Making an Income During Your Overlanding Trips

Making an Income During Your Overlanding Trips

Overlanding trips are usually long. You can be on the road for several weeks or even several months. Some people go to the next level and overland for years. But even while you are on your journey, you need to consider your finances. Despite camping and trying to live without the comfort you have at home, you still need money. After all, how else are you supposed to eat or get fuel for your vehicle? 

If you are planning to start overlanding, you may be wondering how you can make an income during this adventure. Well, this post is for you. So, keep reading to find out how to make money while overlanding – this way, you can still earn an income while following your passion. 

Getting Sponsored – One of the Easiest Ways to Make Money While Overlanding

Many overlanders get their funds from sponsorships they have with companies and brands. The only downside is that getting a sponsorship is not as easy as you might imagine. It is difficult to get even a partial sponsorship.

Also, if you do end up getting the sponsorship, it will not be enough to pay for everything. You need to look for other ways to make money alongside the sponsorship. 

Sponsorships may help you get spare parts for your vehicle, saving some money in the process. If you want to find sponsors, you can try creating a blog and writing regularly, building a strong profile on social media, and then listing all the possible sponsors. 

When you find good sponsors, you should look for their contact details and reach out to them. Negotiate a deal with them, and if you agree on the details, you will be able to form a relationship with the brand and become sponsored. 

Relying on Savings Can Work for a While

What some people do during overlanding trips is to rely on their savings. If you saved money for your trip, you can simply use it to maintain yourself and your vehicle while you’re far away from home. 

However, this is only a good idea when you have managed to save quite a lot of money, as being on the road for a very long time will require plenty of funds. Still, most overlanders go with this method, and their savings are enough to allow them to see the world. 

Selling or Renting Your Property Will Get You Some Money While Overlanding

You may not feel content with the idea of selling your house, but a lot of overlanders did exactly that. They sold their house, got rid of all their bills, and decided to go see what the world has to offer. 

They did not have to worry about property ownership anymore. However, if you are tied to the house for some reason – for example, you have kids who need to go to school – this option will not be suitable for you. 

Seasonal Jobs May Help You Out

Seasonal jobs represent a great opportunity to earn an income while you’re overlanding. You may not work in the same place for a long time, but you still have the chance to make some money. In Europe, you can work in beach resorts, whereas in winter you can look for a position in a ski resort. In the U.S., you can work in theme parks or summer camps. 

The cool thing is that you can work for half of the year and spend the other half overlanding. You can travel, have money, and not be tied to an employer for a whole year. 

Working Remotely Is Getting More Popular

Over the years, working remotely has become more and more popular thanks to the flexibility it offers. You can work regardless of your location as long as you have a laptop or phone and Internet access. 

If your job allows remote work, you can work with the same employer. If not, you may want to look for another job, one that makes remote work possible. Bear in mind that you will still have to work a certain number of hours during working days. 

Also, with remote work, you can choose between working online for an employer or setting up your own online business. 

As a freelancer, you can work in online customer support, as a virtual assistant, as a translator, interpreter, copywriter, editor, writer, online project manager, personal or business coach, teacher, business consultant, and many others. 

And if you want to set up a business, you can offer a services agency, affiliate marketing business, dropshipping business, Amazon FBA, branded e-commerce store, info products business, influencer or you can sell your own products on Etsy. You can also start a YouTube channel or monetize a website.

Final Thoughts

Are you into overlanding but looking for ways to make money while you’re away from home? Decide whether you would rather open your own business or work for an existing employer, and see what your options are. We’ve shared some ways you can make money, so look into them and see whether something interests you.

10 Cyber Security Tips For Freelancers

10 Cyber Security Tips For Freelancers

Are you new to freelancing? Would you like to know how things are done in this field of work? Do you wish to do an exemplary job?

If yes, then do not worry. We have got you covered. Over here, we will be discussing and providing some of the best cybersecurity tips for every freelancer to be aware of.

Freelancing is not an easy job. You will have to manage and prioritize your tasks accordingly on your own. Conversing with strangers every day can make you an easy target for cybercriminals. That is why it is best to have certain tips up your sleeve to get the job done effortlessly.  

