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Staffing News Online

NJSA's Staffing News Online is a monthly e-newsletter that is available to the staffing industry.  The content for Staffing News Online comes directly from our industry partners.  If you are an NJSA industry partner and would like to submit content for Staffing News Online, please email office@njsa.com with your article.

  • Monday, November 30, 2020 10:49 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Avionte

    There are many reasons staffing firms should offer a paycard, including great benefits for both your firm and your employees. While there are many important things to consider when choosing a paycard provider for your staffing agency, one of the most exciting options is to offer a paycard with a loyalty program. Today, we are sharing how a staffing paycard loyalty program can drive positive behaviors in your temporary workforce, while simultaneously benefitting both your bottom line and your clients’!

    1. Increases Employee Retention

    Did you know that US employers spend $2.9M per day looking for replacement workers? That’s $1.1B per year. Ouch! A loyalty program serves as a differentiator between you and your competitors. Talent are more likely to work with your firm if they receive added benefits. A loyalty program rewards positive workplace behaviors and gives added bonuses to your best employees. Therefore, the best employees receive the most rewards, increasing retention of your top talent.

    2. Reduces Absenteeism

    Each year, workers in the U.S. miss more than half a billion workdays. Productivity losses linked to absenteeism cost employers $225.8 billion annually in the United States! Reducing your turnover rates by improving attendance makes a material difference in your cost to backfill and your client’s cost of vacancy. Not to mention, it reduces the headache and chaos of finding last-minute backfills. With a staffing paycard loyalty program, you can incentivize your employees for low absenteeism, therefore improving your bottom line.

    3. Improves Safety

    The average cost of a workers’ comp claim today is $40,000. Blue-collar temporary work in factories, warehouses and construction sites have become one of the most hazardous categories of jobs in the nation. This makes light industrial staffing firms highly susceptible to high workers’ comp costs. However, you can help reduce the workers’ comp claim costs by inspiring increased safety on job sites. A paycard loyalty program can reward your workers for safe behaviors, ultimately improving your bottom line.

    4. Raises Referrals

    Did you know that after two years, retention of referred employees is 45% compared to 20% from job boards? Referred candidates are 55% faster to hire, compared with employees sourced through career sites? Hiring and onboarding are time-consuming and, therefore, costly. Reducing these costs through referrals is a great way to benefit your bottom line. With a loyalty program, you can reward your workers for referrals and hire new employees faster.

    Paycards with a Loyalty Program

    While there is an abundance of paycard options on the market, there is only one paycard that was designed exclusively for the staffing industry and offers an incentive program. In addition to the great benefits of a standard paycard, Avionté’s CHANGE card and its Loyalty Program are designed to service staffing firms in ways specific to their needs.

    With the CHANGE Loyalty Program, your firm can reward employees with points for positive behaviors, such as perfect attendance, referring friends and family, and working accident-free. Employees then redeem their points for cash or gift cards from over 75 top merchants – including Amazon, Home Depot, local restaurants and more! The CHANGE Loyalty program helps retain your best employees and greatly impacts your firm’s bottom line.

    Are you ready to CHANGE? Request a demo with a member of our team.


  • Monday, November 30, 2020 10:47 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by David Searns with Haley Marketing

    Confession: I've had enough of this year.

    Enough of the news. Enough of social media. Enough negativity in our lives.

    I think this year has pushed all of us to our limits. Coronavirus. Lockdowns. Record unemployment. A global recession. Fires. Floods. Oh yeah, and it's an election year.

    My biggest hope for 2020...

    is that none of us ever see another one like it!

    But we're here now. While we can't change reality, we can absolutely change how we see things and how we deal with challenge. As Sir Winston Churchill famously said, "Never let a good crisis go to waste."

    If you are in staffing or recruiting, the challenge you face is creating more certainty. Certainty in sales. Certainty in recruiting. And most importantly, certainty in your cash flow.

