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The Monthly Download—February 2023

Don’t waste money on the wrong tech

Have you ever felt like you’ve wasted money on technology that you thought would change your world?

The right tech can be truly transformative. You can grow your business more quickly, help employees be more productive and your systems run more smoothly. That allows you to focus on strategy and to stop sweating the small stuff.

But the wrong choices can be more trouble than they’re worth. That leaves you to foot the bill for a solution that solves nothing or, worse, creates problems of its own.

Here’s our best advice for making the right tech choices in your business.

  • Don’t fixate on digital transformation for its own sake. Focus on what you want to achieve and choose the tech that helps you to get there.
  • Be open to the idea of process change if the tech can create efficiencies. But your tech should support you – not force you to work the way it wants you to.
  • Define your objectives and seek expert advice before making a big change. That software might look like the answer to everything, but is it well established? Is it reliable? Is there good support, and are there regular updates? Could an alternative do the same thing for a smaller investment?
  • Focus on your data. Big corporations have a deep understanding of their data and work hard to define how success will be measured. Think about how you’re able to access your data, how you can protect it, and what it can tell you about your choices.
  • Enter the cloud. Cloud solutions can help you keep your data better protected and are often more scalable so that they can grow with you.
  • Ask for help. You can’t be an expert in everything, so if there’s something you don’t understand, or if you can’t decide what’s best for you, ask an expert.

If you’re thinking about change and want to make the right tech decisions for your business, we’re here to support you all the way. Just get in touch.

Did you know…

Teams is more popular than email?

Microsoft Teams has become more popular than email for most businesses that use it.

Employees interact with Teams 1500 times a month on average, spending more time in Teams Chats than they do in their email.

Technology update

A report by software giant Adobe found that two thirds of Chief Information Officers plan to digitize their workplace and introduce software that automates admin tasks.

The idea is to boost productivity, freeing up employees’ time for more creative and vital jobs. It can also work to boost morale, increase engagement, and keep everyone more organized.

Another benefit of digitization is improved data analytics and insight. And of course, improved revenue opportunities.

Inspirational quote of the month

“The only way you are going to have success is to have lots of failures first.”

—Sergey Brin, co-founder, Google

Tech facts

  • 34% of people write their to-do lists on paper. 22% use online tools, 18% use a calendar on their phones, 17% use project management systems and the last 9% use ‘other methods’
  • 74% of clients who stop dealing with a company do so because it's disorganized. These customers tend to move to their direct competitors
  • 1 in 5 students has used a mobile app to organize their schoolwork

Time for another tech quiz

Whose tech knowledge is the best this month?

  1. What was the name of the first computer virus (created in 1971)?
  2. 1024 bits is equal to how many bytes?
  3. What number system do computers use as the base for all operations?
  4. What's the maximum number of rows that Excel can handle?
  5. What's the name of the plain text editor in Windows?

The answers are below.

  1. Creeper
  2. 128 bytes
  3. Binary
  4. 1,048,576
  5. Notepad

New to Microsoft 365

Massive Teams meetings are about to get easier.

If your lobby policy in a Teams meeting is ‘Invited Users Only‘ (the most secure thing to do), Teams will only recognize the first 1000 people on that list and let them through.

Not a problem for most meetings, sure, but there are occasions where this can be restrictive.

Microsoft has recognized the issue and has upped that limit to… 10,000! Hats off to you if you can hit that limit.

Business gadget of the month

Microsoft Presenter+ remote control

If you use Microsoft Teams for meetings and presentations (and who doesn’t?) you might be interested in this neat little gadget.

The Microsoft Presenter+ wireless remote control has Teams-enabled technology, but it works with other apps too. It helps to make presentations more engaging, mute participants and switch between controls more easily.

See yourtechinfo.com/teamspresenter


Q: Should I be monitoring my remote employees?

A: If you want to maintain a culture of trust in your business, probably not. But you will want to understand their productivity. There are a number of apps that can help with this. Get in touch for recommendations.

Q: Where should I focus my IT spend?

A: Security is key but, beyond that, more and more businesses are looking at cloud solutions to help in all areas of the business. It’s an in-depth subject, so you should take expert advice before making big decisions.

Q: Should I allow my employees to install apps on work-issued phones?

A: Yes – and they’ll need some apps to do their job. However, you should make sure they install only what’s needed. And make sure they’re genuine downloads from the main app stores – there are a lot of malicious apps in the wild!

Are you still using the same old password?

We talk a lot about strong passwords. It’s kind of our job. But they’re really important if you want to protect your online accounts and keep your data safe.

So why are we hearing that ‘123456’ is still the most common password? Researchers found it used more than 100,000 times in a recent study.

‘Admin’ is another popular choice, found 17,000 times, followed by the highly creative ‘root’ and ‘guest’. Often these are pre-set default passwords which you’re supposed to change when you first log in – but too many people don’t bother.

Names – personal names, celebrities, even football and hockey teams – are also common, as are profanities. One swearword cropped up 300,000 times in the study (we’ll let you guess which word it was).

But popular choices make for weak passwords. A brute force attack involves throwing thousands of passwords at a system. So if you’re using any of these examples, it wouldn’t take long for an attacker to gain access to your account.

A good solution is to use a password manager. This will create long, strong, random passwords that are impossible to guess. It also stores them securely and auto fills them, saving you time.

An even safer solution is Passkeys. These could take over from passwords entirely – Apple and Microsoft are already rolling them out across their apps and accounts. Passkeys consist of two ‘keys’: One on your device and one within the application. When they connect and recognize each other as the right fit, you gain access to your account… all without clicking a button.

The best part is that you never have to remember a password. It’s all done within your device and the application, so it’s unlikely that a cyber criminal will ever be able to get their hands on your login credentials. And there are 123456 reasons why that’s a good thing.

Need help to find the right password manager? Get in touch.

Rivercity Tech
Article Written by Rivercity Tech

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