How to Protect Your Company Data from Theft?

There are many ways by which data can be leaked electronically from a company like writing the data to a DVD or CD, inappropriately printed, copying to pen drive or portable storage device, uploading to shared server. Smart phones which comes with the combination of storage, data access are excellent device for stealing company data, recent smartphones have enormous storage capacity, can access WiFi networks for high data transfer and lot of apps available for email communication, messaging and social network which make data theft ease. Sometimes data theft also happens inadvertently with loss of company laptop or mobile devices.

Data theft through email is on rise as any sensitive data can be emailed instantly to desired email address and can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Individual’s identity theft via suspicious e-mail or phishing is one such similar attempt made by fraudulent.

Allowing personal email pose a risk for data theft like sending data out via Gmail is difficult to monitor. As personal email account are beyond the control and scope of corporate investigations. So it is essential to choose a secure business email hosting which provide all features like spam protection, security, administrative privileges to manage and control the user accounts across your company.

Few more preventive ways for protecting data include regular scan of data stored on internal network, access of document based on confidentiality, educating the employee regarding data theft, restrictive use of storage and portable devices, encrypting corporate or business data and use of commercial data loss prevention solution.

Importance of Your Own Email ID for Business

 

Last week I met Mr. Jivan Patil, a second generation entrepreneur, while attending a family function. Mr. Patil has a food processing unit near Mumbai and supplies packaged spices all across the India. We discussed at length the increasing demand for Indian spices from western countries, his plans to expand his business to export spices and the latest technology he incorporated for the same. During course of discussion, he gave me his business cards and to my surprise, I found a free yahoomail ID was mentioned on that. I was expecting a professional email address like you@yourcompanyname.in from a person who was so serious about his business. When I enquired, he replied, ‘Does that really matter?’

I have met many business owners who had similar query. I have summarized below the discussion I had with Mr. Patil on this topic.

Your email address tells the story of your business
Mr. Patil’s main argument was that he is using this free email ID for couple of years now and with this ID he is able to manage all email communication for his business. I agree that if it just a ‘communication’, you can manage it with free email ID also. However, in business, your every action is interpreted by the next person.

Will you ever visit your existing or potential customer wearing t-shirt, jeans and sport shoes? No. You always make sure you are wearing a formal shirt, trouser and shoes. If the customer is very important, you won’t even mind wearing a suite. Does what you wear during the customer visit affect the quality of service or product you are going to offer? Then why still you wear formal attire? The reason being, the person sitting next to you makes a subconscious note of what kind of person you are, how professional your company is and many more perceptions through your attire.

In modern day business, where it is not possible to meet the customers every time, your email becomes representative of your company. Your email address, the language used in the email speaks loads of your company’s scale, seriousness of business and professionalism in your company. Notice the difference in impression you make of sender when you receive a mail from navjivanexports19*9@yahoo.com vs ceo@navjivanexports.in. The free email address represents an individual while professional email address represents the company, which builds trust and credibility of sender.

Is your data secure with free email ID?
Mr. Patil has employed Mr. Joshi as accountant and Mr. Shinde as sales executive. Since company doesn’t have emails on company domain name, both of them use their own free email IDs while interacting with customers. Now if anyone of them leaves company, he will take all the interactions, files send, received as attachments, contact details of customers along with him. This could be avoided if Mr. Patil uses a business email ID for his company. He can create email IDs like sales@yourcompany.in and accounts@yourcompany.in for these two roles. He will be in complete control of data stored in these IDs even when employee leaves the organization.

Spammers create multiple accounts with free email service providers and send bulk mails using them. The anti-spam softwares blacklist the servers from where such mails are sent. If your email ID is also hosted on those servers, your genuine mails will also get marked as spam mails and will not be delivered to recipient.

You can still get mails from your free email ID
Mr. Patil worried that he has given his free email ID to couple of his customers and if he switched to his own business email id, he may lose his old mails. However, fortunately this is not correct. You can still retain your old mails and if someone sends you an email on your old mail id, it can be forwarded to your business email ID. Thus you don’t have to worry about losing data in old mailbox.

You can setup your business email ID by yourself in less than 5 minutes and you don’t have to have any technical knowledge for the same. Just select the number of email ids you want for your business, select the size you want for each mailbox, purchase the pack using convenient payment methods. Once you purchase the pack, you have to specify the domain name and email id for your business and your business email id is ready to use. The price of 5 business ids for a year is less than your one family dinner. I’m sure you won’t mind investing that amount to enjoy benefits of having your own business email ID.

How Successful Business Entrepreneurs Structure their Lives around Calendar

The morning rush

It’s 7 am on Monday morning and you energetically make your way through the rush hour traffic to start the day with an important conference call; when you reach office you realize there is an unscheduled external visitor waiting for you plus you see your strategic team members needing a quick consultation … post successfully juggling all three now you receive a call from your investor for a meeting at their office, and when you are about to leave your senior accountant walks in with an important banker for a quick coffee…

Is juggling meetings and multi-tasking regular for you or does this seem exaggerated?

Smart entrepreneurs opt for tools that help them quickly re-organize their days and plan in a way that will give them space to focus on things that matter to their business the most.

For such entrepreneurs, a digital calendar linked with email is a must for their business.

A quick peek on how, you the smart entrepreneurs can use the calendar to monetize your time:

  • Single view to review how busy is your day; easy access to add more to your busy week or month so you can juggle your dynamic work schedule.
  • Receive meeting requests that you can accept, decline or mark as tentative.
  • Easily set up meeting for a comfortable time. Invite the people required, without having to remember their email addresses.
  • Get to know when the invitees act on the meeting request and accordingly reschedule if required.
  • Your calendar always comes handy on your mobile and it is synced all the time. Use it even if you are not connected to Internet.
  • Get reminded about the meeting before time on the device you use.
  • All this can be done by some one else on your behalf, say your secretary.

