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Risk Management Bulletin
How To Stay Safe When You Use Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi allows your team to stay connected on the go. You have to be careful, though, because public Wi-Fi is notoriously unsecure. Cybercriminals could also log into the free network you use and access data on your devices, such as your login information or confidential client files. Exercise caution and stay safe in several ways as you use your laptop, tablet or smartphone on public Wi-Fi networks.
Verify the Network Name
Before logging in, research the network. Only log into Wi-Fi that originates from a legitimate source as you avoid a man-in-the-middle attack. For example, cybercriminals may name their network “Free Wi-Fi” or mimic the establishment’s name as a way to attract users. Ask the barista, librarian or other staff member to verify the name of their public Wi-Fi network before you log in.
Turn off File Sharing
Your team relies on file sharing, but this feature is lucrative for cybercriminals, too. That’s why you want to turn off file sharing when you use public Wi-Fi. This step protects your files and data you don’t want criminals to access.
Use a VPN
A virtual private network (VPN) encrypts data as it travels between your device and the server. Research free and paid VPN options, then add one to your devices for protection when you need it on the go.
Check for HTTPS
If you see a lock symbol and HTTPS in front of the website address in the status bar, you’re browsing a secure site. You can also use an HTTPS extension for extra protection.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
With two-factor authentication, you add an extra layer of protection to your online browsing. Even if cybercriminals gain access to your password, they probably cannot get into your account since they need to enter a unique authentication code also.
Browser and software patches can improve security. Make it a habit to install these patches when you’re connected to a trusted network. Never update software when you’re connected to public Wi-Fi.
Forget the Network
After your public Wi-Fi session ends, log off all the websites you were signed into and tell your device to forget the network. This step prevents cybercriminals from connecting to your device automatically the next time you’re in the network area.
Limit your Activity
It’s tempting to think that cybercrime couldn’t happen to you or that you can afford to be careless because you have cybercrime and business liability insurance. However, always use caution. Save sensitive or confidential work for when you’re on a trusted network.
Your company may utilize public Wi-Fi often to stay connected and get work done. Encourage your employees to use caution and follow these steps as they stay safe.
Scurich Insurance Services
Ways To Reduce ADA Lawsuit Risks In Your Small Business
Established in 1990, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) protects disabled Americans from discrimination. The term “disabled” applies to anyone with a physical or mental impairment that significantly limits or restricts a daily life activity, and ADA laws apply in the workplace and nearly any public space.
Learn more about how your small business can comply with ADA laws, protect your
and customers, and avoid expensive and time-consuming lawsuits.
Challenges of ADA Compliance for Small Businesses
While beneficial, ADA laws change frequently. Your small business may not have the time or resources to remain updated and complaint. However, if you don’t maintain ADA compliance at all times, you could face numerous fines and lawsuits. Additionally, you lose valuable employees and customers and damage your professional reputation.
Ways to Become ADA Compliant
can become ADA compliant when you take several steps.
Assess your specific risks.
Certain structures built before early 1993 may be exempt from strict guidelines that apply to structures built after early 1993, but you will need to perform an ADA assessment no matter when your building was constructed. Your property and business could face specific risks such as non-compliant entryways, incorrect bathroom signs or shelves that are hung too high. A certified ADA specialist will assess your property based on applicable current laws. You may also hire an architect with experience in equal-access requirements to perform the assessment and suggest necessary changes.
Correct non-compliant areas.
After you have identified your specific risks, correct them. Hire an architect, contractor or other professional to make the necessary changes and secure your ADA compliance. Remember that your small business may be eligible for numerous annual tax credits and deductions that offset a portion of your renovation costs.
Beware of drive-by lawsuits.
Certain enterprising individuals may drive by your property, note ADA violations then file a lawsuit. You could then be liable for legal fees and repairs. Unfortunately, you cannot prevent drive-by lawsuits, but you can purchase adequate insurance to cover some of your losses and give you peace of mind.
Purchase adequate business insurance.
A commercial general liability policy doesn’t prevent an ADA-related lawsuit, but it does provide invaluable financial resources if you are sued. Consider purchasing errors and omissions insurance, an employment practices liability policy and umbrella coverage, too, as you protect your small business. Your insurance agent can offer additional advice on the invaluable coverage you need.
Your small business can and must become ADA compliant or you will face expensive and time-consuming lawsuits. Use these tips to secure compliance and protect your employees, customers and company. For more information, contact the Department of Justice’s ADA Information Line at 800- 514-0301.
