4 Ways to Protect Your Business Against Hackers

The advent of technology and the internet resulted in multiple business innovations. However, it also leads to cyber-attacks. Four in ten businesses and a quarter of charities report having experienced cyber security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months.

With big companies like Uber, Crypto.com, Medibank, and a host of others experiencing data breaches in 2022, what are the odds that your business will be spared when cybercriminals go on a cyber-attack or hacking spree?

Implement these 5 tips to protect your business from marauding hackers:

1. Change Your Passwords Often

Many devices, including phones and laptops, come with default passwords. It is your job to customise this password. When doing so, ensure you consider password strength. Don’t just use any phrase that comes to mind, especially your name, date of birth, the names of your kids, etc.

Remember, password strength is more than entering multiple numbers, case-sensitive characters, and random symbols. That is the first line of defence. Also, don’t only consider changing your password; change your username too.

Do you use a Mac system for business operations? Changing password on Mac is as easy as a hot knife cutting through butter. The same goes for other types of systems. Ensure you use a password that is strong and easy to remember. It may be hard to think of a password that matches this description, but it’s worth the time.

2. Secure Customer Data

Based on McAfee Security, out of 500 mid-sized American companies reviewed, 45% thought their business wasn’t valuable enough to be considered by hackers. The real question is, how many of these companies store customer data on their system?

If a hacker strikes and customer data is stolen, the consequences can be dire for you and your business’s reputation. You could be faced with lawsuits and many data breach compensation claims. So, always try to ensure that customer data is encrypted. If it’s financial data, consider outsourcing your business’s eCommerce to PayPal and Google Checkout, they are pretty secure.

3. Restrict Access and Block Irrelevant Websites

Want to reduce your chances of being hacked? Or do you want to reduce the chances of cyber-attack on your business? If so, restrict access to some online information while ensuring that only the required users have access to specific data.

It would be best if you also considered blocking websites from being viewed to reduce the chances of corrupting your business’s network with viruses and spyware-carrying websites. So, ensure you block needless websites. Plus, continually update your antivirus software should it be called to action.

4. Keep Your Eyes Peeled for Spyware

Were you sent a file? Check it for viruses and other malicious software. Did you recently install software? Check it as well.

Check all that comes through your business’s front door. You should also update your anti-virus and anti-spyware programs. Doing so is simple. It doesn’t take much of your time.

In addition to checking files for viruses and malicious software, ensure you install a network firewall to keep hackers at bay. By monitoring the incoming and outgoing network traffic, you can determine if there are any threats entering your business’s system.

Conclusion

A single hack can cause your business money. It can also damage your business’s reputation. While you consider implanting these tips, you may also want to consider outsourcing your IT, especially if you are a small business lacking IT personnel skilled in IT security.

How Valuable is a Cashback Card for Your Business

By 2024, the global cashback industry is expected to be worth in excess of $200 billion a year. However, a lot of businesses are still failing to leverage cashback cards.

Cashback cards enable you to accumulate money whenever you make a purchase, which adds up considerably over time. Some cards offer better rates than others, while some come with different perks.

Below, we’ll explore just how beneficial cashback cards are and give you some tips on what to look for when applying for a cashback card for your business.

What is a business cashback card

With a business cashback card, a percentage of your spending is returned back to your card, which means your next purchase will be discounted. Of course, you can opt to accumulate the cashback and then use it on a bigger purchase in the future.

What are some of the best business credit cards for cashback

There are lots of great cashback cards for businesses today. A lot of business owners would agree that Juni offers the best business credit cards, and so you’ll be pleased to know that they also have a cashback card in their range.

For your first 30 days, you’ll receive 2% cashback. After this, you’ll move on to a rate of 1%. So, if you buy a new business vehicle for £30,000, you’ll get £600 back in the first 30 days or £300 back from then onwards. All of this adds up and can be used on other purchases for your business.

