Saturday, July 7, 2012

Bankcard Pros CRM - Whats New in the 2012 CRM Edition

Bankcard Pros CRM is proud to announce our newest features, updates and upgrades to our 2012 edition of our CRM. Some of the biggest features to date are our new Merchant Cash Advance (MCA) reporting system, ACHdirect integration for billing and payroll, credit check system, and our Online Application XML / API integration with ISO’s/Processors such as Cynergy Data, iPayment, Clearent, Global Payments, FNBO, PowerPay, and more. To view our 2012 version of our CRM software, please login as follows: username = CRMadmin password = Demo2012! Be sure to review the following links to see what is new in our 2012 CRM system: New home page dashboard New and improved navigational menu system with 3-column sub-menus on all pages Hundreds of new setup and configuration features for system administrators New expanded and enhance support features New and improved merchant application status section with color coded boxes All new – View daily transaction reports for all merchants All new - View daily batch reports for all merchants All new – view transaction statistics for all merchants New and improved residual reporting features Corporate residual reporting statistics New and improved field formats for better online applications New and improved online application customization and editing features§ion_id=2 New and improved merchant importing features Over 40 different reporting features Provide the latest interchange charts to your staff Receive automatic email notifications from your banks/processors. The system will receive all status emails from processor, and process the content of the status emails to automatically update each account, change status of account, add notes, add MID#, and more so your staff does not have to do these tasks manually on a daily basis New and improved status summary page for merchant account summary with view merchant options menu Merchant Cash Advance system Merchant cash advance application status pages Credit check report with 3 credit reporting bureaus 8 rate quote systems Merchant Proposal systems so agents can prepare and print equipment proposals Customize the leads and telemarketing fields and sections New and improved lead appointment and task view and print features New and improved hourly employee time sheet payroll and taxes tracking New and improved user menu screen New and improved user profile pages with new features New referral form with document upload feature New merchant/customer trouble ticket form New and improved hiring and recruiting form with resume upload feature View all incoming recruiting and hiring forms and New and improved address book All new – Banner network advertising New and improved export mailing list All new – print 10-up and 30-up mailing labels All new – 160 ways to advertise your business / best selling tips All new – create weekly or monthly recurring email marketing campaigns – keep in touch with your merchants to improve retention Please contact us if you have any questions, or if you would like to update your system with our newest features. Thank you! Bankcard Pros Development Team Toll Free 800-985-9157

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bankcard Pros CRM Software proudly announces New Features in the 4th Quarter of 2011

New Home Page Design
We redesigned the home page to include new icon graphics including: Add new client, submit app, Add referral, Recruiting form, App status, New referrals, New leads, New agents, Search apps, Search leads, My leads, My hot leads, tasks/reminders, appointments, New inventory, Equip trade-in, Equip leases, Equip rentals, My bonuses, My residuals, Document library, Trouble tickets, News alerts, Interchange, Time clock, Rate quotes.

eMerchant Manager
Online Merchant Portal for tracking, analyzing, and monitoring the Merchants' payment processing services, daily transactions, daily batches, monthly statements, account profile, equipment setup, order supplies, view and download monthly newsletters, submit contact forms, create trouble tickets, join the monthly eNews, view PCI security certification information, access links to your FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube sites, and more.

RSS News Feeds
Create new RSS News Feed sources to your CRM and you can read news and announcements from various bankcard industry news resources on the home page of your CRM software.

Marketing Campaigns
All new! You can now create new email marketing campaigns within your CRM, choose from a huge selection of recipient options, choose a recurring date you want your email message to go out, and save. You can have email marketing campaigns be sent out automatically as one time events, daily, weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, or yearly. You can also choose a specific day of the month or year as well.

Training Videos
Create your very own training video library in the support section of your CRM software. Upload as many training videos as you want. The training video library works in conjunction with YouTube. All you have to do is add YouTube video links in your CRM and your staff and sales reps can access all videos from within your CRM software. This will insure your staff and sales reps are not wasting time on YouTube watching other non-company related videos.

Mobile SMS Text Message Campaigns
All new! You can now send out marketing messages via SMS text messaging system within your CRM to your merchants and/or staff/sales reps. You can also keep your sales reps up to date on the status of their new applications via text alerts.

Sales Quotes
We improved the functionality and appearance of the sales quotes on the home page. Admin users can add unlimited number of motivational sales quotes for all users to read when they login to the CRM software.

