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Nikki’s Tip of the Week – Weekending 18th November 2017 & Black Friday Specials

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The whole country seems to be vibrating a little at the moment.  Everywhere I go people are getting ready for . . .  wait for it . . .  Black Friday.  Meetings have been cancelled or moved and people have stopped talking about Christmas (for now anyway) and everyone seems to be talking about Black Friday

Crazy as that may seem, that’s what is happening and Peter Carruthers has joined that particular bandwagon –  see his specials below.
To darken the clouds just a little, I would like you all to remember that with the holidays just around the corner, the slippery little Skelms and their toxic little fingers will be out in full force and their gain will be your pain.

Theft is rife in this country and it’s only saving grace is if it is conducted without the violence that seems to be the rage at the moment.  That said, I’m all for it not happening at all, but for that to happen, here are some tips for you to use that will assist you in not getting robbed blind or at the very least will protect you if you are the victim of a robbery or worse yet a fire or flood.

Please take note of them and implement where necessary.

Anyway . . .  on a lighter note, but still being proactive.

Peter is still doing his introductory webinar’s on a Tuesday evening, all the details are below this weeks’ article.  I sincerely hope that you join him –  it is for free at this time.

Here’s the deal . . .Please feel free to engage with me, or not.

Please feel free to send me your own snippets of information, early warnings, appropriate funnies and what have you, to share with other like-minded individuals, entrepreneurs and start-ups.I hope and trust that you will enjoy the journey with me.

This weeks’ Blog:


Keeping Your Business and Its Information Safe

By Nikki Viljoen – Viljoen Consulting

I don’t believe that keeping your business safe should only be done during the times that you are away on holiday.  Keeping your business safe and keeping the information or data pertaining and belonging to your business needs to be kept safe all the time, and come next year, it will be a legal requirement as the new PoPI Act comes into being.

Closing the doors to your business without making sure that you have all the arrangements made to keep your information (be it physical and/or electronic) safe and ensure that your business is sufficiently secure is relevant whether you are going home for the evening, or the weekend, or indeed a holiday.  We all know that the reality of the situation is that it is no longer safe just to close and lock the doors and be on our way.  Ongoing problems such as building fires and theft need to be managed, even whilst we are not ‘at the office’.

I would suggest that a checklist of things that should be done be implemented to ensure that everything is covered.  Some of the issues that need to be looked at are (but not limited to):• It is a good idea to make sure that your important documentation is stored in a fireproof safe or cabinet.

• Electronic information should be properly backed up with copies of everything stored off site or in cyberspace somewhere – don’t forget to randomly test the information to make sure that it is not corrupt, especially if you are using disks and/or flash drives. Also please think about what you are doing – don’t leave your back up disks lying next to the computer and the external hard drive next to the computer.  If it is the hardware that thieves are after your external hard drive is just as important as the computer and if it is your information that they are after – well leaving your backups where they are easily accessible is just not clever!

•If the ‘back ups’ of your electronic data is outsourced to someone, make sure that they are actually doing the backups – insist on a report of some sort (every time that they do the backup) that evidences that a backup has in fact taken place.

• Ensure that the correct data is being backed up – having your photo’s safe and sound is great, but having all of your business information and all of your business transactions safe is even better!

• All the usernames and passwords pertaining to your IT department should be kept on record, somewhere safe (irrespective of whether or not they already have this information on record or not) in case of an emergency.  It is of the utmost importance that the business owner and at the very least, their assistants have this information.  This should include (but not be limited to) passwords and user names for all system administrator accounts, websites, applications, intranet sites and business solutions etc.

• Get the employees to assist you – have a good walk around and have a look at potentially weak or dangerous areas, especially those that are cluttered.  Look for wall plugs (or even plugs on extension cords) that are overloaded, or emergency exits and/or fire exits that are blocked.  Don’t ignore things like faulty lights (they could mean an electrical fault that could cause a fire) or broken windows.  Test alarms (in fact alarms should be tested on a regular, irregular basis and a full report should be submitted from your service provider on a monthly basis so that you can see if alarms are set when they are supposed to be etc.) and electric fences to ensure that they are in good working condition.  This would also obviously apply to those who have things like smoke detectors and smoke alarms and the like.

