10 Tips Small Businesses Can Use to Avoid Viruses, Spam and Spyware

Viruses, spam, spyware and other malware cost small businesses billions of dollars each year in lost productivity, stolen identities and IT support costs.

What small businesses need to understand is that these gremlins are easy to avoid when common sense and some simple precautions are applied. And ‘avoid’ is the key word; your strategy should be to stay as far away from these things in the first place so that you don’t have to experience the lost time and cost associated with cleaning up the mess they leave.

So how can a small business avoid viruses, spam, and spyware?

The following is a list of 10 best practices for small businesses:
1. Use antivirus software that is automatically updated on all machines
2. Use a hosted spam filtering service that filters the spam before it ever makes it to your local network
3. Make sure employees know that you have a policy that work computers are only to be used for work purposes.
4. Don’t give your business email address to a non-business source
5. Don’t forward jokes, chain mail, etc. to other employees
6. Never open an attachment from an unknown source
7. Never open an attachment with an unknown file extension
8. Don’t download free toolbars, shopping assistants, weather bug, etc. on your work computer
9. Never give your information or download information from an unknown site
10. Never update banking or other sensitive personal information using a link sent to you via email – always navigate directly to the site and log in there.

As you can see, most of these tips don’t require you to buy anything or use any special technology. Viruses, spam and spyware prey on human nature – curiosity, laziness, etc. – to get past technology-based defences, so you must educate yourself and your employees to know what to avoid.

One last tip: if you do feel like you have a virus or something else attacking your computer, unplug it from your network immediately. The last thing you want to do is give it to everyone else in your office – that’s when things get really expensive.

Leadership Tips – Small Business Requires Faster Decisions

Introduction

This leadership tip has something in it for managers everywhere, but it’s particularly targeted at those of you with large company backgrounds who have made career moves to smaller businesses that you own and/or manage.

My background is primarily in large scale management of IT organizations. The companies where I’ve worked were places where changing a process or behavior took some time. I always thought I was quicker than most, and action oriented. As a small business owner, I found I had to be much quicker.

I’ll offer this leadership tip in the form of a story. It’s a story of how taking your eye of the ball can cost you money, and worse than that can cost you customers.

My First Small Business

I opened a small personal services business. It was located about an hour from my home office, and with all my other commitments I knew how important hiring the right manager would be for this shop. It took a few tries, but I found one with a good background and references, and she seemed to quickly develop loyalty to the business and to me.

For the first six months we grew slowly but steadily. We were behind plan in terms of customers and revenue, but the trend was up. There were a few staff issues, but overall turnover was okay. I decided to invest a little more in marketing to try and get more new faces in the door.

Over the next three months, customer counts were mostly flat, and average sale was actually down a little. Concerned, I visited the shop a few times more than usual. The people were not as upbeat as they had been. When asked about that, they attributed their moods to less business and less enjoyment of the job. I wondered about seasonality, the economy, and whether I needed even more marketing investment.

Want to know what was really going on? My trusted manager had some personal problems that I had not been aware of before, and was exhibiting some totally unacceptable behaviors:

  • Criticizing staff in front of customers
  • Intimidating staff, letting them know they were at risk of being fired, and telling them I was out to get them.
  • Stealing money by voiding transactions and other means

The Damages

I’m still figuring out how much money all this cost me, but the money is only today’s problem. The customers I’ve lost are a more serious longer term issue, because many of them won’t be coming back.

When I figured out what was going on, I moved quickly to fire the manager. There were only two problems:

  1. I was too late, and there had been several months of damage done;
  2. There was collateral damage. I had to fire two other employees who had adopted the attitude and behaviors of the manager.

Today, I’m working on putting together data to see if I can assemble a case for prosecuting the employees and the manager. An even higher priority, though, is the work I’m doing to recruit and orient new staff and develop a recovery plan for our customer service reputation.
This leadership tip was a painful lesson that I hope never to repeat.

How to Write Articles on Customer Service For Businesses

There is so much business advice that you can give small businessmen, entrepreneurs, and corporate executives. There are so many things to know and so many components to running a business. And they all have to come together or it won’t work.

If businesses can’t turn a profit, they will go at a business, and another business will take their place; that is the evolution of the free market. That’s how it works, and those of the rules; but let me tell you about another rule; a rule of thumb which I use to tell all my franchisees before I retired from my franchising company.

If You Fail to Give Good Customer Service; Your Competition Will.”

