Pros and Cons of Digital Devices

Technology circa 2018

Business processes and communication is faster, smarter and more convenient than just a few years ago let alone ten or twenty years ago. The capacity to initiate a business opportunity through completion and earn compensation is astounding. The future is bright. Technology is an integral part of how we communicate with each other. The volume of apps, platforms, devices is abundant. We live in an era of too many choices.

The impact is advantageous and a detriment. The competitive atmosphere is good for the consumer. She is able to not only collect multiple offers for the widget she is excited about, she can also use portable technology to read reviews, compare features, service reputation and so on. As a business owner it is valuable for us to embrace the challenge. If there weren’t a rival pushing us to better our offering, what is the motivation to produce a top-quality product or service?

Our society is enriched by a competitive spirit. Sports is an excellent comparison to a free market world of commerce. The athlete with the most effective work out and nutrition program is often the winner. In business it’s more complex however, the same basic principle applies. The organization with the most rigorous effort, collaboration and inviting work environment will most often be the industry leader or a known force to the top players.

The disadvantage to the technology user is also valuable to be mindful about. With the time saving, utility of portable devices, the potential for a rogue intruder is heightened. The majority of smart phone, tablet, laptop etc. device users are capable of understanding the functionality of the device and use it effectively. There is always someone who knows more. Maybe their intentions are guided by curiosity, hacking for the greater good. Make the potential breaches known so they can be fixed or eliminated. Then there is a dark side of technology a sub set with nefarious intentions. To cause harm. It is these shrouded characters we must be vigilant to protect against. We read news reports of large corporations, government agencies and prominent public figures being victims of data theft, ransoms, and so on. As an individual without celebrity status or a company not being a household name, the potential threat is more damaging.

Those with a public image can use their media channels with legions of followers to combat against an ill intended attack. The majority have a more difficult path to remedy a data breach. It is important to be aware of simple actions we can take to reduce the potential theft.

· Password protect your devices — use creativity to generate passwords. Replace a letters or numbers with a special symbol

· Stranger danger — don’t share personal details with complete strangers. There are plenty of interesting topics to discuss than date of birth, family member names, pet names that are common tactics a bad hacker will want to know to figure out your passwords

· Keep your devices in your sight — a thief is often on the prowl for unattended devices

· Tracking software — be able to locate a misplaced device

· Limit the number of apps — It’s cool to be the first person on the block with a hot new app or game. Do some homework about the app, read reviews before downloading

· Read the terms and conditions — how boring, yet it can be a savior when it comes time to sever ties with an app or digital service

· Customize your devices — add a colorful case or cover to distinguish yours from everyone else

· Create multiple separate logins — businesses and families often share devices. Each person needs their own login. It makes it easier for each user to navigate and be able to keep files private

· Libraries of devices — companies with numerous smartphones, laptops, tablets issued to employees institute a regular periodic audit of the devices. The employee is using company property therefore the business has every right to know how the device is being used

· Sign a user agreement — employers have employees sign a “terms of use”, and “rules of use” for each device for every staff member

· Stay offline — If you work in public places often, work offline. Public wifi is a great time saver yet it is the playground of criminals

· Work offline — before you head out on your next business trip, have as much work staged to be accomplished offline. You can still be productive without being online

· Back up that file — have a secure cloud storage service to house important information

· Map files — a time saver, develop protocols to label files and be able to easily find what you are looking for

· Be aware of your surroundings — be mindful of what you are viewing on your device and where you are. Looking at financial information in a café with people buzzing around may not be the time to review your company’s or your personal information

There are numerous ways to be safety savvy. Many of the tips presented are the same we read over and over. Ask yourself, what am I doing to be proactive about my digital information? If the answer is anything other than you are highly confident in your approach to protecting your information, there’s room for improvement.

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Human being, writer, traveler, music lover, California native IG: @realjoshblack