July 2014

July 2014

Trivia Contest
Who Else Wants To Win A $50 Gift Card?

The Grand Prize Winner of last month’s Trivia Challenge Quiz is Angela Knowles from Stonebriar Foot & Ankle! She was the first person to correctly answer my quiz question from last month: The highest temperature ever recorded in Texas was___ F in Seymour on August 12, 1936? The correct answer was c) 120.

Now, here’s this month’s trivia question. The winner will receive a
$50 Visa Gift Card!

During which year did Congress pass a bill to make July 4th an official holiday?
a) 1776 b) 1870 c) 1920 d) 1893

E-mail Us Right Now With Your Answer!

info@rangersolutions.com.

*Trivia winners are eligible to win again after 90 days of previous win.



Declare Freedom From High Costs & Risks By Throwing Out Data Now

Do you have mountains of information stored on your server that you’ll never use, but feel like you should keep? You are not alone. Given expanding regulatory rules, some businesses save every bit of data they have, just to be safe.

You may be thinking, “What’s the big deal in keeping everything?” While it is true off-site data storage costs have gone down by about 25% every year, the fact is that keeping your data forever can create big management challenges and lead to retrieval headaches. Most often companies that save everything don’t do so because they think it’s the best way, but because they aren’t sure what needs to be saved.

Every organization needs to save data for its own purposes, such as transactions, accounting records and so on. Not only that, but industry regulations require companies to save certain kinds of content for a prescribed period.

So what should you be doing? Here are 4 data-retention strategies you must consider:

  1. Start with the storage analysis, not the storage technology or procedures.
    Know what data has to be kept and for how long. Many times requirements are dictated by industry or legal requirements.
  2. Segment user populations.
    Use categories such as executives, back-office employees, sales and people who deal with the company’s intellectual property and treat their data differently.
    Be precise and consistent with data-retention policies.
  3. Don’t confuse backup with archiving.
    Since backup systems don’t generally have the granular control needed to save some types of information for a short time and others for longer, using them as archival systems can be costly and risky.

We can assist you in identifying best practices and cost-effective software tools for your business. Contact us by July 31st at 214-329-1349 to receive a FREE DATA STORAGE AUDIT (normally $297!).


How To Use Your Client/Prospect E-mail List To Significantly Improve Your Results With Facebook Ads

For many businesses, advertising on Facebook can be a big time and money suck. Even though Facebook is the #1 social media tool, it can be difficult to get a great ROI since you’re marketing to a wide range of prospects. The biggest problem is getting a qualified prospect to “Like” your company Facebook page so you can market to them…but who goes out and likes a potential vendor’s page? Nobody, that’s who! And if you market based on demographics, then you’re targeting a bunch of people who don’t know you on a platform where they’re not looking for your product or service in the first place. They are there for cat pictures and videos of their 2-year-old nephew. The answer that solves a big part of this dilemma…“Facebook Audiences.”

Facebook Audiences allows you to display your Facebook ads specifically to just about anyone that you have an email address for, without them even knowing you are marketing to them this way. Plus, based on market testing, ads directed to a targeted “house list” instead of demographics- or interest-based lists cost about 75% less with 4x the results. Not too shabby.

So ask yourself…who do you have email addresses for? Clients… Prospects… Membership lists from groups you belong to… Email opt-ins… You can segment your list in any way you want.

Have a list of clients or prospects who expressed interest in a product but never bought? Create an audience of just these people to remind them about the product with a special Facebook offer. The list segmentation is nearly endless.

Using Facebook Audiences, you upload your email list to Facebook and they will match these email addresses up to Facebook user accounts. Not everyone has a Facebook account, but based on our testing so far, somewhere between 35%-60% of your email list should match up.

To find out more about custom audiences and how to get started, simply Google “Facebook custom audiences” and you’ll find all of the “how to” that you need.


Virus of the Month: Cryptowall

Back in our February Newsletter, our featured “Virus of the Month” was about cryptolocker. Recently there has been an expansion to this virus.

