Stupid Small Business Tech Mistakes, and How to Prevent Them

If you're not particularly tech-savvy, then purchasing, maintaining, and securing technology for your business can be a confusing situation to navigate. You may already know plenty about what you should do, but what about what you should not do?

By Sarah Jacobsson Purewal
Mon, February 14, 2011

PC World — If you're not particularly tech-savvy, then purchasing, maintaining, and securing technology for your business can be a confusing situation to navigate. You may already know plenty about what you should do, but what about what you should not do?

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Everything including not backing up your data, using social networking tools incorrectly (or not at all), and using pirated software can affect your bottom line in a bad way. Here are 15 tech mistakes that small businesses make over an over again, and what you need to do to prevent them.

1. Relying Too Heavily on the Cloud

Cloud storage is an excellent resource for small businesses. It's often affordable, and it allows you to access data when you're away from the office. However, relying too heavily on the cloud can be dangerous, as it means placing all of your important data in the hands of another company or person.

Even Yahoo's Flickr recently accidentally deleted one user's account--which had over 4000 photos stored on it--due to simple human error. Luckily, Flickr was able to restore the account fully later, but you may not be so lucky.

While the cloud is a great place to visit, you shouldn't make a permanent home there. Network-attached storage (NAS) drives and cloud storage services including Box.net are among the products that can be part of a solid storage strategy. Always save your important data in several places, including on physical drives--such as those that are virtually indestructible, such as ioSafe's disaster-proof external hard drives.

2. Failing to Back Up Appropriately

Speaking of backing up data, backup strategies are useless if you don't use them. Unfortunately, this is often the case with individuals and businesses alike. Just having a physical hard drive or a cloud-based storage account won't help you if you fail to keep your data backed up and your technology relevant.

Luckily, backup programs will do this for you. Back up your data on a frequent and regular basis, so you don't have to do it manually. It's especially critical to establish a good backup strategy if you're a small business with no dedicated IT staff to do it for you; data recovery is a painful, expensive process.

3. Not Protecting Employee's Phones

As smartphones get smarter, it's time to take a look at securing these miniature computers in our pockets. Because smartphones carry so much sensitive data, it's important to take steps to secure both your own and your employees' phones. Huge business secrets have leaked out because thoughtless employees have gotten a little tipsy.

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