The Reason You Should Protect Information on Your Web

One of the biggest concerns in the world today for online business owners is security. You have probably seen the news stories about large companies being hacked and having the sensitive data of their customers stolen. Identity theft is very big business for criminals around the world these days. This is one of the reasons why hackers go to great lengths to steal personal info. They can sell it for a lot of money to other criminals who will use it to create fake identities for the purpose of committing various crimes. Therefore, you must do everything you can to safeguard the data that your customers entrust you with when they do business on your site. Here are some of the primary reasons why you should never neglect your website’s security.

The Reason You Should Protect Information on Your Web

1. Your reputation is at stake

The reputation of your business is everything in the online world. People will have a very difficult time trusting you with their sensitive personal and financial information if you show that you are not capable of adequately protecting this type of important data. News travels fast on the Internet. You can bet that news of such a breech will travel around to many consumers. They will understandably be very wary of handing over their credit card number to you if you allow hackers to penetrate the security of your site. This has happened to many online businesses and they have found it very difficult to recover because of the lack of trust from the general public. This is why you need to take all of the necessary steps to prevent such a disaster from happening to your site in the first place. One of the first things you should do is make sure your SSL certificates are working correctly.

2. Protect your money

The personal info of your customers may not be the only thing that hackers will be looking for if they penetrate your website’s security measures. They will also be looking for any way they can steal money from you. There is a chance that you might have a business bank account that is in some way associated with your site. Hackers will look for any way possible to exploit a hole in your security to get into your bank account. Carefully protect any passwords associated with your business bank accounts.

3. Hackers are always improving

Hackers are more sophisticated than they have ever been before. They also have access to some of the best technology that is currently available. They will be using all of this to try and hack into your site. This is why you can never be too careful when it comes to protecting yourself. Some of the people who are hacking these days have genius intellects. This makes it very hard to stay one step ahead of these guys. This is why you need to regularly consult with the best online security firms to make sure that you have all of the latest software to protect your business.

Developing Leadership Skills

If employees in the business have trouble communicating with each other or there needs to be more leadership within the company, consider taking classes that can help develop those skills. A small class setting is often best so that those in attendance can get the most out of the information that is taught.

Developing Leadership Skills

One of the things that you will learn while in the classes is how to effectively communicate with everyone in the office in a leadership role. You will learn about how to designate tasks to employees so that one person doesn’t bear all of the work load. Organizational skills are also discussed. These are important so that you know how to manage payroll, how to make sure all of the incoming and outgoing documents are handled and how to keep paperwork in a proper file system so that others will know where to find it when needed.

A benefit of taking leadership courses is that you will gain confidence in yourself. You will be able to see that you can be recognized among other employees as someone who is in charge instead of someone who simply manages a business. There are responsibilities that everyone will learn about. If each person doesn’t take on part of the work, then the business can’t function as it should. Ensuring that there is responsibility with each person could mean the difference between a failing business and one that succeeds.

During the leadership classes, employees will be able to learn in a fun manner. There are usually games that are played to build the trust with each other and to find out if there are issues that need to be resolved before the brunt of the work takes place in the course. There are classes offered on a regular basis so that employees can continue to gain the knowledge to be a success, and there are classes that can be taken for one time. This is ideal for smaller businesses that only need to focus on a few techniques to maintain stability in the company. Schedule an appointment online or by calling an office to find out when classes are offered.

3 Ways to Promote Your Site

You have invested countless hours in the creation of your site. It has been a dream of yours for many years to have your own online business. You have hired a great web designer and installed the best online shopping cart software. Now your dream is finally becoming a reality. It would be a shame for all of your hard work to be in vain simply because you did not properly promote your site. It is easy to neglect this chore because of all the other things that you need to focus on when you are about to launch a new business venture. However, you need to keep in mind that having the best online business in the world will not be enough to make it successful. You also need to let people know your business exists. How you go about this will be a key factor when it comes to how well your site does. Do not forget to promote your site. Here are some of the ways you can do that.

3 Ways to Promote Your Site

1. Twitter

Twitter is being used by hundreds of millions of people around the world. Some people just use it to chat among their small circle of friends. Celebrities and large companies use Twitter to reach literally millions of people instantly. The power of being able to communicate with potential customers so easily is something that you must embrace and take advantage of. Doing so could help your online business to flourish. You would be wise to view some instructional videos that will teach you all of the ins and outs of sending tweets. It is not difficult to get the hang of.

