Don’t Let Social Media Tarnish Your Organisation’s Reputation

Seventy-four per cent of board members believe that reputational damage is the most concerning repercussion of an incident, according to research from the Economic Intelligence Unit. Regardless of your organisation’s size, your reputation, which is intrinsically linked to your brand, is a precious commodity that is just as important to bolster and protect as your goods and services. Those tasks are made both infinitely easier and more difficult with social media.

As a tool, social media connects your organisation to potential customers around the world. Yet, it can also allow the public to just as easily tarnish your reputation by sharing an ill-conceived or objectionable business decision or action taken by one of your employees. What’s more is that the potential damage that social media can cause is just not immediate, but can linger on for years as an indelible blemish on your organisation’s reputation. For example, Sainsbury’s experienced social media backlash after a poster encouraging employees to get customers to spend 50 pence more was accidentally posted in a shop window rather than the staff room in 2014. A picture of the poster was then tweeted, causing social media outrage. Although reputation loss is difficult to quantify in terms of loss of potential revenue and customers, it is surely felt, and the brand will always bear that mark of scandal. (more…)

Most Pay Ransomware Despite Claiming They Never Would

Within the last 24 months, 44 per cent of all UK organisations have been infected by ransomware, and 27 per cent of those were infected more than once, according to recent research published by cyber security firm, Trend Micro. Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware) designed to block access to specific data, files or even the entire computer until a designated sum is paid to the cyber criminals responsible for the attack. Of the organisations that have been infected with this type of malware, 1 in 3 stated that their employees were affected by the attack along with an estimated 31 per cent of their customers. This type of cyber attack can be especially dangerous if an organisation does not have any sort of digital backup for the data and files that could be sequestered by malware.

Despite the potential damage that this type of cyber attack could cause, nearly 75 per cent of surveyed organisations who have not been infected by ransomware stated that they would never pay cyber criminals. Yet, 65 per cent of organisations that have been infected end up paying the ransom. The average cost for an organisation is £540, but 1 in 5 businesses have paid more than £1,000. Unfortunately, less than half of those organisations actually get their blocked data back. (more…)

Cyber Criminals Can Exploit Any Organisation’s Weaknesses, No Matter the Size

On average, each UK business was subject to 230,000 cyber attacks in 2016, according to research provided by internet service provider, Beaming. Very few of these attacks were successful, but the sheer volume is noteworthy. In November, for the first time ever, more than 1,000 attacks per day hit individual company firewalls, contributing to an overall cost to the UK economy of £34.1 billion. What’s more, is that 2 out of 3 large businesses and SMEs were hit with cyber attacks in 2016, according to research from the government and the Federation of Small Businesses. Even though businesses of all sizes are being targeted by cyber criminals, the methods that they use to get past the various cyber defences can be drastically different.

Below are some common trends among both large businesses and SMEs that your organisation can review in order to better prepare itself. (more…)

6 Best Practices to Prevent Age Discrimination Claims

The average life expectancy has steadily been rising over the past several decades, and as a result, people are remaining in the workforce longer—making organisations increasingly multi-generational. In fact, there are an estimated 1.3 million employees over the age of 65 currently employed. However, as the number of older workers has increased, so has the potential for an organisation to be served with an age discrimination claim—which cost an average of £9,000 in 2015-16.

To protect your organisation from such a claim, review the following six best practices for preventing age discrimination claims: (more…)

Winter Worker Safety Tips

Winter weather can create various hazards that include slippery surfaces and roads, strong winds and frigid temperatures. These conditions can promote an increase in workplace accidents that include hypothermia, frostbite and falls. However, many of those injuries can be prevented with the right preparation and presence of mind.

Prevention techniques are most effective when everyone in the organisation makes safety a priority. The following measures can help keep you safe at work during the winter months: (more…)

Find the Best Travel Deal this Spring

The weakened pound has made it increasingly expensive to go on holiday. Yet, that should not stop you from setting out on an enjoyable trip. To ensure that your next holiday does not break the bank, consider the following tips:

  • Research, research and research. Prices for flights, hotels and hire cars can change from day to day. That is why it is a good idea to begin researching flights, hotels and hire cars in order to find the best deal. Generally, booking costs are the lowest on Tuesdays.
  • Take an indirect flight. By taking an indirect flight, you can save up to 50 per cent.
  • Avoid unnecessary frills. Skip the airport and in-flight frills—such as headphones, alcoholic beverages and in-flight entertainment—to save some money.
  • Travel overnight. You can save on the cost of a hotel for a night if you travel overnight.
  • Explore by foot. One of the best ways to experience any city is exploring the city by foot. In addition, seeing the city this way helps you save on bus, tube and taxi fares.
  • Keep the minibar closed. Generally, whatever spirits, liquors and refreshments that are stocked in the minibar are far more expensive than what the hotel bar would charge for the same drink.
  • Buy travel insurance. The unexpected could happen while you are on holiday—such as the airport losses your luggage, a family member has a medical emergency or inclement weather negatively impacts your travel plans—but with travel insurance, you can recoup some or all of those losses.


Simple Steps to a Fuel-efficient Car

Instead of scouring your area looking for the cheapest petrol and diesel prices, follow these five simple steps to help you save on fuel costs year round:

  1. Remove the roof racks and boxes. Without any roof racks or boxes to slow it down, your car becomes more aerodynamic, which can save you as much as 20 per cent annually on fuel.
  2. Slow down. Depending on how fast you are driving, slowing down by even 10mph could save you anywhere from 10 to 25 per cent.
  3. Service your car. Be sure to have your car regularly serviced in order to ensure that the engine along with the car’s other mechanical parts continue to run efficiently.
  4. Drive sensibly. Remain aware of other drivers, the road conditions and the surrounding environment. By doing so, you can reduce how often you accelerate and how hard you break—both of which can help reduce the amount of fuel used.
  5. Clean out your car. A lighter car uses less fuel, so be sure to clean out any unnecessary items in your boot.


7 Tips for Lowering Energy Costs

We’re in the depths of winter, meaning skin is dry and energy costs are high. To ensure that your savings don’t go down as you turn the heat up, follow these seven energy tips:

  1. Turn the thermostat down. If you lower the temperature by just two degrees, Energy UK estimates you could save about £85 per year.
  2. Inspect window and door seams. While it may seem airtight, there could actually be a draft seeping around the frame. By sealing up these leaks, you could save £25 to £50 per year.
  3. Perform maintenance on your boiler. Like any other piece of machinery, your boiler can benefit from annual maintenance to clear out build-up, lubricate fans, change filters and tighten fan belts. On average, this could save you at least 10 per cent on your heating bills.
  4. Limit hot water use. Limit your showers to about 10 minutes to avoid overusing hot water. Also consider purchasing a hot water cylinder jacket and installing primary pipe work insulation, which together could save you up to £45 per year, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
  5. Move your furniture. Avoid putting large pieces of furniture such as sofas near radiators, as the furniture ends up absorbing a lot of the heat.
  6. Use energy-saving light bulbs. Energy-saving light bulbs can last up to 10 times longer and can save you about £50 over the course of the bulb’s lifetime.
  7. Add more insulation in your attic. Insulating or adding extra insulation to your loft, attic or flat roof helps reduce heat loss and can lower your heating bill. Loft insulation is generally effective for at least 40 years, so it is a wise investment.