Monday, April 14, 2014

Tips to Ensure Your Online Credit Card Purchases Are Safe

The Internet has brought the world into our living rooms making shopping online easy and convenient, but as many can attest, this is not always safe. Although protecting yourself from every imaginable threat is nearly impossible, not to mention incredibly stressful, you can significantly reduce the risks. As an individual, the only thing you have to be concerned about is your own security, but if you are a small business owner, then the security of your customers is also a primary concern.

Individual Security 
Before making a purchase you need to consider two things-the security of the computer you are using and the trustworthiness of the retailer handling your credit card details.
• When shopping online it is safest to use your personal computer Many websites and programs save login information, as a convenience, however if you happen to be using a shared computer, this convenience gives the person using the computer after you easy access to your account. Another concern is that you do not know what software is on an unknown computer. There are a great many tools out there for hackers, like key logging software that can be used to record your usernames, passwords, you name it. So, make it difficult for virtual thieves, use your own computer!
• Don’t shop while connected to public Wi-Fi The safest place to shop online from is your home. Hackers and thieves can gather information you transmit and receive over a public Wi-Fi, so make sure your Wi-Fi at home is private and secure.
• Use good Anti-Virus software If you are connected to the Internet then you need anti-virus software. However just installing one is not enough. Different software catch different types of viruses, so install two reliable software that scan and update your machine regularly.
  • Keep your computer up to date Every piece of software has a flaw somewhere, as the developers discover these flaws they release patches to counteract the loophole. It is especially important to keep your operating system and browser up to date, as hackers can use these holes to gain access to your computer and steal information.
• Passwords ‘Password’ as a password, is not a password. Strong passwords really do make a difference. Use a combination of numbers, symbols and letters; this will dramatically improve your online safety. The password for each account should be unique; using the same password for multiple accounts is just easier on hackers.
• Only buy from reputable retailers Before giving an online retailer your credit card details check that they are reputed. Make sure the website looks plausible. Is it old or poorly designed? Check review sites to see what others say. You will usually be safer dealing with large well-known companies.
• S for secure There are a couple of quick checks you can do before entering your details on a web page. Look at the web page’s address; it should start with https:// not http://. The ‘s’ is important; it tells you that they are transmitting your information in a secure encrypted manner. Another green light is if the website displays seals of approval from organizations like Better Business Bureau and VeriSign.

There are a number of organizations that verify the quality of security a website is using. If a website passes then it is allowed to display the seal of approval. Unfortunately these seals can be faked, but almost all genuine retailers will display one or more seals of approval. So if a seal is absent then refrain from entering your credit card details.
 
Security of a Small Business All of the tips for individuals apply to small businesses that are making purchases online. In addition however, you need to consider the safety of your customers. The easiest way to do this is by using a reputable merchant account service. There are a heap of different providers so choosing the right one can be tricky. Here are a few guidelines to help.
  • PCI DSS compliancy The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard has been established to ensure that businesses dealing with credit card information are storing and transmitting data in a safe and secure way. Making sure your business meets these standards can be made significantly easier by choosing a merchant account service provider that is compliant and works with you.
• Reputation With so many providers using such a wide range of hardware and software to provide services, it is virtually impossible to keep track of everything. Look for a payment processor with a proven track record such as creditcardprocessing.com and remember it is worth paying a bit more to protect your customers and the reputation of your business.

All Rights Reserved. Jordan is the original Author and AspiringMillionaire.com is the authorized publisher of this content. Unauthorized republishing of this content will result into violation of Copyright laws. Doing the same may lead to initiation of legal proceedings by the Author and/or Publisher. However, you are allowed to like, tweet, share or promote the article link in your network without prior permission. 
Author Bio: Jordan is a 28 year old entrepreneur and a former Business Developer. With an insatiable appetite for the good life, keeps himself current on topics related to technology, gaming and his first love, food. He shares his views in his blog posts hoping to provide valuable information to entrepreneurs like himself who wish to establish a successful business.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Raising Financially Savvy Kids, Productivity and More...



This week I am featured on an interview on Wisebread for my other site Kylie Ofiu, where I share tips on raising financially savvy children, my business, blogging, productivity and more.

What tips do you have for financially savvy children or productivity?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Organising a party for your employees

Well, aren’t you a great boss? Throwing a party is a great way to reward your employees and get to know everyone a bit better. It might not be Christmas, but who says it has to be the holidays to treat your hard-working staff?

Being given the job of organising the work night out is daunting enough, but planning an entire party is another thing altogether – especially if you want to make a good impression.

Here are five top tips if you’re starting to panic about pulling together the social event of the year and keeping your business running at the same time.

1.     Plan ahead

You would think it goes without saying, but if you want to keep on top of your business and plan a party, you’re going to need plenty of time. Leaving everything until the last minute is never a good idea, so don’t be afraid to kick things off a couple of months before the event.

