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Fraud falling under Chip and PIN

Chip and PIN technology has helped cut credit card fraud by 13 per cent in the last year, its first decline in a decade, according to new figures. Data from the Association of Payment Clearing Services (Apacs) shows that losses due to the fraudulent use of credit and debit cards fell last year by £65m to £439m. The drop is the …, 14 Mar 2006
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Entrepreneurs hail launch of IP centre

The British Library’s new intellectual property and business centre was officially opened to the public last night at an event attended by over 500 guests. Among those present were top entrepreneurs Doug Richard of Dragons’ Den fame, bookstore mogul Tim Waterstone and Tony Lit of Sunrise Radio. The entrepreneurs took part in a …, 09 Mar 2006
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Firms 'invisible' to online shoppers

Nearly half of small businesses could be missing out on their share of the growing online market due to poor knowledge of search engines. A new report from Fasthosts shows that 49 per cent of small firms fail to submit their company’s websites to search engines. Two-thirds of internet users told researchers that they only look …, 07 Mar 2006
arrow pointing up ill-equipped for IT threats

Seven out of every 10 small firms risk losing their business because they are not equipped to cope with security threats from viruses, fraud and system failure, new research suggests. According to a study by the National Computing Centre (NCC), 70 per cent acknowledge this risk despite agreeing that IT is critical to their …, 02 Mar 2006
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BBC Dragon hails UK start-ups

Start-up businesses in the UK offer better investment prospects than those in the United States, a panelist from the BBC’s Dragon’s Den programme has told a London conference on innovation. Doug Richard, chairman of Library House and the keynote speaker at yesterday’s UK Technology Innovation and Growth Forum, told an audience …, 21 Feb 2006
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Small biz owners' stress levels shoot up

Owners of small and medium-size businesses are suffering from increasing levels of stress, according to a new report. Research from financial advisor Grant Thornton has found that 17 per cent of business owners have experienced a significant rise in stress during the last year. The survey of over 7,000 owners found that a …, 20 Feb 2006

UK goes shopping for tech firms

The UK went against tradition last year and became a net investor in technology companies, according to a new report. Year-end figures for technology mergers and acquisitions from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Corporate Finance show that UK companies acquired 33 technology businesses worldwide in 2005, while just 24 UK companies …, 02 Feb 2006
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Gut feelings drive firms' IT decisions

Over a tenth of UK small businesses are making uninformed IT decisions based on "gut feelings", a new study has revealed. Research by Cisco Systems found that 13 per cent of small companies are making major IT decisions without conducting sound research or seeking advice. The trend is most prevalent among start-up businesses, …, 24 Jan 2006

ONS struggles to define ecommerce revenues

The growing popularity of online shopping has transformed from just another showroom for selling goods into a driver of economic growth, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) claims. In an article examining trends in online spending, published yesterday, the country’s official statistician acknowledges that its coverage of …, 20 Jan 2006
The Register breaking news loves computer contractors (true)

The government has surpassed the private sector to become the country’s largest employer of freelance IT specialists. Over one in four IT contractors in the UK now work in the public sector, according a report by contractor services firm Giant Group. Since 2003, the government has expanded its lead in freelance IT hires over …, 20 Jan 2006

Chip and PIN forces scammers to switch focus

As Chip and PIN technology takes hold on the high street, credit card fraudsters have been forced to alter their techniques, new research reveals. During the second half of 2005, the number of fraudulent transactions in high-street shops fell by 25 per cent compared to the first six months of the year, data from fraud detection …, 17 Jan 2006
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Firms 'fail to capitalise online'

Despite a bumper year for internet retailers, more than three-quarters of the UK's small businesses are still failing to take advantage of a widening online customer base, new research shows. A study by BT and the Institute of Directors (IoD) found that just 24 per cent of companies provide a website through which their …, 13 Jan 2006
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Revenue weighs up Arctic Systems appeal

