Technology is undoubtedly a double-edged sword. While it can save us time and money, it can also pay us back for those conveniences in frustration and “do-over” time… and then some! Be smart about the types of things you use technology to simplify, and also identify the shortcuts that you shouldn’t allow it to make for you. Some shortcuts and mistakes can prove unforgiving. Unfortunately, so can some old habits. Read on to find out how to protect your business from the top 5 most common technical mishaps.
1. Storing everything in your smartphone … and then losing it – A big no-no for most business people. If you’re like most of us, you store everything in your smartphone. Losing your phone most likely means losing sensitive information such as credit card info and maybe even bank account numbers or private development plans for your company. How to reverse a big blip like this? While it might be hard to get your phone back you can install password-protecting programs such as MobileMe for the iPhone. Programs like this allow you to erase contacts, notes and more in your iPhone remotely. Talk to your smartphone provider to explore the security options for your phone, before it’s too late.
2. Working directly off of an attachment – Your boss sends you a document to collaborate on via email, so you open it, roll up your sleeves and begin plugging away. Seems so quick and easy, doesn’t it? You could spend hours revising that document, and then save the file and forward the message along with the revised attachment back. You’d probably assume you’re all set. But don’t be surprised if you get an email back, asking where your edits are. Although you can see your edits on your end, that’s not always the case once you send it to someone else. To be safe instead of sorry, don’t just open the attachment, download it to your own computer and/or server, then make your edits, hit save, attach the new file to an email, and send it back.
3. We’re just not compatible – Working off an older version of Windows? No problem. Just be sure to install the Office Compatibility Pack too, so everyone you do business with can also continue accessing your files. This will help to keep your files viewable/usable for all involved parties. Also, converting your file to a PDF usually does the trick.
4. Trusting batteries that haven’t been recently used – This one is classic. You flew across the country to give an inspirational speech to Girl Scouts in the middle of the woods at an outing, and you haven’t used your laptop since you left home, so you know it’s fully charged. What you forgot to consider was that sometimes electronic devices have a way of turning themselves on. Make sure you test EVERYTHING that uses a battery hours before you need them, preferably while you still have time to do something about it if need be. When possible, reverse batteries in devices when traveling to ensure they don’t get used up accidentally. Simply switch them back the right way when it’s time to use them.
5. “I don’t need to buy Antivirus, I am careful online and know what I’m doing” – In this day and age, EVERYONE needs antivirus. Hackers and phishers are criminals who make ruining your life via the internet their number one priority. You can do everything right, avoid all the “wrong” types of websites, and still be a victim. Pay the small price of keeping a current version of a trusted Antivirus software running on all your machines. Trust me, its well worth it. To find if you’re currently doing enough to protect yourself online, please contact your IT provider.