These cybersecurity tips are unique and will aid you in doing a wonderful and safe job while you are at it. 

Now, let us not delay any further and dive straight right in!

What is Cyber Security?

Before you learn about the tips regarding cyber security, know about what the term means. 

Cyber Security can be defined as the process of defending networks, computers, systems, and programs from malicious attacks. 

Preventing digital attacks has become a strenuous task nowadays as the usage of electronics and devices increases in number. 

A simple cyberattack can lead to changing or destroying any sensitive information of an organization. This can interrupt the proper functioning of a business.

That is why freelancers must know some of the best cybersecurity tips to prevent such problems from arising. 

10 Best Cyber Security Tips

1. Make Use of A Residential Proxy

Freelancers can use a residential proxy to conduct a secured business that is free from cyberattacks. 

Using a residential proxy will help one to choose a specific location, be it a city or a country, and surf the web as a real user from that area. This can prevent cybercriminals from knowing your current location. 

The proxy conceals your IP address and helps to maintain your privacy.  

2. Refrain from Using Public WiFi

Freelancers are known to work from anywhere and at any time. Most of them tend to use public places like Starbucks and Cafe Coffee Day to work on a project. 

Using their public WiFi is the major reason for the increase in cyberattacks. It makes you an easy target for cybercriminals to track down your location. 

That is why you need to refrain from using public WiFi. Even if you continue to use it, at least employ a VPN on your device. This way your system is encrypted and safe. 

3. Opt for Strong Passwords and Multi-Factor Authentication

This is an essential tip for every freelancer. You need to opt for a strong password for your accounts. A combination of letters, numbers, and symbols is a safe bet. 

It is also best if one makes use of multi-factor authentication. Using MFA will require more than a username and a password to log in. 

You will also be notified whenever you log in from a new or a different device. Many businesses have started to use two-factor and three-factor authentication.  

4. Invest in High-Quality Softwares

One of the best tips to remember as a freelancer is to use high-quality hardware and software for their business. 

While you make use of the different tech gears like smartphones, secured webcams, and smart speakers, be certain that these are of high quality.

In case if you have got a new smartphone for your business, then employ a VPN so that your device is encrypted. This way, your device and the information regarding your business are safe. 

5. Update Your Software Constantly

Using high-quality software and updating your software must go hand in hand. Many cyberattacks are caused due to carelessness. 

You need to make sure that you are utilizing an updated version every day. If not, you need to update your software immediately. 

Always lookout for any new updates. To make things easier, turn on the auto-update on your device. The system automatically gets updated whenever you forget to do so. You can also use an updated web plugin to prevent cyber threats.

6. A Regular Backup is a Must

Backing up data regularly is very important. Backing up your data frequently will prevent cyberattacks from occurring.

In addition to that, a backup will prevent you from losing data due to accidental deletion, theft, or damage. This way, your data is always secured and available for you. 

Turning on the auto-update option on your device can update your system automatically. There will not be a necessity for you to do it manually. Also, make sure to keep your backup on an external drive or a server away from what you use regularly. 

7. Steer Clear of Scam Emails and Phone Calls

Being a freelancer, it is not easy to prevent scam phone calls and emails every day. You communicate and get in touch with new and different people every day. 

That is why you will have to install a call blocking app and know how to block such unwanted calls. These apps will let you know if it is a spam number or not. If yes, then it automatically blocks the caller. 

On the other hand, scam emails tend to have a random document. It is best if you do not click on it or open it. Opening it can infect your system with malware and steal your data. 

8. Be Conscious of the Present and Emerging Threats

As a freelancer, you have to know what you are up against. That is why you need to be conscious of the present and emerging threats. 

Know about the different kinds of cyberattacks and how they occur. Having a thorough knowledge of these things will give you an idea about what you would need for that. 

You can refer to online resources or get advice from cybersecurity experts about it and get enlightened on that topic. 

9. Accept Only Secure Payments

While doing business with different people every day, you may come across different demands and conditions to do so. 

