4 Tips to Prevent Cyber Crime

4 Tips to Prevent Cyber Crime

Nov 21, 2015

Cyber crime is a reality that you cannot ignore any more. Despite this, a number of small and large companies tend to fall prey to cyber crime – almost 90 percent of them. It’s dangerous to put it off since it the risk is very real too. Here are 4 simple tips to protect yourself from reduce cyber crime: 1: Have multiple email accounts It’s best to keep one email account for social while the other for business. In other words, you can keep your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram information separate from your financial records. What’s better is if you opt for Gmail where with the two-step verification, you can keep your account safer than most. Hackers will not be able to get through. 2: Create difficult passwords While difficult passwords may be difficult to remember, it’s still worth the hassle. Almost all of us are guilty of using simple passwords that we don’t change very often. Getting a notification to change your password is better than falling prey to cyber crime. Also, don’t use the same password for multiple accounts either. 3: Keep your machine updated No matter what, ensure that you keep your machine and software updated. Whether it is the operating system, web browsers or your anti-virus software, staying updated will ensure that you are kept safe from online attackers. 4: Watch out for fake websites You can be fooled by fake websites that get you to pay for goods that you will never receive. Of course, they will have access to your credit card details too. Check the web address and you’ll find that it is a variation in spelling or using a different domain name. Also, see if the padlock symbol appear next to the address bar and if the address begin with ‘https’...

The Basics of Construction and Turnaround Services

The Basics of Construction and Turnaround Services

Oct 26, 2015

A turnaround service is a planned, temporary closure of a processing plant or building with the goal of identifying, testing, and fixing issues that can cause serious problems. Construction and turnaround services work around the clock to perform a major overhaul on a company. Turnarounds are vital in keeping maintenance records up-to-date as well as the upkeep of the facility. The safety of one’s workers should always be a priority to an owner. If their personnel are working under hazardous and unstable conditions, there could be the likelihood that the facility will be shut down due to an unsafe setting. Because it costs a facility time and money to initiate a turnaround, they are usually scheduled a year or two in advance. The owner of a company or plant must decide whether they have the proper funds to afford the temporary shutdown. For each day that there is no production, especially when it comes to a refinery, money is lost. When it comes to money well spent, a turnaround is one of the most essential parts of industrial operations. Thousands of dollars are lost due to companies being shut down from a lack of maintenance activities. This is why plenty of major corporations schedule regular construction & turnaround services to ensure that there won’t be any issues in the foreseeable future. The goal of a turnaround service should be to complete the task in a safe and environmentally sound manner. They should work closely with the management team with safety as a priority for both the company and the staff. A structural steel expert may also be on hand to provide a sense of direction. Bio: Lyle Charles is a steel fabrication expert with over 45 years of experience in the construction industry. Contact him and his firm...

What to Do When Crunch Time Goes Wrong

What to Do When Crunch Time Goes Wrong

Aug 4, 2015

Written by: Lyle Charles Consulting Any commercial construction project will need to stick to very tight deadlines if the project is to come in under budget, but project managers can’t control every aspect. Permits, for instance, are the mercy of the review process. If there is a problem at any point in the project schedule, workers have to scramble to make sure things get done properly. Recruit Help The first instinct of project managers is to add overtime hours to the project, but this may not be the best approach. If workers have been working long hours leading up to crunch time, they may not be as sharp and acute. If they happen to slip or drop tools, that could injure someone else or themselves. It is sometimes more cost-effective to bring additional help onto the site. Claims Construction delay claims try to sort out who is responsible for a delay, because those delays cost money. Every change to a plan, order unfulfilled or worker who calls out contributes to this ever growing list of potential problems. It’s crucial that project managers document everything to protect themselves from liability. Especially in commercial construction, where the stakes are significantly higher. Disputes The worst part of a delay is that a legal challenge can contribute to the problem. It’s normal for legal challenges to stop the process when more money has to change hands, but the work stoppage only contributes to the problem. Construction mediation solves that problem with a meeting of two parties before a neutral third party. Each party voices concerns and airs grievances, and the mediator brainstorms a mutually beneficial solution. Bio: Lyle Charles is an expert in commercial and residential construction, and a certified mediator and expert witness for the construction...

Mediation of Construction Disputes

Written by: Lyle Charles Consulting When a dispute arises in a commercial construction project, what happens after is usually dependent on what’s in the contract. These days, it’s common for businesses to stipulate mediation as the preferred method for settling disputes. Construction claim analysis is a time-consuming prospect that requires attention to detail. The mediation process is good for both parties, and it typically speeds things up much faster than standard trial litigation. Before you take your dispute to trial, consider the benefits of mediating outside of court. Why Mediations are Chosen The reasons mediation is done so frequently has to do with court costs. Courts spend a lot of money litigating, and they handle untold cases daily. Disputes that can be settled out of court are good for local justice systems, and they generally help the parties involved as well. Trial is hard, and costs a lot of money. You’ll end up paying high costs in lawyer fees, and construction claim preparation will be left to you alone. An expert in the subject of mediation is a huge benefit to you when you make the decision to work with your fellow litigant. These third party evaluators are there to observe the process, make note of what is being said and help both parties reach an amicable agreement. Before Mediation Happens The process of gathering evidence is directly related to the paperwork that both parties kept on the project. It’s important that you document everything you have done, and that your contract stipulates exactly what you plan to do and nothing more. Most disputes arise from schedule changes, and other minor adjustments that appear harmless. The disputes arise when both parties fail to agree on some form of resolution. Why Lawyers Hate Mediation Simply put, lawyers don’t stand to make any money on mediation unless they are the mediator. In construction claims, it’s rare for a lawyer to play this part. They may have knowledge on the law, but a steel fabrication expert is much better for disputes that involve materials or construction matters. They are simply better trained on the legal intricacies of the subject and are better equipped to understand the needs...

Important Details Regarding the IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

Important Details Regarding the IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

May 14, 2013

In January 2012, the IRS began an offshore voluntary disclosure program (OVDP). This is on the heels of strong interest in the 2011, and 2009 programs (first and second initiatives) It is designed to offer those who have undisclosed income from offshore to get current in their tax returns. While there is a higher penalty with the 2012 OVDP, benefits are more encouraging to taxpayers to disclose foreign accounts now, or they will risk criminal prosecution if the IRS detects any wrongdoing. In 2009, Malibu resident John McCarthy pleaded guilty to failing to inform the government of a Swiss bank account as part of a scheme to move at leas $1 million from the US into Swiss bank accounts. McCarthy was sentenced to three years of supervised release with six months served in home detention and 300 hours community service. He also was ordered to pay a $25,000 fine. Talking to a tax lawyer will help you figure out what to do and which forms to fill out under this new program. Failure to report offshore income accounts with a TD F 90-22.1, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Account, could result in significant fines, and penalties as the IRS has ramped up its ability to find tax-evaders. If you have an offshore account and fail to pay taxes on it, you could be facing criminal consequences. In return for meeting the requirements of this third initiative, the IRS has agreed not to pursue the following: Charges of criminal tax evasion which would have resulted in jail time or a felony on your record; and other fraud and filing penalties including IRC Sec. 6663 fraud penalties, and failure to file a TD F 90-22.1, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts Report, (FBAR) —————————————————————————————————————- Guest post is provided by the Law Offices of Jeffrey B. Kahn, P.C., a trusted tax lawyer in Los Angeles. View the website for more...