Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, January 5, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 14



 Mountain Views News Saturday, January 5, 2013 


The latest on Business News, Trends and Techniques


By La Quetta M. Shamblee, MBA

 Antivirus software is often not very good at stopping threats and it appears that the antivirus 
industry has been keeping this secret from us.


 Each year consumers and businesses spend billions on AV software, yet these products are 
sometimes unable to block the very latest computer threats. This may be attributed to the fact that the 
model for creating definition files for AV programs, the part of the program that identifies malicious 
code, relies upon knowledge of what threats are “in the wild” or have already been detected by 
industry researchers. And since the bad guys also have access to a lot of this information, they can 
use it to craft newer threats and keep a step ahead of the “good guys”. 

 The job of protecting against the unknown wasn’t always this difficult but it became much more 
so when the motivation behind virus and malware creation became highly monetized in the mid-
2000’s. Since that time the guys have devoted a lot of time, brains, energy and focus on infecting as 
many computers as possible. 

 Part of the problem is that antivirus products are inherently reactive. Just as medical researchers 
have to study a virus before they can create a vaccine, antivirus makers must capture a computer 
virus, take it apart and identify its “signature” or unique behavior in its code, before a program can 
be written that neutralizes that threat. That process can take as little as a few hours or as long as 
several years. 

 Earlier this year researchers discovered “Flame”, a complex piece of malware that had been 
stealing data from computers for an estimated five years without detection. The AV industry has 
grown as well, even to the point of hiring former “bad guys” as consultants and engineers but, when 
tested by researchers, some of the most effective AV programs at catching new threats (AVG and 
Emisoft) turned out to be free offerings. In its efforts to gain significant ground in the ongoing battle 
for computing security, AV makers have begun to think differently about both the threats they face 
as an industry and the approaches they can take to make a more effective product. 

 Current users can minimize their exposure by sticking to Safe Computing Best Practices (Firewall, 
Patched and Current OS’s, Least Privilege computer use, etc) and being vigilant about what’s installed 
and used on their machines. 


Four quarters, twelve months and about 360 days to make this “THE” year to give birth to your 
business concept or to expand and strengthen your existing business. One of the easiest ways to 
engage in annual business planning is simply, to establish goals using the following process, which is 
followed by an example of how to apply it during the first quarter.

First, if you could have only one goal for the year, what is it? This becomes the bulls-eye to hit by 
December 31st. Every other goal selected should contribute to progress towards the year-end goal. 
Example: Remodel/Recreate the appearance of your business, including a thorough cleaning, 
fresh paint, better storage and a few new pieces of furniture.

Second, determine four goals, one per quarter. This approach is aligned with the natural 
progression of 90-day blocks of time to concentrate on activities specific to one goal. March 31st, 
June 30th and September 30th represent three significant check-points, with December 31st serving 
as the culmination of both the fourth and final quarter, as well as the point to celebrate your progress 
and accomplishments for the year.


Qtr 1 – Get rid of outdated items, inventory and clutter.

Qtr 2 – Select your color palette, new layout and furnishings. 

Qtr 3 – Schedule the remodel. 

Qtr 4 – Open House event to celebrate your “newly-remodeled” facility.

Third, identify one primary area of activity to focus on each month. Make sure to select activities 
that are directly related to the goal for the current quarter. 


Month 1 – Identify categories or items and areas that need to be cleaned out and organized. You 
can engage the help of a friend or family member, pay an employee to coordinate this project or 
commit to a schedule to do it yourself.

Month 2 – Get rid of ALL unneeded items. If feasible, set-up a “Clearance” table or section. You 
might want to maintain and replenish clearance items up to the date that you need to remove 
things to paint. Remember, the goal is to get rid of items, so be prepared to offer deep discounts 
to get the clutter out of your space.

Month 3 – Spring Cleaning. With some items removed, schedule time to do a thorough cleaning 
of your business, especially the areas visible to customers. You can get it done in one day, or 
perhaps during a weekend by making it a family affair, or hiring one or more workers.

Complete the process by selected an activity for each of the remaining months. Of course, take 
time to pat yourself on the back for accomplishing your goal, or simply recommit to the process 
for the upcoming month.


As social media “behavior” 
becomes the norm, 
businesses will find that they 
can reach some of their target audience through 
social ads. Compared to the price of a Super Bowl 
ad or sending out a direct mail piece, advertising 
on social media can be relatively affordable. 

The goal on Facebook is to get your Posts into 
the Newsfeed of the your Fans and Friends. A 
Facebook page that has over 400 “Likes” can pay 
to promote a post. Organic posts (those that are 
not promoted) statistically see about 16 - 24% 
exposure. By promoting a post, you can increase 
that exposure. We’ve seen upwards of 40-50% 
exposure with a promoted post. For a page that 
has around 1500 “Likes,” the cost to promote a 
post ranges from $5 - $15. 

If you don’t have over 400 “Likes” on Facebook 
yet, you might try an ad campaign that builds 
“Likes” for your page. When your ad appears, a 
“Like” button will be displayed below your ad, 
which makes it quick for users to become a fan. 
You can budget as little as $10 per day for these 
types of ads. We recently spent $70 over 7 days 
and build around 500 new “Likes.” On Facebook, 
you can target people by their age, location, 
behaviors and interests and people who like a 
particular Facebook page (think big brands that 
share your audience).

On Twitter, you can pay to promote a tweet. They 
show up at the top of relevant search results or 
a “hashtagged” conversation. Brands can target 
specific audiences based on interest, keyword, 
and location. 

LinkedIn also sells ad space, you can target by job 
title and function, industry and company size, by 
seniority, age and by groups.

Just like TV, newspapers and magazines, Social 
Media is a content provider that brands can 
leverage for advertising. 

About MJ: MJ and her brother David own 
HUTdogs, a creative services business that 
specializes in Internet Marketing strategies and 
Social Media Education for businesses and non-
profits. In 2012, they delivered 50 complimentary 
presentations on Social Media and email marketing 
to over 1,725 attendees. Join their conversation on 
Facebook and get good tips and tricks about social 

Sign up for their upcoming classes and 
presentations at:

We’d like to hear from you! 

What’s on YOUR Mind?

Contact us at: or www. AND Twitter: @

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