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Simulated Phishing As A Training Tool

Security comes in many forms, but in a digital age, it is important to be aware of cyber threats, namely phishing. Over the years, these malicious email hoaxes have become increasingly sneaky and tough to detect without the right knowledge and training. Instead of waiting for the worst to happen, many employers are taking a pre-emptive strike against hackers through training practices like simulated phishing.

What You Should Know About Phishing

At its core, phishing is another name for fraud. This particular brand of fraud aims to gain personal information, such as banking or financial information, along with employee logins and any other information that make them sound more credible. The most common ways to achieve this is through e-mail scams that infect systems with malware or site impersonation in order to gain access to credit card information or SIN numbers.

It is easy to do a bit of research and feel confident enough to avoid phishing scams, but a company is only as strong as its weakest link. This is why more and more businesses are instituting simulated phishing training. All it takes is one wrong click to crumble an entire network. This training process is usually a three-fold process of initial education, practical training and any follow-up that is necessary.

What Can A Security Company Do For You?

There are many forms of software out there dedicated to keeping your networks clean, but no system is 100% safe and that makes proper training so important. The first step is to educate users on the most obvious indicators of phishing scams. These can range from subject lines to appropriate URLs and even the greetings used.

It is one thing to learn from a checklist but another to put that knowledge to use. The only way to properly test out technical training is to understand how to navigate these e-mails first hand. The trouble with this is the risk involved with testing on actual sources. A digital security company offers web-hosted platforms to send safe but effective examples of phishing scams. The results are monitored and used for continued education later on.

The Advantages of Paper Planners

In an increasingly digital age, there is an app for everything but no electronic calendar can compete with a pen and paper planner. Technology is meant to make life easier but being inundated with text alerts and reminders can be stressful. When pondering the best way to organize your life in a clear and calm way, consider the finer points of a traditional day planner.

Creative Control: There is not a lot of flexibility when using digital calendars or note pads. The way that information is inserted into templates does not work for everyone. Choosing a paper option allows for complete control of how information is presented. For more visual learners, planners and journals are able to be customized with graphics to draw attention. Instead of filling in boxes and mandatory fields, a custom design allows users to input as much or as little information as they want.

Kick-Start Your Memory: Most people tend to find a correlation between memory and handwritten notes. Typing is quick, impersonal and a basic routine for almost everyone, so dates and appointments can be easily lost in the shuffle. More than retaining the information that was written down, flipping passed the same event or note over and over again can make events or deadlines easier to remember.

Stay On Track: Checking in with paper personal planners eliminates the distractions present with smart phones or other digital calendar apps. It is very easy to intend on confirming a dentist appointment only to find yourself in a text conversation or YouTube spiral instead. Paper planners allow users to stay focused and keep on track.

Unplug: Choosing a traditional planner means never having to rely on an internet connections or a full battery life. Along with being constantly accessible, paper is also subtle. Between text messages, e-mail, and calendar reminders, electronics produce a lot of noise. In addition to being annoying, this constant noise can desensitize users to the importance of alerts. This means events can be missed or ignored unintentionally.

For as many apps as there are for organizing schedules and appointments, they just can’t compete with the tried, tested and true methods of paper.

The Advantages of Vehicle Wrap Advertising

In order to make a lasting impression, more and more businesses are getting creative with their advertising strategies. Vehicle wraps provide all of the benefits of traditional marketing strategies at a fraction of the cost – all while reaching a more targeted audience.

The concept of car wrapping is simple enough; these additions are essentially vinyl stickers designed to cover the exteriors of motor vehicles. Companies are known to incorporate unique designs and branding to turn these stickers into mobile ads. With more and more of these popping up on roadways, it is easy to see the advantages of vehicle wraps:

Reach: Depending on the location and and use of a vehicle. businesses can make a large impression on communities after a single day on the road. With so many plain cars and trucks lining streets, it is difficult to miss a brightly coloured or uniquely designed vehicle. It is easy to daydream through a radio ad or miss a passing billboard, but a professional vehicle wrap turns heads, spreading your message all over town.

Cost: While many businesses opt for traditional advertising methods, they are not always the most cost-effective. Newspaper ads, for example, are expensive and are only designed to last for a daily or weekly run, meaning recurring costs for longer campaigns. Most wraps feature a one-time design cost that can be applied over and over again. Making the most out of advertising budgets is a goal for many businesses but it is hugely important for new businesses and start-ups.

Local Exposure: Spending money on radio or television spots casts a wide net but this is not always efficient. Most media stations broadcast over a large region, so not all listeners are within reach for service-based businesses. Instead of this wider net, a vehicle wrap targets potential clients that are already living or working within your community.

