Is Your Techno-phobia Ruining Your Business?

Is Your Techno-phobia Ruining Your Business?

There are a lot of things that are entirely unique to the era that we currently live in. After all, the march of progress never stops moving forward and over the last several decades it’s been getting faster and faster. And there’s one thing that is both responsible for that speed as well as for many of the advances that are happening all of the time. That thing is, of course, technology. Technology is one of the most important aspects of modern society and that is especially true if you’re running any kind of business. However, there are plenty of business owners who find themselves either uninterested in technology or even actually afraid of it. A lot of the time these are the kinds of people who work under the assumption that, because their business has survived for this long without the need for technology, there’s no reason to embrace it now. If that’s the kind of attitude that you have then I have some bad news for you. The truth is that technology is an integral part of running a modern business whether you like it or not. It’s just a matter of knowing how it can help. With that in mind, here are some ways that you can use technology to improve your business.

Understand how to use it.

The reality of technology is that it’s not just going to come in a save your business. There’s no singular “technology” that you can put in the center of your business that will solve all of your problems. The key is understanding how it is exactly that you can use it in order to make your business better. How you go about doing this is often going to depend pretty heavily on what kind of business it is that you’re running in the first place. Whether you need a raid capacity calculator or the hardware and software for full-scale automation is going to depend entirely on your business’s needs. However, you’re never going to be able to make the most of any technology if you don’t understand how most effectively to use it in the first place. The only way that you’re going to be able to solve this issue is to do as much research as possible. This may well be a lot of work but the improvements that it can lead to in your business are well worth it.

Improve your website

It should come as no real shock to anyone that, if you want your business to succeed in the modern world, you need a website. Without one, you may as well not have a business in the first place. Your website is the place where your customers will come and find you, the place where you will put out essential information, and is a huge part in making your business as visible as possible. However, it’s not just a matter of having any old website. Your website has to be one that people will actually want to visit in the first place. It might sound rather shallow but the truth is that most people in the modern world aren’t going to spend much longer than a minute looking at your website before passing judgment. And it’s not just the website itself that they’re judging. The truth is that if your website looks cheap and amateurish then people are going to assume that the same can be said about your business as a whole. You need a website that properly reflects the kind of quality that people can expect from your business. This means not only making it attractive but highly functional as well. A beautiful website that’s impossible to navigate is as good as useless.

Think about how your customers use it.

Of course, it’s not just a matter of how your business can use technology, it’s also a matter of how your customers relate to technology. This is a fantastic perspective to understand because it helps you understand exactly what it is that you really need to be offering to your customers. This applies to a number of areas. When it comes to your marketing, you need to think about what kinds of social media platforms your customers use so that you can best utilize those yourself. If you’ve got a lot of customers wanting to use your business in a digital space then it becomes a whole lot clearer that the best thing to do is to push it in that direction.

Change the way you and your employees work

For the longest time, the ways in which a lot of businesses work and are organized has been relatively fixed. You had business owners at the top with employees working in an office in a standard nine to five pattern. However, technology has created the opportunity for some highly useful and interesting disruptions to that pattern. The most obvious is that the office is can now be pretty much anywhere. Remote working methods allow for your employees to work no matter where they are which means that not only are they going to be able to maintain a much stronger sense of a work/life balance but you’re no longer limited to just hiring candidates who are local to your business. Not only that but thanks to online conferencing programs like Skype and Slack, it’s never been easier for you and your employees to connect with one another no matter where you are.

Of course, it’s also just as important to remember that it’s not just a matter of bringing technology into your business and abandoning everything that you were doing before. The truth is that if you want to run a truly successful business then it’s incredibly important that you foster a sense of balance between what’s new and exciting and you’ve learned from the past. To think that there’s nothing valuable that your business can learn from what’s come before is just as misguided to assume that you don’t need to embrace technology at all.

This is a contributed post

What Is Your IP Address And Why Do You Need To Know?

What Is Your IP Address And Why Do You Need To Know?

***Contributed Post***

No matter who you are or what you do, there’s a very good chance that you use the internet regularly to do it. We have, in the space of just a couple of decades, all become extremely proficient internet users and the digital world has become such a ubiquitous part of the way in which we work, do business, shop and socialize that we rarely even think about our internet use. It has become as unconscious to us as breathing, eating or scratching an itch.

Yet, while we love our technology and a great many of us use the internet routinely, we are oblivious of the protocols that can keep us safe or make us vulnerable. We have no idea what people on the other side of the planet can find out about us with just a few keystrokes. Here we’ll take a look at our IP address and why it’s important to know all about it…

What is your IP address?

Your IP address is the address of your internet protocol. While every device that is connected to the internet through your router has its own IP address, the only address that’s publicly visible is that of your router. It’s how the internet identifies where in the world you are. Have you ever wondered why Google always brings you local suggestions when you’re looking for a restaurant, hair salon or coffee shop near you? It’s because you’ve allowed Google access to your IP address. Click this link if you want to find your IP address. Are you a little unnerved by how accurately the page is able to pinpoint you? Any savvy internet user can find your easily.

What can people tell from your IP address?

People can determine your (approximate) location through your router. Don’t worry, your IP address will not give away your physical address. While this is benign enough, in some cases onlookers may parse the online activity associated with your IP address. They can then piece together a lot of information about the people using the IP address or even a single person. What can be accessed legally and by whom depends on where you live and the legalities surrounding digital privacy in your territory.

Can anyone see your IP address? Is there any way to hide it?

Your IP address is information that virtually anyone can access. There are a number of ways in which you can make your IP less visible, though.

You may wish to opt for a private IP address, although this is only really advisable for businesses and individuals who prioritize security over convenience. A less cumbersome alternative would be to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which hides your IP address or redirects it to another region. There are numerous plugins on your preferred web browser which use VPN software. Many users use these to access content on streaming services like Netflix or Hulu which is not available in their local market (although services have gotten wise to this in recent years and started blocking VPNs).

You may also wish to try an alternative internet browser like Tor which conceals browser’s IP addresses, although this comes at a cost of much slower browsing speed even over fast connections.

Who uses your IP address?

Most of the time your IP address is used in fairly benign ways. It’s used by websites to bring you accurate weather reporting, local news or area specific deals and offers. If you are guilty of committing a crime, authorities may be able to track you using your IP address. While hackers can theoretically gain access to your devices through your IP address, doing so is far from easy and if you do not make yourself a target for them you will be unlikely to find yourself their victim.

Nonetheless, if you’re concerned for the wellbeing of your online business or personal data, there are numerous ways in which you can conceal your IP address from malcontents.