There are a number of other cashback cards to consider. The Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card comes with 1% unlimited cashback, as does the capitalontap credit card. The RBS Business Plus credit card offers up to 2% cashback, yet there’s a yearly fee of £70 per card. The Santander Business Cashback credit card costs £30 per year and offers 1% unlimited cashback.

How valuable is a cashback card for your business

As you can see from the paragraph above, the cashback you receive varies by card, although it tends to be between 1% and 2%. You may think that this is a minuscule refund, but it adds up over time.

We advise looking at your books for the past month and again for the past year. Look at everything you have spent. Calculate how much you would have received back if using a cashback card. Wouldn’t you like to have this extra money in your bank account?

When you recoup money via a cashback program, you’ll directly offset a portion of the expenditures at your business. This money goes straight to your bottom line, without the need for extra costs or work on your behalf.

A cashback card could enable you to purchase better-quality equipment

A cashback card may also enable you to enhance the quality of your business by purchasing better-quality equipment. For example, let’s say that you have a budget of £20,000 for a new machine for your factory. However, when you factor in that you’ll be getting some of this money back as cashback, it affords you the ability to stretch your budget slightly.

Leveraging these benefits by choosing the best cashback card for your business

To make the most of the benefits mentioned above, you must choose a cashback card with care. Here are some of the main things you need to consider:

  • Minimum purchases – Some cashback cards require a minimum spend before you’re eligible for cashback. This isn’t typically a problem for small business owners and entrepreneurs with a high volume of company expenses. However, if the monthly minimum is higher than what you typically spend, this sort of card isn’t going to be right for you. You’ll want to make sure you’re actually getting cashback every month after all. 
  • Cashback rate – Of course, the cashback rate is critical when deciding what credit card to choose. As explained earlier, some businesses have 1% rates, some have 2% rates, and you may even be able to find some with higher rates. Rates can change over time as well, so you may start off on a promotional rate and then move on to a permanent rate. Some credit card companies also offer different rates based on the purchase you’re making, so always make sure you read the terms and conditions.
  • Annual fee – Some credit cards require an annual fee to be paid. Others are free to use. If you choose a card with an annual fee, you need to ensure the level of cashback you’ll receive on your purchases justifies the annual fee you need to pay. So, if your purchases last year would have only given you a cashback of £90, there’s really no point choosing a credit card with an annual fee of £100, is there? 
  • Bonuses – A lot of cashback cards come with a number of other bonuses as well, on top of the cashback. For example, you may get discounts at certain stores, or you may get access to other financial perks. Some may offer interest-free purchases for a specific period of time. When looking at the bonuses being offered, make sure they align with your business and the sort of purchases you typically make.
  • Cap-on rewards – Most of the cashback credit cards available today provide cashback on all eligible purchases without a spending limit. Nevertheless, there are some cards that’ll only give you cashback on purchases up to a specific amount of spending. Once you reach this limit, your benefits are reduced, or you don’t receive any cashback at all. For example, you may find a cashback card that only gives you 2% cash back on purchases up to £10,000. This could seriously limit your earning potential if you often make substantial purchases at your business. 
  • Spending categories – The awards on purchases differ by cashback program. Some cashback cards offer complete reimbursement on any costs relating to your company. Others offer different cashback levels for different kinds of purchases. This is why you need to carefully assess the terms and conditions so that you understand the rewards before you sign up.

Tips on using your business cashback card

Now that you know why cashback cards make sense for businesses of all sizes across all industries, let’s take a look at some tips to help you get started when using this card:

Use your cashback card for all business spending, but don’t overspend

Use your cashback card to make all purchases that you’d typically make at your business. Don’t start making extra purchases!

Sometimes, people can fall into the trap of overspending to get cashback. Remember, this is ultimately going to cost more money and result in you spending money you didn’t intend to.

So, continue your typical spending habits but use your cashback card instead to ensure you’re getting money back whenever you make a purchase.

Don’t withdraw money or borrow on these cards

Business cashback cards are a tool to get you rewards. They’re designed to be used like business debit cards, rather than for borrowing money or withdrawing cash.