    You need to build a sales and recruiting engine that powers your company, enables your salespeople and recruiters to achieve greater results (without incessant cold calling), and strengthens your business so you thrive in the months and years to come.

    Not sure where to start? This free eBook, "Creating Certainty in Uncertain Times," will walk you through the entire process! The first step in building your sales and recruiting engine is:

    Defining your positioning

    Where are you the best in the world? In the book Good to Great, Jim Collins defines a concept he calls the "hedgehog principle," which is a convergence of three things.

    If you ask most staffing company owners what makes them different, you'll often hear some variation of "it's our service," or "our relationships," or "how much we care about our clients and candidates."

    While these are all great values, they don't create differentiation. They don't position you to stand out. To really define your positioning, you need to apply Jim Collins' model.

    What are you deeply passionate about?

    Why did you get into staffing? Is it about the kinds of people you place? The types of clients you serve? A commitment to helping people advance their careers?

    A staffing company built around a passionate belief will be much stronger than one built around a general goal of providing better service.

    Where are you (or can you be) the best in the world?

    What types of people are you good at recruiting? What industries or job functions do you really understand? What unique skills, experience or technology does your company possess? In what locations are you strongest? Or with what size clients or types of staffing buyers?

    The idea is to define a very specific market segment or service offering where you can consistently outperform every other staffing and recruiting company on the planet.

    What is your economic engine?

    What is the value you offer that people will pay you to deliver? Is it traditional "temp help" or "direct hire recruiting" where you are paid a premium (or fee) for providing talented people that companies cannot find on their own? Are you paid for the convenience you offer? The result you deliver? In staffing the economic engine is most often thought to be "we provide people to do work." But could your value be more than this? Are there better ways to deliver...and get paid for the value you can offer?

    Positioning is about defining your turf...carving out a segment of the staffing market that you truly own. This can be based on the types of people you place, kinds of clients you service, where you offer your services, or how you provide service delivery.

    With positioning, think of a pie. That pie represents all staffing and recruiting services (or bigger picture, all workforce management solutions). Your positioning represents the slice of the pie that you own. The idea is to pick a slice (your hedgehog) that you truly own and one that is large enough to allow you to accomplish your business goals.

    To learn the next steps in creating a more certain (and bright) future for your firm, download "Creating Certainty in Uncertain Times," or connect with a marketing educator today.


  • Monday, November 30, 2020 10:45 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by TempWorks

    Staffing agencies across the nation have been forced to get creative about how they run their businesses. The pandemic has had a broad range of effects on the staffing industry, hitting some sectors hard while others are seeing huge spikes in business. Few agencies have implemented identical changes to their workforce, but nearly all have experienced an increasing reliance on virtual solutions.

    Pandemic Changes to the Office

    To comply with social distancing requirements, businesses have reimagined the workspace. In smaller organizations where COVID-19 could be easily spread, office employees have shifted entirely home, with only a few going into the office for administrative needs. Some of these companies were unwittingly prepared for such a scenario and relied on TempWorks Software’s HRCenter for their remote hiring, onboarding, and payroll needs.

    Some agencies have opted for a happy middle between a completely remote workforce and one that remains office based. These agencies have closed their buildings to the public, requiring candidates to fill out applications online and conduct interviews virtually. Agency employees, however, still go to the office for work, maintaining a six-foot distance from each other and wearing masks in communal spaces.

    On the other end of the spectrum, many staffing agencies still allow candidates to come in and fill out applications in-person. These candidates are checked for temperature and asked to sign COVID-19 waivers before entering the buildings.

    Pandemic Changes to Technology

    It goes without saying that technology and virtual solutions have helped the staffing industry survive from the start of COVID-19. Some agencies have even found their virtual strategies so successful that they intend to keep on using them even after the pandemic passes.

