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General security tips to keep your business safe include training your team on security best practices, keeping antivirus solutions updated, and enacting and enforcing security policies and procedures.How to do a cybersecurity risk assessment
Cybersecurity threats constantly evolve as hackers find new ways to infiltrate companies’ IT networks. Cybersecurity experts recommend that businesses carry out at least one cybersecurity risk assessment yearly as part of their overall cybersecurity plan.
Take the following four steps to protect your company:1. Gather information to begin the cybersecurity risk assessment.
Cybersecurity risk assessments expose existing technical weaknesses across your IT network. However, you must have an in-depth working knowledge of your company’s hardware and software to spot them. You must also understand how to secure your business’s Wi-Fi network.
If you or your team don’t thoroughly understand your network setup, call in a cybersecurity expert to conduct the assessment.
Whatever your cybersecurity risk assessment reveals, commit to making substantial system changes to remove all current vulnerabilities, despite any cost or disruption concerns.
“If businesses don’t have the experience, the tools or the team to conduct a thorough and accurate risk assessment, and are just trying to save costs by doing it themselves, they can experience increased costs in the future when a hack or data breach that could have otherwise been prevented occurs,” said Keri Lindenmuth, marketing team lead for business services provider KDG. “Many small businesses don’t recover from a data breach because of the financial implications and end up closing their doors forever.”
To protect your business from a data breach, evaluate your security procedures, prioritize cloud security, and train all employees to follow data safety best practices.
Did You Know?
WPA2-Enterprise is considered the gold standard networking protocol for wireless security in the enterprise.Assess your website.
If your website and company software are integrated, your customer records and other valuable data may be at heightened risk. It’s crucial to include your website in your cybersecurity risk assessment to protect that data.
Common problems with websites include a lack of SSL/TLS certificates and HTTPS, which are factors in securing a domain.
E-commerce website security best practices include working with a secure e-commerce platform, staying on top of SSL certificates, and using a virtual private network (VPN).Assess your apps and software.
Software vendors regularly issue updates or patches designed to improve security in the following ways:
Stopping new and emerging attacks
Protecting against a newly discovered vulnerability or back door in their software
Vendors only provide patches during their products’ lifetimes. Consider replacing software that’s no longer supported. Ensure all supported software on your system has the latest patches. Sign up for each vendor’s newsletter to receive details about forthcoming patches.
Consider investing in cybersecurity insurance coverage, including data breach and cyber liability insurance, to insure against losses from data breaches, ransomware and other cybersecurity threats.
Did You Know?
The best VPN services provide fast, secure connections while encrypting data. The intercepted data will be indecipherable even if a hacker infiltrates an employee’s device.4. Consider potential risks and their likelihood and impact.
A truly secure network doesn’t connect to the internet. But that’s not a feasible option now. You must accept that there are risks in going online. In your cybersecurity risk assessment, consider the risk level you find acceptable.
When you find a vulnerability, consider how hard it would be to defend yourself against an attack that exploits it. Determine the damage a hacker could do if they entered your network via that vulnerability.The importance of doing cybersecurity risk assessments
Big businesses aren’t the only ventures under threat from cybercriminals – small businesses faced $2.98 million in data breach costs in 2023, according to IBM.
In addition to costly risks from cyber attacks, some businesses must meet industry-specific cybersecurity compliance standards, such as HIPAA for healthcare businesses, FERPA for educational institutions, and PCI DSS for companies taking credit and debit card payments.
It’s crucial for businesses to budget for cybersecurity. The financial and reputational damage incurred by losing company and customer data is significant and may lead to your business’s demise.
Andrew Martins contributed to the reporting and writing in this article. Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.
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Most small businesses don’t use file servers, a specialized PC that is just used to share files among workers. In the past, these PCs were expensive, ran a different operating system from the ordinary Windows XP or Vista, and made it easier to connect to printers and backup tape drives. Because they were expensive, many smaller businesses just opted to store shared files on someone’s desktop.
