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When looking for ways to promote your website online, search engine optimisation is a term that will come up regularly. Many assume that SEO is something that can be undertaken by themselves, and in some instances, this is true. However, many have found that there are more benefits available to them when employing the services of an SEO agency.

An SEO Agency Has Experience

Although there is a slew of advice online when it comes to SEO, there still had to be a learning phase. This means that your operations could be minimal in the interim, only to find that everything you’ve learned in the last few months is now considered outdated. Using the expertise of an SEO agency allows you to take advantage of its experience and methods, that will have been fine-tuned and perfected over the years.

This allows a business to hit the ground running, and start marking pathways in the online world sooner rather than later. Of course, we should have realistic expectations, and a reputable SEO agency will have no issue in advising the timeframe in which you can expect to see results.

SEO Agencies Can See Thing from the Customer’s Perspective

While there can be a lot of elements of SEO you can take undertake yourself, it’s not always about strategies. It’s also about being able to understand the customer, and what they expect from an online entity. For example, Keep SEO Simple an SEO agency in Scotland have had several years’ experience in dealing with many different companies, meaning that an SEO agency is a position to tailor your strategy to meet the demands of the modern-day consumer.

This can involve several different factors, depending on what type of business you have, and the type of message you wish to convey. However, those who employ the services of a reputable SEO agency can be confident that a bespoke strategy is put in place that strikes the right chord with your online audience,

Be Introduced to New Ideas

To some, SEO can seem like a monotonous task that involves the same old practices. The truth is that the Internet is forever evolving, and the art of SEO is something that is always changing, albeit it for the better. Numerous search engine updates mean that customers are now offering content that is of value to online users. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to marketing your company to new customers. Have you ever considered the opportunities social media platforms have to offer? Or maybe there’s a new technology that you wish to make use of. It’s not uncommon for SEO to work alongside marketing in many ways, and there can even be instances where the two overlap. 

Using an SEO Agency Can Be More Cost-Effective Than an In-House Team

Some may be under the impression that using an SEO agency is more expensive than hiring an in-house team, but it can actually be cheaper. This isn’t to say that certain businesses can’t benefit from an in-house team, but it’s about assessing what suits you and your company best. An in-house team can mean a constant expense that needs to be met, regardless of whether there is work available or not. Of course, you could advertise for a temporary role, but this isn’t very appealing to those who are looking for more security when it comes to their job role.

An SEO agency is normally quite flexible when it comes to terms and conditions of the contract. While you should note that there is very little point in employing the services of an SEO agency for a month or so, as it’s unlikely it will be able to make that much progress in such a small amount of time. However, this doesn’t mean that you should have to continue paying for a service each month that you don’t need. Dealing with right kind of SEO agency will ensure that the service on offer is tailored to your needs, while staying within your budget.

Greater Potential for a Profit

Some companies may only have a web presence because they assume that is all that is needed, but regardless of how great your website is, it’s not really serving a purpose if no-one is visiting the website. Using an SEO agency allows you to understand just how much opportunity your website can offer, and support you in finding ways of ensuring your website is generating a profit. Regardless of whether your website contains news, or sells the latest video game console, an SEO agency will know how to get the best from your website, ensuring that you’re generating a profit wherever possible.

Only the Right Practices Are Used

Whether we’re paying for a cheaper service, or implementing SEO strategies, there could be instances where the strategies being used are not having the desired effect. For example, those new to the world of SEO will probably read that a website can benefit from backlinks, and for the most part this is true. Backlinks are a great way of telling search engines such as Google what websites have linked to your business website. This could be in the form of sharing content, or even social media shares. However, the value is in the backlink itself, as opposed to how many there are.

It’s not unusual to see one-off services that offer business owners hundreds of backlinks for their website, however if these backlinks are considered untrustworthy, then all it will really do is cause your website to decrease in popularity. An SEO agency will ensure that only white-hat SEO tactics are used, meaning that your site is optimised to meet with the regulatory requires of Google and other search engines.

Using an SEO agency to carry out your SEO can mean that your website is gaining popularity sooner rather than later, while being optimised to ensure that rankings stay strong when it comes to search results.

The impact of social media and broadcast news sites on the way news is reported is undeniable. The style in which news articles are written and the mediums through which these stories are shared have drastically changed in the last 15 years. But likewise, the platforms showcasing news stories have also continued to evolve, keeping up with the needs and wants of the reader. So, what does the future of the news industry look like will it be online like other publications such as https://proefabonnementkrant.com/telegraaf/?

Messaging

For the first time ever, more people used messaging apps than social media in 2015. Since that initial month, messaging apps have continued to reign supreme over social networks, pulling in more and more users every month.

For platforms like Facebook, which has more users reading the news on its site than any other social network, this isn’t bad news. That’s because Facebook also happens to have its very own integrated messaging system, which is highly popular. It also owns WhatsApp. These two messaging platforms pull in 800 million and 900 million users respectively. With Facebook leading the way when it comes to news stories, perhaps the future involves taking these stories to their messaging apps. Users could set their notification preferences based on the type of news story, be it urgent, international, celebrity gossip etc.

Audio News

In the past few years, publishers have invested heavily in their video content. But with the likes of Amazon Echo and Google Home finding their way into people’s houses, is this due to change and the focus shift to audio news?

Some companies have already begun experimenting with audio news stories, with the liked of The New York Times creating multiple podcast series. This includes their series named The Daily, which provides listeners with a 25-minute update on current news. A new episode is released five days a week.   

There has also been a boom in audio investment when it comes to automobiles. It is estimated that 20% of vehicles in the US are currently connected to the internet, though the goal is for this to be 100% by the year 2025. Content creators have felt the benefits of the increase in internet access, with Pandora’s VP of Business Development stating that “Automotive is our fastest-growing listening category.” With Pandora known for its personalised content, is this a precursor for the future of news reporting? Will we soon be listening to our own personalised version of the news?

Further Personalisation

Anonymity is a thing of the past when it comes to the internet. While people may refer to trolls ‘hiding behind their keyboards’, websites are collecting huge amounts of data on users. Creating accounts on websites gives information such as your birthdate, ordering packages passes along your home and/or work address. Your subscription to Birchbox gives an insight into your consumer choices, and your frequent visits to Ladbible.com highlight your sense of humour. All of this data is collected online and used to create tailored suggestions for content you’d enjoy. Facebook in particular enjoy using the information from your likes and links to get to know you better, and will continue to provide what it deems the most useful news stories for each person. The need for add-on tools like Feedly and Flipboard suggest there’s still some way to go with perfect this personalisation.

What else will change?

Just as social media decided to get in on the action, it is likely that other companies will adapt to the growing trend of finding news online. Companies not previously associated with the traditional news publications will begin branching out into the news industry. There are two reasons that this is likely. Firstly, companies will try to keep readers on their website. This will help them improve their user stats, find out more about user demographics, increase the price for advertisers with banners on their site, grow the company’s reputation. The list goes on. The second reason that sites will begin offering their own news section is to keep the readers happy. That’s because leading readers away to a different site requires additional seconds for the content to load. According to Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook “People don’t want to wait that long so a lot of people abandon news before it has even loaded.” No wonder Facebook’s news summaries can be seen on everyone’s main feed.

