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4 Benefits Of VOIP Phone Service For Small Businesses

Posted by on Dec 12, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you are the owner of a small business, you know that having open lines of communication with your customers is one of the most important things you can do for your business to be successful. Many business rely on standard phone lines, but VOIP provides many more excellent features at a lower cost. Here are a few reasons that you should consider VOIP for your small business. Extra Features With a normal phone line, you usually have very few options other than voice calling. With VOIP calling, you can integrate several different features into the call that enhance the remote business experience. Conference calling is simple and easy with VOIP, and most VOIP service providers also have monitoring software that features muting, hand-raising, and other organizational tools. One of the key features of VOIP phone service is multimedia integration. Instead of relying on voice conferencing, you can use video conferencing for face-to-face meetings with important business partners. You can also send documents, audio clips, and other files directly over the VOIP network. You can also set up an electronic voice menu for the client-facing side of your phone network to make sure that customers are sent to the right department. Lower Cost Standard phone service providers have to contend with regulations and high maintenance costs that drive up costs for their customers. VOIP service providers are not connected to the traditional phone infrastructure, instead transmitting phone calls over the internet, and are therefore not subjected to the same regulations and fees. This means that you will be able to get high-quality service from a VOIP service provider for a much lower cost than you would pay with a phone company. Another factor that reduces the cost of VOIP service is the easy installation. Instead of installing new wiring in your company building, VOIP providers simply take advantage of the internet service that you already have. Setting up VOIP service usually only requires a small USB adapter that is plugged into a computer and connected to your traditional handsets. Flexibility Many businesses with traditional phone service play a game of “phone tag” or rely on a bulky switchboard when a call needs to be routed to a specific person or department. VOIP is much more versatile, allowing any call to be transferred to anyone in the company who is connected to the network with no hassle. Many VOIP systems can even screen incoming calls to automatically determine where they need to go. Because VOIP functions through your data network, it allows you to access virtually all forms of communication through a computer instead of a handset. You can take and receive calls from a broadband-connected laptop using a headset and mic. You can even have faxes and voicemails transcribed and sent to your email address so that you are notified of them as soon as possible. Features such as these can drive up productivity in your company; A study by Telephone & Data Systems, Inc. found that conference bridging is 10 times faster and receiving faxes is three times faster when using a VOIP service. Mobility When you are using VOIP service, you are no longer restricted to your desk phone to keep from missing important calls. Because your business will be given a unique calling IP, you can...

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The Many Skills Of A Naturalist: From Technology To Public Speaking

Posted by on Dec 10, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

By definition, naturalists enjoy interacting with the environment. Whether their specific job title is forester, park ranger, or environmental scientist, all naturalists spend time in the great outdoors. They might use grants to conduct research on animal habitats, or perhaps they lead visitors on tours through national parks. A naturalist’s job duties are diverse, and probably include a few fascinating duties many people don’t realize: A Naturalist Uses Technology You don’t typically envision a naturalist pounding away on a keyboard in front of a computer, but this is a big part of the job for many. The computer may be housed in an outdoor kiosk, featuring a rackmount monitor that simply pulls out of a drawer when the operator is ready to use it, but rest assured, naturalists need computer skills too. Using this type of equipment, a naturalist can keep abreast of dangerous weather conditions and advisories, as well as communicate with someone back at the office. Some of the bigger national parks have kiosks like these set up around the park — even in the most remote of areas — to enable rangers to check in while they make their rounds. In addition to computers, naturalists regularly use other forms of technology to do their jobs: Skype — For conducting e-field trips for student learners Video — For updating the park’s YouTube channel Social Media — Including both video and podcasts Webcams — Often set up in remote areas to documents animal life A Naturalist is a Teacher Probably one of the most important duties of a naturalist is to teach. They teach visitors to their parks, visitors to their museums, and visitors to their historic sites. A naturalist might spend a large portion of his day leading guests on tours of old military forts or across fields that were once important battlegrounds. He might guide visitors through caverns or take a group of school kids on a nature hike along the Appalachian Trail. So if your perception of a naturalist features a solitary person who shuns social interaction for walks in the woods, it couldn’t be further from the truth. A Naturalist is a Graphic Designer Often, the naturalist is the person responsible for generating up-to-date brochures and instructional programs for distribution to visitors, and they’ll use technology to do this. Whether in the form of a PowerPoint presentation, a printed pamphlet, or posters and warning signs to hang around the park, these forms of communication are often a big part of a naturalist’s job duties, meaning they must have the artistic skill and the tech training to create ever new and interesting literature. A Naturalist is a Public Speaker Sure, there are days when a naturalist spends hours out in the field, collecting samples and specimens. But eventually, even a researcher has to talk about what he found. When an environmental scientist needs more grant money to continue his research, he might have to give a speech in front of hundreds of people — being shy and withdrawn is not a problem for most naturalists. If it is, they must learn to overcome it, or it could seriously impact their work. So the next time you run across a naturalist engaged in the performance of his duty, notice how many times he uses the skills...

