Internet rage – is your business at risk?

My website was hacked recently. I’m really quite ignorant when it comes to all things about my website, so when I received an email from my host telling me that they’d had to pull the site down until I fixed it (me, fix it? are you kidding?) I confess to being quite shocked and upset. Particularly as the wording of the email went along the lines of “you agreed when you signed up to being hosted that you would not cause any disrepute to our site”. Of course I agreed that and was rather upset that they felt I had knowingly done something that would. Anyway…

I duly spent a small amount of money to subscribe to a security firm in the US that was affiliated with the host, then a larger amount of money to pay to have the malicious code (“malware”) removed line by line, which apparently wasn’t part of the smaller subscription.

Two days after I had been assured that it was now over and I could breathe a sigh of relief, I received an email from a young guy in the UK that he had sent through the “contact us” capture on the website. Let’s call him Josh, since that was his name. His email went along the lines of, “stop sending me emails” and signed off by referring to me as a “c*!%”.

Most language doesn’t offend me, I’ve worked in heavy industry for too long. Of course when it’s directed at me it’s never pleasant, but the “c” word really does bother me whenever it’s used. So, I duly responded to Josh, asking if it was really necessary to use that language and apologising that he had received spam but my website had been hacked.

Top 5 Things VOIP Can Do For Your Business

VOIP is an acronym for Voice Over Internet Protocol, or in more common terms phone service over the Internet. If you have a reasonable qualityInternet connection you can get phone service delivered through your Internet instead of from your local phone company.


1)With VoIP, you can make a call from anywhere you have broadband connectivity. Since the IP phones broadcast their info over the Internet.

2)They can be administered by the provider anywhere there’s a connection.

The top five myths of safe web browsing

There are  a lot of misconceptions out there about safe web browsing. Without the facts it’s impossible to stay protected against today’s changing threats.


Myth: A strict browsing policy that only lets users visit trusted sites keeps us safe.
Fact: There’s no such thing as a trusted site and users may be easily bypassing your policy

Myth: Scanning downloaded files for viruses keeps us secure. 
 That won’t help you against drive-by infections,

The seven deadly sins of workplace technology

Some tips on how not to use technology in the workplace…

Working in HR, I occasionally come across poor behaviour in the workplace. In today’s workplace it often involves technology. Anyone who has attended a bullying / harassment / discrimination education session that I’ve run in the past will have heard me say that as soon as someone invents a new piece of technology, someone else invents something stupid and possibly career-limiting to do with it.

Ever wondered what the benefits are of investing in a server for your business?

Have you ever wondered what the benefits are of investing in a server for your business? Are you ready to take the leap but aren’t sure what benefit it will bring?

1. Get a comprehensive, all-in-one solution.
Windows Small Business Server 2008 takes the guesswork out of selecting software for your network. It brings together the Microsoft product technologies that businesses need most into a single solution.

2. Stay connected to your customers, vendors & Suppliers
With access to contacts, appointments and files from any internet-connected PC or mobile device, you can be responsive to customers, vendors and suppliers even when you’re not in the office.

Keeping up with the Jones’, is it really necessary?


Know someone who always has the latest gadgets? Thinking of Whether to spend a lot or the newest technology? Whether it is the newest iPad or HTC phone or a high end projector for meetings are you automatically buying the most expensive?

In business you have to weigh up the costs with the benefits. Say we are talking about a projector. You give presentations to clients or prospects. You may think that a flash projector will make your company look like its doing well. to be honest more people are concerned with content as long as the technology works without notice. That means it there are no problems or glitches and it does not take an age to setup then it will help your presentation to flow and give something positive for them to remember.

Why do so many British Companies ignore R & D Tax Credits?

The Government wants to give money back to British Companies that undertake research and development. Unfortunately many Managing Directors and Finance Directors and even their Accountants concentrate on the word ‘research’ and not on the word ‘development’ and so believe that this means that they will not qualify. In many cases this will not be true and so they are missing out on this very useful source of funding. If you are developing a new product or service, or making improvements to existing products and services you may very likely be eligible. Even software companies have been successful.

The scheme is designed to encourage and reward innovation. It allows innovative companies to either recover Corporation Tax paid and or receive a rebate of the NIC/PAYE generated by the business. Most first time claimants are able to also submit a claim for the last two completed year ends.
The average claim in the first year is £40k

to Ipad or not to Ipad?

Ipad 2

Which is your favourite business gadget?

A bit of a personal revelation blog this one. I have long proclaimed to all and sundry that I couldn’t see why anyone would NEED an Ipad  for business. I can see the appeal for gadget freaks and angry bird fanatics, but for serious business use a net book just seemed to be a more practical solution – well to me anyway. I know people proclaim the battery life is the deciding factor, but we all know how rapidly that declines on all Apple products. And my Samsung netbook still gives me a days worth of power without carrying a cable after 3 years of serious use.

For me the lack of a USB port or being able to plug in a projector has precluded the ipad from being  a practical option for me and it would be just a toy (and I’m not saying that I wouldn’t enjoy it as a toy but that’s not the issue here). Now I like my gadgets and I love my Itouch and Ipod , not having my Blackberry with me is like losing a limb and my shiny new 3G Kindle is the best present I’ve ever received ( and yes I admit that I carried more chargers with me on holiday than most families!)

But this holiday I made the conscious decision to leave my netbook at home. The holiday was supposed to be a complete break away. So the compromise was that I would set my emails up on my itouch and spend no more than 1 hour per day on that or the phone as I needed to to keep things ticking over back at home. My other half brought along his ipad and iphone. By the 3rd days away I’d set my emails up on his ipad. Why? Well, simply – the ease of use.

The Budget 2011- Budget Busting Top Ten Titbits

This is a guest post by Simon Thacker of Willis Cooper Chartered Accountants


Hi Folks Yes, it’s that time of year again; the days are getting longer, spring is in the air, Arsenal are wobbling and it’s budget time. I ask you, can life get any better? So let’s celebrate with our annual budget busting top ten tax titbits which, as usual, are designed to help guide you, dear reader, through all the flannel and filling to get to the heart of what you really need to know. And this of course comes with our usual guarantee, which it’ll all fit onto a side of A4.

1. First up; mileage. Did you know that mileage allowance has remained at 40p per mile (on the first 10k business miles) since 2002? At that time fuel was 70p per litre. Well finally, with fuel now approaching £1.40 per litre, the mileage rate is being raised to 45p per mile from the beginning of next month. Hallelujah to that, we say; but what about the old 25p rate for mileage beyond 10000 miles? Surely it makes sense for that to increase as well? As if.