Do you have any unwanted software on your computer?

If you are like me, you will have got a lot of software on your computer you do not use, even some that you never have used.  You probably do not know how it all cama to be there.  Sometimes you download one thing and a few more slip onto your computer uninvited.

Some of this might actually be harmful and needs removing asap but a lot of it is innocent but a waste of valuable space.  It slows your computer down.

There is something even worse about it that I have only recently come to know.  When you get a prompt to update it you probably ignore it, as I do. What would be the point?  Well, the software companies often include additional security features in their updates, to deal with threats they might not have known about previously.  Leaving the old versions of software lying around can leave your computer open to attacks by viruses and other nasties.

So either keep it up to date or better still get rid of it.

Is it time to review your insurances? Here are some you might have forgotten.

Although the important thing is to manage the risks whether the Cyber Risk or the ones relating to climate change or whatever, it is always worth asking yourself whether you have the right insurances, and we will soon be coming to that time of year when many businesses have to renew their insurances.  You could just assume that what you had in the past will be right for the future, but that is not a good way to manage risks, nor to manage your business either.  This could be a good opportunity to really review your insurances and ask if you have got some you could do without and if you are lacking some you really do need.

Most of us insure our computers, but often we forget to cover the data on them or the cost of a data breach.

Most of us insure our property against fire and flood, but often we do not think about the money we would lose one way or another in the time it takes to rebuild or repair after an incident.  This is called “Business Interruption” Insurance or “Loss of Profits”.  It may be that you can get it as an element of your general commercial policy or you may need something separate.  Ask your insurer or broker.

Not everyone needs the above insurances, but it is best to make a decision after looking into the costs and benefits rather than to wish you had!

A refreshingly new approach to looking at Climate Change.

I recently went to a half-day conference on responding to Climate Change.

The Environment Agency and Warrington Council were running it.

The main focus was not on

  • whether or not Climate Change is happening,
  • whether it is the result of human activity.
  • how we might prevent it.

 

For once the emphasis was on what to do to mitigate its effects.

Not primarily what the Government or some others in authority might do, but on what you and I can do.

We talked about flooding, storms, snow and ice.

We looked at issues like power cuts, transport, access to property.

  • How to be prepared.
  • How to make realistic plans.
  • How to communicate them within your business.
  • Where to get help.

We noticed that a lot of plans will do just as well to deal with several different types of emergency, even a bad flu epidemic, and we considered the opportunities and the risks of working from home.

This is applying Risk Management to risks you thought you could not control.

For more information go to www.environment-agency.gov.uk

Or www.emergencyplanning@warrington.gov.uk

Or ‘phone 08708506506 (Environment Agency)

Or 01925 442681 (Warrington Council Emergency Planning).

Or why not have a chat with me?

Bad News! Just when you thought it was safe!

Yes, we have all got through Halloween without being “tricked” or worse.  We have got past the Fifth of November without being blown up.  Just when we thought we were safe… Winter is coming!  How well prepared are we for the extra risks Winter may bring?  I wrote about this a while ago but Winter is still Winter and the risks are still there.  What can we do?  Go to http://ezinearticles.com/?How-Well-Prepared-Is-Your-Business-for-the-Risks-That-Winter-May-Bring?&id=7372083

Afraid?  No?  Here’s a sobering statistic.

Over half the businesses that shut down temporarily for more than a few days following a disaster of ANY kind, end up going out of business within a year, even if they re-open for a while.  That is at least partly because most of them do not have disaster recovery plans.  Do you?

Why Celebrate a Failed Terrorist?

Every year in Britain we celebrate the Fifth of November as a major festival in the calendar.  Probably our third biggest after Christmas and Easter.  Surely a failed terrorist who died some 400 year ago is hardly someone we want to remember.  So lets look at the relevance of Guy Fawkes to us today and asks whether we should be making more or less of this event.  It also considers how it might be changed to make it more relevant.

Apart from the great religious festivals, what do we celebrate?  Perhaps a beter question would be “what should we celebrate?”

Other countries have their independence days.  Obviously we cannot copy them as Britain was usually the country they gained independence from.  I have actually heard of an American working in England who could not see why we did not celebrate the Fourth of July!  So what do we celebrate?  A failed attempt at blowing up both Houses of Parliament and the King.  Most people were relieved, to say the least, at the time, but do we need to keep it going today?

The King who had such a narrow escape was James VI and I.  The first King of both England and Scotland, who had acceded to both thrones without spilling blood.  Had he been killed then it is not certain that the ensuing chaos would have resulted in a new King, or whatever, for the two countries, or whether they would have split apart again, and for how long.  An interesting, but ultimately pointless, area for speculation.  Ask Alex Salmond?

What Was It All About At the Time?

  1. The motive for Guy Fawkes and his fellow-conspirators was religion. They could not accept that both England and Scotland had broken away from the Church of Rome and developed their own distinctive forms of Protestantism.  Somehow, the plotters had hoped to impose Roman Catholicism on an unwilling population, possibly with the help of foreign government, but that is a matter also for speculation.
  2. At that time, due to real or imaginary fears among Protectants, there was official discrimination against Catholics, although more serious persecution had ceased and relations between Catholics and Protestants were largely amicable.
  3. People might have thought that this failed coup would have resulted in anti-Catholic violence and/or more serious official persecution. Yet, somehow it was avoided.  Somehow we British managed to move on to religious toleration and equality without the need for revolution or violence.

So Why Does Any of That Matter Today?

  1. One of the biggest issues in British politics, and indeed around the World, is religious extremism.
  2. The danger is that some people will try to impose their faith, even a very specific variety of a broader religion, on everyone else.
  3. There have been numerous plots by Islamic extremists to cause serious harm in Britain, most of which have been foiled.
  4. We are all aware of Islamic extremists, but let us not forget the Hindu Nationalists in India and Nepal who want to oppress Moslems as well as Christians and others, and the Buddhist ones who want to make Burma, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka  into one-religion states.
  5. Some people fear a backlash against the majority of law-abiding Moslems in Britain and a general worsening of race relations, as people confuse race with religion.

So Where Does Guy Fawkes Come In?

  • We can be thankful he failed and long may they all fail who would damage democracy and religious or other freedom.
  • We can be thankful that Protestants and Catholics learnt to live and work together, even discovering how much they have in common.
  • We take courage from the example of the past and aim to see Moslems and everyone else blending into our British Society peacefully just as the Roman Catholics have.
  • We can try to export these ideas around the World, even as far as Ireland.
  • Perhaps not the fireworks, that might be asking for trouble.

So let us make the Fifth of November an international anti-extremism day, that we can all be proud of.