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I just got a bit of malware spam: “CWIH8974 PAYMENT RECEIVED” / “Avril Sparrowhawk [Avril.Sparrowhawk@lescaves.co.uk]”
This fake financial spam does not come from Les Caves de Pyrene but is instead a simple forgery with a malicious attachment. How did I know it was spam? I don’t buy wine. 🙂
If you receive this e-mail, delete it immediately and contact your IT Support company. Do not open the attachment(s).
The attached file is a malicious document “CWIH8974.doc” which has a low detection rate. There are likely other variants of this virus going around but in the cases we’ve seen it downloads a malicious executable file from.
The virus itself allows the hacker to compromise the web browser so that when the user tries to log in to their Internet Banking, the details are leaked to the hacker who attempts to withdraw funds from the user’s bank account.
From: Avril Sparrowhawk [Avril.Sparrowhawk@lescaves.co.uk]
Date: 22 December 2015 at 11:14
Subject: CWIH8974 PAYMENT RECEIVED
Continue reading “The Trojan of the Month Award goes to: Avril Sparrowhawk CWIH8974 PAYMENT RECEIVED”
Here it is holiday time again, and while Ms. Abby and Manners takes care of our social etiquette I’d like to share some practical tips for business holiday parties.
- Attend the Event: It’s an unspoken expectation that showing up may not be mandatory or can it be required, but attending isn’t really optional. That is if you want to be working there next year.
- If you RSVP – by all means ATTEND: Many business functions are paid on the basis of the number who attend, and that is calculated by the number of RSVP’s.
- Mingle, Mix, and Move: Talk to different people and learn something new. Don’t stick with your usual watercooler pals.
- Pay Attention to Start and End Times on the Invitation: This is there for a reason, and you don’t want to overstay your welcome.
- Remember that Any Business Party is Really a Business Event: Although it might be outside the standard office meeting and be accompanied with food and beverage, the same rules of conduct apply.
- Limit Gift Giving: Colleagues will often feel obligated to give gifts in return for receiving gifts. If you do give, give from the heart and keep it simple, and priced at a minimum.
- Dress Appropriately and Professionally: All eyes are not meant to be on you, and this is not the time for provocative dress. Lean toward the conservative or classic look.
- Give Thank-You’s: When appropriate write either a note of thanks, or if at a private home tell the host/hostess in person that you enjoyed the celebration.
- Say “yes” to a Blind Date: You don’t know who the person is or who he/she might know. Rule of thumb – when in doubt, go stag.
- Be Flirtatious or Get Frisky: This is crossing the line of appropriate and adult behavior at a business event.
- Drink Too Much: it’s not worth taking the chance that you’ll say something you wish you hadn’t. Rule of thumb is- limit yourself to 2 drinks.
- Talk All Business: BORING!! After all it is a social gathering. The guests are supposed to have fun, get to know each other, and have a different experience outside of daily office routine.
- Prospect for New Business: TACKY!!
- Assume Everyone Celebrated the Same Holiday: If you say “Merry Christmas” to someone who doesn’t observe the holiday it might offend them. Be generic and say “Happy Holidays.”
- Give Gag Gifts: This is not the place to risk offending or embarrassing someone.
- Gossip: Gossiping in any situation is usually damaging and not a good practice, but it’s especially not appropriate at a business-related event
Hopefully with these tips under your belt, your appearance at you next business holiday event will go successfully.
The majority of business professionals know these things, but there’s always some newcomers to the firm who may not be as seasoned as some of us.
Always remember this: no matter how smart or “successful” someone is, how much “proof” you’re given, how much you trust or respect someone, or how logical something seems, it’s just an opinion, just what worked for someone else, just a possible pathway to success.
Entrepreneurial leaders do not have a mindset that adapts to failure. Things go wrong, of course, but entrepreneurs don’t call them “failures” they call them “glitches, mistakes, bungles, setbacks” – but not failing.
