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Friday, 28 July 2017 11:52

101 Data Protection Tips: Categorized

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We've compiled 101 Data Protection Tips to help you protect your passwords, financial information, and identity online...

101 Data Protection Tips

Protecting Your Data in 2017

Keeping your passwords, financial, and other personal information safe and protected from outside intruders has long been a priority of businesses, but it's increasingly critical for consumers and individuals to heed data protection advice and use sound practices to keep your sensitive personal information safe and secure.

There's an abundance of information out there for consumers, families, and individuals on protecting passwords, adequately protecting desktop computers, laptops, and mobile devices from hackers, malware, and other threats, and best practices for using the Internet safely. But there's so much information that it's easy to get confused, particularly if you're not tech-savvy.

We've compiled a list of 101 simple, straightforward best practices and tips for keeping your family's personal information private and protecting your devices from threats.

Click HERE to View Dominion Blue's Document Management Services

Click HERE to View the entire list of 101 Data Protection Tips

Table of Contents
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Securing Your Devices and Networks
Data Protection Tips for Mobile Devices
Protecting Your Identity
Protecting Your Credit
Protecting Your Data on Social Networking
Protecting Your Data Online
Data Protection Following a Data Breach

Source: Digital Gardian | digitalgardian.com

One of my favorite things about working remotely -- which I do a few times a month -- is the freedom to get comfortable. When I work from home, I'm usually find myself in one of three positions: sitting up at the table, laying down with my laptop, or buried in a pillow avalanche on my couch. (Sound familiar to anyone?)

While most offices have a few full-time remote workers -- and probably a few that operate like I do -- the idea of more remote employees may be one companies need to get used to.

Why is remote work becoming such a big deal? Well, from where I'm sitting (currently "sitting up at the table"), it's simple: Because good candidates are asking for it, and technology's making it an easier thing to demand -- no matter what the position entails.

For employees, this is great news. They can live where they want, spend less time and money commuting, and wear their bathrobe to meetings. But what do companies get out of it?

According to research by online freelance marketplace Upwork, sourcing and onboarding in-office employees takes an average of 43 days, compared with three days for remote employees. Not to mention, being open to remote team members widens the talent pool.

So to help you sort through the operations and expectations that employers need to consider to make remote work effective, let's walk through some practices that make it easier for me to communicate and collaborate with my remote teammates.

Working Remotely Via Videoconference

How to Make Remote Work Work

On Setup & Technology

I have very little in the way of tech savvy, but I do know that a good operational and technical foundation helps remote workforces stay productive. This is where two key teams come into play: Finance & Accounting and IT.

It starts with a commitment -- if you're interested in making it -- to investing in your remote team as actual employees that will grow with the company. Not contractors. Not freelancers. That investment means working with Finance & Accounting to understand the administrative costs of paying employees in different states or countries. Are there visa costs you'll need to consider? Will employees need to travel to the office on a regular basis -- and if so, is the company financing it? Do they have the technology they need at home to communicate with you effectively? Again, are you financing it if they don't?

These questions extend to IT and the infrastructure they'll need to set up, too. They'll want to build in security measures for employee devices, and will need to equip your office with the technology your in-office team needs to communicate with remote team members. This includes chat software, remote meeting software, telepresence devices, and potentially some high-tech conference rooms to make coordinating all of that seamless. One of my teammates who works remotely half the week and works with our global offices quite a bit actually takes pains to dial into meetings on video, specifically. She found it difficult at first but says it made her far more productive being visually present in meetings, and is grateful to have the infrastructure to support that.

If you start with all of this built into your budget from the get-go, two things happen: 1) you're not hit with surprise costs, and you can do a much better job with hiring planning; 2) you end up with streamlined operations for onboarding remote employees so their experience starting with your company is as good as it would be for anyone else.

On Communication

The best IT setup in the world doesn't help unless we're all using it toward the right ends. At the risk of being trite, the most successful relationships between in-office employees and their remote team members comes down to good communication from both parties. And figuring out what good communication means is kind of a beast. So bear with me while I try to break it down to its most pertinent parts for our purposes here.