This overlap may also happen in the other direction, with traditional news publishers branching out to increase revenue. This could be a necessary step for news companies. Indeed 60% of publishers believe that monetization will be their biggest challenge, thanks to the increased use of ad blockers, low ad rates on mobiles and high levels of competition. There are a number of ways companies can evolve to increase revenue, such as:

  • Becoming event organisers. Many publishers have run their own events, such as Stylist Live and Forbes’ Summit Conferences.
  • Launching their own creative agencies. These are created to produce branded content. Examples of this include the Huffpost Partner Studio and Vice’s Virtue team.
  • Opening research institutes. These teams conduct high-level research, which supports the news generated by the publisher. The Economist’s version is known as the Intelligence Unit.
  • Creating teams to build and analyse user data. At Buzzfeed, the team is building technology that can detect web trends and connects users with content they’re most likely to enjoy.

While there’s inevitable change coming to the news publication industry, some things are expected to remain the same thanks to the high-standards set by traditional publishers. While people want content to be available quickly and news broadcasts streamed in real-time, digital publishers continue to pursue the credibility of traditional publishers, raising the bar in journalism. There has been a steady decline in journalism jobs over the past many decades, but a regrowth of the industry to cope with the changes could be a very real future. Only time will tell.

Bitcoin – you can’t open a news app or tech blog without hearing about the world’s favourite digital currency – but what else is going on in the cryptocurrency world?

Well, quite a lot it actually – and while no other currency has seen the explosion in value that Bitcoin has during the last 18 months, that’s not to say Bitcoin is the only player to keep an eye on.

If you’re considering dipping into less familiar cryptocurrency waters, it pays to do you research – check out some write ups on potential brokers – like this indacoin review – before you buy – and in the meantime, we’ll tell you a little about 5 ‘altcoin’ currencies that are showing significant promise and could represent the next big thing…

Ethereum

Even those who aren’t familiar with the nuances of cryptocurrency are increasingly likely to have heard about Ethereum – especially owing to how hard marketers have hit the social media channels trying to push their ether related services.

‘Ether’ – the name of Ethereum’s currency – is the second biggest digital currency behind Bitcoin and it’s fairly new on the scene, having launched in 2015. Ether is a little different to Bitcoin, in that it operates on an ‘if this, then that’ contractual basis. Let’s line it up next to Bitcoin to explain how that works:

You’re buying an ebook with Bitcoin, you send the private key to the person’s wallet and they send you the product.

You buy the same book with Ethereum and a contract could be generated, stipulating that when the funds are sent, the ebook is released – or alternatively, when the ebook is received the funds are released.

Although Bitcoin operates without ‘trust’ needed in the actual transaction, as soon as human’s become involved with any process beyond the actual money transfer, trust is again required. With a smart contract system, trust is removed.

  • Ether started 2017 at around £6/$8 and looks set to finish the year around £350/$470.

Zcash

Another newcomer to the crypro game, Zcash didn’t launch until late-2016 but is looking like a very promising contender going forward.

The currency focuses on security and privacy when compared to Bitcoin. Where Bitcoin operates on a public blockchain with every transaction that’s been made visible to anyone who looks, Zcash’s offers what they refer to ‘shielded’ transactions, where sender, recipient and the amount of the transfer are protected from view.

If increased security and anonymity are your thing – Zcash is worth a look…

  • Zcash started 2017 at around £37/$50 and looks set to end 2017 around £225/$300

Ripple

Ripple was launched in 2012 with the primary aim for allowing banks to facilitate and settle cross-boarder payments in real-time with “end-to-end” transparency.

The big difference when compared to Bitcoin and most other blockchain based cryptocurrencies comes when the currency is produced. Most cryptos rely on ‘mining’ – a sophisticated process of solving the mathematical problems that occur throughout the blockchain when transaction are taking place. With Bitcoin’s blockchain, miners are rewarded for this action with more Bitcoins – but Ripple is different.

Essentially, Ripple facilitates the transfer of other currencies and commodities with gateways – and through those gateways money is sent – or rather, not sent. The money doesn’t actually leave the gateway that it’s deposited into, but is still released by the recipient’s gateway. It’s an IOU system that works because each gateway trusts one another not to break the relationship.

Ripple is extremely flexible – because, as long as gateways trust one another, anything can be transmitted without it actually moving – in fact, it doesn’t even have to be the same currency that goes it as comes out. Money in, car out – etc. Ripple’s algorithms work to find trust between two sources and execute the transaction through that trusted channel.

  • Ripple started 2017 at just a tiny fraction of a dollar ($0.006) – and although the price vs. USD is still low – it’s significantly higher than it was at around $0.25 toward the end of 2017.

Dash

We’ve all been caught out with an internet or media fact that turns out to be nonsense – but there’s one about cryptocurrency that just won’t go away:

“Bitcoin is anonymous”

Well, it’s not – some understanding of the blockchain lets you know quite how false this actually is. However, there are calls for true financial anonymity – and Dash seems to be answering those calls. At it’s heart, Dash operates on a near identical blockchain to Bitcoin – but has the addition of quick transactions and transaction privacy.

Dash has been around since early 2014 – and was initially called ‘Darkcoin’. Its developers had big ideas for how Bitcoin could offer increased anonymity and speedier transfer times – but rather than approach Bitcoin, Dash’s founders decided to go it alone – as a result, they’re now one of the biggest altcoins out there…

  • At the start of 2017 Dash tipped the scales at £9/$12 – whereas in the closing months of 2017 it was sitting around £512/$690

Litecoin

Litecoin wasn’t far behind the launch of Bitcoin – coming to the market in 2011. In a lot of ways, Litecoin has always been seen as the smaller sibling of Bitcoin, operating with a very similar blockchain system but always at a much-reduced buy-in cost.

Like Bitcoin, Litecoin has a decentralised ledger system that’s the brainchild of an ex-Google engineer and uses a ‘mining’ proof-of-work system that doesn’t require the huge processing power and energy consumption of Bitcoin.

