Small Business Social Media Safety – Stay Vigilant!

Recent news reports continue to be flooded with retailers customer data being stolen.  As technology advances and we become increasingly connected

staying vigilant about online social media profiles is imperative.  Social Media today blogger Irfan Ahmad shared an enlightening infographic via InstantCheckMate.

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InstantCheckMate reports 66% of Facebook users are not aware of privacy settings and 15% of Americans have never checked their social networking privacy and security account settings.

Staying up to date on security issues and your privacy in social media takes time, but cannot be ignored.  See tips for Facebook privacy here Facebook Behind the Privacy Settings.

Are you tired of worrying and need some help with your social media strategy or community management.  I’d love to help!

Jenelle

 

 

3 Ways to Secure your Evernote Data

In a recent post on using Evernote for tax planning a reader asked, “What about security?” Keeping our data safe in a digital world is a constant challenge and it is no different when using cloud based systems for business.  Author and speaker Michael Hyatt gave a thorough overview listing 6 reasons you can be sure your Evernote data is secure.  See post here.

To date Evernote has increased their security features to include (1) 2-Step verification, (2) account history, and (3) authorized applications which are available to Premium and ‘gratis’ account users. Check out this blog post for details.

Whenever choosing new resources for business or home it is always a good practice to check the data security settings and options.

Rock on and enjoy the long holiday weekend!

Jenelle

Paperless Tax Planning with Evernote

What comes to mind when tax season arrives?  Stress?  Frustration?  Many of us tend to feel at least a measure of increased tension as tax season approaches.  Going through a year’s worth of paperwork associated with business transactions and whittling them down to a few spreadsheets or folder items is rarely a welcomed task.  Let’s take a look at how you’re accustomed to prepare for tax season and consider how to do them the Evernote way.

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Tax Planning Then

The organized business owner generally keeps a properly labeled set of folders with financial documents, statements, payroll information and charitable donations archived in the office or home.  Then, as tax season arrives, these documents creep out claiming real estate on much of our desks or the desk of our tax preparer.

This can be a tedious process for even the most organized business owner.  For those that let the documentation take over, scattered paper piles, some online files, and still others at the office can really get out of hand.  Once office documentation gets to this point no doubt a hike up Mission Peak (Fremont, CA) on the hottest of summer days may be a preferred activity.

Consider Evernote Now

Invest in an affordable scanner for the office (a Fujitsu ScanSnap retails for under $500 on www.amazon.com) or check out http://goo.gl/uAL6CC – Evernote scansnap.  Connect it to your Evernote account.  Then, every time you receive a bank/credit card statement, charitable donation acknowledgement, or other financial documentation simply scan directly to your Evernote account.  Statements can even be “clipped” to your Evernote account.  These documents can all be organized into a notebook labeled ‘Finances’ or ‘2013 Taxes’.  Evernote allows you to tag each statement type if more specifics needed (i.e., Bank, Charitable Donations, Payroll).  See here Adam Dachis, LifeHacker blogger suggestions for other affordable scanning tools and suggestions on running a paperless office.

Spend most of your time outside of the office?  Most smartphones allow for a quick snapshot of receipts (i.e., business trip dinner with clients) and tagging these images with a tag like ‘client receipts’ insuring these are organized.  Evernote partners like Docscanner can improve the quality of your snapshot making it easier to search within this tool.  Camscanner has been my iPhone scanner app of choice.

Saving time and energy during tax season with Evernote will allow you to get back to business. When taxes are done, save your paperwork in the same folder by scanning it, or adding the PDF into your notebook.  Your previous year’s tax documents will be securely in one place for easy reference the following tax season.

Have you gone paperless?  If so what tools are working for you?  I’d love to hear your comments!

Be effective in ALL you do!

Jenelle

Websites, Plugins, Content Oh My!!

As a small business owner have you found it difficult to find the right website solution? Worrying about the intricacies of websites, can easily keep you away from vital revenue generating activities.  Marketing your business with a WordPress website makes for a cost effective, customized, and accessible option.  

In Episode #6 of Small Business Marketing Report #SBMR hosts Sean Clark and Robert Tyson of the Tyson Report give the nitty gritty of WordPress, web host options, plugins, and much more. This podcast solidified for me why WordPress has been the best option for Efficacy Plus.

website ideas

Source, Sean MacEntee
Need a hand sorting through the best resources for your business site or blog?  Let’s chat!

Jenelle

 

 

 

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month!

Did you know October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month?  Many business owners have shared the horror of realizing their systems were compromised, and I’ve personally provided support during the process of backup, replacing , and researching these attacks.  Have you experienced the loss of productivity, frustration and lack of preparedness such an attack can cause?  In this post we’ll learn more about Botnets and how to protect ourselves.

According to StaySafeOnline, Botnets are generally networks of computers infected by malware (computer virus, keyloggers and other malicious software) and controlled remotely by cyber criminals, usually for financial gain or to launch attacks on website or networks.  Botnets may infect and use laptops, desktops, servers, routers, smartphones, or any other network equipment to conduct malicious activity.

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Source: TTC Press Images, Flickr

All computers connected to the Internet are susceptible to malware infections.  Stay Safe Online, powered by National Cyber Security Alliance provides the below keys to survival in the Digital Age:

Keep a Clean Machine

Keep software current: Having the latest operating system, software, anti-virus protection, web browsers and apps are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats.

Enable automatic updates: Most security software will automatically connect and update to defend against known risks. Turn on automatic updates if that’s an available option.

Protect all Internet-connected devices:  Remember smartphones, tablets, gaming systems and other devices can be infected with viruses and malware, too. Protect them like you would your computer, including updating apps and operating systems.

Plug & scan:  USB sticks, thumb drives, CDs, DVDs and other external media can be infected by viruses and malware. Use your security software to scan them.

Connect With Care

When in doubt, throw it out:  Delete any online communications (i.e., texts, emails, social media posts) that look suspicious, even if you think you know the source.  

Get savvy about Wi-Fi hotspots:  When using a public or unsecured wireless connection, avoid using sites and apps that require personal information like log-ins.

Be cautious about “scareware”:  Cybercriminals have used fear to compromise your computer and to steal your personal information, which may include credit card information and banking login credentials. If you get security notices saying you are infected and need to purchase software, these could very well be attempts to compromise your device.

If You Think You’re Infected:  If you are notified, become aware, or suspect your computer has become a bot, take immediate steps to remove malware.  You can find a list of free botnet detection and remediation resources at www.stopthinkconnect.org/keepacleanmachine.

And lastly, update passwords periodically this can be a great way to keep our computers and data safe.

Be effective in ALL you do!

Jenelle

Got WordPress?

Business Counseling

Photo credit:  USACE HQ

Are you an expert developer? Love HTML/CSS code and the, creativity it provides web designers?  If you’re like many small business owners you just don’t have the time or expertise.

Interested in hearing why WordPress is one of the best solutions for small business website development?  The top reasons I highly recommend it to clients are:

• Business brands need ease of customization

• Responsive and smartphone enabled

• Sleek professional designs are a plenty

• Affordable solution

This platform has allowed me to create a simple web solution for the online home of my business. The wealth of online support and developers willing to work on WordPress is vast.

Chime in, is WordPress one of your favorite platforms for building websites? If not what is and why?

Be effective in ALL you do!

Jenelle

Need more info?  http://seanclark.com/wordpress/why-not-wordpress-podcast/

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