“Yes, we keep all your payment details safe. When you send a payment using PayPal, the recipient doesn’t receive sensitive details such as your credit card or bank account number. This way, you don’t have to worry about paying people you don’t know using this platform.”- This is what PayPal has to say on its website for the clients.
I won’t disagree on this one because PayPal consists of more than 286 million active accounts in the second quarter of 2019. It represents a total of 17% year-on-year growth in the market. Thus, there must be something about PayPal that persuades people to trust this platform for online transactions. Yes, PayPal is safe for sellers and buyers only if they follow the right security protocols while making online transactions. Let’s see how.
How Is PayPal Safe For Users?
PayPal encompasses a service known as PayPal Purchase Protection, which assists any user if there is a problem. You can make use of this feature when the seller doesn’t deliver an item as promised by him/her or delivers the wrong product. In that case, PayPal will arrange for a full refund. This platform offers similar ‘backstop’ programs to secure individuals or businesses who sell products online through this platform. Now, let’s check out what PayPal does to safeguard your data and save your sensitive details from any fraud artists.
PayPal Safety For Buyers
PayPal is both secured as well as encrypted. Thus, it offers a safe user-experience to buyers. Check out the other factors that make PayPal safe for buyers.
Secure digital connection-
Buyers need to have a safe digital connection when they use PayPal for online transactions. This is one of the most key data protection features that prevent fraudsters from hacking your PayPal account information.
Secure data servers-
PayPal uses advanced data servers that keep a constant tab on your browser. The data servers alert the buyer if it finds that you are not using a recent and updated encryption technology. The servers also analyze and monitor the data stored on your computer server and let you know if the computer is not connected to the Internet.
The best thing about PayPal is that it offers financial rewards to cybersecurity experts and computer security officials if they identify any breaches or vulnerabilities in the data defence system of this platform. Buyers can make online transactions on PayPal safely since brilliant cybersecurity experts keep a strict watch on the defense system of PayPal.
All in all, buyers need not worry about much when they pay online through PayPal. The high-end data security tools and features of PayPal make sure your bank details are secured.
PayPal Safety For Sellers
PayPal has the same data protection features for the sellers as well. Thus, PayPal sellers have the liberty to enjoy a safe and secure transaction process. Speaking of PayPal sellers, they usually have to worry more about the transaction and dispute issue.
Buyers can dispute transactions based on multiple reasons and the sellers may not be able to prove their innocence most of the time. Say you have paid for tuition assignment help at a company on PayPal. But, you never received the assignment. In that case, you can ask for a refund and your seller won’t be able to disprove your claim.
Sellers can protect themselves from a fraud transaction and dispute policy only if they can prove their innocence. You can prove the buyer’s claim wrong if you ship the goods to verified and credible destinations. You also need to show proof of the delivery message usually sent by the delivery systems.
It is usually suggested that PayPal sellers must get a signature from the buyer after the item has been delivered. The signature could be proof that your product was received by the right person and was in good condition.
PayPal Safety Greater Than Bank and Credit Cards
PayPal users consider the use of this platform to be safer than using a bank account or a check to make the transactions. Don’t be so surprised. Here are the reasons that make PayPal relatively safer than banks, checks and credit cards.
Storage– The financial data of every PayPal user is usually stored in an online vault. It is not easy for hackers and con artists to break the virtual vault and launder your money. The same can’t be guaranteed in case of credit cards or bank accounts.
Compromise– It takes only a few minutes for hackers to compromise with the paper checks. Once they get a hold of the client’s bank account number, it is easier for them to crack into his/her account and cause severe financial loss. The “vault” on PayPal is encrypted with an advanced data defense algorithm.
Payback protection– Buyers can ask for the payback protection on PayPal if they do not get the products they have ordered. You can ask for protection if you are dissatisfied with the products or services received. You can’t do that at banks, can you?
PayPal offers an advanced level of data security to its users. But, buyers should also update their software on all their digital devices to keep the data hackers away from your sensitive details. It is also better if you could use this platform with your cellular internet connection and not any public WiFi.
Data Safety Measures Taken by PayPal
PayPal uses three key security measures to make sure your data is secure and safe. Still asking yourself if this platform is safe or not? Then check out these fantastic data safety features offered by PayPal to its users.
You will get an email every time you issue or receive a payment on PayPal. Thus, you can always contact PayPal if you receive an mail about a transaction that wasn’t made by you. It prevents hackers from ‘hotwiring’ your account.
