Cyber security protectionSad fact: if you have a business website, you’re a potential target for a cyber security attack.

Last year, the online research from companies such as Gartner and others clearly demonstrate the rapid growth in malware attacks, phishing attacks, ransomware and others. In fact one of the few cyber security items to be in decline was the humble virus!

These cyber attacks can take many forms. From the “classic” Nigerian Prince scam emails, to dodgy links cloaked as official links to organizations such as the post office, IRS, Apple or Microsoft (for example) to infected files on popular filesharing sites. It has never been harder to protect yourself and your company from such attacks, and there’s never been a more important time than right now to take necessary preventive steps.

So how are you meant to defend yourself and y0ur company from attacks like that?

Firstly, you want to make sure all your servers, workstations and laptops are running the latest versions of their operating systems. This includes any patches or security updates which are available.

Secondly, you’ll want to ensure you’ve got any instances of Microsoft Office updated with the latest security patches. Obviously this has become much easier with Office 365 which auto-updates, but if you’re still on Office 2013 or earlier, this point still carries.

You’ll also want to ensure you’re using a solid internet security suite on your machines. There are plenty of options to choose from, ultimately it will come down to your personal preference, budget and specific needs. The main thing is to make sure that your signature files are always updated to ensure you’re always protected from the latest cyber attacks.

Beyond the desktop & server, you’ll want to invest in a proven firewall technology. A good firewall will prevent around 90% of outside cyber attacks when it’s configured properly with the most appropriate rules in place. You may choose to have an onsite, infrastructure-based firewall, a virtual firewall, or even a managed firewall service. There are many reasons for choosing each option, which will depend on similar factors as the internet security suite.

Last of all, but possibly most important of all – you need to educate your staff. Help them understand the risks of opening spam email, clicking on any suspicious links or opening unexpected attachments in emails. This is one element of insider threat, which is the biggest problem most businesses face when it comes to cyber security – because it’s the weakest link in the chain!

Where software and hardware can follow strict guidelines and instructions, humans can be manipulated and tricked into inadvertently disclosing confidential information about themselves, your company or your clients.

Cyber security needs to be everybody’s problem in your business. Help your staff to identify the threats early so they can avoid being victims of ransomware or other cyber threats.

It’s certainly not an easy task, but with these tips at least you’ll be better prepared for protecting your business from the risk of cyber attacks.

You can always call on the services of a specialised IT security firm if this seems too much for you to take on, of course!

hireamerica-graphic-designerA misconception that many people have about graphic design is that it is easy to do and anyone can do a professional job. For some of us, this is true because we already have the skills to take care of these needs. Most people, for the most part, do not have the skills and will require professional services. Really – it’s true! Having professional graphics on your website is just as important as having unique text. Anybody who tells you otherwise is lying. So how do you go about finding the best designer for your project? Use these tips to make the task a little bit easier on yourself.

Always check out the portfolio of the person you are thinking of hiring. Make sure that this person has a portfolio that you can peruse. If they don’t have one, find someone else. There are people that are just starting. This is true. Some people may only have leisurely activities that they have done for friends and family. Even this should be in a portfolio. However, if they don’t have a portfolio, go on to someone else. By doing this, you will save yourself a lot of headaches in the future. Before you hire a graphic designer, do some web browsing, giving special attention to your competition. Look at the graphics and images they have up on their websites and in their marketing materials. Does the look of it appeal to you? You may want to take certain pointers from these sites, and also identify some things you want to avoid. It’s helpful to see what your competition is doing so you can get a clearer notion of what kind of graphics you want to use yourself. Then you’ll also be better equipped to select the right graphic designer for your project. You can then point the designer to some of the sites you’ve explored and tell him or her what elements do and don’t appeal to you.

Another tip you can use is this – have a conversation with the people want to hire for graphic design jobs. It’s all well and good to look at resumes and contact references. Even when all of these things are good, however, the person can still be a bad fit for you and what you need to have done.

Having an actual conversation with a potential graphic designer can help you figure this out. It’s best to do this in person but if you can’t, talk over the phone or through an Instant Messaging client. As long as you have good communication with the graphic designer, your project should be completed in no time at all. When creating your websites and content, make sure you carefully consider your graphics as well as the written aspect of your content. Many people -including you, probably- will click away from a site that has a layout or design that’s unappealing. When visitors react to the design of a site, they may not even be aware of it consciously, but it will still have a big impact on their behavior, such as how long they stay there. This is why it is imperative that, if you do not have experience in this area yourself, you hire a professional to do it for you.

hireamerica-Virtual-AssistantGood for you if you have a need for a VA or virtual assistant. This means not only can you afford it, but your business must warrant the extra help. If this is your first time, then don’t rush it because you can make mistakes you’ll regret. Sometimes it’s just unavoidable in which case you have to start all over again. Really, everybody has a rough time at first. Inevitably, you’ll find the ideal assistant based upon the experience that you gain. You probably have a lot of questions on your mind about this. Actually that’s a good thing because you need to know what questions to ask.

