Sunday, November 30, 2014

5 Infamous Online Scams

The Internet can be a dangerous place if you are not careful and cautious online. Many people fall victim to cyber crime and fraud because of greed, ignorance, and carelessness. To make you aware, this article reveals five common online scams that you should watch out for.

1. Nigerian 419 Scam
You may receive an email that asks you to help a "rich" Nigerian family transfer a huge amount out of the nation. In return, you will be promised a generous percentage of the transaction. The email will ask you to pay "processing" fees first. Delete this type of email to be on the safe side.

2.  Lottery Scam
This scam also plays on people's greed. You will be informed that you have won a lottery even though you never entered one in the first place. The email will request your financial details that are sure to be used for identity theft or fraud. Rein in your greed, delete the email immediately, and do not contact the sender.

3. Phishing Emails
"Phishing" is considered the most common online scam today. You may receive an email, allegedly from your bank, that links to a convincing but phony web page. You will be asked to enter confidential information about your account including your username and password. The scam email will entice you to part with the sensitive details. Ignore these phishing emails, and remember that your bank will never ask you for confidential information like password.

4. Disaster Relief Scam
Whenever there is a natural disaster, there is a flurry of relief activity afterwards to help the victims. Fraudsters make use of the occasion to appeal to people's emotions and ask for donations. They create fake websites that solicit online donations allegedly for the good cause. Another trick is to play the role of disaster victim and request monetary help. So, do your homework and make sure the charity is a genuine one before you donate your hard-earned money.

5. Work-at-Home Job Scam
Beware of any ad for a work-at-home job that promises to make you rich. Avoid the following work-at-home jobs as they are likely to be fraudulent: assembly jobs, data entry, multi-level marketing, online businesses, posting ads, processing claims, and stuffing envelopes. Ignore any job ad that asks you to make a payment.


Beware of the common online scams revealed in this article and delete suspicious emails immediately. Read articles on secure online browsing and banking, and implement the tips mentioned in them to keep yourself safe in cyber space.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Benefits of Hiring an Information Technology Consultant

 Your business reaps many benefits from modern technology. No longer do you need entire warehouses to store your paper files. Millions of pieces of information are available with a few keystrokes instead of being buried in filing cabinets in the basement. Your employees carry cell phones on the road and at job sites, which allows you to communicate with them at all times. Photos come on tiny flash drives, proofreading and spell checking happens instantly in your word processing suite, instant messaging and email smooth the flow of inter-office communication, and customers can shop on your website without ever leaving their homes.

Business technology is ubiquitous and powerful. You're not in a hurry to go back to using typewriters and whiteout, but the vast array of technology that your business relies on comes with its own set of challenges. Modern technology is more reliable than ever before, but failures do happen. Technology also moves quickly, which means it is difficult to stay on the leading edge in every category. For many businesses, it simply does not make sense to keep a dedicated IT staff on hand to handle occasional upgrades and rare failures. This is where information technology consulting enters the picture.

Information technology consultants are useful at all stages of applying technology to your business. From initial design, to maintenance, to emergency response for major technology crises, IT consultants have the skills and knowledge necessary to serve your business's hardware and software needs.

Before implementing a new technology scheme, it makes sense to seek the advice of a professional technology consulting team. Are you planning to upgrade your office LAN, or implement a VPN for your remote workers? Do you want to connect multiple offices with a WAN solution? Hire a consultant to ensure you are pursuing the right solution for your problem, and to guarantee the smoothest user experience and maximum uptime. Are you thinking of adding a local backup solution, or an inter-office messaging system? You don't have to fly blind, there are consultants who deal with these things on a daily basis.

Information technology covers everything from bar code scanners to smartphones. Whether you want to be sure that your mail server supports all your users' mobile devices, or centralize authentication for all of your servers and applications, or reduce your reliance on third-party hardware solutions, there are consultants with the know-how you require. With IT consultants, you only pay for what you need. Maintaining your own staff of technology experts with knowledge in every field can severely impact your bottom line, especially when dealing with niche subjects, or rare catastrophic events. It doesn't make economic sense to maintain the expense of an employee whose special skills may only be needed a few times per year. With IT consultants, you get the benefits of subject-matter experts without the expense of maintaining your own IT staff.

Business technology should make your life easier, not harder. The point of modern IT is to increase productivity, increase profit margins, and reduce headaches. If you find that this is not the case, you may need someone to look over your processes and infrastructure. Hiring a business technology consultant can be the key to getting your technology once again working for you rather than against you.

By Robert Blake