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How Audio Conferencing Can Help Your Business

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Audio conferencing is a phone service available through many phone companies, and it is something that you may want to look into for your business. Audio conferencing allows you to talk with numerous people at once, and it does not require travel. It is a beneficial service to have, and here are three ways it could help your business. Save Money Your business could save a lot of money with audio conferencing services because face to face meetings would no longer be necessary. With audio conferencing, you can set up meetings between two or more people, and no one will have to travel to attend the meeting. The meeting is handled over the phone, and audio conferencing allows people to take part in the phone meeting from any location. You can save money because you will not have to travel to get to meetings, and you will not have to pay lodging and travel expenses for important clients that normally take the time to attend traditional meetings at your business. If you normally serve food at your meetings, you could save money on this too. There are numerous ways this will help your company cut costs, yet you will still be able to accomplish the same things during the meetings. Improvement in Communication A second way this could help your business is by making it easier to communicate. To join an audio conference, a person will simply need to be near a phone. The person can call in to join the conference. Through this service, you could hold meetings more often and this can help all your employees and clients stay informed as to what is going on with your company. You could schedule daily conference calls, or you could do this weekly, monthly, or as needed. When you plan these conferences, it’s important for you to: Invite people to join – You can email, call, or text the people that you want to invite to this conversation. Make sure you let them know exactly when the call will take place, and be sure to inform them about the time-zone, in case there are differences due to locations of the guests you invite. Create an agenda – It’s also important for you to let people know what the meeting is about and to have an agenda. People that join in may want to know in advance what will be discussed, and they may also want to know approximately how long the phone meeting will last. Time Savings Audio conferencing also makes holding meetings more convenient for everyone involved, and this offers a great way to save time. Most people are busy and do not have a lot of extra time, and that is why many business professionals prefer audio meetings over traditional face to face meetings. Through a conference call, they can discuss the same matters, without spending a lot of time preparing for attending the meeting. This is also a great way to get more people at the meetings because it is easier to join a conference call than it is to travel to a meeting, especially if the meeting is located hours away. You may also be able to look into video conferencing services. These are similar to audio services, except that they actually have video cameras...

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Tablet Repair—Why Jumping Into A DIY Can Be B-A-D

