Automated cyber-attacks targeting small businesses – 10 steps to protect yourself

According to new research commissioned by the Government’s Cyber Streetwise Campaign, SMEs are putting a third of their revenue at risk because they are downplaying the threat of cyber-attacks, leaving them exposed and vulnerable.

With this in mind, here’s what small businesses need to watch out for, and 10 clear steps that can be taken to protect against future attacks. (more…)

Securing your e-commerce website in 2015

2014 was a huge year for privacy and security on the Internet.

There were several high profile security issues which were serious enough to make the leap from technical news sites to the mainstream press, and ongoing revelations about how easily everyone’s connections can be spied on have made the major players in the web industry take action.

If you have an e-commerce website, given all the coverage around SSL and website security, now is a good time to check the security of your site, or to consider getting a site certificate if you don’t already have one. This guide explains all.

A Survival guide to mobile commerce

The term mobile commerce is another digital marketing phrase which often gets thrown around. For many small businesses, it can certainly be difficult to understand the technologies and the benefits which m-commerce can bring to your company.

In this guide, we look at the basics of going mobile, how it can be profitable for your start-up or small business, and include some tips on what you need to look out for when taking your business into the world of mobile commerce.

5 e-Commerce trend predictions for 2015

Year on year, the e-commerce industry continues to boom with more and more companies moving to the web.

The rapid pace of business is amplified online, with the proliferation of apps, new technologies and seemingly daily digital changes affecting how you operate.

Analysts and experts are always attempting to predict the latest trends and developments which could make the most difference to online retailers, so we’ve pulled together some of the most talked about, and hotly anticipated predictions for the e-commerce marketplace in 2015.

We’ve focused on the developments we think could affect your business the most in the next 12 months. Whilst some of these online retailing trends have been developing year on year, others may just be set to explode in 2015 (more…)

5 Things to do when your website is down

There’s nothing worse than being told by a customer that your website is not working. Or logging on yourself to check something, and finding the page you want to see is not displaying.

Website downtime can have a direct impact on your business and on your profits – particularly if you have an e-commerce website – so it’s important to know what you need to do if your website goes down.

Even the most robust websites suffer technical glitches happen, so the chances are you will experience it at some point. Often, it might only be down for a few minutes, as part of wider technical problems or updates to a global server.

But sometimes, there might be a specific problem with your website individually. If you do experience website downtime, here are the five things you should do;

Should you prepare your small business to take payments through Apple Pay?

This week marks the launch of Apple’s latest attempt at changing the way we interact with technology, as Apple Pay, the company’s version of mobile contactless technology, debuts in the US.

Whilst this launch is currently limited to the US, the chances are if all goes to plan it will launch in the UK within the next 6 months.

But what exactly is Apple Pay? And is it going to affect your small business?

There’s a slim chance it could be another fad which flops, but it could also be the system which pushes widespread adoption of mobile payments. So the question is, as a small business, should you look into preparing for Apple Pay?

How to make the most out of Pay Per Click (PPC)

Pay Per Click, or PPC, is a common service offered by major search engines, and search engine optimisation (SEO) agencies to help you gain traffic to your website. For many small businesses, PPC represents an immediate way to gain new online customers.

What is the Google Penguin update?

If Google’s Panda update weeded out the websites with content of poor quality overall, then Penguin – first announced in April 2012 – went a step further, focusing on sites with individual examples of poor-quality content.

What is the Google Panda update?

If you had any kind of online presence back in February 2011, you will probably have heard of the Google Panda update – or the ‘Farmer update’, as it was first known.

What SMEs should be doing to protect their digital assets

Mobile devices: laptops, netbooks, tablets, and smartphones, to name a few, have become not only ubiquitous but essential tools in our personal and professional lives. Companies of all sizes are now faced with the reality that employees would like their business and personal lives to blend, often preferring to use their personal mobile devices to conduct business.