If you need to borrow funds as well, you’ll be better off looking for a business credit card with the lowest interest rates. This will save you more money in the long run. Some business credit cards come with promotions where you get an interest-free period.

In terms of withdrawing cash, you’ll typically be charged a fee and interest, even if you repay the card in full each month. Therefore, you’ll effectively be wiping out the cashback you make.

Establish a direct debit and pay the card in full

Finally, we recommend paying your cashback credit card in full every month. If you don’t, you’ll be charged interest. This interest is essentially going to wipe out all of the money you have accumulated in rewards each month, so you’re defeating the purpose of using a rewards card, to begin with.

A lot of businesses prefer to have a cashback card and a low-interest credit card, and then they’ll make purchases accordingly based on their needs and whether or not they can repay in full within a month.

Make your money go further with a business cashback card

No matter what type of business you run, a cashback card can help you to unlock more funds so that you can boost your bottom line. All companies need supplies and services to run effectively, so why not get a little bit of your expenditure back every time?

Author bio:

Kerry Leigh Harrison has over 11+ years of experience as a content writer. She graduated from university with a First-Class Hons Degree in Multimedia Journalism. In her spare time, she enjoys attending sports and music events.

How Small Businesses Can Create a Viable Data Analytics Strategy

Data is a valuable asset for modern businesses as it offers valuable insights that facilitate better decisions. You can target customers with personalised strategies and ramp up employee productivity if you have more numbers on their behaviour and expectations. But small businesses feel apprehensive about joining the data analytics bandwagon as the move sounds expensive and daunting. However, you need not stress about the cost, effort, and timeline because a viable data analytics strategy can resolve all concerns. Here are some ways small businesses can create one within their budgets and capabilities.

Understand your data assets

The process starts by understanding and identifying your data assets. The good thing for small businesses is that they have fewer information pipelines, so they are actually easy to manage. Start by checking your workflows that transfer information to your databases and tools. Modern tools and apps allow organisations to pull data stored in them. For example, software such as CRMs, project management apps, and productivity tools can provide loads of information. Likewise, you can rely on first-hand sources like websites and survey tools to gather valuable information from customers and employees. Prepare a list of every number you can access from anywhere to start with the strategy.

Get the right people on board

Once you identify your data assets, you can get down to real work with analytics. But raw numbers are useless for business owners as they mean nothing. You must bring the right people on board to organise these numbers and present them to make sense. But hiring an in-house team of data engineers may not be possible for small businesses running on shoestring budgets. These resources are scarce, so they cost a lot of money. However, you can outsource data engineering services to move a step ahead with your strategy. These experts can help you crunch numbers, get insights, and create data warehouses to store them for future use. You get high-quality expertise at only a fraction of the cost, making it possible to empower your small business with the latest technology.

Pay attention to trends

The final step is to pick trends from analytics and leverage them for accurate decisions. Trends provide quantifiable information to small businesses as they accumulate over time and present patterns in the long term. Use the timeframe that works according to your requirements. Typically, short timeframes are better for beginners, though you can opt for longer ones after gaining experience with the technology. You can rely on them to predict the future of your business. Guesswork may still seem an easier way to act, but data-driven choices open bigger and better opportunities for small businesses. Moreover, keeping pace with trends enables you to gain a competitive advantage in the industry.

Small businesses have a wealth of data just like their bigger counterparts, but they often miss out on it. The apprehension about embracing analytics technology can keep you from making the most of the available data. You can try these simple steps to start your journey and build from there.

Author Bio

Samantha Jones is an experienced content writer heading the content department at Outreach Monks. She specialises in business and tech niches. Her inclination toward learning new technologies for enhancing business programs keeps her motivated to write. She aims to connect a deeper connection with her audience by giving the information in an easy-to-understand language.

The 5 Ways Smart Security System Helps Your Business and Home

A lot of people understand why homes and business premises need the integration of security systems on the surface level. Unfortunately, not many people put enough thought into the kind of systems they have.

