Covid-19 Scams That Are Hitting Businesses

It’s not a surprise for the more cynical among us, that there are people out there targeting individuals, using the Coronavirus pandemic as an excuse. But it may surprise you to know that there are many Covid-related scams now hitting the business world too. 

Keep your guard up against these scams – trying to exploit a company’s fears about Covid. This is useful information that will help keep you, your employees, and your assets safe. 

Government Check Scams 

There has been a lot of talk about financial help and assistance for businesses who have been hit hardest by the covid pandemic. This is one of the rumours criminals are taking advantage of, making their scams sound more believable. 

These scammers are doing the rounds, phoning businesses and claiming that there is money available for your business from a government agency. These scammers will ask for some sort of up-front payment, or for you to provide some kind of personal information. Don’t be fooled. A government agency would never phone and ask you to provide any personal details. 

Business Email Scams 

These are scams which have spoofed a company higher-ups email address and will ask you to send some money, or gift cards, transfer funds etc to another account. This may seem really plausible at first glance, but it’s really important to get face-to-face clarification, or at least over the phone, before sending anything.

This scam has been around for years, but in last year’s flurry of pandemic panic, this scam has seen a resurgence. Last year there were a lot of cancelled transactions, muddled orders, and cancelled deals – all of which scammers are taking advantage of. 

Public Health Scams 

You may receive an email from “Public Health England” or “WHO” asking for national insurance numbers and other personal information about your employees. The reality is that these are not emails from PHE or the World Health Organisation. 

It’s a scammer, trying to access the personal records of your employees, to use for nefarious purposes. Some emails will even try to get you to click a download link which will install malware on your device. Stay vigilant and remember that no official organisations will ask for confidential information over the phone or via email. 

Data Scams 

With more and more people working from home, that provides more and more opportunity for hackers to gain access to a less than secure network. Now that telecommuting and Zoom meetings have begun the norm, hackers and scammers are hoping that companies will drop their network security. 

Making sure you have a robust and safe network, with additional security systems in place will help keep your company’s data safe from people who shouldn’t be seeing it. Keep your employees updated on these scams and make sure they’re following safe internet working policies, even while at home. Especially while at home. 

IT Scams 

This is similar to the email from a company higher up, but usually these messages will purport to come from your company’s IT department. It usually asks for a password or to download some ‘new software’. Of course, the software is really malware, and the password is wanted in order to access data they shouldn’t have access to. 

Scammers are using the general chaos of the pandemic in order to take advantage. With people working from home, they’re not as confident in using the technology, and trying to focus on their new way of working means that they’re not necessarily paying full attention to whether the emails are from a legitimate source. Remind your employees that they should always double check who an email is from and if there’s ever any concerns to phone the person the email claims to be from, directly.

Accessibility and its importance to business and design

When it comes to bringing your product or service to the masses it is vital for success that nothing puts potential buyers off or makes them want to find an alternative. This is why accessibility in design is so important as it can make or break a pitch. Accessibility in website design is defined as a feature or function of a website which gives those with disabilities ease of use and the ability to access your site.

Much like making sure your website is responsive so it is applicable for those who use varying size devices, it is important to make sure those who have disabilities have their needs met with an accessible design or you may risk losing a potential consumer.

Some examples of assessable design include having the website be able to be fully accessed with just a keyboard as some assistive programs rely on keyboard-only navigation. Ensuring this is possible with your website will allow those who rely on this service to be able to surf the web, will feel accommodated and you will not be isolating or turning away these consumers.

Another form of accessibility is text-to-speech, text-to-speech is designed for those who are sight impaired or blind, this technology and service allows those with this disability to be able to listen to the information on a page. The importance of this is it allows ease of use to all users of your website, it also does not make any visitor feel isolated, a great experience will also mean that a user is more likely to return to your website and recommend your service to their friends or family which in turn provides your service free advertising.

Consistent or recurring website elements will ensure that those who have intellectual disabilities or are sight impaired will be able to easily navigate your website as they will be able to predict where the element is if it is consistent on each page. The most important element you should be looking to keep consistent is the navigation as this is the feature that those who use your website will use the most and it should be the element which is the easiest to find and use.

When it comes to an accessible website there are 4 key guidelines which you should be looking to adhere to in order to ensure everyone who visits your website is accommodated and so you are not unintentionally turning away people who might otherwise become customers to your business. These guidelines are; perceivable, operable, understandable and robust.

With the increasing population and the exponential growth of internet browsing and shopping, it is important that your website leaves the visitor with a positive experience which they would want to share with others increasing your positive feedback and revenue in response to having an accessible website for all that may use it. In having an accessible website, you are ensuring that you are giving your customers of all backgrounds and abilities the best experience and one they would want to repeat.

The importance of establishing a social media presence

When it comes to establishing your business as a competitor in the business rat race, you should be looking to utilise all the advantages you have available to you. One of the best by far has become social media, everyone has their own opinions on social media but you cannot deny its growing trend in reaching the right people and reaching the younger generations.