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is expected to announce this week whether it will appeal a court ruling which stopped the government from restricting the way in which married couples running their own business file their taxes. It is believed that HMRC will release guidance indicating if it will appeal to the House of Lords …, 10 Jan 2006

Arctic Systems tax ruling is victory for family businesses

A husband and wife have won a landmark victory against the taxman, as appellate judges have thrown out the government’s attempt to force small, family-run firms to pay thousands more in tax. Geoff and Diana Jones of West Sussex convinced the Court of Appeal to overturn previous rulings against them. HM Revenue and Customs ( …, 16 Dec 2005

UK e-tailers 'to lose £1bn over Christmas'

Poor communication is costing British online retailers up to £1bn in Christmas sales this year. Research from the Voice Commerce Group (VCG) has found that although internet shopping is experiencing unprecedented growth in 2005, retailers face losing approximately 20 per cent of their potential sales this holiday season. …, 14 Dec 2005
graph up grabs more UK public sector deals

The number of government contracts being won by small businesses has increased, according to official figures. Data from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) shows out of the £4.7bn worth of contracts up for grabs this year, £1bn worth was awarded to small businesses, representing 22 per cent of the total value. The …, 07 Dec 2005
fingers pointing at man

E-tailers must provide more information

Many small UK firms who have made the jump online are failing their customers by providing an inadequate amount of information about purchasing and delivery. New research from THUS suggests that while online retail is experiencing unprecedented growth, a large number of e-tailers are not doing it very well. More than three- …, 06 Dec 2005
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Nude Brits shop while drunk

A growing number of Britons are taking their wallets online after the pub closes, according to new research. The number of people logging on to the internet to shop after having several drinks is on the rise, customer experience firm Conchango claims in a study into online spending behaviour. The research shows a rise in a new …, 03 Nov 2005
For Sale sign detail flocks to the web

More small retailers than ever have a presence on the internet, according to a new study from ecommerce firm Actinic, which shows that a quarter of small and medium sized retail companies in the UK now have their own website, up from just secen per cent last year. The study also found a five per cent increase to eight per cent …, 18 Oct 2005

Small firms drive web growth

Small businesses branching out online have helped make 2005 the strongest year ever for internet growth. According to internet infrastructure monitoring firm Netcraft, there are currently 74,409,971 websites worldwide, 2.68 million more than recorded in September. Some 17.5 million sites have been added to the web this year, …, 12 Oct 2005
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Tories reject migrants as skills gap solution

The majority of Conservative MPs dismiss economic migration as a way of overcoming UK skills shortages, new research reveals. According to the poll by Skills for Business, less than two in ten Tories believe migrant workers should be used to help plug the skills gap. In contrast, 87 per cent of Labour politicians support …, 06 Oct 2005
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London offers relocation sweeteners to sci-tech firms

London aims to position itself as a global centre for science and technology firms with a new investment scheme. The new £3m gateway2investment (g2i) scheme aims to accelerate the growth of technology firms in the Capital and encourage more to relocate or start up. The programme is backed by mayor Ken Livingstone's London …, 28 Sep 2005
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NPL offers support to inventors

Inventors and entrepreneurs are invited to apply for a new fund that can help them bring their ideas forward. The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is offering a share of £500,000 in funding from the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) to small businesses that have measurement issues with products that are almost ready for …, 21 Sep 2005
fingers pointing at man

UK home workers now 'in the millions'

Over five million Britons now work remotely from home, according to a new study. Research from internet analysts Point Topic found 4.3 million households, or 18 per cent of all homes across the UK, in which someone is working from home. Overall, 5.4 million individuals work from home, 70 per cent of whom use the internet as …, 02 Sep 2005
graph up

Offline shops 'miss out'

Britain's local businesses are missing out on a share of £1.5bn by failing to sell their products online, a new study reveals. A survey of shoppers by online search directory Touch Local shows over two thirds would like to buy products from their local shops but convenience is still their top predilection. Overwhelmingly, …, 01 Sep 2005