Best Sales Tips
All new! Over 150+ sales tips and business promotional ideas are now available to view on the home page. You can add, edit, or delete sales tips. Each 24-hours, a new sales tip is featured. Sales managers can share these sales and promotional ideas with their merchants. Do you have sales reps who run out of ideas on how to sell merchant accounts, who are struggling, or have nothing to do for the time being? You can now provide them the information they need to sell merchant accounts in 150 different ways.

My Social Links
Have access to all your social sites on 1 page. You can manage and add your URL links to your social sites in your user account profile page.

Value-Added Services
Get information and costs/buy rates on all value added services available to resell (ex: gift cards, checks, etc.), in addition to selling merchant accounts and credit card processing equipment and software.

Top Vendors
Access leading online sales tools and business resources that business people use on a daily basis (ex: printers, toner supplies, shipping supplies, software, online services, domain names, fax services, postage machines, email, computers, cables, labels, photos, shirts, and more)

Printing Services
Easy access to ordering printing services online for all your sales and marketing needs through one of the best online printing companies in America! PrintRunner, Inc. was established with little more than a small press and a dream. Ten years later is one of the foremost quality printers in Southern California and occupies over 25,000 sq ft. Our growth is due to our commitment to providing the best value in high quality full color printing at an affordable price. Whatever your promotional needs, from business card printing to full color brochure printing to postcard printing services and beyond, we have the solution.

Print Mailing Labels
All new! You can now generate 10-up or 30-up formatted PDF documents to send to your printer so you can print on Avery label stock: Avery Easy Peel White Address Labels for Laser Printers 5160, 1" x 2-5/8", Box of 3000 or Avery White Shipping Labels for Laser and Inkjet Printers 18163, 2" x 4", Pack of 100. You can generate printing labels from your contact database within your CRM software including your address book contacts, merchant contacts, staff and sales reps, and DBA lead lists.

Messaging System
You can now receive new messages from all your merchants who fill out the contact form requesting more information within the eMerchant Manager online reporting system. The messaging system also allows you to send messages internally between the admin users and all non-admin users, or users within your network.

Business Card Ordering System
Keep track of all business card orders for your employees and staff as well as your outside sales agents nationwide. Upload the artwork images of the business cards for each user, so they can reorder business cards, proof online, and submit the order.

Status Section Merchant Menu Options
We reorganized the menu options for each merchant account summary page so you can quickly access the information you need to view for each merchant account. This allows users to view more information on the computer monitor with less scrolling required.

Leads System – Duplicate Matching System
The leads and telemarketing system will automatically scan the entire database of existing merchants and/or existing leads to see if they match new leads added to the leads system. This will prevent any sales agent or telemarketer from contacting existing merchants or leads already sold or being contacted by a different user in the system.

Leads System – Sales Forecasting
The leads and telemarketing system will automatically provide you sales forecast statistics for each user such as total # leads worked, retail price quoted, actual price quoted, and any monthly fees quoted.

Leads System – Sales Statistics
The leads and telemarketing system will automatically provide you sales forecast statistics for each user such as total # leads, total # appointments, appointment %, total # quotes, quotes %, total # sold, sold %, total # dead leads, dead lead %.

Cold Calling Scripts
This new feature allows you to add cold calling and telemarketing sales scripts to the leads system so sales agents and telemarketers can review and use when speaking to business owners on a daily basis. You can add, edit, delete, and customize unlimited # of cold calling scripts.

3-Calendar View
We moved the 3 calendar view from the home page to the monthly calendar in the calendar of events section. View 3 calendars so you can see the next 90 days in one view.

Top 5 Status Reporting
We moved the Top 5 status reporting sections to its own page and can be accessed in the quick links section on the home page.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Creative Design / Graphic Design / Logo Design

We love what we do. The passion we have for our work enables us to take ownership of our clients' projects. We constantly strive to deliver the highest-quality products possible. There is no greater satisfaction than delivering a finished product that helps a client reach their goals and objectives.

Let our creative team design your next creative project, brochures, or website:

+++ Sales Brochures
+++ Sales Presentation Books
+++ Postcards
+++ Business Presentations
+++ Personal Projects
+++ Sales & Training Materials
+++ Training Manual
+++ Product Sheets
+++ Calendars
+++ Catalogs
+++ Company Newsletters
+++ Business Cards
+++ Company Logo
+++ Stationery

eCommerce Services

We can get your business online within 1 hour with a basic website. Please allow 3-10 business days for custom designed websites.