The Right Impression: While humour and clever designs might convey the unique voice of your company, they are not always permitted on traditional ad spaces. Billboards and other media outlets have rules and regulations about what can be displayed to public audiences. The sky is the limit with vehicle wraps, so you can showcase the quirkiness of your brand.

The Advantages of Franchise Ownership

It is no secret that everybody wants to be their own boss. While this is only a dream to some, more and more Canadians are making it a reality through franchise ownership. Being a part of a growing, national brand provides security and other resources that independent startups just can’t. If you are looking to make a change, it is never too late to be your own boss.

There is a certain magic that comes from seeing your name above an office door but there is more to an independent service company than signage alone, Building up a name and reputation takes years of hard work and struggle. Even for those who are willing to contribute the sweat equity, there is always the question of capital. Many small businesses go years with a razor thin budget that can be toppled by one wrong move. Statistically, half of these will be out of business within the first five years. These numbers are enough to scare anyone off but it makes startups a real risk. It is this risk that drives potential owners into the security of franchise partnership instead.

Aligning with an established company provides the reputation that businesses need so desperately. In addition to a familiar name, franchise ownership can be a more cost-effective solution than an independent service. A property maintenance franchise, for example, bundles costs for specialized tools, training and equipment that can add up without a partnership. When considering a franchise purchase, it is important to look in to exactly what comes along with it.

Marketing is a budget killer for many startups but in the case of franchising, advertising, social media and web presence is all handled by a parent department. Having professional web developers on staff, increases web traffic while freeing up time for owners and their staff.

Resources are a major selling point for franchise partners. The cost of equipment alone can be in the tens of thousands depending on what type of industry you are breaking into. For most franchises, equipment is provided at a discounted rate and comes along with warranties for repair and replacement. In addition to physical resources, partners have access to a network of their peers with plenty of experience under their belts.

Security comes along with experience, training and, of course, insurance. With an established company behind you, staff have access to top of the line safety equipment and training. In addition to proper training, staff work under an umbrella of insurance that protects against bodily harm and any property damage.

The Perks of Choosing a Local Ad Agency

Business is a competitive field, no matter the industry – particularly in highly urbanized areas. With so much on the go, it is extremely important to have a voice that stands out from the rest. This need for a distinct voice is exactly the reason that organizations both large and small choose to partner with advertising agencies. When looking to align with the best agency possible, consider looking into local options.

The most important tasks for advertising agencies are exposure, brand development and awareness, all while maintaining a functioning budget. The keys to hitting these targets are understanding, adaptability, involvement and networking strategies.

Understanding: A local advertising agency in Vancouver, for example, is well-acquainted with the community surrounding a business, along with its members. A nation-wide agency might be able to apply broad knowledge and common themes but smaller events are often overlooked. No one knows how to appeal to residents in your area better than the experts who live there. This insider knowledge allows agencies to create specifically geared content and SEO strategies that apply to both targeted and widespread audiences.

Adaptability: The climate in urban environments is constantly changing. Creating one standard game plan does not account for changes in the market. In order to succeed, plans must be adapted. Instead of waiting for trends to become widespread, local agencies keep their finger on the pulse and are ready and willing to tweak and accommodate to trends quickly.

Involvement: The old saying goes “it’s not personal, it’s just business” but a successful business requires a personal touch. Instead of communicating solely through phone calls and e-mail. local service allows for face time with clients. There is no way to properly understand the ins and outs of a business without getting a few hands dirty!

Networking Strategies: Community involvement and networking are a major asset with local services. In addition to being dialled in, these connections make it possible to complete projects quickly – and often at a discount. Instead of shopping around for an expert in web development, copywriting and design, an equipped agency will be able to cover all these necessary areas.

The best way to decide which firm is right for you is through questions and communication. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions in order to get the results that you need.

Setting up a BV in the Netherlands

Many multinational corporations nowadays have a limited company in their portfolio of international entities. They are known as Besloten Vennootschap (BV). The primary advantage of setting up a BV is that it is an anonymous entity. As to entity management or subsidiary governance activities it is one of the most straightforward legal forms.

Structuring a BV

The equity of a BV is divided into shares which are owned by shareholders. Although they hold ultimate power, the directors of the company are responsible for running the business on a day-to-day basis. A supervisory board can also be appointed to monitor the board of directors. In smaller BVs, the only shareholder is the director himself.

