Get some excellent advice for securing your business online from the folks at Stay Smart Online by clicking on the link below to view in your browser or download. The Small Business Guide 2nd Ed. is well worth the read if you consider your business worth protecting 😉
The logo is one of the most important design elements for the identity of a business. It is the first visual element that introduces and quickly identifies a business, acting as a business icon for familiarity, and being a memorable symbol of the company.
What is G Suite?
G Suite is a cloud-based productivity suite that helps teams communicate, collaborate and get things done from anywhere and on any device. It’s simple to set up, use and manage, so your business can focus on what really matters.
Millions of organizations around the world count on G Suite for professional email, file storage, video meetings, online calendars, document editing and more.
These are some highlights:
Business email for your domain
Looking professional matters, and that means communicating as email@example.com. Gmail’s simple, powerful features help you build your brand while getting more done.
Access from any location or device
Check emails, share files, edit documents, hold video meetings and more, whether you’re at work, at home or in transit. You can pick up where you left off from a computer, tablet or phone.
Enterprise-level management tools
Robust admin settings give you total command over users, devices, security and more. Your data always belongs to you, and it goes with you, if you switch solutions.
1 August 2017
Update: Google’s G-Suite is now available as G-Suite Basic or G-Suite Business. The Basic subscription is now AUD $5.50 per user per month and is suitable for most small to medium organisations. G-Suite Business has unlimited cloud storage and extra administrative features to suit larger organisations for $11 per user per month. A 2-week trial is available for both plans which can be paid in monthly or yearly instalments.
Some months ago we started trialling Wordfence as a security measure for our own websites and our client’s websites to evaluate the efficacy of this software service. Having this installed on a website is the equivalent of the antivirus software on your computer that protects against malicious hackers gaining access and doing really horrible things than can damage your website, your company’s reputation, or your wallet by holding your site to ransom. Wordfence compiles a list of intruder countries, IP addresses and uses advisories and clever defence techniques to keep your site protected beyond just using a username and password. At this point, we have installed and provided this service for free, but later we will be offering a yearly fee for those who wish to retain this service in the future (to be announced).
While we believe that a strong password is important (you can read Google’s advice here), the addition of 2-step verification is also a very good additional protection against criminals. The 2-step verification system uses your mobile phone to send you a once-only code that you enter in your login prompt on your computer when logging into an online account. Most major software companies offer this for their account holders now, including Microsoft, Apple and Google. By using 2-step verification, an intruder can’t just use a password to login, they would need to have access to your phone as well to access your computer or apps.
Because different passwords are vital for every account login you have, we strongly recommend using a password manager. There are many password managers available – some are paid subscription, some free or paid, and there are some that are free. We have used LastPass for some time now and can highly recommend this secure password management tool for managing all your passwords. Having to only remember one password to access all your passwords, keep secure notes and autofill for login fields is a certainly a major benefit for your time and security of your passwords.
Passwords are a pain for many of us to figure one out and then try to remember. This great article on passwords by Inga Ting from the Sydney Morning Herald website is recommended reading.
There are many good payment gateway options available today, but we use and recommend PayPal because we know it is a convenient, safer way of paying for goods or services as a customer. For a business, it is also a great way to get paid by your clients or customers, and with PayPal’s Buyer Protection Guarantee to help protect you from fraud, it is an extra assurance that your identity and money is protected. Another feature of PayPal payments that many people do not realise is that you don’t have to have a PayPal account to make a payment with PayPal! – you simply enter your credit card details as you normally would, and PayPal will send a confirmation email to you.
Though Wisefocus Designs does accept direct bank deposits, we find that PayPal’s features, like email payment receipt confirmation, invoice creation, recurring payments, and the ability to manually record payments makes it a very simple, secure and convenient way of invoicing your customers with a central system of accepting payments. If you have an e-commerce website, it goes without saying that providing PayPal as a payment option is a necessity for your online store’s check out, equally offering both the vendor and the customer’s protection. PayPal has been around for years now and is arguably the world leader in safe online payment methods with a good track record and reputation as an online payment gateway.