IT contractors 'neglect insurance'

Nearly two-thirds of IT contractors believe they do not need any insurance cover, according to a new study. Research from JSA, an accountancy firm which specialises in contractors, found an overwhelming attitude among independent IT contractors that they are never likely to run into trouble with tax authorities. The problem, …, 30 Aug 2005
For Sale sign detail

Costs outweigh security concerns for

The daily cost of business support has edged out security issues as the top concern of IT managers at UK small businesses. A survey by Computer Associates (CA) found that 27 per cent of IT managers worry about the day-to-day costs of supporting business priorities, slipping ahead of traditional fears of security breaches. Some …, 19 Aug 2005

Public sector e-biz push threatens small firms

Thousands of small firms may miss out on valuable contracts by attempts to make the public sector tender process more efficient, new research claims. Findings from an assessment by the London Borough of Newham into the impact of the National e-Procurement Project suggest up to 4,000 smaller suppliers in the Capital risk losing …, 08 Aug 2005
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E-tailers tempt Brit shoppers off the street

British shoppers are being lured off the high street and onto the internet. Data from the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) reveals web shopping grew 30 per cent in April, the biggest year-on-year increase for seven months. E-tailers benefited at the expense of bricks and mortar stores, IMRG said. The internet sales …, 22 May 2005
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Small firms surfing web to non-local markets

In the age of internet commerce and long-distance transactions, a growing number of small businesses feel less a part of their local communities, according to a new survey. Research from NatWest shows that a fifth of UK small firms say they concentrate their business beyond their local community. Nearly three-quarters of small …, 05 May 2005
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Mobiles 'ring around the blue collar'

When it comes to using mobile phones in businesses, the phone wedged beneath the average worker's ear will be resting against a blue collar. A pan-European survey from mobile services provider O2 found that, in the UK, blue-collar workers will soon to overtake professional staff in their use of mobile services at work. …, 27 Apr 2005
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UK techies blow 17 days a year yakking to mates

The productivity of UK businesses is being threatened by employees who waste time emailing their friends, new research claims. Forty per cent of UK workers spend an hour or more every day messaging friends and relatives and swapping jokes, according to a poll by Clearswift. UK IT departments proved the worst behaved, spending 17 …, 16 Feb 2005
The Register breaking news gets the virus jitters

Businesses are becoming ever more nervous with news that almost 100,000 viruses are worming their way around UK IT systems. A report by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reveals that over 85 per cent of businesses believe that the problem will get worse in the future. Despite such worries, only a quarter of businesses …, 10 Feb 2005
The Register breaking news demands return to tech college system

A report by the Small Enterprise Research Team at the Open University reveals that 50 per cent of entrepreneurs believe that schools and universities do little to instil practical skills in their students, and that two thirds of UK small business owners are calling for the return of technical colleges in order to boost …, 07 Feb 2005
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E-crime to rocket in 2005

Online shopping and online fraud are to increase in equal measure during 2005, according to payment service CyberSource. It estimates that UK ecommerce revenues will grow by 36 per cent this year with 20m shoppers spending £17bn online. By 2009 as much as 25 per cent of UK shopping will be done via the internet. However, with …, 03 Feb 2005
The Register breaking news demands scam protection

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling on ministers to furnish small firms with safeguards from dishonest scams. It says the government's plans to protect consumers from shady dealers should extend to small businesses, otherwise they will continue to fall foul of the criminals. The call came as the Office of Fair …, 02 Feb 2005
The Register breaking news gets more spam

Small businesses are more likely to be targeted by spam email than larger companies. According to Postini, an email security firm, businesses with 100 or less computer users get up to 10 times more spam than corporates employing over 10,000 workers. It says that small businesses lacke the budget to invest in the latest anti- …, 31 Jan 2005
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Watch out for bogus health and safety invoices

