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Why you need to protect your company from online crime

Why you need to protect your company from online crime
The world of work has changed considerably over the last 30 or so years. From the relentless pace and inventiveness of technology to the widespread adoption of the internet, email, messaging, and video apps, it’s almost impossible to think of any company these days that doesn’t rely on online services at least to some degree. As the boundaries between the real and virtual worlds continue to blur in both our personal and work lives, so our reliance on online tech continues to increase—and will do so even more in the future. However, while most of us use the internet purely for good reasons, there is an unfortunate dark side to the online world—a world filled with nefarious online criminals who are all too ready and willing to exploit our data. Cybercrime—the greatest risk facing companies today In a recent survey among company owners and bosses, the majority cited the potential for exploitation through cybercrime as their greatest fear and danger facing their firms. Online crime has been growing exponentially for many years and the revenue generated by cybercriminals is expected to tally $6 trillion in 2021 (doubling in value since 2015). Moreover, industry experts suggest the costs associated with online crime will continue to rise by 15% year on year for the next five years—reaching a mindboggling $10.5 trillion by 2025. If you haven’t already, now is the time to act If your firm operates online to any degree, chances are high that you will have already found yourself a target of online crime—whether that be a hacked website or a more troublesome problem such as an SQL injection attack. What is SQL injection, you might ask? In short, an SQL injection is where the hacker identifies and exploits a weakness in your SQL database permission settings to gain access. SQL (structured query language) databases use statements to query data—typically executed from a web page. In an SQL attack, the hacker will execute queries that can add, read, change, or delete data stored in the database. Of course, SQL injections are just one form of attack used by hackers. Other very common types of attack include malware (and ransomware), Man-in-the-middle attacks (MITM), distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) and phishing attacks—to name but a few. Steps you can take to protect your firm If your company is like most these days, you likely rely on your website, email, and network for everything from file storage to staying in touch or allowing collaborative working. Industry experts now suggest data is the most valuable commodity in the world, far outweighing the value of oil or gold. Your data is likely the lifeblood of your firm—most certainly not anything you should be taking chances with. In truth, if you’re looking for the most robust protection against online crime, you should look at handing control of your online services to a professional security contractor. Not only will a dedicated firm take steps to ensure your protection, they will also perform a full audit on your existing network to identify possible threats or loopholes which might provide unwarranted...
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How to Ship Wine Safely Overseas

How to Ship Wine Safely Overseas
Wine is a very temperamental product to ship, with temperatures, light exposure and awkward bottle shapes and sizes, along with the fragility of the product proving a lot to think about before sending your bottles overseas. When you’re sending such a product, you want to be confident that it will arrive to its destination safely so that you can look forward to benefitting from all your hard work and receive profits and greater brand recognition. Here are some simple tips to ensure that your wine order arrives safely. Make Sure the Bottles Are Packaged Well It is best to make sure that wine bottles don’t have any chance to move around while in transit and there are a variety of ways to make this happen. Firstly, use cardboard boxes to stand the bottles upright, clearly stating on the box the way up that the package should be handled. The best cardboard for the job is double walled and highly durable. Then, ensure that all empty spaces in the box are filled either with cardboard dividers, bubble wrap or air pockets to stop the bottles meeting each other. If there are no cardboard boxes on the market that fit the requirements of your wine bottles either due to shape, size, or weight, then it is best to source a company that can produce custom made boxes. With companies like these, you are often able to choose a corrugated cardboard option, which might be slightly pricier but provides maximum protection for your bottles. Understand Shipment Regulations and Wine Shipment Laws There is no point in just sending your bottles off into the unknown; you’d just be wasting your time and money once the packages get turned around and either sent back to you or held in up customs. Therefore, it’s best to know what you are setting yourself up for in the beginning, so make sure you read up about state laws and regulations, weight and size requirements and the climate that you can expect in different destinations. If this sounds like a lot of extra paperwork, then shipping insurance companies such as Cabrella can handle these details for you and insure your wine to arrive in almost any country without any legal issues. Check the Packaging Suits Your Particular Wine Not all wines should be sent standing upright – it depends what wine you are dealing with. Wines that have more age will likely have been stored in their cellar/warehouse lying down to prevent disturbing them too much and letting the cork dry out. This means that it’s best to also package them this way to receive the best feedback on their quality. Furthermore, remember that sparkling wines have a lot of pressure and a greater area of exposed cork which means they need to be treated with even more precaution. White wines might also need to be shipped at cooler temperatures. There are many things to consider when ensuring your wine order arrives safely to its destination; however, if you follow these tips and keep your bottles safely packaged and understand how they need to be treated, they should arrive ready for...
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Social Media and Security: Keeping Your Business Safe  

