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Qr Codes

Ever since the invention of computers, cybercrime has never been far behind. As the technology world changes, so do the methods of the criminals, but their motivation always remains the same – to steal your money by any method open to them.

In recent years internet shopping and on line banking has now become the norm. Even the purchase of music, software, movies and video games has now often become an on line transaction. This potentially exposes our personal details and electronic banking to those who are up to no good.

The latest wide scale change in our consuming habits has been to migrate from on line purchases and banking using a PC to the use of mobile smartphones. Recently released statistics show this type of activity has increased by 221% year on year, and is anticipated to continue to increase at that rate. Mobile devices are increasingly being used to pay for routine items such as train or bus tickets and this use of technology is anticipated to increase.

The increased use of mobile phones means that criminals are increasingly turning their attention to these devices. So far, cybercrimes involving mobile devices are still relatively rare buts it is considered to be only a matter of time before these increase to be a significant risk.

Most mobile users are unaware of how these threats will manifest themselves.
Here is the second in a series of posts about the trends in mobile crime (also referred to as m-cybercrime) and how they might impact you.

QR Codes

A QR (or Quick Response) code is a type of bar code formed by a series of black dots on a white background arranged in a square pattern.  QR codes have now become popular in consumer advertising and can be read by most smartphones which interpret the pattern as a URL, load a web browser and take the user to a specified web page, usually to give more information about the service or product. QR codes are common in both newspapers and magazines and increasingly appearing in shop price labels next to the product.

The problem with QR codes is that they are not always safe. Mobile phone users can never be 100% sure where the QR code will lead them once they read them into their device. There have been a growing number of instances where the QR code leads the user to inadvertently download a virus onto their mobile device and IT security experts expect these instances to increase significantly in the future.

Transform Accounting are Chartered Management Accountants and Tax Technicians able to assist with personal tax returns, sole traders and company payroll whilst specialising in limited companies, consultants, contractors and business start-ups. Fixed fee packages are available as are free initial consultations. Customer references are available on request.

See www.transformaccounting.co.uk or contact by telephone on 01277 365447 or by e mail at info@transformaccounting.co.uk

Accountant BrentwoodTransform AccountingEssex Accountant

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Apple iMac

For those who love becoming the owner of a new piece of technology, nothing really competes with a new purchase from Apple.

Be it an iPhone, iPod or a shiny new iMac, all are objects of desire with just one snag – the price.

Apple products are notoriously expensive, although their millions of fans feel they get value for money in the long run even if it is very painful at the time of purchase.

If you try shopping around, there are usually very few retailers who will discount any Apple product, but there are a few ways that can save some money when it comes time to treat yourself.

Here are 6 ways to save money when making your Apple purchase. Be sure to post a comment and let me know if you know of any more.

1 – Buy a Refurbished Machine.

Refurbished Apple products can be purchased from the on-line Apple store.

These machines have usually been returned to Apple for a variety of reasons, they are refurbished and then sold through the Apple on line store at a discount.

They always come with a warranty of some description and can be a good way to save at least 15-30%.

In the UK – here is the link.

http://store.apple.com/uk/browse/home/specialdeals/mac

2 – Student Discounts

Apple have always offered discounts to Students and teachers through their Apple Education Store.

These vary according to product but are usually at least 10%. Apple’s definition of a student can include both University students and school children and as with the refurbished machines, these need to be ordered from the on line Apple store.

Apple doesn’t seem to be especially rigorous about checking up that the machine is being purchased for a student so there is no need to get letters from schools or universities or to send any documents.

Here is the link for the UK Apple education store.

http://store.apple.com/uk/browse/home/education_routing

3 – Buy an Apple computer with minimum RAM and purchase it online

Apple are quite notorious for charging very high rates for memory upgrades at the time of purchase.

It takes less than 5 minutes to upgrade the RAM memory on an iMAC, and at current prices, you could save nearly £100 if you upgrade to 16GB RAM from the standard 4GB.

RAM memory modules can be purchased from a number of on line retailers – Transform Accounting recommend “crucial.com”.

http://www.crucial.com/uk/

If you are scared of taking a screwdriver to a computer, then this money saving tip may not be for you.