That is why you will have to mention the payment method that you are comfortable with before you take up the task. Accept only secure payments. For instance, you can make use of PayPal to have a safe transaction. 

It is always best to choose a reputable and secured payment service. 

10. Keep an Eye for the New Trends in Cyber Security

Last but not least, be certain to keep an eye on the new emerging trends in cyber security. Just like you look out for the various cyber attacks, you need to look into this. 

Hackers have a shrewd mind and always look for ways to improve. They are on the constant lookout for new ways to hack your system. 

To prevent them from gaining access to your files, you need to be in the know about the new trending ways in cybersecurity.  

Final Thoughts

No amount of stressing about the importance of cybersecurity will be enough. Freelancers must take cyber security very seriously. You need to understand the threats and challenges that happen every day. 

Then next you will have to use a residential proxy and set up a VPN on your devices. So that your system is encrypted and free of trouble. 

Ensure that you establish the method of payment before you take up a task. Finally, be certain to remember the above-mentioned points to have a safe and successful business.

Understanding Customer Lifetime Value and Its Impact On Your Business

Understanding Customer Lifetime Value and Its Impact On Your Business

As any entrepreneur knows, finding a sustainable way to grow your business can be difficult even under ideal circumstances. 

Whether you’re new to the professional world or you’re a seasoned veteran within your industry, you know you’ll need to gain new customers if you want to grow. But you also need to figure out how to keep your existing customers around.

There’s an old adage that says it costs five times more to bring on a new customer than to keep an old one. But even if that’s not quite accurate for your business, customer retention is still much more cost-effective than customer acquisition. 

Simply put, it’s essential that you’re investing the right amount of time and resources into your current customer relationships in order to grow your business over time. And while there are many key performance indicators (KPIs) and other metrics that can provide insight into this area, customer lifetime value is among the most vital.

Let’s take a closer look at what you should know about customer lifetime value as it relates to the growth of your business.

What is Customer Lifetime Value?

First of all, what is the lifetime value of a customer? Customer lifetime value, which is sometimes shortened to CLTV or LVC, basically tells you how much a given customer relationship is worth to your company. 

It’s a measure of how much money they will spend with your business – or how much revenue you might expect them to generate – throughout the life cycle of that relationship. 

The more established the relationship, the more you might expect that a customer will spend; understandably, a customer who stays with you for three years will likely spend more than a customer who stays with you for only three months. As such, LVC is a good indicator of customer loyalty. Lower LVCs are often associated with a greater risk of churn, while higher LVCs are usually associated with customers that have a great relationship with your brand.

It’s important to note that customer lifetime value and customer acquisition cost are two different metrics, though they are related. While acquisition costs refer to how much your company might spend to bring a customer on, LVC shows you how much your company stands to make with that customer once they start doing business with you.

Why Does Customer Lifetime Value Matter?

Now that you understand what LVC is, at its most basic level, you might still be wondering why it’s important.

Without knowing your average customer lifetime value, you’ll have no choice but to make a wild guess as to how much a given relationship is worth. While you might want to give each and every customer the same caliber of service, the reality is that you might not see the financial return on some of those customers. 

For example, if you’re targeting an audience of folks who can’t really afford your services on a recurring basis, sinking extra time and money into those relationships simply won’t pay off. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care about these customers at all, but it does mean you need to be more strategic about where you’re spending your valuable resources.

If most of your customers come with higher churn rates, you’re going to spend all of your efforts on maintaining relationships that simply aren’t going to grow your business. But if you’re looking to create a strong base of clientele that are loyal to your brand (and are inclined to make more than just a one-time purchase), you’ll want to make sure you’re putting your efforts into the right relationships. 

Understanding the value of your client relationships can ensure you make the right decisions pertaining to marketing, lead generation, customer service, and even staffing. In the end, you’ll want to know you’re getting more (or at least as much) out of these relationships as you’re putting into them. That’s the only way your business operations will be sustainable.

How Can You Calculate Customer Lifetime Value?

Now that you understand what CLTV is and why it’s such an important metric for your business, it’s time to learn how to calculate it for yourself.