As a result of this less intensive ‘mining’ process, blocks in the chain are generated much more quickly vs. Bitcoin and therefore Litecoin’s transaction confirmation times are greatly reduced. Litecoin is an increasing favourite with merchants and online developers owing to this quick turn-around…

  • Litecoin was worth around £3/$4 at the beginning of 2017 – and is now at an impressive £60/$80 toward the end of 2017

Remember…

There are a lot of cryptos out there that look great – but, as with any investment, the prior performance of cryptocurrencies doesn’t reflect their future performance – so don’t invest money you can’t afford to lose – and seek as much professional information about your chosen currency before you go empty your wallet of traditional cash…

It’s always good to be prepared. So, heaven forbid, something happens to you (or your partner), finances should not be a worry. This is where life insurance can play an important role in giving your loved ones peace of mind. There are lots of different policies available, each of which works slightly differently. As such, it’s understandable if you’re left feeling overwhelmed by the options, and with no clue which life insurance policy to choose. It can definitely be a bit of a minefield trying to find the perfect cover for you, but the vast amount of choice also means you’re bound to find something that matches your needs. Here’s a couple of tips for buying life insurance in 2018.
  1. Be prepared for the topics you’re likely to discuss before speaking to a life insurance advisor.
An advisor will need lots of information from you, in order to decide what cover is best for you. As such, it’s worth preparing some answers ahead of time, so that you’re ready to for all of their questions. This will speed up the whole process and won’t leave you feeling shocked if they ask a personal question. Be prepared to answer questions about your financial history and travel plans, as well as giving details about your health and lifestyle.
  1. Research the different types of cover.
There are lots of different types of life insurance policies. Some run for 10 years, others for as long as 25 years – or even more. The most popular type of policy is the level term insurance, where the payout is the same regardless of when you claim. Meanwhile a decreasing term insurance will have the payout that gradually shrinks over the policy term. There’s also the option to create a joint policy with your partner, which works on a ‘first death’ basis. Before you commit to a certain company or policy, make sure to speak to an advisor in person or even fill in a questionnaire online to make sure you’re getting the best type of policy for your circumstances.
  1. Work out how much cover you need.
The amount of cover you need depends on your budget and your requirements. It is known as the ‘sum insured’. Most life insurance advisors will recommend getting a sum insured that is 10 times your annual salary, at the very least. However, it can also depend on other circumstances. For example, if you have a large mortgage and young children, it is advisable to have a larger sum insured than someone with no children and few mortgage repayments left.
  1. Find a claim that suits your financial obligations.
Do you want your life insurance to cover funeral expenses? Or perhaps your looking for a policy that will help with estate taxes. You can even ensure any outstanding debts are dealt with instead of being passed along to your estate. Conditions such as these are a great way to spare your loved ones the burden of having to consider all of these painful details. Life insurance quotes for seniors over 70 will often cover these extras. Make sure to really consider what you want from your life insurance policy, above and beyond the traditional lump sum.
  1. Really think about who you want your beneficiaries to be.
Putting serious thought into who you want to receive your life insurance payout is a difficult process. However, it’s something that’s necessary. After all, how many films are there where someone feels snubbed by the contents of a will? While most families may not be as dramatic as those on the big screen, there are important things to consider, like how children will not be able to receive any money from insurance companies until they are 18.
  1. If you have an ex-spouse, make sure their rights are clearly stated in the life insurance policy.
If you have a divorce agreement that includes child support, then it’s a really good idea to have a corresponding life insurance policy. For example, if the divorce agreement stipulates that you will be providing child support for 10 years, make sure to purchase a term policy for the same length of time. For beneficiaries, you can be named on your ex-spouse’s policy as a ‘party of interest’.
  1. Consider a policy with ‘living benefits’.
‘Living benefits’ have become increasingly popular over the years. They are a component of life insurance policies, which give you access to death benefit money yourself in special circumstances. This can be especially handy if you become ill and need to fund private medical care or fund daily living if you’re diagnosed with a chronic terminal illness.
  1. Double check that you’re able to review or amend your life insurance policy.
Some policies can last for multiple decades, while some can even provide cover until you die. As such, it’s worth getting a policy that you can alter if your circumstances change. For example, things like getting married, having children or getting a different mortgage will all impact the advised sum insured.
  1. Be sure you’re getting an accurate quote.
While a life insurance advisor will do their best to make the process of getting insurance as simple as can be, there is a lot of information that needs to be covered when choosing a policy. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the best policy for you. Also, it doesn’t hurt to doubt check that there are no hidden costs or loopholes that may have a terrible impact down the line.
  1. Consider using a ‘free look’ period.
If you’re still not 100% sure you’ve chosen the right policy, but are keen to get life insurance in place, some companies will offer a ‘free look’ period. This will let you change or even cancel your policy after is has been issued, if you do so within a certain time frame. Make sure to check with the life insurance advisor that your policy has this period, and how long it lasts for.

Do you have enough time and energy in the day to earn more money?

With our fast paced lives it’s not uncommon to feel like you don’t have time to sleep – let alone do something that’s going to mean you earn more money.

With that in mind, there’s another way to boost what’s in your pocket – that’s to spend less money in the first place! But how do you do it and keep the level of lifestyle that you’ve become accustomed to?

Well, we’ve got 12 great ideas that will reduce your outgoing from today onwards. We can’t give you extra hours in the day, but we can definitely save you some money!

Plan your food

We waste a huge chunk of money by not planning our meals and just shopping either every day or every couple of days. Buying like this means we rarely ever take advantage of the lower prices that come with bigger packet sizes – leaving our freezers and wallets looking quite empty.

Draw up a list of meals for the week, plan ingredients and make one supermarket journey instead of 5!

Turn the thermostat down

It’s a well-known trick – but turning your thermostat down by one degree rarely makes any noticeable difference to the heat of your home – but can make a big difference to your heating bills when added up over a year.

Don’t throw good food away

As a nation we throw an enormous amount of food away each year – billions of tonnes in fact. Part of the reason for this is a misunderstanding around what’s good to eat and what’s not.

A ‘use before’ date means that the food could potentially be dangerous if you eat it beyond that date (think raw meat, diary, etc) – but on the other hand, a ‘best before’ date is really just advice.

Check your food, if it’s a few days over a best before date and it looks or smells as you would expect it to – the chances are it’s perfectly okay to eat! Check the wording and save a fortune on shopping costs.

Do free stuff

It doesn’t get much better value than free! And, if you’re smart with your searching, you’ll find dozens of things you can that are exactly this price.

From museums and galleries to beaches and parks – there’s some incredible free attractions that you can take advantage of if you’re willing to do some web searching to track them down!

Read more books

In this world of box-sets, paid TV channels and expensive streaming services, books look like incredible value for money! Instead of firing up the TV and flicking until you find something you like, pick up a few books. You can find them second-hand for next to nothing – and they’ll take a LOT longer to read than even the chunkiest box set!

Don’t pay more debt than you need to

If you’re struggling with debt you might not realise that there are some great options out there for coming to an agreement with your creditors and reducing the amount you repay.

To work out who you can turn to for support and guidance, check out reviews of companies who can potentially help – like this one from https://www.facethered.com – and slice your debt down to size!

Don’t shop when you’re hungry

Shopping when you’re hungry is a recipe for disaster! You’re far more likely to buy more than you need – as well as increasingly likely to spend money on expensive food that’s got attractive packaging made to appeal to your empty stomach!

Throw away your takeaway menus

If you ditch the takeaway menus and apps that mean you can order in just a few clicks, you’re far less likely to turn to them as quick and convenient (but expensive) options. What’s more, if you can keep a couple of keep and cheap options in the house – your hungry stomach will push you toward them – rather than hitting the internet to study menus…

Have a standard work wardrobe

You can thank Mark Zuckerberg for this tip!

