Big Mobile News Includes Apple Patent, New Digital Payment System


Mobile dominated the news this week with information on a new Apple patent, a long awaited digital payment system and the wider availability of a popular mobile device. Look for details on these stories and more in this week’s Small Business Trends news and information roundup.

Mobile Technology

Apple Patents a System That Can Broadcast Your Availability Status

Wouldn’t it be great if you could set your phone to “away” instant messenger style? To not just set your phone to vibrate but to actually let callers know that you are unavailable. A new U.S. patent recently granted to Apple might do just that.

Coin is Coming

One card to hold them all. That’s what Coin promises. It’s a digital payment system developers insist can just about replace your credit and other payment cards. Now, after a long wait, Coin is finally on its way to customers. If you have never heard of it, Coin is a device that can digitally hold your credit card, debit card, loyalty card, and gift card information.

OnePlus One Phone, You No Longer Need an Invite

The OnePlus One phone, known initially as much for its invitation-only purchase policy as for its unfortunate “ladies first” marketing misstep, is erasing one of these forever. OnePlus announced that sales of its first and only smartphone currently available are finally open to everyone. That’s right, you no longer need a OnePlus One phone invite to purchase the phone.

Local Marketing

Manta Business Directory Upgrades to Help You Get Discovered

Manta announced a new set of tools this week the company says will help get your small business noticed. The Manta business directory is a longtime online resource. Getting your company’s profile listed makes your business more visible, especially locally. The listings have traditionally included vital information like a phone number, site address, or operating hours.

Tender Greens Restaurants Grow Their Own Produce On-Site

When you dine at Tender Greens, a sandwich and salad restaurant chain in California, you don’t just get to see the food that you and your fellow diners are enjoying that day. You will also find yourself surrounded by the food the restaurant plans to serve in the coming weeks.

Advantages of Using eCommerce Software in Your Retail Business

You need money to buy anything, but not necessarily everything. Again, if you think that only money can make you more money, that is not what I believe firmly. To me, and most of the startups as well, I think it is just the path you choose to make money that matters.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: BlogPaws is a Media Company That Puts Animals First

For bloggers, connecting with brands in your industry can be a prime source of revenue and opportunity. And those relationships can also lead to additional exposure for the brands. In many industries, there are companies and platforms designed specifically to connect those brands and bloggers.

Small Business Operations

SBA Preparing for National Small Business Week

The nationwide celebration of small businesses is two weeks away. National Small Business Week is being held from May 4-8 this year. For one week every year since 1963, the President of the United States has declared a national recognition for small businesses and their importance to the economy. This is the 52nd National Small Business Week in the U.S.

Inside Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit

Mexican drug cartels. Russian botnets. Chinese hackers. It’s all in a day’s work for Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit. The Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) is a unit within Microsoft where employees track cybercrime in real time. The DCU has an important goal: fight cybercrime. To some this role may seem surprising.


Ground Control Beer is Out of This World — Literally

Depending on your taste, you’ve probably had some mighty good beers in your time. But until now, you may not have had a beer that’s literally out of this world. Now it’s time to leave the capsule, if you dare. For those interested in trying a beer that’s quite literally been in space, there’s Ground Control Beer.

Retired Firefighter Creates Exposure Tracker App to Track Long-Term Risks

There are many dangers that go along with being a firefighter. The obvious ones include burns, smoke inhalation and building collapses. But there are also some less obvious long-term dangers that go along with fighting fires year after year. Clive Savacool has dealt with those dangers firsthand. In March 2014, he collapsed after battling a grass fire in Pittsburg, California.

Marijuana Businesses Offer Opportunities, But Also Risks

In emerging marijuana businesses both the opportunities and the risks are, pardon the pun, high. The same could be said for the industry’s startup potential. And even though traditional banks are not getting behind the industry just yet, there are investors in the marijuana industry.

