4 COVID-19 Hacks SMEs Must Know

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COVID-19 has dominated the landscape for small, medium, and even big businesses. Unusually, it’s a situation that has leveled the playing field and put every company in the same predicament.

Like every other organization, you’ve been following the guidance to get your business up and running again. Whether it’s wearing face masks, using hand sanitizer, or reducing contact points in-store, there’s a lot of information flying around.

While most of it is essential, it’s the stuff you’re missing that is as crucial. After all, a single mistake in this environment could lead to a second spike. So, here are four pointers you might not know that you really should.

The Virus Survives On Nonporous Materials For 48 Hours

This is essential because putting up a screen and assuming that your shoppers are safe isn’t realistic. Studies show that the pathogens which cause the virus to spread can be recovered from the likes of glass and plastic for up to forty-eight hours, which is high compared to cloth, paper, and tissue. What this means is that you must clean surfaces often with bleach and disinfectant if you are going to highlight your desire to create a healthy environment for customers.

Installations Are Expensive

Of course, the flip side of the coin is that security installations aren’t cheap. They are necessary for now, and you have to use them if you want to start trading again, but you should be savvy about the material of choice. Nonporous fabrics aren’t realistic as they’ll break down almost instantly, which is why plastic is popular. However, more businesses understand the necessity of sheet metal manufacturers for financial purposes. After all, blackened steel is less likely to rust or erode as it’s galvanized and incredibly durable. Plus, it’s safe and easy to wipe down.

You Can’t Forget Online Security

The UK government recently released data that showed the Russian government was attempting to steal information relating to Coronavirus vaccines. What this proves is that hackers will take the opportunity to steal sensitive data as they see a chance while your attention is focused elsewhere. Thankfully, you can increase your company’s online security by migrating to SaaS-based systems that use robust platforms to withstand the risks. You’ve got to make safety a priority because digital thieves are patient and will wait for a mistake to exploit. Merely letting your security protocols dwindle is enough to make you a target.

Or Marketing

The world’s changed dramatically since the start of the outbreak four months ago. As a result, standard marketing messages appear lazy and out of place. They show that you haven’t bothered to transition, and rather than making you a thought leader, it cements the fact that you’re outdated. Although you never want to jump on the bandwagon, you’ve got to address the pandemic and customers’ concerns to encourage them to stay loyal. Remember that acting selflessly pays off as consumers recall your altruism.

Were you aware of these four Coronavirus-related impacts?

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The Most Common Scams and How To Avoid Them

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Scams have been around for centuries. Even in olden times, marketplaces were full of swindlers and con artists who would deceive honest, hard-working people to make a quick buck. This hasn’t changed, although the methods that scammers use certainly have. Advances in technology allow hackers and frauds to be more deceptive than ever before, relying on people’s trusting nature and lack of technological knowhow to get one over on them.

If you’ve ever been subject to a scam, you know how unpleasant it can be. Not only do you risk having your money and data stolen, but it also feels like a violation into your life. Someone has wormed their way into your private information by taking advantage of your trust, and you are now paying the price. It’s not always easy to spot a scam, and that’s why it happens so frequently. In fact, 10% of all adults will fall victim to a scam or fraud each year.

This doesn’t have to be you. As long as you can identify the most common scams and how they work, you will be able to keep yourself and your money safe.

Advance fees

This type of scam requires you to pay a substantial sum of money upfront in exchange for a nonexistent product or service. Scammers may contact you by email or phone and offer an attractive proposition such as a work-from-home job opportunity, some inherited money, or a business investment. They will then ask for payment upfront, often in the form of a membership fee or a finders fee. The scammer will take money via moto payments and then disappear into thin air, leaving you with a hefty dent in your savings. 

Luckily, advance-fee scams are usually easy to spot. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Look out for businesses that operate out of PO boxes or ask you to sign a non-disclosure agreement, as this is not standard practice for an above-board company. Conduct your own research on the business before giving out any money to ensure they are who they claim to be and have a good reputation.

Identity theft

Identity theft is one of the most common online scams, and it is becoming increasingly easy for fraudsters to achieve. Internet users constantly enter their personal data online without thinking about the consequences, but you’re giving away more than you realize. It’s easy for a crafty hacker to access your sensitive data by sending you a “phishing” email, which activates when you click on a link and trawls your computer for any juicy information such as credit card details. 

With your identity, scammers can make online payments in your name, take out loans, or even commit criminal offenses. To protect yourself, stop giving out sensitive data to anyone unless you are 100% sure they are trustworthy. Never give out credit card information on the phone unless you made the call, and always shred financial documents before throwing them away. Always check your banking and credit card statements for any irregularities that might indicate fraud.

