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Insider Tips To Make Your Business Run Faster, Easier and More Profitably

February 2016

In This Issue...

Techy Terms

HIPAA = The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

HITECH = The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act

If you are looking for HIPAA and HITECH compliance information, check this article to find out how you can get started looking at your compliance for FREE!

This monthly publication provided courtesy of JR Hazenfield, of Professional Telecommunications Services, Inc..

JR Hazenfield

"As a business owner, you don't have time to waste on technical and operational issues. That's where we shine! Call us and put an end to your IT problems finally and forever!"

– JR Hazenfield, Professional Telecommunications Services, Inc.

Why Slackers Love Tech

Lounging Cat

You just gave your staff an extra 6-week paid vacation to check in with friends on Facebook, expose your company's valuable trade secrets from smartphones, watch cat videos, send résumés to your competitors and download porn – all on your time, and your dime... That's right: if a full-time employee wastes just ONE measly hour each day, it equals 250 hours burned – 6 weeks of paid time – on non-work-related activities.

Sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are a constant source of distraction to people who feel like they need to keep in touch at all times.

Not only is work time being frittered away, but crucial company secrets slip through the cracks more easily. And sites being visited on your network expose your whole system to malware, hackers and online theft.

So, what are you going to do about it?

Face it – you rely more than ever on mobile technology. And you want to have faith in your team... But how do you know they aren't secretly taking advantage of your good nature when they're online? You don't. The only way to know what's really going on at work is to monitor their on-the-job online activities.

CEO Shocked By What She Found
Celeste O'Keefe, CEO at DANCEL Multimedia, a Biloxi, Mississippi, marketing firm, started monitoring her employees when she noticed some of them attempting to cover their computer screens as she walked by.

Since then, she's fired four people for digital infractions. One was a man doing side deals with clients that should have come into the firm. She also fired a woman doing schoolwork on the clock and another employee downloading child porn.

Your rights as an employer to track web and e-mail activities of employees using company computers are well-established. But should you? And if so, how do you do so legally, and without damaging company morale?

Several good things happen when you check your team's online behavior. For one, it can help your company avoid theft, embezzlement or other financial harm. Monitoring can also prevent compliance issues, provide evidence in the event of lawsuits and ensure that your workplace is free from harassment.

Deal With It
It's just a fact of life that monitoring with your employees' full knowledge and consent is necessary to mitigate legal and regulatory risks. However, it's also important to be aware of the potential pitfalls.

If employees feel a distrustful Big Brother is looking over their shoulder, it could hurt performance and morale.

Be careful about inadvertently gathering information about your employees' religion, political views, sexual orientation or medical history. This could expose your firm to discrimination lawsuits. Disciplining an employee for making negative comments about you online could result in trouble with the National Labor Relations Board. Check the Board's guidelines to avoid issues, as there have been several cases recently involving social media.

So how do you monitor without getting into hot water with attorneys and regulators – and avoid hurting your team's morale and performance?

Know the difference between monitoring and surveillance. There's nothing obtrusive about monitoring events on a company's computer system to protect the company's assets and reputation. Surveillance, on the other hand, is tracking an individual's activities, and entails a certain "creepy factor." Engage in focused surveillance only if you have well-founded suspicions and documented agreement with your attorney and top managers.

Set clear policies. Document your corporate policy on Internet and device usage to make rights and responsibilities clear to everyone – and to protect you in the event of a legal challenge.

Inform and gain consent. It's not enough to simply let your employees know you'll be watching them. By being fully transparent and explaining the risks to the business from improper use of digital assets, you'll steer clear of legal issues without putting a damper on morale.

Let Us Help You!
You don't have to navigate the employee- monitoring maze alone. FREE through the month of February, take advantage of our 10-Point Technology Abuse Audit to see for yourself how much work time is being wasted, and how many hacking and legal issues your employees expose your company to every day. Contact us today at (513) 232-7700 or email to get started.

Free Report Download: What Every Small Business Owner Must Know About Protecting And Preserving Their Company's Critical Data And Computer Systems

FREE Report

You will learn:

This report will outline in plain, non-technical English common mistakes that many small business owners make with their computer network that cost them thousands in lost sales, productivity and computer repair bills, as well as providing an easy, proven way to reduce or completely eliminate the financial expense and frustration caused by these oversights.

Download Your FREE Report Instantly»

Client Spotlight: Atmos360, Inc.

ATMOS360 is a Cincinnati, Ohio based Engineering, Design, and Manufacturing organization founded in May, 1989. We specialize in Industrial Air Filter Systems and Equipment that provides improved air quality for employees and reduced levels of dust/aerosols on consumer products.

"Thank you for your work with us on transition day. It was easy with your level of participation, professionalism and great customer service." – Clarence Williams Jr. Director, Marketing and Sales Atmos360, Inc.

Atmos 360

Do You Handle, Store or Have Access To Medical Records?

Here Are 7 IT Policies And Procedures You Must Have In Place NOW.

HIPAA and HITECH have been around for quite some time, yet many medical practices – and their vendors, who are ALSO under these laws – are way behind the times when it comes to implementation. And with cyber-thieves getting smarter and more aggressive, it's imperative that you work diligently at becoming HIPAA-compliant today. To that end, here are 7 things you can do to take major strides toward compliance.

