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Don’t Fall for Scammer Scare Tactics

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Scaring people into action -- this is the latest scam tactic we’ve seen. It’s unfortunate the amazing internet technology we’ve created to improve our quality of life is now being used against us in this vicious way. It’s an interesting era in which we live where technology is so helpful and also a bit scary. But don’t get caught up in the scare tactics; instead, get informed.

The latest scam is a “Bitcoin Blackmail” scam. It started this summer, spreading all across internet with some variations to its message. The image below is a sample message, which you may have seen in your inbox. The email will look like it came from you! Which gives off the appearance that someone hacked into your email account. And they will start the email with a paragraph that’s intended to scare you.



They will write something like ‘they know your secret’ because they hacked into your system with a virus (trojan). They’ll claim to have been watching you via the computer camera, catching all your computer data and activity, or reading all your emails. They demand that you pay a sum of several hundreds of dollars in bitcoins, and some even have a token (BTC wallet) number to complete the transaction.

We’ve even seen the translated version of similar scams in other languages. I can tell you the one I read in Japanese easily gave itself away. It’s clear an automated translator was used and the poor translation alone indicates it’s likely a scam.



If you get one of these messages, please do not panic! Read it again if you need to, contact your service provider or PSPinc, and send it to us for analysis. Save your email in a message format and attach it to an email for us rather than forwarding the email, so we don’t lose any of the content. Ultimately, the best thing you can do is not take any action until you know the source of the email.

If you do pay someone and realize later it was fraud, please contact the FBI right away. The FBI has an online form for you to file a complaint. It’s not mobile-friendly, so it’s easier to fill it out on your PC, but hopefully they'll update the form to a responsive design soon!
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Marketing #Advertising #B2B #Scam #PhishingScams #EmailScams #OnlineMarketing #DigitalMarketing

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Get in the Know about Cyber Scams

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image source: ftc.gov image source: ftc.gov
Scammers and spammers are getting more and more sophisticated, masking their scams to look like legitimate communication. Even here at PSP, sometimes we have to look at the source of an email to analyze if it’s legitimate or not.

If you don’t know how to check the source of an email, it’s very hard to tell the difference between a legitimate email and an imposter. And if you get caught in a scam, you’ll find yourself cleaning up from cyber theft versus running your business, which is a headache no one wants to experience.

According to a report from the Federal Trade Commission, 1 in 5 people lost money to imposter scams in 2017, amounting to $328 million lost with a $500 median loss. Imposter scams were one of the biggest reports of fraud last year, along with debt collection and identity theft. Of those reports, 21% of victims lost money.

In the next few blog articles, we will cover some commonly-seen cyber scams so you as a business owner can be aware of scammer tactics before getting fooled out of your money. Our best advice for not getting caught in cyber scams is to be aware and prepared. Consult with your IT advisors and service providers, and educate your team on the latest scam techniques.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Marketing #Advertising #B2B #CyberScam #CyberTheft #BusinessTips

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Google's Social Network Ghost Town

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image source: pixabay.com image source: pixabay.com
In the summer of 2011, Google launched a new social network service: Google+. After strong initial user growth, the service experienced long periods of lulls with little growth, accompanied by a series of substantial changes to the platform.

The service was, at the time, a response to Facebook’s growth which was capitalizing on personal data to sell advertising. In 2011, Facebook was projected to overtake Google in the display ad market. The social network was supposed to be a way for Google to build a diverse network, and use the personal information given by users, to sell more ads.

After 7 years, Google announced on October 8th they will begin the process of shutting down Google+. But why?

1. Software bug

The main reason Google cites for shutting down the service is a bug that was found in the software, initially reported by the Wall Street Journal. The bug, which exposed half a million users’ data, was discovered in the spring of 2018 but Google decided not to disclose that information to its users. The bug was a glitch in the social network that allowed developers to access user information.

Google was afraid that exposing this would bring harsh scrutiny on an already struggling service. After the story broke, Google claimed they had no evidence that any user information was misused. Regardless, the damage had been done and Google+ was unlikely to bounce back.

2. Low usage and engagement

If you’ve spent any time on Google+ you’ve probably noticed the platform was a ghost town. Google tried several times to revamp the social network with new features, new designs, and changes in management. All of which had very little success.

In their statement, Google said the other primary reason for ending its service was “low usage and engagement” citing that 90% of Google+ user sessions lasted less than 5 seconds. That’s astoundingly low for a company as big as Google.

So what will happen to Google+?

Google is giving users 10 months to transition off the platform – they intend to shut it down by August 2019. They are shutting down the consumer side of the service and shifting to a more corporate approach. It’s probable they will try to focus on an internal corporate social network.

However they approach these changes, one thing is for sure; they’ll have a lot of trust to build before anyone gets serious about using it.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Marketing #Advertising #B2B #SocialMedia #Google #DigitalMarketing #OnlineMarketing

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How To Set Up Your Business LinkedIn Page

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image source: pixabay.com image source: pixabay.com
1. Before you set up a business page you must first create a LinkedIn profile with your first and last name.