Safety chiefs are warning businesses about a scam in which bosses are charged hundreds of pounds from a bogus health and safety organisation. The Heath and Safety Executive (HSE) says businesses should ignore emails and letters from a group calling itself the 'Health and Safety Registration Enforcement Division'. The HSE first …, 26 Jan 2005
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Retailers set straight on Chip and PIN

Many small retailers are unaware of who is liable in the event of fraud concerning new Chip and PIN credit cards, according to the Federation of Small Business (FSB). The FSB are stressing that, although consumers will still be protected from card fraud losses, retailers without the new technology, which is designed to detect …, 21 Jan 2005
The Register breaking news urged to adopt 'professional' email addresses

Small firms should adopt ‘professional sounding' email addresses, says. The webhosting firm asked more than 1,500 consumers if they preferred fictional email address sales@londonplumbing .com or Some 88 per cent plumped for, as it suggested to them a more professional …, 14 Jan 2005
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Businesses failing to recognise cybercrime dangers

Small businesses are still failing to recognise the dangers of cybercrime, according to new research. A report, by Bibby Financial Services, reveals that small business owners are leaving themselves exposed to computer viruses and hackers, and risking major disruption to their daily operations. Despite the fact that small …, 15 Dec 2004
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Online stores 'pricing out' high street retailers

More consumers are turning to the internet instead of the high street for their Christmas shopping. High street retailers feel the pinch of disappearing footfall, as consumers stay home to take advantage of cheaper online goods, according to a report by CyberSource, an electronic payments firm. A recent UK government study, …, 10 Dec 2004
The Register breaking news loves illegal software (true)

Nearly one in five small UK businesses would consider buying illegal software. A survey of technology trends among UK SMEs, conducted for Microsoft by YouGov, shows that 17 per cent would consider breaking the law in this way, despite the obvious risks to their reputation. The Business Software Alliance says small businesses …, 09 Dec 2004
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Ecommerce to rocket in 2005

Online businesses in the UK are forecasting that revenues will grow by 36 per cent next year, according to new figures. The figures, released by Media group Cybersource International, also show that 20m shoppers will have spent £17bn online this year, leading the group to project that by 2009 25 per cent of shopping will be …, 25 Nov 2004
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Ecommerce getting cheaper and easier

UK web designers are increasingly required to include ecommerce functionality in the sites they build for small business clients. According to research, published by software company Actinic, shows that etween 2003 and 2004, the percentage of sites built by web designers that included ecommerce functionality rose from 17 per …, 19 Nov 2004
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UK data protection laws are 'chaotic'

The Government has acknowledged that much work needs to be done to improve UK data protection laws, according to a new report. The report, by law firm Rowe Cohen, claims the Government's Data Protection Working Party has agreed that the terms of the Data Protection Act must be tightened in order to punish people who break the …, 17 Nov 2004
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Brace yourselves for Xmas spam surge

PC users are being told to stay alert in the run up to Christmas, as research shows cyber-crime is increasing and getting 'smarter'. Crimes committed over the internet or through email have rocketed in recent years, with spammers and code writers constantly coming up with new ways to breach IT security. Despite conservative …, 12 Nov 2004
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Small businesses improving email security

Email security is improving among small businesses, according to VIA NET.WORKS. The hosting provider notes the number of infected emails is dropping, despite a rise in new viruses. Small businesses have often been blamed for proliferating viruses, usually because many lack security expertise. Earlier this year a survey by the …, 08 Nov 2004
The Register breaking news in the dark over broadband jargon

UK small businesses are becoming increasingly baffled by telecoms terminology, a new survey has found. The survey, by Tiscali business services, revealed that over half of 250 businesses polled are confused by jargon and acronyms used to market telecom systems. Almost two thirds found it difficult to compare various broadband …, 05 Nov 2004
The Register breaking news at ease with data protection

Most UK small businesses are behind the principles of data protection. A new survey, released by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), shows that most respondents were aware of data protection issues, with 80 per cent believing them to be relevant to their business. Small businesses seem well aware of the importance of …, 03 Nov 2004