7 Money Management Phone Apps for Business Owners
7 Money Management Apps for Business Owners
Invoice2go Lite (free)
As a business owner, you need to be able to handle invoices, estimate costs, manage billing, collect payments and report your financial position as efficiently as possible. The free Invoice2go Lite iPhone app lets you create and manage up to three invoices at a time, and gives you the flexibility to interact with customers even if you are not seated in front of your computer screen. Available for the iPhone. Full version costs $9.99. Similar apps include Timewerks: Mobile Billing ($9.99), GetPaid! ($4.99) and Billings Touch (free) which are available for the iPhone.
The PayPal app is an easy, user-friendly way to send and receive payments, transfer money between a bank account and a PayPal account, or send a gift. It's particularly helpful for receiving online payments in place of cash, credit cards and checks. Available for the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android. Similar apps include Obopay (free), available on the iPhone and BlackBerry, and MasterCard MoneySend (free), available for the iPhone.
Mint.com Personal Finance (free)
If you are looking for the big name in money managing app software, Mint is it. With an easy setup and a user-friendly design, you have the ability to pull your financial data onto one screen quickly and easily. Mint also updates your account information automatically, so you should see only the most current data. And when it comes to tracking investments and managing debt, Mint graphics and charts help you visualize your portfolio. Available for the iPhone. Similar apps include moneyStrands (free) and SplashMoney ($4.99), which are available for the iPhone.
Billtracker, as its name implies, is an app dedicated to assisting you manage bills. Whether it is paying for new office furniture or your monthly phone bill, BillTracker alerts you about upcoming bills and lets you track paid bills, so you never overpay. BillTracker also saves information like websites and account numbers, so you do not have to. Available for the iPhone. Similar apps include Bills ~ On your table ($3.99) and Bill Pal ($0.99), which are available for the iPhone.
Ever been shopping in a store and wondered if you could find an item cheaper online? The Save Benjis+ app turns your iPhone into a bar code scanner so that you can compare the price of an in-store item with the prices from hundreds of Internet stores. Best of all, you can order the item directly from your phone. Just think how much you can save on office supplies! Available for the iPhone. Similar apps include Snaptell (free), available for the iPhone and Android, and Barcode Scanner ($0.99), available for the iPhone.
TSheets Time Tracker(free)
Charge your clients by the hour or travel extensively to get to them? TSheets lets you track your time spent on work projects, assign tasks and use your phones built-in GPS to map your coming and goings. These nifty services are wonderful for billing clients by time spent on a project or on travel. Available for the iPhone and Android. Similar apps include Time Timer ($4.99) and Time Manager ($0.99), available for the iPhone.
If you are working on multiple projects for multiple clients, you are going to need to keep meticulous records. iBillTo helps you keep track of client information, such as rates, how many hours you have worked on a project, and expenses. Plus, you can run reports quickly to bring up any saved information. Available for the iPhone. Similar apps include Billing Time ($1.99) and Easy TimeSheet ($2.99), which are available for the iPhone.
Solve Safari 5.0.1 page load woes with DNS settings
This is a simple troubleshooting tip to help resolve occasionally slow or partial page loads, or when a Web page cannot be found.
Users of Safari 5.0.1 or later on Mac (or Windows) may experience issues in which Web pages are slow to load, only partially load, or cannot be found at all. These issues could be related to DNS settings on your machine or your router.
To help solve this issue, try setting up new DNS servers. Popular DNS servers include OpenDNS and Google's DNS, both of which are free. There are also plenty of other third-party DNS options, found with a simple Web search.
For more information on changing your DNS settings, read this Apple knowledge base article.
