Protect Yourself Against, and Mitigate Damages From, Identity Theft

We’ve all heard of it. But we all think that we’re invincible to it. Identity Theft!

What is it? It refers to the preparatory stage of acquiring and collecting someone else’s personal information for criminal purposes.

Identity theft techniques can range from unsophisticated, such as dumpster diving and mail theft, to more elaborate schemes.

If your identity is stolen, do you have a plan in place to mitigate the damages? If not, you should at least bookmark this, just in case you need it in the future.

Identity thieves are looking for the following information:
• full name
• date of birth
• Social Insurance Numbers
• full address
• mother’s maiden name
• username and password for online services
• driver’s license number
• personal identification numbers (PIN)
• credit card information (numbers, expiry dates and the last three digits printed on the signature panel)
• bank account numbers
• signature
• passport number

There are things that you can do to protect yourself from identity theft, and there are steps that you can take to minimize the damage and help bring the thief to justice.

Here are 5 things that you can do right now to protect yourself:
1. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put ‘PHOTO ID REQUIRED.’
2. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the ‘For’ line. Instead, just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your cheque as it passes through all the cheque processing channels won’t have access to it.
3. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If you have a PO Box, use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO Box, use your work address. Never have your SIN printed on your checks. (DUH!) You can add it if it is necessary. But if you have It printed, anyone can get it.
4. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place.
5. When you travel abroad, carry a photocopy of your passport. We’ve all heard horror stories about fraud that’s committed on us in stealing a Name, address, Social Insurance number, credit cards, etc…

If your identity does get stolen, what kind of things can you expect to have happen?

Here are just some of what they can do:
1. Access your bank accounts
2. Open new bank accounts
3. Transfer bank balances
4. Apply for loans, credit cards
5. Make purchases
6. Buy cell phone packages
7. Credit line approved by retail stores
8. Access your driving record, and change your information online

If you are a victim, here’s some critical information to act on immediately:
1. Cancel your credit cards immediately. But the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them. This is why we photocopy them (see above). Call your local bank/financial institution as well.
2. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).
But here’s what is perhaps most important of all:
3. Call the nationwide credit reporting companies immediately. Ask them to put a fraud alert on your name and credit report. The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.

Here are the numbers for two national credit bureaus:
1.) Equifax: 1-800-465-7166
2.) TransUnion Canada: 1-877-525-3823
3. Order free copies of your credit report from each of the nationwide credit reporting companies.

Have you even been a victim of identify theft? Tell us your story and maybe others can learn from what you did, or didn’t do.

Development and Business Dynamics eCommerce

The number of Internet users are burgeoning rapidly throughout the globe. While in the developed nations, it has already reach a saturation level, in growing economies like India, internet penetration is becoming stronger. Internet grew as an empowerment for common people and a massive business platform for enterprises. Among numerous trends that internet brought among people, eCommerce emerged as a massive disruption in business dynamics and in lifestyle of commoners. It brought the lavishness of shopping right at the clicks on the computer or taps on mobile devices, while, products as well as services reach the doorsteps.

eCommerce has become a proven profitable venture with considerably low investment and high profit. However, the profit part is dependent of several factors. It can become a complex business to handle, as it involves many critical operations right from accumulation of products, delivery, customer services to maintenance of technology, massive human resources, and warehouses. Only a seamless tandem in all these operations can lead to a running eCommerce business, that can bring good Return on Investment.

To venture into eCommerce, prospective business owners must first find a dependable firm to develop the central platform or the web portal. They can also hire technology experts for in-house development, but it brings along the cost of development and technology infrastructure. In the primary stages, many other operations, like collecting products from vendors and marketing are required. Hence, outsourcing the development of the platform becomes a profitable option. Businesses would only need to find a good eCommerce Development company.

Since, technology is a central aspect in eCommerce industry, adequate importance is given in web development for creating the web portal. This thrust in technology propelled a dynamic boost in IT sector. Especially, application development, web development and technologies like PHP has found their ways to massive popularity and importance in current business landscape. In fact, there is a competition among businesses to buy the best technology or to develop the best platform.

In eCommerce, the web portal, or the technology is at the center of all its operations. It is not only the interface of the business with consumers, but also the prime mechanism in which the business runs. The website serves multiple purposes all at the same time and it is that single touch point of all major interactions with consumers. Accessibility of services and abundance of features in the web portal is a secret mantra for success in eCommerce. Therefore, the imperatives of technology in this business is the central focus for enterprises and owners.

Grow Your Facebook Fans Easily

Social media is so interesting because many of the popular channels come and go. However, there are also some social media channels that have been strong since their inception and they are even stronger than ever now. Facebook is one of those. It started out in a much more limited way than it is now and it is still extremely important to grow your Facebook fans for the benefit of your business and of your brand.

The challenges of Facebook
If you have a Facebook profile and you recognize your need to grow the number of fans that you have, that is challenging enough. On the other hand, if you have created a new page (for example, a new page for your brand), it can be even more challenging. In the past, it may have seemed easier to acquire new fans pretty easily and quickly. The reason that you might have had that perception is because it was easier.

