by Richard Roth, Founder of Progressive Tech
Starting any new venture in life is an exciting time, be it a business or any other endeavor. Odds are it will almost certainly require more sweat, time and determination than you expected. During these tumultuous times, when established systems collapse and change, new opportunities are constantly being created. Out of any great challenge, new entrepreneurs rise up to fill new needs and desires. Don’t let technology be a burden. Like any powerful tool, it can either be instrumental, or a complete barrier to success.
This season, in preparation for a successful new year, here are some tech tips that entrepreneurs can implement right now to build security and momentum into 2021:
Use the best security measures across the board.
You’re only as secure as your weakest technology/user. Always use multi factor security measures wherever possible. Consider using a password generator and/or a password management service to simplify and consolidate all of your usernames, pins, and passwords. If possible use an authenticator app or your email to authenticate, and avoid using text verification, as SMS is far less secure.
Expect problems and be prepared.
Even giant companies with million dollar IT budgets fall victim to hacking, failures and accidents. Using technology is a bit like driving a truck on the highway; training, practice and maintenance are necessary for safety, but accidents can and will still occur. Make sure computers and devices – many of which are designed to last just 3 to 5 years – are updated and serviced on a regular basis.
Always be suspicious, look before you click.
The majority of today’s threats come from hackers tricking users into clicking on fake websites, opening email links, or downloading unnecessary “utilities” in order to extract information and gain system access. Scammers will even pretend to be someone you know. Make sure you and your team are informed and prepared to recognize such attempts.
“Free” isn’t truly free.
Using any free or add supported service means you are the product. Similarly, connecting to any public or private WiFi connection enables the network operator and or hackers to position themselves between you and the connection point, gaining access to your information or distributing malware. Consider using premium paid or open source software whenever possible. Avoid installing any apps you don’t absolutely need on your computers or mobile devices. Consider using a private hotspot, or find a trustworthy location with WiFi secured by a strong password.
It is critical to have a plan in place for regular system maintenance and user support, not just automatic updates and hope. Unmaintained systems leave open the potential for malicious access to your data and devices. Consider an IT support plan with at least quarterly systems assessments and live on-demand user assistance.
Richard Roth is the Founder of Progressive Tech, Seattle’s highest-rated technical support company, famous for a distinctively human-centric approach to client care. For more than a decade, Roth led the company toward steady growth throughout the area’s initial “tech boom,” holding a strong position within a notoriously competitive industry.