+++ Website Design
+++ Hosting
+++ Shopping Cart System
+++ Merchant Account
+++ Payment Gateway Software
+++ SSL Certificates
+++ Email and Webmail

Our design projects include the following services:

+++ Super fast turnaround on most projects - 2-3 business days
+++ Same day service available
+++ Proofs emailed in PDF format (full-color proof prints available)
+++ We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover

Call today for FREE consulting and price quotes for your next project.

Creative Vision Studio, LLC. - Since 1999
Toll Free (800) 985-9157
Office (562) 206-0156
Fax (800) 985-5371

Computer Learning Center Lab Rentals

The Computer Learning Center at Creative Vision Studio is equipped with everything necessary to meet your company's training needs. We offer a training room that hold up to twelve people and will provide technical support for any system. This room is available for company-run training courses.

Creative Vision Studio is located in Long Beach, CA and is 2 miles from the Long Beach Airport (LGB). The computer learning center also offers free public parking.

When available, our computer classrooms and computer labs may be rented by the hour or for the entire day as follows:

+++ Per hour: $75 per hour x 1 hour
+++ Per half day: $65 per hour x 4 hours
+++ Per day: $55 per hour x 8 hours

Computer Technology

The classroom has brand new eMachine Desktop PC 64-bit computer systems with 2GB RAM, 500GB Hard drive, Windows 7 Home Premium, and 23” widescreen LCD flat screen monitors with 1920x1080 screen resolution, DVDRW, Microsoft Office 2003 & 2007, Adobe Acrobat Reader, and other popular business applications installed.

Professional binders available for training participants:

+++ 1” binder with inside pockets
+++ 100 sheets with line prints for note taking
+++ Ball point pen
+++ $12.00 per book
Our professional computer room includes the following features:

+++ Instructor computer connected to the LCD projector
+++ Color Printer
+++ 4’ x 8’ dry-erase white-board
+++ 6 tables that are 6’ long
+++ 12 rolling chairs with arms
+++ 10 computer systems with flat screen monitors
+++ DSL internet access on all 10 computers
+++ WiFi Internet access available
+++ 92” pull-down overhead projector screen (white)
+++ Optoma DLP Projection Display EP 732H
+++ Sony Stereo Receiver for music / FM radio
+++ DVD Player
+++ 2 speakers mounted in the wall (100 watt each)

Color Copies and Digital Printing Available!

+++ Xerox 550 Color Printer with network printing
+++ Color Copies
+++ Color Digital Prints from CD or USB Drive
+++ 30 ppm color / 35 ppm black
+++ 8.5” x 11” or 11” x 17” prints/copies
+++ Coated and Un-coated stock
+++ Up to 110 lb cover (300 gsm)
+++ Color prints as low as 59 cents per print

Office equipment available:

+++ 11x17 laminating machine
+++ 8.5” laminating machine
+++ Electric paper shredder
+++ Electric 3-hole punch machine
+++ Manual 3-hole punch
+++ Fax machine
+++ HP Laserjet P2055dn Laser Printer, 35ppm
+++ Stapler
+++ Tape dispenser

Our computer classrooms are located at 3580 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Suite 7, Second Floor, Long Beach, California 90804
Call today for FREE consulting and to reserve our training facility today!

Creative Vision Studio, LLC.
Toll Free (800) 985-9157
Office (562) 206-0156
Fax (800) 985-5371


Business presentations? Personal projects? Sales & Training Materials?

Whatever your needs and goals, Creative Vision Studio is here to help you make that first impression. Our broad range of color copying and digital color printing services and expertise can help you not just complete your projects, but bring them to life. Turn your document into a deal-closer when you print and copy with Creative Vision Studio. Receive high quality results every time. We will help you create projects that stand out.

The best COLOR COPY or DIGITAL COLOR PRINT prices in Long Beach, California:

1 - 250 copies/prints = $ .69 cents ea
251 - 499 copies/prints = $ .59 cents ea
500 - 999 copies/prints = $ .49 cents ea
1000 - 2499 copies/prints = $ .39 cents ea
5000 - 9999 copies/prints = $ .35 cents ea
10,000 + copies/prints = $ .29 cents ea

* Prices are per page side of the same PDF or paper original.
* For 2-sided copies use table prices above x2 . However, the paper upgrades below, if desired, are "per sheet" (you pay only once per 2-sided copy).