Ultimately, customer lifetime value will be a bit of an estimate. There’s really no guarantee that a current customer will spend as much as you think they will; unforeseen circumstances happen all the time, after all. But if you have a solid idea of what you can probably expect, that’ll allow you to make more sound business decisions than a wild guess or a mere hope will.

In order to figure out the lifetime value of your customers, you’ll need to factor in a number of other figures. You’ll need to take into account your customer churn rate, the average customer lifespan, the median invoice you send, the average number of new customers you acquire every month, your monthly sales and marketing costs, and more.

Many business owners that’s a lot to figure out on their own. Using a customer lifetime value calculator is one of the easiest ways to ensure your metric is as accurate as possible and that it’s easy to track. With tools like these, you can simply plug in the numbers and the tool will automatically calculate your LVC.

Once you have your LVC, you can determine whether you’re spending too much or too little on your existing customer relationships. And if you find that you need to improve your LVC across the board, you can prioritize customer service improvements, send out customer surveys, or devote a larger portion of your advertising budget to retargeting. 

While it might not always be the most pleasant task, you’ll want to face this challenge head on and know exactly what you’re dealing with. If your LVC is higher than expected, you’ll at least know you’re on the right track. And if you’re seeing lower LVC rates than you want, you’ll have a better idea of what can be improved.

When you want to grow your business, having a clear understanding of customer lifetime value is imperative. Without this metric, you won’t know for sure whether you’re targeting the right customers or whether your approach needs to change. But with it, you can make more informed decisions that will support your ultimate business goals.

10 Main Social Media Mistakes You Should Correct Right Now

10 Main Social Media Mistakes You Should Correct Right Now

Social media always remembers even the slightest mistakes. Making one, especially if you’re not a world-famous brand, could drop your engagement and loyalty rates to nill. Many companies have already had their fair share of fails, so why should you go down the road?

We’ve gathered ten main social media mistakes that are frequently made by businesses of all kinds. While not all of them are critical, some might help you lose a customer or two. Avoid doing so by reading more about the fails below!

1. Trying to be in every network

Having a powerful presence on social media is great. You engage more customers, create better brand awareness, and also increase sales. However, that doesn’t always work the way it sounds. There is a bunch of obvious pitfalls ignored by most companies.

While you might have created an account in all existing networks, you can’t publish the same content everywhere. A YouTube video won’t fit on Instagram. Likewise, funny Instagram memes have nothing to do on LinkedIn. 

Each platform has specific requirements for the type of content that is posted. Brands that try to be present everywhere usually don’t get it. These companies would repost every publication without any changes expecting them to bring tremendous results.

Everyone forgets that it doesn’t work that way. So here are some tips to consider:

  • All content must be adapted accordingly to the platform;
  • Irrelevant content must be substituted entirely;
  • You might need more than one team for your SMM strategy.

Remember that it is better to stay out of a network than build a negative reputation within it. Focus on the media where most of your potential clients are active. Once you make a community there, move on to secondary websites.

2. Posting content with poor engagement

What is engaging content? Always ask yourself this question before creating something new. If you fail during the creation stage, you won’t succeed when publishing.

Content with high engagement rates often includes:

  • Texts with helpful information or storytelling.
  • Several images;
  • Videos.

Instagram has recently posted a guide about how its algorithms work. This information will help you increase the visibility of your publications.

You must first focus on the quality of your content. If people like what they see, they will react somehow. Any like, comment or share will show the actual engagement rate. Still, what would make people do this?

It is said that video content engages users much better than photos and texts. The statement is quite reasonable once you think of it. There’s something new each second, driving more attention with every moment. Even a simple slideshow made with a free video merger would generate bigger engagement.

As the publisher, you need to know the pains of your target audience. This includes topics that interest them, the style they prefer, and multiple other ideas that show what could strike an emotion. The simplest way is asking people questions or sharing viral information. Yet, it all depends on the area you work in.

3. Nothing special about the profile

Would you be interested in a profile that’s similar to dozens of others? Most likely, you wouldn’t even give it a chance. But, unfortunately, that’s how modern consumers act.