2. Facebook

It is quite shocking to think that Facebook was only being used by people going to college less than 15 years ago. It has now become much bigger than anybody could have imagined. Your new online business needs to be a part of the Facebook community in order for it to reach as many people as possible.

3. Search engine optimization (SEO)

SEO is accomplished by using the right combination of phrases and words to allow a site to be consistently ranked highly on many of the biggest search engines. This has developed into one of the most popular ways in the world to get a new website noticed in a short period of time. The hard thing about building a brand is the fact that it takes a long time to become etched in the consciousness of the general public. Most new companies do not have the financial resources and absorb losses while they sit around and wait for their brand to catch on. Therefore, they need to find a way to expedite the process and make themselves more visible to the masses. SEO enables this to happen if it is done correctly. The increase in traffic that a site can receive simply by being highly ranked in searches is truly astonishing. It can make a site into a powerhouse overnight.

Sharing a Press Release from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

January 19, 2016
TIGTA – 2016-01
Contact: Karen Kraushaar, Director of Communications
(202) 622-6500

J. Russell George Urges Taxpayers to Remain on “High Alert”
Expanded Outreach Effort Announced to Prevent More Losses to IRS Impersonators

WASHINGTON — The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) urged taxpayers to remain on “High Alert” and announced additional outreach efforts to prevent them from falling victim to criminals who impersonate Internal Revenue Service and Treasury employees this filing season.

“The phone fraud scam has become an epidemic, robbing taxpayers of millions of dollars of their money,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. “We are making progress in our investigation of this scam, resulting in the successful prosecution of some individuals associated with it over the past year,” he said, adding that over the summer, a ringleader was sentenced to more than 14 years in federal prison. “However, this is still a matter of high investigative priority.”

TIGTA continues to receive reports of thousands of contacts every month in which individuals fraudulently claiming to be IRS officials make unsolicited calls and “robocalls” to taxpayers and demanding that they send them cash, he said.

“As the tax filing season begins, it is critical that all taxpayers continue to be wary of unsolicited telephone calls and e-mails from individuals claiming to be IRS and Treasury employees,” said the Inspector General. “This scam has proven to be the largest of its kind that we have ever seen. The callers are aggressive and relentless,” he said. “Once they have your attention, they will say anything to con you out of your hard-earned cash,” George added. “We will be very aggressive in pursuing those perpetrating this fraud,” the Inspector General said. “In the meantime, we need to do even more to warn taxpayers not to fall for it,” he added.

TIGTA’s expanded outreach initiative includes video Public Service Announcements in English and in Spanish that warn taxpayers about the scam. In addition, TIGTA is working with its partners in the public and private sector to help get the word out, both through traditional law enforcement channels and through direct outreach to associations, nongovernmental organizations, and the media.

TIGTA has received reports of roughly 896,000 contacts since October 2013 and has become aware of over 5,000 victims who have collectively paid over $26.5 million as a result of the scam, in which criminals make unsolicited calls to taxpayers fraudulently claiming to be IRS officials and demanding that they send them cash via prepaid debit cards, money orders or wire transfers from their banks.

“The number of people receiving these unsolicited calls from individuals who fraudulently claim to represent the IRS is growing at an alarming rate,” George said. “At all times, especially around the time of the tax filing season, we want to make sure that taxpayers are alerted to this scam so they are not harmed by these criminals,” he said, adding, “Do not become a victim.”

“This is a crime of opportunity, so the best thing you can do to protect yourself is to take away the opportunity,” the Inspector General added. “If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and uses threatening language if you do not pay immediately, that is a sign that it is not the IRS calling, and your cue to hang up,” he said. “Again, do not engage with these callers. If they call you, hang up the telephone.”

Inspector General George noted that the scam has hit taxpayers in every State in the country. Callers claiming to be from the IRS tell intended victims they owe taxes and must pay using a pre-paid debit card, money order or a wire transfer. The scammers threaten those who refuse to pay with being charged for a criminal violation, a grand jury indictment, immediate arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver’s license.

Here is what you need to know. The IRS generally first contacts people by mail – not by phone – about unpaid taxes and the IRS will not ask for payment using a prepaid debit card, a money order or wire a transfer. The IRS also will not ask for a credit card number over the phone. The callers who commit this fraud often:

• Utilize an automated robocall machine.
• Use common names and fake IRS badge numbers.
• May know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security Number.
• Make caller ID information appear as if the IRS is calling.
• Aggressively demand immediate payment to avoid being criminally charged or arrested.
• Claim that hanging up the telephone will cause the immediate issuance of an arrest warrant for unpaid taxes.
• Send bogus IRS e-mails to support their scam.
• Call a second or third time claiming to be the police or department of motor vehicles, and the caller ID again supports their claim.

