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The businesses they created were built through Instagram. Then the platform changed.

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The businesses they created were built through Instagram. Then the platform changed.

After losing her job as a construction worker during the outbreak, Kaitlin Tokar decided to attempt selling her antique furniture and homewares assortment on Instagram.

“It was a lot quicker than I anticipated,” she said. The Midnight Tokar Vintage account has picked more than 6000 followers since its launch in September of 2020. She’s also created a second account that is focused on reselling clothing. Even with modest followers, Tokar, a 30-year-old single mother living within New York City, was successful in making her Instagram shop her primary source of income around one year ago.

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In the last few months, her posts aren’t reaching the same number of followers or regular customers. This has meant that her products are selling slower, and she believes that the issue could be related to the recent changes Instagram has made to its platform. “Things don’t seem to be getting noticed. … I still get messages after I’ve posted something like, “Oh my god, I did not know this existed,” Tokar said.

It’s not just her. As Instagram tends to prioritize videos and posts that are recommended in the feeds of users in an attempt to keep up with competitors, TikTok and other small-scale companies that were founded using the app are experiencing difficulty getting their message out to their fans and are experiencing a decline in engagement and are worried over the fate of their business. A few small-scale business owners joined other users on a Change.org petition for “make Instagram Instagram again,” which has garnered nearly 300,000. Signatures in the time since the petition was created in June. Others have expressed their displeasure directly on the platform through posts and stories.

“I still have my main customer base … but with the method in which Instagram changes, it doesn’t seem sustainable anymore. I don’t think I’m growing,” said Liz Gross, who, since 2011, has sold vintage clothes through her account Xtabay Vintage. Gross stated that 98% of her revenue is derived from the platform after the outbreak’s shut down brick-and-mortar store.

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Small business owners are concerned. It can be seen as part of a broader opposition to Instagram’s recent changes that, according to some users, take away from Instagram’s history of photo sharing and make it more challenging to be part of the communities they’ve been creating through the app. Many users have complained that instead of seeing posts from their friends on their feeds, it’s now much more likely to see suggestions for posts, advertisements, and Reels (Instagram’s short-form answer to TikTok) that they might or might not be interested in.

Following a storm of criticism last month, including big names in social media like Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian, Instagram said it would temporarily suspend specific changes. Instagram stated that it would discontinue the full-screen feature it was trying to test in an apparent attempt to make it look more like TikTok and limit the number of posts it recommends to users’ feeds until it can improve its algorithm that decides what people would like to see. But, Instagram head Adam Mosseri has said the use of videos and suggested content would remain essential to the future of the app.

In response to questions about small-business owners concerned about the issue, Anne Yeh, a spokesperson for Instagram parent company Meta has reiterated that Instagram has temporarily cut down on the number of posts recommended on the feeds of users as a result of feedback from users. “We are aware that adjustments to the app could be a change. However, we also believe that Instagram must adapt to changing times, and we’d like to spend the time to make sure that we do the right information,” Yeh said in an announcement.

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Mosseri has claimed that the change to more suggested content is designed to aid those who create content on this platform, meaning that users are more likely to find something they haven’t previously followed. Some business owners believe that making sure their posts are seen by people who have chosen to follow them is more important.

“I have people who email me and say that they never see my posts again and ask me if I continue to write,” said Gross, who usually posts multiple times per day for her followers of 166,000. “Only a tiny percentage of people who follow me read the posts. “Determining how the number of people who see posts changes on every platform is complex. Instagram allows professionals such as companies and other creators an overview of how their posts are performing, including the number of accounts that see and interact with their posts.

The businesses they created were built through Instagram. Then the platform changed.

Similar to that, Liz Sickinger, owner of Six Vintage Rugs, said that, while her followers generally respond to her posts if it appears on their feeds, recently, her posts are only seen by about 5% of users who are following her.

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“As an artist, I’ve grown discontented with my being on there for a long time,” Sickinger, who started her online store selling antique rugs in 2014 and has more than 42,000 followers, said to CNN Business in an email. She said she’s unsure if her posts will show as recommended content on other feeds of users but added, “I suspect not because I don’t make a lot of videos, and I am at a complete stop.”

Many small-scale business owners are also dissatisfied with the focus of Instagram on video. They say they are forced to make Videos or Instagram Reels to allow your posts to be noticed, regardless of whether or not the format is appropriate for their product.

“I did not enter this industry to entertain,” Tokar said. “It’s very time-consuming creating the content, and it’s an unending task, to begin with. My days are filled with sourcing and taking pictures, listing and searching, cleaning, and providing. … It’s full-time work.”

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Accounts can be paid to “boost” their posts to appear as sponsored posts in more people’s feeds. This is something that several business owners say now seems to be one of the best ways to guarantee engagement for still images. Sickinger claimed that her ad spending has increased by a third in the last calendar year “because organic reach has gone away.”

Gross says that sponsored posts have increased her fan base over the years but now having to pay for the privilege of being seen feels unjust. “What do you gain if you’re unable to showcase my posts to people I paid for at first?” she asked.