Amy Dowell Creates Art on Your Skin

Amy Dowell opened The Painted Lady tattoo parlor in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on April 1 and already is booked solid for roughly the next year. And that’s no April Fool’s joke. Her art, see above, is lauded (she has won more awards than can be easily counted) and her new business venture is flourishing to the extent that her client list is now global.

Technology Trends

You Can Play Any Sound With INSTRUMENT 1

Nashville is known for music. So it’s no surprise a company creating a digital instrument that can emulate any sound is also based there. Artiphon founder Mike Butera, a musician boasting a PhD in sound studies, found it frustrating to carry multiple instruments to shows.

Say “Open Sesame” With the Sesame Smart Lock

What kid doesn’t dream that saying, “Open Sesame” opens some kind of secret passageway? Childhood dreams of magic and treasure aside, even adults would admit that such convenience has appeal. One company is playing on both fantasy and reality with a smart lock that can open a door with a phrase or secret knock. The Sesame smart lock is the first creation to come out of Candy House.

Time Warner Cable is Boosting Internet Speeds, Too

Time Warner Cable is joining the race to bring faster Internet speeds to customers. With Google Fiber expanding and Comcast announcing Gigabit Pro, it’s no surprise Time Warner has announced they are going to up their speeds as well. The company is calling their new Internet experience “TWC Maxx.”

iPhones Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Big Mobile News Includes Apple Patent, New Digital Payment System” was first published on Small Business Trends

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First Data Increases Staff in Sam’s Clubs Prior to EMV Deadline

first data and sam's club

The October deadline created by Visa and Mastercard is looming for small businesses to accept EMV chip card payments or face fraud liability. But you may not have to navigate these unknown waters alone. First Data has announced an expanded agreement with Sam’s Club to improve its merchant services and help small businesses become EMV ready.

There has recently been a big push for small businesses to move to terminals that accept EMV technology. Though no laws require this yet, it would be wise to make the switch before the October deadline. This is where the collaboration between First Data and Sam’s Club could help out small businesses.

With this agreement, First Data will be expanding its on-site presence in Sam’s Club stores. First Data says it will be increasing staffing of on-site business consultants at Sam’s Club locations around the U.S. First Data consultants will be providing on-the-ground demonstrations, advice, and support aimed at enterprise growth.

In the official release announcing the collaboration, MiKaela Wardlaw Lemmon, Vice President of Member Services for Sam’s Club, explains:

“Sam’s Club and First Data have helped small businesses grow for more than 10 years and our shared mission to maximize member savings on critical payment solutions continues today. As small businesses face a looming October deadline to implement payment systems that accept chip-card technology, they can rely on Sam’s Club and First Data to guide them through this vital transition with personalized support, cutting-edge technology and the outstanding value our members deserve.”

First Data’s small business solutions feature Clover, a business management system using cloud-based software and hardware that is EMV ready. First Data says Clover enables businesses to securely accept payments — even mobile and online payments — manage inventory, track revenues, improve customer loyalty, and generate reports.

The expanded partnership between First Data and Sam’s Club will help educate small businesses and provide updated payment solutions. The goal is to ease access to EMV-ready technology before the October deadline.

Image: First Data

This article, “First Data Increases Staff in Sam’s Clubs Prior to EMV Deadline” was first published on Small Business Trends

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13 Antivirus Software Options for Your Business

antivirus software options

Antivirus solutions come in many forms, but they are still absolutely critical to the security of your business.

When considering which program to get, real-time protection is the feature to look for. This means that you are protected all the time your computer is on. The program is continually scanning all incoming URLs and files for threats. It’s like having your own security guard at your front door, checking the credentials of everyone who wants in.

Here’s a list of antivirus software options worth considering if you are looking for protection from all the online critters out to steal your identity or turn your computer into a botnet.


antivirus software options

Avast! is one of the multi-award winning antivirus software options around since the early 1990s. That’s makes it one of the oldest kids on the block in the online security industry. Like many antivirus apps, it has both free and paid versions, and is also available for a variety of platforms, including Mac OS X and Linux.

