Did COVID-19 Help Companies Realize Working From Home Is Viable?

Have you ever heard that sentence — “there goes another meeting that could’ve been an email?” Well, it’s pretty much the same with certain jobs that people can do from home, yet employers still insist on their presence in the office.

It’s unclear as to why these companies insist on having workers spend both their time and money to go to a place that’s in no way different than their own home and do a job that requires no special tools or equipment.

According to recent freelance statistics, 94% of freelancers are happy with their work; making it all the more puzzling as to why companies spend large sums of money on renting or buying office buildings, not to mention the ongoing utility costs.

The global COVID-19 pandemic forced many an employer to let their employees work from home, whether they like it or not. [irp]

Before the crisis, 7% of American workers, or roughly 10 million people, were able to choose whether they would work from home or not. Today, there is still no clear data on how many people are working remotely, but the number is undoubtedly much higher.

Who Is Eligible for Remote Work?

Programmers, marketers, designers, writers — these are all professions where people can work from home; you only need a stable internet connection and a computer.

How many people are we talking about here exactly? Let’s look at the numbers. 

There are over 4 million programmers in the US. Around a million marketers. Some 300,000 authors, copywriters, and editors. What about the eCommerce sector? There are 1.3 million companies in the US; 1,335 of these companies employ over 10,000 people. Hence, millions of people may be eligible for remote work. 

Of course, not all of them can do their work from home. There are those working in packaging, delivery, and the similar.

What Are Some of the Benefits of Working From Home?

For starters, productivity is one major benefit. Not everyone is capable of remaining focused while there are tens of other employees around them. Constant distractions and other people talking to each other or over the phone make it an impossible working environment for some. 

Another thing worth mentioning is having a much better work-life balance. It can be exhausting to travel 5 or 6 days a week to and from work. Overall, fewer commuting times make them considerably happier — and a happy employee is a productive employee.

The latest work from home statistics shows that around 80% of people would like to work from home given the chance. Stats also show that 56% of all employees in the States could do at least some part of their job from home. [irp]

What Are the Downsides of Working From Home?

Some managers prefer having employees under their constant vigilance, yet with a remote workforce, they have no control over what their employees do during working hours; at least, not to the degree that they’re used to. 

In addition, remote workers will find it harder to bond with their fellow colleagues due to being so far apart. As a result, they won’t coordinate as well with their co-workers as their on-site counterparts.

Lastly, some people might find the home environment to be more distracting than an office setting, or more isolated (depending on the individual).

Conclusion

All in all, the potential benefits of working from home are very interesting to both employers and the workforce.

After all, it’s the 21st century, and everything’s digitized now. Elon Musk is launching hundreds of new satellites in low orbit, 5G networks are allowing lightning-fast data transfers, and artificial intelligence is reshaping the industry as we know it. 

Hopefully, people will realize that remote work is beneficial for everyone involved. Employees will not only work better from the comfort of their own home (or favorite cafe), but also be more relaxed, happier, and content with their company, whereas employers have fewer expenses to worry about. A win-win type of situation indeed.

How Visual Storytelling Can Make Your Brand Come to Life

If you want to get people to talk about your brand, you will have to convey a message that resonates with the audience. Yet, the over-crowded market is making this task more challenging with each passing day. After all, the recent branding statistics say that consumers filter through 4,000-10,000 ads per day!

No matter what line of business you are in, the competition will never allow you to rest on your laurels. Nonetheless, visual storytelling could improve your chances of cutting through the noise. That said, let’s see how logos and visuals can help you connect with the customers on a deeper level.

What are the Benefits of Using Logos and Imagery?

Visual storytelling is one of the pillars of digital marketing. As such, this strategy is a must-have in 2020 and beyond. But why is that so? Let’s start from the beginning. For instance, branding statistics show that as many as 90% of purchases are under the direct influence of visual factors.[irp]

The reason for this could lie in the fact that the human brain can process images 60,000 times faster than words. So, by improving the visual identity of your brand, you can capture attention and ultimately boost profits. Meaningful logos and visual elements can evoke an emotional reaction, which is the precursor of every purchasing decision.  

How to Tell A Story Through Visual Elements

Ever since the dawn of humankind, people loved a good story. The same applies to humans in this day and age. For that reason, marketers and business owners need to develop creative stories and campaigns.

Visual storytelling can get people talking about your brand in a flash. This powerful weapon is excellent for spreading the word about a product or a service. However, you must learn how to use it properly.

For example, it is imperative to be authentic at all times. In other words, your visual should always stay in line with the core values of the company. By doing so, you will reinforce brand trust. After all, experienced marketers know that a loyal customer is ten times more valuable than a single purchase.

Therefore, your goal should be to connect with the audience on a deeper level. Simplicity and minimalist design often do wonders when it comes to communicating a message. Likewise, it is essential to make the visuals intuitive and easy to follow. No matter if you are posting them on social media or as an infographic, the imagery should never be overwhelming.[irp]

Final Thoughts

If you want to tell a compelling story and rise above the noise, you must incorporate some of the principles we listed above. For instance, branding statistics also say that 93% of the top-rated brands use simple and straightforward logos. In other words, these guidelines work!

So, to create brand loyalty and improve retention, consider using visuals together with the content you post. Visual storytelling can capture attention much faster than text. That is why you should never underestimate the power of images and logos.

