Emerald Business Systems Blog


Steps to Take to Reduce the Anxiety of Paying Online

Posted in Online Business,PCI,POS,Retail by ebs4pos on March 23, 2010

Last year, 92 million people bought things online using credit cards, debit cards and services like PayPal and Google Checkout. Millions of others paid bills and wired money electronically from bank accounts with just a few clicks.Despite the apparent popularity of all these services, they still cause nagging anxiety for many of us.We wonder, how secure are these payment systems? Will I be out the money if someone steals my account numbers and goes on a wild shopping spree or bleeds my savings dry?Deciding which online payment method to use would seem to be a simple matter of picking whichever offers higher security. But the wise consumer also weighs the legal protections in the case of theft: the best security and the lowest liability don’t necessarily go together.Here’s the lowdown on the risks associated with the most popular ways to pay online:

via Steps to Take to Reduce the Anxiety of Paying Online – NYTimes.com.

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How to Drive More Customers to Your Local Business With Social Geotagging

Do you run a local business? Maybe a restaurant, coffee shop or retail outlet? Do you want a fun way to encourage repeat traffic to your business? Does the idea of your customers talking about your business to all their friends sound interesting? If so, you need to pay attention to Foursquare and Geotagging.

What is Geotagging?

Simply put, geotagging is the process of attaching geographical data longitude and latitude to photographs, videos, websites, status updates and even emails. This geotagged data shows where the photos, videos, etc., were created or modified.

via How to Drive More Customers to Your Local Business With Social Geotagging | Social Media Examiner.

Scoble, Secretariat and Mister Ed | Business is Personal

Posted in General Business,Online Business,Restaurant,Social Media Marketing by ebs4pos on March 7, 2010

A while back, Robert Scoble wrote a terrific post on Scobleizer about the worst things that startups do.I suggest you hop over there and check it out even if you aren’t in the technology business. When you’re done, come back so we can apply Robert’s comments to your not-a-startup small business. Psst…While you’re over there, I suggest you subscribe to his blog, even if you aren’t in the tech world. You’ll be glad you did.Now that you’re back, let’s look a little closer at Robert’s list because it isnt just startups that make these mistakes. Here’s a small business angle on his list of mistakes:

via Scoble, Secretariat and Mister Ed | Business is Personal.

Social Media Posting problems

Used to be, workplace gossip and tales of weekend carousing were shared at the water cooler, in the break room or over beers after work.

Now, through the miracle of the Internet, such news can be posted on sites such as Twitter, MySpace and Facebook and shared instantly with friends, virtual and otherwise, along with the rest of the world.

This brave new world is raising a host of concerns for employers, who want to tap into the power of social media to connect with customers and clients, but who can’t always control how it is used and what is said.

The lines between personal and professional are easily blurred with social media, prompting some organizations to adopt policies providing guidance on how and when employees post status updates or tweet their friends— or in some cases, banning social media sites outright in the workplace.

via Business: Home | “Posting problems” | The Register-Guard | Eugene, Oregon.

Create a policy for social media

Question: I am concerned about potential problems for my business from use by my employees of social media such as Facebook and My-Space. What should I do?

Answer: The key step for a business is to avoid leaving a vacuum. Adopt a social media policy, tell employees what it is and enforce it fairly and uniformly. The policy must cover two aspects of social media: potentially damaging personal use and the business uses of social media.On the personal use side, you want to address five core concerns: 1 personal responsibility, 2 possible confusion of personal comments with company positions, 3 compliance with other company policies, 4 protection of the company, its employees and customers and 5 interference with job performance.

via Business: Home | “Create a policy for social media” | The Register-Guard | Eugene, Oregon.

10 Things You Can Do to Make Your Online Business Money | Small Business Trends

How’s the first quarter of 2010 — and the rest of the year — looking for you and your business?

Are you primed and ready to make money this year?

Have you put a plan in place to promote your business and maximize your success?

Here are ten quick, easy-to-implement things you can do that will guarantee your online business will be making you money this year:

Write down your personal affirmation for the month and the year.

The goal here is to help you step back from the hustle and bustle and stay focused on what’s important to you.

Get your story, idea, product, or service announcement out into the marketplace seven different ways, all at once.

Choose from these options to make a powerful impact:

via 10 Things You Can Do to Make Your Online Business Money | Small Business Trends.