However, the free version is only for home and non-commercial use, so the business version will have to be purchased for $35 a year, with discounts if you pay for longer. These prices are currently a special offer — the normal annual price is $40, with discounts for longer licenses.


Bitdefender is another of the antivirus software options, made by a Romanian-based company. It launched in 2001, and it has quite a few features to recommend itself to any business owner looking to protect a computer system.

It checks for viruses, spyware, email spam, phishing, and includes a firewall. It also scans links by looking at the webpage you’re going to, and telling you whether it is safe or not, before you proceed. The best feature however is something called Safego, which protects you on social media. It scans your Facebook news feed and warns you if any of the links leads to malware. It can be installed separately on Facebook for free, without the need to install the entire Bitdefender app.

Bitdefender is not cheap for small and medium-sized businesses. The price for Small Office Security starts at $143 a year, for up to five users. You can test it first with a 30-day free trial.


Kaspersky is an award-winning cross-platform security app, and business users can also take advantage of a Linux version. It offers the real-time protection discussed earlier, and wastes no time destroying all of the viruses, malware, trojans, and keyloggers that may be lurking in your hard drive. The Small Office Security version will also secure your online banking, encrypt your data, manage your passwords, and protect your mobile devices.

As with Bitdefender, Kaspersky is not cheap. Small Office Security currently clocks in at $229.00 a year for 5 users, with a 30 day free trial.


antivirus software options

AVG is both an extremely reliable and extremely affordable software. Packages start at about $32 a year per computer, with a discount if you pay for 2 years up-front. Everything comes with a 30-day free trial.

Besides the usual antivirus protection, it also monitors your downloads, securely deletes your files to prevent them from being retrieved, scans your Web and social media links, encrypts and password-protects your files, stops spam, and offers a first-class firewall.

Windows Defender

When you see the prices above, you may start to wonder why you should pay so much. Especially since Windows offers an antivirus suite and firewall for free. It’s called Windows Defender and it’s not bad. But it’s not exactly great, either. You can enable it by going to your Windows Menu, then typing ‘defender’ (without the quote marks).

The pros include the fact that it is made by the same company that made the operating system. So it has been proven that Defender uses less system resources than other antivirus apps.  Plus it’s easy to set up, with a pleasant and easy-to-understand user interface.

But one of the cons is that it’s not 100 percent guaranteed to find all the threats on your PC. So don’t use this as your sole protection forever. Use it as a starting point, and then test-drive one of the other options here for much better detection rates.

Webroot SecureAnywhere Options

Webroot has four different products for the small to medium-sized business, all with 30-day free trials. The Webroot set of products have all consistently been given the highest scores in benchmarking experiments, with detection rates hovering around 90 percent. The business apps are only available for five users or more, starting at $40 per user per year. There are also the usual discounts for buying longer licenses.

One of the biggest advantages is that it is an extremely light program — 750KB. Therefore it doesn’t take up too much space on your computer and is light on system resources.

F-Secure Anti-Virus 2015

antivirus software options

F-Secure is another of the antivirus software options that has consistently been given top marks. AV-Test has awarded them the “Best Corporate Protection Award” four years in a row. F-Secure provides an app which covers computers, laptops, and servers (including Linux). It detects viruses and malware in emails, as well as in links (with a service called Internet Gatekeeper).

Getting prices can be a challenge as the F-Secure site redirects you to an application you need to fill in. But Virus-Logic is quoting a price of $46 per license, with a minimum of five licenses per order.

BullGuard Antivirus

Bullguard is a 14-year old Danish company which ran into some PR problems a few years back. Their software went on the blink and classed every piece of software on their customers’ computers as a virus. Those programs were then quarantined. But according to reports, since then, Bullguard has vastly improved, and comes highly recommended by many.

Bullguard does not have a “business version” as such. Instead a package called “Premium Protection” simply includes everything the company has to offer. This comes with a generous 60-day free trial, and costs about $65 a year for three computers. The other options are also paid — there’s no free plan. Just look at the website and see what suits you best.