Rather than pick out a different outfit each day – he sticks to a modest combination of a t-shirt and jeans. Now, you might not be able to do exactly the same – but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some staple go-to items.

Sticking to a basic wardrobe means you’re less likely to have to purchase new seasonal items – or pick out specific items that compliment only one outfit.

Delete your card details

Deleting your saved card details might not save you money directly – but it puts another barrier in the way of spending money online – which is one of the quickest and most tempting ways for us to spend our money.

If you’ve got to reach into your pocket each time you want to spend money, it gives you a little more time to consider whether or not you actually want and need that item…

Buy some thick jumpers

It’s a lot less costly to heat yourself than it is to heat your entire house!

Buying some decent quality wool jumpers means you can turn the heating right down – if not switch it off completely. Multiple layers works well too. You can worry about whether or not it feels like you’re being a ‘skinflint’ when you relax on the beach holiday you’ve managed to save for with money that everyone else has been spending on energy bills!

Book tickets well in advance

If you’ve got any long-distance journeys coming up try to look for tickets months in advance. Even if they’re not available right away you’ll usually be able to create an alert that will let you know when they go on sale.

In some cases, train tickets can be up to 90% cheaper when bought in advance – money that’s a lot better in your pocket!

Get an insulated coffee cup

Buying expensive cups of coffee might feel like a treat, but in reality it’s an extremely expensive habit if you do it every week or every day you’re at work.

If you check out your local supermarket or a good online store you can find insulated cups that will keep a homemade cup of coffee hot all day – and even fully waterproof ones that you can seal and throw in your work bag to be consumed whenever you want. We’re not saying that you have to downgrade to instant coffee either – even fresh home ground coffee is a fraction of the price of a shop made cup!

Gambling is something that is inherently part of popular culture, it’s often portrayed in movies and media as a high-end sophisticated past-time that glorifies Las Vegas casinos yet we all know the reality is a lot different.

Online gambling has enjoyed a boom over the last 15-20 years or so but with this comes a rise in addiction. For the UK Gambling Commission and many other governing bodies the types of addiction that online gambling can be a lot different to what we think of in its traditional sense. In a survey carried out by the commission in 2015, studies found that 62% of people gambled, with 1% of people identifying as problem gamblers. A further 4% of people surveyed explained they were at a moderate to low risk of facing addiction or problems with their gambling.

Gambling addiction is an illness that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Addiction on the whole is something that can affect the relationships that you have with your friends and family but both your financial situation that can lead to issues with your bank or even lead to further mental health issues and things like that.

This article is designed to give you tips and insights into how to overcome gambling addiction and deal with your financial problems relating to your addiction.

Cut off your source of funding

If you’ve been sustaining your gambling with many different payment methods or multiple cards this is only enabling your addiction, try minimising the options you have to deposit, slowly cut-off your access to certain credit or debit cards or nip the source as a whole. Additionally, it’s also possible to stabilise your credit report which increases the difficulty of opening any new credit card or loan accounts to feed you’re playing habits. Recognising that you have a problem is the first step and often the eye-opener that you need that will aid the next steps of your recovery.

Don’t Chase your losses

The psychology of gambling is a very complicated phenomenon but at its most it boils down to whether you can walk away or not. The trick is to only gamble what you can afford and see gambling as a form of entertainment rather than a way of making money. For example, if you set £50 aside to play some blackjack or slot games then you can be safe in the knowledge that you have fashioned a start and end to your session. Setting strict depositing limits is a good way of maintaining these time and depositing variables.

If you do lose, don’t chase your losses. Accept that this is part of the risk and enjoyment of gambling. It’s a common occurrence for many gamblers to think their next spin or next hand will be the one where they recover, most of the time this never materialises.

Seek professional treatment

Looking for help from friends or family can often put you both in a difficult position, theirs feeling and emotions involved which often lend themselves to creating a lack of objectivity when it comes to treating your behaviours. There are many trained medical professionals who can talk through your problems and the psychology behind it. Once you understand the issues that lead your unhealthy behaviours you are separated from the issue and in pole position to amend the situation.

Once you’ve done this you can begin to create healthy habits. Why not create a list of people you owe money to and slowly look to pay back these debts.

Scott Manford, CEO of Easy Slots said: “We take the well-being and safety of our gamers very seriously at Easy Slots and always pay close attention to some of our players who seem to be developing a problem. We strongly advise players to set reasonable deposit limits and refer to our responsible gambling policy whenever they feel necessary. Learning how to minimise risk gambling is key”

Problematic gambling is a very real issue across the globe and can effect anyone, at any time. The more we can do to normalise the addiction the easier it will become to treat the problems that are at bay. Always understand that there are many means of seeking help for your addiction and developing healthy habits to curb your addiction.

If you have a little extra cash and you really need it to be more than just a ‘little’ then putting it to work for you is going to be the best thing that you do for a while, financially speaking. You can either use it to relieve a little strain elsewhere, or use it to save more money later. Either way, just having sat there is not helping so you should make it work for you. On the other hand, perhaps you don’t have a little cash lying around but still need fast access to some, for deposits or an emergency repair? Whatever it’s for, getting your hands on cold cash in a hurry is not always that easy, thankfully there is always OppLoans should you need it. For everybody else, there are several ways that you can make those extra dollars actually useful. Getting in better financial shape is just about everybody’s dream at the moment, given the uncertain times that we find ourselves living in, so what are the best ways that we can help ourselves achieve it? Well, these suggestions may not offer results that are as tangible as returns on stock and shares trades, but their payoffs are every bit as real and effective in the long term. The first, most powerful use you can put your ‘spare’ money to is investing in a savings fund. Don’t have one? Get one. Financial planners suggest saving as much as 3 to 6 months worth of income in this fund. Should the unthinkable happen, and you lose your job, you have this safety net to help break your fall. Sounds simple, but doing it is much harder. Even if you can’t manage those ambitious sums, putting aside something is a whole lot better than nothing. Here are some other ways that you can put extra cash to work, in order to help shore up your finances.

Attack that debt

Do you have a high interest debt? Using that spare cash to pay it off could save you even more later as you no longer have to pay out extra just to satisfy the interest. Debts that come with lower interest rates on items such as a mortgage or vehicle may not be as immediately important, just so long as those repayments represent no more than 30% of your income – any higher than that and they need to go, sooner rather than later.

Top up your health savings account

If you have a health savings account, consider fully funding it. For instance, the top amount that a single individual can put into their HSA, in 2017, is $3,400. For a family, that maximum rises to $6,750. Health savings accounts are loved by financial planners because it known as being “triple tax-free”. What does that mean? Well, you are putting money into it that hasn’t been taxed yet, the earnings compound free of tax, and account holders can withdraw from the account, tax free, if the money is for “qualifying” medical expenditure.

Make use of the services that a financial planner can provide

Consider hiring a fully certified, professional financial planner to, well, create a financial plan for you. It can be difficult to plan for life after retirement if you don’t even fully understand where you are right now, financially speaking. People today are less attuned to fluctuations and moves in the stock market, which is not necessarily a bad thing but can make planning things out that bit more difficult, as one would imagine. Financial planners charges can vary, but upto $2,000 a year is not unusual and the services provided can include, cash management, insurance, retirement planning and regular meetings.

