Should Your Insurance Company Offer Cyber Protection?

Cyber security has become a growing concern for U.S. companies over the past couple of years, and for good reason. Information breaches have not only become increasingly common, but also much larger. Nothing illustrates the state of modern web security quite as well as the most recent breach, which saw hackers target the IRS by exploiting faulty security to compromise over 100,000 taxpayer records.

Similar breaches have also affected much smaller companies, and it’s common to see a forward-thinking insurance company racing to adapt. Here is what you need to know to determine if, first, you’re actually in need of cyber insurance and, second, what you should look for in a policy.

Are You At Risk?

If you work with customer information of any kind, then the answer is likely yes. The term to look out for here is Personally Identifiable Information, or PII. It’s not a technical term, but rather a legal term that carries some teeth if you have to deal with it.

At its root, PII is any piece of collected information that could potentially allow a third party to identify a business’s individual clients. Given how good the Internet is at leveraging even tiny hints to track down a person, that definition is awfully broad. Full names, email addresses, site nicknames, and (sometimes) even web cookies can all qualify as PII.

If you’re storing anything that falls under the PII umbrella, you’re at risk of a breach. Breaches are enormously costly, both for affected customers and for the company responsible for the loss. Companies in the healthcare and retail industries are obviously at an increased risk, but when it comes down to it, any business that makes a habit of collecting information should ask their insurance company about cyber policies.

What Your Cyber Policy Needs

You’ll need to look for a few things in any cyber insurance policy. As you may expect, a good policy should cover the financial damages directly caused by a breach. However, cyber attacks can cause financial damage in a wide variety of ways. In particular, make sure that your company is protected against:

– Losses caused by lost time and productivity. A major hack can cause company gears to grind to a halt. Find an insurance company that guarantees coverage for the revenue lost during this period.
– Indemnification caused by a third party. Few modern companies handle their data on their own. Outsourced IT support or other companies can fall victim to a breach that affects your customers.
– Loss of Reputation. Breached companies, even those that have done their due diligence, almost always take a PR hit in the wake of an attack. A good policy offers some cushioning against the customer losses that generally ensue.

Finally, also try your best to work with an insurance company that has an educational component. Some plans will also come with training to avoid a breach. As nice as protection is, it’s safe to say that it’s best left unused. Installing a set of best practices can help keep you from having to rely on a safety net in the first place.

The Truth Behind The Network Marketing Industry

The Multi Level Marketing (MLM) Industry popularly known as the Network Marketing industry, is indeed a very simple and profitable industry but sadly with a lot of negative feedback. The truth is that you can make a lot of money in the MLM industry. A lot of ordinary people have built businesses that provide passive income streams for them and their families and friends, who are in their network for life! The beauty about having a business that provide passive income streams is that you can get to enjoy life doing whatever you want or decide. All that is required is a few years of smart and dedicated work. Today though, this has been made a lot easier as some MLM companies have gone online. There is an MLM company today that operates entirely on an e-commerce platform! This means that you can reach more people using your website or social media to sell almost any product and to anyone anywhere in the world. The network marketing industry is a $167 billion industry churning out millions having huge passive income streams.

I am a partner with one MLM firm that is a 100% e-commerce based here in Nigeria. This means that I can actually do the business from home. With proper application of e-commerce concepts, you can indeed earn a stream of passive incomes for life! This is however not a get-rich-quick scheme. Success in the MLM industry entails following a set of professional guidelines and being consistent. Many people in the MLM industry fail to apply basic guidelines needed to start and grow their own MLM business. Many fail to realize that their MLM business should be handled as a real business where you will be required to recruit a team of people that believe in your mission and vision.

The network marketing industry is a 167 billion Dollar industry and about 91 million people are involved in the network marketing industry around the world today. The industry is now booming in the rest of the world because it is almost the only recession proof industry! During the economic recession that occurred in the world in 2008 and 2009 and the one before that in 1998, it was the only Industry that was growing. While other industries like the automobile and financial industries were either collapsing, downsizing on the number of employees or cutting down salaries, the network marketing industry was getting larger. This is why a lot of people have shifted to Network Marketing.