Popular paper options:

++ 28/80# White Color Copy Digital Paper 100 US / 112+ Euro Bright (included)
++ 32/80# Bright Laser add 4¢ for 8.5x11
++ 32/80# Gloss text add 5¢ for 8.5x11
++ For 11x17 just double rates above.

++ Prices are for color copies or digital prints (no extra charge for digital printing)
++ One-day typical turnaround (ask for free same day service Monday-Friday)
++ Produced on quality paper stocks and advanced digital printing systems
++ Our Quality Assurance begins from the moment your files arrive
++ Free USPS Ground shipping in the contiguous U.S. on $150+ orders.
++ Email us your files or visit our office

Call today for FREE consulting and price quotes for your next project.

Creative Vision Studio, LLC.
Toll Free (800) 985-9157
Office (562) 206-0156

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Is Bankcard Pros CRM software PCI compliant?

The answer is YES, our Bankcard Pros CRM is compliant and certified, even though our CRM software does not store credit card data! Since partnering with Trust Guard, our CRM software is scanned on a monthly basis for over 42,000 known vulnerabilities which helps to protect our CRM software from Hackers, Trojans, worms and viruses.

We highly recommend our customers to contact Trust Guard and subscribe to their services and have your CRM site scanned on a monthly basis to insure your CRM is secure, especially if you host your CRM yourself. Although our CRM software is compliant and certified, we do not guarantee anything and are not responsible for any unauthorized access or loss of your data. Their service is around $25.00 and up to $45.00 depending on how frequent you want your CRM site scanned.

Statistically there's a huge chance (over 80%) that any site is currently vulnerable to Worms, Trojans and Hackers! That's why merchant banks and credit card companies are pushing so hard for PCI compliance. A PCI Compliance scan and Certification will make your Merchant Bank happy, but what's more important is it could save you from losing your business, and ten's of thousands of dollars in fines and penalties should a breach ever occur.

We also add hundreds of new vulnerabilities every month to ensure that your site is always up-to date with the latest protective measures.

For most people, the world of PCI (Payment Card Industry) is very complicated, frustrating, and extremely boring. So, in an effort to help you keep your sanity, I've put together the following information for every online business owner that's been told that they need PCI Scanning or PCI Compliance for their website, but don't ever get a straight answer as to what it is, why they need it, what to do about it, or how to get it. My goal here is to simplify PCI for you so that you can make a clear, educated decision and weigh your options on your terms. You won't find any other resource like this online, so be sure to bookmark it so you can easily access it again. I should also mention that while we go to great lengths to provide you with as accurate information as possible, we don't make the rules, laws and/or regulations that govern PCI, and the information below may change at any time. So, if your bank or acquirer (that's one of those ambiguous words I'll define for you below) tell you something different than what is stated below, we recommend you follow their instructions. This document is for information purposes only. For the official 'migraine-inducing' documentation, go to

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How to Backup and Protect your Bankcard Pros CRM Database

Your CRM database is one of your most critical business assets. By putting the right security measures in place, you can protect your CRM database and avoid problems that could negatively impact your ability to deliver a quality customer experience.

You can also get more detailed information on backup information from this website

Your CRM database is a valuable asset that stores large volumes of highly confidential customer information, and houses the vital intelligence that sales, marketing, and support staff need to effectively interact with existing and potential clients.

In order to achieve your CRM-related goals, you need to put the right procedures and technologies in place to protect your CRM database from security breaches, performance problems, technical failures, and other issues.
24 x 7 Availability
If your CRM database goes down, your ability to perform routine customer-facing activities will be severely hindered. The keys to ensuring that your CRM database is accessible - and operating at its peak - at all times are around-the-clock monitoring and system redundancy.

By continuously tracking the performance and availability of your CRM database, you can maximize uptime by instantly identifying any problems and taking immediate corrective action. Mirroring and redundancy can help you avoid downtime in the event of a major system failure, by providing you with an exact duplicate of your CRM database that can be rapidly "brought up" when needed.

Data Security

The information contained in your CRM database is one of your most important competitive resources. Additionally, your customers need to feel confident that their private and personal information - such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, or any other data they share during business transactions - won't fall into the wrong hands. Therefore, maintaining the integrity of your sensitive and confidential customer data is crucial.

While there is no way to create a completely failsafe environment, there are plenty of measures that can be taken to dramatically enhance CRM database protection.

