Sony Data Hack Security Lessons

You may have never enjoyed playing a video game on a PlayStation, and might not watch many movies, use a camera, or listen to a lot of music - even if you have trouble spelling the company name - each of us can learn a valuable lesson from the fallout of the recent data breach that happened at Sony. By now everyone should be aware of the basics of online security and protecting password information. The next time that you have logged into one of your favourite ecommece websites and are preparing to buy something... after you have checked for the https secure website lock and entered your credit card number, but before you press the enter key to make that online purchase, remember that even multi-national mega-uber-conglamerate companies like Sony have been victims of data breaches. Life is full of risks and there are very few things in life that you can always rely on, however there is ONE thing that is always true online. Nothing on the internet is 100% secure.

Marketing Email Marketing

Everyone sees the value of email, and it is a fact that effective marketing can increase sales and help make any business successful. Email marketing can be an effective business tool, but somehow the balance seems to have tipped: it has become less about marketing and more about email. Ask the sales team at PingPipe or any other web host provider to tell you the last time that an Email Marketer has admitted to sending spam email; the fact is that when faced with a spam complaint most companies will not admit wrongdoing, and will say that they are legitimate Email Marketers that does not send spam email. Something has to be causing the increase in spam complaints though, All of that annoying spam email has to be coming from somewhere.  I think that we all can agree that receiving spam email  is an annoying waste of time. There has to be a point where a commercial email stops being email marketing and starts being email spam. That point in time is blatantly obvious to those of us who receive unsolicited email and oblivious to the people sending those messages. Before you begin using email marketing, there are a few useful things to remember: 1)  Commercial email should never be sent to people that do not ask to receive it. 2) Keep a record of the requests to be added to your marketing list (complete with IP addresses the requests were sent from. 3) Follow up requests to be added to your mailing list, and ask people to confirm that they indeed want to be added. (this is called a double opt-in) 4) If someone asks to be removed from your mailing list take them off it right away. 5) Quickly respond to any spam complaints. As long as you keep the above points in mind, you will find that Email marketing is a great tool to increase sales, keep in touch with your client base, and inform them about your products and services.

Regional domain names

Finding a unique domain name is getting more and more difficult.  When making a choice, often people find that "all the good ones are taken". While this might be the case for the "mainstream" extensions, a great alternative is to check the regional extension for the market you are targeting.  Check your favorite search engine  search engine for a registrar - there's a good chance your domain will be available. Some countries have this requirement that you have to have a presence there (like .dk for Germany, or .ca for Canada), but a lot don't (like .tv - which seems to be getting more popular, and isn't restricted to TV shows as some people think - its the top level domain  for the islands of Tuvalu). Having a domain name with the country-specific extension of the country you are targeting for your business will help with your branding in the local market. If you'd like to register one to use on your dedicated server or shared hosting solution contact the PingPipe sales team for assistance with the registration process.

tax on PayPal funds

Many people wonder if they should include the income they receive through PayPal on their tax returns.  It is commonly thought that these funds are "hidden" and therefore do not need to be disclosed to the taxman. Unfortunately this is not true. Taxation laws are different throughout the world, but the one thing that is constant is that no matter what country you pay taxes to it is the government that collects them.  You should never underestimate the power of a federal tax collector to uncover financial information. If you are subject to a formal tax audit the person conducting it will need access to all of your records of income and expenses, and will most likely be able to obtain all of your  income information through the courts if necessary. The penalties in most countries for tax evasion are generally far more severe than the amount of tax owing. If you are in doubt about what income to declare or have questions it's wise to check with your accountant or a local tax expert before you submit your tax return. In many cases you will be able to  also declare any expenses you incurred (like transaction fees, eBay charges, etc) to offset your declared income, which will lower the amount of tax you will have to pay. By way of disclaimer, we are not taxation experts and laws do vary in each country. In North America, for instance,  it just is not worth the risk of not declaring income received via PayPal on your income tax return. This is especially true when there is a large amount of money or many transactions involved.
Posted in Ecommerce Solutions, Hosting Hints at December 2nd, 2009. No Comments.