“New variants of file-encrypting ransomware called Cryptowall and Cryptodefense have been popping up since at least April 2014.
SophosLabs threat researcher Anand Ajjan says Cryptowall has the same code as Cryptodefense, and only differs in the name.

If you see a message…, you’re in trouble – many, if not most, of the data files on your hard drive or any connected drives will be scrambled, and it’s simply not practicable to crack the encryption used by the crooks.

The message gives instructions on how to use the Tor anonymizing proxy to access a website where you can pay to unlock your files. If you do go to the payment website, you come to a screen that shows a clock counting down the time you have left to pay the ransom. Leave it too long and the price to decrypt your files doubles……Cryptowall’s encryption can’t be reversed without the key.That means if your files get locked, you either have to pay up, or “do a Durham,” and kiss your files goodbye.

According to SophosLabs, a common way of spreading Cryptowall infections is through exploit kits called RIG (also known as “Goon”) and Angler.

Exploit kits are web pages containing pre-packaged exploits that can be used to deliver malware of your choice to unsuspecting victims.
Often, one group of cybercrooks will simply “rent” exploit kit services from other cybercrooks on a pay-per-install basis.

So, whereas some ransomware attacks use social engineering in spam to trick you into downloading the malware, Cryptowall can get onto your computer just by visiting a website that is rigged up with an exploit kit….”

To find out how to prevent yourself from this virus, please contact Ranger Business Solutions at (214) 329-1349, or email us at info@rangersolutions.com.

Zorabedian, John. “What’s next for Ransomware? Cryptowall Picks up Where CryptoLocker Left off.” Weblog post. Naked Sucurity. Word Press.com VIP, 18 June 2014. Web. June 2014.


THE TOP 5 MOVIES EVERY ENTREPRENEUR MUST WATCH

  1. Miracle On 34th Street
    What You’ll Learn:
    The greatest lesson in salesmanship that no one follows.
    The Entrepreneur’s Lesson: Santa Claus, working at Macy’s, goes out of his way to help customers, often encouraging them to shop elsewhere for the best deals. Instead of losing customers, Macy’s becomes overwhelmed with customers seeking Santa’s help. Macy’s sales increase simply by doing what’s best for the customer – too bad they don’t do this in the real world, but you should.
  2. Click
    What You’ll Learn:
    What it’s like to fast-forward life.
    The Entrepreneur’s Lesson: Adam Sandler wants to keep fast-forwarding to the major accomplishments of his career. He loses the balance between work and home, and misses the lessons hidden in life’s daily routine. Entrepreneurs are generally of the “I want it all now” breed, and this movie will show you how wrong that is. Take the good with the bad, and never stop pursuing your entrepreneurial AND family dreams.
  3. Glengarry Glen Ross
    What You’ll Learn:
    Lying, cheating and stealing never work long-term.
    The Entrepreneur’s Lesson: Hard-close sales work…for a single sale. Ultimately your reputation is ruined, and deceived people lie in your wake. This movie is all about what not to do as an entrepreneur. Unfortunately, too many businesses still follow these practices. Get in an industry with a “Glengarry” reputation and be honest, reliable and go out of your way to be helpful. Your business will flourish.
  4. Office Space
    What You’ll Learn:
    If you don’t like what you are doing, change.
    The Entrepreneur’s Lesson: Follow your gut. If you hate what you do, change. Just don’t steal – that never works. Instead, find your passion and pursue it. And if you already own a business you love, don’t mess with Melvin. He might just burn down your entire building.
  5. Jerry Maguire
    What You’ll Learn:
    What you expect when launching your business never comes true.
    The Entrepreneur’s Lesson: Hands down, the best movie of all time for entrepreneurs. Jerry leaves his big-money agency position to go out and start his own shop. Just like any entrepreneur who leaves to start their own business, he suspects every client will leave with him. There is no easier way to start a business, right? This movie shows the real deal. Nothing ever goes as planned.