Lately, prices have come down – there are many options for less than $1,000, and some considerably less. Many products allow your files to be shared not only across your local network, but make them also accessible on the Internet as well. Before you consider buying something, you need to answer these questions: First, do you want redundant drives so you have some protection in case one fails? Second, how much storage do you need? Third, do you want to assemble a server or buy something ready-made? Finally, do you need support for both Windows and Macintosh clients on your network?
If you don’t care about redundancy and want the cheapest possible solution, then consider PogoPlug. It is a $100 adapter that has USB on one side and Ethernet and AC power on the other. Any USB drive can be shared across your network and via a Web browser across the Internet. Given that even fairly large USB drives are less than $100 themselves, this can get you up and running quickly.
Another simple solution is to add a USB drive to your Wifi router. Linksys offers a feature called Storage Link on some of their newer routers such as the WRT610N that allow you to connect any USB hard drive to it and share it across your network, and also access it via FTP across the Internet as well. The setup process is somewhat clunky, but if you are in the market for a new router this could be a very inexpensive way to share a few files. I wouldn’t recommend it as an ongoing file storage solution though.
Neither of these products solves the drive redundancy issue. For that, you want to buy a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device. If you want to buy an enclosure and add your own SATA storage drives, then take a look at what D-Link makes with its DNS-321 — for $150 you get a box with two drive bays. Another inexpensive NAS is from WD called MyBook, which is what I use because it supports both Windows and Mac clients. However, the software that shares it across the Internet (called Mionet) is miserable. If you like to tinker with your equipment, there is an active community of people who have modified their MyBooks.
All of the units I have mentioned are slow, meaning when you want to copy a large video file across the network it will take minutes, or longer. If you are worried about performance and also want to use that as a good starting place to buy a NAS device, then check out SmallNetBuilder’s comparison chart of dozens of different ones here. Better options include the models from Buffalo Technology, and they have the ability to get their files from the Internet too. For less than $400, you can buy a terabyte of redundant storage.
As far as I can tell, the E5 is the best complete offering FlexiSpot has right now. It cost $339.99 using the coupon code CL80 (MSRP $419.99). If that price is too steep there are cheaper options available.
The cheapest single-motor option is $299.99 with discount code BACK50 ($349.99 MSRP). There’s also an even cheaper dual-motor version, coming out at $269.99 using coupon code NEW100 ($369.99 MSRP). All three include tabletops, so go frame-only if you already have a tabletop at home or want to source one elsewhere.
Let me walk you through setup and use. The FlexiSpot E5 frame came in a heavy box (76lbs/35kgs), but it was very easy to assemble. I’ve not built an Ikea standing desk but you get the analogy: you get a couple Allen keys and bolts in the box with clear step-by-step instructions to follow. All told I’d say I had the desk built in about a half-hour. I went for black, but there are gray and white frame options too.
My first impression of the FlexiSpot E5 was that it is very well built. It has a fair bit of heft to it and the powder-coated double steel tubing is very well machined. There are no issues with stability and I have zero doubt this thing will stand the test of time. The frame has a 5-year warranty and the motors, two or three depending on where you buy it. If you’re at all worried about the motors burning out, they can be bought separately via the manufacturer’s website.
The dual-motor system made short work of both of my setups. I started out with my laptop, spare monitor, and some wireless peripherals, maybe 15kgs in total. I later switched to my full desktop rig — around 40kgs including monitor arms, two screens, full-sized speakers, and more — and didn’t notice any difference. The E5 is rated for up to 275lbs (125kg) so regardless of how many monitors you’re packing, it will manage.
The dual motors travel at 1.5 inches per second (3.8cm/sec) at less than 50dB, powered by a 100-240V AC wall plug. It takes around 15 seconds to go from the E5’s lowest height of 24.4 inches (110cms) to its high point of 49.2 inches (180cms). There’s a slight speed-ramp as you start raising or lowering the desk. There’s also a “dampening” effect as you reach the upper or lower limits. The three-stage constrcution of the legs means the E5 is faster to raise or lower than two-stage frames.
Saving preset heights is a simple affair. Raise or lower the desk to the desired height, hit the “M” button and then the 1, 2, or 3 to save it under that number. You can then quickly adjust the desk’s height to your perfect settings with the touch of a button.
