Common Technology Issues & Solutions

 5 common tech problems and their DIY solutionsTechnology issues are a thorn in the side of many businesses. Even an action as simple as opening and printing out an email attachment can come with its fair share of bumps in the road. And the whole process of calling for support and waiting for service—that can often be as painful as the issue itself. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just fix these problems yourself? Well, sometimes you can. Our friends at Hewlett Packard discuss "do it yourself" solutions to five all-too-familiar tech problems:

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Don't let a Natural Disaster create a Data Security Nightmare

 by Lisa Weintraub Schifferle

"Natural Disaster happen elsewhere,  We're fine here."  We hear comments like this all too often.  Unfortunately, that's not the case.  We do get our share of natural disasters right here. Read on for some helpful tips on how to prepare.

A natural disaster can wreak havoc on any business. But it's even worse when that real-world catastrophe becomes a data security calamity.

Before the summer storm season arrives, get your business ready. Just like you gather flashlights, bottled water, and emergency supplies, you can prepare your business by reviewing data retention and disposal practices.

Why are data retention practices important? As Bob Dylan said, “the answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind.” Remember the Brooklyn warehouse fire, where media reports indicate that medical records (including drug tests), bank checks, and Social Security numbers were strewn about the neighborhood. Or tornados in the Midwest which literally blew away sensitive personal information, sometimes even across state lines. 

No one wants that to happen to their business. Of course, you can't stop a hurricane or tornado. But while the sun is still shining, you can reduce the risk to customers and employees by safely disposing of paperwork you no longer need. The last thing you want is old records, that you should've securely destroyed years ago, blowing in the wind. If you hold onto only what you really need, it's easier to keep it safe – and there's less to lose in a natural disaster.

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Check yourself before sending that email

Editor's Note - How many times have you received an email and wondered what the sender was thinking when they wrote it? Before any email gets sent a content review usually makes sense.  Here are some additional tips.

Despite the numerous means of communication, email is still heavily relied upon to deliver messages in the business world, especially for remote workers. Even in the office, it often seems easier to shoot off emails to colleagues instead of walking the 50 feet to their desk. If email is replacing some basic human interactions, we need to pay more attention to how we’re using it.

When composing an email, it’s often easy to forget there’s a human on the other side. You should manually check the tone of each and every message you send to make sure you’re communicating your message in the most effective way possible, leaving less room for misinterpretation.

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Robocalls and Your Business

We are not fans of "robocalls"!  You know, the calls that come in within five minutes of sitting down to dinner.  However certain kinds of telemarketing is legal.  Here the thoughts of one FTC attorney.

Call me (call me) on the line.
Call me, call me any, anytime.

We were big Blondie fans, but if the lyrics of “Call Me” are any indication, they’re not the best source of information about complying with the Do Not Call and robocall provisions of the Telemarketing Sales Rule. So we’re turning to FTC attorney Bikram Bandy to get answers to questions that businesses are asking.

My company has a great new product and we want to do a robocall campaign to let consumers know about it. Of course, we want to comply with the law, so we’re downloading the Do Not Call Registry to make sure our robocalls don’t go to those numbers. No problems, right?

BIKRAM:  Wrong. If you’re trying to sell something, you can’t place robocalls to any phone number – even numbers that aren’t on the Do Not Call Registry. The only exception is if the consumer has given signed written permission to receive robocalls on behalf of your company (not your affiliates, marketing partners, etc. – your company). The written permission must include the consumer’s phone number and has to clearly and conspicuously explain that he or she gives your company permission to make robocalls. The bottom line: If you don’t have valid written permission, you can’t send robocalls. Period.

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Word of Mouth Marketing - Some Good Ideas

Our lives these days seem to be dominated by marketing messages from every place imaginable - the web, email, TV, radio, billboards and our smartphones. This article from the Small Business Administration discusses the best marketing tool for small and medium business -- word of mouth. People talk and all businesses should listen.

In a recent study by Infusionsoft, SMBs far and away said “word of mouth” was their most effective marketing tool. Sixty-two percent cited word-of-mouth as their best marketing tactic—nearly twice as effective as the email, the second-rated tactic (34 percent).

How can you boost word-of-mouth marketing for your small business? Try these 11 ideas.

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