Social Media and Security: Keeping Your Business Safe  
Social media security should be taken seriously if you want your company to thrive, your customers to remain safe online, and your brand representation to remain on top form. Unfortunately, there are people out there that may impersonate your brand or hack your social media accounts. If you want to keep your business safe, read on to find how to do so and what can happen if you don’t. Potential Threats The main threats that can harm your reputation and business are: Fake links which look like your website, but are actually a downloadable malware Impersonation accounts which could sell fake products to potential customers, leaving them unhappy with your brand Impersonating profiles of staff members to gain private and personal data Communication of wrong information which could affect the stock price Hacking of your social media profiles to gain confidential data or post false information The above threats can happen to any business, even small businesses, so you should never believe your business is immune to threats. Instead, you should follow safety advice to ensure your social media is safe from hackers and trolls online. The Cost to Your Business Unfortunately, social media scams such as the ones above can damage a company’s reputation and may lead to financial loss. Any customers who have fallen for this scam will have less trust in the company and will be likely to inform others, meaning many more people are less likely to trust your real profiles and website. You may even deal with negative press over the issue. If you haven’t taken the necessary steps to keep your social media accounts safe, you could be liable for paying back disgruntled customers. Best Social Media Safety Practices There are several simple steps you can take today to implement a safer and more secure way of working with social media, here are a few ideas to get you started: Change passwords regularly, and make them randomised Form a company social media policy that must be signed by each employee Regularly search for your brand name on social media to ensure there are no fake accounts Never list vacation times of management on any social media accounts, whether this be your own personal account of your business account Update your privacy settings regularly, especially if employees have left the company Permanently delete unused accounts Inform your customers if you are aware of any dangers or fake accounts associated with your company If you want to keep your business safe from fake profiles, consider using online brand protection services for businesses. FraudWatch International can protect your company by detecting and removing impersonating profiles from social media, as well as in many other ways. Check out their website for more information on how they can help you to keep your business safe. Being safe online is important for all businesses. Social media is a fantastic, free tool that can drive sales and improve customer retention. Follow the above steps to maintain safety and your company’s...
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How to File a Patent for Your Invention