• Access to your premises both after hours as well as when you are away should also be monitored, especially if you have a skeleton staff on duty or no staff at all.  People floating about, when there shouldn’t be anyone about at all could be a potential problem.

• Make sure that security personnel know exactly who is allowed access and who isn’t.  Make sure that your security personnel check the perimeter on a regular, irregular basis and that they report on everything that is both normal and out of the norm.  Incident logs are necessary, especially after hours or when the company is closed for the holidays.

• Keys, passwords and access cards should be monitored and audited on a regular basis.  In fact, as part of your ‘exit interview’ the return of keys, changing of passwords, return of access cards, return of cell phone, cars, computers and everything else that is usually given to staff (and don’t forget the petrol cards and even company credit cards) should be documented and signed for.

Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or or

Look what is happening in the world of Pete Carruthers.

I, Nikki, was asked the other day if there was any guarantee that ‘nothing’ would happen by being compliant with PoPI! My response – just because you have car insurance it doesn’t mean that you won’t have an accident! The reality is that if you have done everything ‘reasonably’ available in order to ensure that stolen data or sensitive information, is not hung up like dirty washing for all to see, then you will be relatively safe.

But the earlier we address a looming problem the easier it is to steer clear of the rocks just below the surface. And the cheaper it is. And this POPI issue is like the iceberg that sank the Titanic.

I’ve invested 6 months and hundreds of hours digging into the detail of POPI. It’s real. It’s coming. In Australia it lands in February. In Europe it lands in May. Our crowd are a little slower. And that’s a good thing.

Few of us grasp the full challenge this POPI Act poses.

Lets look at the recent Hetzner data breach as an example. The facts:

• Hetzner lost a bunch of records containing email addresses and passwords. (We can agree this is personal info, right?)The Pre-POPI Scenario:• The press gets into a froth as they publish it.

• We all mutter about corporates not playing nice with our info.• We all swear at the government for doing nothing about it.

• It seems that this same thing happened to Hetzner Germany a few years ago.

• And that’s the end of it because we don’t have a law to deal with the fallout. Nobody has any reason to take any care. The Post-POPI Scenario:

• The press gets into a froth again.

• The Information Regulator starts an enquiry, arriving suddenly and in force to seize evidence.

• It seems that this same thing happened to Hetzner Germany a few years ago.

• This is enough to prove unreasonable laxness.

• In turn this is enough to issue a large fine.

• And then to imprison the person at the top of the Hetzner pile.

• Which opens the door to those of us who’ve suffered anxiety to sue for damages.

• All of which costs Hetzner a fortune.

How is the personal info that Hetzner holds different from the personal info you hold?

A few simple examples:

• Doctors hold deeply private info about us. Literally warts and all.

• Hotels hold copies of our passports and IDs. Including enough info to steal our identities.

• Recruitment agencies hold our CVs with salary info, and employment history, and often IDs.

• Pharmacists hold copies of our prescriptions detailing all our embarrassing issues.

• Each of us holds intimate business discussions in our email.

How can we expect big business should be held to a different level of accountability than we are?

I would be just as peeved if my doctor lost some info that led to my insurance firm cancelling my insurance, or my wife cancelling my marriage, or a bunch of people being entertained on Instagram by my photos of my pre-surgery face.

Bottom line: POPI says small-business owners face the same robust demands to protect personal information as big firms. There are a few small differences in what we do. Big firms need to update their Section 51 manual. Small businesses (typically under 50 staff) don’t need a Section 51 manual at all.

Black Friday Specials

• POPI Compliance Package (How to Use Email to Sell More to More People is bundled into this course in light of new stringent POPI rules about direct marketing.)

This course is now priced at R2497. The Black Friday R1000 saving reduces that to R1497.  Add the Email course bundled in for free and this becomes a superb offering. (Total value without discounts would be R3994.)

• How to Use Email to Sell More to More People.

This course is normally priced at R1497. The Black Friday R1000 saving reduces that to R497.•

• How to Build a Lifetime Business Online

This course is normally priced at R1497. The Black Friday R1000 saving reduces that to R497.•

• Perpetual Sales Mastery

This course is normally priced at R1497. The Black Friday R1000 saving reduces that to