If the issue persists after changing the DNS settings, you can disable DNS prefetching. Open Terminal (Applications > Utilities). Enter the following in the Terminal window:
defaults write com.apple.safari WebKitDNSPrefetchingEnabled -boolean false
If this resolves your issue, you should begin troubleshooting your router. Be sure you have the latest firmware for the device. If not, update and turn on DNS prefetching using the following command in Terminal:
defaults delete com.apple.safari WebKitDNSPrefetchingEnabled
If the issue returns, you should consider upgrading your router or keeping DNS prefetching turned off.
Mass-mailing 'Here you have' worm hits in-boxes
The US-CERT warned Friday of a new mass-mailing worm that contains a link to what looks like a PDF file but instead is a malicious screensaver file that will interfere with security software on Windows-based computers and spread the message to everyone in the e-mail address book.
Subject lines of the variants include "Here you have" or "Just for you," and "This is the Free Dowload (sic) Sex Movies, you can find it Here," according to McAfee Avert Labs.
The worm can also spread through remote machines, mapped network drives, and removable media via the Autorun feature, said McAfee, which detects the virus as W32/VBMania@MM.
"The intention of the attack appears to be to steal information," Sophos' Graham Cluley wrote in a blog post. "The malware downloads components and other tools which extract passwords from browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera), various email clients, and other applications. Clearly sensitive information which you don't want falling into the wrong hands."
Sophos detects the malware as W32/Autorun-BHO and said the file pointed to by the emails is no longer available.
The worm has hit NASA, Google, Coca Cola, Comcast, and ABC/Disney, the Media Alley blog reported.
CERT advised people to install antivirus software, to keep that software up-to-date, and to not click on unsolicited Web links in e-mails.
9 Security Threats Everyone Will Face
How secure is your business information? Information security professionals responsible for ensuring information's confidentiality, availability, and integrity face an increasingly wider variety of vulnerabilities and threats as exposure of information continues to increase. In fact, legislation regarding privacy continues to evolve as privacy policies and data sharing practices of Google and social networking platforms continue to be scrutinized.
1. Vulnerable web apps: First on the list are website attacks that exploit poorly secured web applications. Finding the open door of an insecure application is the essential first step in any website attack. I expect a sharp rise in this mode of entry by cybercriminals. Apart from practicing good website security, such as regular application of all relevant patches, it is a good idea to have a basic understanding of common hacking techniques, such as SQL injection and cross site scripting.
2. Sophisticated phishing and pharming: Fake emails and scams for money from 'banks' or 'HMRC' have become increasingly difficult to tell from the real thing. There is a clear rise in interest among criminals in online identity theft. Antivirus software and spyware removal software cannot protect against these attacks single handedly. Effort must go into user education in this area to cut exposure to risk.
3. Spam: We have seen huge increases in spam, almost to levels of denial of service. About 90 percent of all email messages are either spam or phishing attempts, according to computer security software provider Symantec. Staff opening an infected attachment can easily unleash a worm or virus onto your corporate network.
4. Social media attacks: There has been an increase in social media attacks, exploiting inadequate password security and insecure free apps. The security settings for personal and sensitive data on social networking sites are not transparent, meaning individuals are not always aware of how much personal information is accessible to possibly undesirable third parties.
5. Sharp jump in identity theft: Identity fraud involves someone pretending to be somebody else to steal money or gain other benefits. Estimates on the actual dollars lost through identity thefy increase signicantly each year. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime and it's not going away anytime soon.
6. Theft of credit card details: Perhaps only five percent of e-commerce websites are PCI DSS secure. The payment card industry is seeing frightening increases in the hacking of merchant security systems to obtain card data, particularly with merchants that accept cardholder information over the internet.
7. Exploiting the latest technology: New technologies such as voice over internet protocol, virtualization and even the iPhone all introduce security risks, as hackers immediately start finding ways to exploit inherent vulnerabilities. One example is the exploitation of IP based telephone systems to perform 'vishing' campaigns. Vishing makes calls from a compromised phone system that appears to be a trusted source to the receiver of the call, enticing the receiver to divulge confidential information.