Setting a timer to alert you when you’ve been sitting for too long is a good idea. You can stop it when the buzzer goes off by adjusting the height of the desk. Ignore it and it’ll go off again in five minutes. Unlike activity reminders on a smartwatch, this is one alert you ought to pay attention to.
I felt less tired, less stiff, and even less grumpy at the end of the day.
It took me several years to finally get around to investing in a standing desk. Now that I have, it is the most important piece of office furniture I own. Thinking back on all those years I spent hunched over a static desk makes my back hurt just thinking about it. Don’t make the mistake I did friends: get yourself a standing desk sooner rather than later.
I can wholeheartedly recommend the FlexiSpot E5 but if it’s not quite your style we’ve rounded up a bunch of options to suit any price bracket in our standing desk guide.
FlexiSpot Premium E5 standing desk
Affordable home office health
FlexiSpot Premium E5 standing desk
There are risks in everything we do, whether when we cross the road, how much we invest or make dietary choices. We can’t avoid risks, but we can mitigate its impact. The same thing goes for businesses. Companies face risk all the time.
When talking about risks in the corporate world, this refers to one or more unforeseen events that may affect the organization’s ability to achieve its objectives.
This could range from disruptions in the market, natural calamities, pandemics, changes in the company’s senior leadership, etc.
Risks differ in terms of severity and how much it can impact a company, which is why risk management should be an integral part of an organization’s strategy.
With efficient risk management, an organization can define and execute strategies that aim to prevent or reduce the company’s risks so that the business can continue to run smoothly.Here are five things that you should do to improve risk management at work.
Identify Risks Early
Many risks can impact your organization, which is why it is critical to include risk management at the start of every project or task.
Since you can’t predict what might happen in the future, strategic risk management helps you detect threats early on so that you can respond accordingly. Your risk management plan should be unique and tailored for your organization’s particular needs and challenges.
“The best way to manage risk is to attempt to spot it and plan accordingly before it happens”, according to David Rowland, head of marketing at Engage EHS.
This is why risk assessment software is now so important to a business. Using this software, you can make plans, spot potential risks, and then do everything you can to minimize their impact.
Part of your risk management plan should include identifying various risks that can affect your business, whether it’s a legal risk, environmental, regulatory, etc. Make sure to track Early Warning Indicators (EWIs) of the different risks that you might face.
Also read: Top 6 Tips to Stay Focused on Your Financial Goals
Analyze and Describe Risks
Once you have identified a risk, proceed to analyze and determine the scope of the risk. Your risk assessment process should also include distinguishing between the cause and effect of the risk. You must understand the link between the risk and the organization.
Utilize a risk matrix to assess and prioritize all known risks. You should prioritize your risks based on the probability or how likely they are to occur and how much they can impact your business operations. Some risks can be just minor inconveniences, while there are risks that can threaten business continuity.
While many risks can affect organizations. Do not think that risks are the same for all. Organizations have different situations and capabilities in terms of managing risks, so you need to understand how risks specifically affect your business.
Use Appropriate Strategies to Manage Risk
Use the 4Ts model to decide on how you should manage risks.
Transferring risk –
Assign an individual, group, or third party to be responsible for managing the impact of the risk.
Tolerating risk –
No action is taken to mitigate or reduce risk; however, the risk should still be monitored. This may be because the probability and impact of the risk are low.
Treating risk –
Control risk through actions that reduce the likelihood of the risk occurring or minimize its impact before it happens.
Terminating risk –
Also read: The 15 Best E-Commerce Marketing Tools
Document All Risks in a Risk Register
Make sure to capture all risks that your company faces so that you can see a complete picture of your entire organization’s risk exposure. It is critical that you document all the risks that your organization may be facing.
If you have efficient documentation of risks, you will improve the sharing of information and enforce a sense of accountability among members of your organization. Remember to document who is responsible for what and appoint a risk owner too.
Documenting your risks is a good corporate practice and will be beneficial should you need historical data for future reference. You can analyze past mistakes and develop more effective solutions should there be a similar risk in the future.
Monitor and Review
The level of risks that your company is facing is constantly changing. New risks can emerge, while others become less critical.