2. To start, click on the grid icon labeled ‘Work’ in the top right corner of your LinkedIn dashboard.

3. Towards to bottom there will be a button ‘Create Company Page +’. Click this button.

4. Enter your company name and pick a unique URL. Your company name doesn’t have to be unique but there can’t be two of the same URLs.

5. Make sure to check the box that verifies you have the right to represent the company in creating the page.

6. Click on the ‘Create Page’ button.

7. At this point, if you don’t have a confirmed email set up with your personal account, you’ll be asked to do so.

8. From here, click ‘Get Started’ on the welcome screen and you can begin to edit your company’s page.

Just as we discussed in our previous blogs for setting up a business Facebook page and business Twitter account, you’ll want to connect with business partners, vendors, clients, and customers. You’ll also want to keep personal life and business separate. If you start posting about personal beliefs, politics and such, you may confuse your followers. So always think before posting or sharing something on a business page; ask yourself if it’s relevant to your company, and does it promote your company’s goals.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Marketing #Advertising #B2B #SocialMedia #OnlineMarketing #LinkedIn

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How To Set Up Your Business Twitter Account

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image source: pixabay.com image source: pixabay.com
1. Start by going to Twitter.com.

2. Once you’re on the homepage click on ‘Sign Up.’

3. Enter your business’ name and either a phone number or an email address. You’ll also need to create a username (or handle.) Make it simple and clear and try to use your business name if possible.

4. Click on ‘Create My Account.’

5. Twitter will give you the option to import your contacts from Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook – this is a good way to find contacts.

6. Once your account has been set up you’ll need to finish completing your profile with a picture. Use a clear and high-quality image of your company’s logo.

7. Add a short bio and some contact information, including your company’s website.

8. Now, find a few companies to follow and start tweeting!

Additional things to think about: Follow business partners, vendors and clients to a find more relevant customer base. Think before tweeting and re-tweeting. Is your tweet relevant to your personal life/beliefs, or does it have to do with your business? Remember, it’s a business page, not a personal page and you don’t want to confuse your followers by interweaving the two together.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Marketing #Twitter #B2B #SocialMedia

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How To Set Up A Facebook Business Page

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image source: facebook.com image source: facebook.com
Setting up a Facebook business page is easy and can be done in a matter of minutes, either from a computer or your mobile device.

1. Start by going to www.facebook.com/pages/creation/.

2. From there, you’ll have two options to choose from: click on the Business or Brand option to get started.

3. Next, enter your page name and pick a category that best describes your page.

4. Upload a clear and high-quality profile picture and a cover image that best represents your business.

5. Congratulations! Welcome to your new Facebook business page. You just need to add a bit more information to finish up. Add a short description and complete the “About” section which you can find in the left-side menu.

Your page is really starting to take shape now! All you need to do is create your first post and start engaging with customers. You can also invite people -- friends, family and employees -- to like or follow your page and encourage them to share with others.

Your business page can also start following other business pages as well, particularly vendors, clients, business partners, and find a bigger audience to engage with that way.

Facebook is a great platform for sharing about new or seasonal products, services, promotions, tutorials and more. Use great photos and short descriptions for the best chance to reach people. You can also publish short videos or do a live video stream as well.

Once you get more savvy, you might want to explore setting a budget for creating Facebook ads or boosting posts that seem popular. This is yet another way to increase your reach and post popularity on Facebook.

#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Marketing #Advertising #B2B #Facebook #FacebookBusiness #SocialMedia

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Setting Expectations for the Remote Office Employee

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image source: pixabay.com image source: pixabay.com
When it comes to setting up a remote office for your employee, communication isn’t the only critical piece to consider. It’s also important to have a separate (or additional) work policy in place so expectations are clear for everyone, and business operations won't be disrupted.

Here are some questions to consider when formulating a new or additional telecommuting employee policy:

Devices. Whose computer and devices will your employee use – the company’s or their own? What if something breaks – what should they do? What kind of data protection program or anti-virus software should they install? Who pays for what?

Internet Access. What if the internet connection is slower at the employee’s home or remote office location? Will this affect work flow, communication, and employee productivity?

Office Supplies. Who will pay for general office supplies like paper and pens? Do you have a purchase approval or reimbursement policy in place?

Workstation/Office Setup. Will you care how your employee’s workstation is set up? Does it matter if it’s clean or messy, or if the equipment is in a secure location? Do you want to explore insurance options? Is the space a welcome place for clients, if meetings are needed? Would it make sense for you to provide your employee with an office space near their home instead of allowing them to work at home?

Accountability. Will you implement a routine for meeting, getting updates, and seeing work progress? When would you like to be updated? How often should you meet in person or over conference calls to receive updates?

