Top tips for a fail-safe electronic financial transaction

When you use electronic financial transactions such as Online banking and phone banking in your everyday enterprise, always take note that you are placing yourself at risk of fraud and security breaches which could lead identity theft or worse to an expenditure of your entire bank account balance.

electronic financial transactionsTo protect yourself from all these dangers, always remember these helpful tips when doing electronic financial transactions.

  1. Always install security programs provided by your financial establishment.
  2. Do not record or expose your personal information such as in a diary or your wallet where they can easily be seen by anyone and do not give out your personal information to anyone including the employees of your financial establishment.
  3. Always use a different login or password for your bank accounts and certificates. Reset and change them occasionally for added protection.
  4. Visit financial transaction websites by typing the URL unto the address bar or through the use of your Favorites link.
  5. Avail and register for the service which notifies you of electronic transaction history.
  6. Always remember to avoid accessing Online banking from public places such as Internet cafes or from shared computers.
  7. Do not open spam or suspicious emails that could contain phishing links. Always see to it to scan files before opening or storing any email attachment.
  8. If you received notices or emails concerning bank loans, promos or an anomaly in your account always see to it to contact your financial establishment for confirmation.

Simply follow the tips above and you are assured of a worry- free electronic financial transaction every time.

A Day In The Life Of A Virtual Assistant

Reblogged from: Tim Reading

My friend Todd White shares what his typical day is like while working as a Virtual Assistant in the Philippines who makes sales calls for a client based in Australia.

The life of a virtual assistant can be a sort of drag for some for the working shift takes a lot of time to get used to. Usually  here in the Philippines, a virtual assistant is asleep during the day and is awake working at night and so on the next days until rest day has come. Usually the shift never changes unless of course you get transferred to another work schedule by your manager or client.

There are quite a few companies that offer the usual 9-5 working routine which is largely preferred by most agents as they get to enjoy the normal schedule without stressing their body clocks and most importantly, they get their usual rest days on the weekends.

Although a bit strenuous, living the life of a virtual assistant has its own rewards for the job opportunity is open to anyone who’s fluent in English and has reached a certain level of education such as college. Virtual assistant companies compose the large bulk of employers in the Philippines because Filipinos are highly skilled when it comes to communicating in the English language, using a PC and can easily adapt to the technologies employed by Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies.

A virtual assistant begins his shift by logging into his computer and wait for clients to call and assist them with their needs. This however depends on the type of account that he is handling as other call centre agents are assigned to call customers to introduce a new service, sell new products, ask for customer feedback or solve problems. Each of these processes is handled by agents who have undergone special training that’s tailor- made to the need of the customers. This is the daily task of an agent and the same goes for other companies engaged in the BPO industry whose services also includes Bookkeeping and SEO services. It’s all about quickly and effectively responding to the needs of customers and get their satisfaction.

Another routine of a virtual assistant would be meetings with superiors for the monitoring of daily performance and coming up with effective ways to better serve clients. In my company, we usually have meetings with our managers for our daily performance reports and on Fridays for the round up of our weekly performance stats.

Virtual assistants enjoy their break time periods in their quiet rooms or recreational areas (for some companies) so they can take a moment’s rest and while their time away from work or spend some quality time with friends and office mates.

An agent’s day usually ends with the managers informing subordinates (usually posted on the bulletin boards) about incoming activities and of course, team and company updates. In my case, I just take a short glance for anything worth checking on the bulletin board and wrap up my day with a mug of brewed coffee before shutting down my PC.

5 Tips and Tools to Create a Company Culture When You Run a Virtual Business

5 Tips and Tools to Create a Company Culture When You Run a Virtual Businessby:

At Facebook headquarters, their company values are written right on the wall. Slogans like ‘Move fast and break things’ or ‘What would you do if you weren’t afraid?’ encourage employees to be aggressive, fearless, and innovative — the hallmarks of Facebook culture.

But, for those who run a virtual business, company culture is much more difficult to establish. Technology, rather than a physical space, becomes the most effective tool.

Laura Roeder, the CEO of LKR Social Media Marketer, a social media training service for small businesses, has been managing four full-time employees and a host of contractors since she started the company in 2007. All of them work remotely.

LKR’s collaborative, hardworking culture shows that conscientious leaders at virtual businesses can still create a vibrant culture, even without a shared space. Here’s how:

1. Welcome new employees with a virtual orientation. A comprehensive introduction to the company is important on an employee’s first day, especially when they work remotely. “We do a full-day virtual orientation where we walk them through the different parts of the business,” Roeder says. Not only does that help new hires learn the ropes, it gives them a more tangible feel for the team and company.

