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Thursday, 27 November 2014 10:07
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attacksOne of the reasons that the Apple operating system was perceived to be so safe throughout the late nineties and early 2000s is that the user base was relatively low. The use was also limited to professional settings, so there wasn’t likely to be much more than a work email address from a Mac user. Of course, times have changed and now Mac finds itself just as vulnerable as every other operating system.

Small businesses tend to perceive themselves as the ‘Macs’ of the security world. They are successful, but on a niche level and therefore not really worth the effort of hacking. Nothing could be further from the truth.

How Attacks on SMBs Work

Cyber-attacks are typically conducted on a short or long term scale. The hacker looks for what he or she can get in the moment, then prods for potential openings. This isn’t a great strategy against large companies that may have employed an IT department to secure the network and its secrets. Smaller companies, however, tend to localize their network security in the form of antivirus software. As a result, long term attacks have great success against smaller businesses without the resources to defend for long periods of time.

What ‘Compromised’ Really Means

When Dennis Nedry hacked into the Jurassic Park security system, he replaced the administrative desktop with some graffiti and prevented access to the network through a password screen. This was the definition of ‘compromised’ that Hollywood set in June of 1993. Until the Sony breach, and then the Target and Home Depot breaches, it was our only way of understanding how hacking works. It’s subversive, that’s true, but the goal of hacking is largely information access. Hackers want data they can sell, like customer information or trade secrets.

In this sense, a network compromise represents a serious financial loss to your business. During a hacking, you either lose trust with your customers or data about the products you are building that give you a competitive edge. If that doesn’t wake you up to the reality of cyber attacks, consider that an infected compute can damage more than your own network.

Bot Nets and How They Affect You

A new challenger to the social network scene, ‘Ello,’ found itself to the be the target of a DDoS attack in late September of 2014. The network was gaining more users when the attack hit, bringing the site and its services down for 35 minutes while the team investigated the source of the problem. Bot nets are like armies, sometimes referred to as ‘zombie computers,’ and they are used to carry out an attack elsewhere on the Web. So a hacker may steal resources you use in your business to conduct an attack on another business. The result is losses on both ends, and hackers have a multitude of ways to inject these viruses into your system.

To put things into perspective, Amazon (which is a large company) loses $66,000 every minute it is not in operation. What’s your company’s number?

How to Fix the Problem

The first step is to backup your files religiously. It’s not enough to designate Tuesday as backup day, you need to automate a schedule that accesses your most important files from each terminal and backs those up to a central server that is off site. This is commonly referred to as ‘the cloud,’ and it’s a useful method to keep your files safe from attack.

The next step is to designate secure password use, meaning passwords for each terminal that are better than ‘password123.’ In this regard, it is a good idea to set employees up with a password management program to help them track the passwords they use. Also encourage employees to vary the passwords they use for each service, even if they protest.

Securing each terminal really comes down to training. Make sure that employees understand where to download securely, monitor their usage and follow up with real infractions that encourage better use. Restrictions are the best approach, because it’s easiest to restrict low level employees and grant priviliges as you go up the chain. Internet security software can help you manage firewalls, terminal access, and automated scanning to try and make this task possible.

Security is everyone’s concern, and everyone should understand how to do their part.

Thursday, 27 November 2014 08:47
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Image by Quinn Dombrowski, CC BY-SA 2.0

Image by Quinn Dombrowski, CC BY-SA 2.0

The decision to hire a specialist lawyer is one that takes time. Law specialists are on hand to make sure that your legal proceedings go as smoothly as possible. What is more, this kind of specialist help can ensure that you are taking the right steps.

If you have been injured by someone else, whether this is physically or mentally, you are in an excellent position to start hiring a lawyer. The right route to take is to hire a specialist attorney. Specialist lawyers can ensure that you are getting the right kind of help. Many attorneys are keen to offer a free consultation. Use this as your opportunity to outline the case and what has happened. Do not omit any details. Filing a personal injury claim needs an expert pair of eyes on the matter. A lawyer can help you with this.

Let’s find out more.

What Claims are Covered?

There are a myriad of circumstances that require an individual to hire a personal injury attorney. Personal injury attorneys are expert in their area. Hiring a specialist means that you are likely to get a robust service that ensures that your case is treated as a priority.

There are some claims that are covered by a personal injury attorney. These include:

  • Motoring accidents
  • Workplace accidents
  • Holiday accidents
  • Trips, slips and falls
  • Product liability claims

In short, if you have suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, now is the time to hire a lawyer. Ensure that you are compensated for this for your accident.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

A personal injury lawyer can help an individual in many ways. If someone else has been careless and you have suffered physically or mentally, you are in a great place to get legal assistance. A good lawyer will ensure that they evaluate your case. They will go through the incident step by step and ensure that you are eligible to claim. After all, in some circumstances, there is not a claim to be pursued. Ascertaining this knowledge is a good place to start. It gives both you and your attorney a basis to work from.