Nowadays, on the other hand, it is much more difficult. The reason for that is, simply put, the volume of your competition. The fact is that if you want to grow your fans (it is safe to assume that you are looking for top-quality, relevant fans), it will take more effort and time on your part than it would have in the past. Of course, it goes without saying that you want to engage your Facebook fans as well. At this point, you may be asking yourself how you go about accomplishing that.

Identify your target audience first: The reality is that before you can do anything, you need to identify exactly who your target audience is and what they want and need. This needs to happen even before you start to use your Facebook profile to increase your number of fans. Of course, you don’t want or need everyone who is on Facebook to be one of the members of your target audience. It is very important that you understand that you must be able to solve the issues that your target audience members are experiencing. If you can’t do that, they are not truly your target audience members.

Use the most appropriate voice: Once you have figured out exactly who are your target audience members, the next thing that you have to do is to establish a connection with them. If you don’t start to interact with your target audience members, you will not be able to establish a relationship with them. As you are probably well aware, the relationship is at the heart of your ability to succeed. When it comes to your content, you need to write with your target audience members in mind. Your content needs to resonate with your target audience. That is how you establish an emotional/human connection.

Engage with your target audience members: When you are considering how to write your content, you also need to consider your environment. In other words, you need to think about how your content will affect people once it is housed in your particular Facebook page. You will notice that some of your content works more effectively than other content. If you have posted content and you see that very few (or no) people have read it, you understand that you should not be posting that type of content because it isn’t working for you. There are several different things that you can post and you will achieve positive results. Some of them are questions (thought-provoking), interesting photos, statements in which the target audience member needs to fill in the blank, and contests in which they would like to participate.

You need to stay with it for the long-term: Although you may not need to invest a large amount of money in your Facebook efforts, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to invest anything. Your investment is in the form of time and effort. If you wish, you can also invest money (in the form of paid advertisements); however, it is not necessary and, in many cases, you will find that you have invested money and those advertisements don’t yield anything. How frustrating is that?

Stay focused and breathe: As you are growing your fans, you must always remember to stay grounded. If you have any chance of relating to your target audience, you will only accomplish that by connecting with them as one human to another. Your ultimate goal (as is the case for everyone) is to sell your product and/or service. However, you can’t be pushy about it. You need to develop the relationship with the other person, fortify it over time, build trust and credibility, and then, eventually, the other person will probably want to buy what you are selling.

Stay committed to your schedule: People love a schedule that they can count on. That means that if you commit to posting your content twice a week on certain days and at certain times, you need to stick with that. Human beings are creatures of habit and they rely on being able to read your content when they expect it to appear online. That isn’t so much to ask (from their perspective) and it will not require a great deal of effort on your part either.

Pay attention to the analytics: Analytics and metrics are extremely important for your business because they give you a clear indication of how you are doing and how you can improve upon what you are doing. You will want to pay attention to specific things and if those things are not working or don’t seem relevant, you will need to refocus your attention elsewhere.

Conclusion
Growing your Facebook fans is very important for your professional success. As is always the case with social media, you will need to make sure that you surround yourself with relevant, top-quality connections with whom you can share a mutually beneficial relationship. If you make the appropriate online connections and you connect with those people on a human level, you can successfully grow your fans without allowing it to hurt your budget too much. However, it is important to understand that it is not enough to simply create a Facebook page and then sit back and wait for people to become fans. You will need to work it. You will then start to see the positive results that you have caused to happen.

A Unique Giveaway Marketing Efforts

Marketing experts spend a great deal of time trying to understand the best advertising methods that really work. Although there are a lot of theories out there, and everyone has their own method that works for them, one thing is for sure: customers love freebies. Have you ever tried doing a contest on social media using a free product or service as a prize? If you have, you know that it’s a great way to get the word out about your business.

Many businesses routinely give away freebies to their customers (or even to their potential customers) as a way to get the word out about their business. Even though the medium frequently changes (giving away pens, T-shirts, air fresheners, etc.), the goal remains the same — when you give something with your logo on it that’s useful to a customer, it can increase your customer base and your profits.

Why Choose Something Like an Adhesive Screen Cleaner?

The key word here is “useful.” It’s not going to benefit your business very much if you give away something that your customers don’t need, or that they already have a lot of. Even though pens are popular giveaway items, they’re not always appreciated by everyone. More often than not, they end up getting forgotten on the floor of a car, or pushed to the back of a junk drawer in the kitchen.

An adhesive screen cleaner, that sits on the backs of phones or tablets, is very different from other giveaways. Not only is it useful in that everyone appreciates having a clean cell phone screen, but it’s unique too. An adhesive screen cleaner is a giveaway your customers will love, and they’ll remember it too, because chances are, they don’t have one. Yours will be the first one they ever see, which in turn, will help them to remember your company.

Smart Advertising

Another important tip marketing experts have often shared is that when you can find a way to keep your company logo in front of your customers for a significant period of time each day, you’ll make a bigger impression. That makes an adhesive screen cleaner the perfect choice. Your cleaners will feature your company logo, and they will be prominently placed directly on your customers’ cell phones, tablets or other electronic devices. Think about how often you use your cell phone in a day. Your customers use theirs frequently too. That makes giving away an adhesive screen cleaner a really smart way to advertise.