Visiting your profile, the audience usually expects to see something special. By saying “special,” we mean an individual brand style. There are hundreds of ways to stand out. You could have a certain profile layout, one-styled images, powerful texts – anything that draws attention.

Take a look at the accounts of Recess and GoPro. Both have pleasant, attention-drawing images that tell a story about their products. Nothing extra. People see nice photos, brief texts, and an engaging story. In addition, they see the products with the ways they work – that’s another significant advantage!

Some ideas to improve your profile’s first impression would be:

  • Think of a unique layout (rows, tiles, puzzles, rainbows);
  • Highlights with good covers and titles;
  • A profile bio that gives all necessary information;
  • Engaging texts with storytelling and other features.

You could practice different layouts with a preview application. It will let you see the way your profile would look before any real users. Many accounts use this to build their profiles in one style without errors.

While there is no limit to your creativity, don’t overdo it. Your brand’s message must be clear enough for people to understand it within several seconds!

4. Not using CTAs

The absence of call-to-action phrases helps your company lose a lot of potential clients each moment. Okay, they read your text, saw the photos – what’s next? The audience is free to scroll by without even worrying about additional information about the product.

This is one of the common social media mistakes made by many companies. A CTA isn’t the universal cure. It’s more like one of the elements that make people buy the product or at least get some additional interest.

Some recommendations regarding your CTA are:

  • Make a crystal-clear point;
  • Ensure it stands out;
  • Use numbers to show a discount or demand.

Remember that you mustn’t deceive the audience. If you share a price in the CTA, it can’t be different after a user contacts you. This will only create a negative impression. We need sales, not lowered reputation!

5. Posting irregularly

With hundreds of other brands and influencers creating content every day, having an irregular schedule might prove to be a big issue for your accounts. It is best when you regularly publish during certain days of the week.

Why don’t we say “5 posts a week” or “10 stories a day”? Because that’s not how it works. Primarily, you won’t be able to generate that much quality content for a very long time. Sooner or later, overposting would make your content team turn into an example of another social media failure.

All your publications must be well-planned. That is why it is best when the content is prepared in advance. Depending on your industry, you could publish something 1-3 times a week. Stories must be posted daily to keep your engagement rates high.

Of course, if you want to stay afloat, you will have to do more than that. Each detail must be well-thought to keep people interested. Publishing content will small engagement rates will bury your account, so think of different ways to keep the statistics “alive.”

6. Always trying to sell

Yes, CTA’s are good. But that’s only when they are used in moderation. People will never want to follow an account that always tries to sell a product directly in every post. That’s absurd!

To stop making this error, follow the practices of the top brands in different industries. For example, have a look at Photoshop’s Instagram. Nearly every post is a creation of customers who used the company’s software. Seeing such beautiful images, people are likely to want to create some of their own. How? They buy the software!

Your sales should be made through stories and ideas. Think of your followers as students. Giving them the knowledge directly by saying “buy it” won’t do any good. However, if your lead them to the answer, make them realize that they need the product themselves, the results will be astonishing.

Here are some tips on how to sell your product on social media:

  • Share stories of your customers;
  • Involve user-generated content;
  • Demonstrate the value of your product via different situations.

Selling without selling is hard to master, but it’s definitely worth it. Try applying this strategy and adapt it depending on the customer’s reactions. This is how you will find the best approach!

7. Not promoting best posts

Many companies neglect promotion tools on social media. Sometimes, they use them but only with separate content created for advertisement-only. It might be a good try, although there’s an even better way to apply it.

When you see that a certain publication gets much better statistics when compared with others, it’s a good time to promote it. Subscribers are engaged, so it is very likely that other people will be as well. You never know unless you try!

For best results, you will need to know maximum information about your audience to target people with similar interests. With multiple tools for social media analytics, that shouldn’t be a problem. Remember that each audience requires a different approach. You can’t target teenagers with ads for adults!

Some tips for promoting your best posts are:

  • Check whether a user will be interested in the topic without knowing what’s going on;
  • Ensure you target an audience similar to the one that’s engaged in the post;
  • Work with an experienced targeted advertising specialist not to lose your investment.