If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment, here’s what to do:
• If you owe Federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.
• If you do not owe taxes, fill out the “IRS Impersonation scam” form on TIGTA’s website, www.tigta.gov, or call TIGTA at 800-366-4484.
• You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov . Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments in your complaint.

TIGTA encourages taxpayers to be alert to phone and e-mail scams that use the IRS name. The IRS will never request personal or financial information by e-mail, text, or any social media. You should forward scam e-mails to phishing@irs.gov. Do not open any attachments or click on any links in those e-mails.

Taxpayers should be aware that there are other unrelated scams (such as a lottery sweepstakes winner) and solicitations (such as debt relief) that fraudulently claim to be from the IRS.

Read the U.S. Attorney’s Office Press Release.

Read more about tax scams on the official IRS website at www.irs.gov.
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Ask These Questions To Help You Choose A Course In Theatre

Do you know what theatre course you’re going to decide to apply to? Well, if you’re like most people you possibly don’t. So, we’ve compiled a list of different things to consider before you decide on a specific course to begin in. Take a look at these great tips.

Ask These Questions To Help You Choose A Course In Theatre

  1. Are you interested in specializing?

There are many different skills that fall under the umbrella term, ‘technical theatre.’ This field includes crafts such as scenic art, sound and lighting design, as well as stage management. Each of these roles has little in common with the others. You would never expect a talented scenic art person to have the same skill set as an organized deputy stage manager.

If you already know what area you want to do a specialty in, choose a course that allows you to learn that role while providing plenty of scope. Perhaps you want to take a performing arts course in New York or do theatre design in London – this is your chance to make a decision. If you aren’t sure which area will work best for you, then consider taking a general course that allows you to specialize once you develop.

  1. Does the school provide opportunities for your chosen specialty?

You need to choose a course that has a paint frame if you are learning the ins and outs of scenic art. The school should have the kinds of boards and lanterns available professionally if you choose to learn lighting design there. Check to see what is available before you sign up because the facilities are important even though they are not the be all and end all.

  1. Will you be able to collaborate with other courses in your course?

Find out if the acting courses in the drama schools you are considering work together with the technical theatre courses. For example, would students in the technical courses get the opportunity to be stage manager on public productions? Check to see if these opportunities would be available to you because this is a vital part of the learning experience.

  1. Does the course have links with the industry?

You get the chance to see how theatre really operates when your course is linked to the industry. Find out if your chances for future employment will be better because there are placement opportunities available within decent production and theatre companies.

  1. Who is in charge of your course?

It is a relatively new thing to have degree courses in technical theatrical disciplines. In the past, there were vocational diplomas only. You might argue that the academic model of study does not fit with the craft-based vocational skills required. However, in the majority of the courses that you will take with this new structure for getting a degree, you won’t often come across a course that is run by academics. If you do, run away from them as quickly as you can. You need to have instructors who understand how the real world operates when it comes to theatre.

These five points should help you see a clearer path when choosing your course.

The Benefits Of Incorporation

Becoming a limited company is something a lot of people consider but don’t go ahead with. However, there are numerous benefits of doing so and we take a closer look at the benefits of incorporation below.

Benefits Of Incorporation

Understanding Limited Liability Companies

As you might guess from its name, a limited liability company uses a structure that limits the liability of the owner or owners. The way that the business is structured, the assets of the owner(s) are kept completely separate from the assets or finances of the company.

As a result, any debts that the company accrues are the sole responsibility of the company itself and the owners cannot be held liable for paying back any amounts that are due over and above their initial investment in the business. Because of this, many business owners opt to go this route. It provides protection for their personal finances, while still allowing them to invest in and grow their business.

From a legal standpoint, after a limited company formation limited liability companies are seen as their own entities. That means that legal action can be brought directly against them rather than against the owner. Likewise, these companies may even act as a director for a separate company.

Perceived Status

One of the benefits of incorporating is the ability to add the word “Limited” to the end of a business name. This instantly creates the feeling that a business is large and well-established, even if they are just getting off the ground.

Protection for the Company Name

Once the name of the business is registered with the Companies House register, no other company can use the same or similar names.

Easier To Find Investors

Most investors would rather invest their money into a corporation rather than with a sole proprietor or partnership. This is largely because their investment enjoys more protection due to the limited liability of the company.