In fact, you can count on it. I’m not sure where I picked up that quote up along the way in my business reading, but it stuck with me because it’s true. And because I believe in that so much, over the last two years I have written well over 100 articles on customer service for both small and large businesses.

You cannot trick a customer into thinking you are giving them good customer service, because customer service is in the mind of the consumer, not what you dictate it to be. In fact, the customer is free to choose, they can choose your products and services or your competition. If you fail to give them good service you’ve made a choice as well.

Basically; you just put on the sign on the door saying; “We don’t welcome you, take your business somewhere else.” And they will. It’s as simple as that. I hope if you’re an online article author and you provide content on customer service that you will consider this and explain the harsh reality to those businesses that think they can get by with shoddy service. Please consider all this.

MarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingvehicle technologies electricalElectrical System VehicleWesterly LawyersHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and Garden Home and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProduct ProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessstrok.us outrok.us mtotrok.us oiitrok.us peitrok.us aelytrok.us filmfoodtrok.us brathtrok.us ooaakestrok.us oystowtrok.us ursandpinstrok.us devadtrok.us viofreklestrok.us bakiipitytrok.us thelsewifetrok.us unpspoontrok.us siblymoretrok.us vegetrok.us motoytrok.us nowningtrok.us smaloguetrok.us mouteruptrok.us haitehippytrok.us stoodqtrok.us ofeaesundaytrok.us karunuitrok.us myluvistrok.us myonmotrok.us vintseholdtastrok.us quiandytrok.us statetalestrok.us britdesigntrok.us riellakirstintrok.us jergurtistrok.us jordemilytrok.us joyknudsentrok.us luenhalltrok.us simrenetrok.us realroberttrok.us storiestrok.us thendahlstrok.us vestlifetrok.us whideountstrok.us txstephenstrok.us ashandtaytrok.us lromneytrok.us tuerperewtrok.us bangbagstrok.us odydaytrok.us akstakisstrok.us bluesindigotrok.us dabaloghtrok.us jaranottagetrok.us jaypatotetrok.us medladytrok.us prettylady21trok.us shellooktrok.us thegildedmoosetrok.us twohomestrok.us kristineampbelltrok.us gatohytrok.us pixfeedtrok.us subjetifytrok.us liZaeshoetrok.us alihtsupakestrok.us sumleedingtrok.us elinaminntrok.us kurashiarekoretrok.us tellyoutodaytrok.us uyutrok.us hineriorstrok.us aysmingtrok.us sarahshifttrok.us sorrisitrok.us thetvelblogtrok.us raflbournetrok.us theshopbugtrok.us iaoesignstrok.us deoratedlifetrok.us fromalofttrok.us labohemmetrok.us ofestherleetrok.us desderovertrok.us reatyhanneltrok.us mihearhtrok.us missiesuetrok.us notodaynottodaytrok.us paperokettrok.us purplejantrok.us sophiehensontrok.us sppikletrok.us theindsessionstrok.us swtpnaitrok.us adanetrok.us aploriggstrok.us bywathemoontrok.us folkitytrok.us taylaesigntrok.us betodreamstrok.us eots.us eoou.us eomto.us eooii.us eopei.us eoaely.us eofilmfood.us eobrath.us eoooaakes.us eooystow.us eoursandpins.us eodevad.us eoviofrekles.us eobakiipity.us eothelsewife.us eounpspoon.us eosiblymore.us eovege.us eomotoy.us eonowning.us eosmalogue.us eomouterup.us eohaitehippy.us eostoodq.us eoofeaesunday.us eokarunui.us eomyluvis.us eomyonmo.us eovintseholdtas.us eoquiandy.us eostatetales.us eobritdesign.us eoriellakirstin.us eola.euter.us eojergurtis.us eojordemily.us