Twelve Key Questions You Need to Ask About Your Computer Security for Your Home or Business

Security technology is only a part of an overall security plan. If you own a small business or a home-based business, or if you’ve been tasked with implementing security at your organization, developing a comprehensive security plan should be a very important part of your overall security strategy. Get the information you need to get started on the right track! In the computer/internet security game, the best move is one of Prevention! Prevention! Prevention!

With that in mind, here are the twelve questions you need to be asking, or, at least, be thinking about if you’re serious about preventing or stopping security risks, threats, and attacks:

1. Do I have a solid security policy or strategy?

If you don’t, begin immediately to get sample security plans, policies, and best practices for your business and/or home.

2. Where would I go for key information and news on keeping your information private?

Search the internet for managed security services. Ask if they provide a free computer test to assess your pc’s level of vulnerability. Ask if they provide the latest tips to keep your privacy and protect your personal information and that of your business. Or simply – ask me.

3. Does my disaster recovery plan include redundant back-up and data recovery systems?

Understand what a good data back up system is and how to best recover from a disaster.

4. Do I know how to create safe passwords?

Learn how to write virtually un-crackable passwords.

5. How do I train my employees or family members to be secure?

Get all leading research on what to teach about security.

6. What do I do if my employees are my biggest security risk?

Learn all about social engineering and insider hacking.

7. What or who is a hacker?

A person who uses and/or creates software technology to break into the computers of individuals, businesses, government, and organizations for personal gain is known as a hacker. Often after he, she, or they hack into a computer, they can control it secretly by remote, making it a “zombie computer”.

8. How does he (or she or they) break into home and business computers?

If they don’t have the break-in software, they can buy it off the black market, or create it, themselves. With this technology, they use their malicious software to look for holes in the computers of their targeted victims.

9. To what extent might my home or business computers be vulnerable to hackers, hacker’s tools, viruses, etc.?

You will never know unless you take the time to test your computer to see what holes are open, by what back doors (up to 65,000 portals) are malware entering your computer.

10. What is “drive-by hacking”?

Because wireless Internet access points have become popular for homes and businesses, home and business computers have now become a major target for hackers. In this new phenomenon, called “dive-by hacking”, hackers simply take their laptop computers in their cars and drive through business parks or residential neighborhoods remotely scanning for open wireless networks.

11. Would I know if someone tries to hack into my computer?

Depending on the security measures you have on your computer and the sophistication of the hacker’s software program, you might or might not be aware. Using keylogging programs, these cybercriminals can secretly see and record every keystroke you enter on your computer, thereby gaining access to all your private and personal information.

12. I have all the security measures, anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall I need. Can I still be hit by hackers and other pc-disabling attacks, risks, and threats?

Again, depending on the security measures you have on your computer and the sophistication of the hacker’s software program, your computer or computers might or might not be compromised. Remember: Cybercriminals are superintelligent criminals! They somehow always seem to stay one step ahead of authorities and anti-cybercriminal software.

Obviously if you have to ask these questions, then you need to take immediate steps to plug the holes and cover the gaps.

So, here are some steps you can take immediately to implement, increase, or improve your present security measures:

* Learn all you can about hackers and the tools and methods they use to invade your privacy and cause problems. Subscribe to a comprehensive source of Internet security research, news and information for small and mid-sized businesses and organizations, or other professionals, that want to increase their level of security and build on their current technologies and efforts.

* Take advantage of the research already done. Get access to information about the leading topics in the security field, including hackers and hacker tools, viruses, data back up, writing good passwords, government and legal issues, protecting from insider hacking – and more.

* Stay current with important security news developments. Work with a managed security firm that maintains an entire library of the most beneficial news articles, white papers and other links that you can use to maintain an excellent awareness of cyber-security issues on an ongoing basis.

* Need help creating a security plan for your organization or business? Take advantage of professional security consulting and training both by telephone consulting or on-site visits. Get vulnerability assessments, employees training, security implementation, and much more.

Because cyberpredators and other cybercriminals are becoming smarter and more sophisticated in their operations, they are real threats to your personal security and privacy. Your money, your computer, your family, and your business are all at risk.

These cybercriminals leave you with three choices :

1. Do nothing and hope their attacks, risks, and threats don’t occur on your computer.

2. Do research and get training to protect yourself, your family, and your business.

3. Get professional help to lockdown your system from all their attacks, risks, and threats.

Remember: When you say “No!” to hackers and spyware, everyone wins! When you don’t, we all lose!

© MMVII, Etienne A. Gibbs, MSW, The Internet Safety Advocate and Educator

Demographics of Who Chooses Business Coaching

This perhaps is one of the most important questions you can ask yourself when you are seeking out a business coach. The good news is that there is plenty of data out there that help you paint a full picture of who seeks a coach.

