March 2016 Newsletter

Relying On A Good Luck Charm?

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Carrying a four-leaf clover might work for leprechauns. But when it comes to Internet abuse by employees, you’re gonna need more than sheer luck…

Did you know that…

  • 70% of all web traffic to Internet pornography sites occurs during the work hours of 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Non-work-related Internet surfing results in up to a 40% loss in productivity each year at American businesses.
  • According to a survey by International Data Corp (IDC), 30% to 40% of Internet access is spent on non-work-related browsing, and a staggering 60% of all online purchases are made during working hours.

The list goes on, and the costs to your company can be staggering.

What types of web sites present the greatest risk? Categories include abortion, alcohol, dating, death/gore, drugs, gambling, lingerie/swimsuits, mature, nudity, pornography, profanity, proxy, suicide, tobacco and weapons.

Risks these types of web sites expose your business to include malware, viruses, fraud, violence, lawsuits, loss of confidential and/or proprietary data and more. Even social sites, while perhaps not quite as risky, can have a major impact on productivity.

Barriers that once stood at the edges of your office network have been annihilated by digital media.

Web content filtering is now crucial to network security – not to mention employee productivity – in this emerging environment. It can be deployed in a number of ways, but basically they boil down to two: inline and endpoint filtering.

Inline Web Filtering One way to filter web content is to control it at the entry point or gateway to your network. This technique intercepts all web traffic and applies filters that allow or block web access requests. Because the entire network is filtered, no access to the user’s device is required. With inline web filtering, there’s no need to expend resources managing content at each endpoint – your employees and their computers, whether desktop or mobile. Inline filtering not only saves bandwidth, it goes a long way toward mitigating cyberthreats. For securing activities that take place within your network, it’s a critical and potent strategy.

Yet, with the shift away from traditional office-bound work routines to a work-from-anywhere culture, the effectiveness of inline filtering has diminished. When employees access the web outside your network’s gateways – via home networks, hotels, coffee shops, etc. – their devices become vulnerable to attack.

And any employee can carry an infected machine into and out of your company’s building and network on any given day, exposing your entire intranet to infections. And that’s why so many companies are moving to endpoint-based web filtering to complement their inline filtering.

Endpoint-Based Web Filtering

Endpoint-based filtering protects employee devices from infections, no matter where they connect to the web. Software at the endpoint – your employee’s device – carries a predefined filtering policy from the central server that can be intranet-based or cloud-based.

The endpoint filter is then updated periodically from your company network. This method assures that web filtering is always active, no matter which gateway the machine connects through. The downside is that it must be rolled out and maintained at all endpoints.

That being said, one advantage of endpoint-based filtering is that it addresses stringent employee privacy regulations that are quickly becoming the norm in Europe and elsewhere around the world. Because it keeps browsing-pattern information within the user’s device, endpoint-based filtering provides a fairly non-intrusive way to handle employee privacy concerns.

And finally, while endpoint-based filtering really is the only way to protect a network without boundaries, as most companies now have, ideally it works hand in glove with inline filtering.

Forget the Charms – You Can Bet On This

We highly recommend rolling out not only inline and endpoint filtering, but also an effective training program for your staff to encourage best practices and assure compliance with your company’s web security policies and procedures.

Want to make sure all gaps are sealed and you won’t have to count on a four-leaf clover, a rabbit’s foot or knocking on wood to keep your network secure? Contact us today at 614-705-0811 or [email protected] for a customized Web Content Filtering Review and Analytical Report on your system.


Free Report Download:
If You Are Considering Cloud Computing For Your Company—Don’t, Until You Read This…

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If you are considering cloud computing or Office 365 to save money and simplify IT, it is extremely important that you get and read this special report, “5 Critical Facts Every Business Owner Must Know Before Moving Their Network To The Cloud.”

This report discusses in simple, non-technical terms the pros and cons of cloud computing, data security, how to choose a cloud provider, as well as 3 little-known facts that most IT consultants don’t know or won’t tell you about cloud computing that could end up causing you MORE problems and costing you more money than you anticipated.

Even if you aren’t ready to move to the cloud yet, this report will give you the right information and questions to ask when the time comes.

Get Your Free Copy Today: www.thewrightchoice.com/cloudreport


4 Phrases Of Amazing Customer Service

I’ve grown my companies by focusing on great customer service. We didn’t always have the biggest names in business working at the firm, and we sure couldn’t always afford the fl ashiest equipment. What we did better than all our competitors was ensure that our customers were thrilled.

In fact, superlative customer service can be your very best (and cheapest!) form of marketing. Customers talk about their experiences, especially if those experiences are unexpectedly good. Sometimes even the most difficult situations can yield satisfied customers, depending on how you and your team handle the problems that arise. Even a failure to meet expectations can off er an opportunity for a great recovery and a happy customer.