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you own an electronic device, you certainly want it to last a while. Of course you’ll upgrade here and there, but when something goes wrong, you want it fixed ASAP. No one likes to be without their tablet for long. However, do-it-yourselfers need to beware. There are some things that are better left to the professionals. Tablet repair is one of those things, and here are some of the top reasons why. Special Tools Required For tablet and even smartphone repairs, special tools are generally needed to get the job done. You could order them directly from the manufacturer. But, quite frankly, tool makers typically target businesses that cater to customers like you and do repairs for a living. So, you’ll probably end up at an auction site to get the best deal. And unfortunately, you run the risk of purchasing tools that are so cheaply made, they’re not even strong enough to cut a piece of chocolate cake for dessert. Seriously. Save that money and put it towards a professional repair. Video How-Tos Not Always Reliable There are videos galore instructing the general public on how to do just about anything these days. But can you be sure they’re accurate? If you need convincing that anyone can post a video and call themselves an expert, just check this article here. As far as watching a video how-to for your tablet, here’s the thing to keep in mind. First, the person making the video already knows what’s wrong with the tablet. And they’ve probably used that same tablet over and over to shoot other DIY videos. It’s also possible that they are experienced with electronic repairs, so it’s best not to try and tackle it yourself simply after watching an “instructional” video. Obstacles to Common Repairs Got a cracked LCD screen? One of the top complaints of a particular brand is that the LCD is glued onto the face of the device, making it extremely difficult to take apart and replace. Consumers have also complained of hidden screws making the disassembly near impossible. If you’re not actually repairing a broken screen, but you’re still taking your device apart for something different, be prepared for the possibility of adding that to the list. Apparently, fragile glass that breaks easily is yet another complaint. A professionally owned business should be able to avoid a situation like this. And if not, they will be liable for any damages they’re responsible for. If you’re curious about your tablet, Business Insider has compiled an interesting list of the most difficult tablets to fix, and why they tend to be so hard for consumers.  The Problem With Warranties If your warranty is expired and your funds are limited, there’s no reason to give up hope. There are few things more frustrating than a phone or tablet that stops working the way it should. But what’s recommended in these cases is to call a tablet repair specialist and either get an estimate for the repair or find out if there are some recommended easy fixes you can do yourself. Many businesses are happy to provide their customers with free estimates. If you still have a warranty but you’re in a hurry to fix it now, welcome to the club. The need for instant gratification can drag you down...

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Getting The Most Out Of Your Cable Internet Bundle

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Bundled cable TV and Internet packages are the most popular and common way of getting new service. Not only do you save a significant amount of money by bundling your services together, but bundling also cuts out the billing complications that come with purchasing cable, Internet and phone services separately. Nevertheless, you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your service. The following offers a few money-saving tips for choosing your bundled services. Figure Out What You Need First Before deciding on any package, now is the time to have a little “gut check.” That means you should sit down and really think about what you want and need out of your cable service. Bundles come in all shapes and sizes, but the vast majority should include at least two of the following: High-speed Internet service Local and long-distance home phone service Cable television service, sometimes with HD support and DVR recording services There are different bundled packages available to suit a variety of household needs. For instance: If you’re an avid sports buff who can’t miss a single moment of the big playoffs, you’ll want to make sure your bundle includes a comprehensive sports package. If you need to stay connected with friends, family and coworkers without relying solely on a cell phone, choose a package that features home phone service with both local and long-distance service. If you’re on a budget, go for a bundled package that offers all of your basic services at an affordable price. Those who rely on a fast Internet connection should choose a package that includes the fastest available Internet speeds for your budget. Always Do Your Homework When choosing a bundle, you always want to ask yourself the following questions: How long does the promotional period last? Is there a price increase afterwards? Does the package come with your provider’s “on-demand” service? Does the bundle lock you into a 2 or 3-year commitment? If so, are there any penalties for cancelling before the commitment ends? Is the bundle available under a month-to-month service agreement? Don’t be afraid to comparison shop, even among different packages within the same provider. Take a look at each bundle to see which best fits your needs. Even when faced with similar packages, a unique feature (such as a free DVR, additional premium channels or faster upload speeds) could help sway your decision. Steer Clear Of Overbuying Buying a lot of stuff that you don’t need rarely makes sense. Unfortunately, some bundled packages offer services that are overkill. If you’re faced with this situation, you might want to see if you can have any of these services within the bundle downgraded. If that’s not possible, see if you can switch to another, less expensive bundle that trims some of the excess you don’t need. Strike A Deal Of Your Own Most people value a hassle-free buying experience over haggling for a better deal, especially when dealing with the cable company. But you’d be surprised to find that most companies are willing to play ball and offer better deals just to keep their new-found customers. According to a recent Consumer Reports survey, only 4 out of 10 respondents bothered to strike a deal with their service providers. 46 percent of those who did wheel and...

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What’s The Big Deal With The Ipv4 Crisis?