When one such entrepreneur was asked about the hardest decision he ever had to make, he answered that he didn’t know what a hard decision was. An entrepreneur will approach decision-making with the idea that there’s a strong likelihood that he/she will be wrong. This doesn’t dissuade them – to the contrary they just do the best they can and worry about handling obstacles as they arise.
Another way of looking at it is to realize that you will make mistakes, so make them as quickly as you can in order to learn from them. A good leader doesn’t view making mistakes as negative or irrevocable, he/she feels free to press on and try something new. There is the belief that something useful has been learned, and hopefully not at a high cost.
Let’s face it; if you’re going to live this life you’re going to make mistakes. Make use of them as learning tools and don’t make the same ones twice.
Entrepreneurs also know the value of “intuition”. While you shouldn’t act on the results of tossing a coin, there is something to be said about your “gut” feeling about the situation. Very often business people become so involved with systems and checks-and-balances that they forget about that “gut” instinct they had when they started.
While not strictly logical, intuition does draw on a combination of experience, knowledge, and analysis as well as a lot of “gut” information you may have forgotten that you have.
You become a strong leader in your business by “practicing” being a leader. It’s not a course you can take at a business college; it’s learned in the school of life as you’re doing business.
As a leader, you have to set standards and higher standards for your own behavior. You must do this because appearances are sometimes more important that facts.
Consider for a moment that as an entrepreneur with a small business you’re planning on approaching a bank for a loan. You know that you must present a well thought out and concise Business Plan, with all the projections for the use of the capital you’ll borrow and the repayment of the same. You learned that from all those seminars you attended when considering becoming an entrepreneur, but is there something that you weren’t taught in seminars? What about “presentation”?
I don’t mean the presentation of the Business Plan, we all know that must be well done and attractive. What I’m talking about is YOU! Do you maintain the appearance of leadership? Do you project a confident appearance of a successful entrepreneur? You may not have the faintest idea today how you’re going to pay for that advertising bill coming due on the 15th, but you’re not going to give that banker that information.
Presenting yourself as a confident entrepreneur, filled with the excitement of your business idea, and a strong leader of your team (whether it’s 1 or 10 employees) is what will make you a winner and add untold weight to your Business Plan. After all, you are your business to that banker so you’d better look good and confident.
To protect that faith that your people and your customers have in your organization, always ask yourself these two questions:
- Could this be interpreted by anyone in a way that would shake their faith in my leadership?
- Could this be misinterpreted and held against me or the company?
Strong leaders know that leadership is a lifelong learning experience, and when they make a mistake they simply continue to move forward. The ability to bounce back is a quality that every entrepreneur I’ve ever known has in abundance.
When you blunder, get up and try again quickly. As one high-tech executive I knew put it, “Our strategy is to fail forward fast.”
Some people were born organized and then there are those of us who struggle with organizing every year at this time. It seems that it’s always at the end of the year when that little annoying bug begins nudging you to clear things up and start the new year organized.
Well, I’ve read just about everybody’s directions, books, and helpful hints about getting organized (in fact, I’m thinking of writing one myself), and I’ve got to tell you there are some misconceptions being fostered by every organizational guru. It will be my pleasure to give you the “skinny” on that in today’s column.
Here are the 8 misconceptions that we can throw out:
- Handle paper once. This is not only impossible, but in most cases it’s unrealistic. Instead of handling paper once, get in the habit of doing something with each piece of paper to move it forward. If you get some information about an upcoming seminar/trade show, for example, decide if you’ll attend or not. If you’re to attend then note the date on your calendar and sign up. If not, then toss the information immediately. If you want to wait to sign up, then make a note in your planner to respond well before the deadline and file the paper in your “to-do” file.
- Always keep papers stored out of sight: Some of us work better when their desk is clear, whereas others feel stifled if they aren’t surrounded by stacks of paper. If you’re an “out of sight – out of mind” type, keep papers you use often nearby in files or stacking bins. They’ll be accessible, yet not clutter your desk. When working on a project, spread out the papers related to it, and when you’re done put them away together in one place.