Of course, it should be noted that credit card providers do provide buyer protection for individual or fraudulent purchases made with your card but if only our established bank’s had improved on and implemented a set up like PayPal did years ago, I feel they would certainly have dominion over online payments today. Another thing to take into account is fees and charges: Bpay and Direct Deposit are generally free if done within Australia.
One example of what PayPal can do that bank’s don’t, is the ability to cancel recurring direct debiting from your credit card. We have had this bad experience ourselves, where, if money is withdrawn without our permission, we were advised by the bank to contact the the vendor and ask them to cancel our recurring payments – it is at the discretion of the vendor whether they will oblige you with this! In other words, once you have given a vendor the OK to automatically debit your credit card, your account, and money, is in their hands. If the vendor will not cancel the recurring automatic payment, your only option with the bank is to cancel the credit card and request a completely new credit card – and then remember to notify all of your other automatic payment vendors of the new card before you have services cut off and a bad credit mark put on your business. A few years ago, a conversation with one of our big bank’s Customer Complaints Liaison Managers regarding this very issue concluded with a recommendation from him that customer’s should use PayPal, as he does himself! The Customer Liaison Manager also expressed the opinion that there is no such thing as total safety in online transactions, and only careful diligence of your purchases and by checking your account transactions will it help you to avoid being robbed of your hard-earned monies.
It is very easy to set up PayPal accounts for personal, business, or both. As a business you use PayPal for receiving payments online, in person, on mobile phone or by email. You just download an app to use on your phone or tablet and purchase the Paypal Here card reader that allows you to process credit or debit card payments. The PayPal Here devices can be purchased from suppliers like Officeworks for less than $100!
Stay Smart Online is a service provided by the Australian Government to advise and educate Australians about scams and privacy attacks on the internet.
Wisefocus Designs is proud to announce that we have been accepted as a partner by Stay Smart Online to help assist in raising awareness about the ways that business and individuals can protect themselves online from scams and attacks on their privacy.
First of all, it’s important to establish that the responsibility for your online security, and your privacy, is yours, and not the internet’s. This is because the internet is not an entity but a state of linked communication – rather like a virtual ocean of digital shipping lanes transporting information from port to port, and it would be as absurd as believing that an authority controls every cubic centimetre of our worldwide ocean, and can protect us from everything in it.
The larger the company, the more robust the security that they tend to have. Of course, no private information can ever be guaranteed to be entirely risk-free from being taken and used by someone, but the tools that the bigger companies employ to protect against hacking, phishing, spam and malware are constantly developed and updated to ensure continued trust with internet users. *Statistically, there is a much greater threat to our security that we open ourselves in our email inbox, with email breaches responsible for 40% of deceptive practice, while the internet makes up only 8.5% (in large part thanks to antivirus programs). An interesting fact to note is that the original electronic communication, the telephone, is how 35.8% of frauds are made. To protect yourself, don’t react to what you like to hear, use your critical thinking to protect yourself from being seduced by fear or favour into signing up or giving money to scam artists. If in doubt, say no. It’s your right.
Most large internet companies such as Google, Apple and Microsoft have privacy agreements for their account holders. In the video below from Google, they explain how your data is accrued, protected and used.
*Statistics from the Australian Government’s Scam Watch website.
Some interesting stats from the Australian Bureau of Statistics website taken from the Australian Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2014-15 survey. There were some surprising facts revealed that certainly shows that the truth is probably not what we thought.
For more information, you can see the graphs and text in the document “8146.0 – Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2014-15” on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website.
G-suite, formally known as Google Apps for Work, is a business platform that we believe is the perfect answer for any business, from small to large, to run their business on. G-suite is the next generation of software that runs in the cloud – providing email domain control with an easy to use and very reliable email system with vast storage. Along with the Gmail service is the online equivalent of Microsoft Office, that has the easy to use Docs (MS Word), Sheets (MS Excel), Slides (MS Powerpoint presentations), and, of course, Gmail (MS Outlook). It also includes Google Drive storage from 30Gb per user up to infinity storage per user (for $10 per month). We use it and we like it because it works, has everything we need, and while not as complex as MS Office, it is much cheaper than MS Office 365, starting at only $5 per user per month – that’s only $60 per year!
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