Setting up a BV

There are 3 steps required to set up a BV:

  • Incorporation (civil-law notary) by statuses
  • Deposit (min 0.01 pounds)
  • Listing in the commercial register, carried out by civil-law notary
  • Registration at the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration

It is possible to start trading even before you set up a BV. You can operate as a ‘BV in formation’ in case your civil-law notary is in the process of preparing your incorporation. This is referred to as a ‘BV io’. Before entering into any agreements with business partners, you should state that you are acting in behalf of a ‘BV io’.

Liability

The director will not personally be liable for the debts of his BV. Despite this, banks require the director to co-sign for loans as a private individual. This will make the director personally liable to repaying the loans. Banks can also hold you personally liable if:

  • You were aware that the BV would not be able to deliver its promises when you entered into an ambitious agreement.
  • The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration were not informed in time about your inability to pay your taxes.
  • Taxes and social security contributions were not paid as a result of mismanagement or negligence.
  • In the previous three years, your BV was declared bankrupt due to mismanagement.
  • Payments that could financially jeopardize the BV were still made.

Sole Proprietorship or PLC

If you are unsure about whether to be a sole proprietor or have a private limited company, you can make a list of differences to consider the best option for you. While taxes for BV are lower, annual costs are higher. In addition, liability is an important factor to consider.

Withdrawing equity

If directors plan to withdraw equity from their BV, they are required to perform a ‘payment test’. This is only allowed when the business has sufficient funds which help to preserve its financial position and ensure payment to creditors.

Selling your business

There are two ways you can sell your company: selling shares or divesting the business from the BV by selling the equipment. However, you will have to pay a corporation tax on the profit.

 

 

 

 

How to Deal with the End of the Tax Year

The end of the tax year is near. For many of us, it can be a rather stressful time of year, especially if you are self employed and have to do everything yourself. So unless you know somebody who will do your taxes for you, you might want to prepare yourself in advance for those few weeks when you need to work really extra hard without that much time for yourself. Here are some tips to help you survive those challenging weeks:

1. Start filing your taxes early and don’t push anything until the very last minute. Yes, you do have a deadline here, but you also had a lot of time to make all the necessary preparations so that you don’t have to hurry or get too stressed about it.

2. If you feel like you lack that extra space for your paperwork, consider renting a storage unit such as storage units baton rouge. This will enable you to store your papers in a safe and climate-controlled space that only you (and those who you grant it) have access to.

3. Don’t think that because you have to file your taxes you need to work 24 hours per day. You need to get some rest too, or you will crash. You also need to remember to de-stress on a regular basis. This can be accomplished in many different ways, so do whatever works for you and try not to overwork yourself.

4. If possible, ask somebody for help with your taxes even if it means paying them to do it. Nobody expects you to do everything on your own, so if you suspect that you don’t have what it takes to do your own taxes, consider outsourcing it. This way you will have some spare time you will be able to dedicate to some other tasks, or to some other activities that weren’t previously possible before due to lack of time for example.

Key Documents to Submit for a Loan Application

Owning a home is one of the biggest dreams that most people desire to achieve, and the sooner, the better. Since houses cost vast sums of money, buying them on a mortgage or home loan is usually the most common thing to do. For the home loan to be finally approved, you have to go through some steps known as the mortgage process, which involves the submission of various documents. These documents are meant to prove several things, such as your identity, your ability to repay the loan, your income, and more. You need to familiarize yourself with the various documents that lenders will require from you so that your loan is quickly approved without issues.

You must provide all the required documents and ensure they are correct and accurate, because the loan officers scrutinize them. Any incorrect, incomplete, or inaccurate documents will only delay your loan approval. So, what are some of the materials you need to provide for your home loan?

Pay stubs

You need to give proof of current employment and income, which will entail pay stubs for those who are employed. The lender will need to see the pay stubs from at least the last month, but cases may vary among lenders. Pay stubs are a good way to show your current employment and your take-home figure, which is crucial to determining the amount you can afford to pay back comfortably.

W-2 forms

When the loan officer asks for one month’s pay stub, they may need you to provide W-2 forms for the past two years. These forms show income history and act as proof of employment.

Credit report

The lender may not ask for your credit report, but you should be aware that they will pull it in the initial stages of your loan approval process. It is therefore prudent to acquaint yourself with the contents of the report, and if there are errors, you must raise disputes with the credit bureaus. If you have a good credit score, you are more likely to qualify for bigger loans and better interest rates or loan options. You should start building your credit rating early if you are planning on getting a home loan or any other loan. If your score is low, you can engage professionals who you can find at https://www.boostcredit101.com/ to help you improve it, so by the time you want to take out a loan, your score will help you.