Rediffmail Pro brings you its Calendar carved for entrepreneurs to meet their business needs on both PC and Mobile; it is integrated with your email service so that your schedule and business communication can go hand in hand.

Entrepreneurs, who believe efficiency is an asset, will surely find value in being organized.

Calendar is used to organize & plan day-to-day working, manage events; and get reminders across devices.

Day or week or monthly views integrated with your email.

At the end of the day, there is nothing comparable to the satisfaction of a fruitful day, reading the book you were looking forward to while you sip your coffee.

Ways to keep Your Website Up-to-date, All by Yourself!

Sometime this year, the word ‘digital’ will get knocked off from the term ‘digital marketing’. It’s not just a fashionable term for corporate bigwigs and consultants to drop at conferences in five star hotels anymore. It’s an integral part of marketing. For starters, if you run a cake shop in suburban Mumbai, it’s coming sooner than you expect to your 250 square feet outlet. And if creating a website is just another item on your list of tasks to grow your business, think again. It’s not enough to buy a domain and get a web developer to make a flashy website for you.

In 2013, your website is already the most important source for potential customers to find out about your products and services, the one thing that makes you stand-out from competition and what new you have to offer. Incidentally, using the internet is the most efficient channel to acquire new customers and to retain existing ones. To make the most of your online efforts, it’s prudent that you keep your website up-to-date. I will tell you how to do this, without breaking the bank.

Content:
The first question that hits you is ‘what do I write?’ Visitors to your website come looking for information about what you have to offer. Like you would put up a grand display of freshly baked cakes on the shop shelf, you need to put up updated information on your website.

Start with a short description of your business and that unique advantage that is at the heart of it. e.g. You could be making plum cakes made from grape wine, made in-house using a 100 year old recipe that has been handed down from your great grand-mother to your mother and to you.

Alternately you can write on the challenges faced by bakers in getting the right flavor using different ingredients. Think of as many things to write about your business and the industry – in this case, plum cakes made of wine. You can put up articles on different types of cakes, which includes information on plum cake made from wine. You could even add articles on various topping that go with these cakes and ways to decorate them using sugar and cherries.

If writing an article challenges you, get a professional copy writer to do that for your business.

Videos and pictures:
When it comes to engaging your audiences, videos and pictures do a great job. Intersperse the text with beautiful images. Don’t feel shy to click pictures of the yummy cake you baked today. Use that 4 megapixel camera in your hand phone if you like. And most importantly, don’t forget to tag the images while uploading to your website. Tagging is nothing but labeling the picture with words that your customers would search for. Eg. Plum cake, cherries, wine etc.

You might even want to shoot a 3 minute video of your baking area, showcasing the special equipment you use. This will thrill your users, especially female customers who would like to see what appliances you use. Also, it’s a great way of showing how hygienic and well maintained your kitchen is. You can also shoot a 1 minute video on how to make topping cream from sugar. Now, that’s not giving away anything from your skills, but it will make sure that the viewers will come back to your website, often to see what more you have to tell.

Add Links from other sites:
Next you might ask ‘What more can I do?’ The answer is simple. Copy. Yes, simply copy links to interesting articles, related to the subject, from other websites that you think are credible. You can add a small paragraph with your views on the article. These links could also be regarding what’s in the news related to your field. This is the easiest content to find on a regular basis. You could create a separate section titled ‘Latest news’. Same goes for related videos from other video websites that you can embed on your site.

Press articles:
If your business has been in the news for some good reason, it’s time to put up the press coverage from known publications on your site. It will only help grow the popularity of your business.

Offers:
You know that the holiday season is around the corner and there are festivals coming up. You can create special offers for these occasions and announce them on your website. Over time, you can get your customers to subscribe to these offers on a regular basis. While choosing a website template, ensure that it includes this functionality.

Social Media sharing tools:
It’s always good to allow users to share your content with their social circles on multiple social networking sites and micro blogging sites such as Facebook , Twitter, Rediff’s Zarabol and MyPage and among others. It only helps spread the word about your brand at absolutely no cost. Make sure website template provides these tools. If you are actively blogging on micro-blogging sites like Twitter, you can embed the same on your website.

Email address and contact:
Finally, you need to have a prominent email address and contact number apart from physical address on your website. Remember that a professional sounding email address, i.e. an email address that uses your business name, lends a great deal of credibility eg. orders@freshbasket.in or thechef@kitchenaromas.com

Please avoid using a free webmail address. If you are using one, you might want to check out affordable email solutions from internet portals like Rediff, Google and Yahoo.

Website accessible across devices:
You might have noticed your customers walking into your outlets with fancy smartphones and tablets in their hands. Yes, you got it right. They are using the internet on these mobile devices and your site needs to appear just the same on these devices as it does on the personal computer. So get a website template such that your site works the same across devices.

So it’s all about choosing the right website template which you can manage on your own. Getting a web developer to make a website for you can cost a bomb. And yet, you may end up with a flashy website that you are not able to make any changes to.

Where will you find a good website solution? If you look around, you may find many alternatives. There is the generic Word Press blogging platform. However you will have to find a web host and buy a domain name separately. Linking it is another task and you might need some help with it. Then there’s Google’s India Get Your Business Online service. However, the service is free for the first year, post which you have to pay for it. Recently Rediff.com has launched Rediffmail PRO which is a business email solution that provides business email ids on your own domain for as little as Rs.799 per year, and you get a free domain, a free website and a mobile application for checking the mail online. There are also other options like GoDaddy and Net4. You could check out all these options and select the one that suits you the best. When you have created the website, do drop me a line. I would love to hear about your business.