Internet Basics for Small Businesses

This article is intended for small to medium sized businesses and non-profit organizations with limited or no experience with technology and the internet. If you have someone you consider to be your “tech person”, consider reviewing this document with them to get their opinions on each point. If they aren’t very familiar with each point, you may want to have a second “tech person” person involved in decision making to make sure your decisions are well planned and understood. The points below are laid out in order of …

USE A PASSWORD VAULT!

Over the years, I’ve done a lot of technical consulting for individuals and lots of small businesses. The one thing that is almost universal with all of those people is – they don’t use a password vault. But they REALLY need to use one. Why? Because, if someone gets access to their computer, or steals their computer, or hacks it, those people can either lose all of their passwords, or worse, someone can login to many website and do malicious things. (Ya know, log into your bank, transfer …

One-click unsubscribe

Over the years email spam has gotten better and worse. ‘Better’, in that the “Unsubscribe” link that is required by the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 has made it much easier to stop unwanted email. ‘Worse’, in that more companies/groups around the world can now get your email so much easier than before, so you actually get more junk email than ever before. Another ‘better’ comes in the form of that wonderful “Spam” (or ‘Junk’) button in Gmail and other web-based email systems. When enough people click that button …

Thanks, Dave

In the era of text messages, email and online profiles, all of our communications are automatically tagged with our identities. Whether by a phone number, or more likely a name programmed into a device that corresponds to a phone number, a name attached to an email account or a name, photo and an ‘About’ page that tells your friends more information about you than most of them know anyway, most communication we have with others in this digital life has been pre-announced, announced and probably even preconceived. So …

Mobile phone apps and security

People love their smartphones these days… and with good reason. They can be amazing tools for business and fun distractions from the mundane parts of life – like standing in line at the post office or waiting to be picked up from the airport. There’s a problem though. Those fun and handy apps can be setting you up for embarrassment, failure or good ol’ fashioned identity theft. If you saw the movie “Live Free or Die Hard”, you’ll recall the premise that one bad guy who sold software …

Social marketing and the small business…

It’s been a good five years since “social marketing” really took off in a big way. Big, no HUGE corporations use it in one way or another. It likely doesn’t help their bottom line, but Coca-Cola, Microsoft, NASA, General Electric and even Yahoo and Google use Facebook. So WHY don’t small businesses who actually NEED the help? The simple answer is: knowledge. Most (not all) small business owners are intelligent go-getters who want to succeed in their chosen area of commerce. Those in the retail sector should be …