    Virtual changes have been especially successful for agencies who have switched to remote interviews. Thanks to TempWorks Software’s HRCenter, candidates can easily fill applications from home and are only a phone call away for a video interview. Recruiters often find video interviews easier to stage and that candidates are much more likely to attend them. Before the pandemic, when in-person interviews were still the order of the day, recruiters often had to schedule their interviews days in advance. And when the time of the interview came, it was often a no-show. In contrast, virtual interviews allow recruiters to call candidates and schedule a phone or a video interview within as little as an hour, lessening the chances of no-show appointments.

    The staffing industry has struggled through the pandemic, but agencies’ creative solutions in the face of dozens of restrictions have brought some great innovations to their businesses. Many will find that such innovation will not only carry them through the current global crisis, but also better prepare them for success in the future.


  • Monday, November 30, 2020 10:42 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Two River Benefits Consultants, LLC

    The common cold, flu and COVID-19 are all caused by viruses that affect your respiratory system,

    and all three illnesses share some symptoms. This makes it difficult to know what you may be sick with when you’re feeling under the weather. Because there is some overlap between the symptoms it may be difficult to determine which you may have. If you believe you have the flu or Covid-19, please call your doctor and explain your symptoms before going to a facility.

    Learn more about the similarities and differences between the three illnesses below.

    Click here to download the article in PDF format.

  • Monday, November 30, 2020 10:38 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Edward J. Sadowski, CPA, MST with Withum

    On January 13, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law Senate Bill 3246 (S. 3246 or bill) establishing the "business alternative income tax" (BAIT), an elective New Jersey business tax regime for pass-through entities (PTEs). Staffing firms are left wondering if electing to pay the BAIT is the right choice. Here we summarize how the NJ BAIT works, as well as its pros and cons for companies in the industry.

    The new law allows pass-through entities such as S corporations and LLCs to elect to pay NJ income tax at the entity level, as a business tax, and to pass through a net amount of Federal taxable income to the owners of the business along with a gross amount of NJ taxable income a NJ tax credit to prevent double taxation in NJ. By passing through a gross amount of NJ taxable income and a credit, the owner is not required to separately pay NJ income tax that could be subject to the SALT limit. Absent this election, the business would pass through a gross amount of Federal and NJ taxable income to the owner, the owner would pay NJ income tax, and the owner’s tax payment would be subject to the SALT limit. The BAIT applies to PTE tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2020. A detailed article regarding the BAIT tax and its mechanics can be found here. https://www.withum.com/resources/new-jersey-businesses-should-consider-salt-deduction-limitation/

    Below are some key considerations to take into accounting in determining whether your firm may want to elect to pay the BAIT:

    What makes the NJ BAIT election attractive to staffing firms?

    • The BAIT can be most advantageous where a significant portion of the receipts are sourced to New Jersey and the entity’s owners are New Jersey residents. In that case, the residents get a significant advantage with the entity claiming the federal tax deduction for state taxes paid. In this manner, a federal benefit is recognized for the NJ income tax paid rather than having the federal itemized deduction on Schedule A capped at $10,000. In addition, NJ residents partners/shareholders do not have to worry about whether they will be able to claim offsetting credits in home states other than New Jersey.
    • Partnerships, LLC’s and consenting New Jersey S-Corporations can make the BAIT election.
    • Single member LLC’s and sole proprietorships may not elect the BAIT.
    What aspects of the NJ BAIT election may be unattractive to staffing firms?

    • Non-resident credits: The partner or shareholder’s resident state, if not NJ, may not allow a resident credit on their individual returns for taxes paid at the entity level in New Jersey.

    • Cash flow: Duplicate BAIT estimated payments are required as are non-resident withholding payments.

    • Cash basis taxpayers must make BAIT payments by year-end to get the federal tax deduction.

    • S-Corporation revenue sourcing methodology for those who elect BAIT may be Cost of Performance as opposed to market sourcing.