You should only contact people who have some kind of resume of relevant work experience. It is possible that someone on the forum can look promising enough to hire. Sometimes VA’s will be lurking in strange areas online. Keep an open mind to the fact that they might work out for you. Always take the time to ask VA’s about what they have done in the past, and the work they have accomplished. It’s always a good idea to listen to what the perspective virtual assistant has to say to learn more about them.

It’s also worth considering the tax benefits of using virtual assistants – check with your accountant to get clarity on this though.

If your business requires specific knowledge, you want to hire someone that is experienced in this area. Depending upon the requirements that need to be fulfilled, there are many VA is that can help you. That’s your most important and general criteria for evaluating VA’s. It’s up to you to figure out who is best for the job and you need to be diligent in choosing the right person. A person needs to be available to work for you. If you need them 25 hours a week, then that is what they should be able to give you. Promises of availability are sometimes exaggerated. People will say whatever they can to get work online or off-line. People can be unrealistic, even dishonest, so it takes quite a bit of effort to get the right person for the job.

Every applicant that you get to be a VA for you needs to be considered in regard to whether or not you can work together on a regular basis. In this article, we have discussed ways to find the right VA for your business and your projects. You need to ensure that you are both a great fit for one another. This will stop potential difficulties from happening later on. Being completely honest about everything is of utmost importance. They also need to know that you are the best fit for them if they are going to work with you long-term. You should ask the prospective VA what they expect of you. By asking your VA what they expect of you, you will get answers you may not be ready for.

Many of the most profitable businesses on the Internet use virtual assistants. They are a cottage industry on Internet. If you know your time has become more valuable, then you need to think about bringing a VA on board your operations. Your business can definitely benefit from leveraging time with a VA. It might be worth your while.


There are many methods for expanding your business, and many have achieved that by putting a great virtual team in place. Scaling up your business will have the greatest possibility for success through the skillful management of a virtual team. The intriguing aspect of this method is that it can be used by almost anyone regardless of the age of your business.

Even large corporations started using virtual teams many years after their businesses were global in size.

First off, you need to ensure that everyone one your team is involved actively in conference calls. This is a good way of ensuring that everyone on your team concentrates on the things that need to be done as well as making sure they are all aware of what’s going on.

You don’t have to make these conference calls too frequently; having them once a day or once a week is perfectly fine. But don’t ignore them altogether, because getting your team involved into what’s happening and asking for their opinions is really important. Since this is your virtual team, then it is your responsibility to assist them for maximum success. People tend to perform better when they are pushed a little, and that is something you have at your disposal. When you think about it, your ability to keep things running well will spell your degree of success.

Finally, to ensure you are obtaining results from your team, you should develop a vision. Completing the work you assign them will be difficult unless you show them what your vision is. You need to make sure that your team shares the same vision as you and that they believe in your goals. Because everyone is working remotely, it is even more important to ensure everyone gets your vision and is aware of what your expectations and goals are in terms of your business.

This way your team will also concentrate on adding to your vision with targeted information. No one wants to work for the long term for a company that has no vision of the future, which is why they will be even more motivated to fulfill your ultimate goal if you offer them a powerful vision.

All in all, from the above article we come to understand how effective your virtual team can become if you keep a few simple things in mind. There are a number of areas that you will have to focus on when you’re managing your virtual team, but one thing that you need to keep improving on is the communication that you share with it. The better you’re able to communicate and share your ideas with them, the better they’ll be able to work, and give consistent results.

hireamerica-freelance-programmerHiring the right freelance programmer is more about logic, than about luck. If you want to hand over your project to safe hands and ensure that it’ll get completed on time, then you should spend some time looking for a good, professional programmer who knows his job – how?

We all have heard the expression about getting what you pay for, and that is equally true for hiring programmers. It is a rare person who is top notch and charges rock bottom prices. The net has opened up the entire world to us, so you just have to be careful about who you hire. Do not equate the rates for people from foreign countries as necessarily an accurate indication of their quality. So whatever you are in need of, then just proceed through the process and evaluate each on their own merits. Anything can happen to anyone, and all you can do is learn as much as possible and go forward. But if the quality of the script you want is not a high priority, then let your conscience be your guide.

Sometimes it is a good idea to listen to our intuition, but there are certainly times when that may not be the best choice.

You will need to find means of verifying anything anyone tells you, and the better freelance sites will have measures in place for that. If you take your time and thoroughly investigate all ends, you should have every reason to feel confident about your choice. Of course there is always the route of working with a temp placement agency in which all of the background investigation is done for you. Business is about controlled risk, but you can do a lot to minimize it.

We recommend you only provide any kind of training unless your project has unusual elements in it that most people don’t know. But it is always a huge plus to only hire self starters who are willing and capable of finding out on their own and learning it. Be willing to have a conversation with people and ask them about their education or if they learned on their own. There is nothing wrong with asking anything. You may come across programmers that look good on paper, but aren’t very good at self learning. There are tons of intelligent and capable programmers who do not know how to market themselves or speak effectively with people.

You know it is important to avoid taking anything at face value on the net, so look into what people tell you regarding their experience and background. Getting through this the first time is the hardest, and the more times you do this you will become proficient. When you think about it, very many hiring practices are simply common sense when you really sit down and think about it.