If you want to get a free promotion without spending money, try contacting influencers to strike a deal. Probably, some might agree to repost your content for being spotlighted in your profile. However, bloggers usually prefer barter deals if money isn’t involved.

8. Leading a brand with no personality

Have you ever wondered why some brands are remembered, and some aren’t? It’s simple. That’s the way their branding works!

Seeing an ad with a red truck and Santa, people will think of Coca-Cola. A big yellow letter “M” will immediately remind them of McDonald’s. Why? Because these companies have a personality. “It’s that VERY brand!” – here’s what the audience thinks when they see anything related.

Building a personality for your brand requires a ton of work, and that can’t be done in one day. Generally, here are the points that determine your uniqueness:

  • A clear identity with certain beliefs;
  • A unique style of doing things;
  • A suitable tone of voice;
  • A team that is not hidden from society.

While there are dozens of points that build up a personality, these four are the foundation of all. It’s much easier when you’ve got a community around your product, like in the gaming industry. However, for instance, selling beverages or clothes makes things a bit more complicated.

Follow one style and apply the points mentioned above. You will see what else can be added once you start building a brand personality. If you’re interested, you could also read our previous post about starting an online business.

9. Creating content for everyone

This mistake is literally the same thing as trying to be in every network. Earth is huge, and the population of nearly 8 billion makes it impossible to suit everyone’s tastes. Even if it is a smaller group of people, focusing on your audience is always the best approach.

Now imagine that Asus, a huge technology company, started publishing content about food, clothing, and gardening. What would happen? Yes, total chaos. Current subscribers would be shocked, and new ones wouldn’t even subscribe.

If you specialize in a certain industry, then you have to stick to it. Food companies mustn’t try to apply politics in their campaigns. The same goes for any other example. Apple publishing about food? People aren’t there for this type of content!

They follow a brand because it shares similar ideas and values. Changing those will push away the current followers and is unlikely to attract new ones. Therefore, the best approach is publishing content that is only related to a specific audience. It’s the only way to keep it loyal and engaged.

10. Using hashtags that aren’t interesting for the target audience

If you subscribe to the hashtag “#hamburger,” you expect to see hamburgers. What would your reaction be if you saw a pizza with this hashtag? Okay, then what about cars? Many accounts use tags that aren’t even closely related to what their content is about. Only a negative reaction appears in this case.

Each hashtag is followed by a certain audience. If you are a fast-food restaurant, your audience will most likely be found in such tags as #fastfood, #burgers, #fries, and a bunch of others. You can find all hashtags related to a certain word with free online tools.

Here are some tips on hashtag usage:

  • Avoid banned and spammy tags;
  • Don’t use tags that are irrelevant to your content;
  • Ensure you understand the meaning of each tag applied.

Instagram limits hashtags to 30 per post and 10 per story, while Twitter recommends using only two. LinkedIn suggests using three to five of them to avoid being spammy.

This is a very popular instrument, so there even are different types of hashtags. Some of them are:

  • Location-based;
  • Product and niche-related;
  • Community hashtags;
  • Seasonal tags;
  • Acronyms, emojis, and others.

You will find related keywords for nearly any topic. So, if you do not want to end up dealing with negative emotions, use only those that are relevant to your post and account. That’s the only way your target audience will be engaged!

How to avoid making these mistakes?

Even if you’ve read the article till here, you are still likely to keep on making several mistakes. That’s not the reason this material was created, so let’s find a way to help you avoid the most common issues.

The most efficient strategy to remove all errors is creating a checklist. Whenever your team reaches the content-making phase, they will use the list to double-check the material. The same goes for planning and strategizing.

Finally, set a general rule in your content marketing department. It should always be quality over quantity, not vice-versa. Once every member sets this as a lifelong standard, you can be sure that your social media will be on top of the competition.

Can Your Computer be Compromised When You Start Working from Home?

Can Your Computer be Compromised When You Start Working from Home?

A vast number of businesses have gone online and millions of employees have shifted to remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic—with mixed results. 