Posted by on Dec 8, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

For years, network experts have predicted the end of IPv4 as the number of unallocated addresses continuously dwindled. But that hasn’t stopped the demand for IPv4 addresses and the forecasted depletion of available IPv4 addresses is still ongoing. If your enterprise relies on IPv4 for its networking needs, then you’ll want to know whether you’ll be able to obtain these addresses in the coming years. The Day of Reckoning IPv4 plays an essential role when it comes to Internet networking. Developed in 1978, IPv4 relies on a 32-bit address space that offers approximately 4.3 billion addresses to work with. For the past few decades, the global Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and its regional partners have doled out these addresses in blocks to various network operators, creating the interconnected worldwide network of today. But with only 4.3 billion addresses to go around, carriers have found it increasingly difficult to stay connected. Experts predicted that with the proliferation of smartphones, wearables and other networked devices, the IANA would eventually run out of addresses to allocate. The “day of reckoning” for IPv4 eventually came in February 3, 2011, when it allocated the last blocks of IPv4 addresses to the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) and other global partners. Meanwhile, IPv6 waits in the shadows as the eventual replacement for IPv4. With over 340 undecillion (2^128) addresses available, there won’t be any fears of an IPv6 address drought for the foreseeable future. But Wait…There’s Still IPv4 Addresses for Sale The projected day of reckoning came and went, but IPv4 addresses are still here, mostly. So what happened? There’s a good reason why people haven’t simply switched over to IPv6 – both network address protocols aren’t compatible with one another, plus it takes plenty of work to enable IPv6 from start to finish. That explains why so many network operators run dual stack networks featuring both IPv4 and IPv6 and why you’ll see both in use on your network adapter. It also explains why many enterprises are holding on to their IPv4 addresses while waiting for the major ISPs and makers of networking hardware to fully flesh out their IPv6 infrastructure. In the meantime, various carriers are still holding on to the addresses they’ve received from the IANA pool while offering transferrable addresses for sale. How You Can Get One The chances of finding a purely unallocated block of IPv4 address are as good as finding a unicorn standing over a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. However, there are plenty of carriers that still have IPv4 addresses for sale. ARIN is currently helping to address the IPv4 address shortage in two ways: By creating a comprehensive process that allows carriers to purchase surplus IP addresses from other carriers and transfer ownership of those addresses, and By reclaiming unused IPv4 addresses, typically from defunct ISPs and other organizations Given the current shortage, IPv4 addresses carry a steep purchasing cost. Equinix’s Louie Lee notes that such addresses could cost anywhere from $4 per IP address to as much as $30 or more. This often raises the question of whether it’d be wise to invest so much money in a protocol that’s already been slated for obsolescence. What the Future Holds for IPv4 As of yet, there’s no telling when you’ll...

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5 Ways To Infuse Retro Designs Into Your Home Theater

Posted by on Dec 4, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A modern home theater system comes with all the bells and whistles to provide HD quality picture, crisp sound, and a true movie experience right in your own living room. Even when upgrading to all the latest equipment, your home theater does not need to look like a futuristic high-tech gadget room. Instead, you can implement a collection of retro designs infused with modern technology. The following five design ideas all have a nostalgic flair that can easily be added to any modern theater system. Movie Theater Popcorn & Posters When going to the movies, one of the best smells is the fresh popcorn. One of the best sights is seeing large posters and theater cards to promote upcoming movies. Both of those elements can be added to your home theater. Retro Popcorn Machine: Purchase a popcorn machine or stand that can create actual popcorn. Kernels and oil are mixed into a pan and as the popcorn pops, they fall down into the glass case below. Just add some liquid butter and salt to complete the tasty movie snack. Depending on the size of home theater, the machine can be a standalone device or a smaller one that sits on a counter. Movie Poster Displays: Enhance movie poster displays by making them stand out and truly add to the decor of a home. Framing the posters is the easiest way to do this, but lighted box frames represent a true retro style that is still implemented in movie theaters today. Home Theater Drapes and Curtains When a classic movie theater screen was not in use, large red drapes would close over the screen and create a nice look for the theater. This same style of drapes can be added to any home theater. The drapes not only help add a visual element, but they can enhance the focus of the screen by providing less distractions on the wall. Home theater drapes can be installed with automated openers so that the curtains sing open with a push of  button and reveal the TV or projection screen behind it. Luxury versions of the drapes are manufactured with materials like silk and velvet. Retro Seating Add some comfort and style to the home theater room with a variety of retro seating options. Stools & Bucket Chairs: Add some higher seat options to the back of the room with swivel stools or bucket chairs. The retro seating is common for diners and home bars. They commonly come in bold colors like red, yellow, and blue. Beanbags: Expand seating possibilities with a collection of retro beanbags. Not only does this have a nostalgic flair, but children will love lounging in the chairs to watch movies and TV. Retro Couches: A retro lounger features low seating, curved arm rests, and a lot of different fabrics to choose from. Adding some vintage throw pillows can help complete the design. Retro Equipment When installing your home theater, it’s a good idea to request the installation of some retro equipment that you still may get good use out of. Examples include laser-disc players, VHS players, or older gaming systems. Sometimes you may own versions of movies that do not have newer releases and this is the only way to enjoy them. Also, a VHS player may be the...