In the middle 2009 the International Coach Federation published a worldwide study on coaching. This study looked at the demographics of who chooses a coach, why they seek to coach, and what was her overall return on investment. Some of the data is quite surprising as to who chooses a coach and for what reasons.

First, let us look at who chooses a coach. The conventional wisdom is that a coach is hired by corporations to help their executives. The study discovered that it is typically the individual who seeks out a coach. These individuals tend to have university or postgraduate degrees. Many of them are in leadership positions, if they are not business owners themselves. When it comes to gender 65% who select a coach are women. This tends to make sense as more women have increasing management responsibilities in corporations and are the leading founders of small businesses.

Second, the conventional wisdom would tell you that a business coach is hired primarily by corporations. While in the past a corporation would hire a coach to curb the bad behaviors of a particular executive, it has now become a badge of honor for many executives to hire a business coach. The reasons for hiring this coach are many but if you come in ones stick out. The number one area for hiring a business coach is to improve their work performance of the executive or of their team. This was followed by improving conditions for career opportunities and improving business management or relationships.

Looking at the data clearly demonstrates that those individuals and companies seeking on a coach realized that interpersonal or “soft” skills that are important to successfully take advantage of any business or career opportunities. Business coaching helps transfer the important fundamentals necessary to have their clients achieve these goals. Coaches are seen as delivering action plans that deliver value as opposed to an “on the couch” process. Unlike therapy or other methodologies, business coaching is a contractual relationship. Sessions last an hour in duration and the business coaching relationship is typically under six months. This appeals to the business owner and the busy executive who must juggle multiple responsibilities.

The business coach is no longer seen as a stigma or a stain on a permanent record. Establishing a business coaching relationship is seen more as a badge of honor and pride for many business owners and executives. As shown above the use of a business coach is not the exclusive province of large Fortune 500 companies. Instead it is a tool for the individual who wishes to exceed their current position and achieve new goals. It is a small business owner and individuals that are seeking a business coach.

Understanding What a Well-Balanced SharePoint Intranet Solution Can Offer Your Business

Business organizations all over the globe choose to use SharePoint as their major collaboration tool hosting employees’ workplaces and corporate teams. Since great collaboration is the main source of successful business, it is also very important that startup companies use good collaborative tools. A good collaboration tool helps to maintain document management, records management or the web management very easily.

  • In simple language every intranet should offer two major groups that should help the employees to complete their daily tasks easily and enable to carry out the departments and team specific activities smoothly thereby contributing better performance of staffs.
  • Secondly, SharePoint development and intranet solutions often help to support the employee’s social life and make them feel a part of the company and to foster corporate values.

Some benefits from a well-balanced intranet solution and SharePoint development:

As a business organization, if you can manage to get the perfect balance between intranet solution and SharePoint, then you will be able to reach the 4 important goals.

Both formal and informal collaboration on a single platform:

It is true that SharePoint intranets often host work that are related to the content, while the users turn to any third party solutions in order to discuss any upcoming event of the organization. A well balanced intranet helps employees to find a place where both formal and informal collaborates, bringing in at least two major advantages.

  • Saves the time of the employees and prevents them from moving between various solutions and getting distracted.
  • Reduces the risk that employees will manage their working activities in some non-corporate messengers and share sensitive business data in an insecure environment.

Attract some rare visitors:

At times it becomes very difficult for an organization to provide all its users with job specific features of SharePoint. Let us take for example, if your procurement executives work on an ERP system, then they might not need task specific features of SharePoint. But in case they travel a lot, then it is likely that they become a frequent intranet visitor. Such balance often helps your people or team to remain updated with latest business news, updates and conversations.

Benefits from SharePoint capabilities:

Often it is seen that SharePoint is used by companies in a very limited manner like just as a document storage, support only a few collaborative sites or as a project management system for a specific team. But let’s be very clear of the fact that SharePoint is not a cheap solution. So any underuse mean wasting initial investments. Balancing various features will let you open up SharePoint’s full potential, thereby benefiting from your solution at the best.

Develop corporate identity:

Large organizations often struggle with developing the sense of belonging from their people. When the organization becomes too big, the teams often stop feeling a strong sense of place in the company. They often tend to jump for any better opportunity elsewhere and have reduced hunger to improve the business. SharePoint intranet solutions offer the ability to share company news and communications and help to develop a stronger corporate industry.

Managed workflows:

Workflows are the basis of most daily activities of employees. While they may have certain tasks to do without any dependency on others, but there are also activities that needs completion of task before it is passed to the next person. But in most corporations, the workflow often breaks. SharePoint helps here with some added third party tools.