Make sure to regularly monitor your risk exposure so that you will be ready to take action should the need arise. If you regularly monitor your risks, you can prevent these risks from becoming a crisis for your organization.
Having a risk management process in place is a smart move for any organization that values the importance of being prepared. Not only senior management and members of the risk management team must be conscious of the company’s risk exposure.
You should also train your staff to be aware of potential risks so that they know what to look out for and how they can contribute towards risk management.
Mia Clarke is part of the content team at The Long Reach. Mia has worked in the Tech industry since graduating from university. When not researching and writing about the newest technologies, Mia can be found researching new travel locations.
There is a reason why smart people spend so much time and money to optimize their homepage.
But as Sam Ovens explains only practice makes you self confident. Having all those benefits I mentioned above is not an easy work — it needs testing and measuring.
The framework is here though. There are some persuasion elements that have stood the test of time and make money no matter on the screen or paper (these are the same elements that old school copywriters used to produce millions of dollars). Simply use these elements on your homepage the way I explain and you’ll have your perfect homepage plus all the benefits I mentioned.
Headlines are the most important copy on a homepage. They demand a special attention because they literally make the first impression in the minds of the visitors. Believe it or not we are used to looking for the big bolded statement in the middle of the page when we enter a website.
Here’s Shopify’s headline copy:
Why use a headline, you say?
Well, headlines are not a recent creation of marketing gurus. They’ve been around for a long time — and with ample reasons. In 1983, the legendary copywriter, David Ogilvy wrote:
“on the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy. It follows that unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money.
How to persuade people to buy through your headline?
There are two steps to take:1. Study the product
In order to produce a money making headline, you need to know the features and functions of the product and its competitors in the market. Try to focus on the features that make the product unique compared to its competitors.
If your product is an email marketing tool or platform, maybe its on-site retargeting features make it unique. Or maybe it’s surprisingly cheaper than other email marketing tools.
Make a list of the features that you think make your product unique or at least make it look cool to people.2. Position the product
Once you have a list of the cool and unique features of your product, it’s easier to position your product.
What’s positioning? Ogilvy’s definition of positioning is “what the product does, and who it is for”.
Here’s an example of how Ogilvy positions the Dove soaps:
He positions Dove as a creamy soap,
“Dove creams your skin while you bathe”, for women. As Ogilvy himself says about Dove’s positioning: “I could have positioned Dove as a detergent bar for men with dirty hands, but chose chose instead to position it as a toilet bar for women with dry skin. This is still working 25 years later.”
And here’s a nice example of how SEMruch positions its product as an “all-in-one marketing toolkit” for “digital marketing professionals”:
The greatest feature of their product is that it contains all the tools a professional digital marketer needs in one place. And of course it’s positioned for digital marketing professionals. The message is clear and effective.
All in all, in order to increase sales through your headlines you first need to study the product and its competitors in the market, make a list of its cool unique features, and finally position the cool or unique features as benefits for your target customers.
Here are some bonus points to consider:
You can learn alot from the way
functions. Position your product as the sum of all the benefits that will transform people from their current self to their desired self.
Don’t be afraid of texts on your homepage when it comes to positioning your product and stating its benefits and features. Although there’s much hype about people’s preference for images, videos and stuff,
found that users noticed the value proposition more quickly and spent more time on it when it had more text.
Call to actions
If you’re spending thousands of dollars on a product and a website just to prove what a genius you are, good luck! But if you’re willing to sell more of your products and fill those bank accounts, you need to get people to do something on your website.
Call to actions (CTA’s) are the buttons that ask for those money making actions.
Above: Crowdcast’s CTA buttons
Having seen hundreds of websites with different CTA’s, I managed to categorize CTA’s into six types:
More info type
(e.g. learn more, watch now, find out more, read more).
(free account, free trial, try it for free, get started, demo, get a demo).
(app, get report, report, guide, get now).
(see solutions/plans/products, compare plans).
(including let’s reach, contact us, schedule a meeting).
To make the best of these CTA’s, have the following tips in mind:
Early immature conversions = low-quality buyers
As a rule of thumb you need to avoid too much insistence on the “Buy Type” CTA’s upfront on your homepage.