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Tips For Keeping Your Home Safe During The Holidays

Posted by on Dec 4, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Christmas is a busy time. Many people are spending more time out of the house working extra hours, Christmas shopping, or on Christmas vacation. Burglars are taking advantage of the situation every chance that they get. Don’t leave your home vulnerable to a break-in this holiday season. Here are some tips to keep your home secure during the holidays. 1. Don’t feed extension cords into your home One big mistake that many people make is plugging Christmas lights into extension cords and feeding them into their home through a window. You may be able to close your window enough to avoid a heavy draft, but you can’t lock it. Plug your lights into an outside outlet. If you don’t have any, use a solar battery or battery powered lights. 2. Don’t keep your curtains open It’s tempting to leave your curtains or blinds open so the outside world can get a good look at your beautiful Christmas tree or some of your other indoor decorations. Your inside Christmas décor is for your family, not the public. Keep your curtains closed. Keeping them open will give burglars a perfect vantage point of your belongings and your family. 3. Don’t keep present packaging piled up outside Right after your family is done opening presents, you might be in the habit of piling up the boxes and packaging next to your home until trash day to keep it out of the way. Unfortunately, that makes your home a target. If you have a box for a new television and packaging for other expensive goods, you’re advertising for burglars. Keep your boxes in your home or garage until you can take them to a recycling center or until trash day so the world doesn’t know about all the new stuff in your home. 4. Keep travel plans under wraps Social media is a new way of life. You might check yourself into places, post descriptive statuses, and share your location without even thinking about it. Unfortunately, that gives burglars a heads up on your travel plans. Making posts counting down the days until your big vacation and checking yourself into the airport tells everyone one thing—your house is empty. You may be tempted to share the exciting news, but it’s not a safe thing to do. Post about your fabulous vacation and share all of your pictures after you have returned home. 5. Don’t hide a spare key You might be working later hours to make up for the Christmas shopping, leaving you tempted to keep a key under the welcome mat for your children. If your children can find the key, so can a burglar. You may think that they won’t break in your home in the middle of the day, but you’re wrong. Make an extra key and keep it in your child’s backpack. If you absolutely have to leave a key, leave it with a neighbor that you trust. 6. Lock up your ladders Locking up your stuff may seem obvious, but it’s easy to leave that stuff laying around during the holidays. You might be making a large outdoor Christmas display and leaving your ladder right on the side of the yard where it’s handy without even thinking about it. As soon as you’re finished with your decorations for the day, put your ladders away...

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3 Reasons To Leave Phone Repairs To The Professionals

