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FROM THE DESK OF Terri
4 Cyber Predictions for 2020
1. Ransomware and the cloud: Hackers see big money when it comes to virtual data and micro targeting will rise. Phishing emails related to common industry tools or camouflaged as reliable sources will be a used for stealing credentials and sensitive data. 2. 25% of breaches will occur outside of the office: With the number of mobile devices, telecommuters, and off-site assets increasing, businesses are extremely vulnerable. 3. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) will become standard: Decision-makers know it’s time to validate users due to the staggering number of compromised credentials on the dark web and users with insecure passwords. 4. Voice Deepfakes will become the new phishing bait: Deceived employees send money to scammers or reveal sensitive information after receiving voicemails that sound like they are from company executives. With cyber-crime on the rise, trust NowX to keep you up to date on security solutions, especially with how vital your data is for your day-to-day operations.
January is over, along with the hustle and stress of shopping for the holidays, sending out W-2s, and preparing for the year’s close. But for some business owners, the shortest month of the year isn’t a time for celebrating. With festive decorations put away and no holidays to anticipate, customers and clients may be feeling the gloom of winter. Many may also be holding their wallets a little closer as they recover from the December spending purge. To top it off, tax season is in full swing, but this year, you have 29 days to make February count. MAKE THE MOST OF FEBRUARY Why the Shortest Month Is the Hardest for Business Owners
Make 2020 a year of transformation of streamlined security and data processes.
How do you do it?
STAY AHEAD There’s an old saying about only two guarantees in life: death and taxes. You know tax season is around the corner and your books are up for an intense examination to close out the year. Tax Day, April 15, 2020, and the filing deadline for S corporations, March 15, 2020, will be here before you know it, but if you prepare now, you can enjoy a steady and easy spring.
Dedicated to your success,
Scan the QR code or go to securitytips.nowxcorp.com
January was the perfect time to wind down from the holidays, collect your plans, and ensure your employees have what they need to file taxes. Now, devote February to
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compiling everything you need for a successful tax season, and ensure all your employees’ tax documents were filed and sent out correctly. Also, commit your organizational energy to your business. What do you need for the IRS or an auditing company? What happened in 2019 to change how you approach things in 2020? What shifts do you need to make for 2021? By March, you’ll be settled from the whirlwind of responsibility the new year brings, and you can coast into spring. CHECK YOUR GOALS At this point of the year, you should have a clear idea for how the first and second quarters of 2020 will go. Because goals can shift, February is the perfect month to assess whether or not you need to make adjustments to the plan you made in 2019. Since business typically winds down to a manageable pace this month, consider how you could ramp it up come springtime. Do you need to press harder with your plans for 2020, or do you need to capitalize on what already worked in January? Compare your post-January projections to those of previous years to get a clear idea about what your next steps should be, and use February to implement them. EMBRACE THE SLOWDOWN No one likes a slow month in business, but you can use it to your advantage. If February is a historically slow month for you and your company, consider how you could improve internally . Offer extra employee training, provide cross-training events, streamline processes, test new software, or ramp up education for your sales, customer service,
or technician staff. Take advantage of the extra hours in the workday not devoted to a customer’s needs and make your business stronger than ever for when the busy season hits again. Your team will be better prepared for the onslaught, and their extra precision just might pay dividends to overcome another slow month.
The shortest month of the year is nothing to fear! With these tools, you can make this your best February yet.
Mythical Adventures Await in the Mediterranean CREATE YOUR OWN ODYSSEY
One of the oldest stories in Western literature is Homer’s “The Odyssey.”This epic poem tells the story of Odysseus and his long journey home after the Trojan War. While Odysseus’ travels were fraught with mythical monsters and magic, many of the places he visited are said to be inspired by real islands in the Mediterranean. Even today, travelers flock to these islands looking for peace, adventure, and epic stories of their own. Odyssey” is the tale of Odysseus rescuing his crew from Polyphemus, a man-eating Cyclops. It’s said that Polyphemus made his home on what is now modern-day Sicily. Fortunately, there are no Cyclopes in Sicily today; there are only cultural festivals, world-class golf courses, and delicious food. SICILY, ITALY One of the most popular stories in “The
GOZO, MALTA While Odysseus’ journey was perilous, he did enjoy one peaceful stop. Odysseus spent seven years on the mythical island of Ogygia, home of the nymph Calypso. Historians suspect that Ogygia was Gaudos, now modern-day Gozo, Malta. Gozo is home to the Ġgantija temples, which are older than the Egyptian pyramids. In addition to exploring its archaeological marvels, Gozo’s visitors can also enjoy snorkeling, horseback riding, and other memorable adventures. ITHACA, GREECE If you want to chart your own odyssey, make your final stop Odysseus’ home, the island of Ithaca. Covered in lush greenery and quaint villages, Ithaca is a wonderful place to relax at the end of your trip. Visitors can enjoy their morning coffee by a seaside cafe before lounging on a secluded beach for the rest of
the day. It’s no wonder why Odysseus fought so hard to get back to Ithaca!