PayPal security keys
Every time you switch on this app, it asks you to enter a code that will be sent to your smartphone. You will get the code on your registered smartphone number. Therefore, it’s only you who can get access to your PayPal account unless your phone gets stolen.
All digital transactions are online-exclusive. This brings forth different safeguards such as TLS protocols, GDP and key pinning. As soon as you log in, the platform will detect if your connection is TLS 1.0 or higher. The platform will also check if your browser is capable of handling HTTPS connections.
Apart from these features, PayPal also uses an extra security layer known as Key Pinning. This makes sure your browser is interacting with a legit PayPal server. Key Pinning prevents hackers from intercepting data in transit and redirecting you to a cloned website. All in all, PayPal consists of a slew of security measures that makes transactions safe for both the buyers as well as sellers.
13 Tips for Getting on Top of Your Taxes
It’s tax season! Whether you have only a personal return to worry about or that plus a business return, there are a few helpful tips to keep in mind while getting your tax forms completed.
It’s tax season! Whether you have only a personal return to worry about or that plus a business return, there are a few helpful tips to keep in mind while getting your tax forms completed.
Here are some of those pointers to keep in mind.
1. Decide whether you need help.
For many people, completing one’s taxes may seem pretty straightforward. For others, it may look like a daunting process. If an individual has an incorporated business, such as an S corporation or partnership, and multiple qualified deductions on their return, then a professional’s help is probably best.
2. Don’t forget to fund your retirement fund.
There are multiple financial vehicles available to save for retirement, whether it is a Traditional IRA, SEP-IRA, or Keogh Plan, to name a few. In most instances, money contributed towards retirement is a legitimate way to reduce one’s taxable income on paper.
3. Stay organized.
If you have deductions to keep track of, or if your income is cash, you should stay on top of it. This is possible to do manually, and if your situation is more complicated, you can sign up for programs to help you automate it.
4. Keep in mind the tax deadline.
Tax season typically begins on January 15th, with the IRS beginning to accept personal returns through April 15th. Business returns, particularly with S corporation and partnership returns, are due on March 15th. It’s important to file on time to avoid late penalties and fees.
5. Decide whether you want to itemize or take the standard deduction.
An individual is eligible to take a $12,400 standard deduction off their taxes. However, itemizing expenses, which entail taking deductions for qualified personal expenses, such as mortgage interest and charitable deductions, may yield greater tax savings.
6. Consider the home office deduction.
Those who have a dedicated office area in their home for work might be worth considering the operating expense of that area for a tax deduction.
7. Remember to include any dependents on your tax return.
If one has any children or adult dependents, it’s important to remember to note this on one’s tax return. Doing so allows for certain tax credits to reduce one’s taxable income.
8. Consider setting up a taxpayer account and filing online.
If one uses self-help tax software, such as TurboTax or TaxAct, tax filing, payment, or refunds are automated online. If one is employing a professional to complete their return, then electronic filing may be set up by that professional on one’s behalf. Otherwise, one can create an account online directly with the IRS for quicker and more efficient filing.
9. Make sure you are filing all the appropriate forms.
If one uses self-help software to file a personal return, all the necessary documents should be included as part of the paid package. If one is filing directly with the IRS, with no middle party to help facilitate the process, it’s important to be careful to point the proper forms and double-check that all necessary documents are filed. For business returns and more complicated personal returns, it’s best to consult a professional to ensure that all the appropriate paperwork is filed.
10. Consider hiring your children (and paying them).
If one has a business, no matter how formal or informal it is, hiring a family is advantageous for both you and them. Any salaries paid to the family are tax-deductible. Retirement contributions and health benefits are also tax-deductible expenses for the family that is the employer.
11. Keep healthy.
If you are self-employed, the entirety of your health insurance is tax-deductible, as is even your dental insurance. If you are employed and purchase health insurance with a high deductible, opening a health savings account or a flexible savings account and using it can help you offset some of the monies spent on taxes.
12. Buy supplies for work.
If you are employed and purchase supplies relevant to your work, this may be deductible. If you are self-employed and make large purchases pertinent to your work, the cost may be deductible in full.
13. Make timely payments, if needs be.
Though many individuals may expect a tax refund from the IRS, some may wish to pay additional monies with their tax filing. Whether it be via an unincorporated status as a 1099 contractor, an LLC, or a corporation, those who are self–employed are expected to make quarterly payments throughout the year by the IRS. Suppose you are wondering when LLC Taxes are due in 2020. In that case, the IRS enables one to register on their website for quarterly estimated tax payments: January 15th, April 15th, June 17th, and September 16th.