Cellphone Applications Let Shoppers Point, Click and Buy – NYTimes.com

Posted in Online Business,POS,Retail by ebs4pos on February 27, 2010

Shoppers will soon be able to stand outside the designer Norma Kamali’s boutique in Manhattan, point a phone at merchandise in the window and buy it — even late at night when the store is closed. ScanLife technology allows customers to scan bar codes on merchandise.Ms. Kamali is at the forefront of a technological transformation coming to many of the nation’s retailers. They are determined to strengthen the link between their physical stores and the Web, and to use technology to make shopping easier for consumers and more lucrative for themselves.The main way they plan to do it is by turning people’s mobile phones into information displays and ordering devices. Can’t find the flour at the grocery store? Grocers will offer phone applications that tell shoppers exactly where to go. Is the department store out of size 8 jeans? Retailers want to make it simple to punch a couple of buttons and have the desired size shipped home.

via Cellphone Applications Let Shoppers Point, Click and Buy – NYTimes.com.

Subscriptions Deal with Transactions Times Twelve

Posted in Online Business,PCI,Retail,Security by ebs4pos on February 27, 2010

I was talking to a company that accepts credit cards for monthly subscription or service dues (think something as simple as paying your electric bill with your credit card) and when I asked them what level merchant they were, I was shocked to have them tell me they were at the top end of the Level 3 bracket! While I do not advocate focusing your PCI DSS efforts based only on your validation requirements, but it is interesting to consider what might happen if you were to reduce the number of payment cards you process in one year.

via Branden R. Williams, Business Security Specialist » Subscriptions Deal with Transactions Times Twelve.

Do You Know Your Customers Enough to be a Social Media Hit | Guest Posts | Social Media Consulting – Convince & Convert

Posted in General Business,Online Business,Social Media Marketing by ebs4pos on February 27, 2010

Being relevant to customers isn’t about just using their first name in an email. True relevance grows from a deep understanding of what motivates your customers, and ensuring that every contact they have with your organization shows to what degree your company values their reasons for choosing you. That deep respect for what drives your customers and prospects can’t be faked, either – you either live it or you don’t, and they can tell the difference.

The best example I’ve ever seen of this is from a company called ThinkGeek, which prides itself on carrying the most robust collection of unique, thought-provoking products with the biggest nerd appeal on the planet. They have 3 million unique visitors and 35 million page views every month.

ThinkGeek has a robust involvement in social media, with over 68,000 followers on Twitter, 50,000 fans on Facebook and over 11,000 subscribers to their channel on YouTube, which features company-posted videos demonstrating items like their proximity-meter t-shirts and fake-blood-filled, realistically gummy heart for Valentine’s Day.

They are successful because they unabashedly have the same interests as their customers, and they are incredibly consistent across all outposts. Here’s what they’re doing right:

via Do You Know Your Customers Enough to be a Social Media Hit | Guest Posts | Social Media Consulting – Convince & Convert.

CyberCrime & Doing Time: What the Bad Guys Know: We’ll Click on ANYTHING!

Posted in Online Business,Security by ebs4pos on February 27, 2010

For years the bad guys have been working to perfect the perfect social engineering schemes. By “social engineering” we are talking about the fact that in most situations the biggest security risk present at a computer has nothing to do with technology and everything to do with the human at the keyboard. The bad guys have made a science out of sending various malicious links and malware attachments to people and determining what message is required to make the human at the keyboard do what they want them to do.

What message is required to make you open an attachment to your email? A few that bad guys have discovered work reliably are to tell you that its information about an undelivered package (such as the UPS, DHL, USPS, FedEx scams we’ve seen), or a message that says your email is going to be deleted unless you confirm you still want it. For years an obvious one has been to pray on male insecurity about their sexual prowess, promising that clicking their link will lead to a larger penis which will make the women you know beg you for sex every night!

But recently the bad guys have figured out that it really doesn’t matter what they type in the email, if they only need a few people to buy their product or follow their link. The current round of Zeus spam doesn’t have a meaningful subject, and doesn’t contain any text at all! Only a link.

And people are clicking on it like mad to infect themselves! What mystery! I think I’ll click and see what it is!

The top email subjects right now are:

via CyberCrime & Doing Time: What the Bad Guys Know: We’ll Click on ANYTHING!.

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