Credit card processing "Deals" may be scams

Unfortunately, nearly everything can be scammed these days. Not just credit cards, but the process of accepting cards for a business or organization.

If you’re in a small business, you probably need a way for people to pay you – and ways to lower your costs. Scammers have been working both of those angles, promising businesses that they can save on leases of credit card processing equipment. They’ve also been promising that businesses can cancel any time. But is that what happens?

In a word, no. Businesses can end up paying thousands to lease equipment that would have cost only a few hundred dollars to buy. When the business can’t cancel the lease (despite the promises), it can have trouble if it stops paying. Those lease agreements can hold the business owner (or the person who signed the lease) responsible for the debts. And the agreements can require that legal disputes are heard in another state. Some scammers have even pretended to be the business’s current card processor – people have been tricked into signing new contracts when they thought they were just updating paperwork.

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Website Essentials

There are hundreds of millions websites and billions of web pages on the Internet. The formula for a successful website is fairly straight forward.  Here are some of the essentials.

There are certain pages every website can’t be without. A small business’s site needs to give visitors what they are most likely to be looking for.

If you’re getting a website together for your small business or reinventing an existing site, take a look at the five essential pages every small business website needs. We include three other recommended pages as well.

Homepage

Your homepage is the virtual lobby of your business, the first thing people notice when they visit the site. It’s therefore vital that your homepage presents your business in a professional and engaging light. Make a great first impression!

As research from the Neilsen Norman Group highlights, you have less than 10 seconds to convey your value proposition. Get to the point about what your business is about. Keep words concise, punchy and compelling to hook visitors and get them to explore deeper into your site.

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NYSEG Phone "Scam" targets small businesses

With graduation season in our area, many businesses are working full-out to meet their clients needs. Some of the local scamsters have decided that it's a good time to try to defraud some of those businesses. Below is an email we received from The Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce about the latest local phone scam.

NYSEG or any legimate business will never make that kind of call "out of the blue". They all have carefully scripted procedures to contact their customers with overdue balances.

While we're on the topic, we're hearing more about calls purported to be from the IRS seeking overdue tax payments, typically from the elderly. They want to be "paid" immediately by gift card, like Best Buy or Apple. As absurd as this sounds, unsuspecting people are falling for this phone scam. That "success" is why these scams continue to proliferate.

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The Computing Center Privacy Policy

No doubt you have been receiving updated privacy policies from anyone who you may have ever done online business with, received electronic newsletters, or signed up for additional information. The primary driver behind all the emails and privacy policy updates has been the European Union's (EU) "General Data Privacy Regulations" (GDPR). Although they have been in effect for the last couple of years, on May 25, 2018, there is now enforcement of those regularions by the EU.

As noted in our Privacy Policy, we don't market or sell to citizens of the EU. However, some of our clients may be EU citizens and therefore are covered by GDPR. Hence the need for an updated Privacy Policy and why all of the recent emails. 

Most of our suppliers, vendors, and content providers have sent us "dry" versions of their Privacy Policies. A few have lightened things up with email subjects like: "But Wait, here is one more GDPR email", "Here are the Ways we keep your Info Safe!" and our favortie: "If you're happy receiving our newsletters, do nothing!" 

So whether you take this seriously or light hearted, below is The Computing Center's Privacy Policy;

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Using Technology to Revamp Your Office

The Computing Center helps our clients revamp their businesses use of technolgy and better leverage it every day. How we work has dramatically changed over the last quarter century and a lot more change is on the way. Here are some newer technologies that will help us, but also affect how our businesses operate.

You’ve probably heard that every business is a tech business, but have you ever thought about how the innovative technology you use on a daily basis has impacted today’s workplace culture? Consider how talking on the phone has been almost entirely replaced by text and email or how work chats now take place through dedicated messaging platforms, like Slack. These applications changed the way everyone communicates—and now, tech wearables are popping up in the workplace, reinventing and enhancing office culture and productivity forever.

The latest innovative technology offers a compelling case study in how devices, gadgets, and wearable tech have the potential to change both the way you work and the culture of your company. As users begin to expect more from their IT departments, you need to pay attention to employee trends and how the latest technology can help your business achieve even more.

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