Business

The booming business of encrypted tech serving the criminal underworld

Criminals have turned to supposedly secure encrypted smartphones rather than normal messaging services - PA
Criminals have turned to supposedly secure encrypted smartphones rather than normal messaging services – PA

For the astonished detectives it was like “getting the keys to Aladdin’s cave”. Over the last few years, senior arms dealers and drug traffickers across Europe had come to rely on EncroChat, a shadowy tech company selling hyper-secure smartphones offering “guaranteed anonymity”.

Assured of their safety, crooks discussed products and prices in exhaustive detail, without the usual codewords. EncroChat’s steep subscription fees, running to thousands of pounds every year, were an offer no self-respecting contraband logistics professional could afford to refuse.

That is why EncroChat’s systematic infiltration by British and European police forces, finally made public on Thursday after more than 740 arrests, was an intelligence coup equal to the Enigma breakthroughs of the Second World War. One underworld insider, speaking to Vice News, was eloquent in their brevity: “People are f—–.”

EncroChat is far

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Facebook Business Page Tips That Will Help You Make More Money

If you own a business, you need a web presence. First and foremost, that means you should have a great website. There’s no way around that. But what about social media? Is it necessary to have a Facebook business page?

Let’s see. In December 2019, Facebook had an average of 1.66 billion daily active users, according to its fourth quarter results. So, if you own a business, you want a Facebook page. The trick is to do it right.

Here’s how to make one that will not only start some social chatter but will create new customers for your business.

Building Your Facebook Business Page

The first thing you need to do is to create your Facebook business page. While it’s not difficult to do, you should be thoughtful about how you put it together. Here are a few tips.

Make a Professional, Not Personal Profile

You don’t want to

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Queer Eye’s Tan France Uses His ‘Hellacious’ Start in Business to Help Owners During the Pandemic

When it comes to launching a small business amid tough economic times, Tan France can certainly relate.

“I started building my business within the [2007-09] recession, which was so unwise but I had no other choice,” the Queer Eye star, who founded fashion brand Kingdom & State, tells PEOPLE. “The first year-and-a-half, in particular, was so dire.”

“I started very late 2009, and 2010 was a wash. Then in 2011, I learned how to change things up to make it appropriate for what people were actually going through at that time,” France, 37, continues. “So I absolutely know what it means to pivot your business and switch things up to cater to the new market or audience.”

What France didn’t know, however, was that his experience would benefit him years later as he takes on his newest venture: starring on Facebook Watch’s Boost My Business, a show where he

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Pandemic forces small business to innovate

Shops
Shops

Three years of innovation has occurred in the space of just three months due to lockdown, according to a new report.

More than half a million businesses have changed or are altering their operating model, with a fifth of those surveyed by “Be The Business” introducing new services. 

Be The Business chief executive Tony Danker, who joins the CBI as director-general in November, said that the innovation seen over the past three months was “testament to the tenacity and latent entrepreneurial spirit of British business in the face of hostile economic conditions”. 

He credited the innovation of businesses for the early signs of an economic recovery, saying that the study “shows that a quick and strong recovery is down to the choices that business owners make in the next few months. We must give them cause to choose ambition over fear.”

However, the report highlights continuing concerns from businesses

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Sports Brands Need to Take Risks to Boost Business

Click here to read the full article.

Plain vanilla is the kiss of death.

Sporting goods brands and retailers need to be willing to take some risks in their design and merchandising to lure consumers to buy.

“A plain vanilla assortment means boring and the same as last year,” said Matt Powell, vice president and senior industry analyst for NPD Group. “There’s no surer way to kill a retail business.”

So despite fears that have come to the forefront during the pandemic that are causing companies to want to play it safe, Powell said they need to “take some risk and offer a provocative and exciting assortment.”

Powell made those comments as part of a webinar titled “Monitoring the Impact of COVID-19 and the Road to Recovery” for the Sports & Fitness Industry Association Tuesday afternoon.