There are a plethora of established and trending social medias and you should be looking to create an audience on as many as possible as the further you reach the more business you will get in return. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, the rise in social media presence will help to raise your profits. Many social medias are free to sign up for, so there is no downside to signing up. The majority of social media platforms these days have an in-built advertising system so for a fee you can advertise your business to an appropriate audience to help build up some potential customers.

The importance of social media as a marketing strategy is that it can help your business connect with already established customers, which also allows the customers to ask questions without physically visiting the business location, saving the customer time and gives your business a personal and friendly vibe. Using this method of marketing will also help to expand the reach of your business to a new audience who may have not heard of your business.

Social media add a personality to your business as when making posts about your products and services you are showing the customer your temperament, your style of humour and your personality. Some of this information may even be given out subconsciously through the way you structure your post to the way you punctuate, it all gives an indication to your customers about the brand you run.

Creating a social media account allows you to create a description of your business’s mission, aims and prosperities. These will show any potential customers what you have to offer and how you can benefit them, you can also have exclusive codes on your platform so the customers will have to visit the social media platform to get the discounts. Any consumers who may not know about your business now know that you offer discount codes for your business, which will increase the traffic leading to your store.

One underrated use for social media marketing is that it is low cost market research as well as reducing the overall marketing costs. You will be able to see the overall visitors who visit your page and they may leave feedback which you can use to improve your services and/ or products. Customer feedback is incredibly important so having it at your fingertips makes it incredibly easy to read it and implement it.

Social media is continuing to be on the rise so using it to help and advance your business only makes sense, using it for feedback and to advertise to those who may become new consumers.

Managed correctly it can be a low cost way to explore new opportunities and ultimately increase you bottom line.

Local SEO – getting your business noticed by the right people

Everyone in the industry knows how important it is to have your content reach the ideal people, people who are most likely to become consumers in your specialised area. SEO does this and having your website optimised to be at the top of the search results is what all business owners should be striving for if they want to be successful in their niche.

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the process of optimising your website so it appears at the top of search results when a specific string of words or phrases is imputed. Localised SEO is using that process but applying it to a specific location, so if a potential consumer is looking for a service or product in an specific area then localised SEO allows your business to be at the top of the search results if they match the criteria.

The importance of optimising your website to your locale is so your services are presented at the top of your niche increasing traffic to your website and in turn your website will rank more favourable as you have a large amount of traffic. This is most beneficial for business owners who only have one base of operations as it will drive the traffic away from your competitors and towards your business as it appears you are more local.

Benefits of localised SEO are:

Keeping your business on the top is what all business owners are looking to do, so using every advantage is crucial for your success and for such a low cost localised SEO seems obvious to ensure this success. This will also allow you to build up a relationship with locals and in turn they will begin to advertise your products or services to other locals giving your business the push it needs, with the ongoing push for local businesses it only makes sense to make the most of localised SEO.

The Importance of responsive design and how it benefits you long term

Having the right website for the job is a core part to building an audience, your website should reflect the sort of person you are and what your business has to offer to the consumer. The generation we are in greatly values the use of handheld electronics such as phones and tablets so you should be looking to adapt so that your website fits comfortably within the screens constraints this is known as a responsive website.

The official definition of an adaptable design or responsive website is a development choice made by designers which allows a website to change appearance depending on the screen size or the orientation of the device, this type of design greatly relies on proportion based grids to rearrange elements of the site. This style of design is encouraged to new designers as it allows the consumer to view your content regardless of device, which means you aren’t deterring any future clients if they are trying to view your work on a phone rather than a laptop.

Responsive design is becoming increasingly more important as tech companies work to develop new sizes of device. Having a responsive website gives your consumer an optimal experience and will encourage them to spend more time on it because if a website doesn’t fit a customer’s screen appropriately then it may appear jarring or uncomfortable to look at so they won’t spend the time to see what you can offer them they will instead find a website which is more aesthetically pleasing and easier work through. It will also improve how your website is ranked on google as the more people visit and stay on there the better it will rank, if you website is not pleasant to look at then people won’t continue to view it or tell others about it.

Some benefits to this style of design are:

To summarize it is important to optimise your website for a range of devices. This is to ensure sure your audience’s experience on your website is positive and something they would want to recommend. Having a responsive website ensures that this fact is adhered to and allows your business to flourish in an age where mobile devices are on the rise.

What design trends are on the rise in 2021

Do you want to stay ahead of the curve in designing a website or graphic so your business can excel in 2021 – then these elements may be for you.

Keeping up with trends is a crucial part in the designing process, seeing what’s popular and how you can incorporate it within your own works. When it comes to staying at the top search results trends can be a great way to skyrocket your own career and sell your work to the masses.

Analysing these trends may show you why they are popular at the moment and what their relevance will be in the following years. Last year has been a very culturally and environmentally fuelled year so expect these themes to be on the rise this year and possibly next year. 

Some design elements to keep in mind because they are on the rise are:

Reconnecting with nature:

Retro elements:

Symbols rather than words


To summarize the last year has been rough for many designers in the graphics industry, but things are looking optimistic for this year, so keep your eye on these trends as they progress during the year.