Taxes are an unpleasant obligation for all of us who live in the United States. Even those of us who live outside of the United States and are citizens of the United States, staying abreast of tax filing with the IRS is an indisputable legal obligation. To make this obligation run smoother, there are a few pointers to consider. Though it’s not exhaustive, the above list is pretty thorough and a good start.
4 Ways Employees Compromise Security (And How You Can Solve Them)
Employee carelessness could lead to a data breach that can destroy your business. Read on to discover how workers can undermine your company’s security.
Employees, in a perfect world, would have great cybersecurity habits. They will make sure never to place their company’s data or network at risk.
This isn’t a perfect world, though. Although office workers can be trustworthy and loyal, the lack of IT policies and occasional carelessness could cause a harmful data breach that can ruin your business reputation and shutter your company.
How can employees compromise your enterprise data security?
Here are four ways they can put your sensitive private and customer data at risk:
1. Insider Malice
No business manager or owner likes to think that their trusted business partners or the people on their team have it out for them. Sadly, a few bad apples can sometimes get past human resources or talent acquisition. The worst part is that malicious insider attacks are incredibly difficult to detect.
You can prevent or mitigate insider malice by getting to know the mind of your attacker. Put yourself in the shoes of a dissatisfied worker looking to take down their employer. You probably wouldn’t launch an attack while you’re using the company computer and still on the corporate payroll.
You would, however, be likely to launch a cyberattack a few days before or after your last day. If you still have your company e-mail and VPN login (and they still work), you could get into your ex-company’s servers from the comfort of your home.
As a business owner, you should take measures to prevent disgruntled and malicious employees from compromising your company’s IT and network infrastructure. Start by limiting privileged access to sensitive data, such as intellectual property, personally identifiable information and customer details. Then, immediately revoke the access rights of employees who resign or leave your company without notice.
Also, try getting cloud software that can back up and protect your data. You could, for instance, purchase and download an Office 365 e-mail backup solution to make sure that your e-mail data stays protected and is easily recoverable in the event of a cyberattack or a security threat.
2. The Use of Weak or Lazy Passwords
According to a report from PCMag, the top three common passwords for 2020 are picture1, 123456789 and 123456. These passwords are so laughably insecure that you’re practically rolling out the red carpet for hackers and other cybercriminals.
When you have employees adhering to poor password practices, you need to create and implement a strong password policy to prevent an enterprise data security disaster. Make sure your workers receive a notification to change their passwords every quarter. What’s more, the new password must adhere to the following requirements:
- It shouldn’t match the previous passwords.
- It must contain at least nine characters (the longer, the better).
- It needs to include a combination of symbols, uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers.
Changing and memorizing a long, complex password can be highly inconvenient for some employees. One trick to creating this kind of password is to learn a sentence only you can identify.
Take this sentence as an example: “My best friend munches a batch of French fries.” Turn that into an acronym, and you’ve got: MbfmabofFf. You could turn the letter “o” into a zero, then add the birth date of your best friend (or whatever special number you feel like adding). Finally, start or end the password with a symbol.
3. Web Surfing
Office workers often use the company’s internet to surf the web during lunch breaks or downtime. If your tech staff doesn’t protect and configure your systems properly, employees may come across websites with malware, which can cause machines and other devices to become infected.
As a business owner or manager, you can restrict access to specific sites that your company or tech team determines as dangerous or inappropriate. Although this tactic works well for known and distinctive destinations, it may be time-consuming and complex to administer.
If you insist on this strategy, make sure to supplement it by securing systems with anti-spyware and anti-virus software. What’s more, train your employees on the value of staying careful on the web.
4. Malicious E-mail and Phishing
Fraudulent e-mails can destroy your company’s IT and network security, as well as compromise your data. They may contain harmful attachments, codes or links that give cybercriminals access to devices and data.
You can stop these malicious e-mails from harming your business by educating your workers about recognizing suspicious e-mails.
A few of the red flags they should look for include the following:
- Offers and promotions that are “too good to be true.”
- Unwarranted technical or customer support
- Popular companies with deceptive URLs and misspelt names, such as amaz0n3 (dot) com.
- Unsolicited or suspicious downloads or attachments.