Combat "face time" with over-communication.

One of the challenges remote work presents is the lack of "face time." Think about all those random one-off conversations you have in the hallway, or at the water cooler, that wouldn't be possible if you weren't in-office.

To combat this, you really need to nail the whole "regular and effective communication" thing.

Sam Mallikarjunan, who works from his home down south most of the time, found that a lot of the "random collisions" he used to have in the hallway don't happen anymore. (Obviously.) When I asked him how he makes up for it, he said "I just over-communicate. I have to proactively find opportunities to work with other people. I make a point of reaching out to people more often to tell them what I'm working on if I think it might be useful to them, and I actively talk to other people about their projects, too. There's a lot less 'the ball is in their court' mentality when I'm remote."

That proactive approach to communication is something that remote team members may start to pick up on just because they're experiencing the need for it first-hand, so it's equally important to have in-office employees reciprocate. Make it a practice in your company to systematize communication -- to me, that means in-person decisions and conversations are always formally recapped over email, in your group chat client (provided it's not in a room with only casual participation and monitoring), or for the big stuff, in a team meeting.

Use your words.

I have this theory that if street signs were properly punctuated we'd all be better writers. My favorite example is the "STOP CHILDREN" sign.

STOP THEM FROM WHAT?!

When communicating without the benefit of body language or tone, clarity with written and verbal communication is more important than ever. In an ideal world, everyone's already really good at finding the right words to say what they mean. But that's not reality, so we're left with a few options here:

1) Try to be better at it. If you're writing an email, take a beat to reread what you've written. See if you've really communicated what you're trying to say clearly and succinctly. Consider whether you've included enough context for everyone to understand what's going on. If you're having a phone or video conversation, take a moment before responding or posing a question. And if what you said makes no sense, own it and say, "Sorry I don't know what I'm trying to say, let me start over."

2) Know that reading comprehension matters. If you're on the receiving end of a communication ask clarifying questions before responding with an equally confusing answer. I try to either copy and paste the exact copy from the email, quote it, and then ask my clarification question -- or if it's a verbal conversation, repeat back what they said before asking my clarifying questions. It's important to avoid layering confusion on top of confusion.

3) Avoid reading into tone. People's tones suck sometimes. Especially over email. If a typically bubbly person didn't include a barrage of emojis or explanation points, they're probably just running late, or feeling stressed ... or something else that has nothing to do with you.

Put some alert metrics in place.

We've used the term "pothole" metrics before -- the numbers you report on regularly that, if they get out of whack, signify a deeper problem with a part of the business. I like to use that principle here as a way to be sure we're all catching everything that's going on if communication ever fails. I also like to expand that principle out to encompass the good stuff as well as the bad stuff.

These could be numbers that indicate someone's doing well or struggling -- for example, setting up traffic waterfalls if a team member's work is directly tied to hitting a traffic metric. But they can include non-numerical things, too -- like hitting project milestones for people that work in roles that are more about discrete deliverables that have changing definitions of success.

Frankly, this is a good exercise to go through for every team member -- yourself included -- whether in-office or remote. Really, it just means everyone knows what "good" looks like, and you're all able to break down "good" into its component parts so you know if you're making reasonable progress.

On Management

If managers are interested in hiring remote team members, they'll have some specific responsibilities to keep things chugging along nicely. Most of this is just about setting the right precedent for how to think about remote work for your team -- I've broken it down into the stuff you need to do proactively, and what you need to squash.

Do this:

Over-communicate the work being done by remote team members, and the value of that work. Yes, they should do this on their own. We talked about that earlier. You have to be the champion of your own career, and self-promotion is part of life ... and all that jazz. But sometimes people forget. Or they do say it, but it'd sure help if someone else reiterated it.

This becomes particularly important when someone's work output isn't very visible. For example, if your job is to write one article a day, it's pretty easy for people to see that you're doing your job. You either wrote the article or you didn't, and everyone can see it. If your role is to build operational efficiencies into backend systems that four people in the company touch ... it's really easy for that work to disappear.

