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Verizon Business Markets Blog

Weekly Roundup: There is Good News for Small Businesses

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus ‎11-18-2011 11:29 AM

VZ small_biz_info ICON.pngThis week we got some great advice on small business loans from Tanya Brockett, a former adjunct professor of Entrepreneurship and Book Publishing at the University of Virginia and author of The Loan Solution. If you missed the live webinar with Tanya, you can get the archive here.

The Web was full of news about the protests on Wall Street, prime ministers losing their power and the latest gaffs by political candidates. In the small business blogosphere however, we found several articles worth sharing to our entrepreneurship-focused friends. So here they are, with everything from franchising to social media:

Lastly, if you missed this week's security video on how to avoid sending rogue "poopy-pants" emails, click here


Have a great weekend!

This week’s Weekly Roundup was contributed by Ryan Morris, Social Media Manager to Verizon.


Security Matters: Avoid Rogue “Poopy-pants” Emails from Being Sent

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus ‎11-17-2011 09:24 PM

In this video see what happens when Michael doesn’t secure his computer while “away” from it.


After watching this video it is also a good time to discuss with your employees remote access to your company’s information and networks.  Your employees need to understand that the flexibility and availability of access remotely presents additional risks to the confidentiality, availability and integrity of your company’s data.


Be mindful to lock your screen when you step away from your computer and have an unique password to protect company systems, computing equipment and data from easy access by unauthorized individuals.


Bottom-line, when not in use, lock and protect your computer… laptop… smartphone… and/or tablet.



What other security tip do you think of after watching this video?

Security Matters – Know Your Visitors

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus ‎11-02-2011 09:30 PM

You run a small business and you like to keep things casual… people coming and going, but you also handle confidential information.  So it’s important to protect your data… and equipment from breaches and possible theft.  If you are in an office setting or operate a retail shop it’s important that you and your employees keep an eye on these contractors, shoppers, vendors, and/or visitors.


Watch what happens when the character in the video lets his guard down and grants the ‘plant lady’ full access to his office.





In an office setting, should visitors need access to your company facility consider these guidelines to help secure your data and help protect against theft:


  • All visitors must be signed in (consider issuing a visitor’s badge) and escorted around by an employee while on the premise. Be sure to escort the visitor out the door too.  If you do issue a visitor’s badge be sure they are returned at the end of the day.
  • If you don’t see a badge or recognize the person, find out why the person is there or call security.


Security is everyone’s business.  If you missed the video on the importance of password click here and click here for the video on the importance of encrypting email and or data.


Feel free to share any security issues you may have experienced and what steps you took to prevent it from occurring again.


Security Matters: Passwords – the Key to Good Security

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus ‎10-26-2011 08:24 AM

This week’s featured Security Matters video is focused on passwords. Good password management is one of the most effective data protection tools. Period. Below you’ll find some simple tips to maximize your password management effectiveness:


  • Always change default passwords (i.e. never use “password” as a password).
  • Use passwords with at least 8 characters.  When composing passwords, use combinations of capitals, numbers and special characters.
  • The 3 out of 4 rule will help you create a complex password – Upper case, lower case, Numeric, and Special Character – use 4 of the 4.
  • Use passwords that are easy to remember but hard to guess. One way to create a strong password is to think of a memorable phrase and use the first letter of each word as your password, converting some letters into numbers that resemble letters. For example, "How much wood could a woodchuck chuck" would become HmWc@wCc.
  • Avoid common words: Hackers use Dictionary attack programs that try every word in the dictionary.
  • Do not use your personal information (family names, pet names, favorite foods, etc.), your login name, the current month, or adjacent keys on the keyboard as passwords.
  • Change your passwords regularly (at minimum, every 90 days).
  • Use a different password for each online account you access (or at least a variety of passwords with difficulty based on the value of the information contained in each).
  • It is recommended that you don’t reuse passwords.
  • When changing passwords, change more than just one character.


Remember to keep your passwords in a safe place, not easily accessible to everyone… perhaps in a password protected document?  Please share any other security tips you may have. 


If you missed last week’s video on email and document encryption, click here.



Security Matters: Consider Email/Data Encryption (video)

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus ‎10-26-2011 07:40 AM

At Verizon, securing confidential or sensitive information is one of our most important jobs.  To make this topic a little more fun we recently developed a series of entertaining videos for our employees that contain messages about why Security Matters.  We hope enjoy it.


We’ll launch one Security Matters video a week for the next six weeks on this blog.  The topic of the first video is email security, so watch the action as our character “Michael” learns about the importance of encrypting email and taking simple steps to protect sensitive company information – and find out if he can “unsend” an email.


Every day there is a considerable amount of information that leaves the company electronically.  




Much of this data may be confidential, proprietary, or sensitive information. 


Examples of this type of data are:


    • Personal client/customer information - Names, SSN, Credit Card Numbers, etc.
    • Source Code
    • Business plans or marketing strategy documents or contracts

Security Matters photos.jpg 

If it is necessary to transmit your company’s sensitive or confidential information outside the company, review the document(s) to ensure any unnecessary information has been removed before sending.  These are some recommendation you and your employees can take when transmitting data:


  • Ensure you send to only authorized recipients
  • Ensure the data is reviewed and "scrubbed" as much as possible
  • Sensitive data must be sent in an encrypted attachment
  • Encrypted document passcodes should be sent through a separate  communication than the original email, such as through a separate email communication or voicemail or other verbal communication to the recipient


Depending on the word or spreadsheet software you use there should be options for you to password protect the document.


While setting up and putting in place this security measure may seem to be more work, it could prevent confidential information from getting in the hands of unauthorized recipients and possibly save your job.  This video shows how an employee inadvertently sent a confidential file to the wrong person – mistakes happen, but if you put in place the right measures, the consequences can be minimized.


Tell us how you ensure security with your employees.



[Editor’s note:  Verizon offers email encryption and document encryption. To review the encryption solutions from Verizon click here.] 

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About the Authors

Tumara Jordan

Senior Manager: Verizon Business Markets

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Tumara is a contributor to the Business Markets Marketing team and she currently manages Social Media marketing campaigns.

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