Top up your retirement accounts

If your paycheck has a tendency to leave you with more than you need each month, then you could always use the extra money to max out your workplace retirement accounts. Additionally, if you happen to 50 or over, you should remember that you will be able to make ‘catch up” payment contributions in addition to the $18,000 capped, regular contributions that are allowable for the year.

Face the inevitable

It happens to all of us eventually, and there is simply no avoiding the inevitable. Hire the services of an attorney and work with them to create an estate plan, or at the very least a will. A caring.com survey that was conducted fairly recently (recent at the time of writing, at least), showed that just 42% of those surveyed (over 1,000 individuals) had created documents like a will or trust. The cost of hiring an attorney for this type of service is not as steep as many may realise, with fees usually falling between $300 and a $1,000. If this does happen to be a little on the steep side, there are do-it-yourself options that start around the $50 mark but these are obviously more time consuming. Taking care of burial plots can also be a good idea, if a little morbid, and can take the pressure of family members when the time comes. In the end, when all is said and done, you may not need to do any of the above. Simply building reserves can help you out of a tight spot later on down the line. There is nothing wrong, nothing at all, in just putting any and all spare cash into an account that will provide returns on interest. Obviously, the more you put in the more it attracts. Whatever you decide to do, investing for the future and making your money work for you, in one way or or other, is never a bad idea.

Moving house can be expensive – and that’s before you’ve starting hitting the shops looking for that perfect new sofa and curtains.

If you want to save money for the exciting bits of moving to a new home – you’ll need to know where you can really trim back on the boring logistical stuff.

With this in mind we had a chat with the team at Your Property Wizard who provide conveyancing quotes in Glasgow and they have shared 11 tried and tested ways to keep money in your pocket…

#1 – Create a moving budget

A lot of people find that their finances run away with them when they’re moving house.

This is especially true when the pressure starts to mount – a few extra pounds here or there might not matter as you desperately hunt for boxes, a van or last minute essentials, but without something to refer to, that extras spend will soon add up.

Have a look at how much you can afford to spend on each part of the move and try to stick to those figures. It might mean a bit of pre-planning – but sometimes just having a rough idea of what you’d like to spend and how the numbers are adding up can stop you going way over budget.

#2 – Reduce the amount you’re moving

Whether you’re moving yourself or you’re having a company do it for you, the sheer amount of stuff you’re moving contributes to cost significantly. That might be due to the size of removal truck that’s being rented, the number of people that are required – or even just the fuel you’re putting into your car ferrying stuff yourself.

If there are boxes you haven’t unpacked since your last move, now’s the time to start being a little more brutal and getting rid of things you don’t want, don’t use or don’t need.

#3 – Sell stuff

If you’re embracing tip number 2, then why not see if you can recoup some of your moving costs by selling items that you no longer want.

With most online selling platforms the key to quick sales is a low cost – you don’t have to lose money, but there’s no harm in taking a lower offer if it means you don’t have to lug that old wardrobe into and out of a truck.

#4 – Move during the week

Whether you’re renting a van and doing it yourself – or you’re employing the services of a professional removal company, it’s almost guaranteed that it’s going to cost you a lot less if you can do it during the week – rather than over a weekend.

Now, solicitors and lenders often like to wrap up house purchases on a Friday – but there can be some flexibility, so ask, book a day or two off work – and reap the financial benefits.

#5 – Book well in advance

If you can anticipate exactly when you’re going to be moving then booking removal companies or van rental in advance can really reduce the cost.

It’s a cash flow thing a lot of the time – companies like to know there’s money coming in, so they’ll often give you an incentive to commit early.

#6- Compare removal companies

There’s often one or two big removal companies who you’re familiar with – but they’re not the only options. The internet now means we can shop around for the best deal – so try some comparisons and you could very well save a small fortune!

#7 – Check the removal company’s insurance cover

Now, this tip isn’t necessarily going to save you money on the day of your move – but it might mean you don’t have to replace broken valuables further down the line – so might save a considerable amount moving forward!

Always check that removal companies are insured to move everything that you have. Sure, they might not mind shifting the piano or antique pictures – but if either slip off the loading platform you might not get the compensation you expect. Be sure your items are covered!

#8 – Do it yourself

Working out whether or not to move yourself is tricky – if it means lost income it might be worth getting a professional company to help, especially considering how quickly they’re likely to move you.

That said, if you can book a couple of days paid holiday and have a couple of friends who don’t mind lending a hand, you might be able to get things done far more cheaply yourself. If you’re not sure, plot the costs of both and see which is the most appealing.

#9 – Shop around for boxes (or find them for free)

Boxes are a prime item that you can end up paying too much for if you start to get desperate.

Most removal, storage and stationary outlets will have big and robust boxes you can buy – but they’re costly, so at the very least, shop around.

Better yet, search on local for-sale sites and social media groups – people tend to just want rid of them after a move, so you can pick them up for a fraction of the price. Also, consider asking at your local supermarket – the boxes and pallets that heavy items like fruit and bottles come in are often perfect for shifting your stuff.

#10 – Pack yourself

If you’re moving with the help of a professional company there’s often an option to have them do the entire job for you – including packing cupboards, drawers and even sheds and garages.

While this is likely to save you an enormous amount of hard work – it’s also likely to cost you a lot too! If you start early and allocate one or two small jobs each day, you can make light work of packing your house by yourself – and save a small fortune in doing so.

#11 – Do some serious measuring up

Now, it’s unlikely that you’re going to make a big mistake with furniture – but if you do, it can be extremely costly to put right.

It might seem excessive, but measure and double check that everything is going to fit into the new house before it goes into the van. If that corner sofa isn’t going to fit through the door or up the staircase, then you’re facing a really tricky situation that’s only going to be solved by spending more money.

We’ve heard endless horror stories about emergency call-outs for window fitters or joiners who need to remove glazing units or door frames to get big items of furniture in or out of awkward houses, so be sure to measure!

Making a personal injury claim is not always an easy decision you might think you have a great case but after seeing a solicitor it might start to look your chances of winning are well, to put it bluntly unlikely. And you might not even see a solicitor after all you don’t necessarily need to use one to claim for compensation.

So, how do you claim compensation after suffering a personal injury and is it worth it? Unfortunately, there really is no one answer to that it really depends on the circumstances surrounding your personal injury. There isn’t one uniform method that can be used when you’re making personal injury claim there are many variables to take into account.

For example, if you suffer an injury due to a traffic accident then the way you’d go about claiming compensation is different to the way you’d claim if you suffered one at work. Let’s take a look at the main ways you can go about claiming for compensation after a personal injury in more detail below.

Using A Claims Assessor

A claims assessor such as Hutchison & Stoy also known as a claims management company can help in a number of different personal injury claim cases. However, certain claims assessors might specialise in certain types of cases so make sure you find out the details of the assessors first.