Easier to Obtain Financing

Banks are generally more likely to provide loans to companies rather than to individuals. Once more, this is largely due to the fact that they are able to secure the loan with the assets of the company. That means that if the company defaults on the loan, the bank can force the sale of its assets to pay back the debt.

Easier Management of Shares

Shares are far easier to transfer in a limited company than in a partnership. The only hindrance would be if there was restrictive language in the articles of the company or its agreement with its shareholders.

More Tax Breaks

Companies that are incorporated may qualified for additional tax breaks that unincorporated businesses are not eligible for. For instance, they may be able to deduct training fees or contributions to pensions.

Lower Effective Tax Rate

Owners and shareholders of businesses can take their profits as a combination of a small salary and dividends. Dividends carry a lower tax rate than self-employment income, which makes them an attractive option for investors.

Taxes Are Only Levied On Money That Is Withdrawn

Sole proprietors or partners are taxed on their earnings as a whole without taking into account how much money they withdrew from the business. Incorporated businesses, on the other hand, are still taxed, but at a lower rate than individuals. Not only that, but their profits are not subject to National Insurance. If the ultimate goal is to keep profits within the business itself, then incorporation makes sense from a tax standpoint.

Alcohol and You: The Sobering Effect of Drunk Driving on Your Career

If you are convicted of drunk driving, your career may suffer. In addition, it may make it more difficult to find work later in life. In fact, certain jobs will terminate the position of a worker that is found to be under the influence of alcohol while behind the wheel.

Alcohol and You The Sobering Effect of Drunk Driving on Your Career

Does my employer have to know?

 

It depends. Review your employment contract to see whether there is any direction when it comes to this issue. Some contracts demand that your employer be told as soon as possible, while others take no stand on the issue. In most cases, you will have to tell your boss, but review both your contract and your handbook to determine what to do.

 

Will I be terminated from my position?

 

This again depends on your particular circumstances, what is outlined in your contract and what happened the night that you were arrested for drunk driving. For instance, must you drive as part of your job? That makes things more difficult. Were you drinking while at a work related function? Your employer may feel they have no choice but to fire you. If you do lose your job and you do not feel that the situation was just, you can speak to a lawyer or get in contact with ACAS to find out if you have reason to be concerned. The same holds true if there was a sanction imposed upon you after the conviction.

 

Will I still be able to drive for work-related purposes?

 

You might be able to, depending on the circumstances of your case. A judge will often take away a drunk driver’s license; in some cases, it is a given, and in others, it depends on what the judge thinks is best. He or she may also decide that you are not allowed to drive anywhere BUT to and from work.

 

If it could go either way in your case, talk to the judge about your job and what it means to you. Tell him or her how you will be impacted if you are not able to drive. The judge may use that information to help him decide what to do in your particular case. This may also mean you need to get convicted drivers insurance suggests Conviction Insure.

 

Is it necessary to inform my professional association (or my potential professional association)?

Professional associations typically require that both their members, and anyone applying for membership, let them know if they were convicted of driving drunk. If you are part of an association already, they may decide that they no longer want you among their ranks. They could also impose some type of consequence on you or tell you to get alcohol abuse treatment. Obviously, you do not have to follow their stipulations, but if you want to remain a member, it is best to do what is being asked of you. If you are concerned about your professional association, read the rules to determine what needs to happen and speak to a lawyer if you are worried.

 

If you would like to join an association, you will likely have to tell them about your conviction. Even if you don’t, they will probably find out about it when they conduct a background check on you. However, simply because this conviction is a part of your past does not mean that you will not be allowed to join the association. It depends on your case and on the association itself.

 

If I have a background check performed on me, will my drunk driving conviction appear there?

 

Some job applications only require a Basic Disclosure. In this case, it would not show up if your conviction is spent. However, an Enhanced Disclosure or a Standard Disclosure may be required instead. In this case, a conviction for drunk driving WOULD show up.

How to Start an Export Business

Thanks to the power of the Internet, many people are going into business for themselves. Online businesses are being created every day to service a wide range of consumer needs. There are a large number of export businesses that allow people in foreign countries to buy various products from the United States. Export businesses have many issues that you have to deal with, so they are not the easiest businesses to get off the ground. However, if you are selling the right products and you know what you are doing, you could make a lot of money. Here is how to start an export business.