- Everyone should be organized to the same degree. Different people work differently. Don’t feel that you have to work the same as someone else. Find a comfortable level of being organized, and make the necessary changes to maintain that level. I usually draw that line when I’m looking for something and can’t find it; that’s when I know things need to get reorganized.
- Soon we’ll be a “paperless” society. Don’t you believe it. Experts have been saying that for years, and we won’t be paperless for a long time. It’s not technology that’s the problem, it is human nature that’s the culprit. We’re creatures of habit and used to seeing things in print rather than on a computer screen. The younger generation is now being trained on computers at an early age, so when they join the workforce, the “paperless” society will have a better chance of becoming a reality.
- One planning system should fit everyone. When used correctly, daily planners are an ideal way to stay organized. Keep in mind, however, they are designed by a few for many users. When buying a planner, whether paper-based or electronic, determine what you want it to do and choose a system accordingly. If you can’t find one to suit your system, design your own based on your individual needs.
- You have to be born organized to be organized. We learn both good and bad habits at an early age. It’s possible to change any bad habit, including disorganization. Youngsters raised in an organized environment sometimes rebel as adults by being disorganized. The opposite is also true, but neither is carved in stone and behavior can be modified.
- You MUST use a “to-do” list. Planning day-to-day is not realistic for everyone. Someone may do the same task every week, but others find their plans changing daily. Consider your particular need, then plan by the day or the week.
- Being organized means being a perfectionist. A perfectionist may spend time on insignificant details while disregarding the big picture. When others complete a project quickly and on time, the perfectionist continues to work until the project is perfect. A perfectionist becomes more effective when he/she lowers his/her standards slightly and concentrates on ways to increase productivity.
Misinformation, when taken seriously, can hinder you from doing what you want. The next time you hear one of those “Organizational Gurus” espousing one of the above misconceptions, consider its value and work to develop your own style of organizing.
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst
A personal crisis doesn’t have to spell disaster for your business if you’re prepared. Every business occasionally endures a crisis, but what happens when your dilemma isn’t falling profits but personal.
Because we have no idea what type of personal crisis may await us – an ugly divorce, debilitating disease, or ailing parent/child/spouse, we must be prepared. Just as you plan for advertising and promotions, you must plan for life’s surprises.
Paul Krasinski, founder of Lion Strategy Advisors, New York, suggests finding somebody NOW who can take over your responsibility and carry on for at least 20 days. He/she needs to be someone who can communicate well with staff and command respect, and may or may not be the person you feel closest to in the company.
Once a personal crisis hits, Krasinski recommends “full disclosure” to your employees. This avoids the feeling of being hit by a bomb, and that business will go on as usual. In case you think this doesn’t work, let me give you a case history.
Dana Weidaw, 28 and president of her own PR firm had only been in business 1 year when she tested “full disclosure” with her employees. She was diagnosed with an aneurysm which required a surgeon to drill through her skull. She had just landed her first major client and was publicizing a major hockey arena. If all didn’t go well with the project, this client could turn out to be her last.
Before missing 7 days of work, Weidaw prepped her full-time employee, another agency she was working with, and her client by sharing the nitty-gritty details of her crisis. She assured them everything would run according to plans and smoothly in her absence, and found that everybody was willing to work around her crisis. Weidaw found that, by nature, people are very sympathetic.
A word of caution though, you need to know when to talk. During and after a crisis – full disclosure is great. If you’re “contingency” planning though, it might be prudent not to advertise that if your personal life goes in the tanker good old Gary or Suzy will be in charge. Your employees may needlessly dwell on why they weren’t picked to run the show instead of them. Above all, you don’t want to cause widespread distress or distract your staff from day-to-day operation.
Just as surely as you plan for financial allocations for your business, always have a crisis plan in place. This may need adjustments from year to year as staff leaves and are replaced, so when planning for each year’s business needs include your crisis plan.