You don’t want early immature customers because they tend to leave you very soon and more often.
In one of his Whiteboard Friday videos, Rand Fishkin explains that Moz customers that convert on the first, or second, or third visit to [their] website tend to leave early and often. They tend to be not longstanding, loyal customers who have low churn rates and those kinds of things. They tend to have a very high churn and low retention.”
To avoid early immature conversions, you need to make sure you educate your visitors before they buy from you. As for Moz, people normally visit their website 8 times before they sign-up for the free trial. And Rand states clearly that for them there is a strong correlation between the time spent on the website and customer loyalty.
Have more of more info type, sample type, and join type CTA’s on your homepage rather than just the buy type ones.
Have CTA’s above the fold
A study by Nielsen Norman Group in 2010 showed that the 100 pixels just above the fold in a web page were viewed 102% more than the 100 pixels below the fold. The following aggregate heatmap from the study shows the concentration of looks in 57,453 eye-tracking fixations.
Red indicates where users looked the most; yellow where they looked less. White areas got virtually no looks. The top black stripe indicates the page fold in the study; subsequent black stripes represent each additional screen after scrolling.
If you want your CTA’s to be seen, you need to have your CTA’s above the fold as well as other places.
Have multiple CTA’s
Singularity in CTA’s has its own merits. For one thing you’re directing the attention of your visitors to do only and only one action you want them to do, eliminating the distracting factors.
But there’s one problem with CTA singularity: it resonates with only one intention.
Some other visitors might be interested in downloading a report or white paper, especially if you’re a B2B business. Be it as it may, you need to include a “download type” CTA offering a white paper, webinar, e-course, etc. to attract this kind of visitors.
And occasionally, some people who are well educated about your product might visit your website with the intention to buy straight in their first visit. You don’t want to let them down, do you?
One practical conversion-related fact about Hootsuite is that it’s main CTA is well differentiated. It’s the green “start your free 30-day trial” button sitting above the fold.
There are only two ways people would trust you. One is seeing the results you can get them, the other is your past experience. When people visit your website, the best way to make them trust you is showcasing your past experience.
Social proof is just about that and it has such a strong influence:
Over 70% of Americans say they look at product reviews before making a purchase.
Nearly 63% of consumers indicate they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews.
There are basically 6 social proof types:
You could mention the detailed success story of your clients.
You could use recommendations from your happy customers.
You could feature real reviews of your products or services by trusted sources.
Social Media: Showing how many followers you have or showing their positive posts about you is a good way to gain new visitors’ trust.
You can showcase the logos of the companies you’ve worked with or the publications you’ve been featured on.
If you have worked with an impressive number of people or have achieved impressive results with them, you can show the data/numbers on your homepage.
The most accessible social proof types are trust icons and testimonials. It’s easy to include a handful of your best clients’ logos on your homepage plus they are visual and easier to understand. Here are Kissmetrics’s trust icons featuring such classy clients as Unbounce and SendGrid:
Testimonials are also a great way to showcase your past results. Sam Ovens’s consulting training website is an interesting case here. It features over 3000 video testimonials from people who have actually taken his courses.
An impressive number of testimonials in the form of videos has a strong impact.
The question is how to make social proof more authentic? Here are some ways:
Use pictures of the people who give testimonials or get featured as case studies. A s
shows that using a picture could increase people’s acceptance of a claim
Be more specific about the person giving the testimonial:
Mention the person’s name, company, role, and if possible a link to his website or twitter handle.
Feature someone your visitors know well and can relate to:
don’t just use anyone. Testimonials and case studies work better from a famous guy.
It goes without saying that
are more believable and engaging.
Avoid the general and be specific:
a good testimonial
or case study highlights a benefit, explains how the benefit solves a problem, and is specific in the achieved results.
Link to off-site reviews:
people know that you’re only featuring a handful of positive reviews on your website. If you
link to the reviews
on another website, chances are people will trust you more.
GetResponse has almost all kinds of social proof on its homepage.
