Advice For Small Business Owners Overwhelmed By Technology

Scott Blake is a Senior Network Engineer with Tech Experts.

A recent study by Brother International Corporation and SCORE found that 64 percent of small business owners feel overwhelmed when it comes to technology, because they have limited resources in information technology (IT).

Surprisingly, this isn’t related to a lack of financial resources, but rather this is due to the fact that many of them do not have the proper technological guidance.

Most of them have no dedicated IT support, and 59% of the survey participants said there are insufficient resources available in small business communities to help them.

Keeping pace with tech trends
According to the study, mobile devices are the most important piece of technology for their businesses, because mobile technology allows for easy and quick reach as well as easy access to documents, regardless of where they are.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM), social media and cloud services are also among the tech tools that small business owners find necessary in running their businesses. Forty nine percent (49%) of business owners consider tech-related investments as their top priority.

However, about half of them are hesitant to invest in it too quickly without a good ROI (return on investment), while the other half are concerned that failing to invest in technology gives their competitors an advantage.

Outsourcing IT is one alternative for small businesses to take advantage of technology without heavily investing in it.

Social media is also a convenient tool that many IT service providers use to provide tech support to their clients, while office technology products are becoming more user-friendly.

Another important step that small businesses must take as far as IT is concerned is to identify and outline their business processes.

This makes it easier to sort through the best technology to meet their business needs. It also eliminates the frustration experienced at the endless pitches small business owners get from vendors and solution providers that do not even understand their business goals.

When you understand your business processes, you can easily determine the technology that you need or don’t need.

Take advantage of the tools available to help you understand the channels that are driving your business, including apps like Google Analytics. Finally, when using consumer apps for your business, go for the business options as they usually offer more security options and tech support.

(Image Source: iCLIPART)

Tech Support Calling? It’s Probably A Scam Or Hacker

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

For business computer users, the threat of a security breach is a constant worry. The thing is, many systems are secure enough from outside attacks, and many scammers know this.

As a result, scammers have switched tactics and have taken to pretending to be Windows technicians, hoping to get users to give up their credit card information.

This isn’t a new scam. Despite news reports and emailed reminders, some people still fall for the ruse.

Social engineering
These social engineering tricks generally follow the same formula: A person calls you pretending to be from the Windows technical team at Microsoft.

The scammer usually tells you that you need to renew your software protection licenses to keep your computer running.

Most of the time, these scammers spread the conversation out over a number of phone calls and emails, the goal being to gain the trust of the user.

Once trust is established, or the user seems interested enough, the crook will offer a seeming sweet deal: They offer a service that makes your computer run like new, usually for a reasonable price.

The scammer will then use remote PC support software to show you ‘problems’ your computer is having.

They will usually show you the Windows Event Viewer – a part of the OS that shows errors, usually harmless, that your computer has generated.

The scammer will then convince the user that these errors are harmful, and if you have paid, they will make it look like they are cleaning your computer.

If you give them your credit card number, you will likely see ridiculous charges, or even have people trying to access your accounts.

What’s being done?
Governments are aware of this increasingly common trick, and some organizations, like the FTC, have taken measures to shut down scammers.

What can we do?
While action is being taken, these scammers are working hard to steal your credit card and other personal information. To ensure you don’t fall prey to this trickery, these five tips should help you identify when an attempted scam is at play:

  • Microsoft doesn’t call people.
  • Windows Event Manager is a log of errors for ALL programs.
  • Microsoft employees will never ask for your passwords.
  • Most of these scammers operate out of call centers in India, but bill from the US.
  • Microsoft employees won’t usually ask you to install software that’s not made by Microsoft.

As a rule of thumb: If you get an unsolicited call about your computers and IT security, it’s likely not genuine. If these criminals provide you with a website, do a quick Google search to see if there have been any scam reports.

If you’re concerned your credit card or other information may have been compromised, please call us right away for a complimentary security assessment.