Monday, May 16, 2011

Online Businesses

Thanks to Roman May

As an online business, we wanted to avoid having to keep many hard copies of our records. Neither my partner nor I have huge home offices, so we wanted to make every part of the business possible be an online function. For example, all of our records and tax documents are now stored digitally, which really cuts down on the amount of paper waste we create. We also only accept credit cards online, which eliminates the need for keeping cash around or depositing checks at the bank. We also had to set up an internet merchant account for the business, which was only slightly more complicated than a standard merchant account.

It feels really good being part of the digital age, and I'm not worried about our business being broken into or a flood damaging all of our records. You laugh, but I've dealt with both of those issues before at previous places of employment! I wanted to do this the right way, and I feel like the way we're running things is definitely how the 21st century is going to expect a business to be run.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Surfing Safely

Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and all sorts of other social media accounts inundate us with pages of privacy disclosures that we must opt in or out of. After we have done all that, they change the game and we have to agree to a whole new set of privacy options. Then, there is the privacy factor that we don't think of--checking our social sites and email from a public WiFi which exposes us to security leaks.

One alternative is to employ a Virtual Private Network, or VPN account. You can enable private browsing in Firefox, but it really only prevents a browsing history from being logged on the computer. It works well if you share a computer and don't want the kids scouring the browsing history for their Christmas presents, but it really doesn't protect your information from anyone else.

When you are browsing on a public Wifi, a VPN account can hide your IP address from others. GoTrusted's VPN account also creates a firewall for you when you browse publicly, which protects you against hackers. How do you think folks in nations that ordered the internet to be shut down were able to Tweet us about what was happening? Creating a virtual firewall not only saves the photos of your 3rd grade graduation that your cousin emailed you, but could insure your physical safety as well.

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