One final thought
The perfect homepage is not the one with the most expensive design, nor is it the one with lots of free stuff all over it. The elements that make your homepage perfect stand the test of time and are valuable for all aesthetic preferences.
Bad Password Etiquette You Need To Do Away With Right Now Finding It Hard To Remember Passwords? Worry Not! We’ve Got The Solution
For each wrong password etiquette mentioned above, a password manager is a solution you are looking for. And, trust us on this, there are some great password managers out there to choose from. Let’s talk in brief about two of the best password managers – (i) TweakPass (ii) LastPass
Also Read: TweakPass Vs LastPass Vs Dashlane – Which One Should You Choose?
Feature You Can Expect Significance of The Feature TweakPass LastPass
Strong Password Generator You won’t have to remember passwords and each website/ account can now have separate strong complex passwords. You can choose the password length, character length, character types, and many such elements and even save yourself from remembering passwords every single time ✔️ ✔️
Passwords and Other Data Can Be Synced On Various Devices Your passwords and data are secured and can be accessed from everywhere. You can access them from your computer, smartphone, browser, and other devices as well ✔️ ✔️
Impenetrable Multi-Layered Security The password managers are backed with military-grade security that prevents you from all kinds of online threats ✔️ ✔️
Auto-fill Forms You don’t have to enter the same details again. The feature lets you auto-fill the details ✔️ ✔️
Secure Vault Not just passwords, you can secure other crucial credentials such as SSNs, credit/debit card details, bank account details, and the likes in a master vault ✔️ ✔️Things You Might Be Doing Wrong To Remember Passwords
Let’s have a look at some of the wrong password etiquettes that you need to put down immediately and prevent your online presence from cyber attacks –
1. One Single Password Doesn’t Fit All
2. Sharing Passwords Is A Big No
When it comes to passwords – sharing is not caring.
Immaterial of who it is you are sharing your passwords with – your best friend, your most trusted colleague, your family member, or anyone else, the act of sharing passwords is a big no! We are not saying that the person you have trusted your password with will deliberately disclose it to the world but, he or she may not use it with the same care as you do. Let’s say, they might key-in your password for logging into an account on public Wi-Fi and then forget to logout. Or, they might accidentally disclose it to an onlooker. Other security dangers that sharing password poses include –
The other person may use your accounts for something illegal or non-permissible
You might lose ownership of all your accounts
Your accounts will become more prone to phishing attacks
3. “Remember Me” Is Not The Right Way Of Remembering Passwords
It is so convenient to check the “Remember me” option and save yourself from the plight of remembering passwords. And, you would probably find this option on all major email accounts, social media platforms, and all major websites that require you to log-in frequently. Where can this option be dangerous? Let’s say – you are not the only one using your computer and there are other users too who have direct access to your computer. They’ll easily be able to access your account, using this option.
4. Not Updating Passwords Frequently
You have created strong passwords for all your accounts once, but shouldn’t you change them once in a while? Many of us have a habit of not changing passwords across the board. Whether it be the passwords for our social media accounts, online banking accounts, email accounts, or any other platform, we hardly care to change them. It is highly recommended that you change your passwords across all your accounts every 2-3 months.
Now, here’s how frequently changing passwords can save you from a probable cyber attack –
Prevents keystroke logger attack
Multiple accounts can be safeguarded
If you use saved password and change computers, another user won’t be able to use saved passwords
5. Using Passwords That Are Not Complex Or That Are Too Short
Again, it is quite understandable that remembering long passwords is not an easy task. But, until your password isn’t complex enough, your accounts are vulnerable to hacking. This is why security experts suggest that you create a password with a specified number of character lengths (e.g. 14 characters) or mix it up with several characters. One of the reasons why you are told to do so is because the more complex your password, the harder it will be for even password cracking software to crack your password.Wrapping Up
The need of the hour is to break the aforementioned bad password habits so that your information across the web can be saved. We’d again like to reinstate that using a password manager is one of the best things to safeguard your online identity. If you liked the blog, do give it a thumbs up and for more such content, keep reading Tweak Library. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Flipboard, YouTube, and Tumblr to stay updated on all the new content that we frequently churn out.
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