Job Descriptions. Ultimately, what positions in your company will you allow to work remotely? Depending on the nature of your business, not all job descriptions may be a good fit for telecommuting. Have good and logical reasons to say yes or no if an employee asks to work from home.

Remember, the end goal by allowing people to telecommute is to gain more productivity and efficiency within your business. Don’t lose sight of your goal while coming up with a plan.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Marketing #B2B #BusinessTips #Telecommuting #RemoteOffice

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How to Communicate with your Remote Office Employee

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image source: pixabay.com image source: pixabay.com
If you’ve been following our previous blogs on how to set up a remote office, you’ll want to keep reading because we’ve just scratched the surface. Today is all about communication and how to keep it seamless between headquarters and remote offices. Obviously, talking to your coworker across the aisle, desk, or even on the same floor is much easier than figuring out a time to talk remotely. Knowing email is not the best method of communicating when it comes to more detailed discussions, what’s the best way to get everyone on the same page?

Here’s what we suggest:

1) Implement a Chat Program

The next best thing to talking, chat programs can provide you an instant real-time line of communication, but it’s important to have the right tools to be most effective. For instance, do you have a chat program that can record a transcript of your communication, so you can look back on it for reference? Having that history of a prior conversation may be advantageous when you need to recall what was said. Choose a chat program that keeps a log of your conversations so you, the business owner, can keep record of conversations and important communication back and forth.

2) Confirm with Email

Yup. Good old email is still a necessity. It’s probably the best way to confirm decisions that were made or instructions that were discussed over a chat program. Think of it this way: chat rooms are where you discuss the nitty gritty, the strategies, and brainstorm together. Afterward, email is where you send the notes, and confirm the overall decisions that were made, copying all parties involved.

3) Call for Clarity

No matter how many forms of text channels we use to confirm business decisions, hearing someone’s voice is still best. You can’t always pick up a person’s tone, sarcasm, seriousness, or sense of urgency over messages. Email and messaging unfortunately don’t portray emotions clearly, which is why it’s important to follow up with a phone call or conference if there’s any question about your digital discussions.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Marketing #B2B #BusinessTips #Telecommuting #RemoteOffice

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What you Need for Remote Office Sharing

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image source: pixabay.com image source: pixabay.com
When working remotely, the downside is not being able to walk over to your co-worker’s desk and have a conversation or check something on their computer screen. Fortunately, technology has brought us to a place where we can get pretty darn close to that kind of experience.

For example, with Skype, you can video conference as well as share screens. The best part – it’s free! You simply start the conversation via video or voice option, and click the “Share Screen” button. Other free conference systems exist as well, and they may be good enough for what you need. You might find, however, you want some of the paid upgrades, so it’s just a matter of evaluating your needs and your ROI to determine what makes sense.

Sharing computer screens probably won’t be the only thing your team needs to share. You will need to plan a way to share documents. When you’re in the office, it’s easy to log on to the network to access the drive for shared files, but that won’t work for remote office locations.

If you already have a file server, it may be as simple as installing a virtual private network (VPN) so you can allow secure access to the server from outside the office. You can also consider using a cloud service like Dropbox or Google Drive and share files that way.

A word to the wise – a service may claim to be secure, but I still recommend password protecting all sensitive files when you put them in the cloud. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry!

See our previous blog on setting up your remote office communication.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Marketing #Advertising #B2B #VirtualOffice #RemoteOffice #Telecommuting

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Setting Up your Remote Office Communication

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image source: pixabay.com image source: pixabay.com
We’ve already determined that working remotely is beneficial for some employees and businesses, that is, if everything is set up correctly so the two can communicate seamlessly. Let’s talk about collaboration tools.

Consider how you work in your office: The important things include your computer or laptop, your cell phone and business line. If you work in a remote office, it’s easy to have all of those things, and you can keep the appearance of working at headquarters by getting a business phone extension using cloud technology called “hosted PBX” (private branch exchange). You don’t even have to have a physical telephone for it to work.

With hosted PBX your phone line is in the cloud. You can choose to use a handset, headset, or simply setup a “soft phone” on your computer, or thru an app on your cell phone. With your “hosted” telephone system, an answering system or receptionist can simply transfer a call to your preferred answering method over the internet via the cloud.

If you’ve already invested in traditional PBX, ask your vendor if they offer a soft phone option via the internet. Some companies may offer it as an additional feature, in the event you want to set up an employee to work remotely.

If you choose to go with hosted PBX, unlike traditional PBX in your office, you will not need to buy the hardware initially. You won’t even need a telephone line coming into your office. But you will end up paying more per month if you have more than a few employees on the hosted system. The hosted PBX will charge you per seat (meaning per user) and it can be expensive.

Asses what you need and how much you are willing to spend initially vs. annually (or monthly) on remote office locations. Before making any changes or commitments to your employees, determine whether the benefits of telecommuting outweigh the potential increase in operating costs.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Marketing #Advertising #B2B #VirtualOffice #RemoteOffice #Telecommuting

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