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Ensuring Safety In A New Home

Whenever you move into a new home, you always want to make sure that it is going to be as safe as possible to live there. This is something that you might find requires a lot of attention and care, and it is definitely the kind of thing you are going to want to be careful about, especially if you are worried for the wellbeing and safety of you and your family. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the things you can do to ensure that your new home is as safe for everyone as possible. As long as you follow these steps, you shouldn’t have to worry about your family’s safety in the new home.

Pic Source – CCO Licence

Gas Safety

One of the most important early checks that you need to make in a new home is the gas safety. This is something which can easily cause a lot of problems if you are not careful, and the last thing you want is to be in this kind of trouble in a new home. The first thing to do is to call out a gas engineer who can check over the safety of all of your home. That will include a safety check of the gas boiler, if there is one, as well as all of the pipes and gas ball valves. You can find out more on gas ball valves here and see why it is so important that they are checked by a professional when you move into a new home. If there is anything wrong with any of the gas equipment, you are going to have to have that dealt with as soon as possible, ideally before you even move into the home.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is one of the biggest concerns that you will have in any home, and it is something that you are going to want to think about if you are keen on keeping your family and yourself as safe as possible. The trouble with carbon monoxide is that it is odourless, colourless, and dangerous. It can easily kill you in a matter of minutes, and even when it doesn’t it can cause a lot of internal health problems still. You need to ensure that there is a working carbon monoxide detector in the home before you even move in, or get one as soon as possible. If there isn’t one, you never know whether there might be carbon monoxide in the home causing you health problems.

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Electrics
At the same time, make sure that you call someone in to have a look at your electrics. You never know what could be wrong with the electrics in a new home, and it’s something that you are going to want to think about if you are keen on making the home as safe as possible. As long as you have it checked over by a professional, you should be okay, so make sure that you are having this done as soon as possible.

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Tips To Help Make You A Safer Driver

Being a safer driver is important because when it comes to road safety if everyone took a safe attitude to the way they drive, the roads would be a better place. With that in mind, you may have been driving for a while now or only driven for a short period of time, but here are some tips to help make you a safer driver.

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Watch Your Speed

First things first, you want to try and keep an eye on all the time is your speed. There can be areas that you are familiar with when it comes to speed limits, but not every place you drive to is going to be familiar with. You might want to keep an eye on the speed you’re doing regardless of where you are because you can always end up edging up a few miles per hour without realizing it. That can actually be the difference between braking safely or crashing into the car in front of you. It’s important that you understand the speed at which you’re going at and to try to remember to take your time instead of pushing down on the pedal. It’s important to always be watching your speed as this can end up being dangerous.

Keep Both Hands On The Wheel

When you’re driving, you are taught to keep both hands on the wheel, and it should stay like that. It can be very easy to relax when you’re driving, and therefore, many people can end up taking their hand or both hands off the wheel when driving in their car. This often comes with years of driving but it’s important to keep them both on in order to ensure you’re safety is met. If you have a habit of taking your hand off the wheel, try to remind yourself when you do find it happening, and hopefully, you will get used to driving with both hands on the wheel again.

Have A Safety Kit

A safety kit is worth having when you’re driving, and it’s mentioned on https://tcsupfitting.com/personal-safety-items/ about the personal safety items that are worth having. When it comes to a safety kit, you always want to try and have the ability to jump-start your car, change a tire but also to help you in a situation where you might be hurt. A medical kit can be a good thing to have in your car, should you need it.

Fix Any Problems With Your Car

Unfortunately, your cars aren’t invincible and often enough, you might run into problems along the way. However, some people will tend to leave these problems until their next annual service, and as a rule of thumb, you should be fixing any problems that happen or become apparent immediately. If you don’t, then you run the risk of making your car vulnerable, which in turn makes you and your passengers vulnerable.

To be a safer driver on the road, use these tips as a guide, and help protect yourself and others.

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Making Your Living Space as Safe as Possible at All Times

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We all want to be as safe as possible in our homes. This isn’t all too surprising. These spaces are our safe havens – spots where we can let our hair down, kick back and relax. They’re the places we feel most vulnerable. We want to be able to rest in them without concerns for our overall safety and wellbeing. This particularly goes for now, when the coronavirus has forced many of us into our own homes all day, every day. But what can you do to make your home a safe space for you and anyone else who lives with you? Here are a few ideas and suggestions to help you along the way!