Scurich Insurance Services
Ways To Manage Competitive Risk As You Prep For The Holiday Season
Competitive risk challenges many businesses like yours, especially during the holiday season. This year, manager competitive risk effectively in several ways.
Instead of waiting until closer to the holidays to figure out what your competitors are planning or which promotions were most successful in the past, do your research now. You're more likely to enjoy a successful holiday season if you prepare for it.
Please your Customers
Use social media, in-store review cards and other methods to ask your customers what they want to see during the holidays. Are they interested in new products, free gift wrapping or bundle sales? Take their opinions into account as you plan to attract and please customers this season.
Don’t be afraid to try something new this year. When you think outside of the box, you have an edge over competitors who do the same thing year after year.
Add New Locations
The holiday season is the perfect time to test out a new location. Rent a kiosk at the mall, set up a temporary booth in a complementary business or open an online store. Try out a new location as you give customers more opportunities to find you and purchase your products.
Price Products Fairly
Discounts do attract customers, but you risk harming your bottom line if you cut prices too much. Take care to price products fairly so that your customers get a deal and you attract business without affecting your profit.
Customers typically like a good deal and see bundles as a financially lucrative investment. Group similar products together in a bundle or offer a complementary product or service as you prompt more sales.
Start a Subscription Service
Your goal for the holiday season is to improve fourth-quarter sales, but you also want to build your business into the new year. Consider a subscription service. Customers can purchase the subscription during the holiday season and gain benefits for months to come while your business creates ongoing income.
Revamp your Website
Increasingly, consumers search online before making purchases. Is your website user-friendly and attractive? Does it make shopping easy and work well on mobile devices? Make these changes now so your website is ready for the holiday shopping rush.
Show Gratitude for Competition
Sure, you want to sell more products than your competitors so you can make a profit. However, competition can force you to improve product quality and customer service while you reduce overhead and trim expenses. Overall, competition can make your business better, so be grateful for it.
Competitive risk can make or break your business. This holiday season, manage this risk in several ways as you please your customers and your bottom line.
Scurich Insurance Services
Tips To Raise Sexual Assault Awareness And Prevent Harassment At Work
Sexual Assault Awareness Month
, and your workplace must be safe for employees, vendors and customers. Make time this month to refresh your understanding of sexual harassment as you prevent sexual assault and create a safe work environment.
Define Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment includes any unwanted sexual advances such as offering a work benefit in exchange for sexual favors, inappropriate touching, unwelcome or intimidating behavior, offensive jokes, and inappropriate decor. Federal and state laws prohibit any form of sexual harassment.
Know Your Role
As an employer, you have the responsibility to prevent sexual harassment and create a safe work environment for all employees. A harassment-free work environment improves morale and productivity, and it reduces liability.
Write a Clear Anti-Harassment Policy
Your employee handbook should include a comprehensive anti-harassment policy that outlines:
The definition of sexual harassment
Your zero-tolerance policy
Consult your attorney to ensure the policy meets or exceeds federal and state requirements and covers all your bases.
Conduct Frequent Training Sessions
Schedule annual or more frequent training sessions to ensure all your employees understand the definition of sexual harassment, your company's official policy, how to report it, and ways to prevent it. These trainings should be mandatory for all your employees, including supervisors.
Ensure Leadership Complies with the Zero-Tolerance Policy
All supervisors and managers must comply with your zero-tolerance policy as they prevent sexual harassment. Leaders set the bar for everyone else’s behavior and must be trusted to handle cases appropriately.
You can monitor email and other electronic communications as well as behavior as you look for and stop inappropriate behavior. Encourage your employees to monitor and report inappropriate behavior, too.
Clarify the Reporting Procedure
Despite your efforts, sexual harassment may occur, and you will need to clarify the reporting procedure and empower victims and onlookers to report improper actions. While employees should tell the perpetrator to stop, they should also know who to report to, what information to share and how to report harassment perpetrated by their direct supervisor.
Every employee should know the consequences of sexual harassment. They should also be confident that the consequences will be applied consistently to all employees.
Create a Safe Culture
While you need and want to prevent sexual harassment, the company's culture should also support your stand. No crude or offensive jokes, inappropriate activities during after-work events or other improper actions should be tolerated, encouraged or allowed.
Your company must be safe for everyone. This April, improve sexual assault awareness and prevent sexual harassment as you follow the law and improve your company and culture.
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