Squash this:

To that end, don't let resentment or pettiness build toward remote employees -- particularly those that are part-time remote. This starts to manifest itself in little comments like: "Oh is this one of the days so-and-so is in? I can't even remember." Letting that kind of stuff slide is what makes it seem like in-office employees inherently provide more value than those that are in less often. Worse, it perpetuates the notion that face time is more valuable than work output, which I think we're all on board with as being total bunk.

Do this:

Encourage other people on your team that are in-office and have roles that allow them to work remotely ... to work remotely sometimes. That pettiness I was just talking about? It's a lot less likely to happen if working from home once in a while doesn't feel like a special privilege levied on a few special snowflakes.

Squash this:

This is where things can get tricky, too. Remote work only works when it works. Notice how I said you should only encourage remote work when people have roles that allow them to work remotely? We all know not every role makes that possible. But beyond that, not every person is always a good fit for remote work at every point in their career, either. I'll volunteer myself as an example of someone who, when starting a new role, would struggle to not be around people while I get my footing.

Or if someone is having performance issues, it may not be the right time to green light remote work. That's another reason giving feedback early, often, and candidly is important. And that rationale extends to remote employees that start having performance issues while they're already engaged in a remote work agreement with you.

Finally, always remember to do this:

We talked earlier about treating remote employees not like contractors or freelancers, but like actual full-time employees. That means they have career ambitions, and are probably interested in growth and promotion opportunities. Be sure to keep them in mind for new projects, promotions, and additional responsibility. If good people fall out of sight and out of mind, you might lose 'em.

After you've got the infrastructure set up, to me, most of this really comes down to good hiring. Get the right person, for the right role. If you've got capable people you can trust in a role, you should be able to trust that not only are they doing good work, but that they'll let you know if and when they need something different from you.

The right person can make even roles that you don't think will work in a remote scenario, work. (Unless that role is chef. Then you definitely need to be at work.

Source: Hubspot / Written By: Corey Wainwright

As organizations flatten out, employees don't have to corner senior management in an elevator to get their thoughts heard. They could just schedule a meeting, or even walk up to a leader's office or desk. So is there even a need to have an elevator pitch at the ready?

Absolutely. Although accessibility to managers has increased, the amount of time those managers have at their disposal has decreased. And that means the clearer, crisper, and more concise you can make your idea, the more likely it is that your senior-level listener will tune in.

Salespeople trying to connect with C-level prospects should have a variety of pitches at their disposal, but each should adhere to the principles of the classic elevator pitch. This infographic from Bplans explains each component of an elevator pitch to ensure you hit the highs and provide all the necessary information. Just remember that brevity is a virtue -- according to the graphic, an ideal elevator pitch should clock in at a minute or less.

A Perfect Elevator Pitch

Source: Hubspot / Written By: Emma Snider

 

There were hundreds of business books published last year. With so many books to choose from, it's nearly impossible to figure out which ones you should actually read.

We decided to simplify things for you. Similar to the way Nate Silver aggregates political polling data, BookBub aggregated 23 different "Best Books of 2014" lists -- from The New York Times to The Financial Times and more. After aggregating all the lists, we ranked the most frequently listed books, and compiled those into one big list.

The top business-related results are in the infographic below. Check it out below to learn which books made the cut.

(Note that these are just the business books. If you’re looking for the overall list, including fiction and other genres, head over to the BookBub Blog.)

2014 Best Business Books Infographic

Source: Hubspot / Written By: RIck Burnes

 

How to Regain Your Privacy on Facebook

Facebook just announced yet another way it is encroaching on your privacy. Starting soon, the company said on Thursday, it will use information gathered from other websites to figure out the ads that best apply to you.

But, to its credit, Facebook is also offering a way to opt out of its new data-gathering system. Here's how to do so in just two steps.

