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9 Small Business Mobile Trends You Can’t Afford to Miss

Mobile devices, especially phones, are ubiquitous. Everyone who has a phone carries it everywhere and people use it for simple and complex interactions alike. From chatting to shopping, the uses for mobile phones seems endless. We asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council for their thoughts on the best mobile trends that they’ve used or experienced. “Mobile devices are one of the best ways to interact with potential customers. What’s one mobile trend that you’ve noticed lately in the small business space? “ Top Mobile Trends Here’s what YEC community members had to say: 1. Simple Design “Simplicity, in many aspects, wins. Mobile users want a web design that is easy and simple to use, but they also want as seamless a payment strategy as possible. Make sure that your app is ready and able to take payments in a quick and easy fashion.” ~ Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance 2. Progressive Web Apps “A Progressive Web App is a web application that takes advantage of new web technologies like Service Workers and the Cache API to create a native-like experience. They are fast, can do push notifications, and work offline. PWAs are great for small businesses because they only have to manage one codebase and they can avoid the expense of creating a native application.” ~ Vik Patel, Future Hosting 3. SMS Marketing “SMS marketing has increased with many more text message campaigns with promotions and offers that small business audience likes to receive.” ~ John Rampton, Calendar 4. GPS Related Marketing “There are many more brands contacting me on the go through my mobile device based on my location, which is great because the deals come to me rather than having to search for them.” ~ Serenity Gibbons, Naacp 5. Charging Stations “In the event industry, we are noticing that mobile device charging stations are at every event these days. You’re not directly interacting with your customers, but you are facilitating their interactions with you in the most simple way possible, making sure their phones are charged!” ~ Jessica Gonzalez, InCharged 6. WhatsApp “As our global presence has grown and we’ve received more international inquiries, connecting over more than just email has been key. We use WhatsApp for texting and hopping on calls with clients overseas. It keeps costs down…

Sprint MultiLine Allows Separation of Business and Personal Calls on the Same Phone

You want two separate numbers for business and personal communication, but do you get a separate phone or a second line? Sprint MultiLine wants you to opt for the latter because it solves a number of issues and it is much cheaper. Sprint MultiLine In recognition of winning the Frost & Sullivan 2018 New Product Innovation Award, Sprint is reminding consumers of the benefits of having a second line on one mobile device. And as more companies allow their employees to bring their own device (BYOD), having two different lines clearly separates personal and business communications. This feature is especially useful for small businesses needing to save money with BYOD policies while at the same time maintain a professional presence. The Sprint Multiline service offers a set of tools for keeping track of the business line while giving the employee privacy all in one device. Brent Iadarola, vice president of mobile and wireless communications for Frost and Sullivan, pointed out some of the features of MultiLine and why it awarded the prize to Sprint. In an official release, Iadarola said, “The Sprint MultiLine solution uniquely balances the reporting, security, and accounting needs of businesses while retaining employee freedom of choice and personal privacy. Sprint MultiLine is an innovative mobile solution that caters to the evolving demands of both businesses and employees in the era of BYOD.” Second Line Solutions The market is full of apps which provide second numbers for smartphones. However, when it comes to meeting the regulatory compliances of business communications in certain industries, most of them fall short. Where the Sprint MultiLine service stands out is the ability to give businesses full control while addressing compliance issues connected to accounting and security, the company says. This type of control lets your business retain the number as well as any history, relationships and communications attached to it. If there are any company device purchases, services and support, connected to the business number, they can be saved for accounting and other auditing purposes. Sprint MultiLine supports compliance with industry regulations, like Dodd-Frank by enabling call and text recording. Having…

