10 Tools That Keep Entrepreneurs Organized and Productive

August 18, 2020

By Gerri Detweiler –

We’ve all got our own favorite tips, tricks, and tools that help us organize our task lists, assign projects, and manage deliverables. Today, there are more apps and software programs geared toward business owners than ever. I interviewed 10 entrepreneurs to find out what they use to stay on top of everything.

1. Monday: Streamline Communication Channels

Aalap Shah, founder of 1o8, an e-comm-focused digital agency in Chicago, loves Monday.com for project management.

“My business has clients, vendors, independent contractors, and full-time folks all trying to communicate, and it has streamlined our Slack, email, and file management tools into one centralized (and colorful) dashboard that allows us to glance at a project and know where it’s at. I love the integrations it has—be it invoicing, other communications tools, Google Drive—along with the extensive training and documentation that it has for a novice to be able to take this tool and harness it to its fullest potential.” (more…)

COVID-19 and Cyber Security

March 20, 2020

By Troy Richardson, South-West Texas Border SBDC Network –

Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. COVID-19 originated in China and has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. As countries, states, and communities take preventive measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, more businesses are allowing their employees to work remotely. It’s important to understand how this situation may affect your cyber security hygiene.

KEY POINTS

As with most significant global events, cyber criminals will leverage the event against potential targets to advance or achieve a malicious goal. This is most often carried out through phishing attacks. The cyber criminals send emails claiming to be from organizations that a recipient might expect to hear from, considering the current event. For example, with the COVID-19 disease, the emails may appear to come from a government health organization such as the CDC or other health care authorities. Users should be aware of this tactic and utilize good cyber security hygiene to include: (more…)

Get Ready for Your Annual Website Spring Cleaning

March 9, 2020

By Ramon Ray –

Spring is on the way, and according to one survey, 77% of households do some form of spring cleaning. As a business owner, the concept of spring cleaning can be applied to the place where much of your information resides — your website. An annual website “spring cleaning” is a great idea for your business.

The Basics

If you’re going to do a major cleaning, you’ll want to tackle the most important parts first.

As reported in Smart Hustle, in a VistaPrint survey, respondents considered up-to-date and accurate content to be most important on small business websites. They were bothered by outdated product and contact information and a lack of address, directions and business hours. In addition, consumers were less likely to buy from a poorly designed website. (more…)

5 Steps to Stop Small Business Cyber Crime

November 18, 2019

By John Sileo –

Cyber CrimeOn August 12, 2003, as I was just sitting down to a tea party with my daughters and their stuffed animals, the doorbell rang. Standing there when I opened the door was a big, burly special agent from the economic crimes unit at the district attorney’s office—ready to issue a subpoena for my arrest. In a calm but ominous voice, he told me I was going to be charged for electronically embezzling (hacking) $298,000 from customers of my small software company, and that the DA’s office had enough digital DNA to put me in jail for a decade.

I was the victim of cyber crime, and I should have known better. You see, earlier that year my identity was stolen and sold to a woman in Florida. This woman purchased a home, committed a number of crimes, drained my bank accounts and filed for bankruptcy—all in my name. I learned all of this one day at the bank, right before I was escorted out by security guards.

The experience of losing my money, time and dignity motivated me to protect my personal information assets with a vengeance. Unfortunately, I didn’t apply my newfound cyber vigilance to my professional life, which is how I ended up standing on my front step holding a tiny teacup and shaking like a leaf. (more…)

Cyber Safety for Small Businesses

October 28, 2019

With a whopping 30.2 million small businesses in the U.S, it’s no surprise they make up 99.9% of all United States businesses. Owning and running a business comes with a lot of added responsibility, one being the safety of employees — cyber safety included. With so many cyber threats running in the background of devices and the Internet, how can you keep your small business safe? Here are some steps to start the process.

Protect all devices

As companies hire, grow and expand, the use of devices is essential. Company devices should be properly protected before being actively used by employees. Plan to update all devices accordingly, to keep all systems working properly and efficiently use. Never forget to download antivirus software to help block any threats that can infiltrate your business. Viruses aren’t the only criminal making its way to your devices. Some other threats include: malware, ransomware, adware, pharming, phishing, and many more.

According to Candid Wueest, Principal Threat Researcher, Security Technology & Response team (STAR), Symantec Corporation, the warning signs of viruses are next to none: “Unless it is a ransomware threat that encrypts all your files, there are often no apparent clues that a computer is infected with malware. Some indications might be a 100% workload of the CPU or strange pop-up messages, but in most cases the user will only notice the consequences when people complain about strange emails, unusual logins or fraudulent transactions on payment cards.” (more…)