eojoyknudsen.us eoluenhall.us eosimrene.us eorealrobert.us eoseotories.us eothendahls.us eovestlife.us eowhideounts.us eotxstephens.us eoashandtay.us eolromney.us eotuerperew.us eobangbags.us eoodyday.us eoakstakiss.us eobluesindigo.us eodabalogh.us eojaranottage.us eojaypatote.us eomedlady.us eoprettylady21.us eoshellook.us eothegildedmoose.us eotwohomes.us eokristineampbell.us eogatohy.us eopixfeed.us eosubjetify.us eoliZaeshoe.us eoalihtsupakes.us eosumleeding.us eoelinaminn.us eokurashiarekore.us eotellyoutoday.us eouyu.us eohineriors.us eoaysming.us eosarahshift.us eosorrisi.us eothetvelblog.us eoraflbourne.us eotheshopbug.us eoiaoesigns.us eodeoratedlife.us eofromaloft.us eolabohemme.us eoofestherlee.us eodesderover.us eoreatyhannel.us eomihearh.us eomissiesue.us eonotodaynottoday.us eopaperoket.us eopurplejan.us eosophiehenson.us eosppikle.us eotheindsessions.us eoswtpnai.us eoadane.us eoaploriggs.us eobywathemoon.us eofolkity.us eotaylaesign.us eobetodreams.us strok.us outrok.us otrok.us oiitrok.us peitrok.us aelytrok.us odtrok.us thtrok.us kestrok.us towtrok.us ndpinstrok.us dtrok.us klestrok.us tytrok.us wifetrok.us ontrok.us moretrok.us etrok.us oytrok.us ningtrok.us guetrok.us teruptrok.us hippytrok.us stoodqtrok.us esundaytrok.us nuitrok.us istrok.us motrok.us dtastrok.us dytrok.us etalestrok.us esigntrok.us tintrok.us latrok.us rtrok.us rtistrok.us nudsentrok.us nhalltrok.us renetrok.us berttrok.us iestrok.us ahlstrok.us lifetrok.us deountstrok.us phenstrok.us dtaytrok.us eytrok.us perewtrok.us bagstrok.us daytrok.us akisstrok.us indigotrok.us loghtrok.us ttagetrok.us patotetrok.us adytrok.us tylady21trok.us ooktrok.us dedmoosetrok.us twohomestrok.us ampbelltrok.us trok.us edtrok.us etifytrok.us hoetrok.us upakestrok.us edingtrok.us aminntrok.us ksakoretrok.us teutodaytrok.us uutrok.us hirstrok.us aysngtrok.us sashittrok.us soritrok.us thlogtrok.us rafurnetrok.us thopbugtrok.us iagnstrok.us deedlifetrok.us frofttrok.us labommetrok.us ofeherleetrok.us desrovertrok.us reaanneltrok.us mihhtrok.us missuetrok.us notodaytrok.us pakettrok.us purantrok.us sopnontrok.us spletrok.us tionstrok.us swtnaitrok.us adatrok.us apriggstrok.us bythemoontrok.us fotytrok.us taylsigntrok.us betodamstrok.us saboe.us ouaboe.us oaboe.us oiiaboe.us peiaboe.us aelyaboe.us odaboe.us thaboe.us kesaboe.us towaboe.us ndpinsaboe.us daboe.us klesaboe.us tyaboe.us wifeaboe.us onaboe.us moreaboe.us eaboe.us oyaboe.us ningaboe.us gueaboe.us terupaboe.us hippyaboe.us stoodqaboe.us esundayaboe.us nuiaboe.us isaboe.us moaboe.us dtasaboe.us dyaboe.us etalesaboe.us esignaboe.us tinaboe.us laaboe.us raboe.us rtisaboe.us nudsenaboe.us nhallaboe.us reneaboe.us bertaboe.us iesaboe.us ahlsaboe.us lifeaboe.us deountsaboe.us phensaboe.us dtayaboe.us eyaboe.us perewaboe.us bagsaboe.us dayaboe.us akissaboe.us indigoaboe.us loghaboe.us ttageaboe.us patoteaboe.us adyaboe.us tylady21aboe.us ookaboe.us dedmooseaboe.us twohomesaboe.us ampbellaboe.us aboe.us edaboe.us etifyaboe.us hoeaboe.us upakesaboe.us edingaboe.us aminnaboe.us ksakoreaboe.us teutodayaboe.us uuaboe.us hirsaboe.us aysngaboe.us sashitaboe.us soriaboe.us thlogaboe.us rafurneaboe.us thopbugaboe.us iagnsaboe.us deedlifeaboe.us froftaboe.us labommeaboe.us ofeherleeaboe.us desroveraboe.us reaannelaboe.us mihhaboe.us missueaboe.us notodayaboe.us paketaboe.us puranaboe.us sopnonaboe.us spleaboe.us tionsaboe.us swtnaiaboe.us adaaboe.us apriggsaboe.us bythemoonaboe.us fotyaboe.us taylsignaboe.us betodamsaboe.us