a PR disaster on your plate.

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