Tips for Everyone

There are certain tips that everyone should follow, as they can protect everyone’s safety and wellbeing. One is to make sure that your home has smoke detectors fitted and that they are all checked regularly. If batteries need to be replaced, replace them immediately. Carbon monoxide detectors are another good idea, as this gas is deadly but has no smell or taste, so can’t easily be identified as other gases may be. In a similar vein, making use of radon detectors and Radon Systems Maintenance is also a good idea. Make sure that you wipe down any items you may bring in from outside – such as food shopping – as the coronavirus that’s currently plaguing the world can live on surfaces for extended periods of time. Deep cleaning your house regularly can also help to keep you safe.

Living with Kids

If you live with kids, there are a few extra safety measures you might want to undertake to maintain their safety. They don’t have as much safety awareness as we do and you have to remove as many potential risks as possible to protect them within your home. If you have blinds in your windows, make sure the pulls and ties are wound around a safety clip, out of the reach of little ones. Store medication, cleaning products and anything else that’s potentially toxic in locked cupboards well out of reach. You may also want to consider child proof cupboard locks on other cabinets and doors so they can’t access food or other items without you knowing. Make sure you only have child and pet friendly house plants or plants in your garden. Ensure that the perimeters of your garden are completely sealed and that you have a lock on access points such as gates if they’re going to be playing outside. Stair gates are a good addition to your home if you have young children. If you have large furniture, such as bookshelves, make sure they’re properly fixed to your walls so they can’t tip over. These steps are simple to implement but can save lives.

These are just a few different pieces of advice. It may seem a lot to consider, but once you’ve implemented the necessary safety systems and have got into a routine of habit, they won’t take as much time or effort as you may initially think!

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6 Ways Local Governments Can Reduce the Risk of Nighttime Driving

In 2018, of the total 8,809 crash incidents recorded by Philippine traffic agencies,4,090 occurred at night. This means that even with less vehicles on the road, driving at night is inherently more dangerous than driving at any other time of the day.

Half of the solution is being an alert and educated driver, and the other half is having well-placed, well-maintained road implements. Look at these solutions to reduce nighttime road accidents.

Install reflective road markers

Using reflective road paint to indicate road markers is perhaps the most economical and most effective way to prevent road crashes at night. This solution effectively illuminates obstacles on the road such as guard railings, lamp posts, and pedestrian lanes, as well as longitudinal markers such as traffic lanes, stop and warning lines, and no passing zones.

What’s more, reflective paint works in harsh weather conditions too. Objects coated I this type of paint stay visible whenever a beam of light shines on them.

Enforce guided traffic schemes

If you’re neighborhood or vicinity is a hotspot for car crashes at night, then you might need to request the local government to implement stricter traffic rules or special traffic schemes past a certain hour.

Impose one-way schemes or no-entry zones in streets with insufficient street lamps or stricter speed limits so cars will proceed with greater caution.

Put up necessary road signage

To complement changes in traffic schemes, proper road signage should be erected so drivers are constantly reminded of them. These signs should also be reflective to more quickly catch a motorist’s attention.

Renovate the road’s structure

Roadway engineering- that is, the road’s shape and formation-can also contribute to preventing road accidents at night. For example, a road’s edge can be sloped better to help drifting vehicles reenter the road safely. Road curbs can also be curved more to diminish blind spots when entering and exiting a street at night.

Other roadway engineering solutions that local governments can implement include constructing pedestrian islands, rumble strips, and additional speed bumps to control a vehicle’s acceleration.

Put up more street lamps

It might be costly, but the benefits of adding more street lamps far outweigh the risks of a poorly-lit street. This is because street lamps do more than just illuminate road obstructions and pedestrians. By improving the ambient illumination on the road, night drivers experience less glare from vehicle headlights.

Moreover, the psychological assurance that the added illumination provides is also vital. A brighter neighborhood reduces the chances of crimes taking place, leading to people feeling safer in their cars and perhaps not in such a rush to get out of the area.

Request more police presence

When considering crime or road mishaps, one cannot overlook the contribution of increased police presence in an area. At night, authorities can also act as patrol guards or traffic aides to man checkpoints, remind drivers of traffic rules, catch and reprimand drunk drivers, and even respond to road accidents.

Even when driving at night, prevention is still the best cure. Double up on the necessary preparations, and ensure that you’re as alert and attentive as you can be.

