Why Your Business Needs Encryption Software to Stay Secure

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Why Your Business Needs Encryption Software for SecurityCybersecurity is an increasing concern for businesses. If someone hacks into your website or accesses your data, it could be disastrous for you and your customers. There are many types of cyberattacks to watch out for today, such as phishing attacks, viruses, and ransomware, when the attacker encrypts your data and demands a payment before you can access your computer once again. With all of these threats on the rise, it’s important to find effective measures to protect yourself. One of the essential components of an effective defense strategy is encryption software.

Types of Computer Encryption

There are several ways to implement computer encryption. Each has its advantages.

  • File and Folder Encryption – With this type of encryption, the software only encrypts specific files and folders. This is best suited for a small business that doesn’t have a great deal of sensitive data to encrypt.
  • Volume Encryption – This is a more thorough solution in which the software encrypts all data that’s saved to a certain container. Volume encryption is more effective if you have a large number of files/folders to protect.
  • Full-Disk Encryption – This is the most comprehensive type of encryption as it protects an entire disk. It also works automatically so you don’t have to worry about remembering to protect individual files or instructing employees to do so. 

Built-in vs Third-Party Encryption

You have to decide whether to use built-in or third-party encryption software. Built-in programs are included in all modern operating systems such as Windows and OS. However, you must make sure that you’ve enabled encryption. With Windows, you have to enable Microsoft BitLocker. When you do this, you must also save a copy of your recovery key which is needed to unlock your disk. For Mac OS X, you have to enable Apple FileVault. You can then choose to store your recovery key with iCloud or store it offline.

Third-party encryption solutions can replace or supplement built-in software. Companies that sell malware and anti-virus software such as Kaspersky and Symantec offer encryption solutions and also offer security suites that include it. There are also open source options such as DiskCryptor and VeraCrypt.

Computer Encryption Tips

  • Keep your passwords and encryption keys in a safe place. If you lose them, you won’t be able to access your computer.
  • Be aware that hackers often target WiFi networks. If you use WiFi for your business, use WPA2 or Wi-Fi Protected Access 2, which secures your wireless connections.
  • Always back up your computer to avoid losing data if encrypted disks crash or become corrupted.
  • Create strong passwords using random numbers, letters and characters. Make sure all of your employees use complex passwords that are difficult to guess.

Cybersecurity is an ever-evolving tactic and it’s important to keep up with new threats. Encryption software is an effective way to keep your business safe from cyberattacks. Another common problem that many small businesses face is lack of cash flow.

One of the simplest and most powerful ways to improve your cash flow is to get invoice factoring, a process that lets you get paid for accounts receivable up front. Learn more about our alternative financing services available at Riviera Finance today.

5 Payroll Mistakes Your Business Must Avoid

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Top 5 Payroll Mistakes to AvoidThe way you operate payroll has a major effect on your business. Mistakes in this area can cost you extra expenses, higher taxes, or even penalties. It’s important to run your payroll in an accurate and efficient manner.

Here are 5 Common Payroll Mistakes to Avoid

1. Delaying Payment of Payroll Taxes

If you’re experiencing a challenge with cash flow, make sure that you pay the IRS before anyone else. Failing to pay your payroll taxes on time can lead to a trust fund recovery penalty. In such cases, you could be liable for all of the outstanding taxes, including income, social security, and Medicare taxes for all your employees. Always make making your taxes a priority.

2. Offering Comp Time Instead of Overtime

Compensatory time, usually called comp time, refers to the practice of giving your employees time off at some future date. Businesses sometimes offer comp time in place of overtime. For example, if an employee works 50 hours one week, the owner or manager might offer him 10 hours off next week rather than paying him time and a half for the 10 extra hours worked. This practice is illegal for non-exempt employees and could get you into trouble. You are obligated to pay employees who work more than 40 hours overtime and aren’t allowed to replace this with comp time.

3. Inaccurate Classification

Many companies nowadays prefer to work with independent contractors rather than employees to avoid payroll taxes and having to offer benefits. If you do this, however, you have to make sure that you’re not misclassifying employees as independent contractors. Keep in mind that compelling workers to sign a contract saying that they’re independent contractors and not employees doesn’t necessarily make this legally binding. It’s important that you know the difference. The IRS has a complete set of guidelines that explain the difference between the two.