    The IRS recently released Notice 2020-75. In the Notice, the IRS has announced that it intends to issue proposed regs to clarify that State and local income taxes imposed on and paid by a partnership or an S corporation on its income are allowed as a deduction by the partnership or S corporation in computing its non-separately stated taxable income or loss for the taxable year of payment. For more information on the impact of this on NJ BAIT, see Withum’s recent update.

    Business owners should keep in mind that the election to pay tax at the entity-level is subject to the facts and circumstances of each business. It should also be noted that the results of the presidential election could make BAIT moot if the SALT cap of $10,000 were to be reversed at some point in the future.

    Withum can discuss and help you analyze if the BAIT election makes sense for your business. It is important for businesses to consider any planning in respect to the BAIT election for their 2020 tax returns.


  • Friday, October 30, 2020 10:05 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Two River Benefits Consultants, LLC

    Employers increasingly use independent contractors to perform non-essential services to reduce labor costs. Downsizing brought on by COVID-19 is expected to increase this trend.

    Classification of a worker as an "employee" as opposed to "independent contractor" has significant legal implications. In the employer-employee relationship the employer bears responsibility for payroll taxes and withholdings. Employees are generally eligible for:

    • employer benefit programs;
    • state-mandated benefits (eg, temporary disability, paid sick leave, family leave insurance);
    • overtime and minimum wage;
    • leave entitlements under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA); and
    • the protections of employee rights statutes (eg, anti-discrimination and whistle-blower protection laws).

    Employment status also implicates collective bargaining rights under the NLRA. Furthermore, an employer-employee relationship exposes employers to liability for the tortious acts of employees under the doctrine of respondeat superior.

    When employer obligations are statutory, the statute may not define "employee." In such cases, various tests are used to determine employee or independent contractor classification. The Third Circuit uses the employer-friendly "economic realities" test to determine employee status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which considers the following:

    • is the work integral to the company’s business;
    • does the worker have an opportunity for profit/loss;
    • is the worker retained indefinitely;
    • is the worker’s investment minor, compared to the company’s;
    • does the worker exercise business skills, judgment and initiative; and
    • the degree of control exercised by the employer.

    When determining employee status under Title VII, the Third Circuit employs a narrower 12-factor Darden test, placing emphasis on the degree of control exercised by the employer. The NLRB has returned to a more employer-friendly common law agency test. For purposes of state wage and hour laws, New Jersey adopted the ABC test, which presumes a worker is an employee unless the employer can show:

    • the individual is free from control over performance of the work;
    • the service is outside the usual course of the employer’s business; and
    • the individual is customarily engaged in an independent established trade or occupation.

    Although no single factor is decisive in any test, if the "totality of the circumstances" suggests an employer-employee relationship, the worker will be deemed an employee.


  • Friday, October 30, 2020 10:00 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by TAC Benefits Group

    As the Affordable Care Act moves into the 9th year of existence, there remains uncertainty in the health insurance world where premiums and deductibles continue to skyrocket. *Since 2010 health insurance premiums have increased by 54%, and deductibles have increased by 111%.

    One of the key components of the Affordable Care Act was the expansion of Medicaid in many states (including NJ) for individuals and families earning 138% of the U.S. Poverty Level. This expanded health care to many low-income individuals and families. However, as is typical of many government programs, the middle class (between 138% and 400% of poverty) and employers are left with the burden of increased deductibles and premiums.

    Percentage of the poverty level and associated income


    There is hope! There is a little-known requirement for non-profit hospitals to provide free or discounted care to maintain their non-profit status. By utilizing a benefit strategy incorporating this requirement, you as an employer, CAN provide affordable health care to your low to middle income employees at a very affordable price.

    This benefit design provides a comprehensive healthcare plan which is complemented by Direct Primary Care, Prescription Medications, an Advocacy Program with Community programs. This enables your employees to enroll in a program for less than $100 per month with no or very little out of pocket expense. The out of pocket expense varies based on income and assets. Individuals who participate are provided an advocate. The advocacy program helps the individuals navigate the community programs to get the care they need at the lowest cost, whether it be an office visit, an emergency room visit, or a scheduled hospital procedure.