8. Rise in super portable data: Every week there seems to be a report of data loss because of a stolen laptop or misplaced portable data. USB devices that hold 64GB of data make it very easy for employees to transport massive amounts of information out the door,potentially to your rivals.
9. Complacency: You can have all the latest technology to secure your internet perimeter but if your employees are not trained in how to follow and enforce your security policies, you may not be prepared to stop an enemy walking in the front door to gain access to your data. Compared with many of the investments made by organizations, data protection compliance comes at a bargain price. Any organization not addressing information security with a formal compliance regime is not only risking financial penalties; if you let your customers down, your very survival will be on the line.
5 Lessons Small Businesses Can Learn
What are the key technology lessons that small and mid-sized businesses can learn from large enterprises?
Be proactive. Be prepared. Take security concerns seriously. Always watch for ways to cut costs.
But what are some specific technology lessons that smaller fry can learn from the big fish? We asked the experts, and here’s a partial list:
Get an IT tuneup.
Don’t wait until things go wrong with your systems to look under the hood. Have someone come in and do a vulnerability assessment to identify what’s working, what isn’t, and where your security risks are. “Proactive maintenance and support is something that the enterprises do and small businesses don’t,” notes Tim Brennan, founder and managing partner of Rockville, Md.-based SysArc, an IT support firm that counts many small businesses among its clients. A good assessment can cost as little as $1,000, and can save a business much more, notes Brennan.
Be prepared, even for a disaster.
“Small businesses tend not to do much with disaster recovery,” notes Brennan. Storing your backup on-site, or never testing your backup system, is not going to protect you if there’s a fire, earthquake, or theft. There are many options, from low-cost online backup products like Mozy or Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3). “It’s all about the investment you want to put into it,” says Brennan. “But at very least, back up off-site.”
Even better? Do what the big firms do and document a complete disaster recovery plan with a Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C, adds Steve Hilton, vice president of small business research at Boston-based Yankee Group. “Disaster recovery and business continuity are top IT needs,” says Hilton. “You don’t need to go to a crazy level with this like the enterprises, but think about how your company would survive, function by function….sales, customer service, finance.”
Security concerns: yes, they’re real.
Perhaps big firms have more at stake, and are more likely to have government contracts that demand tight security plans. But many small firms don’t take security risks seriously enough, experts say. “A lot of smaller firms view security as a techie thing that’s too expensive,” notes Kevin Beaver, IT author and founder of Acworth, Ga.-based Principle Logic, an IT security consulting firm. “It’s like not having auto insurance, and then having a big wreck, and realizing they needed it.” Simple steps like encrypting laptops and installing power-on passwords onto PDAs and cellphones -- even personally-owned ones that are used for business -- are steps companies should be taking, Beaver says. Hilton adds that cheap cloud computing options like Google messenger with Postini secured email and archiving make securing networks easy for even the smallest staffs.
Go with a virtual private network (VPN).
In today’s business environment, every business, regardless of size, should be using a VPN to link their office with remote workers in a secure, cost-efficient fashion, says Beaver. “It’s important that your business supports telecommuting,” Beaver notes. Bigger companies have found VPNs to be the cheapest, most effective way to link workers across the country or across town.
Slash your telecom costs.
Bigger companies are all doing it -- looking at their telecom plans line by line for ways to cut costs. Smaller businesses can get in on the act, too. First, look into switching over to a corporate plan for your cell phones instead of having individual employees each expensing their own personal cellphone, suggests Yankee Group’s Hilton. “If 50 people in the office are each expensing their cellphone charges, your costs could be highly variable,” he says. Also, corporate plans offer corporate-sized free-minute plans, too -- another savings. Finally, contact your telecom provider and see if you can renegotiate any old plans -- in this tough economy, telecom providers are willing to strike new deals to keep business, experts say.
To be sure, there are many other lessons smaller companies can learn from enterprise-grade IT shops. But follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way to swimming with bigger fish.