Thursday, April 24, 2014

Are you careful when it comes to privacy?

Image from I'd Pin That!

Do you stay logged in all the time? Do you remember to factory reset when getting your phone repaired?

This week I took my phone in to get the screen fixed. It was free, but I will be getting a better case for it when I get my phone back.

Because I will be without my phone for a week, I was given a loan phone. I took it, didn't think anything of it until later when I had charged it a little and I had notifications for Facebook, email and so on.

But I haven't logged in?

No. The person who used the phone before me was still logged in, to everything! They hadn't logged out or reset the phone. I was shocked. For starters, the store promises to do it, but because I don't trust anyone, I do it myself.

Before getting my phone repaired I made sure it was fully backed up then did a factory reset to clear it.

If I was not a nice person, I now had total access to this guy's details for everything and could have done anything I liked. But I didn't. I remembered his name, factory reset the phone, then sent him a private message on Facebook from my account on my laptop, informing him what had happened. He said he didn't know how to do it and the shop had said they would, but clearly hadn't. he was also grateful to know and that I wasn't using his details.

Getting your phone repaired is not the only reason to log out or factory reset or be cautious with privacy.

I have a pin lock for my phone so no one can pick it up and just read it.
I delete a lot of messages after they have been read, unless really important. There are some I have locked or screenshot, but for the most part I delete. This has caused a few funny scenarios, but for the most part is good.
I move pictures to my laptop or to the cloud so I have copies.
I have logged out or uninstalled a lot of apps too.

It's not that I think anything will happen, or live in fear. I don't. These are just habits I have formed which protect my privacy. You don't need to be connected or logged in all the time.

Do you know how to reset your phone? Do you make sure to wipe, delete or log out when necessary? If a thief grabbed your phone right now, what would they have access to?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ways to maximise superannuation and it's benefits

Do you know all the benefits your superannuation account has?

From the moment you start working your employer should be paying into your superannuation account, 9.25% to be exact. You can choose who you go with and there are significant differences between superannuation companies so it is worth it to shop around.

The main benefit of superannuation is obviously having money for retirement, but did you know there are other benefits such as life insurance, TPD and income protection insurance you can access? By default your superannuation fund will have a minimal amount of cover, but you can opt to increase this cover and have the premiums paid from your superannuation, which in many cases works out much cheaper than separate insurance.

Having these insurances is very important and it is a relief to know that even though you might not be able to afford the insurance separately, if you are working there is likely to be some level of cover with your super fund which you can access. Also, if you have more than one superannuation account because you haven't gotten around to combining them, you may be eligible to claim from multiple accounts, but it is best to get advice from a professional to ensure you get what you are entitled to.

As a single mum, I would not be without insurance. For example, should something happen to me, life insurance will ensure my children are financially covered and that their legal guardians aren't placed under financial pressure taking on two more children.

With temporary and permanent disability insurance if I were to be injured or end up with a fatal disease, again financially we would be ok.

Income protection helps should I be out of work temporarily.

These insurances, if paid for outside superannuation could easily cost a family $1,000 a year per parent. Not having to pay this money, but still having the peace of mind that your family is protected is a great bonus many do not realise their super has. Make sure you know how much you are covered for, compare insurance policies and get legal advice if needed when claiming to ensure you get what you are entitled to.

Do you have these insurances through your superannuation or separately?

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 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 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