    There are 5,724 hospitals in the U.S., according to the American Hospital Association. Of these, 2,903 hospitals are nonprofit and 1025 are for-profit. Additionally, 1045 hospitals are owned by state or local (county, hospital district) government entities.

    The chart below illustrates the number and percentage of hospitals by state run, non-profit, and for-profit hospitals New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.


    To learn more details specific to your group and other states in which you have employees, please have your broker or benefit manager submit an inquiry to contactus@tacbenefitsgroup.com or reach me directly at mcleary@tacbenefitsgoup.com.


  • Friday, October 30, 2020 9:44 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Avionte

    The financial world of payments, banking, and money management is changing. A rapidly evolving technology landscape, new payments service providers, the desire to bank and manage payments via mobile devices, and increased efforts toward financial inclusion for the unbanked and underbanked are increasing demand for mobile-friendly options for managing money. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees should have options for how they receive their pay, and paycards are a convenient, enticing method. There are many reasons staffing agencies should offer a paycard to their talent. It is a convenient alternative to traditional banks and paychecks that address changing needs, while also reducing payroll costs for staffing and recruiting agencies.

    WHAT IS A PAYCARD?

    A paycard (a.k.a. pay card, payroll card) is a pre-paid, stored value card that agencies use to pay their talent for the receipt of wages and other compensation. Every payday, payroll loads the card with the employee’s wages for that pay period. The employee can then use the paycard to withdraw cash from a bank teller or ATM, pay bills online or in person, receive cash back from point-of-sale transactions, and make everyday purchases simply and conveniently.

    According to an industry estimate from payments consulting firm Aite Group there were 3.1 million active payroll cards in the United States in 2010, with $20.9 billion loaded onto those active cards. By 2017, both numbers doubled to an estimated 5.9 million active cards with $42 billion in load value. By 2022, those figures are expected to jump to 8.4 million and $60 billion, respectively, demonstrating the increasing demand for a paycard option. Here are five reasons why you should meet this demand and offer a paycard to your temporary workforce.

    Reasons Staffing Agencies Should Offer a Paycard

    1. Financial Inclusion for the Unbanked and Underbanked

    Research from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) shows that approximately 25% of Americans were either unbanked or underbanked as of 2017, and roughly three out of four unbanked households cited either not having enough money to keep an account open due to minimum balance requirements or high banking fees for not having a banking account. When asked about their motivational barriers to banking, these households cited a lack of money (43%), high banking fees (32%), and a general distrust of banks (30%). The respondents who had closed an account said they did so due to high overdraft fees (29%), no longer having direct deposit with their jobs (27%), and minimum balance requirements (22%).

    Offering payroll cards can mitigate or eliminate these issues. Paycards provide unbanked and underbanked workers with increased access to the financial system, as well as the benefits of safety, convenience, faster payments, and ease of use. A paycard offering can end the frustrating financial cycle, creating an incentive for employees to continue working for your firm.

    2. Accessibility and the Changing Landscape of Brick & Mortar Banks

    In addition to financial inclusion and accessibility, physical accessibility to banks is an increasing issue. The availability of brick and mortar bank branches is quickly shifting. In lower-income areas, bank branches are closing far faster than new ones are opening. Between 2014 and 2018, 1,915 more bank branches were closed than opened in lower-income neighborhoods, according to a new report from Bloomberg. This can require a significant drive or bus ride just to cash a check for an employee on payday.

    With a paycard, employees receive their money directly to the card, eliminating a trip to the bank to deposit a check. They can also use their paycard at various ATM locations, making accessibility more convenient. The quick adoption, remote payment distribution, and ease of use proves to be a major benefit of payroll cards.