How to Start an Export Business

Talk to individuals who are already exporting goods

It would be wise to seek the advice of people who have been exporting various items for a long time. These people will know all of the ins and outs of the business. You can learn from their mistakes, saving you a great deal of time and money in the process. Find out how they handle all of their payments made by customers in foreign countries. You should also ask them what shipping methods they use and if you will need to get any special licenses to operate your export business. These people should have an enormous amount of valuable info to pass your way.

Look on the Internet for help

There are many websites that have been created specifically to help people like yourself who are starting a new export business. There are even professional export outsourcing companies like Elymat Industries, Inc. They will provide you with the export assistance you need to make your business grow. Take a look at what they can do for you by visiting http://www.elymat.com/. Along with outsourcing companies, there are many sites that simply offer information and advice for people looking to break into the export market.

Forums for exporters

You will find that there are many online forums where people in the export business regularly hang out to discuss the latest happenings in their industry. More importantly, they will be happy to answer any questions you have. If you are unable to find anyone in real life who runs an export business, the people on these online forums are the next best thing. They are always glad to offer assistance to someone who shows passion for what they do. If there is anything you are unsure about, these are the people to ask.

Top 4 Reasons to Work as a Barber

If you are looking for a new career, being a barber is an excellent choice. This is a rewarding career with many benefits, and attending barber school can put you on a path to career success. Here are the top four reasons work as a barber:

Top 4 Reasons to Work as a Barber

1 – The Ability to Take Control of Your Destiny

One of the reasons getting barber training is a good idea is that it gives you the opportunity to control your destiny. As a barber, you will have the freedom to set your own hours, work when you want and make your own rules. You will schedule your clients when it is convenient for you, and not convenient for a boss or supervisor. You can work as much or as little as you like, and you can begin to build relationships that will last for many years.

2 – Your Salary Can Be as Large or as Small as You Want

Since you will own your own business as a barber, in most cases, you have the ability to make a salary that is as large or as small as you want. Many people get into a career where they think they are not compensated as much as they believe they should be. When you get into a career as a barber, however, you make your own rates, and these rates will surely reflect your skills. Also, there are opportunities to make commissions by selling products to your customers.

3 – There are Many Networking Opportunities

Another reason to receive training to be a barber is that there are a number of networking opportunities available to you. Every man wants to look his best, and in most cases, he will go to the barber that he believes can do this. Each client will tell their friends, family and colleagues, and your business can grow based on word of mouth. Not only can this help you with your career, it also helps you in your everyday life.

4 – You Have an Outlet for Your Creativity

Finally, when you become a barber, you have an outlet for your creativity. As new styles and trends come into being, you have the opportunity to learn new techniques. These techniques can translate to a creative outlet for you. If you have always loved creative pursuits, this is just one more career option.

Generating Excitement for a Grand Opening

Most businesses expect a large amount of customers during their grand opening. The goal is to generate sufficient interest in the business prior to its opening so that once the doors open, people flock in. There are a lot of techniques that businesses use to generate interest, including marketing and advertising campaigns. Usually, during the weeks and months leading up to a grand opening, a business will take out ads in a newspaper talking about what they will offer to the public. Emails may be sent to potential customers, and large signs or feather banner flags may be created outside of the business’s location to attract attention.

Generating Excitement for a Grand Opening

Businesses that have a brand that is inherently attractive to children should think of their grand opening as a family affair. If a business can generate excitement about its opening among children, then it is all but sure that parents will follow. Some of the things that a business can do to attract children to its grand opening include the following:

Face Painting: For children who are under 10 years of age, there are very few things that are as cool as going to a restaurant, a grocery store, or a department store and getting their face painted for free. This one step alone is enough to generate unprecedented excitement.

Temporary Tattoos: Temporary tattoos are only second to face painting when it comes to generating excitement among children. Temporary tattoos can be purchased online or at different craft stores.

Balloon Art: Balloon art is popular among kids and adults as well. A good balloon artist is going to be able to sculpt balloons into things like swords, hats, masks, and other items that children love.

Games with Prizes: There are a lot of simple and inexpensive games that businesses can display during their grand opening that will attract the attention of both children and adults. One option is the bean bag toss. Different prizes could be awarded for hitting different parts of a board with a beanbag. This game provides an excellent opportunity for brand recognition because a business can purchase beanbags that are already personalized with their company’s logo or icon.

Photo Booth: Hiring a Photo Booth is inexpensive and creates a lot of excitement. Even in this world of digital photographs, children still love the idea of having photographs of them and their family that they can hold in their hand. Photographs can also be framed with the business logo and phone number, creating yet another branding opportunity.