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Stay Safe On The Roads, In Every Situation

We all know that wearing your seatbelt at all times is a must in a car, but when we are driving the car there are even more restrictions and rules to adhere to, to ensure that we are safe. Roads are busier than ever and it’s easy to become complacent if you’re a seasoned driver. You may know the roads well and drive them daily, as well as estimating your car’s capacity but there are some things that happen that are out of your control, too. 

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There are lots of types of collisions on the road, but one of which is a relatively common one is sideswipe collision. In a sideswipe accident, it is usually the driver of the vehicle that sideswipes another vehicle, such as changing lanes or drifting unexpectedly. If it happens when they are changing lanes, then the driver of that car will be placed with 100% of the liability. It would also be them who pay out for any damages and insurance claims. It takes an average of 1.5 seconds for a driver to change lanes. It doesn’t sound long at all, but sometimes it may take longer which is when it can affect cars that are driving parallel. 

In addition to the above, sideswipe accidents can often lead to a second collision such as another vehicle, railing, a concrete barrier, trees, light posts, signage or even people. This could be catastrophic, especially if it involves pedestrians. In addition to sideswipe collisions there are head on collisions and many other types which means we must always stay vigilant on the roads. 

How To Stay Safe 

Here are a few tips on how to ensure that you are being safe when driving and how best to avoid a collision. It isn’t always easy, depending on the other driver’s involved, but if you can prepare yourself better, it could be a big bonus. It will also help with any police involvement when you can assure them that you were in fact driving safely. 

  1. When driving on an intersection, be sure to use defensive driving when crossing an intersection. 
  2. Keep Breaks updated and checked – you must be sure that your car has been tested and that the brakes are in impeccable working order. This is important before a long trip, always have them checked! 
  3. Follow the traffic signs, be sure to be aware of any changes on the road and keep listening to updates to ensure that you know what is ahead. 
  4. Look out for any trucks or vehicles that are larger than you or that are seemingly driving too close or erratically and avoid them if possible.. 
  5. Be aware and vigilant all the time, be sure to look out for everything on the road, don’t let your mind slip.
  6. Follow the speed limit and check your speed often to ensure that you are within the speed limits.

Staying safe doesn’t have to be difficult but it does require being prepared for the unexpected and making sure your car is road ready.

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4 Cyber Security Apps To Protect Your Business

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Protecting your business encompasses many different tasks and priorities. It would be easy if running a company was plain sailing, with no risk or setbacks on the horizon. Unfortunately, this just isn’t realistic, and so it’s essential to take precautions to protect your company. Commercial insurance is a must-have so that you are covered if a member of the public is injured on your property, or is put at risk due to one of your products.

Property insurance is essential to cover the expenses associated with damages incurred to your building or equipment. Worker’s compensation means that you are protected if your employees fall unwell. Many companies forget about cyber insurance when they are choosing their policies, yet cyber crimes continue to grow. As well as choosing the appropriate Commercial Insurance options, there are several apps you can use to protect your business online.

1 . Perimeter 81 

Perimeter 81 is a VPN platform designed to simplify online security. Using Perimeter 81, you can work remotely while accessing high-level online security protection. With this application, there’s no need for expensive hardware and a lengthy installation process. Perimeter 81 offers professionals full network visibility and the opportunity to identify unusual activity. The software-defined perimeter architecture ensures that users are fully protected when accessing data centers, SaaS apps, and private cloud networks.

2. Flowmon

Flowmon is a security and network monitoring platform that uses IP flow tracking tech to provide users with network visibility. Flowmon detects security threats early and stops such threats before they begin to compromise the network. The application can improve the process of fighting off threats using antiviruses, firewalls, and IDS. One of the best features of Flowmon are the network probes, executed in real-time. This software also provides stats in relation to IP flow and then stores this data for further analysis.

3. TokenEx

TokenEx is a cyber security platform that can help your organization to protect it’s confidential and sensitive data. The application works to lessen the impact of a security breach in a worst-case scenario. External and internal systems commonly use tokens to make transactions. TokenEx functions to ensure that hackers don’t have the chance to break into these systems and steal data. The key benefit of TokenEx is that it provides an end-to-end unified tokenization solution; other features include file transfer, encryption, and various integrations.

4. Netwrix Auditor 

Netwrix Auditor is a governance and visibility platform for IT security operations. It’s been described as an easy to use type of IT management software, making it simple for users to determine risks and threats in their hybrid environments and cloud systems. With Netwrix Auditor, you can track access to data and create reports on any changes deployed by users. Other features of Netwrix include monitoring user behavior, detection of insider threats, blind-spot analysis, and security analytics.
With one of these applications in place, your business can relax about your security, and get on with your critical projects. In our current climate it’s vital to consistently improve your IT systems and security.

