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October 2nd, 2009

Etiquette for the Electronic AgeFrom the heavyset computing devices of Charles Babbage to today’s simple novelty items, electronic devices and gadgets have become smaller, more functional, and more integrated into our daily lives. With mobile phone calls, SMS, and email we are seemingly in constant need to be in touch with other people electronically.

And therein lies the problem. Many people seem to put such a high priority on immediately replying to electronic communication that they often unintentionally offend the people they are actually physically with. For example, how does that colleague doing the “Blackberry Prayer” during a meeting – hunched over a handheld device, texting and emailing – make you feel?

Here are a few etiquette tips when using our electronic devices:

  • When in meetings, turn your phone off – or at least put it in silent mode.
  • Check your messages and return calls and emails after meetings, not during them. It’s much more polite to explain to a caller or email sender that your response was delayed because you were in a meeting rather than explaining to everyone with you that the person on your phone is more important than them.
  • If you are expecting an urgent call you must take, inform others about it before the meeting begins. When your phone vibrates, excuse yourself quietly and take the call outside.
  • Never wear an earpiece while in a meeting.
  • Don’t use your mobile phone or PDA while you are talking to somebody – it gives the impression that the person you are talking to is unimportant and insignificant.
  • Loud ringtones are inappropriate for certain settings, so make sure they’re off at the right times.
  • If you need to use speaker phone, ask the person on the other line for permission first, and announce who else is in the room with you. Many people are (understandably) uncomfortable not knowing who else may be listening to them.
  • While in video conferences, treat the people on the other end of the line as if they were actually in the room with you. No discreet playing of Plants vs. Zombies on your iPhone while the brand manager from the other end of the line is giving his sales report – regardless of how boring it may be.

Remember: electronic correspondence can never replace actual human interaction and conversation. Even though we’re in the electronic age, the old saying still applies: “Politeness is to human nature what warmth is to wax.”

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
Topic News
September 22nd, 2009

watchout_dirty_websiteIn a previous post, we pointed out how just browsing the web these days can possibly infect your PC with malware. To show how dangerous surfing can become, Symantec recently released their list of the “Dirtiest Websites of Summer” – the top 100 infected sites on the Internet based on number of threats detected by their software as of August 2009. The list identifies websites that could compromise security with risks including phishing, malicious downloads, browser exploits, and links to unsafe external sites.

Some interesting findings from the study:

  • The average number of threats per site on the Dirtiest Websites list is roughly 18,000, compared to 23 threats per site for most sites
  • 40 of the Top 100 Dirtiest Sites have more than 20,000 threats per site
  • 48% of the Top 100 Dirtiest Web sites feature adult content
  • 3/4 of the Top 100 Dirtiest Web sites have distributed malware for more than 6 months
  • Viruses are the most common threat represented on the Dirtiest Websites list, followed by security risks and browser exploits

You can read more about this research at Symantec’s website. If you suspect your PCs are at risk, or if you want to ensure your website doesn’t get hijacked by cybercriminals, contact us. We can help.

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Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
Topic Articles, News
September 18th, 2009

Small Firms BeingOrganized criminals believed to be based in Eastern Europe are robbing small to midsized US businesses of millions of dollars via an elaborate scheme aided by malicious software. Recent reports reveal that over the past few months, several businesses have fallen victim to unauthorized fund transfers whereby hundreds of thousands of dollars from the businesses’ bank accounts have been transferred to accounts in Europe, and in some cases, to the accounts of willing or unwitting accomplices in the United States.

According to the reports the victims, usually the company CFO or owner, were sent malicious software as attachments to email, which when opened remained resident on the victims’ machines and stole the victims’ passwords to their online banking websites. The cybercriminals used this information to initiate transfers from their accounts of up to US $10,000 at a time to evade notice and detection from their bank’s anti-fraud or money laundering detection systems and protocols.

Your business might be at risk. Make sure you are protected from this type of fraud by securing your PC and network from malicious software. Do not open suspicious-looking attachments and make sure you have the necessary protection in place, such as firewalls, antivirus software, and other methods of protection. Need help? Contact us today.

Related articles:

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
Topic Articles, News
March 2nd, 2009

Brand building is indeed a journey. Branding is all about how your product or service is perceived by customers and potential customers. A brand marketer attempts to manipulate brand awareness by associating traits they would like consumers to associate with the brand.

Building a brand has everything to do with capturing the hearts and minds of consumers. Building a brand is much more than just promoting an image. A brand incorporates and conveys the values and traits that a company wants associated with their product or service. It sounds like building a brand is a simple task, but the marketers must do more than just create a brand image. The magnitude of branding encompasses all aspects of a product. With this in mind, we’ve put together a guide for marketers on the journey of brand building…

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
Topic Articles, News
February 16th, 2009

One of the key characteristics of Web 2.0 is participation, collaboration and moderation through the use of web applications. Web 2.0 sites derive their power from the human connections and network effects from this characteristic that is made possible, and grow in effectiveness the more people use them.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
Topic Articles, News
February 16th, 2009

For the past few months I’ve been using a variety of wireless, blue tooth headsets, with my cell phone. The latest head set I’m using does not have clear reception. Often times I can hear the person fine, but they can’t hear me so well.

I love technology, and in fact, the particular blue tooth headset I’m using is made by one of the premier brands.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
Topic News
February 10th, 2009

Virus Attack: What to Do on Zero Day

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
Topic News
February 10th, 2009

As a kid I used to write messages with lemon juice and when the juice dried I had a secret message (or so I thought) that was viewable when held up to the light.

Of course these child hood secret messages only work in the mind of a child, but not the corporate shield of real business. For your communications between your employees, your partners or your clients you need to ensure that each email message that needs to be secure, is secure.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
Topic News
February 2nd, 2009

When you have to lay off staff, software-as-a-service can often make up the difference, especially in sales and marketing.

Every business wants a hot niche, and Starr Tincup had one. In 2003, the Fort Worth marketing and advertising startup decided to cater to software makers in the human resources industry—and quickly signed 20 customers. Then the growing pains set in. By 2005, staff had ballooned to 80 from 4, plus more than 200 contractors. But revenues were just $2.5 million, and soon Starr Tincup was $500,000 in debt. SaaS made the difference in the turnaround.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
Topic News
February 2nd, 2009

When you first opened your Smartphone and took it right from the fresh, “new smelling” box (or from the plastic sandwich bag from the friend you bought it used from) it was a tool for speaking, basic scheduling and contacts.

However, over time, some of you have found that you could do so much more with the device as you found good software to make it a powerful productivity tool. Some software you might want to consider, to enhance the mobile warrior within you.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
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