If your lawyers find that there is a case that can be pursued, they will take the case on. They will research the laws and your rights regarding the matter at hand. But, they will also take the pressure off you. Now is the time for you to relax. They will make sure that they have statements from witnesses. They will review any evidence that you have (more on which later). But, they will also speak with consultants. All of this forms part of what is commonly termed as a legal strategy. This is where your lawyer will ensure that they have a plan in place to strengthen your position. More importantly, this strategy will be the gateway to ensuring that your claim and recovery is successful.

Finding a Lawyer

Finding the right agent will involve a certain amount of research from you. Compiling an effective list of lawyers is the first step into finding one to handle your case. You should try to ensure that they operate on a no win no fee accident claims basis. You should seek out lawyers from search engines. Speak to them directly on the phone. Make sure that you feel comfortable with their services. Get recommendations from online forums and friends and family. Recommendations are the best way of ensuring that you get a good, experienced attorney.

Personal injury attorneys are specialist in their area. By finding an expert, but experience attorney you can ensure that your application is successful. But, they will also inform you if you don’t have a case. They can determine whether it is worth the legal cost of pursuing a claim. Experience is vital in this industry.

You should ask your chosen lawyer a wealth of questions. Typically, you should ask them how long they have been involved in personal injury. Ask them what their success rate is. Ask for references and back them up. Ask how long they have been in practice.

But, you should also ask specifics about your case. For example, are there any problems with evidence? What is the likelihood of the case failing? How long will the case take? These are all vital questions that need to be answered.

When you do find your dream lawyer, you need to make sure that you have your evidence at the ready.

Intake Questionnaires: What Happens Next?

An intake questionnaire is usually the first point of call for an attorney. They will want to seek evidence from you that you are in a good position to file a claim. With this in mind, the intake questionnaire is the next logical step in this process.

If you have suffered a severe injury, trying to ascertain which information you need can be difficult. In some situations, the evidence is not clear for a number of months. Usually, as a result of a serious injury it can be difficult to know the full impact that the injury has had. This is both physical and mental.

It may be worthwhile keeping a diary of events. If you cannot do this, ask a friend or relative to take notes on your behalf. Preparing for the questions is vital. So, making sure you have a detailed record of events is vital. This can truly assist your attorney during this time.

Have You Got Your Checklist?

Your attorney may ask for a full variety of documentation. Make sure you are prepared and have your list ready. This should be done prior to your consultation with your preferred legal representative. Giving them a blow by blow account of the accident is important. But, having the necessary audit to back up your claim is an excellent tool in your arsenal.

The devil is in the detail, as the adage goes. Make sure that you give the following information:

  • Names of the medical service that you used
  • Emergency room information
  • Dates of injury
  • Medical bills
  • Reports
  • Medical notes
  • Copies of written statements
  • Accident reports
  • Correspondence from insurance or employer

Once you have this evidence, your legal eagle can work on your behalf and fight for your rights.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014 17:01
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Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Dane Carlson’s Business Opportunities.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014 13:00
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Tom the Dancing Bug

Follow @RubenBolling on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014 11:23
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clockFederal law states that every hour worked ought to be paid according to the state’s definition of minimum wage as well as what a certain company defines their hourly rate to be. In addition, overtime is supposed to be paid at a rate of 1.5 times the normal hourly rate. Many employers, however, feign ignorance when it comes to laws on overtime and unpaid wages in the hopes that their employees will turn a blind eye to this serious labor violation.

What the Law Says On Overtime Pay

According to the law, you can collect unpaid overtime pay up to two years after it was earned. This gives you an opportunity to seek legal counsel even if the violation happened some time ago.

Some of the ways employers try to get out of paying overtime include:

  • Asking workers not to record chunks of time outside the 40 hour workweek.
  • Wrongfully classifying employees as independent contractors.
  • Using the fluctuation workweek model to weasel out of paying you overtime.
  • Enforcing work policies that reduce the number of hours logged.

As an employee, you’re owed overtime if you work over 40 hours a week. However, there are some types of employees who are exempt from this. This may include the following types of workers:

  1. Executives, professionals, and administrative personnel who are paid salaries on a regular basis.
  2. Volunteer workers.
  3. Independent contractors.
  4. Certain computer specialists.
  5. Seamen
  6. Criminal investigators.
  7. Employees working in seasonal recreational centers.

Checking Work Emails After Work? That’s Overtime Too!

In some instances, your employer may require you to carry out certain duties that are related to your work outside of a work setting. This may include things like checking emails on your phone as well as setting up computer programs. Because you are performing work related duties that will benefit the company in the long run, these activities are considered work and you deserve to be compensated for such.

By consulting with an unpaid wages attorney, you’ll be able to determine your legal options and potentially collect what’s owed to you (and even get your employer to pay your legal fees for you). What’s more is that if you use the liquidated damages clause of the Fair Labor Standards Act, you may be able to double your wage claim!

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