While many people have enjoyed the flexibility that comes with working from home, some have found it tricky. And then there’s the risk of data breaches and other cyberattacks. 

When operating from the office, the day-to-day workings of a company are protected as a matter of course. But with each individual using their own laptop or computer at home… things aren’t so cut and dried. 

So… Can it be compromised?

The short answer is yes, of course. Although you could argue that a computer is at risk of compromise in an office too. However, working from home comes with bigger risks, including individuals falling for scams, employees using weak passwords, lack of firewalls to protect employees’ home Wi-Fi networks, and the use of other devices that aren’t encrypted.

It seems that COVID-19 has resulted in a massive upswing in phishing emails. In the past few months, they have increased by over 600%. Malspam and ransomware attacks have also increased exponentially—often by trying to exploit the confusion caused by the pandemic upheaval and knock-on economic effects. 

What are the cybersecurity dangers of remote working?

There are several specific scenarios and activities that pose a threat to a company’s cybersecurity:

  1. Human (employee) error
  2. Lack of vigilance
  3. File and information sharing
  4. Use of personal devices
  5. Difficulty accessing IT support
  6. Failure to use VPN
  7. Failure to back up files and data
  8. Use of unsecured Wi-Fi connections 

Some of these present bigger risks than others, and the scope for disaster varies. But all are largely mitigated if a company is vigilant and comprehensive in its security practices.

Human error

This unfortunate weakness is applicable whether working remotely or in an office setting. Unfortunately, it’s much more likely to crop up when working from home—probably because sitting in your “home office” results in a much more easygoing approach to work. 

Human error can include things like clicking on malware, opening attachments that contain viruses, or setting a weak password that’s vulnerable to hackers.

While human error is unavoidable, training and educating staff can reduce the occurrence a great deal. Keeping staff informed about the dangers makes them more aware, and more likely to spot a scam, phishing mail, or potentially threatening attachment. 

Lack of vigilance

Similar to human error, lack of vigilance can result in chinks in a company’s metaphorical armor— weak points in the cybersecurity barrier that protects data from unauthorized access. 

Research has revealed that people working from home fall for phishing scams at much higher rates than those working in office. Shockingly, 47% of employees fall for phishing scams when working remotely. 

For many people, “working from home” can also mean working from a coffee shop or similar setting where Wi-Fi is available. What they fail to realize, however, is that such networks are insecure and provide hackers or other parties with an ideal opportunity to access confidential data. 

Once again, raising awareness to the issue is key, and can go a long way towards improving vigilance. 

File and information sharing

Working from home means that people use the internet more often to share files and data with colleagues, instead of using in-house methods or protocols

Sharing data in this way, from home to home, poses a much greater risk. Immediately the danger of human error and lack of vigilance doubles, purely because there’s more than one individual involved. If employees are not provided with advanced encryption software, then company data is open to exploitation by third parties. 

Use of personal devices

This is one of the greatest risks of working from home. Unfortunately, many companies find it too costly to provide every remote employee with a laptop or computer, which results in them using personal devices. 

Not only does this mean their own laptops or computers but also smartphones, printers, scanners, and tablets. Many smartphones are not encrypted, totally negating the use of encryption on laptops or PCs and posing the same risk of data breaches. Personal devices may also lack vital antivirus software and firewalls. 

A BYOD (bring your own device) policy is an excellent idea, not just for the office, but for those working remotely too. If policies and procedures are in place, there’s a better chance of protection. 

Difficulty accessing IT support

Technology is great when it’s working, but all too often employees encounter IT problems, whether on-site or within the comfort of their own homes. It’s relatively simple for the IT department to fix an issue within an office environment, but they are highly unlikely to be able to provide the same service to individuals working remotely. 

Internet connections and imminent data breaches can make it difficult or impossible for IT support to render aid and prevent attacks. 

Allowing remote access to IT teams can alleviate this issue to some degree, but it’s not 100% infallible.  

Neglecting to use a VPN

This scenario is interwoven with many others—use of personal devices and lack of vigilance, for example. Every remote worker should use a VPN, which is a fundamental tool to ensure privacy and security. 