ThinkPad P1 Mobile Workstation Could Suit Small Business Power Users

Lenovo says the ThinkPad P1 is its thinnest and lightest mobile workstation it has made to date. And at only 0.7 inches or 18.4mm thick, Lenovo has managed to include some impressive specs in such a small form factor. In addition to the P1, Lenovo is also announcing a bigger P72. It is slightly thicker and weighs considerably more, but if you are looking for more power and you want to get rid of your desktop entirely, it might be an option. Whether it is the P1 or P72, these are units designed for power users who don’t want to compromise when it comes to performance. For small businesses running engineering, data analytics, and design firms the P1 and P72 are the type of mobile workstation which makes working in the field possible. In the press release Rob Herman, General Manager of Workstations, Lenovo, explained what the company was looking to achieve with the new line. Herman said, “When we set out to create the ThinkPad P1, we knew our challenge was to build a mobile workstation that would carry the legacy of professional power and reliability of our ThinkPad portfolio, but also meet our customer’s need for a thin, light and sleek design.” He added, “Whether you are looking for power, the lightest mobile workstation around or sleek and slim tech-envy, the ThinkPad P1 delivers on all counts, period.” ? ThinkPad P1 Mobile Workstation You can get the P1 powered with 8th Generation Intel Xeon or Core processors, including support for the Core i9 CPU with ECC memory capability. This will deliver clock speeds of up to 4.6GHz. The storage can be maxed out with a 4TB M.2 PCI express SSD storage and 64 GB of 2,667 MHz DDR4 RAM. A discrete NVIDIA Quadro P1000 and P2000 professional graphics cards will pump images on the 15″ display which come in a 4K UHD version producing 10-bit colors with 100% Adobe RGB and a 1080p. This is all powered with an 80WHr battery and an external 135-watt power supply. ThinkPad P72 The P72 is thicker at 1″ and it weighs…

Samsung Galaxy Watch Could Make Things Easier for the Busy Entrepreneur

At first glance, the new Samsung Galaxy Watch looks like a traditional timepiece, but it is far from that. The company has announced three versions of the new line of watches with Silver, Midnight Black and Rose Gold faces. Designed to be part of the Galaxy ecosystem, the new watches have extended battery life, LTE connectivity, wellness tracking applications and integration with other computing and smart devices. Samsung says it wants these watches to be part of its Galaxy ecosystem so they can fit together with its smartphones, tablets and more. For small business owners, the watch offers a device which fits seamlessly within Samsung’s line of products and services. Being able to quickly see a message without taking out your smartphone, make payments, and control your smart devices will not change the world, but it will make things easier both in your workplace and at home. The goal is to make your connected experience more efficient and enjoyable. In an official press release, President and CEO of the IT and Mobile Communications Division for Samsung Electronics, DJ Koh said as much. Koh said, “The new Galaxy Watch was designed for all lifestyles to help meet consumer needs, such as more efficient battery life to stay connected longer, and better wellness tracking to help users maintain their goals – we are delivering them with connected experiences, all at the touch of a wrist.” The Galaxy Watch Available in two different sizes, 42 mm and 46 mm, the watches have Bluetooth and standalone LTE connectivity with call and text support. The 1.3″ always on full-color circular 360×360 AMOLED display is made with Corning Gorilla DX+. You can change the face of the watch with more than 60,000 designs from the Galaxy App Store giving you a different face every day for as long as you live. Along with the different watch faces, you can also get interchangeable straps in different colors. The LTE version comes with 1.5GB of RAM and 4GB of internal memory, while the Bluetooth version has 768 RAM and the same amount of storage. The battery also has two…

9 Tips You Can’t Afford to Miss from a CEO who Survived a Ransomware Attack

Imagine this: you’ve just built a state-of-the-art system for your business to store all of its records and customer data. It’s working seamlessly and allowing your team to run efficiently, while seemingly keeping all of your information secure. Then — it disappears. Hackers contact you and demand that you pay a ransom you can’t afford to get your data back. You don’t have that amount of money, and don’t have any guarantee that they’ll actually follow through with their promise even if you do pay. But your business cannot function without that data. What do you do? This is the situation that A1Care CEO Percy Syddall found himself in several years back. And it’s become all too common for other businesses as well. As a home health care company in California, A1Care’s situation was especially sensitive due to the fact that patient records and health information had been compromised. While every ransomware attack presents unique challenges to businesses, this one illustrates many of the concerns that accompany such a situation. Since then, Syddall and his team have taken great care to enhance their cybersecurity efforts and hopefully prevent a similar situation from ever impacting A1Care in the same way. Here are some tips and insights to consider if your business ever has to deal with a ransomware attack, or if you want to prevent one from happening in the first place. What to Do If Ransomware Attacks Your Small Business Evaluate the Threat Every ransomware attack is different, so there isn’t one right way to handle the situation. Most experts advise against paying ransoms, as there’s still no guarantee that you’ll get your data back. In some cases, like screen-locking ransomware, you may be able to find a professional who can get around it and unlock your system. Get Authorities Involved At the time of A1Care’s attack, ransomware was a relatively unknown concept. However, today the FBI has an Internet Crime Complaint Center that’s specifically set up so that you can report online crimes like ransomware attacks. You’ll want to photograph the ransom notification and any other communication from the…