Bank statements

Lenders will want you to provide the most recent bank statements from all the bank accounts you hold. These statements will enable them to see how much money you have and other crucial things.

Past tax returns

Most of the time when dealing with self-employed people, for whom W-2 forms for proving income are not applicable, lenders will need to see one or two tax returns. If you did not save copies of the returns, you might need to request them from the relevant department and avail them to your lender.

Proof of rental income

In case you own rental properties, you can use the income to qualify for the mortgage. Your bank or lender may want you to submit the schedule of your tax returns capturing the rental income, or a copy of the lease may suffice.

Year-to-date profit and loss statement

Lenders will need a completed year-to-date P&L statement from self-employed applicants to show the financial stability of your business.

List of debtors

Although your credit history shows your debtors’ details, your lender may need to get more information on some debts or on other obligations not captured there to be able to arrive at a more accurate debt-income ratio.

List of assets

Should you have other assets in addition to the money in your bank accounts, you should provide the lender with them as you submit income documents. Having more assets portrays your financial preparedness and capacity to take on a mortgage.

Conclusion

The above list is not exhaustive, as you may need to submit documents like proof of supplemental income, bankruptcy documents, or foreclosure documents to show you have no obligations on debts related to past bankruptcies/foreclosures. Also, there are other documents that your loan officer will inform you about when you embark on the home loan application process, which you will also need to submit.

 

4 Reasons Why Your Business Should Invest in a Security Guard

Criminal activity or other potential threats can target any business, regardless of whether it’s a huge conglomerate or a mom and pop store. Even if you’ve been fortunate enough to avoid serious inventory or revenue loss in the past, new crime trends and dangers may occur without notice and wipe out the security you’ve worked so hard to build right down to its foundation. Investing in the right security services can go a long way to protect your assets and secure your future in countless ways. But why should you consider including security guard services in that plan?

Customer Service

A business is only as strong as its employees, and a security guard can add serious depth to that team. Besides being a potential menacing force, the right security personnel can act as an ambassador to your loyal customers. A guard can act as a sentinel to the entire business, work the front desk, provide directions within the establishment, and even help customers and employees to their vehicles. The right guard can state your business is solid, secure, and customer-focused without saying a word.

Business and Theft Monitoring

Your security personnel can do far more than simply working on the front lines. A security guard can check credentials and check for contraband on customers or employees. But theft doesn’t just center around customer-based shoplifting. According to a national study employee theft alone costs American businesses over $50 billion per year. A guard can admit or restrict entry to a specific area on the premises. And a security guard can monitor video surveillance or secretly patrol the business to personally monitor theft or other potential dangers. The right security guard or team can monitor various aspects of the business before, during, and after business hours to take tons of stress and responsibility off of the owner and keep things running smoothly 24/7.

Crime Prevention and Response

According to the latest FBI crime clock statistics, at least one type of property crime averaged just under every 4 seconds while a violent crime occurred in America every 26.3 seconds. Security guards can have a variety of training options under their belts which can come in handy for not only preventing crime but noticing and eliminating potential dangers before they’re implemented. A trained guard can also be responsible for responding to crime as it’s occurring or call local authorities for backup as the need or protocol warrants.

Overall Sense of Security

Loyal employees and customers can be worth their weight in gold. But it’s far more difficult to retain both elements when fear is present. The mere presence of a uniformed security guard can deter crime and add an extra line of defense and confidence for everyone involved. Whether employees work in high-risk facilities or surrounded by high-end merchandise, the right security team can help them feel productive on a daily basis. And a trained security guard also proves the business prioritizes and ensures customer safety. A call to Korner Security in Metro Detroit can get the ball rolling on securing the future of your business from the inside-out.

20th European Workshop on Molecular Beam Epitaxy

EuroMBE provides a forum for the discussion of the epitaxy of novel materials, nanostructures, trends on MBE growth and modeling, devices and technologies. It will be held on February 17, 2019 in Bavarian village of Lenggries, about 70 km south of Munich, and is organized by the Paul-Drude-Institut in Berlin.

Among the companies represented at EuroMBE 2019 will be k-Space Associates, a worldwide supplier of the industry’s most powerful analytical RHEED system. Analyzing the diffraction pattern that is formed by the RHEED technique in real-time provides a wealth of information about crystal structure, atomic spacing, surface quality, and growth rate.

Additionally, k-Space offers monitoring tools and software for substrate temperature and thin-film stress, both crucial control parameters for MBE.

I am discussing all kinds of business and finance topics on this blog and I hope that the information I provide will prove to be useful.
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