Posted: 26 Jul 2013 01:30 PM PDT
It is another reminder of how vulnerable our digitally connected world has become. Five men were charged Thursday in what has been called the largest data breach conspiracy known. It is certainly the largest ever prosecuted in the United States.
In an , officials claimed four Russians and one Ukranian citizen were involved in the global conspiracy.
HOW THEY DID IT
Hackers allegedly identified vulnerabilities in databases and installed malware allowing them to obtain access to sensitive user data. That data included names, passwords, means of identification and more than 160 million credit card numbers.
Cyber criminals targeted major retailers, payment processors and financial institutions worldwide. Damages are estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Three corporate victims alone reported a combined loss of $300 million.
A CAUTIONARY TALE
Unfortunately, small businesses are not immune to cyber attacks and the damage to finances and reputation they bring.
Internet security provider that businesses with fewer than 250 employees were the targets of 31 percent of cyber attacks last year, up from 18 percent the year before.
That could be due to the fact that many small business owners believe their companies are not large enough to interest cyber criminals, an earlier Symantec survey found.
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Posted: 26 Jul 2013 11:00 AM PDT
Is it easier for a woman to create her own business after she has kids? No. Like all entrepreneurs, mompreneurs also face numerous challenges when they begin their new ventures. But it can be a rewarding experience if you plan it well.
Every individual embarking on a new business needs to pay attention to various aspects. The same applies to moms who want to create new businesses. However, a mom also has to balance family with their new venture.
Let's take a look at the aspects that matter most for mompreneurs.
WHAT PROMPTS A NEW MOM TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR?
The chief reason that prompts new moms to take up the challenge of a new business is the flexibility it offers. But it is important that you don't misunderstand it. Being your own boss doesn't mean that you don't have much to do. In most cases, it's the opposite.
It is true that when you are the owner of a home-based business, you can spend more time with your kids (WAHM: Work at Home Mom). You can do tasks when the little one's asleep and not abide by any office schedule that requires you to stay away from your baby for 9-10 hours.
Another great thing about this choice is that enterprising, skilled and experienced women often find it to be a more fruitful way to earn money. You can spend time with your children and add to the family income too.
Many moms discover a need specific to pregnancy and childcare. They create a product or service that caters to this need as the core concept of their business. This is also another reason that makes new moms enthusiastic about this option.
WHAT TYPES OF BUSINESSES OFFER THE BEST OPPORTUNITIES FOR MOMPRENEURS?
Different business opportunities are suitable for new-age moms. Whether you want to design a line of maternity clothes or offer childcare consultancy services for new parents, the choices are numerous.
Trends show that home-based online businesses will continue to do well in the future. It is possible to succeed as a consultant, a freelancer, a social media marketer, an app developer or a franchise-holder.
Decide on what you love to do - it is the first step for every entrepreneur. If you scribble away images of apparel and accessories in your notebook, you had better start designing them. If you love connecting to others, social media may be the right place for you.
While trends can dictate the type of businesses have high possibilities of success in the near future, it is best to take them as pointers. Don't depend on them. Instead, depend on the thing you love to do and the thing you are good at.
DOS AND DON'TS FOR MOMPRENEURS
DO SEPARATE PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL FRONTS
It's not a good idea to take on a conference call with a client when you are preparing the bath for your baby. Similarly, it is a bad idea to continuously check your smartphone while watching your child's first soccer match.
DON'T NEGLECT YOURSELF
You have two full-time jobs - that of a mom and that of an entrepreneur. It can be difficult, stressful and, at times, completely chaotic. Pay attention to your physical and mental health and well-being.
DO TREAT YOUR HOME OFFICE LIKE AN OFFICE
It is much easier to keep off tasks for later when you work from home. This is one lure you must not fall for. Determine your goals and plan your tasks just like when you work in a corporate space.
DON'T FORGET TO SHARE TASKS
Your spouse and kids can be great partners if you know how to get their help. Delegate the tasks you cannot manage alone to them. Even your little one can help garnish a dish you prepare or put the clothes on the line to dry.
Just as you need to delegate household tasks to your family members, you may also outsource certain tasks to other professionals. For example, if you don't like to do accounts, or are not good at it, choose an accountant to outsource the task to.
DON'T BE AFRAID TO SAY NO
No business can take every opportunity, every client or every project. Some opportunities are just a waste of time and effort. And you know it. You need to learn to say no to such opportunities.
DO BE FLEXIBLE
There's no guarantee that the schedule you have would go as planned. You need to make sure that you are prepared for the unexpected. Flexibility in attitude helps you accomplish this with ease.
With the right business idea and approach you can easily achieve success in your endeavor.
Draw up a business plan and accumulate as much money and a little more. A new business often takes time to earn profits. Before you set business goals, examine whether they are realistic. Maintain balance between family and work and take time out for yourself.
There are no secrets to success. It all boils down to sincere, hard work. As a mother, you learn the key lessons of life. But you don't stop being a good mom when you face a setback. As an entrepreneur, follow the same rules and you are sure to succeed.
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