Issues with accessing IT support can also result in employees defaulting to personal devices without adequate security when something goes awry with the VPN they’re using. 

Failure to back up files and data

One of the greatest worries of every business is the loss of their data, with no way of recovering it. It only takes one attack to bring a company to its knees by wiping out all their files. 

To combat this, make use of the cloud and ensure that every bit of information backs up. 

Use of unsecured Wi-Fi connections at home

We’ve already covered the dangers of connecting to Wi-Fi in public settings, but people also forget that their home networks are not protected. 

Many people aren’t aware that updating home router software is necessary to ensure cybersecurity. And that failing to update other devices results in the same security risks as an insecure Wi-Fi connection. Even routers that have some kind of firewall in place are usually not as secure as an on-site network. This danger can be offset, however, by providing remote workers with a firewall equipped to deal with serious threats.

A New Era Requires A New Approach

It’s unlikely that work will ever return to pre-pandemic “normal”. This requires companies to change their approach to tech. Working remotely is here to stay, cybersecurity must adapt. 

Why This Could Be the Year to Own Your Success as an Entrepreneur

Why This Could Be the Year to Own Your Success as an Entrepreneur

This year has been filled with some pretty serious ups and downs. So if you are apprehensive about taking the leap into entrepreneurship, those feelings of anxiety make sense. While approaching the decision to open a new business should be a thoughtful process, you don’t have to let the pandemic sidetrack your goals. Especially since this year could be full of unseen potential for entrepreneurs. In fact, here are four things you can in 2020 to make your dreams of owning a business come true.

You Could Earn Your Business Degree

So maybe you’re not sure if you have the right knowledge and experience to open your own business? If this is the case, you may want to consider completing an online business degree to sharpen your business prowess and gain the skills you need to succeed as an entrepreneur. If you already have a bachelor’s, WGU’s online MBA program could be the perfect fit and will help you boost your business knowledge, enhance your management and leadership skills and provide you with the tools needed self-assessment and self-awareness in business. While you can start a new business without a degree, business degrees rank as a top credential for entrepreneurs to have for success. Earning your degree could give your startup a serious edge.

You Could Establish an Online Business

Worried about how you will practice social-distancing and still establish a new business? Well you really shouldn’t be! That’s because starting an online business can be so simple, if you have the right tools at your disposal. The Online Tools Expert blog can provide you with all of the steps and tricks you need to create a successful online business from the comfort of your living room. Whether you need a website builder for your startup or simply need to know how to set up a domain, the Online Tools Expert has you covered. Not to mention that with more people shopping online than ever before, opening an online business could be a very wise decision.

You Could Score Low Rates on a Loan

If you need funding to back your new business idea, now may also be the perfect time to apply for a small business loan. That’s because interest rates on loans are lower than any time in recent history and those rates are likely to stick around for quite some time. So even if you open your business and need additional funding in the coming months, you could end up scoring a killer deal on your loan. If your startup expenses are minimal, you could also take advantage of business credit cards that are offering low interest rates. Many of these cards also offer rewards and other perks to boost your new business. Depending on the type of business you plan on opening, you may also be eligible to apply for business grants to help out with startup costs.

You Could Buy Equipment at Lower Prices

One of the most unfortunate impacts of the COVID-19 impact is that so many small businesses have been forced to close their doors permanently. In fact, up to 41% of businesses that were listed as closed at the beginning of the pandemic have made the heartbreaking decision to shut down for good. While this may give you pause when it comes to starting a new business, you should know that certain types of businesses are actually booming right now. So if your idea for a business is on the list, you could search your town to see if closing businesses are selling off their tech and equipment. Try not to feel guilty about scoring used equipment from these businesses and keep in mind that by purchasing items from them you are indeed helping them.

Opening a new business is never without risk. So don’t let fear keep you from reaching your full potential as an entrepreneur. Times may be uncertain but this could also be the perfect time to earn a business degree, start an online business or find the resources you need to successfully establish a new startup and watch your profits soar.