E-commerce and businesses are crucial to Instagram’s strategy for growth, and Instagram has in recent years launched a variety of shopping options. Instagram encourages entrepreneurs to use all the features available on the app, including live posts, stories, and Reels, to ensure that followers can view and interact with their posts. Instagram also offers training for small-scale business owners who want to learn more about the platform, which includes live events in specific cities. Instagram Meta, the company that owns Instagram Meta, claims that over 200 million companies across the globe use its services monthly. However, it didn’t provide a separate number for Instagram.

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Due to the immense reach of Instagram, It’s hard to leave for both businesses and users. Some business owners claim they’re considering expanding their business to other platforms due to the new features. Tokar has said that she’s begun making sales on the online stores Depop and Etsy and is not relying on her store for all her revenue. Additionally, Sickinger stated that she’s “saving grace” is the capability to connect with her loyal customers by email.

There’s no easy way to transfer an Instagram account’s followers to a new audience. Different platforms typically come with charges and other rules, making selling on them more complex than selling on Instagram. “It is what keeps me awake in the night because I’m not sure how to reach out to individuals,” Gross said. “I think I could begin making Twitter posts. However, visually, the appeal of Instagram was that you could share an image you saw, and the loss of that could make a massive difference.”

Sickinger added: “My business would not be the way it is today without the platform. That’s why I’m so passionate about it. However, I’d like them to know who their customers are, and I’m not convinced they have.”

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A new study finds UK corporations experience unprepared to tackle the rising amount of cyberattacks.

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A new study finds UK corporations experience unprepared to tackle the rising amount of cyberattacks.

Cyberattacks are hammering corporations of sizes and industries across the UK, with just a portion of these organized to protect against them, based on a new study by Owner Security.

The 2022 Cybersecurity Census Record shows that businesses face severe organizational, economic and reputational damage. Yet, despite IT leaders expecting this onslaught to intensify over the next year, preparation is lacking, with only a group of organizations prepared to face the threats.

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The report unearthed that the everyday UK company activities 44 cyberattacks per year—significantly more than three every month—and nearly one in five (17%) are afflicted by over 501 episodes within a year. That determines around two cyberattacks every functioning day.

While only about two of these cyberattacks are successful every year, IT leaders anxiety that the volume of episodes may intensify, with 46% expecting the total amount of episodes and amount of successful attacks equally to boost over the next year.

Cyberattacks are producing corporations substantial harm.

Cyberattacks are producing corporations substantial harm.

Successful cyberattacks can bring corporations of sizes to a standstill. Alarmingly, just 26% of respondents consider their company organized to protect against them.

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  • Around one-third (35%) of subjects of a cyberattack report disruption to trading, like the capacity to transport out company operations
  • Around one-third (34%) experienced reputational damage because of a strike
  • 31% of equally more considerable (over 1,000 employees) and more minor (fewer than 1,000 employees) corporations experienced theft of economic data from a successful cyberattack

More than a sixth (22%) of corporations experienced theft of money—with the economic disruption totaling significantly more than £100,000 on average. Considering the current macroeconomic uncertainty in the UK and the truth that the common UK SME makes just £11,000 in gains each year, such economic deficits could be terminal.

Cybersecurity Investments and Tools

The rise of hybrid and distant functions is widening the gap between what’s required to secure organizations and what’s available, with shortfalls in cybersecurity investment causing corporations to be exposed.

Exposure of program consumers, code energy, and permissions are standard necessities aside from company measurement or market, yet IT leaders admit their technology stacks are absent essential resources:

  • Around one-third of respondents (35%) were absent a supervisor for IT secrets such as API keys, database passwords, and recommendations
  • Almost nine in ten (87%) spotlight considerations in regards to the dangers of hard-coded credentials—embedding validation data such as user IDs and passwords directly into the source signal
  • 29% absence a contacts supervisor to help control distant usage of fortunate infrastructures

IT leaders know their current protection procedures have identifiable disadvantages, and passwords and recommendations are unique and need urgent investment. Regardless, nearly one-third (32%) state they keep it entirely to workers to create their passwords, with accessibility frequently provided as required.

“The cybersecurity landscape is complex, with ever-changing dangers and shifting points to manage. However, the study demonstrates organizations can and should be performing more,” said Darren Guccione, CEO & Co-founder of Owner Security. “While many organizations consider potential opportunities, they experience being outmatched by rising external threats and the demands created by current weaknesses.”

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Cybersecurity in Organization Tradition

Despite budgetary commitments and prioritization of cybersecurity from the C-suite, IT leaders admit to not having enough visibility in revealing cyberattacks. Around half (55%) state they have been conscious of a cyberattack and have not noted it to any relevant authority.

Furthermore, 80% of IT experts worry about a breach within their organization. These figures must be a red flag to company leaders, as without a lifestyle of trust, accountability, and responsiveness, cybercrime may thrive.