Claims assessors do have a variety of benefits to them they will usually have a lot of contacts in the legal industry, and they will be able to offer advice and assistant throughout your case. However, while claims assessors can be very useful for handling your personal injury case the might not be able to offer all the legal help of a solicitor or a law firm.

Taking Legal Action

If you want to take legal action to claim compensation in the civil court, then the first thing you will need to do is find a solicitor. This is easier said than done because there are a lot of solicitors and law firms to choose from.

The best all-around option is to find a solicitor who will work on a no win no fee basis, that way even if you do lose you won’t be out of pocket. Time limits do apply when it comes to getting a solicitor for a personal injury claim, although this does vary depending on the type of injury but it’s still best if you claim as soon as possible.

If you have been injured at work and are part of a Union, then you should contact them as soon as possible because they will probably be able to supply legal assistance and the same applies for injuries caused by traffic accidents if you’re a member of a motoring agency.

Legal action might sound scary but in many cases, your employer may be willing to offer an out of court settlement you might also be covered by insurance for accidents as well. But this all depends on your own individual circumstances, if you do go to court and win then your solicitors will take a portion of your winnings to pay your fee.

Using The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority

Hopefully, this is never something you’ll have to use because the criminal compensation authority only deals with personal injuries that have been caused by a criminal act. There are many variants of this it could be due to you being assaulted or it could be an injury you sustained when assisting police officers, to give you just two possible examples.

However, when you get injured you must report it to the police as soon as possible and then make an application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. You will usually have two years to do this and you can do it online or by phone and you can get assistance from the police and the Citizens Advice Bureau.

If a criminal is convicted of a criminal offence that relates to your injury, then they can be ordered by the court to pay you compensation. However, in cases like this, you cannot apply yourself you will need to give the prosecution the details of your injury and information about the losses you have suffered.

The amount of compensation you will receive will vary on your own individual circumstances however the maximum amount is set to £5000. The offender will often have time-frame in which they must pay you your compensation by and if they make a criminal compensation order they will also be responsible for ensuring you receive your compensation.

Is Making A Claim For Compensation Worth It?

So, now we’ve taken a look at the different ways you can approach getting compensation the question remains whether claiming compensation is worth it? The financial impact of a personal injury can be very far-reaching and it’s understandably one of the things people least think about.

After all, after suffering a personal injury are you really going to be thinking about your finances? I doubt it, but your finances are very important and by applying for compensation you will be able to recoup any losses.

But claiming for compensation will also allow you to get justice for what happened to you as well. Compensation is literally the recognition of loss, injury or suffering, isn’t it? So, I think in the majority of cases making a claim for compensation is something everyone should consider and by using a no win no fee solicitor you will not run the risk of losing out, will you?

While being rewarded money isn’t going to change what happened to you it will help you find peace and allow you to move on with your life. Remember in the meantime you should make an appointment with the Citizens Advice Bureau, so they can help with any outstanding financial matters.

Compensation won’t change what has happened to you, but it will make your recovery easier and that in my opinion always makes it worth it. So, however, you decide to do it, applying for compensation is worth it.

It has been a long-held belief that 50% of start-ups fail within their first year but that may no longer be the case. Recent studies have shown a much higher success rate for small businesses. The Small Business Association published statistics in 2016 that showed 78% of small businesses survive their first year which is a considerable difference and one worth noting if you are thinking of bringing your business idea to life.

The increase of small businesses success can be due to a number of factors but the biggest influence has been the increase of technology available to help simplify business operations. Technology designed to aid businesses success has never been more accessible. Hardware like credit card machines and software like inventory management programs are now much cheaper due to the availability of these tools and the amount of competition between suppliers.  These tools take what used to be complicated processes and make them simple to understand. This means that you don’t need to be an accountant or to hire one, you just need to know how to interpret the information within your finance software.

Digital financial tools remove the need for complicated ledger books and allow everyone to become the financial director of their own business. These digital financial tools aren’t part of a new movement sweeping across the business world, they have been around for the better part of 30 years. Although, when computers and computer systems became more accessible and more user friendly, so did the digital financial tools.

These days the majority of finance tools are cloud based which has many advantages over desktop software. Cloud software allows you to access your financial information anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection. It also allows you to collaborate with other members of your team no matter where they are. This works well for businesses that may not have a centralised office or if members of a team are often away on a business trips. As long as they have an internet connection, they can still gain access to the data.

Cloud software also has the advantage of being cost friendly. Desktop programmes require an upfront purchase before you start using it. This may be an issue as the programme may not be right for your business and you won’t know this until after you part form your money. Desktop programmes often contain many features to suit all sizes of business but yours may never need those added features. Smaller businesses also may not have the ability to afford an upfront cost during their first few months of trading. Cloud software costs are generally dealt with on a month to month basis. This means that there is no painful upfront cost and you can assess if the software is working for your business each month. If it’s not, there is nothing stopping you from finding something else that works better.

Cloud software also receives regular software updates and automatic backups. This not only keeps your information safe but allows for peace of mind. You will never have to worry about when the last time you made a full back up was. On top of all that, cloud software often comes with a great online support network. This means that in the unlikely instance that you have an issue with the software, you have immediate access to a team that can support you and help you get back in running order.

There are many different product options available when choosing a cloud based financial software. You need to make sure that your financial needs are met but you also need to be sure that you don’t end up overpaying for services that you will never use. It is worth analysing your financial reporting requirements so you have a clear understanding of what you want from a cloud based financial system and so that you can identify what you don’t need or would never use.

As a general guide, most businesses require software that can handle; accounting procedures, budgeting processes, payroll management, inventory management, expense tracking and billing. It may be more appropriate to choose a few platforms over one software that can incorporate all the functions.

Many of these types of programmes will be able to connect and share data with each other anyway. Choosing to spread the duties among smaller, tailored programmes can help keep costs down and gives you more flexibility to change the way you deal with your business finance as and when your business needs change. You can also find some great tools out there that can not only pull all your accounts together to give you an idea of how your business is performing, but these programmes can do this through visual representation like graphs and charts.

There are many programmes that give you the ability to view your information on mobile apps so if you are always on the move and would prefer to not have to carry your laptop, there will most certainly be some options out there that will transform the way you deal with your books.

Whether you are a big organisation like Nestle-Good Food or a small business like Reid Brothers – Stainless Steel Banding, cloud based software can make a positive impact to the way you deal with your day to day finances. After all, business is about passion and bring ideas to life, not accounting. The easier we can make the boring stuff, the more time we will have to make our business dreams come true.

Avoiding Disreputable Precious Metals IRA Companies

When making plans for the future, it can be dissuading when we discover that there are companies out there who are merely looking to take advantage of us. However, the same can be true for any industry, and rather than shy away from the industry, we just need to be more educated when searching for a solution.

Becoming familiar with the more unsavory acts a minority of companies try to carry out means that we will only be paired with a reputable and trustworthy Precious Metals IRA provider. This will ensure that you can confidently build a financial future without having to worry about a business failing or surprise fees.