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Brings Functionality – and High Cost – to Business Power Users

The Samsung Galaxy Note is the utilitarian workhorse for smartphone power users, and each time a new version is announced this group eagerly awaits the release. Well, the Galaxy Note 9 is out and it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to specs, design and functionality. If you are willing to pay the hefty price — and it is hefty at $999 or $1,250 for the two different models — it might make a good fit for your small business when it becomes available starting August 24, 2018. Small business owners who demand a lot from their smartphones already use the Galaxy Note, and Samsung knows it has a captive audience when it comes to this base. This is what DJ Koh, President and CEO of Samsung’s IT and Mobile Communications Division basically said in a recent press release. Koh explained, “Note fans are Samsung’s most loyal; we know they want it all, to get the most out of work and play, and Galaxy Note 9 is the only phone that can keep up with their busy lives.” He added, “The Note has always been our showcase for premium technology and industry-defining innovation, and Galaxy Note 9 is no exception. It’s designed for a level of performance, power and intelligence that today’s power users want and need.” ? The Galaxy Note 9 At first glance, the Note 9 looks identical to the Note 8 but further inspection reveals there are some noteworthy upgrades in the new version. As mentioned earlier, this is a device for power users and Samsung has added some powerful options in the Note 9. It all starts with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core chipset and Adreno 630 GPU, which is 20% faster and 30% more power efficient than the Snapdragon 835 powered Note 8. When it comes to RAM and storage, you now have 6 and 8GB options along with a choice of 128 and 512GB of storage. The MicroSD has been upgraded to handle up to 512GB, so you can now have a terabyte of storage on the maxed out version. With all this power, you are…

How to Succeed in Your Small Business While Doing Less with Virtual Assistants? (INFOGRAPHIC)

Time is one of the most important and precious resources small business owners must learn to manage. And with just so many hours in the day, using virtual assistants is one way to help you regain some of those lost hours. A new infographic by Ova Virtual, a virtual assistant service provider based in the Philippines, looks at the growth of this industry. Titled, “The Rise of Virtual Assistants,” the infographic provides insights into how this segment has grown, along with the benefits it offers small business owners and the remote workers providing the service. First, most small business owners even contemplate an assistant — of any kind. It is a luxury they think they can’t afford, so they don’t factor in many of the benefits it provides. But today’s digital technology can make hiring a virtual assistant a reality, and an affordable reality at that. On the Ova Virtual site, the company explains the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant and the services they can provide. “However, there is a common misconception that virtual assistants are some kind of luxury only affordable by the big companies to outsource projects that require less management but are considered an overhead. The truth is, it is quite the contrary,” the Ova Virtual team goes on to say. As to effectively managing time, the company adds, “Small companies and startup businesses resort to hiring virtual assistants as a solution to the limited time they have available.” Takeaways from the Infographic The growth of virtual assistants is being driven by the connectivity digital technology offers. This makes it possible for remote workers to perform tasks on behalf of their clients anytime and anywhere. This has allowed virtual assistants to provide services such as administrative work, social media management, bookkeeping, human resources, data entry, transcription, scheduling, copywriting, email management, travel arrangements and much more. And as more businesses use freelancers, they are also considering virtual assistants as part of their workforce. Benefits of a Virtual Assistant The biggest benefit of hiring a virtual assistant is the low operational cost. With a remote worker, a business…