2.     Set the date

Unless you want to spend the evening celebrating by yourself, set the date as soon as possible. This will give your employees plenty of time to slot it into their busy social diaries.

3.     Budget

You might want to do everything to impress your employees with the party of the year, but splashing out on champagne and luxury canap├ęs might be more than your budget can take. Think about how much you’re spending and make sure you don’t end up with a financial hangover. However, don’t be afraid to take advantage of a small business card if you’re waiting for invoices to clear.

4.     Location

While it might be okay to throw a casual after work event in the canteen, is that what you really want for this special event? Research party locations and see if you can find somewhere unique. Not only will you be remembered for being a great boss, but your party will go down a storm too.

5.     Entertainment

The last thing you want is a group of bored guests. As with any party, the entertainment is key as it will also set the mood. Booking karaoke might seem like fun, but it could also end up being a bit cheesy. Think about whether you want the night to be formal, casual, fun or elegant – and don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

These ideas should get your creative juices flowing and allow you to give your employees the recognition they deserve.


 Featured post from Sarah Thompson

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Simple ways to save more money

We live in a consumer driven society. Keeping up appearances, looking like you have money and throwing everything on the credit card or getting a loan is much more common than living frugally and within your means.

I am generally pretty good with my money. It surprises me how many people who are struggling are over spending in areas they really don't need to. I know it is hard to change your mindset, but here are a few things you can do to save more money.

1.) Shop from your closet. Michelle from the shop my closet project took a year off buying any clothing. She just finished and you can read about the 10 things she learned from doing it. Go through your clothing, make a list of what you have, mix and match items you haven't worn together before. Work out ways to make do with what you have. Mend anything that needs it and take care of your clothing.

When I buy clothes, I buy second hand usually, quality brands that I know will last and I know what size I am in them. I often want new clothes, but I don't need any. I have a good wardrobe I can mix and match and layer up for winter.

2.) Carry a snack and a drink. By always having something to eat and drink on you it stops you buying expensive drinks and snacks when out. It can help tide you over until you get home too.

3.) Is it a want or a need? With every purchase you consider making, ask yourself if it is a want or a need? And don't try to justify it to be a need. If it is a true need, no justification is really necessary.

4.) Have a goal. Having a goal and a reason to save money makes it much easier to stop impulse buys and put the money into savings.

5.) Know your weakness. What do you frivolously spend money on? Is there something you can't seem to resist buying? Knowing what your weakness is can help you control it. I deleted the eBay app from my phone because I noticed I would get bored and look up things like clothes and books that I didn't really need. By deleting it, I helped control a weakness.

6.) Don't go to the shops. Just don't go. Don't wander around, don't window shop, don't meet friends there for a coffee. Just don't. Shopping centres and malls are not a source of entertainment (well, they are but shouldn't be.) There are so many other ways to spend your time or meet up with friends. How often do you 'window shop' then end up spending?

7.) Compare. Simple, but not done enough. Compare everything. Shop around for insurance, bank accounts, electricity, phone, internet, everything. If you are paying for something, compare the deals out there and make sure you are getting the best one for your circumstances.

8.) Learn to DIY. Some things are better left to professionals, but others you can learn to do yourself and save significant amounts of money.

What simple changes could you make to save more money?

Monday, March 31, 2014

How to be a tax hero - Beer, Bacon and Business

Do you dread it when tax season rolls around? Do you always wait till the very last minute to file your taxes? Are taxes, in fact, the bane of your existence? But wait. Aren’t you tired of cowering and hiding each time tax season draws closer? How then can you brave tax season without fear? Maybe it’s time for a plan of action. Maybe it’s finally time you took matters into your own hands and looked tax season in the eye and said, “I am a tax hero and you’ve got nothing on me!”  



Let’s be honest, tax season can be a tad daunting. The truth is doing your taxes is just one of those things you learn as you do. But there’s always a start and this just might be it! Armed with this knowledge, there’s no way you’ll dread tax season as it approaches. In fact, I may even go as far as to say this is the first step you’ll ever take towards becoming a tax hero!
References:
  • ehow.com/list_6694273_tax-saving-tips-usa.html
  • 1800Accountant.com
  • money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/2012/03/02/tips-for-preparing-your-taxes


All Rights Reserved. Jordan is the original Author and AspiringMillionaire.com is the authorized publisher of this content. Unauthorized republishing of this content will result into violation of Copyright laws. Doing the same may lead to initiation of legal proceedings by the Author and/or Publisher.
However, you are allowed to like, tweet, share or promote the article link in your network without prior permission.

Author Bio:
Jordan is a 28 year old entrepreneur and a former Business Developer. With an insatiable appetite for the good life, keeps himself current on topics related to technology, gaming and his first love, food. He shares his views in his blog posts hoping to provide valuable information to entrepreneurs like himself who wish to establish a successful business.