They don’t even stop to think of how it provides protection. It’s more about having something to protect the organisation and not understanding the optimal business security integration solution.

For modern organisations, having the best alarm systems means having security integrated solutions. Security systems in the past were highly compartmentalised. A start-up may have integrated access control systems, intrusion detection, and a CCTV camera. However, all the different components did their jobs independently of each other.

With a custom integration security, you can get the various wireless alarm systems and bring them together in a centralised hub. Apart from making it easier to manage, the different parts of security systems can work together to offer high level protection.

How Smart Security Systems Help Businesses and Homes

Installing, alarming, disarming, paying a monthly fee, and handling false alarm situations are some of the factors tied to monitored security systems. This can cause you to wonder if home security systems are worth the inherent hassle.

There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to smart security systems for homes. Some of those factors include how the security system will benefit you and the family. Read below to understand why.

Reduced Electricity Bills

The latest smart home technologies have become increasingly integrated with commercial security systems. By integrating these systems into your business, the monitoring systems will help to reduce electricity consumption. Smart locks and thermostats will enable you to manage your space and security. This can be done without anyone having to step outside.

From a thermostat, a temperature and lighting access, the home alarm system allows you to access your building from your device. With such technologies, you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn off your lights when you leave the office or home. That’s because you can turn it off from your phone no matter where you are.

Cut back on your electricity spending by closing shop using remote monitoring security services. Vivint security packages can add an additional layer of security in your home or business premises. Smart technologies like Vivint smart home security are also beneficial to your business. Installing a commercial or home security can be beneficial to you, your loved ones, your tenants, and business.

Improved Safety and Productivity

Home alarm systems and wireless business alarms can improve safety in various ways. Surveillance cameras for business security integration, for instance, are some of the most effective deterrents against crime.

An access control system can be an effective measure to exclude those with heinous intent from your business premises. This can help make for a safer workplace for your staff.

Workplace safety is very crucial. But what you may not know is that it’s an effective way to boost productivity. That’s because employees are happier when they know that the work environment is safe and happier employees are more productive.

Protection Against False Claims

You have probably heard of a case where a business was targeted by a false claim. In some of the cases, it’s usually an attempt by the claimant to get payment from the businesses’ insurer. This can even be from an angered employee or a client getting back at the business for something the employee holds against them from the past. Their target may be to damage the reputation of the business.

Remember that false claims can be damaging, and they can also be difficult to disapprove. But if you have integrated security systems, you’ll likely find the evidence to fight false claims.

Video footage is an obvious piece of evidence that can be used to disapprove a claim. There are also other records that can be used to prove that the events did not happen as described by the claimant.

Protects and Secures Business Assets

The protection of assets is one of the most important factors for businesses. Whether physical or digital, security systems for homes and commercial buildings can do just that. With layered protection, you can make use of security monitoring consultants and 24/7 remote monitoring.

From online to real-life, security systems for home and commercial buildings can protect your assets from cyber-crime. They can also protect your assets from employees and many other threats.

With customised cameras, monitoring systems, and fibre networks, you can keep tabs on everything and everyone. That includes employees, machinery, digital infrastructure, and other belongings.

It’s Easier to Manage an Integrated Security System

It’s easier to manage and control integrated security systems from one program. You don’t have to move from a burglar alarm system to a CCTV camera. Then move to the access control method if you intend to review an incident or make a report about an activity.

With everything being in one place, it will be easier to manage your business’s security system. Moreover, these integrators also make it possible to manage and control the security system remotely. A lot of these security systems and integration are adaptable with smartphone applications. They are also compatible with desktop computer programs.

You can be away from your business and still check the video surveillance camera’s review to access reports. You can also receive custom alerts about alarm concerns.

Conclusion

The integration of security systems may be expensive. However, the benefits far exceed the additional investment.