For more Storytelling tips, check out our Blog or visit our Website

Cybersecurity: Protecting Yourself From Online Scams

With our growing reliance on the internet, online scams do not look like a theme that would fade away anytime soon. In 2019, phishing attempts grew by an intimidating 65%, highlighting the fact that scam attempts are on the rise. While some individuals do their best to protect themselves from intruders, others think they are too poor or less exciting to be targets of online fraudsters.

Ironically, even impoverished individuals can be scammed. This is because scams are not only directed at a particular demographic or members of a specific social class. The biggest victims of online scams are individuals who show interest in ‘get-rich’ schemes, among others. 

Investment schemes are known for scams, where victims lose all their money. These days, even those who do not show interest in schemes like these can fall prey to the whims and caprices of scammers. This is because the latter group has become increasingly sophisticated in their methods. [irp]

You would find the following tips helpful if you are looking to protect yourself from online scams or fraudsters.

Use Strong and Different Passwords

You can protect yourself from online fraudsters by using strong passwords. Ensure that they contain the right mix of letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid the use of passwords/pins like your date of birth and those that are easy to guess by your acquaintances who have access to a number of your private information. Besides, make sure to use different passwords for different accounts.

Avoid Opening Suspicious SMS, Pop-Ups, or Emails

This is a significant step to keeping yourself safe from online scams. Do not open emails, SMS, or links from suspicious or unknown sources. If you are not sure about the source of the mail, verify its identity through an online search. It is always recommended to check the domain by googling it then clicking the link. 

It is always a red flag if an email asks you to provide your bank details or asks you for remote access to your phone or PC. Even if the address shows a reputable company, there’s still a big probability that it is false. 

Approach Charitable Causes With Caution

Our feeds on social networking channels like Twitter and Facebook are daily flooded with heart-wrenching images and information about charitable causes. Most of these causes come with pleas for donation. While social media tools can inspire you to help others who are in danger or dire need of help, you should not give blindly to these missions. This is because some of them are parts of a big ploy to defraud unsuspecting charity givers. 

Before donating any sum, take the time to investigate groups behind those charitable pleas. Ensure that they are non-profit organizations and not fraudsters. After that, go through the charity’s website to make the donations you deem fit. [irp]

Be suspicious of individuals who also contact you claiming to be a victim of an accident or some form of disaster. Real victims of accidents are usually not in the right position to contact you directly for assistance.

Conclusion

There are a lot of methods scammers now deploy to defraud unsuspecting victims over the internet. Social media, dating sites, emails, and SMS are only a part of the grand scheme. The above-listed tips are some of the tips that can keep you away from the clasp of these scammers.

For more Cyber Security tips, check out our Blog or visit our Website

What is Spear Phishing?

Hackers have gotten pretty sneaky over the years. It’s becoming increasingly easier for them to make off with your data without you even realizing it.

One of their favorite ways of snatching data right under your nose is spear phishing. According to the latest cybercrime statistics, as many as 91% of all cyberattacks involve spear phishing.

This tactic is clearly a major threat to cybersecurity. But what is it, exactly? And what makes it both commonplace and dangerous?

Before we get into that, first, what is spear phishing anyway?

What Is Phishing?

Phishing is a hacking method that involves the victim handing the attacker their data willingly – unaware that they’re being cheated, of course. The most common way hackers phish is through emails and social media.

The hacker poses as a trustworthy person or organization and asks you to either click a link or download a file. By complying with the message, the recipient unknowingly exposes their data to risk. 

A famous example of a phishing email is the so-called Nigerian Prince scam. It’s practically as old as the internet, but it’s surprisingly still around every once in a while. If you aren’t familiar with it, though, here’s an example:

Spear Phishing

Most phishing attacks will assume this kind of format, though they’ll likely be more clever than this.

So, that’s phishing in a nutshell. But what makes spear-phishing different? 

What Is Spear Phishing?

Here’s a quick hypothetical scenario that illustrates what a spear-phishing attack is. A hacker sends an email to their victim. This email (typically using the recipient’s name and/or other personal information) claims that there was a problem with the receiver’s Facebook account. 

The message includes what looks like a link to Facebook, but it actually leads to a page that looks just like Facebook’s login page. The victim types in their login details and unwittingly hands their data over to the hacker.

So, it’s basically the same as a normal phishing attack, right? Well, not exactly.

The crucial difference is that spear-phishing specifically targets a single person. Looking at the Nigerian prince example we talked about above, you can see that it can be mass-sent like a shotgun email. Our hypothetical, on the other hand, makes use of personal information. It’s basically tailored to attack only one person.

Why Is Spear Phishing So Dangerous?

The main reason why spear phishing is so dangerous is that it’s extremely effective. Seeing that it’s made to target one individual, it’s excellently disguised as a non-threat. 

A file seemingly sent by one of your friends could contain malware, and that thought might only cross your mind when it’s too late. And phishing attacks bypass cyber defences, so there’s basically nothing to alert you that a breach took place.

Spear phishing is even scarier in the eyes of a business owner, though. Just imagine if a single employee falls for this grift, and they have sensitive data about their place of work. An entire enterprise can be compromised by just tricking one person.

With this in mind, it’s no wonder that nine out of ten hacking attempts use spear phishing. And they only seem to be rising in popularity: their use spiked by 65% in 2019.

How Do I Avoid Spear Phishing?

With a few precautions, you can make sure that you don’t fall for a spear-phishing attack:

  • Simply knowing about it makes you more careful about what emails you open.
  • Use different passwords to minimize the damage a hacker can make.
  • Don’t post information willy-nilly around the internet.
  • Don’t click on a link provided by a strange message.

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