Technology is a dual-edged sword. It makes things easier, but it requires a learning curve. You have access to things, but it also is less secure. You could provide for your clients, but you could be hacked or lose your reputation. This is a list of things people won’t tell you about technology.
Information Technology Help Needed
Most business owners have to have an I.T. staff either on retainer or on staff. So much hardware and software are so complicating that those in the field are the only ones who could understand what is wrong when things happen. I.T. People could train you on how to fix simple things, but the issues are usually more complicated than simple fixes. Therefore, business owners should make sure they have a budget for I.T. You also do not want to rely on technical support from the companies you purchase. They often give the same advice and are overseas. You will hear “Try rebooting your computer more often than you would like.”
Technology Is Outdated as Soon as Installed
Whether it is software, a phone, a new computer, or something else, it will be outdated almost immediately. Technology companies are constantly coming up with upgrades and new models. Therefore, the version you pick will not be a long-lasting one. Gone are the days when you could keep something for years. Now, you have to update your technology regularly, which is costly to business owners.
Protect Your Information
Technology makes collaboration easier. You can post new ideas. You could talk about projects to generate a buzz. However, at the same time, theft of intellectual property is on the rise. You must be careful how you use your technology and how you protect your information. Photographers are shrinking their photos on their websites so small to render them not usable for most people, so they are not stolen. When someone orders a print, they get the full version. Artists are adding chips to their paintings to ensure it is an original. Software companies won’t let you download products until you pay for them. Companies are encrypting their proprietary information.
Technology Allows You to Spy
Today, parents can monitor their children. Older Americans are just a button away from getting help. Auto insurance companies are watching how you drive. While these are great tools, they also show that companies are able to spy on you. Competitors could add spyware to their computers to spy on their creativity. Business owners should be aware that people are watching them. Technology has made it easy to spy on others.
Ransomware and Hacking Increasing
So often, people talk about hacks as if they are synonymous with tips or tricks. They aren’t. Most people don’t want to be hacked. Most business owners couldn’t afford to be hacked. Unfortunately, technology has allowed both hacking and ransomware to take place. Criminals are hacking into your servers and changing things on your website or spreading personal information. Business owners also are facing ransomware. This means a criminal will block access to your data unless a fee is paying. This has been growing in the last few years, especially with government contractors. The criminals are stealing government secrets to get thousands of money in ransom fees. Your I.T. staff could help you prevent these attacks, but like computer viruses, new ones continue to surface. The I.T. People are always one step behind the criminals.
Our Past Is Leaving
Because of technology, people aren’t writing letters or in journals as often. They are connecting via social media, or they are texting. They are uploading everything to their computers without saving hard copies. Think about how we learned about the past before now. We read journals or letters that key people wrote to others. If people are embracing technology and not using letters or journals, people 50 to 100 years from now will not know what happened in our generation. As people die, we are losing the past.
Facebook Owns All Posts
Most people and business owners don’t realize that every time you upload a photo or video to social media, the site becomes the owner of that copyright. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Amazon, etc. can do whatever they want with your posts or information. They could use it for advertising their companies. In addition, they could use it to censor you. They could use it against your business in some way. It is no longer yours. Be careful how you use social media.
Repairs Are Costly
Because parts become outdated easily, repairs to your cell phone, laptop, or computer could be costly. It might be cheaper to buy new. On the other hand, a shortage of microchips is increasing repairs too in cars, appliances and computers. Buying new technology also is costly, leaving business owners stuck with the bill.
Can’t Deposit Cash
Most banks are encouraging people to use online banking through their mobile app or their website. However, when business owners are paid in cash, they are unable to deposit that money via these mobile devices. Unfortunately, many banks are eliminating branches, or they are closing due to the pandemic. Therefore, business owners are unable to deposit payments made in cash. Some online banks, such as go2bank or chime, were set up without branches at all. You can’t use them if you are paid in cash.
People Need to Unplug
We are too connected. Technology is everywhere. Business owners believe they have to be everywhere to be successful. However, this constant connection is increasing mental health issues and anxiety. Business owners need to unplug from technology periodically to ensure they are not stressed or overanxious. This constant connection to technology is harming business owners and all Americans. They need time away from technology. Go on a vacation where you don’t get a cell signal or leave the laptop at home. In fact, the constant connections are making people not able to sleep at night. Turn off the computer and phone.