ESET NOD32 Antivirus 8

The one with the strange, difficult to remember name comes from Slovakia, and has a very good Business Edition. It includes something called “ESET Remote Administrator” which makes it easy to manage servers. You can also install ESET on Microsoft Windows Server operating systems.

“Remote Management” comes at a price of $150 a year for five computers and five Android phones. But there is also a smaller Security Home Office Edition, which costs $85. This covers three computers and three Android phones.

Panda Antivirus Pro 2015

antivirus software options

Panda is a Spanish creation, and is one of the oldest solutions of its kind, having been founded back in 1990, as the Internet was in its infancy. Its trademark technology is named TruPrevent, and it has something called “Collective Intelligence” which detects, scans and classifies malware in real time. Panda also has “Cloud Protection“, which does everything in the Cloud. This means that the client does not need to install the software if they don’t want to.

To enable Cloud Protection, you have to complete an application on the company’s site, and a sales representative will quote you a price, based on your business needs.

Trend Micro Antivirus+ 2015

Trend Micro is a U.S. company, but is based in Japan. It is notable for its close cooperation with Interpol to provide knowledge, resources and tactics to fight cybercrime. It also has an attractive package for small to medium-sized businesses. It’s called Worry-Free Business Security, and has three levels: Standard, Advanced, or Services. As usual, the one you choose depends on your business requirements. Just click on the link provided above, and look at the chart to see where your company stands.

The Standard Version starts at $75.50 for two people per year. The advanced one starts at about $124 for two people per year. The Services Version starts at $75.50 for two people per year. As you can see, this is a highly affordable option.

VoodooSoft VoodooShield 2.0

VoodooSoft VoodooShield 2.0 is a bit unique among security solutions because it has a single purpose — to hunt down and quarantine potentially damaging .exe programs on your computer. So this could be considered an “anti-exe” app.

An “exe” file is short for executable file, and it is mostly what you receive when you download a software program. It is also what launches the program when you open it. The vast majority of .exe files are harmless and do what they are meant to do. But a small proportion of them contain malware, spyware and nasty viruses that can turn your computer into a brick or recruit it for cybercrime.

So Voodoo Shield has a whitelist where you can type in all of the programs which are authorized to run on your computer. The rest get quarantined until you decide whether or not they can be let through.

It is extremely affordable too. The cost is $20.00 per computer, per year, with small discounts if you buy longer licenses.


The list ends with a free web-based option, but it doesn’t offer real-time protection. So this solution should only be used alongside one of the other security options out there just to be safe.

What VirusTotal is good for is scanning files which you think may be potentially dangerous. Say a potential client sends you a Zip file, but you are unsure if the potential client can be trusted. So VirusTotal is there to scan the file and report back its findings. Simply upload VirusTotal from your computer or from a URL. It will then use more than 50 different virus checkers to examine and cross-examine the file.

The site even provides a tool allowing you to insert a “send to VirusTotal” option in the right-click Windows Explorer menu.

Antivirus solutions remain critical for protecting your software, hardware and data in an increasingly dangerous digital world. So look at the antivirus software options above and see which one is right for your business. If your company uses another antivirus product not on this list, what is it and what experiences have you had?

Antivirus Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “13 Antivirus Software Options for Your Business” was first published on Small Business Trends

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World Bank President Jim Yong Kim: The VICE News Interview

Twenty years ago, Jim Yong Kim was an activist calling for the abolition of the World Bank. Today, he’s its president. VICE News met with Kim to discuss the World Bank’s past efforts to fight poverty and its struggle to stay relevant in a changing world. Watch “How the US Workforce is Changing – The Business of Life (Episode 1)” – Read “Do We Need a Global Tax on Wealth?” – Read “Workers at Nationwide ‘Fight for $15’ Rallies Demand Higher Minimum Wages” – Subscribe to VICE News here: Check out VICE News for more: Follow VICE News here: Facebook: Twitter: Tumblr: Instagram: More videos from the VICE network:
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