5 Ridiculously Simple Ways to Improve Mac Cybersecurity at Your Small Business

Many small businesses haven’t taken steps to implement cybersecurity. According to a recent survey, only 2 percent of small businesses have a cybersecurity plan in place, perhaps thinking they are too small for criminals to target them. Few companies have implemented anti-malware software. For some companies using macOS products, there is a mistaken belief their Mac is impervious to attack. These companies couldn’t be more wrong. For criminals, small businesses and Mac owners are easy targets. Lax cybersecurity means easy money. A recent report from MIT identified cyberthreats like data breaches, ransomware, and mining cryptocurrency using hijacked computers. These threats start with a malware attack, and small businesses without cybersecurity or anti-malware software for their Mac computers will quickly become a victim. The Danger of Malware to Mac Malware is a piece of software that infects a computer. Once in place, it can be used to conduct criminal activities. Malware has been used to hack computers to steal data and files, putting customers’ and employees’ private data at risk. Ransomware, which locks users out of a computer system until a ransom is paid, is another use of malware. Cryptocurrency miners will link computers together to mine for bitcoins, or worse, use the computer for DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks. For criminals, the key to success is infecting as many computers as possible. This makes small businesses with networked computers an easy and profitable target. Mac computers have strong security in place, but they are still susceptible to attack. Malwarebytes, a leading cybersecurity software company has already identified four critical threats to Mac users in 2018. These same experts believe the threat to Mac is growing. One of these threats, called OSX.CreativeUpdate, is particularly dangerous. This piece of malware was originally discovered after the MacUpdate website was hacked. The hackers replaced popular Mac apps, like Firefox, with their malicious links. When users downloaded the malware infused apps from MacUpdate the apps would install malware on the system and then open the original app. This covered up the fact that malware had just infected the system. This malware would use the…

Meemim Retires its Free Knowledge Management Platform for Business Users

Meemim will retire its free knowledge management platform in February of 2019, leaving users just under seven months to find a different provider. The Meemin Knowledge Management service was created to give users a single place to share knowledge and information with teams and within an organization. Knowledge management solutions are growing in popularity because companies and their employees are generating more data than ever. This not only applies to large enterprises but also small businesses with a digital presence including websites, social media channels, eCommerce businesses, blogs and more. Having a single resource where all this information can be accessed makes a company more productive, especially as the amount of data keeps increasing. In a notice sent out via email, the company said it was retiring the service because the continuous investment in development and the costs of running the back-end infrastructure wouldn’t allow the system to gain the necessary scale. At the same time, support for the project from Microsoft comes to an end in 2019. Effective immediately, Meemim Knowledge Management will stop accepting new customers. Businesses already using the platform have until February to find another provider and migrate their data. The company said it will not provide data extracts because of the associated costs. This means you have to move your data from the system manually. However, no data will be stored or made available beyond the February 2019 deadline. Meemim it WILL continue to operate the system beyond February 2019. And subscribers — but not free account holders — can use the system until 2020 or longer. Meanwhile, Meemim Knowledge Management has transitioned into vGIS (www.vGIS.io), a spatial visualization platform for augmented, mixed and virtual realities. What is a Knowledge Management Solution? Simply put, a knowledge management solution stores and indexes a wide range of information sources and makes it available for the user quickly and easily. Once in place, an organization can create, capture, centralize, distribute, search and streamline their information. The system will create a single source of information which is automatically updated so users can access it from any device, anytime and…

7 Accounts and Pieces of Information Small Businesses Should Most Fear Getting Hacked

In 2016, hackers breached half of the 28 million small businesses across the United States. No business is small enough to be immune to the growing threat of cyberattacks and the detrimental effects such breaches can have on operations. But what online information or online accounts are small business owners most concerned about when it comes to fear of hacking? Online security software developer Cyclonis included a list of the online accounts and information people most dread being hacked based on the company’s recent research.  Along with the accounts and data identified in Cyclonis’ Password Security Report are some of particular concern to small business owners. The Private Information s No One Wants Hacked Online Banking Online banking crime poses as a real threat to small businesses. Having your small business bank accounts hacked or the banking information of your customers stolen can prove irreversibly detrimental to a small business. Avoiding reusing the passwords you use on other sites for online banking can significantly reduce the chances of having important banking information hacked. Social Media The hacking of social media is a rising threat for small businesses, wreaking havoc on your business’s reputation and credibility. It is therefore vital that you adequately protect your small business’s social media accounts through steps such as avoiding recycling passwords across sites and reporting any suspicious activity immediately. Amazon Does your small business have an Amazon account to buy or sell items? If so, you should be aware that cybercriminals are targeting Amazon users with password reuse attacks. It is therefore important that you closely monitor your Amazon business account. Health or Medical In 2015, Anthem, the second largest health insurer got hacked, resulting in their clients’ medical and personal information being stolen. Having health and medical data stolen is deemed as one of the biggest threats to security and one, it seems, no business that collates medical information is immune from. Personal Email It is not uncommon for members of your staff to access their personal email accounts at work. Cybercriminals target personal email accounts to steal people’s information and send out emails to contacts fraudulently. Subsequently, it is important those using…

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