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Keeping Yourself Safer Behind The Wheel

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Driving is a pretty simple practice, really. Sure, the first few stages are a little confusing to a novice, but once those tedious little problems are ironed out, everything becomes a lot easier – it’s just like riding a bike! If nobody else was around and you were the only driver on the road, then there would probably be no issues whatsoever, right? That’s not the case, though. There will always be thousands of other road-users around at any given time, so you always have to be vigilant and on your guard.

Get Extra Lessons

Once you’ve passed your driver’s test, you’re good to go. That doesn’t always mean you’ve got all the necessary skills and prowess, though, does it? You just did enough to get past the exam. If you’re not confident enough in your own ability still, or you feel as though you could do with a few extra pointers, then it’s probably wise to take an extra course. These pass plus courses tend to focus on more difficult maneuvers. It’s also good just to have a professional beside you as you continue to build your ability. If you have a higher driving ability, then your chances of causing crashes or being a part of them lower. 

Make Sure Everything’s Good To Go 

You’d think this would be a given, but many people like to head off in their cars without checking anything – ever. If things are looking and feeling a little off, some will just carry on regardless. Don’t do that – it could cause problems for you and everyone around you.

Get Insured And Lawyered Up!

Car insurance is a legal requirement – though you see so many out there driving without any (it’s more than you think!) Third-party insurance is the mandatory type that everybody needs to have, and it’s a selfish, negligent act to drive without it as others will be affected if anything goes south due to your mistake. There are many other kinds of specific insurance policies around – you can visit here for more information if this sounds interesting to you. 

It’s always good to have the right lawyers around just in case you get into any further issues regarding your car. Somebody may press against you, and you could do with an aficionado or two to help you out if you feel anything is unjust. 

Don’t Show Off

For the love of all that is good in this world, please don’t think others will be impressed with how you behave in your car. 

Cut Out Silly Habits 
We all have little habits that we seemingly cannot control. When we’re in harmless situations that have no lasting repercussions, those habits are pretty benign and nothing to worry about. When you’re behind the wheel of a car, however, that’s when things change quite significantly. A lot of people are guilty of having silly driving habits – if you’re one of those kinds of people that can’t help but check their phone or neglect certain safety checks, then you’ll need to make amendments, won’t you? What you might consider to be small issues could end up ruining the lives of many others.

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Driving Habits We Need To Stop

Ok, so you have been driving for some time, and you think you’re a great driver, right? Well, the chances are, like most people that have been driving for some time, you are probably guilty of many things that, in fact, make you quite a bad driver.

Now, before you get rather angry and think we are throwing out general accusations, don’t worry, the truth is, most of us are bad drivers, and there are many things we all do that are not only stupid, but some of them are dangerous and quite possibly illegal.

In this post, we are going to be looking at a few bad driving habits we all possibly do and why we need to stop them as soon as possible.

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Why We Have Driving Habits

The truth is, while many people often see new drivers as the worst drivers on the road, they are generally a lot better than they are given credit for.

If you think back to the times when you were a new driver, you possibly did everything by the book and followed every rule of the road. It seems that things only change as we get more comfortable and confident behind the wheel.

In the next section, we will look at some of those nasty habits we pick up as we become more experienced drivers.

Speeding 

Ok, so the first thing we are going to touch on is speeding. Now, while most of you are possibly thinking that you do not speed, the chances are you are thinking about excessive speed.

While this is more dangerous, it isn’t what we are talking about today. What we are asking is how many of us are guilty of driving 40 in a 30 zone? It seems that if we were all honest, we might find that it’s well over 90% of us. 

While the extra speed may not seem like a lot, what you may not know is that even a few kmph can mean the difference between life and death if we hit somebody in the car.  

Having Your Phone Out In The Car

Another thing nearly all of us are guilty of is doing something with our phones when driving. While in the past it may have been deemed to be ok to use your phone when in the car, long gone are those days, and now we see more and more fatalities on the road, and they are mainly down to your phone.

While we all know that it’s bad enough to talk on the phone when driving, there are some people who still don’t realize the dangers of texting while driving, if you really want to get out of this habit, then you are encouraged to place your phone in the glovebox for the journey, and you should also have on smart driving solutions that stop you from using your phone when in your car.

There are, of course, so many more bad habits that we all have, if this has inspired you to look within and make a few changes, perhaps you will go on to try and shake a few more of those nasty little driving habits that you may have.

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