Don’t Be Fooled into Purchasing Rare Proof Coins

There have been companies in the past that have misled the customer into parting with their hard-earned cash into a Gold IRA rollover, then using the process to invest in rare proof coins.

This is not in the best interests of the account holder, as the only coins that should be purchased are bullion coins. This is because the value of the gold held in a Gold IRA account is normally based on the gold content as opposed to their rarity.

This kind of practice can cost investors a lot of money, and only look to benefit the company. Go to mineweb.net for a more in depth guide on gold IRA rollover process.

Ensure That the Storage of Your Precious Metals is Above Board

When you purchase gold and have it stored with an official custodian, it’s normal practice for you to receive some certification to inform you this has been completed. If you speak to a company that is unable to offer this feature, then it could be advisable to avoid that particular company.

That’s not to say that the company is not complying with what’s expected of them, but as an investor, we need to ensure that we’re able to safeguard ourselves where possible.

If you’re not able to receive any confirmation that your account has been setup and your precious metals have been stored in the right way, then it could be that your account is not all it seems, and could consist of non-existent purchases.

Be Aware of Shaved Coins

While it may be unbelievable, there are precious metal dealers out there that will sell customers shaved coins. Shaved coins mean that some of the gold content has been removed, which can only favor the dealer. As you can imagine, those who are subjected to such a scam will find that their investment is not all that it seems.

Check the Fine Print

Regardless of what service we sign up to, there can be mountains of paperwork we have to navigate through. If the paperwork is for a service like a cable or a cell phone plan, then it’s normal for many us to skim over the details and make a signature.

However, we have to be a bit more vigilant when it comes to securing our future, especially from a financial standpoint. Read through the contract, and then read it again to ensure that the Precious Metals IRA company you plan to use is offering you the right kind of service.

If you’re in any doubt, that it can be advisable to employ the services of an attorney who will help you ascertain as to whether the contract is genuine or not.

Reject Unsolicited Calls

If you receive a phone call asking you whether you would like to invest in a Precious Metals IRA, it can be a good idea to simply end the call. Why? Genuine Precious Metals IRA companies will very rarely cold-call complete strangers, if at all.

Genuine companies will certainly follow up on any interest you may have shown in a Precious Metals IRA, but if you receive a call from a provider without ever making an inquiry, red flags should appear.

The same can apply to door-to-door salespeople. While they may be genuine, it’s not a chance you should be taking with regards to your finances.

Check For Third-Party Accreditation

While many may assume that checking of a Precious Metals IRA company can be complicated, it’s actually easier than you think. To ensure that you’re only dealing with a reputable company, you can check links and feedback via the following platforms.

  • Trustlink
  • Ethics.net
  • Mineweb.net
  • The Better Business Bureau
  • The Business Consumer Alliance

While it’s a not a necessity to ensure that the company has been in business for many years, it’s certainly something you should consider when making a decision. The reason for this is that you want to deal with a company that is both knowledgeable and experienced. This isn’t to say that the company who has been operating for less time is any less professional or reputable, but it can mean it may not have as many details about the industry as you’d like.

Check out the video below on the basics of a gold IRA rollover process:

Debt can have a huge impact on your personal life – from the stress of being contacted by creditors, to the strain which repayments can exert on your income. Studies have shown that struggling with debt can also have a profound effect on mental health, with anxiety and depression being the most commonly reported symptoms.

The stress which debt can cause has the potential to affect most aspects of a person’s personal life. What is less often taken into account, however, is the fact that our personal and public lives cannot be separated. Personal problems with debt can easily spill over into the workplace, and have an effect on general working life as well as future career prospects.

Debt and Career Path Limitations

Problem debt, in extreme cases, can lead to bankruptcy – going bankrupt can have a massive impact in your choice of career, and put it on hold altogether if you work in certain sectors.

Going through bankruptcy means that you cannot operate a business. If you already do, control of the company is transferred to a trustee and usually dissolved. Being bankrupt also means that you can no longer work as an Insolvency Practitioner, or in some jobs related to law, accountancy, or financial services. With these careers, bankruptcy causes you to be disqualified from the professional body you are a member of.

However, once discharged from the bankruptcy proceedings, it is possible to return to these positions after a certain amount of time.

Debt and Day to Day Work

Bankruptcy is usually a last resort for dealing with problem debt, but there are more subtle ways that dealing with less extreme debt can also have an effect on your career.

Firstly, the stress which struggling with debt causes can have a real impact on productivity in the workplace. Employees who have problem debt are more likely to experience anxiety – it is virtually impossible to stop worrying just by going from a home to work environment. Money worries can distract employees from the task at hand, which is likely to reduce their productivity.

On top of this, struggling with debt can have a negative impact on your career for more practical reasons. For example, if someone is being harassed by creditors, this is unlikely to stop simply because they have come to work. Taking time out of their day to respond to creditor phone calls or emails reduces the amount of time that an employee has available to work. Even a few minutes here and there can quickly add up to lost hours. The stress which such correspondence is likely to cause will also further knock a worker’s focus. Losing focus is problematic for most jobs, but for roles which involve a lot of physical work, or operating machinery, this can be dangerous as well as a nuisance.

Long-term exposure to stress can also have a real impact on a person’s mental health. Interestingly, people who experience mental health issues are far more likely than the population at large to experience problems with debt. This is likely because mental ill-health makes managing your finances more challenging, which in itself can lead to debt piling up, hence further stress, and worse mental health.

As well as this, many of the most common mental health issues – depression and anxiety included – generally lead sufferers to become more reclusive. As well as impacting personal relationships negatively, this also has the potential to affect professional relationships.

Opportunities for Career Progression

As well as the smaller ways that problem debt can affect your daily working life it can also, sometimes, impede progress.

For one thing, people struggling with personal debt, surveys suggest, are far less likely to consider a change of career – or even job – than their financially better off counterparts. Leaving a job with guaranteed, steady pay is a far more intimidating prospect when a large chunk of it is necessary just to pay the bare minimum on debts.

As well as this, the reduced performance which the stress of debt can cause could prevent you from being selected for – or even motivated to apply for – promotions. As addressed earlier, serious problems with debt can undoubtedly prevent you from taking your career in certain directions too.

Getting Help

Getting your finances under control could have a far-reaching impact on your professional life. The first step in overcoming debt is seeking help – it could be worth discussing any concerns with your employer’s human resources department if this is possible, or Citizens Advice if you are self-employed.

You might consider getting IVA advice, as this debt solution allows you to write off some of your debt without many of the career restrictions imposed by bankruptcy. With an IVA, you can even continue to run a business.

Debt can have surprising and extensive effects on career prospects, and levels of personal debt in the UK are on the rise. This means it is important for employers to be as supportive as possible towards employees who might be struggling with debt. Simple steps such as providing your employees with a quick debt awareness course can be a great way to encourage openness about problems, as well as decreasing the likelihood they will struggle with debt in the future.

Hopefully, in a supportive environment and with the best advice, those struggling with debt will be able to focus on their work fully once again.