It gives you home and business enhanced protection that’s easier to manage. The systems can also be customised to meet the specific needs of your business. Apart from that, smart security systems integration saves you money in the long run.

Remember that with smart home security systems, you can control them using smart devices. With your tablet or smartphone, you will be able to gain access from anywhere. You can check the security cameras either at home or in your business and control them as well.

With your home and business secure, the peace of mind is worth the investment you indulge in.

Business Ideas for Anyone Who Wants to Be Self-Employed

It may seem difficult to come up with a solid business idea, but with little thought and preparation, you may easily start a small business to supplement your income or work for yourself full-time.

Perhaps you already have a plan for the company you want to launch. Although you can be enthusiastic about your concept and feel prepared for a new endeavour, you might also be looking for some guidance.

Finding a business idea that works for you is the first step to becoming a successful entrepreneur. You’ll find a tonne of home-based small business ideas in this post that you can expand as your clientele increases. Let’s get going.

1. Handyperson

Do you frequently make repairs around the house? Frequently available to help friends with modest projects. Make a website, evaluate the value of your time and talent using a competitive analysis, and ask the folks you’ve already assisted for recommendations.

If you’ve already developed a strong set of talents to assist others in fixing up their homes, starting a handyman service is a good choice. Consider specialising in a field in which you feel competent. For instance, if you are familiar with the inner workings of a sink and its water supply, you might start by giving sink repair services before expanding your scope as you gain more experience.

2. Carpenter

Similar to this, if you enjoy making beautiful wood furniture or other home goods, that can be a suitable small business specialty for you. Start by adding a handful of your items to online shops like Etsy. Once you get a following, you can think about launching a website, taking on special orders, or going into upholstery and refinishing.

If you already have a love for woodworking and the equipment necessary to start filling orders as they come in, starting a small business as a woodworker is great. You don’t want to be “training” when you make a custom shelf or a custom storage box because providing a well-made product is essential to maintaining your customers’ satisfaction.

3. A Specialist in Alterations & Sewing

You may be the person who fixes buttons and hems clothing because people will always need these things done. If you enjoy sewing and have a sewing machine at home, start by providing basic services like those listed above and then as your clientele and demand grow, broaden your range to include dressmaking and design.

To start a sewing and alterations business, you don’t need a particular licence or degree, but it’s important to develop your talents so you can take on more challenging assignments. High-end customers will desire intricate apparel items like suits, slacks, gowns, and dresses customised. You’ll see the most potential for profit there.

4. Independent Programmer

Quality web development is in high demand right now, from creating websites for other small businesses to offering technical support for specific projects. You’ll naturally have a technical skill set if you work as a web developer. Condense your knowledge and experience so that consumers who lack your experience can grasp what you will be assisting them with.

Test your messaging on friends and relatives who are unfamiliar with your line of employment to assist with this. Your messaging is probably effective with those outside of your business if they can sum up what you do. By exploring several freelance websites, you can begin locating your first contracts.

5. Individual Trainer

To spread the message, provide in-home consultations, individualised diet and activity plans, and neighbourhood boot camps. Don’t forget to fill your Instagram feed with motivational sayings, cost-free workout videos, and delectable snack suggestions as well; this is a frequent strategy used by fitness experts to establish their businesses in the digital age.

6. Independent Graphic Artist

Create a portfolio and business you’re proud of, set your own hours, and decide which projects to work on. Many businesses go to skilled graphic designers for assistance on a range of initiatives, including website design, blog graphics, and more.

the positive news Although obtaining a certification (such as a certificate in graphic design from SAIC or RISD) or an associate degree in design is not necessary to work as a freelance graphic designer, it can help you feel more confidence when you present your portfolio and finish your first few assignments.

7. Independent Author

There is someone out there who will pay you for your writing abilities. Write as much website copy, magazine articles, and blog entries as you like, but make sure you have a portfolio of your work that you can show prospective clients. Even a small number of sample pieces will help you showcase your work and draw in new clients.