    3. Budgeting & Money Management

    Using a paycard can be a unique, yet effective way to save money for card holders. Using a paycard in tandem with a standard bank account lets talent separate money to be used for different purposes. For example, employees can reserve one account for necessities and another for day-to-day spending. Having funds in separate accounts allows users to budget more easily and save for special occasions or emergencies.

    Another really helpful use of a paycard is the ability to provide others with funds automatically. The bank can assign a second card to give to another family member to distribute allowances or share funds.

    4. Security

    Another reason staffing agencies should offer a paycard to talent is increased security. Employees can easily misplace or damage a physical check, causing headaches, security risks, and costly charges for them and your firm. Furthermore, reconciling uncashed checks can be a painful process for your back office team. Paper checks also contain personal information that is a major security risk if it falls into the wrong hands.

    Paycards provide fast and secure distribution of funds. This results in less stress and increased satisfaction for both the employee and your payroll team. No more lost checks and reissues! A paycard can eliminate the stress and risks while providing talent with a modernized financial solution.

    5. Generational Differences & Lifestyle Choices

    Millennials and Gen Z are not using banks like previous generations and prefer other options. Younger generations think entering a bank and standing in line to deposit a check is time-consuming, antiquated, and unnecessary. The younger generations rarely have a reason to write a check or even know how to do so. For many, checks are as equally retro as the rotary phone and not in a vintage, charming sort of way.

    A common trait among Gen Z and Millennials is the need for choice. They expect banking options personalized to their preferences, like other services they interact with on a daily basis. Paired with a growing awareness about the importance of financial health and wellbeing among younger generations, payroll cards are the perfect solution to modernize your payroll and provide flexibility. Paycards offer an improved experience and more freedom for how talent bank, make payments, and manage their money.

    Paycard Options

    With the various reasons staffing agencies should offer a paycard in mind, it is time to research options! The staffing and recruiting industry is unique. Payroll and compliance is complicated, so look for a provider with specific experience in the staffing and recruiting industry. Avionté CHANGE is the first staffing paycard with an incentive program for employees, making it a great place to start in your journey to modernize payments.


  • Friday, October 30, 2020 9:40 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Assurance

    With a rise in cyber security and privacy concerns, we’ve seen an increase in inquiries from our insureds concerning how their businesses are being impacted. In response to this, our partners at MMA have put together a list of best practices to consider regarding security and privacy concerns.

    1. Ensure privacy of employee information. Remind employees not to share sensitive information publicly if an employee (or family member) has been or is suspected to have been diagnosed with Coronavirus.
    2. With the increased numbers of employees working from home, especially for those who may not be accustomed to doing so, it is recommended to remind employees of corporate mobile device and remote access policies (i.e. mobile device policies, email/internet usage). Also, if not already implemented, require Security Application Gateway or VPN (Virtual Private Network) to access corporate systems and ensure multifactor authentication (MFA) where applicable. 

      Additional tips from CSOonline.com: 8 Key Security Considerations For Protecting Remote Workers.
    3. Remind your employees of your organization’s data security policies, including the policy that we see many organizations have in place that mandates not sharing corporate information with non-approved and/or personal email systems.
    4. Be wary of coronavirus related emails that may lure employees to click on malicious links and download malware/ransomware which may further interrupt your technology infrastructure by encrypting your network files and subjecting your organization to a potential ransom demand.
    5. Do not connect nor download corporate documents/materials via non-approved or non-corporate managed devices (i.e. flash drives).
    6. Protect mobile devices and sensitive paper document in transit (to avoid car theft) and at home in compliance with mobile device policies.
    7. Presuming employees’ increased reliance on teleconferencing, review contracts with mobile conference systems providers (i.e. Skype, Zoom, etc.) pertaining to the security/privacy safeguards they employ. Review responsibility, collaboration and indemnity provisions in the event of a system or security disruption and/or privacy event (i.e. eavesdropping, etc.).