  1. Access Control Policy. This is a plan for WHO is given access to various systems and data in your organization and HOW they are given access. To limit your liability, give access to sensitive data only to those who need it to perform their job. You also need to have a plan for disabling accounts and changing passwords when employees leave.
  2. Workstation Use Policy. This policy outlines how employees use their workstations, laptops and other devices to access sensitive data (patient records). This policy should require that all employees use secure passwords and not download files from the Internet unless from a trusted, work-related source (no iTunes!). You should also monitor logins to your systems to watch for unauthorized access and employ other specific procedures for keeping that device secure.
  3. Security Awareness Training. Hackers are extremely clever and use phishing e-mails and false web sites to trick users into thinking they are accessing a trusted source when, in fact, they are opening the door for these hackers to gain access. Since new threats are created on a DAILY basis, it's smart to teach your employees how to recognize threats AND provide ongoing training about new threats as they come online. You must also keep an audit trail of your reminders and communications in case you're audited.
  4. Malicious Software Controls. You must have documented policies for the frequency with which anti-malware and antivirus software are updated and what happens if an infection/outbreak occurs.
  5. Disaster Recovery Plan. You must have a plan in place for how you will restore patient records and files in the event of a disaster – be it an office fire, flood, burglary of your systems (yes, that's happened!) or any other data-erasing event.
  6. Media Disposal Policy. Have an old PC? DON'T just throw it away or give it to someone! Even if you delete all the files, a savvy hacker can use it to recover logins and data. Instead, have a qualified IT firm wipe the system first – then you can donate it or dispose of it properly. (Tip: Most firms that wipe PCs can also take care of donating it or disposing of it properly.)
  7. Review And Audit Procedures. As you may know, there's a LOT more to HIPAA compliance than the items discussed here; however, be certain also that whatever you do has a firm audit trail/log that shows that everything has been executed according to plan.

As the saying goes, "It takes a village." Staying compliant is not just an IT policy, but a whole approach your organization takes to keeping patient records safe, secure and private.

IF YOU'RE SUBJECT TO HIPAA, or just want to learn more about our HIPAA Risk Assessment, contact JR HAZENFIELD BY CALLING (513) 624-5113 ( he'll be happy to review these areas with you, free of charge!

Tips and Tricks

This trio of tools can help keep you healthy at work.

  1. Combat eyestrain with F.lux. This free app tweaks the tint and brightness of your device's screen based on time of day. It leans toward full spectrum during the day and warmer red spectrum at night.
  2. Improve your posture with Lumo Lift. This small sensor that you put on your shoulder reminds you to sit or stand tall when you've been hunched over too long.
  3. Move reminds you to stretch and stay active throughout your day. It gives you over 300 "coworker-friendly" exercises to choose from that you won't be embarrassed to do at work. In fact, nobody will know – except you.

Want more rave reviews on the web?

Deliver great value, and your customers will say nice things about your business online. Make it easier for them to do so, and you'll get great reviews. "Google My Business" lets customers leave reviews, but it can be tricky to navigate. Show your customers how to leave a review for your business with a simple e-mail request. Ask for a short and honest review. Provide instructions for both mobile and desktop, and a link to your Google My Business page. Only verified Google My Business pages publish reviews, so don't forget to verify your business with Google. Call us if you need help setting this up – and let your best customers help you attract more like them!
–Google My Business Help

The key to keeping in touch with your best prospects.

In sales, a little follow-up can go a long way. Yet when things get hectic, it's all too easy to let valuable leads slip through the cracks, resulting in lost sales and wasted marketing dollars. That's where picking the right e-mail marketing service can make a big difference in hitting your sales goals. The best services feature a rich set of tools, an easy-to-use interface, great tech support and innovative features like social media integration. Top-rated services like iContact, GetResponse and Constant Contact range in price from around $14 to $150 per month – easily recouped with one or two deals you might otherwise miss.

Stressful day at work? This "massage-on-demand app" may be just what you need.

Whether for your whole office, a hardworking team you want to reward or just for yourself, Zeel will send you a licensed massage therapist with as little as one hour's notice. Take your pick from Swedish, deep tissue, prenatal or sports massage. Enter your work, home or hotel address, select a 60-, 75- or 90-minute massage, and the gender preference of your massage therapist. Within hours you could be unwinding in the hands of a real pro. No need to worry about the tip – Zeel takes care of that all in one payment. Prices range from about $100 to $150 – not bad for a healthy bit of stress relief.

Ladies: Time to replace that boyfriend with a robot?

Pepper, a cute, blue-eyed male robot won't cook or clean for you for fear of "disappointing you." However, he'll understand and empathize with you, laugh when you're happy, frown when you're upset, even sing your favorite songs and dance for you. He's curious about humans – the more you interact with him, the more he'll learn about your tastes. According to Aldebaran Robotics, his creator, he's the first robot designed to live with humans. Want to take him home with you? He's found mostly "at work," relating to customers in retail stores – goal "is for Pepper to live with humans. The stores are just the beginning..."