What are the effects of money management? People should have the idea about the effects of managing their resources because it will not only benefit them, it will also create a chain effect later on. As you can see some people are struggling to manage their finances which often results in people needing IVA help and advice from experts, even though they earn twice as you do, some are still struggling to budget their daily or monthly needs; therefore, there must be something wrong with the equation. As the income increase, the lifestyle also increases and that’s what most are certainly doing, which only means no matter how big you earn if you don’t apply the missing piece then you will never be financially stable. So how does managing your money benefit you? The below are some of the effects of money management.

Helps Us Save– Money management is closely related to saving, especially if we have a lot of extra funds. Rather than spending it all on shopping, caprices and other vices, putting it in the bank is one of the best things to do. The positive effects of saving will be highly appreciated in the long run especially when there are emergencies or financial-related problems.

Makes us financially responsible-If we know how to manage our money well, this is just the reflection on how we manage ourselves, our needs over our wants. Being financially literate is very important because it helps us put our hard-earned money in its right place. This also helps us from a danger of losing all our finances because of focusing only on the present and without thinking how to handle the money properly.

Helps Improve Economic Activity – When people know how to manage their money well, the economy will not suffer too. Money coming from loans with economic purposes like wholesaling, manufacturing, services and agriculture should be really utilized in it. This will only happen if loan borrowers prioritized the purpose of the loan. They should realize that doing this will solve the problems along the way and will eventually improve their lives.

Can Create Ripple Effect – If your relatives and friends notice you are successful, they will be curious and ask you how you do it. You can answer simply, “Because of money management.” Then, you can share to them the different tips on how to handle their resources well. You will be more than happy to see them learn from you and eventually improve their lives.

Saves you from a lot of trouble in the future – There are a lot of rich people who end up poor because they do not know how to manage their money. Admittedly, we don’t want to be like that. We don’t want to waste all our financial resources. We want to make the most out of it. We want it to grow and make some significant changes in our lives. Regret is always in the end. Mismanagement of money will surely hurt us. We might only enjoy it in the present, but we can enjoy it ten times better if we know how to manage it.

Develop Discipline

When you have a goal in life, and you are passionate to get it, then there’s one skill that you are about developing, the discipline. Discipline is the key to success, when you develop this skill whatever goal in life you want to reach will definitely be achieved, thus making you a successful person in the future.

To sum it up, we should remember that responsible money management is something that each of us should possess. Financial illiteracy is a great menace to the society that we should get rid of. It will only cause different problems along the way. We should prioritize money management over the stuff we want, over the things we can live about because handling our resources well will offer us a life that is productive and successful.

Anyone who owns or operates a business will have some worry that crime will have a detrimental effect on its operations, but this is normally attributed to burglaries, unsavoury employees and vandalism. However, as the online world evolves, so does the role of a criminal.

It should come as no surprise that crime occurs within the online hemisphere especially in the finance industry with so much secure data being at risk.

However, there’s are millions of businesses who just aren’t prepared for the 2st century when it comes to cyber-crime, or don’t have the proper IT support services in place to handle such an attack.

Many assume that hackers are some sort of mastermind, but the truth is that they look for loopholes in security and the information freely available, albeit from an online perspective. As such, not having the right kind of security in place is akin to leaving the doors of your business unlocked overnight.

Similarly, the upsurge of cyber-crime can also dissuade business owners from adopting the Internet and the benefits it has to offer. While this is understandable, it shouldn’t stand in the way of expanding your business, you simply need to be aware of what precautions to take.

Encrypt Your Company Data

Encrypting your data may seem like an obvious solution, but it’s a vital one to ensure prying eyes are locked of your business affairs. Some may not be aware that popular operating systems such as Windows and MacOS come with their own encryption, called BitLocker and FileVault respectively.

The information on the device will be encrypted once a user has logged out of the system. Of course, those who forget to log out of their system could be open to attack. Fortunately, you can tweak your settings to ensure the device logs out automatically should there be no activity over a set period.

This simple measure will ensure that your sensitive information is not giving potential hackers food for thought.

Secure Your Network

While Wi-FI offers many benefits to business owners, it can also present its own set of problems if not implemented in the right way.

Understanding the network being used can mean that you are able to do more when it comes to securing your data. When wireless was introduced, it was of course a new way of connecting to the Internet, so the fact that it had some shortcomings is not surprising. Wired Equivalent Privacy or WEP is a security algorithm which while potentially secure, has fell victim to numerous hackers.

Wi-Fi Protected Access or WPA is a successor to WEP, and essentially offers a more secure network as a whole. If you have devices that can’t adopt the WPA network, it may be worth upgrading your equipment.

You should also consider turning off your service set identifier (SSID) to create a hidden network, which will ensure that only users in possession of the network name will be able to connect.

Ensure Your Devices are Secured

While having to log into a device each time you use it can seem inconvenient, it’s actually the way forward when it comes to protecting your business. Just as hackers prey on businesses online, they will also look to enter premises where hardware is held. Locking down the information contained within the devices ensures that company information isn’t falling into the wrong hands.

You can also consider implementing a third-party who is experienced in ensuring that digital data is kept secure, as well as installing safeguards to help deter potential thieves. These can include specific data-encrypted devices that would be useless to a criminal, as well as additional feature such as snapshotting thieves via webcams and smartphones.

Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware is a Must-Have

Viruses and malware are nothing new to the online domain, but this doesn’t mean the threat has decreased. There are many avenues that can introduce unwanted viruses and malware into a business’s network. These can include emails, websites and social networks.

Both viruses and malware have become more evolved and sinister, so while there is little a startup can do about such sinister introductions into the digital world, it can put itself in position where it’s less susceptible to attacks from unknown sources.

This is why it’s important to ensure that we have antivirus and anti-malware software installed on all devices used within the business.

Once the software has been installed, we then need to ensure that updates are installed as and when they’re released. This is because such updates are vital to combat current threats. Failing to update our software can be as detrimental as not having it all.

A Firewall Is Your First Line of Defence

A firewall is the bridge between your business and irrelevant data. Simply having access to the Internet can be a threat in itself, and those without a firewall are leaving their information to risk. Although we can do a lot to ensure we are only carrying out safe browsing, we can’t assume that this will always be the case. It’s also worth remembering that attacks are on the network as a whole, and not one particular advice.

Having a firewall in place help syphon out unwanted attacks, often dealing with the problem before it ever occurs. Of course, to have the best line of defence, we have to have the right software installed. While the basic firewall that comes with many home systems will suit the everyday users, those who are running a start-up may want to invest in a more robust, business solution.

Don’t Promote Your Admin Pages

Hackers have to get their information from somewhere, and in many instances, it can be located within Google, which means that your current web operations need to be amended. While a business has to ensure marketing material has to be promoted, this doesn’t mean the admin pages have to be.

Using the robots-txt file ensure that the bots used by Google disregard ay pages deemed sensitive, making it more difficult for hackers.

You can find out about such measures online. If you’re not too confident in carrying out the work yourself, then why not consider the services of a third party.

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