To decide if this is an option for you – take a look at this demo on youtube showing how to install RAM on a 2011  iMAC

http://youtu.be/ac4b3vZg4aw

It really is very easy and even easier if you have seen someone demonstrating how to do it.

Take a look and then compare prices !

4 – Purchase Cables and Peripherals on line from non-Apple sources

If you need to purchase any additional items such as cables and adaptors, these will always be very (and many would say outrageously) expensive if purchased from the Apple store.

There is no doubting that the Apple store will only sell official, approved and high quality accessories but it is not uncommon to pay in the region of £30 for a cable or plug that can be purchased for just a few pounds from a retailer on Amazon or e bay.

The quality is often not the same, but very often the cheaper quality is good enough and the price saving makes this a worthwhile option.

5 – Purchase Software from Software 4 Students

If you have a school or university age child, then you are eligible to purchase software for your Mac from “software 4 students” where you can take advantages of considerable discounts.

www.software4students.co.uk

This web site will require your childs name and also needs to have their school registered but most schools and universities in the UK are already registered.

Savings vary depending on the software authors, but can often be considerable.

This company serves the UK, if you are not in the UK, it is worth searching for companies offering a similar service with similar discounts.

6 – Fill Your Shopping Basket and be Patient

This is a little known tactic that I learnt a number of years ago. At first I was sceptical, but I tried it and found that it really did work.

It goes like this;

Log onto the Apple web site – it is important that you register with your up to date details including a telephone number and e mail address.

Then browse the Apple store on line, and add the items that you want into your basket, but do not complete the purchase.

Be sure to save your basket of goods.

Then all you have to do is wait….

Now this does not always work, but if the items in your basket are high value items such as a new iMAC or laptop and it is approaching Apples quarter or month end, then there is a chance you will get a phone call from an Apple sales representative asking if they can help you to complete your purchase.

This may take several days or even a week or two.

If a nice person from Apple calls to enquire why you didn’t complete the purchase, you just need to say that you would like to complete the purchase, but that the price is a problem for you.
In my experience, and in that of my friend who told me about this ploy, discounts are often forthcoming to help you complete your purchase.

Of course, this depends on a few things – firstly the sales targets for Apple for that month or quarter in the region where you live, and secondly the items that you are attempting to purchase.

Remember – even Apple have sales targets that their sales department are desperate to meet.

But remember, if you are attempting to purchase that shiny new iPAD or IPhone just before Christmas or just when it has been released as a new product, and people are queuing around the block to get into the Apple store, then there is no chance of getting a discount, and I have not heard of this tactic ever working for a new iPhone.

But when it comes to purchasing a high value computer from Apple, give the above a try and you just might save a few Pounds, or Dollars or even Euros !

What have you got to lose ?

Good Luck!

If you know of any other ways to save on Apple products that I have missed, please post a comment.

Accountant Loughton Transform AccountingAccountant Essex

Now also on Facebook at

http://www.facebook.com/TransformAccounting

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Apple iMac

6 Ways to save money on Apple Products

Part 1 – Buy a Refurbished Mac

For those who love becoming the owner of a new piece of technology, nothing really competes with a new purchase from Apple.

Be it an iPhone, iPod or a shiny new iMac, all are objects of desire with just one snag – the price.
Apple products are notoriously expensive, although their millions of fans feel they get value for money in the long run even if it is very painful at the time of purchase.

If you try shopping around, there are usually very retailers who will discount any Apple product, but there are a few ways that can save some money when it comes time to treat yourself.

Here is the first in a series of six ways to save money when making your Apple purchase. Be sure to check back for the rest of the series.

  1. Buy a Refurbished Machine.
    Refurbished Apple products can be purchased from the on-line Apple store.
    These machines have usually been returned to Apple for a variety of reasons, they are refurbished and then sold through the Apple on line store at a discount.
    They always come with a warranty of some description and can be a good way to save at least 15-30%.

In the UK – here is the link.

http://store.apple.com/uk/browse/home/specialdeals/mac

Good Luck! Once I have posted all 6 tips, add a comment and let me know if there are any other ways to save on Apple products that I have missed.

Accountant HarlowTransform AccountingAccountant Essex

Now also on Facebook at – http://www.facebook.com/TransformAccounting

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