4. Incorrectly Reimbursing Employees for Expenses

It’s a common practice to reimburse employees for expenses such as travel and entertainment when such activities are done for business reasons. However, you should be mindful that you do this in the right way. If you follow the IRS guidelines for an accountable plan, reimbursement isn’t taxable and you don’t owe payroll taxes. However, if you fail to do this and simply reimburse employees when they request it, these expenses become taxable and you incur payroll taxes.

5. Delaying Paychecks

Businesses that are low on cash sometimes delay paying employees. Another scenario is when an employee quits and the business delays paying the final paycheck. Either way, you can face penalties for paying an employee late. Specific requirements for paying employees in a timely manner vary from state to state. Some states, for example, require that you pay employees at least once per month. For others, it’s twice per month. Most states require employers to specify payment periods. If you don’t conform to this schedule, you could face a lawsuit or penalties.

These are some payroll mistakes that could end up costing your business dearly. Many of these problems arise from cash flow challenges. One way to improve your cash flow so you can more readily meet your obligations is to take advantage of the invoice factoring services offered by Riviera Finance.

Kim Bukovsky Gives Factoring Presentation

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RF_Blog_FactoringPresentationEach week Kim Bukovsky, Business Development Manager at Riviera Finance, gives a factoring presentation with Elizabeth Vasco, owner of Boston Transportation Solutions.

During their presentation at t Boston Transportation Solutions, they help with business oweners with the following items:

  • Obtaining DOT and MC Numbers
  • Trucking Corporations and Federal Tax ID
  • All U.S. and Canada Truck Permits
  • Form 2290 Heavy Highway Vehicle Tax;
  • IFTA Calculations
  • Insurance
  • QuickBooks and Bookkeeping
  • Additional information you may need to run your trucking business

We provide in-class or online training for the following classes in the trucking industry:

  • Dispatcher
  • Bookkeeper
  • Safety Manager
  • IFTA Calculation
  • Logbooks Audit
  • Online classes

Trucking and Factoring Presentation with Kim Bukovsky Trucking and Factoring Presentation with Kim Bukovsky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will teach and train you to work as an OTR Dispatcher. Kim and Elizabeth have more than 18 years of experience in transportation industry. Boston Transportation Solutions is the first and oldest dispatcher training company in Chicago. They’re fully licensed and bonded. They are not a trucking company – they are a training center, located in Downers Grove, IL.

If you’re looking for training help for your trucking business, visit their website or take a look at their Facebook page to see how you can sign up for their next class.

At Riviera Finance, we offer a variety of services to serve the transportation and trucking industry, such as Transportation Factoring, Freight Bill Factoring, Fuel Card Services and other financial services.

 

The History of Factoring

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The History of Factoring | Riviera FinanceInvoice factoring is a type of business financing that’s an alternative to conventional loans. A factor buys invoices from a business, allowing it to get cash up front rather than having to wait for customers to pay. This type of financing has quite a few benefits, especially for smaller businesses that may not qualify for substantial bank loans. Although this type of financing has gotten more popular in recent years, it’s actually been around for some time.

Factoring Dates Back to Ancient Times

Factoring can be traced back to ancient times. It was used quite extensively during the Roman Empire. This was helpful for merchants who conducted business in faraway places, as Rome was one of the first global empires. Factors made it possible for these merchants to fund expeditions and to do business during slow seasons. The ancient world was largely dependent on agriculture, where weather, as well as local economic conditions, resulted in great fluctuations in crop price. Factors provided merchants with the resources that helped them survive and even thrive even when conditions were less than ideal.

The same was true for some of the great European empires, especially Britain during the height of its power. Some of England’s most prosperous companies, such as The Hudson Bay Trading Company and The East India Company used factoring to help finance their transactions as they built global enterprises. Throughout history, businesses have used factors to improve their financial situation.

The Advantages of Factoring

What has made factoring such a beneficial and influential form of financing for so many centuries? If you have a business, you typically deliver your products or services and then issue invoices to your customers. You then have to wait anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for them to pay. When you work with a factor, however, you receive payment for these invoices right away.

