Friday, December 16, 2016

Another Post About Charitable Giving

Disclaimer: I'm not a Christian, and I don't really celebrate Christmas. Many of my family members do. I celebrate in a more classic "Yule" way. However, if this is the season of "giving" then why are the only people profiting mega-corporations. Before you go spend your entire paycheck at a department store on gifts that inevitably will end up in a closet or broken, consider charitable giving.

This year I'm using 3 charities for all of my gift giving. I used WWF to "adopt" my friends and family their favorite animals, with the exception of my mother, who's adoption of "Fife" I renewed through World Wildlife federation has a 3/4 star rating on Charity Navigator. I also buy loved ones gifts by donations to the Heifer Project.

There are 100s of other charities that will send your loved one a symbol of your donation in their name. If you have questions about which one might match your passions or someone else's please don't hesitate to reach out.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Resume Tips and Tricks

You may have read one of my previous blogs on how to build a great resume. I wanted to add a couple things to my previous post. Over the past year I've spoken to a ton of recruiters and hiring managers and there are a few key items that can really make your resume stand out.

Spelling and Grammar
While spelling and grammar mistakes may make your resume stand out, I've spoken to recruiters who will literally stop reading at the first error and throw a resume in the "not hiring" pile. When a hiring manager has 100 resumes to sift thru small mistakes will take you out of the running instantaneously. I highly recommend using the plug-in on top of whatever native spell-check your word processing application has.

Touches of Color
While infographics and photos are a great addition to most resumes, they aren't necessary for every job. Some positions might even frown on an overly flashy resume. That being said a touch of color has never been frowned upon in my experience. Consider choosing your favorite color and using it in your heading, and subheadings.

Depending on what you're applying for you'll want to consider either a quick bio, summation of project experience or objective. Are you a sales person who has a proven track record of increasing profit for your employer? Do you smash sales goals? Are you a creative professional who's worked on a well-known project? Has your artwork been featured anywhere? Unless this is your first ever job application I suggest steering clear of academic accomplishments unless they directly correlate with your career goals. Do you have relevant volunteer experience? Try to come up with something unique to you. We all know you want a job so you can eat. Everybody does. What makes you a great employee/colleague/professional? Sum that up in an introduction.

Here's an example of my resume for general circulation. As I'm not actively seeking a new position it's just a summation of my current experience.

Be sure to create multiple copies of your resume. I have one for Business Development/ PreSales, one for Telecom, one for Political Positions, a generic one, and a variety of "dream job" drafts. Be prepared to send someone a copy of your resume at a moment's notice, but also don't be afraid to craft a new resume for a specific position. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Plan Ahead to Avoid Data Breaches in 2017

In the modern age, data breaches are amongst the largest (if not the largest) threat to business security. Over the last few years, we have seen colossal companies, such as Sony, Microsoft, and Apple suffer the consequences of attacks on their data, and in some cases, breaches of their security. Identity force has a blog up chronicling the worst breaches of 2016. Even the US Department of Justice and the IRS were not safe. So what does this mean for Small Businesses? Cutting costs on security may seem like a quick way to save money, but in the long run, it can end up costing you your business.

There are two main ways you can lose data or face a breach, deliberate and non-deliberate.

Deliberate attempts to breach data or data loss typically come from criminals who have focused their attacks on cyber security or your own unhappy employees. As a business owner it's important to be sure that your data is secured from those who may want to access it for nefarious reasons. Here are a few steps I suggest taking:

  •       Install a firewall and get it professionally managed. Whether you have someone on  your own staff you trust to manage blacklisting and whitelisting or you want to outsource it to an IT company, be sure that you're going over regular reports of this activity.

  •        Set up stringent permissions to your network. Not every employee needs the same level of access, and those who operate outside of the office should have a "kill-switch" to terminate their remote access immediately should the need arise.

  •        I know you've heard it before, but you NEED to have robust passwords. They should be difficult to guess and I highly recommend forcing your employees to change them every 90 days.

  •         Train and educate your staff on cyber-security.

  •         Be vigilant and exercise caution! Spam filters don't catch everything, never open an attachment unless you're 100% sure it's safe.

Non-deliberate data loss or breaches can arise from hardware failures or lack of software, such as anti-virus and web protection. All hardware eventually fails. Be sure you have backups in place to minimize downtime and try to replace hardware regularly. Software also requires regular maintenance and updates. The following can help you avoid downtime:

  •         Always have up to date anti-virus,  run scans and keep it up to date. Web protection offers an extra layer of security to your terminals, which can block certain websites or malicious websites.

  •         Back up PCs and Servers remotely.

  •         Keep computers and servers in safe environments. Make sure that they are  being maintained by someone who's experience and expertise you trust.

  •        Ensure devices owned by employees are secure and protected, and if they leave the company or lose the device, you can lock down data easily. Any device accessing your network is a risk. If employees are accessing the network from their own devices consider implementing security standards for those as well.

Budgeting your data security for 2017 can be a daunting task. Managed Services is an affordable solution to meeting your compliance and security needs at a consistent flat-rate. You can contact me at for a free network evaluation. Let me help you fit data-security into your budget.