The advances in digital technology over just the last five years are something to marvel at. Can you believe that just ten years ago, no one had ever heard of an iPhone?! In the workplace, technology has adapted to cover all sorts of business-related tasks. However, our increased reliance on IT systems has come with a price for some companies. In certain cases, data has been stolen; machines have packed up, and businesses have been placed in jeopardy. A lot of people appear to incorporate technology into the workplace without the proper knowledge of how to use it. So, we’re going to go through eleven different things that you must know about using digital technologies in the workplace.
Security Is Crucial
If you’re going to be using any type of technology in the workplace, it needs to be protected with security. Traditionally, we think of PC’s and laptops when it comes to security. The importance of protecting these devices with tools such as anti-virus and firewalls is well-known. However, it’s also important to consider newer devices like mobiles and tablets too. While not as vulnerable to attacks, it’s still worth securing them as best you can. Of course, if you’re running off a server-based system, this is the most important thing of all to protect. The last thing you want is for your central storage device to be hacked and corrupted.
Backup Your Data
You cannot afford to allow important files to be stored in one location. You’re putting it at risk from being attacked, and you never just know when your device will give up completely. A broken hard drive means you’re not getting that information back, and you simply must have it stored in another location. In many cases, backup systems are implemented on a daily basis to go to a server or even a cloud-based solution. There are all sorts of software programs out there to automate this task or IT support companies can do it for you.
You Need IT Support
Just because that guy in the corner of the office says he “knows a thing-or-two” about IT, doesn’t mean you don’t need support. There will come a time when only the experts will be able to solve crucial problems. By asking amateurs to try and diagnose the issue, they may end up making things a whole lot worse. You’re going to want a cost-effective solution to be there for when you’ve got a problem. Companies like PC Technika offer all-encompassing services while others concentrate on specific IT issues. Consider your options and ensure you have a solution in place as a priority.
The Dangers of the Internet
The internet is a dangerous place when you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s filled with dodgy links, suspicious downloads, and plenty of other hazardous internet activities. Unfortunately, many employees aren’t aware of this sort of thing. They weren’t brought up on the internet, and they don’t know what they’re supposed to look out for. Understanding how to determine whether a site is secure or not could save the company from a potential cyber attack. Alternatively, downloading the wrong file from a suspicious website could put that device (or the network) in all sorts of bother. Viruses are evolving far quicker than anti-virus solutions can deal with them, so some of these threats will slip through the cracks.
Many systems don’t allow the ability to choose simple passwords these days, and that’s because we used to make an awful habit of it. By picking a password with just a few characters, it’ll be relatively easy for someone to hack if they desire. Truth be told, password hackers are very skilled at what they do, and you’re playing into their hands if you do this. The ideal password needs to be as long as possible, mixing numbers, letters and symbols. It’s not a good idea to use the same password for every service you use, no matter how difficult it might be to remember. Also, as we’re about to discover, you can encrypt your passwords for an added element of protection if necessary.
Almost everything you use when it comes to IT technologies can be encrypted in some fashion. In the case of passwords, as we mentioned above, they can be encrypted, requiring physical devices to unlock them. You can also download software which will allow you to encrypt specific files or even full hard drives! If you’re planning to do this, make sure you’ll be able to remember the key! Write it down and keep it in a secure place, such as a safe. Then, if the worst were to happen, you’d at least have it stored to save any potential disasters.
Keep Operating Systems Updated
You’d be amazed at the amount of people who turn off operating system updates because they’re an “annoyance”. At the end of the day, these patches are in place so your operating system can remain secure. By turning automatic updates off, you’re putting your systems at risk. It’s important to ensure your employees understand the importance of this. You can even block them from turning it off by managing their permissions effectively. Talk to whoever manages your server and request they set this restriction on certain users if you’re concerned.
Training Is Key
We mentioned earlier in this article how the dangers of the internet can pose a serious risk to the uneducated. The internet could encompass numerous training sessions on its own! However, employees also need to understand about alternative ways to use IT systems safely. As this is such a key area of the business, it’s incredibly beneficial to invest in training for your employees. As a result, they’ll feel more comfortable and able to work with different types of technology. You’ll be ensuring the digital safety of your business too. If you’re not willing to invest in this area of the business, you could be putting your files and systems at significant risk.
Try and Stick to Ethernet Instead of Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi is arguably the most popular way of connecting to the internet in today’s world, but it’s not always the best. While Wi-Fi technologies have evolved over time, they’re still not as reliable as connecting via ethernet. The cabled nature of an Ethernet connection makes it much harder to crack compared to Wi-Fi. Wireless networks can be accessed by anyone within a certain range and the right tools. Wi-Fi security measures have improved to counteract this, but it’s still worth connecting directly if you can. Consider your needs and whether you need to connect via wi-fi all the time. Ideally, it’s best to have a mix of Ethernet connections and Wi-Fi connections in the building depending on the type of work being carried out.
The Dangers of Email
And you thought it was just internet browsing that could harm you, right?! Well, email is arguably even more dangerous than simply browsing the world wide web. Phishing operations will quickly establish that you’re a company, and they like targeting companies! Employees need to be aware of the difference between legitimate emails and fake ones. In some cases, fake emails are so well crafted that they look no different from authentic ones. You’ll often find they include a link, and if you click on it, you’ll normally be exposing your device to a virus. In some cases, just opening the email in the first place will cause issues. Do your research about what to look for, and delete/block them before they become a problem.
Keep Servers in a Secure, Locked Room
If you’re operating via traditional servers, you need to ensure they’re adequately protected. First of all, it’s crucial that you keep them in a locked room. All of your most important data is stored here, and you can’t allow for any break-ins. If you can, employing this room with a fingerprint scanning system or something similar is the best solution. Also, servers need a cool space with plenty of air in order to cope with the amount of heat being produced. If you try and make do with a cramped, hot space, you’ll almost certainly find your servers suffer from numerous issues.
The potential dangers of digital technologies might seem enough to put anyone off! In truth, they aren’t as scary as they seem. By preparing for any eventualities, most problems will be solvable in a very short amount of time. We rely a great deal on technology in the modern world, to the point where we’d be lost without it. The more you rely on something, the bigger the problem is when it goes wrong! We’re all very grateful for technology but we take it for granted, and when problems arise, we’re quick to panic. By taking the time to learn about its uses in the workplace and how to protect it, you’ll be able to benefit from its potential. By following our tips, you shouldn’t ever have to worry about using digital technology in the workplace!