Even great men and thinkers are beginning to endorse the MLM business model. Bill Gates has been quoted saying that if he had another chance to start up, Microsoft would have adopted the network marketing model. Little wonder the Network marketing Industry continues to grow at an unexpected rate. This is especially true in the United States that recorded a growth from $13 billion in 1992 to over $132 billion in 2010; more than 82 million new people have joined the Network Marketing Industry in the past 20 years! In fact, it is now estimated that over 15,800,000 distributors in the United States alone now participate, full- or part-time, in Network Marketing-and these numbers continue to grow.

After 20 year, the Network Marketing Industry still fits today’s hot trends-home-based businesses, entrepreneurship, and self-reliance-and in Nigeria, the growth is beginning to catch up with the rest of the world. My articles continue to educate its readers how they too can move beyond economic security to economic prosperity by taking advantage of this wealth creating industry.

Feel free to find out if Network Marketing is right for you. Learn how to select a company, and how to begin your own home-based business, using the skills and resources you already possess because, after all, it’s still your future!

How to Get Construction Financing

Are you interested in a construction mortgage? There are two types of construction mortgages that you can go for: completion construction mortgage and progress draw construction loan.

Completion construction mortgage

You should apply for this loan when you are purchasing your home from a qualified builder at a fixed price upon completion of the building.

There are two types of this loan:

All-in one construction loan: this is a simple loan that offers you a one rate for both the construction process and the financing that comes at the end. When you take this loan you need to repay it within one year. You should note that you have to pay a penalty if you go over the time limit.

Purchase plus improvement: this is the one that you get when you buy a home that needs to be taken good care of. The contractor needs to keep on making the improvements that you ask him/her to do and you should only accept the building once you are satisfied with the improvements.

Both of these construction loans have a number of features:

The builder has to own the lot where the home is to be built
The builder can request for money only when the home is 100% complete.
The lender may require an appraisal before, during, and after the construction. This is to ensure that the home is worth the amount being mortgaged
You need to make a down payment-which can be made in a series of installments
Since the loan is almost similar to a resale property mortgage, the mortgage agent won’t require an administration fee in order to arrange this type of financing.

Before you are given the loan, you need to present a number of documents to the lender. The documents include:

Copy of building contract that has been signed by you and the contractor
House plan and working drawings
Site plan that shows the legal description and dimension of the property
An appraisal that indicates the final value of the home after construction

Progress draw construction loan

This is ideal when you are planning of construction your home using your own general contractor. You apply for funds at three different stages of the loan: when the building is 35-40%, 65-70% and 100% complete. You should note that the interest rates of this loan are higher than that of a traditional mortgage.

When applying for the loan you need to present a number of documents that include:

Copy of land contract
A resume confirming that you have good knowledge of the construction process
Copy of all sub-contracts which confirm the construction costs.

Can a Bad Credit Report Stop You From Landing Your Dream Job?

Bad credit can affect more than you think!

Today, we live in a fast-paced world where employees are crucial to the success of a business. Businesses rely on a high level of productivity and want their employees to be diligent and work efficiently.

During these tough economic times employers are taking extensive measures to select the right candidates. It’s common for human resource departments to do extensive background checks, including requesting and scrutinizing credit reports.

Why is your credit report relevant?

For starters, a quick peek at your credit report can reveal a lot about your dedication, level of organization, and ethics. If you are not managing your own financial life properly, most employees believe that it could be mirrored into your work life.

Keep in mind honesty, reliability and time management skills are important to every business. With so many good candidates to choose from, businesses are in the driver’s seat, and can hire the cream of the crop.