Related: How to Maintain Security When Employees Work Remotely

2. Encourage casual conversation. “One of the most important things to do is establish casual, friendly connections among your team,” Roeder says. She recommends Yammer, a private social network for companies. “Yammer is our virtual water cooler where we post updates on work, but also chat and make jokes,” she says. That sense of connection helps keep employees motivated.

3. Hold video conferences and calls. To improve communication, Roeder utilizes video whenever possible. For team calls, she uses Google Hangouts, a group video conference tool, while Skype is her go-to for individual calls. “Video is always preferable over phone,” she says. “We can connect face-to-face even when we’re far away.”

4. Keep everyone in the loop. To create a cohesive team where work is recognized and valued, you need an effective way to communicate each person’s work status. Roeder uses a website called IDoneThis.com  “Everyone gets a quick, easy snapshot of what’s going on at the company,” Roeder says. The updates reinforce that they’re working toward a shared goal. “And yes, I fill out IDoneThis too,” she adds.

Related: 5 Business Conversations to Have Today

5. Reinforce your vision and mission. When employees are scattered, it’s easy to lose sight of the end goal. Roeder hosts an in-person retreat each year, which she sees as an opportunity for the team to vision, work, and bond as a group. “Our values are also inherently folded into a lot of the conversations we have,” she says. If a retreat is not in your budget, you might try sending out a book you love that speaks directly to your mission or highlighting those employees that are living the company’s values.

 

image credit: Shutterstock

Read more stories about: Virtual Assistant, Bookkeeping,Blog Writer

 

3 Low-Cost Tools for Better Virtual Meetings

BY

3 Low-Cost Tools for Better Virtual Meetings

Between clients, consultants, and telecommuters, chances are you work with a lot of people who never step foot inside your office — if you even have a physical office at all. Plenty of entrepreneurs run virtual companies that exist only in cyberspace.

One way to keep employees and clients on the same page is by conducting virtual meetings. But how do you get started? Beyond much-used digital conferencing tools such as Skype or Go2Meeting, a crop of new options have emerged that allow entrepreneurs to efficiently collaborate over video.

Here’s a look at three tools that can help you keep everyone in the loop:

1. Google Hangout 
All your team members or clients need to join a Google Hangout is a Google login and a webcam. Launch the application from inside Google Plus then invite up to 10 people to join you.

What makes Hangout unique is that it allows you to view and collaborate on Google docs while still maintaining visual contact with multiple people on the webcam. You can also add voice-only participants by clicking the “Telephone” tab at the top of the page, or the “+telephone” link on the left side of the invite screen.

Voice calls are free in the U.S. and Canada. International fees range from 2 cents to $1 a minute depending on the country and if it’s a landline or mobile phone. Since no download is required, Google Hangout is one of the fastest ways to set up a virtual meeting.

Related: 4 Tools for High-Def Video Conferencing

2. WebEx Meetings
Cisco’s WebEx Meetings can be a handy tool for group projects. The selling point for this app is a feature they call Meeting Spaces. It’s a cloud-based file sharing site that houses all the documents your team needs for the meeting. Upload presentations, checklists, budgets and agendas. Team members can access the information prior to the meeting so there’s no wasted time once you get started.

Since it’s cloud-based, participants can log on through the browser of their PC, tablet or smartphone. While you’re on the call, you can use the instant messaging feature to have a side chat with another member. This is an excellent way to have specific questions answered that don’t pertain to the whole group.

WebEx Meetings if free for up to three people per meeting. The premium plan includes up to 25 people for $49 a month.

Related: Video Conference Etiquette for Dummies (Video)

3. FuzeBox
Fuzebox is a glossy, high-tech tool for conferencing that can handle any kind of high-definition content including slide shows and movies. You can have up to 12 participants, each on their own HD video feed so it’s as close as you’re going to get to a face-to-face meeting.

The secret to Fuzebox is using its native apps. Instead of sending everyone to a browser site, users connect through apps specifically designed for the iPhone, iPad, Android phone, PC or Mac. That means no connection or compatibility issues.

When you run a Fuzebox conference, you can share your desktop or files, annotate on screen and control another computer remotely. You can also assign permissions to users blocking some participants from engaging directly with the content or and mute mics during a presentation.

Fuzebox starts at $15 a month for up to 15 non-HD attendees and goes up to $69 a month for full-featured service. If you routinely share videos or large files in your meetings, Fuzebox might be worth the price.

image credit: Shutterstock

Read more stories about: Virtual Assistant, Tools, Video conferences, Virtual Business