What IT Problems You Have And Might Not Even Know

We explore different technological issues & what you can do to optimise each one. From passwords, to hardware. Cybersecurity & efficiency are a big deal!

Technology as a whole can be one of the most convoluted fields in our life. The tech in our homes and hands are getting updated and outdated at an exponential pace. With that ever growing pace it makes it more and more difficult to ensure you run the tech, and it doesn't run you. Staying on top of it all can look like many different things, some of which you might not even be aware of. And in this era, not knowing something can result in consequences that have financial, emotional and social implications. This post will explore a few common IT issues you may or may not have in hopes of helping you get ahead of the curve and be prepared for any complications that potentially come your way.

1. Passwords

To start us off, I will suggest you make your life a bit more inconvenient, but so much more safer. If you're one of those people who uses a simple password, or the same one for different websites and accounts, you're highly prone to hacks. If someone cracks one of your accounts, everything else is exposed. This could mean your emails, where you've sent sensitive information before such as your passport or internet banking logins. I'm sure I don't have to expand on the damage that could do.

This means no more "Password123" or *insert dog name* - the latter can easily be found via social media. 

If you're thinking that your head will explode if you try and remember a password for everything, don't worry, technology and software has you covered. While we're not affiliated with these programs, I would suggest trying Lastpass or Keeper (there are plenty of others out there as well, take your pick). Both are great at encrypting your passwords. If you're worried about inconvenience, both have a browser extension and app where you can easily access your passwords and other data if and when you need it. The security of these programs are a lot more secure than conventional networks due to the nature of their field.

2. Network Security

Once your device is connected to an internet source, you are quite literally connected to the digital world. This means your identity, data and files are at risk. The bad news is that there is no way to be 100% secure, however there are preventative and proactive measures that can be put into place to give you a much better position.

We're going to knuckle down on WiFi for the time being since that's a very popular option in most businesses and homes. I hope this isn't news, but the password to your internet network has to be secure. This means not using the default password and user names you got gifted when you got the modem. Not only can this result is other people piggybacking on your data plan, hackers with ill intent can jump on the network, change your password, rename your network, and change any configurations and settings from the available options. You can safely assume this isn't fun.

This should be step number 1 for you, after that things get a little bit more complicated and we're not going to get into them for now. This includes implementing VLANs, MAC address filtering, 802.1x authentication and VPNs. This will be a blog post for another day.

3. User Security

To be human is to be flawed. Seems quite deep for a tech blog. Maybe you're right. But 9 out of 10 cyber issues are due to human errors. That is a lot of money, assets, files and productive business hours lost. We would like you not to be a part of that statistic.

This can fall into many categories including ones we've listed above. But what if you implement the best security possible into your office, and then someone in the office takes their work files and data onto their personal computer where those same security measures aren't in place? And then there's the other way. Doing personal things and clicking potentially malicious links on a work computer. Both of those actions create vulnerabilities, and therefore can lead to harmful consequences.

We can't tell you how to run your office (unless you let us 😉 ), but what we can do is educate you and your team on this topic. One thing you could do if you regularly have your team work from home is put precautions into place, even a VPN and firewall would be a huge help. In regards to staff doing personal things on a work computer, where they go and what they click on is less of an issue if you have the proper security in place and simply educate them about the risks, what to look out for and the big no-nos. 

4. Using Outdated Hardware

This one tends to shock quite a few people, but it is a real issue. As an example, if you're still using Windows XP, you are 6x more likely to be infected with malware threats than if you are running Windows 10. And for those that are still using Windows Server 2003, which reached its end-of-support on July 14, 2015, that can result in you having a greater risk of cyberattacks and exploitation by various third parties.

This is also a huge concern in regards to productivity. Outdated hardware may result in more crashes, having a slower internet connection, and an overall cloggy experience. Then your staff take longer to do simple jobs, your clients/customers have to wait longer to be serviced, you've then limited the amount of customers you can service in any given day, they might not be satisfied with the speed or efficiency either. Let's be honest, customers are becoming smarter and smarter, we can't fool them, they know when a business isn't as efficient as it could be, and that might result in them looking else where, especially when there's an abundance of other businesses.

I know this seems incredible inefficient and wasteful to think about upgrading, especially when you feel like you're not really missing out, and to a certain degree, you're right. But there comes a point when that line will become smaller and smaller and you have to pull the trigger to allow you and your business to take the next step forward in growth.

5. Being Inefficient With Technology

Technology, and all the apps it comes with, is here to make our lives easier, not harder. Yet, sometimes we shoot ourselves in the foot with the way we use it. Hammering a nail into wood is quite difficult if you're using a screwdriver. I implore you to take a step back and think about how your life or business can be better if only this one thing could be done better, because I promise, there's an app for that.

Imagine remembering 50 passwords without a password management tool!

Beyond apps, inefficiency could also come in the form of double handling of data ie writing something down on paper only to later transfer it to an online database.

Of course, inefficiency here can also mean losing money. You can lose leads, damage your profit margin and even create more work for yourself. One example of a way we used technology to improve our sister company, Kixup Repairs, is we implemented a 'if this than that' system. Every time someone would fill out a repair form on our website, we programmed Zapier to send a message into a dedicated Slack channel where a team will be assigned responsibility for that lead. Not only are we improving our response time and making it a seamless customer experience, but that customer isn't just disappearing into the swath of emails you have in your inbox for you to "get to it later". This is just one example of how you can use technology like this to increase business efficiency.

If you wanted to learn even more, the next steps I would also advise is to make sure you're effectively using your RAM and that you have enough space on your hard disk.

Not Utilising Experts

One thing is for sure, I would never ask a plumber to design a car, it would take too long and it might not even turn on. Weird example? You're right. The point is, stick to your field of expertise. You are good at what you do. You need to use your time in a way that is the most efficient. When it comes to Cybersecurity and Information Technology, we're the experts.

If you're after a personal service and advice, we're more than happy to work with you on that. As weird as it sounds, we enjoy it 🤓 

I hope this post brought you some value, reach out if you have any questions!

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