Selecting a speciality is crucial if you want to work as a freelance writer. For instance, you might decide to concentrate on leisure publications or solely write for journals in the healthcare sector (perhaps because you have experience in the field). In any case, specialising will enable you to identify your target audience and develop your confidence as a new freelance writer.

8. Landscaper

The demands of the neighbourhood include mowing, tree pruning, and seasonal decoration. A lucrative venture, if you have the equipment or can get it, is landscaping. If you enjoy doing it for your own house and have a good sense of landscape design, it’s also a terrific option.

It’s fantastic news that you can make a modest start. For instance, you could start with a few perennial plants and give your neighbours seasonal planting services, or you could just mulch their lawns.

9. A Cameraman

You must initially invest in the necessary equipment for video production, which can be rather expensive. But it’s also the reason why your services are so highly valued. Make sure you have a reel of your work to show others or make a website with a number of your work samples accessible to potential customers.

Starting a video producing company has no educational or licencing requirements. But specialisation is advantageous, much like in literature and other creative fields. Wedding videos and real estate videos are very different from in-studio interviews and client testimonials, respectively. By specialising, you can more effectively develop your skills in a single shooting style and target a very specific clientele who will gain the most from your offerings.

10. Photojournalist

Start by organising picture sessions for your loved ones. Ask for recommendations and evaluations as you develop your body of work. Create a Facebook page where you may tag recent clients as photography firms frequently expand through word of mouth. When you tag those customers in photos, your work will be visible to their friends in their newsfeeds. You can also ask them to leave reviews on your Facebook business page.

You should specialise, just like in a small business for video production. Will you take on portrait or product shoots? What about a fashion or wedding photo shoot? You’ll be able to produce a body of work that best reflects your strengths after you specialise.

11. Food Truck Proprietor

I’ve always wanted to own my own restaurant, but I’m not quite ready. Use a food truck to test out your ideas. Before opening or making an investment in a brick-and-mortar shop, it’s a terrific opportunity to learn about cuisine and restaurant licencing in your state, see what people like and dislike, and develop a rabid following.

The cost of a food truck will be higher, but fortunately, you may rent the actual truck. We advise renting one in advance of an event like a food festival or concert because the cost would be considerable. There, you’ll get the chance to gauge the level of interest in your cuisine and decide whether the food truck industry is a good fit for you.

12. Auto Detailing Expert

Details are where the devil is, and you can be there too. For busy folks who lack the time to run through the car wash, mobile automobile detailing services are convenient. Your customers will only need to make a payment with this firm, and the service will be completed for them right away. Just make sure you have the adaptability, means of transportation, and tools necessary to take your company mobile.

The UK’s Toys R Us Website Has Returned Before Christmas

In order to announce its comeback before the key Christmas shopping season, Toys R Us has developed a new website in the UK.

Over 100 companies are now offering about 14,000 toys on the website. All orders ordered before 6pm will receive next-day delivery for free on orders over £20.

The website’s welcome message reads, “We’re back! We can’t wait to see you!”

Although there are currently no plans to construct any further Toys R Us physical locations, the firm will only have its website available as it makes a comeback after four years.

The toy store filed for bankruptcy in 2018 and shut down all 100 of its UK locations before announcing plans for a rebirth in October of the previous year.

Pillars of Play, which presents a selection of carefully chosen toys that support child development throughout a wide range of ages and stages, and The Demo Zone, where toys are tested out, are just a few of the sections that customers may explore on the new website.

Why is Toys R Us returning to the UK?

Following the closure of hundreds of locations worldwide in 2018, Toys R Us has reached an agreement with WHP Global to take the helm in bringing the brand back in the UK.

The business has chosen to concentrate on internet sales rather than in-store transactions and anticipates success as we approach Christmas.

Toys R Us closed, why?

When Toys R Us initially opened its doors in 1985, it established itself as the first children’s toy supermarket in the world. However, by 2017, the firm had racked up debts of more than £3.5 billion, and it filed for bankruptcy.