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From plumbers to roofers, boutique owners to marketers, using technology comes with nearly every job. Even if you’re large enough to hire an IT professional to do a lot of the work for you, it’s still a good idea to know some of the basics. Not only can it help you avert disaster, it can also boost your confidence when using technology, making it more likely that you’ll learn more efficient ways to use your computer.
If you’re a tech newbie, but you’re interested in learning more that makes running your business safer and easier, start with these five tips.
As is the case with many of the terms on this list, you have probably heard of an IP address before without knowing exactly what it is.
An IP address, or Internet Protocol address, is a number that is assigned to every device that’s connected to a computer network. Even single computers that are connected to the internet have an IP address, but networks of computers in the same building also use this concept to communicate with each other.
Other devices count too! From tablets to cell phones, you may find that you’re managing many more IP addresses than you thought.
Do yourself a favor and start managing IP addresses that are used by your business. Using an IPAM program provides you with a centralized repository so you can create an inventory of networks, subnets, and IP addresses for more accurate records.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
If you haven’t heard of a virtual private network, you may have heard it used by another name. A VPN enables you to access the internet securely. It can shield your browsing activity from prying eyes that are common on public Wi-Fi systems. Businesses use them to connect networks together, but they are also used to access local networks remotely, protect important information, and bypass internet censorship.
VPNs can easily be downloaded on any device and activated or deactivated, depending on your needs. There are many providers to choose from, so do a little research before choosing one that would work best for your business.
If you aren’t really sure what a firewall is, you aren’t alone, but it’s important for every business to have one!
Firewalls aren’t just for large companies. Every business should have one to prevent cyber-attacks, especially because 60 percent of small businessesdon’t survive one.
A firewall prevents unauthorized connections and malicious software from accessing your system and stealing important information, like customer credit card numbers. In addition, it can be used to prevent illicit activities by employees. When used the right way, it can also help you learn more about how your network is used, which can really come in handy when allowing employees to work from home.
A firewall can be enabled on computers and systems, but you can also use hardware to keep your network secure. You can find firewall devices that can be used alone or in conjunction with software options.
Just because you’re storing some documents and pictures in the cloud doesn’t mean you know exactly what it can do! With cloud hosting, you can do even more.
The cloud can store data, freeing up space on your computers, but it can also host websites and apps. The benefit of using the cloud is the fact that you can store data for programs across multiple servers instead of storing everything on a single machine. This can make your website and app faster and more secure.
Many different hosting plans offer different services and benefits, so do your research to find the one you want to try.
Marketing automation sounds like one of those things that big businesses use to post ads on the internet. It can be, but it’s great for smaller businesses too!
Marketing automation simply means making certain marketing actions automatic. A few that can work for even the smallest of businesses include:
- Content on social media
- Abandoned shopping cart emails
- Email newsletters
- Content posted to a blog
There’s a ton to learn about running a business, most of which don’t really have anything to do with the reason why you opened your doors in the first place! However, having at least a basic knowledge of complex concepts, like technology, can make a huge difference in how easy it is to run your business and how secure your information is. Let these terms encourage you to learn even more about the world of IT to make your business even better.