Laptops are old news these days. No matter what coffee shop or airport you’re sitting in, there are people in every corner typing away on tiny, portable machines. You’ve probably noticed that as technology changes, it often shrinks. Laptops have become smaller and smaller, and now we’ve arrived at netbooks.
What Is a Netbook?
Imagine a laptop, but make it about one half the size. It’s extremely portable, has all of the memory and application access most people need, and best yet – it is offered at a fraction of the price. While it’s true that netbooks tend to have less memory and a smaller screen, they are more than enough computer for most people to handle their immediate computer needs. They are easier to carry around, they are lighter, and yet they still allow employees to get to work when they are out of the office without risking the loss of an expensive machine.
So, is a netbook right for you? Well, the screen is smaller, so it really comes down to how much time needs to be spent on the screen. A writer, for example, may have a hard time using one for his or her job. An employee who needs to check on data and send communications, however, as well as have a link into the office could find a netbook to be ideal.
So, the next time you’re in the market for new laptops, why not consider netbooks? You could save some money and still allow your employees the freedom to be efficient even outside of the office.
We hear all the time about the dangers of telecommuting. From losing laptops and keeping company data on personal machines to having too loose of security on remote devices, it seems like anything that happens out of the office is a huge business risk. At the same time, allowing employees to telecommute and to work when they are on the road vastly increases productivity and employee retention.
To serve this end, there have been quite a few advancements in laptop security. However, there is still quite a bit of information that should be secured on your PDA, as well.
PDA Data Card Safety
Chances are, you’re pulling the device out of your pocket every few minutes to check on something. Sometimes, however, you’re on vacation and you need the PDA just to check in once a day. While it’s probably safe in a hotel room or in your house, why not take the safety one step further? Most PDAs have removable data cards. If you keep the PDA in a different place than the card, you still have the most important part of the device even if the PDA gets stolen.
PDA Password Safety
Passwords are important, and you probably already know about choosing a difficult to crack password and changing it regularly. But have you considered programs that can remotely disconnect your PDA? If it gets stolen, you can trigger a lock that will stop the PDA from being able to access your network. You’re still out the device, but at least your company’s network will still be safe.
Keeping in the business loop from anywhere in the world is a remarkable technological advance, but it comes with risks. By using smart PDA tools, you can keep in contact and still keep your data secure.
No matter what grid you are on, sooner or later there will probably be a power outage. It could be a few seconds or it could be for a day or more, but when it happens your business may come to a screeching halt. While you could install a generator, this step may seem like overkill for an outage that may just be a few hours a year. All the same, you need to be prepared. So, what’s a company to do?
Every member of your company works together as a team. They collaborate and communicate in order to build the best product possible and to get the job done. All of these employees, however, have confidential data that needs to be protected. Their health information, job history, reviews, and other documents should not be open to prying eyes. So, how do you maintain confidentiality when you are all working together on the same network?
First and foremost, your Human Resources department needs to be able to access data securely. While it can be kept on the same servers as other company data, you need to ensure that the access to it is secure and very restrictive. Not only is protecting your employees’ privacy the right thing to do – it’s also the law. Making sure you protect the data will not only keep your employees happy, but it can keep you from being subject to fines or a lawsuit.
The printers your HR staff uses should also be off limits to the rest of the company, as well. These printers should be kept in a secure location so that if documents are printed, no one outside of HR can accidentally come across them. Other employees should not be able to use these printers for their own jobs for this same reason. Even if personal information is divulged on accident, it was your duty to keep it secure, and a breach can have serious consequences.
These days, it’s important to take the time to keep personnel information safe. You trust your HR people to protect the data, but they can’t do it without a little help from you.
No matter how well you compensate your staff, sooner or later a critical IT employee will leave your company. He or she may have another offer, need to relocate, or even retire.
The loss of IT staff members leaves a gap in your security as well as a need to find a new employee to replace them. Chances are, these professionals handled some specialized and complicated tasks. How can you make sure their duties are being handled while you take the time to find a new staff member for the position.
Losing an employee can be stressful, but by taking the time to eliminate his or her access to your network as well as to call on the experts to share the load, you can make the transition easy.
When you give your website an address, you can choose almost anything to name it. Sure, there are addresses that are already taken, but if you’re inventive enough you can label the site just about anything you want, “dot” something. It’s what comes after the “dot” that is a little more complicated. Despite pushes from various countries and groups, these domain names are limited. They are divided into categories like the familiar .com, .net, and .gov as well as a few others, and so far there aren’t very many more domains beyond these that can be used.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, is a non-profit group headquartered in the United States that oversees domain naming. They also oversee country specific codes that come after the domain, such as .ca for Canadian sites.
You may be wondering why sites in the United States don’t have a country code listed but all other countries do. It’s the same reason that British stamps don’t name their country on their paper mail stamps. The country that created the system doesn’t have to use their name; other countries have to list their name to differentiate themselves from the original British invented stamps. The same goes with country codes on an Internet address. The United States originated the domain names, and because of this, there is no country listed on American sites.