With dozens of other islands to explore, the Mediterranean is the perfect place to plan your own odyssey — minus the mythical monsters, of course.
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KEEP UPWITH THE BIG BUSINESSES 3 Tech Trends to Accelerate Your Company
The line between technologies that are beneficial for large businesses and those beneficial for small businesses continues to blur. While the latest software programs were once only available to large companies that could afford them, some of these programs have also become available and profitable for small businesses to use. In an age of increasing connectivity, these are a few tech trends that small businesses should watch out for. COLLABORATIONWITH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE While it certainly shouldn’t replace every customer interaction, using AI software programs for small tasks — like email marketing, data entry, accounting, and some low-stress forms of customer service — is invaluable to small businesses. Delegating menial tasks to AI can free up time for you to focus on those more important face-to-face interactions with your customers. INCREASED USE OF DATA ANALYTICS “Big data”is intimidating. For years, sifting through customer data and extracting valuable information that can be used to grow businesses was something that only the largest companies had the time, funds, and expertise to do. However, more programs that reduce the upfront investment and expertise necessary to contextualize customer data are popping up. If you can make use of your customers’data, you can give them an experience with your business that they won’t find many other places.
CONTINUED RELIANCE ON SOCIAL MEDIA Social media marketing remains an effective tool for attracting customers to your small business, even if the tools continue to change. While marketing on Facebook and Instagram might seem like old news, marketing on trendier apps, like TikTok, Pinterest, or Snapchat, can still work to your business’s benefit. A recent study showed that 45% of consumers head to social media when they have a question about something — are you going to be there to answer it? Keeping up with the latest and greatest tech trends in small-business management can be exhausting, but in an age where technological advancement is accelerating faster than ever, it’s necessary for the survival of businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Take a Break!
Easy Shrimp Scampi Inspired by The Blond Cook
Make date night simple with this easy shrimp scampi recipe.
1/2 tsp oregano
4 tbsp butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp minced garlic
8 oz cooked linguine
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup parsley
4. Stir in remaining butter and olive oil and cook until butter is melted. 5. Add cooked shrimp to skillet and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. 6. In a serving bowl, top cooked linguine with shrimp mixture. Garnish with parsley and serve.
1. In a skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. 2. Add shrimp and oregano, stirring frequently until shrimp is pink. Remove shrimp from skillet. 3. Add wine and lemon juice to skillet and bring the mixture to a boil.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of Terri PAGE 1 A Business Owner’s Guide to Surviving February PAGE 1 Your Epic Adventure Awaits PAGE 2 Important Tech Trends for Small Businesses to Keep Up With PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Easy Shrimp Scampi PAGE 3 Learn All About Leap Year PAGE 4
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LEAP INTO 2020 Facts About the Leap Year
Like the Olympics and presidential elections, leap years only occur once every four years, which is why many people look forward to Feb. 29. But there’s a lot that you might not know about this quirk on the calendar. WHY To keep the calendar in sync with Earth’s orbit around the sun, an extra day is added to it every four years. Earth takes exactly 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds to orbit the sun. Those extra hours add up over time, so another calendar day becomes necessary. But a leap year doesn’t occur every four years. Adding that extra day still doesn’t quite keep Earth on track, so the calendar skips leap years that occur during century years not divisible by 400. For example, 2000 was a leap year, but 2100 won’t be.
WHO The odds of being born on Feb. 29 are 1 in 1,461. That means that of the roughly seven billion people in the world, only about five million of them are “leaplings.”The number of leaplings currently living in the U.S. is roughly 187,000. Some famous leaplings include motivational speaker Tony Robbins, rapper Ja Rule, and singer Mark Foster of Foster the People. However, the most famous leapling is probably Superman. When you invent a super-being, you might as well give him a super-birthday. WHERE Anthony, Texas/New Mexico (a single town that straddles the two states’ borders), claims the title “Leap Year Capital of the World.”The city throws one massive birthday party for all leaplings but invites everyone to join the celebration. Two leapling neighbors from
Anthony began the tradition in 1988, and it’s blossomed into a festival with thousands of participants every four years. It includes banquets, hot air balloons, a carnival, concerts, parades, and more. When you have four years to plan in between each shindig, there’s time to go big. Celebrate this leap year by doing something unusual or new. It’s a special day that doesn’t occur often, so make the most of it by doing something you’ll talk about for another four years.
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