Posted by on Dec 4, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Nothing is worse than watching your smartphone fall and smack the pavement. Although you might initially suspect a broken screen when you hear shattering glass, you might still experience that sinking feeling when you inspect your damaged device with your own eyes. In an attempt to save money on repairs, you might be tempted to fix your phone yourself, instead of paying someone who actually knows what they are doing. Here are three reasons to leave your phone repairs to the professionals, and what might happen if you decide to take matters into your own hands. 1: You Don’t Have the Tools If you are like most people, you probably bought that smart phone for its lightning-fast computing power and its mega-thin, glossy design. Unfortunately, all of the technology that makes smartphones so fantastic also makes them exceptionally difficult to repair. To prevent bad DIY repairs, many cell phone manufacturers design their devices with tamper-proof screws, special adhesives, and protective connectors. If you decide to use tools like eyeglass screwdrivers and scissors to take care of the job instead of the proper equipment, you might seriously damage your device. If you try to use that normal screwdriver, you might end up stripping those proprietary screws, which could mean that they need to be replaced too. If you decide to pry that glass screen up with a guitar pick or butter knife, it could put too much pressure on the internal components of the phone, which could damage the underlying circuitry. On the other hand, professional technicians have the proper equipment to efficiently open your device without causing collateral damage. For example, they have special display removal tools that gently lift that glass screen out of the way, without prying any of the edges. To avoid paying for pricey tools that you might only use once and risk damaging your phone, invest in a professional phone repair. Some places can repair your device while you wait, for much less than a new phone would cost you. 2: It Can Be Hard to Tell Good Parts From Bogus Versions To save even more money, some people purchase replacement parts for their smartphone from online auction sites, or from shady international retailers. Although you might be able to get that new screen for a few bucks or a brand new circuit board for under a dollar, the truth is that you might be purchasing faulty products. Unless you look at phone components day-in and day-out, it can be hard to tell decent parts apart from bogus versions. While professionally manufactured glass is tempered for strength and designed to repel scratches, cheap versions might not be anything more than a cheap sheet of plain molded glass. Although that fake version might fit your phone, chances are that it won’t hold up nearly as well as its genuine counterpart. However, since smartphone repair professionals rely heavily on their reputation to attract new customers, they wouldn’t risk their business by fixing your phone with shoddy parts. Many repair businesses order genuine components in mass quantities to save money, and then pass the savings along to you. 3: You Don’t Have the Experience Unless you have spent some serious time working in the phone manufacturing industry, chances are that you also lack the experience to do...

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Protect Your Financial Information From Theft And Corporate Takeovers With Data Colocation

Posted by on Nov 25, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If your company recently experienced a major disaster, such as a large data breach that devastated your financial files, you may want to protect this information in the future. Data colocation services can help you do this. Data colocation protects your computer files from cyber theft by moving them into a safe and secure location or center. In addition, Data colocation from sites like http://colocationnorthwest.com monitors your computer files for internal and external data breaches committed by white collar criminals and corporate takeovers. If you want to keep your company’s information out of the wrong hands, choose a data colocation center as your protector. Here’s what you need to know about data colocation and the benefits of using it. Offers Round-the-Clock Monitoring for Cyber Theft Even if you assign employees to watch and monitor your company’s financial files, you can still experience a data breach if cyber theft occurs. Cyber theft is a leading cause of financial data breaches. It can cause massive financial loss for your company because it: Steals your company’s passwords Breaks through the encrypted codes of your IP addresses Places and hides viruses, bugs and dangerous spyware in your computer’s systems If you don’t detect the theft right away, you risk losing everything that your company works hard to achieve, including your: Ability to earn a sustainable income Potential to compete with other large companies locally, nationally and internationally Status in the business world as a secure and safe company for private and public clients to do business with Data colocation offers round-the-clock monitoring protection against potential cyber theft. The colocation system safeguards your most valuable data files with advanced spyware programs and virus detectors. Additionally, you may choose a personal and private IP address and network that specifically caters to your company’s security needs. These services keep your company, finances and reputation safe from hackers and corporate takeovers. Watches Out for Corporate Takeovers Becoming a major competitor on the market can create a great deal of interest in your company. Other corporations may wish to take over your company as a way to exploit or benefit from its success. But you don’t have to become a corporate takeover victim. You can protect your business with colocation services. Data colocation services may let you know when other businesses show an extensive interest in your stock market ventures, investments and corporate transactions. This interest may extend to setting up dummy accounts, such as becoming potential buyers or customers, just to see how you do business. Once the companies get a feel for what you offer, they may attempt to buy you out. If you refuse, the companies may simply try to become major shareholders in your company through hostile takeovers. Corporate takeovers aren’t the only threats to your business. Sometimes, the people who work for you can become potential threats to your financial data. Keeps a Close Eye on White Collar Crimes Although you may value your employees for what they do for your company, some staff members of the company may not think the same about you. These types of employees may only wish to steal or embezzle funds from your company as a way to: Pay off personal debt, or to get out of financial problems they create in their own lives Get back at...

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