Even in the age of email, messaging, and live chat, every small business needs a reliable phone system. Unfortunately, traditional business phone systems can be an expensive undertaking that many small businesses can’t afford. Consequently, voice over internet protocol (VoIP) for small businesses has gained popularity to replace traditional phone lines.
Undoubtedly, the past year and a half has been challenging for businesses everywhere, especially small businesses. Many have been forced to close their doors permanently because they couldn’t survive without opening their physical location. Others found ways to work remotely but struggle with team and client communication, collaboration tools, and security concerns.
One way to alleviate some of these pain points is to choose the right business email solution. Email for business isn’t going away. Email marketing and communication remain some of the most common ways businesses reach their potential customers. More than 124.5 billion business emails are sent and received every day.
Any small business depends on its business data for survival, so having a backup plan is critical. There are many different data backup services out there, but they generally fall into two categories: on-site backups and cloud-based backups. Which type of backup solution is right for your business? Let’s look at the pros and cons of each.
If your office operates like most others, you likely rely on Microsoft’s ubiquitous Office suite of products—including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook email, and others—to accomplish much of your daily work. And you have probably developed something of a love-hate relationship … Read more
Spam email is nothing new. We’re all used to receiving spam messages, and having an overflowing junk folder is just part of having an email account. In fact, we may joke about the particularly funny or cringe-worthy spam emails we happen to find when we peruse that junk folder. Luckily, email filtering has gotten pretty good—most of us only see a fraction of the spam that’s sent to us actually make it to our inboxes.
Most business owners know the feeling… they head into the office early one morning, anxious to get to work on a critical meeting the next day. But when they arrive, they discover that their network is down, their email isn’t working, and the files they need are gone. Then they learn that their network is going to be down for at least a full week – maybe more.
The cause: Their six and a half-year-old server just died.
Over the last 15 years, there have been thousands of IT disasters that we have read or heard about. A few that come to mind are:
- 2008 the Census Bureau attempts to go paperless by using handhelds. The project failed -paper was used and the cost was in the millions.
- Also in 2008, American La France builder of firetrucks in the US rushed an ERP implementation of new software and ended up filing bankruptcy.
- Heartland Payment System was hacked in 2009 compromising hundreds of millions of credit card accounts.
- 2013 saw Target have their own issues with hackers that exposed data and credit card information that cost them millions as well.
- Sony had problems with hackers in 2014 that cost them millions and exposed thousands of emails and other information that was not meant for public view.
We could go on and on listing hundreds of well-known publicized IT failures and disasters that have occurred since the year 2000 rolled in. (Of course, who can forget the great Y2K debacle that cost private businesses millions of dollars?)
When talking with business owners, we’ve found time and again that many simply don’t pay much attention to their network. For many small businesses, it takes a little blip (or worse, a major catastrophe) before they realize that their network had been neglected for far too long. In the business world, the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” rings true, perhaps most especially on the IT side of things.
A haphazard or an uninformed approach to dealing with network issues ensures a few things.
- Time will be lost; and as a result, money will be lost.
- Network issues will persist even after the last fire is put out.
- Instability will inevitably lead to a network disaster at some point.
However, most small businesses, and a good deal of medium-sized ones, lack the resources to manage their network with an experienced staff of full-time IT experts. The solution is to choose an IT provider to perform regular network maintenance. This introduces a really interesting (and unfortunate) catch-22 to addressing network concerns: hiring the wrong IT vendor can be nearly as disastrous as doing nothing at all. According to The Digest, some of the most important things to look for in a vendor include trustworthiness, reliability, quality service, and quality customer care. I couldn’t agree more. So what are the most important things to avoid?
I’ve written extensively about this in the past, but for the sake of brevity, here are some of the most important things to steer clear of when choosing an IT professional to service your network.
Your server is the heart of your business network. When something goes wrong, you lose access to key resources while productivity, customer service, and your bottom line suffers. Yet many businesses inadvertently compromise the security of their servers, leaving them vulnerable to hacker attacks, internal security issues or even simple power outages.
So is your server at risk?
Here are 8 things you may be forgetting that could be compromising your server’s security.