For example, multiple levels of login authentication can help you prevent unauthorized access. Role-based security, which enables users to view only certain portions of the data based on their job function, can help ensure that all customer information is handled correctly.
And, securing your CRM database with data encryption and firewalls can significantly minimize the risks caused by hackers other cyber-criminals.

If your company has chosen an on-demand CRM system, you'll need to work closely with your service provider to ensure that, even though your CRM database may not be physically separated, there are plenty of safeguards in place to keep other clients from getting to your information. Additionally, you'll need to make sure that the service provider promptly installs any application, database, or operating system patches to keep security optimized.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself as a business owner when it comes to your Bankcard Pros CRM data backup and security:

Q: How will I know to back-up my CRM software?

Answer: As a system administrator user, when you login to your Bankcard Pros CRM software, you will see a red blinking box that says “Backup Database”. This will appear if the system recognizes that you have not backed up your data for 2 or more days. It is highly recommended that you DO NOT ignore this warning, or disable this feature in the configuration section of the CRM. Always perform the backup procedure on a daily basis.

Q: What exactly should I backup?

Answer: First of all, you must backup your data from your MySQL database program on a DAILY basis, which can be done on your own in the setup/configuration section of your CRM software, using the Database Backup tool. The system will save all your data into a text file like “backup_yourcompanyname.txt”

Secondly, you need to back-up all the physical files from your hosting account. This can easily be done using afile transfer program called CuteFTP software program for example. You can get instructions on doing this from this website .

The main folder that you always want to back-up on your hosting account is the /corp folder. This should be backed up on a DAILY basis. This folder contains all the files, marketing materials, docs, contracts, etc. that you uploaded in the leads section, document download library, status section under each merchant, and so on. But it is a good idea to back-up your entire CRM site at least on a monthly basis.

Q: How do I backup my database?

Answer: This video will teach you how to manage your daily backups of your CRM data:

It will teach you how to back-up your data from your MySQL database program on a DAILY basis, which can be done on your own in the setup/configuration section of your CRM software, using the Database Backup tool.

Q: Where do I store the files of my database?

Answer: The system will save all your data into a text file like “backup_yourcompanyname.txt” and will probably be around 10MB and up to 50MB in size. If you have been using your CRM software heavily for 1-2 years, the file could easily be 200MB or more. It just depends on how much data you import and add each month.

When you backup your database, you need to save the file to your computer desktop, preferably in your “My Documents” folder under a new folder called “CRM Database Backups”

Q: How often should you backup your database?

Answer: It should be a strict company and employee policy to back-up your database on a DAILY basis. Make sure the employee responsible for this task understands that failing to perform this task can be subject to termination.

Q: How many copies of the backup should I store?

Answer: Depending on how valuable this data is and how many employees rely on your CRM on a daily basis, it would be recommended to always have 3 copies of your database and CRM files. (1) On your computer in your documents folder, (2) another copy on a USB drive that you can store in a safe, and (3) a copy you should burn on a DVD disc.

Q: Where do I store the backup files?

Answer: The CRM software allows you to download the text file and save the data file on your computer in your “My Documents” folder. Make sure your computer requires a password to login. Also, make sure your computer will automatically log out after 10-30 minutes of inactivity. Make sure your computer is in an individual office and you close the door and lock it with key when you leave your office at all times, like lunch or when you leave for the day.

Q: Who should be in charge of managing your database, hosting account, and server?

Answer: It is highly recommended that you hire a certified IT person to manage your database backups, or hire a professional firm to manage this for you. This person or company should be a highly qualified, educated, and experienced to handle your IT needs. It is not recommended that you allow a manager, sales rep, receptionist, etc. to perform these tasks. If they do not know what they are doing, it could result in a loss of data and be devastating to your business, especially if you have a call center with dozens of sales reps or telemarketers calling on thousands of leads in your CRM software.

Q: How do I trust the person managing and backing up your database?

Answer: The two questions to ask is, “Can I trust this person?” and “Is this person capable of managing our company’s IT needs without making any devastating errors with the CRM, hosting accounts, or servers that could result in loss of data?” Even if you trust an employee, it is recommended you put in place business policies as if you do not trust anyone, just to be safe.