Step 1:

Go to this page from the Digital Advertising Alliance, a consortium of advertising trade groups. There you'll find a list of all the companies that track your browsing to deliver tailored ads. Mostly likely, Facebook is among them.

Find "Facebook Inc." under "Companies Customizing Ads For Your Browser" and check off the checkmark to the right.

Regain Privacy Step 1

Then just hit "Submit."

One important note: Disabling Facebook from tracking on one web browser does not disable it on all browsers. You'll have to go through this step on all browsers you use to check your Facebook account, even those on the same computer.

Step 2:

Unless you have an ad blocker, you'll never get Facebook to completely stop using all of the knowledge it has compiled on you. But you can pick and choose some of the things that get thrown into the pile. Over the next several weeks, Facebook will roll out a new tool in the U.S. that will let you add or subtract interests, like "Television" or "Electronics," that Facebook has attributed to you.

When this feature is made available, you'll be able to access it by clicking or tapping the gray arrow in the top-right corner of the ad and then going to "Why am I seeing this?" From there, you'll be able to edit your list of interests.

Regain Privacy on Facebook Step 2

Again: This second step will not be available for a few more weeks. And if none of this is good enough, there's always the nuclear option of (gulp) deleting your Facebook.

Source: Huff Post

Thursday, 15 December 2011 10:29

Point of Purchase Displays.. Increase Your Sales

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Since an estimated 70% of purchase decisions are made within the retail store itself, effective point-of-purchase displays can have a dramatic impact on sales for a particular product, especially when introducing a new product to existing customers.

One marketing technique, point-of-purchase (POP) advertising for consumers, can be a useful source of pre-purchase information for the existing customer, and the customer is more receptive to POP promotions when making a purchase. For example, apparel shoppers found that of eight product information sources, POP information was rated third most useful. POP is useful because it has the ability to reach potential buyers at the time and place of the potential purchase displays are more productive than media advertising as they offer precise target marketing.

POP such as displays, signs, bins, floor stands, and devices that are promotional, are used to advertise and merchandise a service or product at a specific location. It can be advertising that is built around impulse purchasing and that utilizes display designed to catch a shopper's eye particularly at the place where payment is made, such as a checkout counter.

POP advertising has a definite impact of in-store displays, with over a 500 percent average increase in unit sales of selected supermarket products. Also, end-of-aisle displays have a much greater impact on unit sales than did expanded shelf space, even when the product is not on sale.

MAJOR FUNCTIONS
POP can elevate the status or visibility of a product in-store through the use of large signs, banners and cut-out style displays. This is the most commonly used form of POP. By setting off a brand, age group, or even an entire product category, POP can be used to create a more effective selling environment.

POP is often used to house and dispense a product, sometimes in areas of the store that are separate from the product's category.

Some elaborate displays provide automated sales demonstration, often with the use of videos.

POP can guide shoppers to the location of a product, convey price or product information, and promote contests or other tie-ins.

STRATEGIC ISSUES
Research... The best sources of information are the retailers themselves. Collect data from existing surveys and find out all you can about what your competition is doing. Survey retailers to obtain customer information on a store-by- store basis. Test your POP in sample retail environments that represent your market conditions.

Establishing goals... The principle objectives should be set before any specific POP options are considered.

Partnering with retailers... Critical to the success of any POP strategy is the cooperation you receive from the location they will be implemented. There can be tremendous competition for floor space, so if you are placing POP in a secondary location, obtain permission from local management.

Maintaining POP... Do not neglect your POP. A poor looking display will surely drive away any potential consumer.

Measuring results... It is very difficult to test the effectiveness of a POP campaign. To get an accurate test, barcoding and scanners make it possible to monitor sales of items purchased anywhere in the store. QR codes can also be used to validate interest.

Term of campaign... The length of a POP campaign is based on your marketing objectives, the retail environment, and the extent of competitive activity. Establishing a timetable is critical, because this will determine everything from the type of POP to be created to materials and costs.