Over the past few months, sports apparel and footwear have performed better than many

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7 steps to recession-proof your small business

Blame COVID-19: the US officially entered a recession in February. I suspect that’s not news to you and your small business, as small businesses have been on the front line of this downturn, struggling to survive. In fact, since the shut-down, it’s estimated that over 100,000 small businesses have closed their doors for good.

I don’t want you to be one of them, so there are ways to help ‘recession-proof’ your small business.

1.     Get the word out to ‘shop small, shop local.’ In response to COVID, customers want to help their favorite small businesses succeed, but at any time, it’s critical to educate consumers about the importance of small businesses to their community. Work together with other small businesses in your community or industry to create special events, discounts, rewards. Right now, you can give American Express cardholders even more motivation to ‘shop small,’ as American Express announced on

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Yandex’s Lockdown Delivery Pivot Is Morphing Into a New Business

(Bloomberg) — Russian technology firm Yandex NV found an opportunity at the height of the pandemic — repurposing its army of ride-hailing drivers to provide deliveries in a country where logistics options are scarce. The venture was a success and the company will make its pivot permanent.

Yandex, which also operates the nation’s largest internet search engine, is targeting 1 million daily deliveries in the near future, Daniil Shuleyko, head of the Yandex.Taxi unit, said in an interview.

Unlike in the U.S. or U.K., Russian retailers’ delivery operations were very limited when the pandemic shut down storefronts earlier this year. For example Dixy Group, one the country’s biggest grocery store chains, didn’t have its own service to transport goods to customers, and had only just started to experiment with third-party providers when the pandemic hit.

“The coronavirus has accelerated Russian consumers’ transition to online shopping, and more of them now

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To His Own Surprise, Crypto Volume Pumper’s Business Is Still Thriving

Eleven months ago, Alexey Andryunin was sure his business was not long for this world. 

A 22-year-old math student from Moscow, Andryunin built a business inflating trade volumes in little-known crypto tokens issued during the 2017 initial coin offering (ICO) craze. In a head-turning interview CoinDesk published last July, Andryunin candidly described the underworld of micro-cap tokens and exchanges surviving on artificial volumes ginned up by paid “market makers” (a traditional finance term used loosely in this context.)

At the time, Andryunin thought his business was heading to a decline: ICOs were moribund, the token market was shrinking and a new wave of regulatory attention was about to scour the shadier corners of the crypto space. 

Related: Market Wrap: Bitcoin Traders Expect Big Move as Volatility Plummets

He now says he was mistaken. Business is growing again as token promoters pay him to pump their projects so they’ll be accepted

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Ban on Wirecard’s UK payments business lifted

The UK’s financial watchdog has lifted restrictions on German payments company Wirecard, allowing it to resume payment activities.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) imposed restrictions on the company’s UK arm after its collapse last week.

Thousands of people could not access their money or make payments through apps as a result.

“Our primary objective all along has been to protect the interests and money of consumers,” the FCA said.

Customers should now, or very shortly, be able to use their cards as usual.

Christopher Woolard, the FCA’s interim chief executive, told the BBC’s Today programme the FCA had “imposed very strict conditions” on Wirecard’s UK subsidiary based in Newcastle, which had knock-on effects for about 70 payments firms.

“When we did that we were acutely conscious that there are some really vulnerable people who rely on those services for example to get benefits payments paid to them,” he said.

Mr

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Robert Half’s Protiviti Unveils Business Resilience Tool

Robert Half International Inc.‘s RHI subsidiary Protiviti announced yesterday that it has launched a complimentary assessment tool aimed at enabling companies address coronavirus-associated business disruptions and related workforce re-entry and business transformation challenges.

Known as the Navigating Business Resilience tool, it helps businesses fast-recognize and prioritize their problem areas and threats, and suggests a set of best-suited tools and processes.

The online tool carries out assessment by developing a heat map of critical pain points that an organization faces, enabling visual mapping of issues and prioritizing attention areas through an interactive dashboard. Upon completion of this assessment, businesses receive a custom online report consisting of delivery timelines and approaches, a full view of the organization, priorities to be worked on immediately, and an overview of best-suited Protiviti tools. The report can be saved and referred to any time.

According to Patrick Scott, executive vice president, Industry Programs, Protiviti, “We

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