Guccione proves: “While there were few measures from UK corporations in prioritizing cybersecurity, obvious spaces remain. The quantity and velocity at which threats are hitting corporations are rising, and management cannot manage to wait. Once we move ahead, corporations and IT leaders must make style commitments to cybersecurity and behave on them. They should know how our workplaces have evolved and answer new methods for defending their workers, data, and livelihoods.”

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Business travel is back, and so can the cybercriminals: 3 ways to avoid being a target.

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Business travel is back, and so can the cybercriminals: 3 ways to avoid being a target.

As travelers return to the skies for both business and leisure, they also face heightened cybersecurity risks as high-value targets. Business travelers are especially prey for cybercriminals — they often handle sensitive information and travel without the support of company firewalls and other physical security measures.

Proactive preparation and vigilance are crucial to avoiding travel-related cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Remember these best practices for protecting your data and minimizing risk through your holiday travels, for fun and work.

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Choose private Wi-Fi

Public and other unsecured networks, such as airport or hotel Wi-Fi, present a massive opportunity for criminals to access internet-connected devices conveniently. Avoid sensitive online activities such as shopping, banking, or accessing the business intranet during travel.

For phones, adhere to built-in internet connectivity; for other devices such as laptops and tablets, look at a mobile hotspot. Additionally, it is beneficial to disable Wi-Fi auto-connect, a function that automatically connects the device to available networks, even potentially unsecured ones.

Business travel is back, and so can the cybercriminals: 3 ways to avoid being a target.

Be careful on public devices.

Please stay away from computers at hotel business centers and other public areas as they’re often weakened by outdated OSs and dormant viruses waiting to activate. If you have to access a printer, use a flash drive and another external storage device to minimize exposure.

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Keep clear of public charging stations. Cybercriminals can modify access points to set up malware and download data through compromised USBs and other cords.

Physically conceal and secure devices.

Be mindful of the method by that you carry and store your devices. Phones and devices visible in a bag or pocket may attract unwanted attention and make you a target. Choose gear that fully closes and be vigilant when setting down devices. Never turn your back, even on an idly charging device.

During airplane stretches and bathroom breaks, ensure that your phone, tablet, and laptop are on your person or well secured. Ensure it is a daunting challenge for you to access your devices quickly. They’ll move on if a criminal can’t reach it quickly and easily.

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Cybersecurity travel checklist

  • Before going
  • Back up important data.
  • Ensure os’s and anti-virus software are as much as date.
  • Protect accounts with strong passwords and multi-factor authentication.

While traveling

  • Think before you click: Be careful when hitting links, files, and emails.
  • Avoid using public networks, devices, and cords.
  • Keep devices physically secure.
  • Do not share your travels online until you’ve safely returned home.

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Business

5 Effective Tips to Reduce Fees in Your Business

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5 Effective Tips to Reduce Fees in Your Business

Now’s a good time to make clever cuts with high inflation, and many corporations are worrying about the coming months.

CUTTING fees can be an intelligent way to improve a business’s bottom line. Still, it would be best if you were careful as you do not want to make any cuts that may adversely influence the business enterprise or bring about losses down the line. Now’s also an excellent time to make clever cuts with inflation high and many corporations worrying about the coming months. So, what are several most readily practical approaches to reduce fees in your organization?

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Analyze Costs & Budget

5 Effective Tips to Reduce Fees in Your Business

The best place to begin is by sitting down with your allowance and reviewing each expense. You should see if you will find any costs that could be cut fully out entirely or if you have a less expensive option (that won’t lose quality). Corporations usually discover that they’re spending money on something they cannot need, which means this can be a smart way to free up some cash.

Lower Company Items

One of the most acceptable ways to decrease costs is to cut back on company materials, as corporations usually get too much. Going paperless is one of the finest methods to achieve this, and you will also see that this can support creating more room and lowering your impact. You can do that by systemizing admin perform such as payroll by installing the HMRC payroll application that may minimize the quantity of paper, printer, pencils, and storage required by your business.

Reconsider Your Marketing Strategy

Marketing is an essential cost for corporations; however, you will find that there are usually techniques you can make savings. This can contain publishing your website threads and managing social media marketing instead of outsourcing that work. It’s also wise to analyze the efficiency of one’s campaigns and reduce back/eliminate these which are not yielding results.

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Provide Distant Work

Distant performance has become the norm in recent years, and it can benefit staff and the business equally. From a company point of view, remotely performing can help corporations to cut back their fees as you will undoubtedly be eating much less power (something that many are looking to do correctly now). Distant performance can also let corporations downsize their company, which may free up significant levels of cash.

Review Insurance

Every business will need sufficient insurance set up, and you do not want any gaps. Many corporations also find they have duplicate coverage, or they could make savings by converting to another insurance provider, which is why it’s advisable to review and make any positive changes to cut back your fees while still ensuring a high level of coverage.

They are several most readily practical approaches to reducing your fees that should enhance your bottom line without adversely affecting the business enterprise in virtually any way.

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