How to File a Patent for Your Invention
How to File a Patent for Your Invention Inventors are highly prized in any market, since their work is often the focal point that other infrastructure, marketing, and production coalesce around. But as an inventor, whether in a startup or independently, it is important to make the most of any invention you create. This means protecting your original work legally. In this article, we look at one of the primary tools at the disposal of any inventor: the patent, and how to file one.     Why File a Patent? Patents provide a level of economic security and market edge for their holders. They are specifically designed to incentivize invention and innovation, offering an avenue to significant potential profits for an invention that is patented quickly and correctly. Patents fall under the category of intellectual property (IP) law, and are one of four kinds of IP protection, the others being copyrights, trade secrets, and trademarks. Copyrights cover original creative work, trade secrets involve confidential information that benefits a company competitively, and trademarks protect branding and brand identity. However, patents may be the most powerful intellectual property tool. Holding a patent grants a twenty-year monopoly (in the United States) for the development, production, and sale of the invention in question. This means that no other companies can compete via imitation for this time period, allowing the best possible version of the invention to be produced and sold, gaining more profits by being a unique entity in the market. Filing a patent can make the difference between being swallowed by competitors who have the infrastructure to take your idea and produce it more cheaply or more quickly, and having the time and resources to perfect your invention and get rewarded for its genesis. Sure, the patent filing process is time consuming and costs money, but the potential benefits are immense. Is Your Invention Eligible? The United States Patent & Trademark Office, or USPTO, outlines what is and is not eligible for patenting according to the patent statute codified in federal law. Eligible areas include a process, machine, “article of manufacture” (manufactured product), composition of matter, or “improvement of any of the above,” as well as specific designations for unique plant patents and design patents that govern the nonfunctional design and aesthetic components of a product. So, if your invention happens to be a machine or a composition of matter, is it automatically eligible for a patent? In short, no. There are additional requirements that must be met for patent eligibility. These boil down to usefulness, novelty, and non-obviousness. To have any chance of being granted a patent, the invention in question must be useful. Usefulness here can be very broad and does not only encompass crucial or definitive needs and benefits. Things like entertainment and enjoyment can also qualify as uses. Novelty refers to being sufficiently unique and new in order to deserve a patent. This can often be an issue of contention, with gray areas existing between what constitutes a slight tweak or variation upon an existing idea versus a truly novel improvement. Lastly, being non-obvious may seem quite easy, but this determination usually helps to weed out inventions that are not really inventions but obvious combinations of previously existing factors. Before delving into the patent search and filing process, it may be a good idea to seek out a qualified patent attorney or law firm to determine what the best course of action is, as a professional will better know how your invention might fare.   Picture Courtesy: Taylorip The Patent Search Now that you’ve determined your invention may be patent eligible, it’s time to hone in on the...
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Why Trademark Your Startup?

Why Trademark Your Startup?
Why Trademark Your Startup? Trademarking is very essential to new businesses, but first time entrepreneurs are not adept with the nuances of securing a trademark and often do not realize how vulnerable they are when operating a business without one. Why Trademark Your Startup? It helps protect your business identity It protects against others using the same or similar business name or logo It provides solid proof of your legally protected rights Federal trademark registration rights extend nationwide A trademark registration is an asset (it may be licensed or sold). Registering company names and domain names alone does not provide trademark protection. Must-Know IP Law (Patent, Trademark and Copyright) Beware of mimicking a famous brand; most popular iconic brands such as Coke, McDonald’s and Pepsi are protected by the Trademark Dilution Revision Act. Search Google to see if your intended trademark already exists. Reasons why your trademark may be rejected If it is likely to cause confusion, mistakes or deception with a mark already registered If it simply contains a generic name If it primarily describes or deceptive about the geographic origins of goods and services If it is primarily merely a surname If it is deemed immoral, deceptive or scandalous If it falsely suggests a connection with people, institutions, beliefs or national symbols If it uses the portrait, name or signature of any living person without the approval of the person concerned The Federal Trademark Registration Process 1. Select your trademark 2. Hire a Trademark Attorney Registering a trademark is a LEGAL process with many potential trap doors. Hence, it is advised to hire a trademark attorney to guide you through the trademark search and application process. 3. Availability Search Doing a search by yourself may prove to be disastrous. It is likely you are not familiar with what could create a conflict. A trademark search must be comprehensive and complete to rule out any potential legal conflicts. Doing an inadequate research is a major reason many trademark applications are rejected by the government. Do I Need a Lawyer to Register My Trademark? 4. Application Your attorney will draft and file your application with the USPTO (IN USA) OR THE TRADE MARKS REGISTRY (IN INDIA). If approved you will receive a trademark registration certificate and if refused, you will receive a refusal notice. 5. Monitor and Protect It is your responsibility to monitor and enforce your trademark rights. Failure to monitor can cause complete loss of trademark rights (regardless of having federal registration). COPYRIGHT ...
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