Budget... POP budgets are usually calculated on a per-placement basis. For temporary POP, spend an amount equal to 5 percent of the merchandise displayed. In other words, if the display holds $100 worth of goods, you'd spend $5 per display. For permanent displays, the accepted range is 15 to 20 percent. Of course, many factors can push these percentages up or down.

Distribution and setup... Once finished POP is produced, the next step is to assemble the various elements, get them to the stores, and set them up. That can be harder than it sounds. You need to decide the best way of ensuring that everything is done according t plan. Make it a point to educate at the point-of-purchase. Educational materials are essential for the success of the product or service being targeted at the the consumer.

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Friday, 26 August 2011 14:13

What If the Light Bulb.. Produced More than Light?

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Aug. 4, 2011 - Talk about a light bulb moment. A professor of engineering at Edinburgh University recently demonstrated for the first time to a wide audience his technology that uses common every day lights to transmit data.

Harald Haas streamed a video through a desk lamp at Ted Global 2011 at Scotland's Edinburgh International Conference Center in July.

If commercialized, the technology not only creates a vast new application for light, but also dramatically expands our now limited wireless capacity. Imagine downloading your email from any of the14 billion light bulbs installed in the world.

Haas' technology swaps out our current way of transmitting data - through radio frequency - with a new approach using visible light from LED light bulbs. This is significant because we are running out of radio frequency spectrum as our appetite for wireless communication grows, Haas says. The visible light spectrum, on the other hand, is enormous, with about 10,000 times more capacity than radio frequency. Using light instead of radio frequency would give us a lot more capacity for our cell phones, wireless computers and other devices.

The energy implications are even more interesting.? Click Here to read the full story. Share &/or CommentΓû║

Friday, 26 August 2011 14:00

How To Turn Green Legacy.. Into A Gold Brand

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A few months back, an interesting story caught my eye. It documented the green claims being made by Malt-O-Meal around their plastic bag packaging.

According to Malt-O-Meal, their bags created less environmental impact than the competition's boxes. They had, in fact, created a website titled 'Bag The Box' to tout these environmental claims.

From a strictly green perspective, this was a bit of a head scratcher: some of Malt-O-Meal's cereals do come in boxes; the bagged cereal bags are heavy plastic, with environmental baggage of their own; and the bags were introduced as cost-reduction measures years ago - it's not like Malt-O-Meal woke up one morning and decided to make the world a better place one bag at a time.

Digging deeper, I discovered Malt-O-Meal actually had a very credible green policy outside the bag. Their manufacturing plants have conservation programs, they're involved in the US EPA's SmartWay transport initiative, they purchase renewable energy, save water and waste, and use Energy Star equipment to cut down on power.

But it was the bag, and the potential greenwash that came with it, that made the news. So was it good news for the brand, or bad? Click Here to read the full story. Share &/or CommentΓû║

