Many soloists run their businesses with the bare minimum of business technology – maybe a single computer and a mobile. What happens if something goes wrong?
These all-important devices become the oracles of our lives, containing business and personal information that would take hundreds of hours to reproduce – if that were even possible.
If you’ve never been lucky enough to experience for yourself what happens when these devices disappear or fail, stop for a moment and consider the impact it would have on you and your business.
Now, are you one of those nice people who is often tempted to share your business technology with the people you care about?
For example, do you use technology to placate your children, offering them your phone or computer to play games on while you get on with making dinner or whatever other chore you’ve got on your plate?
I’m reminded of the importance of only letting the right people use my computer on a regular basis. These reminders usually come in the form of other people’s disasters that I’m called in to rectify. You’d be surprised at how many of the recovery jobs I work on start with a client saying to me “So-and-so was using my computer when…”
If you only have one computer that you share between your business and personal life it can be tempting to give in to requests from others for access to it. Well meaning relatives and friends, your kids, neighbours and (heaven forbid) even strangers all think nothing of asking to use the tech devices that are critical to your business.
If the contents and functioning of your gadgets are important to you then the simple answer should always be “NO”. You don’t have to be rude, but you do have to be firm and resolute.
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Sharing your tech devices is like putting three bullets in the chambers when playing Russian roulette. It is also far worse than not doing data backups.
It may sound harsh but I feel quite strongly about this. Sometimes we computer guys and gals just can’t perform a miracle.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting these people would do anything nasty to you on purpose. (That is a whole different type and level of pain). I’m talking about the things they do out of ignorance, the things that happen by accident and the things that looked like they were fun at the time.
With the growth in online sales through tools such as iTunes you may not be surprised to hear of incidents where costly accidental purchases have been made by someone other than the owner of the computer. Guess who gets the bill? Guess how much sympathy you get? Guess what it says in the terms and conditions you signed up for when subscribing to the service?
When you consider these sorts of costs, suddenly buying another computer, a kids machine, a Nintendo, or whatever it takes to get them “off my box” doesn’t seem so bad.
Of course implementing appropriate backup strategies lessens some of these concerns, but let’s face it, regardless of how it happens, no-one looks forward to the hassle and cost of a lost computer or a mobile phone that’s accidentally been dipped in fruit juice.
A byte of prevention is better than a terabyte of cure.
What strategies do you employ to keep your business technology devices safe from sticky fingers and careless operators?