How to avoid classic web design mistakes

With more and more small companies reaping the benefits of going online it is essential to appreciate the importance of having a well designed website, otherwise any efforts you make to drive potential clients to your web address will be in vain.

Is social media important for my business?

Social media is often misunderstood as something new, something complicated and something only the techies really know about. In reality it’s one of the oldest communication methods in use – it’s just that today we’re using new technology to help us do it.

Small business domain names – What types are there?

If you are thinking of setting up a website for your business, one of your first tasks will be to choose a suitable domain name to suit your venture. With dozens of domain name types available these days, which ones should you make sure you secure for your business?

Guide to scary computer terms for technophobes

The first few years of starting up are a series of fast and comprehensive lessons. Get them right and you won’t just have built your own income, but you’ll have learnt things that will help in other aspects of your life.

What is a Local Area Network (LAN)?

Small businesses have come a long way since the floppy disks, which were at one time the only way to share files within a company.

As we become more reliant on computers, e-mail, and the Internet to do our jobs, local area networks (LAN’s) have become an essential resource for growing businesses – whether they’re based in a home office or a City skyscraper.

Here are a few points to help you get the basics on wiring up your small business.

The security risks of your business website

A website is an essential tool for virtually every business starting up in the UK today.

Whereas just a few years ago it was a handy way of marketing your business if you had lots of time or money, websites have quickly grown to become a dominant force in attracting new business and retaining existing customers.

How to pick the right PC for your business

There can be few businesses left that don’t need a reliable PC on a day-to-day basis – especially as more and more business involves email and the internet in some way.

PCs change so quickly it can be a scary process researching and buying a new one. Here is a handy non-technical guide to the main issues to consider, before you part with your cash.

How to run your business from the beach!

When most people start their business, there are several things they happily give up for a while: a guaranteed salary, sleep – and holidays.

It’s one of the hallmarks of a start-up. In the first year, the founders can find it really tough to take time off.

So if your start-up’s stopping the summer sun, how about building your business from the beach instead?

Guide to working securely with wireless

Wireless is becoming an increasingly popular way for businesses to share information and work away form the office. According to a survey of 625 SMEs, more than a quarter of staff already does some work from home* – and this figure seems to be growing faster than ever.

Beginners guide to Wi-Fi and Wireless Internet

Wi-Fi is the name given to wireless technology (or “wireless fidelity”). For our purposes, the term is most commonly used to provide Internet access without the need for wires. Rather than plugging your PC or laptop into your broadband modem, you can access the Internet remotely as long as you are in range of a Wi-Fi access point – either at home or when you’re out and about.

How to create a more effective ecommerce site

More and more people are making purchases online but not all businesses are making the most of their ecommerce sites. And if you’re not making the most out of your site, you’re not making as much money as you could be.

Here are four tips for creating a more effective ecommerce site so customers buy from you and keep coming back…

Using online services – how safe is the cloud?

Do you have data stored in the cloud?

For many organisations, the answer is an emphatic “yes”. Adoption of cloud services is growing across a wide range of applications – desktop backup, email and collaboration, document management, customer relationship management, and so on. Such services are especially attractive to small and medium-sized organisations: they let you purchase just the amount of service that you need without making a large, upfront commitment to application licences, servers, etc. And you don’t need a skilled IT team to run and support those systems.

A simple guide to ADSL, Cable and Mobile Broadband

As demand for broadband services has exploded over the past few years, and the number of “bundles” and offerings becomes ever more bewildering for business broadband and personal broadband users, we take a brief look at the types of broadband service available in the UK.

Cloud computing explained – and the benefits for your business

Whether you’re into technology or not you may have heard the phrase “cloud computing” knocked about… and probably ignored it.

Very sensible. The internet is awash with terms like “web 2.0” and “social networking”… and you don’t really need to know what they mean. But you do need to know how they can affect your business.

See, cloud computing has nothing but benefits for your business. And it’s something which is going to put plenty of opportunities in front of you in the years to come.

We’ve put together the Bytestart guide to cloud computing in business – with a jargon-free guarantee!