Friday, 26 August 2011 13:49

10 Tips.. To Help You Stand Apart from The Competition

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The word sales may not be in your job description, but in today's competitive marketplace, it probably should be. Whether you're selling yourself for a job or promotion; your ideas for a new project; or a product to a potential customereveryone sells some of the time. Our tips will help you make your next sales pitch more effective.
  • Know your audience... The more you know about a potential customer or employer, the more you can tailor your presentation to what's important to them. Leverage your personal network and the web to get up to speed quickly. Nothing builds rapport like a relevant, customized presentation.
  • Make a great impression... Practice your presentation until you feel prepared for success. It'll help boost your confidence, reduce any anxiety you feel, and help you remain upbeat and positive. Your personal appearance should be neat and professional. If you provide printed handouts, make sure they look professional too. Custom, colour handouts make a better impression than generic, black-and-white.
  • Listen and learn... Good salespeople spend at least half of their time listening; asking questions and listening some more. They adapt their sales pitch to include what's most relevant to their audience. Techniques to improve your listening skills include observing body language, taking notes, and just plain concentrating on what's being saidinstead of your response.
  • Create connection... Provide opportunities for a prospective buyer to connect with what you're selling. If it's a product, let them try it out and see how it works. If it's an intangible like a service or an idea, provide endorsements or references from industry leaders or other trusted sources.
  • Summarize your key selling points... Ask yourself what about your offering would benefit your potential customer most. Consider your competition and what sets you apart. Be bold. Lead with your strengths. Remember to emphasize benefits over features. Benefits are the reasons prospects become customers.
  • Make it risk free... Put yourself in your customer's shoes. People are naturally excited by new opportunities and ideas, but they're also cautious about something they've never tried. Make it easy for a prospective customer to take a chance on you. Provide references or testimonials from trusted sources. Offer a free trial, free training, an unconditional guarantee, or another assurance to reduce risk.
  • Add an incentive... Why should a potential customer buy now? Incentives help move sales forward. Price incentives are powerful, but offers of training or additional services are also effective. Other incentives are convenience, location, availability, timeframe, guarantees, trials, bundles, discounts on future purchases, etc. Knowing what's important to your prospect(s) will help you design a more effective incentive.
  • Close the sale... When you've answered all the questions, countered objections, presented your offering, and reviewed the situation as objectively as you can, ask your prospect if there is anything else you can provide to help them make their decision. If appropriate, ask your prospect what their expectations are for start-up, the first week, and six months after purchase. Make a note of their response and address any concerns. After the sale be sure to meet or exceed their expectations and you'll be well positioned for continued success.
  • Follow up... Good follow-up is common sense, but it's surprising how often it's neglected. That's why it helps you stand out. Write a thank you note. Make a phone call to check on delivery or how your product or service is performing. Selling is about relationships. Good ones lead directly to more sales and referrals.
  • Ask for feedback... The easiest time to ask for feedback is when you're doing well, but don't hesitate to ask any time. Customers and prospects may be reluctant to bring up small things on their own. But if you ask how things could improve, they'll tell you. It'll help you do even better and stay ahead of your competition.

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Wednesday, 15 June 2011 15:10

Marketing Woes/Wows

Written by
The most recent Signs of the Times national survey finds that:
  • Small business owners optimism is growing -- Six in ten (63%) small business owners are confident in the long-term success of their business, compared to a little more than half (54%) in 2010.
  • Younger business owners are even more assured about the future - The vast majority of small business owners age 18-35 (85%) are confident in the long-term success of their business compared to other age groups (35-54 at 56%; 55 and above at 63%).
  • While many small business owners plan to reach existing and potential customers online and through social media, more than half (53%) will turn to more traditional channels like newsletters and direct mail.
  • Tactics to Reach Potential and Existing Customers:
    • > Plan to increase communication via newsletters, direct mail, etc. 53%
    • > Plan to create or improve company's online presence (website, banner ads, SEO) 52%
    • > Plan to utilize social media and networking websites (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) 45%
  • Traditional advertising/marketing tools continue to be popular with small business owners:
    • > Business cards 78%
    • > Yellow pages 54%
    • > Brochures 50%
    • > Flyers 44%
    • > Direct Mailers 44%
    • > Newspaper ads 42%
    • > Out-of-store signs/banners/posters 30%
    • > In-store signs/banners/posters 28%
    • > Coupons 28%
  • The majority of small business owners (91%) believe that the quality of a company's marketing/advertising materials reflects the quality of its products and services. Despite this connection, nearly a quarter (23%) say their own marketing/advertising materials do not reflect the quality of their products and services.
  • Just over a third (35%) of small business owners plan to split their resources evenly between Web-based marketing and traditional advertising materials, while another third (36%) will focus the most resources on Web-based marketing/advertising opportunities. Nearly three in 10 (29%) plan to focus the most resources on traditional marketing and advertising.
  • Two in ten small business owners (22%) say social media is a critical tool for marketing their business and half (50%) have experimented with it for that purpose. Younger small business owners (ages 18-35) are more likely to use social media than their older counterparts. A full third (33%) say social media is a critical tool for marketing their business, compared to owners overall. Share &/or Comment Γû║
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