So what’s the wave of the future? Well, many groups and cities are asking for an increase in domain names, such as .sports or location names like .nyc. Other countries would like domains that aren’t just English only. With all of this clamor, there are sure to be changes in website addresses coming in the next few years, so pay attention. You may be able to get your business name .sports or just about anything else that makes your company unique.
We’ve all seen movies and TV shows that present someone breaking into a computer. From early 80s teen movies to recent Hollywood blockbusters, hacking is everywhere on the big screen. While these movies occasionally show a nerdy sort of fellow cracking codes, by and large it’s suave, attractive, highly competent people doing the work for a big payoff.
In the real world, this is rarely how it works.
How can I say that? Well, because most of what is trying to break into your network aren’t people – good-looking or otherwise. They are programs, viruses, and malware.
They are also quite effective. If these programs can map your system and get inside, they can steal your data or even destroy it. If your data is taken, you will lose time, money, productivity, and possibly even your clients and customers. Is that a risk you can take?
So, what’s a heroic company like yours to do? Well, you need to find those weaknesses before anyone else can. Your best course of action is to contact some IT security experts. While these professionals may not get the glory in the movies, these are the people who can beef up your security and help keep your network safe in the real world.
It’s a small commitment with tremendous rewards, especially when you consider what types of damages can occur if you don’t. You may not be chased by the bad guy through the streets of Prague, but you could lose all the time and money you’ve invested in your company.
After all, with fewer security worries, you’ll have more time to relax and enjoy the big picture.
In this day and age, one of the most pressings items of business in many companies is how to store data. Everything is done on computers these days, and there has to be some place to store it. Email, purchases, goods for sale, plans, detailed records, proprietary data and even transcripts of phone calls end up being saved. Couple this with the routine backups you should be doing on your network and, well, no matter what industry you are in, you’re probably going to need more storage.
A data center, also known as a server farm, is a third-party company whose business operates around storing other people’s data. Imagine not having to worry about your data being saved on time or being saved securely – it’s already being handled. Planning for your future storage needs is a critical part of any modern business plan, and hiring a data center takes this piece out of your hands and delegates it to data handling professionals.
Even if you are operating a small business, a data center can still be the right answer. Studies have shown that almost half of all small businesses collapse after a severe data loss. By minimizing the chances of this happening, you are making your company that much stronger. So, do yourself a favor. Look into data centers and see if they are right for you. Your needs may change over time, but you’ll always have information you need to keep safe.
Imagine you’re a customer. You’ve been hunting for a specific product, and you think you may have found it. There is quite a bit of information available on the Internet, however, and you have choices. You look through a few different sites, and end up choosing the competitor even though the prices are a bit lower at a less professional looking site.
The same thing can happen with client-based businesses. The Internet is a great marketing tool, and you can draw people from around the world to your company. Time and time again, however, people come to your site but you’re not seeing any business materializing. What on earth is going on?
Let’s face it, first impressions are important. A professional looking website makes a far better impression that a poorly designed one, no matter how great the company behind it is. It’s not fair, but humans are designed to weed out options, and one of the easiest ways we do it when we are looking for companies to give our business to is by grading the professionalism of the site. You have to admit, don’t you do this as well? If you see a poorly designed, hard to navigate site, aren’t you less inclined to give them your business? Don’t you make some assumptions about how the level of professionalism the company must have if the site is hard to navigate?
If your site has seen better days, don’t despair. It’s easy to sharpen your look, but it’s a job best left to professionals. They understand design, content, and site navigation. Not only that, but they know how to get traffic to your site – traffic that may be impressed by your new look and get you more business. Now, isn’t that worth thinking about?
It’s amazing how much technology has changed our lives. We can find almost any product or piece of information online in seconds. We can send messages via email in the blink of an eye. In technological terms, however, these services are so yesterday. We now rely on them and they are no longer novel – they are a way of life. So, what’s the latest and greatest new piece of technological communication?
Social networking sites.
To be fair, these sites have been around for a good long while. People have been sharing personal information, favorite songs, and finding old friends for a few years now. What’s changing is that these sites are no longer populated by just teens and college students. More and more, adults of all ages are also flocking to these sites, and many of these people are your employees.
Now, why should you care what your employees do to socialize in their free time? Well, we all know that when people are cranky about the workplace, they tend to tell a friend. Now, instead of a one-on-one conversation, these negative thoughts can be spread across the Internet. Depending on how your employees handle their privacy, these thoughts may come up when potential customers and clients search your site over the Internet. Not only that, but if you are a big name in your company, people may search on you personally as well. The Internet is a public space, and you need to maintain a professional image in every way.
So, what’s a company to do? Well, you should have a policy about company business being discussed outside of the business, and you need to educate your employees. Chances are they love the company and just have off days, but comments made on an off day can hurt your reputation. Take a little time to explain your expectations to your people, and you can keep your reputation safe.