The top benefit of factoring is that it’s a fast way to improve your business’s cash flow. In many cases, the factor provides you with cash within 24 hours. You can use this cash to buy more inventory, upgrade your equipment, hire more help, or invest in marketing. Better cash flow help you grow your business faster. Unlike a loan, factoring provides you with cash without incurring additional debt. The factor collects payment from your customers along with a transaction fee. You don’t have to make monthly payments and interest as you would with a business loan.

Another advantage of factoring is that it’s a flexible alternative for businesses that have trouble getting loans. If you don’t have strong financials or haven’t been in business for a long time, you may get turned down by banks. Even if you can get a loan, it may not be large enough to cover your needs or it may come with unfavorable terms. A factor will usually work with you as long as you have customers to whom you issue invoices.

This creative financing option has long been instrumental in helping businesses improve their financial situation and grow faster. While factoring has taken on different forms over the ages, it has served the same basic function throughout history. It’s a viable financing alternative for all types of businesses who want to improve their cash flow.

Contact the experts at Riviera Finance to see how invoice factoring can help your business grow.

How to Beat Your Competition with Reviews

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How to Beat Your Competition with Online ReviewsOne of the most powerful ways to grow your business and outsell your competition is to get more positive online reviews. Reviews are getting increasingly important as consumers do research and seek reassurance before they buy a product online or stop in a retail business. Reviews are especially valuable for helping you rank and attract customers in local search. According to some research, each star in a review can result in between 5 and 9 percent increase in business. This is extremely significant and makes it worthwhile to investigate the best strategies for getting more reviews.

Reviews on Your Own Website

There are two types of online reviews. First-party reviews appear on your own website. Third-party reviews appear on sites such as Google, Yelp, Angie’s List or other independent websites. Both types of reviews are important. Let’s start with the first party type. Aside from building confidence in your visitors, these reviews are also valuable for SEO. Here are a few guidelines for attracting and maximizing the benefits of first-party reviews.

  • Ask all of your customers to leave reviews on your website. Remind them on your website, social media pages, via email and, if you have a physical business, in person.
  • Publish all reviews. If you filter them and only publish positive comments, you’ll quickly lose credibility.
  • Don’t incentivize. Don’t offer people rewards or discounts in order to get reviews.
  • Reply to all of your reviews. Thank people for taking the time to comment, even if the review is critical.
  • If you get negative reviews, address the issues promptly. Do whatever you can to make the customer happy.

Third-Party Reviews

Reviews that appear on third-party sites are also important. Many customers use sites such as Google and Yelp as guidelines when choosing businesses, including restaurants, lawyers, accountants, medical professionals, and others. Many of the guidelines for third-party reviews are similar to the ones listed above for reviews on your own site. However, there are some differences as well.

  • Make sure your business is listed with Google and any other sites that are relevant to your business. Google is especially vital if you have a brick and mortar business and want people to find you.
  • While almost all types of businesses are now listed on Yelp and Google, don’t overlook specialty sites for your industry. For example, attorneys are listed on Lawyers.com and Avvo. Doctors are listed on Healthgrades.
  • Monitor review sites carefully so you know when people leave reviews. Set Google Alerts or use some time of reputation management software or service so stay informed.
  • As with reviews on your own website, always take the time to respond to reviewers. Thank people who leave positive reviews and do what you can to correct any mistakes. Some people will remove or update negative reviews when they see you care enough to address the issue.
  • If you suspect a dishonest competitor is leaving fake bad reviews, notify the site. This doesn’t work everywhere but some sites, including Google, will remove dishonest reviews if you report them.

Online reviews are now one of the best ways to build your business and stand apart from the competition. The best way to attract positive reviews is to offer outstanding products and customer service. It’s also essential to remind your customers to leave reviews.

Invoice financing is a great alternative to bank financing. It’s a way to quickly improve your cash flow without incurring debt. It’s also an option that’s open to many businesses that might not qualify for bank loans. Riviera Finance, founded in 1969, is one of the acknowledged industry leaders for invoice factoring. They provide the highest cash advances in the industry with funding available within 24 hours.

Learn more about Riviera Finance’s invoice factoring solutions here.