Here are four phrases that will help you bring up the level of service your customers receive:

  1. “I don’t know, but this is what I’m going to do.”
    You’re not always going to have the answer to every question at your fingertips, and your customers will understand that. What they expect in exchange, though, is honesty and follow-up. The key here is to make a clear commitment like “I’ll call you by 5 p.m. with the answer,” and then keep that commitment!
  2. “I am very sorry.”
    When you or your company has made a mistake, the customer wants to hear you accept responsibility and apologize. Too many customer service reps have been trained not to accept responsibility, in some cases because they fear the legal record of having admitted failure. Realistically, though, the probability of a lawsuit is minimal, while the chance of losing a customer is virtually guaranteed. The apology is only a step, albeit an important one, and the goal is to turn the failure into a success by determining what your company can do to make it right.
  3. “Yes.”
    “Yes” is what your customer wants to hear, and your goal should be to say that word whenever possible, even if – especially if – you’re working through a problem. Customers want progress. Say yes to reasonable requests as soon and as often as possible, and leave your customers pleasantly surprised at how easily the problem was resolved.
  4. “Is there anything else I can do for you?”
    Here’s your perfect wrap-up. Not only does this question give your customer the opportunity to bring up additional concerns, but it also lets the customer feel like they’re in control. They can ask for additional information or they can thank you for your spectacular service.

Great customer service relies first and foremost on authenticity, and being trustworthy is the foundation. If your customers trust you to keep your word, then you’re more than halfway there. If your customers know they can rely on you, even if there’s a problem, that’s the rest of the journey.

Work on training your customer service reps to listen, determine what the customer expects and do what they can to make sure that customer is satisfied.

mike

Mike Michalowicz (pronounced mi-KAL-o-wits) started his first business at the age of 24, moving his young family to the only safe place he could afford – a retirement building. With no experience, no contacts and no savings he systematically bootstrapped a multi-million dollar business. Then he did it again. And again. Now he is doing it for other entrepreneurs. Mike is the CEO of Provendus Group, a consulting firm that ignites explosive growth in companies that have plateaued; is a former small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal; is MSNBC’s business make-over expert; is a keynote speaker on entrepreneurship; and is the author of the cult classic book, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. His newest book, The Pumpkin Plan has already been called “the next E-myth!” For more information, visit http://www.mikemichalowicz.com/.


Shiny New Gadget Of The Month:
New App Tames Expense Tracking

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Business Travel and Entertainment is one of those expenses that can bleed cash from company coffers – IF you or your CFO don’t keep an eagle eye on it.

And no wonder: it often entails hand-entered data, widely disparate vendors, no real time reporting and, until now, an out-of-office transaction with no mobile reporting back to a central corporate database.

Enter Concur. This automated, mobile expense management system lets business travelers focus on their jobs while giving finance leaders complete and real-time visibility into spend. It automatically captures and categorizes company credit-card transactions, making it simple for traveling employees to review, reconcile and submit statements for approval.

At the same time the immediate insight it provides helps you and your finance team stop bad spending decisions before they happen, manage budgets more effectively and drive better business performance. Learn more at Concur.com.


Is Google siphoning off worker productivity?

Your employees may be doing work-related searches online. Or they may be checking out a hot new vacation package, or the next episode of their favorite TV show. It’s tempting to think of personal browsing on company time as stealing from the company. Yet cracking down can backfire on you. Instead, focus on personal work outcomes. If employees get all their work done on schedule in spite of wasting half the day, it may be time to add more duties to their job descriptions. On the other hand, if productivity is in the pits, a focus on discipline rather than policing minute-by-minute activities will likely yield a greater payoff.

- Inc.com


You, an “In-box Zero” hero!

E-mail management tool SaneBox makes it easy to keep your e-mail under control. It looks at your e-mail history when you first set it up and then drops only important e-mails into your SaneBox. E-mails from addresses you don’t normally mail to go into the “SaneLater” folder. You can drag e-mails you never want to see again into the “SaneBlackHole.” SaneBox is supersmart and doesn’t need training, but if you see an e-mail in SaneLater that you wanted to see now, just drag it into your in-box, and SaneBox will remember. It works with web mail as well as accounts hosted on IMAP and Exchange servers. You can try it free for 14 days at SaneBox.com.

- Entrepreneur-ideas.org


Wake Up Your Web Site With These 3 Simple Steps

Does your company web site reflect its current success and position it for future growth? To be sure it does, do this:

1) Focus your main message on customer needs. The only thing visitors care about is what your company can do for them. Make that clear upfront and they will stay and engage.

2) Delete the self-praise and let your best customers speak for you with testimonials.

3) Create a single call to action. Don’t just let visitors wander around. Entice them to take action by offering a low-risk, high-value item, such as a free e-book, webinar, resource list, etc., in exchange for their contact information.

Now you’ve got a web site that works!

- Inc.com


The Future is Here, With 3-D Video Holographics

Imagine summoning up a rotating image of the Death Star… Or, more practically, an attention-grabbing 3-D demo of your latest product… Or a striking 3-D video logo advertising your brand… London-based Kino-mo develops hi-tech smart visual displays. Their floating-in-the-air video holographics engage and fascinate prospects, increasing sales. These ultra-bright, eye-catching 3-D videos can also generate a high level of brand awareness. Until now, holograms have been extremely expensive and required time-consuming installations in a dedicated space. Kino-mo Holo Displays are the first to offer an affordable, “plug-and-play” holographic solution. And perhaps the perfect way to grab attention and boost your bottom line.

- Kino-mo.com