3 Ways Bad Credit Can Hurt Your Job Chances:

Employers know that bad credit can affect every area of your life. Being hounded by collection agencies can be extremely distracting to your home and work life. It can cause a lot of stress and undue absence, as well as affect your mood and level of performance.

Employers might believe that you don’t take the contracts you sign or your obligations seriously. To some bosses, a bad credit report can make you look irresponsible and untrustworthy. Above all else, businesses want people with a proven track record for following through.

A bad payment history could show potential employers that you have trouble sticking to a schedule. In such a technologically-advanced age – with email reminders and late payment notifications – there are few excuses for forgetting (or mismanaging) your finances. Chronic late payments could send the wrong message.

Bottom line: A company’s reputation and profitability depend on their employees. Good employees are their bread and butter so to speak.

Which is why businesses need to hire people who are productive and dependable. They want employees that will show up on time, follow through on their commitments, and manage the tasks they are given, on time.

The fact of the matter is that many bosses believe that if you can’t manage your own affairs, you can’t possibly manage theirs.

Nowadays, employers are relying upon personal and financial background checks before deciding who to hire.

Keep this in mind if you suffer from bad credit.

Useful Facts About Personal Loans and Online Transactions

Personal loans are becoming increasingly easier to avail these days, thanks in great measure to the ease of verification and processing that is done prior to loans being sanctioned. Personal loans fall into two broad categories – secured and unsecured.

Secured loans are usually for higher amounts such as buying a second home, property or vehicle purchase or even educational loans taken against a mortgage that is generally guaranteed against default through ‘secured’ property such as a house etc.

Unsecured loans are personal loans that are given for smaller amounts like payment of medical bills, credit card outstanding or other exigencies that require immediate cash. If you have a good credit rating it is quite easy to acquire a personal loan without any guarantees; the amount of loan depends on take-home salaries and assets that you may possess. Unsecured loans can be processed even online if all requirements are met; the repayment is done in pre-fixed, equated monthly installments with provision for foreclosure depending on the finance company that is sanctioning the loan. The advantage of a personal loan is that unlike credit card payments which are compounded interest and keeps accruing if you do not pay the installments on time, a personal loan is based on low interest rates and can be paid out quite easily. In the event of unforeseen circumstances like a job loss or personal injury resulting in loss of income, you can re-work the outstanding amount and reach a settlement in consultation with your finance company without having to wipe out your entire savings.

Although it is quite convenient to use the Internet for loan processing and installment payouts, you should be careful not to divulge too many personal details. There are many unverified and unethical finance agencies operating online that promise ‘quick loans without verification’ to those who have huge borrowings on credit cards etc. Remember that there is no guarantee that these services are authentic, safe and follow regulatory procedures and if you are not cautious, the resulting experience or loss can prove quite costly.

The first thing that many do when losing money online during a transaction is to blame the bank or financial agency. However, the technology driving the online transactions is more often to blame.

When one loses money during a transaction, one is often quick to blame her/his bank. But most such cases relate to the use of technology in banking. While technology has undoubtedly made life easier, it could prove costly if one isn’t cautious. It is advisable to check and re-check all details while conducting an online transaction because banks are not responsible if you enter wrong data entry or incorrect details. Most banks only use personal account numbers of beneficiaries while transferring funds, not the beneficiary’s name and hence it becomes a valid transaction. At the most, in the event of a wrong transaction, the bank can put you in touch with the ‘unintended beneficiary’. However, banks are quite helpful in helping customers file a complaint with the police and legal authorities and provide assistance in recovering the amount.

Do’s for safe financial transactions

• Do not disclose Debit or Credit Card PIN numbers to anyone

• Do not let others operate Debit Card on your behalf

• While settling bills with Debit Card, ensure that you go to the counter and oversee the entire transaction

• Do not post personal financial details in response to email queries or on public platforms online unless you are convinced that they are authentic and secure

• Do not use public Wi-Fi connections to conduct online transactions