You hired your employees to help grow your business – not destroy it with poor cybersecurity practices. Implement strict IT policies and use the right tools that can protect your organization from criminals.
What is a Managed Service Provider And What Do They Do?
The way to do this is by hiring a Managed Service Provider (or MSP) – in this article, we’ll explain what they do, what they can provide
Although you might tend to consider business growth in terms of opening new locations or creating new products, you may not have considered how your IT can grow along with these things – it’s fair to say that most businesses in 2021 would struggle without a solid IT infrastructure.
But IT improvements don’t come cheap, so you’ll want to find an IT solution that doesn’t leave you bankrupt. The way to do this is by hiring a Managed Service Provider (or MSP) – in this article, we’ll explain what they do, what they can provide for your company, and how you should choose the best one.
When you’ve finished reading, you’ll have a better idea of whether or not you’d like to explore working with an MSP – or look instead at building your in-house IT knowledge.
1. What is an MSP?
An MSP is an existing IT team that you can hire who works outside your regular office and isn’t on your payroll. Although they aren’t quite as present in your daily work environment as a dedicated in-house team would be, they can still provide comprehensive support and cover all of your IT needs.
While they might seem like a more complicated option than keeping everything in-house, an MSP can be a more simple option than bringing on your own IT team – you could even have one working for you in a week or so if you were to start; talks now! Because they have a diverse staff of professionals who work with a broad range of businesses, an MSP can easily add you on.
For your monthly payment, you are provided with the MSP’s IT team’s expertise at a lower cost than you might anticipate for their level of experience. This is because they aren’t just working for you – as they charge lots of companies a low price, they can spread staffing costs across all of the businesses who hire them, and this saving comes straight back to you.
2. Can An MSP Save You Money?
You probably have some awareness of how your business budgets every month, and if so, you’ll know just how fast costs can become astronomically high – especially when you include the recruitment drives required when you’re hiring new members of staff!
Putting aside the huge cost of wages each month, you can lose thousands to expenses that come from staffing, lost resources and more, and these costs grow exponentially if you’re looking to bring on more people. And this is all without the training costs that come when new employees are on the payroll!
One of the more immediate benefits of working with an MSP is that you can completely avoid extra costs like these. The extensive hiring process has already been handled entirely by the provider.
But the benefits don’t just come in the short term – without these initial costs, think about what you could invest the extra thousands you now have into! You could invest in new product development, create a new and exciting marketing campaign, recruit more people in sales – the options are endless with the money you’ve saved on the monotony of the hiring process!
3. Can An MSP Help With Business Expansion?
Now that we’ve established how you can put back the money saved from working with an MSP into wider business growth tactics, you can start to consider how you might grow your business by investing in IT innovations. Although it’s easy to see an MSP as just a group of people who keep your IT systems running, they can provide so much more for your business – that is, if you choose the right provider.
MSPs become an important part of a business’s daily operations, and this means that they’ll witness much of your growth over the time you work with them. In addition to this, they’ll have a cutting edge awareness of all of the latest IT developments, having implemented these technologies into the infrastructures of other companies they work with. Whether you want to utilise an SD-WAN system for your network or install MPLS to improve the performance of cloud-based applications performance, the right MSP can drastically improve your IT systems for the better.
While you may not be easy with these technologies, your chosen MSP will, and their knowledge of these innovations, could be instrumental to making sure your business can maintain the pace of growth you desire. This consultancy service might not be part of the most basic package that an MSP offers, but for just a fee, you can have access to their combined decades of IT experience and knowledge – an investment that will certainly pay off in the long term.
4. How Do You Find The Best MSP?
While there’s a myriad of ways to grow your business, it all essentially comes down to expanding two areas: knowledge and money. If you decide to start working with an MSP, you’ll both gain access to their huge bank of knowledge and be able to start putting your money elsewhere.
However, this growth is only possible with a good provider. It would help if you looked further than the first few Google results that appear for ‘MSP in my area’; good knowledge of SEO doesn’t necessarily translate to IT’s good knowledge.
While you’re scouting out potential providers, it’s useful to ask if they’ve ever worked with companies that resemble your own, whether that’s in terms of their size or the industry that they operate in. You should also ask about their plans for future growth – after all, they need to be able to keep up with your ambitions!
To make the most of your relationship with an MSP, you need to make sure that they have a thorough understanding of your business. If you can form a solid and mutually beneficial working relationship, you can grow together to dizzying heights.
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