      National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) Virtual Meetings Best Practices
    8. If you are faced with supply chain disruption, maintain due diligence in seeking alternative suppliers/vendors from a systems and connectivity standpoint, without sacrificing security controls, data integrity and contractual standards.
    9. Review your cyber liability insurance policy to ensure how it will respond to security/privacy infiltrations within a remote desktop employee environment. Most updated policy forms affirmatively cover unauthorized access into the organization’s network/system/environment via remote desktop protocol (for example), although each policy differs in coverage. Remind employees to report suspected activity or infiltrations of their home network to their IT/Information Security team in accordance with your incident response plan and cyber liability policy.
    10. For multinational organizations and organizations that may have care, custody or control of non-US citizen data, be mindful of the individual collection, retention and safeguarding guidelines by various Data Protection Authorities, especially in light of COVID-19. Guidelines from International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) Global Data Protection Authorities.

    For additional insight or questions to protect your organization from cyber threats, be sure to contact a member of the A-Team today.


  • Friday, October 30, 2020 9:35 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by TempWorks

    October is National Cybersecurity Awareness month, a fact of particular importance in the year 2020, when so much our work lives have become remote and virtual. Shifting to remote work has been an ambivalent experience for many–some studies show that remote work makes employees more productive, while others say it hurts everyone’s ability to network and communicate effectively. But however good or bad remote work is treating your workplace, nearly all businesses and their data are under a more severe threat now than they were before the pandemic.

    Although many companies have embraced working from home, the initial shift from in-office workplaces to entirely remote setups was abrupt and unexpected. These changes present a massive threat to any organization’s cybersecurity. Almost overnight, companies had to create brand new processes for a situation they were unprepared for. This has created a near perfect scenario for hackers and phishers to obtain classified data, and they are taking advantage of it. Phishing attacks have increased by 667% since February, and they continue to go up.

    Protecting your security—and that of your company’s—mostly entails practicing common sense:

    Keep a Sharp Eye on Your Inbox

    A lot of scams happen in email, and phishers are getting cleverer with their tactics every day (notice the ease with which Rihanna’s character from Ocean’s 8 sends a personalized phishing email). However, there are a few easy elements you can watch out for to identify a real email from a phishing attack:

    1. Emails insisting you click on a given URL. As we know from Rihanna, all it takes is one link click to give a hacker all they need to infiltrate a computer system. Beware of any email that directs you to click on any kind of link, even if the email is sent from someone you know. If the email includes a sense of urgency (i.e. asking you to click immediately or risk losing money, etc.), you should automatically mark the message as suspicious.
    2. Spelling errors and typos (especially in the sender email address). Look out for any spelling or grammatical errors in the email’s content and sender address. Phishing emails will often impersonate other websites and people by making minute changes to spelling in hopes of convincing the recipient that the email is legitimate.
    3. Strange content. Self-explanatory, but any email with content that strikes you as odd and asks for you to click on a link is suspicious—even, again, if the email appears to be sent from someone you know. Hackers will often compromise email accounts and reply to messages in those inboxes. This means a suspicious email could be a reply to one you yourself already sent. If you sense something strange in a reply to one of your own earlier emails, double check with the email sender (through phone, text, or other messaging services) to make sure they truly sent the email.

    Keep Passwords Secure

    Safe password practices are critical to maintaining excellent cybersecurity. Hackers are very aware of the tricks people use to make easily remembered passwords. They’re also aware that people often use the same password for multiple sites. This means that if a hacker cracks just one password, they have likely won access to multiple sites. It’s important to have a separate password for each login and for each of these passwords to be as secure as possible. The longer the password, the more secure it will be. A combination of three or more unrelated words (do not use famous quotes) will usually make a secure password, and it’s recommended that you install a password manager (such as LastPass) to keep track of your login information.

    The more we work online, the greater the threat to our information. Ensure you have proper safety measures in place for detecting phishing emails and protecting your data against theft.


Click on the dates below for Staffing Online News archives from 2017 and 2018.  

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