MIKE MICHALOWICZ (pronounced mi-KAL-o-wits) started his first business at the age of 24, moving his young family to the only safe place he could afford – a retirement building. With no experience, no contacts and no savings, he systematically bootstrapped a multi-million-dollar business. Then he did it again. And again. Now he is doing it for other entrepreneurs. Mike is the CEO of Provendus Group, a consulting firm that ignites explosive growth in companies that have plateaued; a former small-business columnist for The Wall Street Journal; MSNBC’s business makeover expert; a keynote speaker on entrepreneurship; and the author of the cult classic book The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. His newest book, The Pumpkin Plan, has already been called “the next E-Myth!” For more information, visit http://www.mikemichalowicz.com/


Get to Know Richard Bright

Ranger Solutions would like to introduce to you a new member of our team, Richard Bright. Richard was born in California but moved to the great state of Texas at a young age. Richard is a graduate from The University of Texas in Dallas and worked for the university IT department while attending school. Richard holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. His interest in technology started early on with his neighbor, who was a computer engineer that would share the latest tech stuff with his kids and Richard. Richard and his dad would build computers with parts from their neighbor. In previous summers, Richard helped run a summer camp where he introduced kids to the idea of game design. A few fun facts about Richard; Favorite Drink: Chocolate Milk, Favorite Snack: Pop Tarts, Favorite Movie: Iron Giant.

3 Microsoft Excel Functions Certain To Make Your Company More Productive

Microsoft Excel is such a powerful tool. We all know it, but most of what we use the program for are simple calculations and data collections while we know there is so much more there. The problem for most is that there are TOO MANY functions and tools to use, so we get lost, don’t know what we could or should use and don’t even try.

To help you out, we’ve picked 3 of our favorites to share with you. Using any one of these functions is certain to improve your company and make you more productive.

  1. Conditional Formatting. Did you know that you can apply this simple tool to a collection of data and Excel will automatically format your data via color coding so it will “pop out” based on any criteria you choose? If you have any size data set that you need to analyze, this function greatly simplifies your job.
  2. CountIF, SumIF and AverageIF. These rarely used functions are amazing when you apply them. If you have a spreadsheet full of data with common classifications or labels, you can easily count, sum or average each label using these 3 formulas. And the supercool part is that if you update any data, your functions will automatically update based on your changes. If you’ve never used any of these 3 IF functions, give them a whirl on your next spreadsheet.
  3. Paste Special. I’m sure you may have used this function before, but you probably never realized the power it contains that we hardly use. Use the paste special function to convert your spreadsheet data from rows to columns (and vice versa), divide (or multiply) a whole series of numbers and more!

Shiny New Gadget Of The Month: Inflatable Movie Screen

This 120-inch-diagonal Airblown Inflatable Movie Screen is perfect for family movie nights and block parties, because everyone can see it all on this big screen in your backyard! The giant outdoor movie screen can be set up and inflated in minutes, ready to show movies, TV shows, cartoons, sporting events or even video presentations. This inflatable movie screen is also great to use indoors or out for fund-raising events, festivals or prom parties, providing a drive-in movie experience everyone will enjoy.

You can even hook up your game console to your projector (not included) to play video games for “tremendous” fun! And since this outdoor movie screen is portable, you can take it along to your summer cottage or company picnic!

This awesome addition to your family life AND your business can be found at www.skymall.com for about $250.


The Lighter Side: A Summer Roast

Q: What did the pig say at the beach on a hot summer’s day?
A: I’m bacon!
Q: What do you call six weeks of rain in Scotland?
A: Summer!
Q: How do you prevent a summer cold?
A: Catch it in the winter!
Q: What do you call a French guy in sandals?
A: Phillipe Phloppe.
Q: When do you go at red and stop at green?
A: When you’re eating a watermelon.
Q: How do men exercise at the beach?
A: By sucking in their stomach every time they see a bikini.
Q: What do you call a dog on the beach in the summer?
A: A hot dog!
Q: Why do bananas use sunscreen?
A: Because they peel.
Q. What’s that new summer pirate movie rated?
A. It’s rated ARRRRRR!
Q. What’s the best day to go to the beach?
A. SUNDAY!