It is highly recommended that you perform a credit/criminal background check on the IT person to make sure they have no past issues like theft or felony convictions. It is also important this person has the education, experience, and training to properly manage computers and servers in the IT career field. Check their references as well as past employment history with other companies. Check to make sure they have High School diploma, college diploma, training certificates, and other certifications in their career field. Never go by what they tell you in the initial interview and what their resume says. They must provide you all the documentation, references, and so on.

Q: How do I secure my computers at my office from unauthorized access?

Answer: It is highly recommended that you add a password protection to your business email program, like Microsoft Outlook Professional 2010. In regards to all the computers in your company, it is highly recommended that you treat each computer with the same security as a business server. Make sure all your computers are running Windows 7 and all computers are up to date with all Microsoft updates. Make sure all computers are running Microsoft Security Essentials antivirus and firewall software. This is free from Microsoft. Make sure your internet access routers or wireless routers are password protected with a new password other than the default password. Make sure all computers require password in order to login and get to the Windows 7 Desktop. You should also set the Windows option so the computers will automatically log out after 30 minutes of inactivity, and require a password to be able to access the computer again. This will insure employees are unable to access other employee computers at any time.

Make sure all your computers do not have USB ports or DVD writers installed making it easy for any employee to steal company data, especially via USB drives which are the easiest way to copy tons of data within minutes.

If an employee is no longer with your company, immediately change all passwords to the computer and his/her email so they will no longer be able to access anything. Make sure the employee does not have any keys to your office. Since keys can be duplicated, it is highly recommended you change your locks to your office with new keys immediately.

Q: Should I store credit card info on any of my computers or servers?

Answer: Never! This is in violation to the PCI security regulations. If you have paperwork faxed to your office via FAX or Email, these documents should be stored in a safe, or properly destroyed or shredded. These documents should be received and managed by 1 employee only as you should not allow sales reps and telemarketers to receive, handle, or store paperwork with customer’s credit card info.

Q: How can I prevent my employees accessing our CRM from home or any other location other than our office?

Answer: Each user profile has a feature that will allow you to restrict the user from logging in from multiple locations. If you add the IP address of their computer at your office, then that user will only be able to login from their computer at work only. If they try to login from home which is using a different IP address, their access will be denied.

Q: How can I prevent my employees from providing confidential login information to other individuals not associated with our company?

Answer: Each user profile has a feature that will allow you to restrict the user from logging in from multiple locations. If this employee provides their username and password to another individual outside the company, they will never be able to login because the username is only allowed to login from a specific computer with a specific IP address.

Q: My company has 12 computers, should I back all the computers as well?

Answer: You should always backup all computers on a daily basis. You should have a server with a software program that will back-up all computers automatically on a daily basis. The backups should include all “My Document” folders on each computer as well as the Outlook email .pst files for each employee. You should also backup the server as well. Any IT person or company you hire will be able to explain all this in detail and provide you all the options.

Back Up and Disaster Recovery

Answer: The loss of mission-critical customer data could be detrimental to your business. Are you prepared for a major disaster?

A well-designed disaster recovery plan will allow you to retrieve the information stored in your CRM database if something happens. Back up your CRM database at least once a week (although most experts recommend a daily back up for the utmost protection). It is also preferable to back up to a server in an off-site location. While an on-site back up will enable you to quickly restore your data after a power surge or a system collapse, it will do you no good in the event of a fire or flood.

Why is Computer Backup Important?

If you've ever been in a situation in which you've almost completed an important project, only to have your computer spontaneously crash seconds before hitting the "save" button, you understand how frustrating losing your data can be.

Now, imagine losing all your important files - everything from business files, to family photos, to your tax returns - permanently. Although many of us prefer to adhere to the mantra of "it'll never happen to me", the truth is, it could. And as computers continue to become the principle way in which many people conduct important transactions, this type of thinking is becoming increasingly risky.

What's worse, the modern computer is ever more vulnerable to the imminent threats multiplying on the Internet - everything from adware, to spyware, to viruses. In fact, in 2003 alone, the number of computer viruses increased by 11%.

Do I Need to Backup All of my Computer Data?

The short answer to this question is no, you do not need to back up all of the files on your computer. However, there are certain files you should definitely backup, so that in the event your computer decides it's time is up, you won't be at a total loss.

So just what files should you be backing up? Although the choice is ultimately a personal one, here are some suggestions:

- Information and files relating to banking or other financial transactions
- Digital photos
- Purchased/downloaded music from the Internet
- Purchased/downloaded software from the Internet
- Important work/school projects
- Email contact list
- Internet browser bookmarks