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How to Master the Art of People

art of peopleMarketing Podcast with Dave Kerpen

Ask most any business owner and they will tell you that one of the hardest parts of growing a business is managing people.

Entrepreneurs are typically visionaries and that trait doesn’t always come with natural leadership skills.

The fact is that there are few simple habits that will allow you get more of what you want if you work to embrace them.

Now, I’m not talking about manipulation, I’m simply talking about creating greater influence by paying attention to how others think, feel and act and adopting a better way of interacting with all of the folks you come into contact with day to day.

Everyone need work in this area – myself very much included.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Dave Kerpen, co-founder and chairman of Likeable Media, an award-winning social media and word-of-mouth marketing firm. He is also the founder and CEO of Likeable Local, a great social media management tool. We discuss his new book The Art of People: 11 Simple People Skills That Will Get You Everything You Want, people skills, and how entrepreneurs can manage their employees better.

If you ever get the chance to meet Kerpen you’ll immediately learn why he is so qualified to write this book – Dave is a people person.

I recently visited his office in New York and it was abuzz with peopleness. (Not sure that’s a word but I like it.)

The Art of People is structured in a way that makes it very easy to read and digest. Chapters are short and to the point and each ends with action steps.

Questions I ask Dave:

  • Are people skills learnable?
  • How can someone improve upon his or her people skills?
  • What are the advantages of having an advisory board?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • How to become a better manager and a better leader of the people you work with.
  • How famous business leaders have overcome poor leadership skills.
  • Why the “Golden Rule” really doesn’t apply to leadership today.

This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by FreshBooks, small business accounting software for non-accountants. Freshbooks is offering a free month of unrestricted access just for Duct Tape Marketing podcast listeners. You don’t even need a credit card to register. To get your free month, go to freshbooks.com/ducttape and enter DuctTape in the “How Did You Hear About Us?” section.

The Panama Papers and WordPress Security

A hacker with a hood with laptop. Online network danger.WordPress is without a doubt the best, most flexible platform for a small business website. We suggest it for every business we work with, and half of the tools we recommend are WordPress plugins or add-ons. Simply put, if you aren’t using WordPress for your website, you are missing out on tons of functionality.

But, like an operating system on your computer, with all that functionality comes some concern for security.

Recently, hackers were able to access over 4.8 Million emails from the Panamanian law and accounting firm Mossack Fonseca. The resulting data leak, dubbed by the press as the “Panama Papers,” was the largest in history, and contained evidence of tax evasion by countless public officials and figures worldwide.

Some cyber security firms are blaming Mossack Fonseca’s outdated WordPress website as the source of the breach.

So what does this mean for you, your website and your business? Are you at risk for a data breach? The simple answer is no, but you must keep your guard up and your website up-to-date.

The Panama Papers

The Panama Papers are just the latest and largest in an increasingly common trend of high-profile data leaks. Unlike recent data leaks from large retailers that targeted credit card numbers and financial information from individual customers, this leak was focused on the release of sensitive data to the press to embarrass world leaders and tax evaders.

The leak has been a massive, worldwide story, and journalists haven’t been able to sift through all of the data yet. There are over 2,600 GB of leaked data, which is more than any other major data leak in history combined. For context, the Wikileaks data leak of 2010 was just 1.7 GB.

Not only do the papers contain information on tax evaders, which is legal but frowned upon by most countries, they also contain evidence of more serious crimes such as money laundering and fraud.

The leak directly implicates 12 current or former heads of state in these activities as well, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, and has already resulted in the resignation of Iceland’s Prime Minister.

Also, several other world leaders are indirectly implicated, like Prime Minister of Great Britian, David Cameron.

How did this happen?

WordFence has a nice breakdown of the nitty-gritty details, but a majority of the data was captured by exploiting a weakness in Mossack Fonseca’s WordPress website.

Mossack Fonseca was running a plugin on their site called Revolution Slider. The plugin ran most of their visual features and is a pretty popular and powerful WordPress design tool.

Every plugin or add-on can add a vulnerability to your site. Developers are not perfect, and it is impossible to create a perfect code the first time. That is why most plugin developers release regular software updates. Unfortunately, Mossack Fonseca hadn’t updated the plugin and left some vulnerabilities that were patched in later versions. Wordfence has a video of how hackers were able to exploit this plugin.

Once inside the website, the hackers were then able to access Mossack Fonseca’s email server because they had another plugin that allowed them to send mail through the website. This plugin had no vulnerabilities and was fully updated, but once the hackers were in, it was already too late.

Should I be worried about my site?

The answer to this question isn’t that simple. Mossack Fonseca was a target here mainly because they were involved in potentially illicit activities with high-profile clients and lots of money. The hackers were sophisticated, more so than your general cyber-criminal, and would probably only target businesses like these with high stakes.

But any small business can be at risk for cyber crime, particularly if you handle some of your commerce online. There are plenty of cyber criminals looking to make an easy buck off stolen credit card information.

That’s why you should take away the following lessons from this incident: pay attention to your website, and update your plugins regularly.

Be sure not to leave your website running in the background without maintenance for too long. Hackers and criminals move quickly, and developers are forced to respond just as quickly. If a developer releases an update that includes security features, assume it is because someone somewhere has figured out a way in. You must be willing to update your site regularly to prevent the next person from figuring it out.

Alex-Boyer-Photo-150x150-e1420769709443.jpgAlex Boyer is a Community Manager and Content Ninja for Duct Tape Marketing. You can connect with him on Twitter @AlexBoyerKC

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