As a business owner you have a lot on your plate, so you may not have gotten around to setting your technology New Year’s resolutions. To make things easier for you, we put together this list of 5 things you can do to ensure smooth sailing throughout 2015 and beyond.

1. Be creative with your passwords.

According to SplashData’s annual most popular passwords list for 2014, ‘123456’ and ‘password’ are still the top two most popular passwords. Know what number three is? 12345678! Having secure passwords is many times the first and last line of defense from those that would compromise or steal your data. Review your passwords on all of your machines and make sure none of your employees are falling into the trap of lazy passwords. Make sure that all your passwords have both capital and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.

2. Give your printers some love.

If you are like many small business owners, you only pay attention to your printers when they don’t print! Like anything else, printers benefit from preventative maintenance. Open them up and do some spring cleaning. Remove the paper trays and get rid of any small bits of paper, dried ink and dust that has built up. Make sure the print cartridge moves smoothly and your paper rollers don’t need replacement. Check for firmware and driver updates from the manufacturer. Do these every three months this year and your printers will thank you.   

3. Make sure you have the latest and the greatest.

Almost all small business owners know the importance of keeping their computers updated but what about your network equipment? Outdated firmware on critical network hardware such as modems and routers are often the most vulnerable part of your network and a frequent target for hackers. Oftentimes, the firmware on these devices is never updated after installation! For the New Year, make sure that ALL of your hardware assets have their latest updates installed.     

4. Become a master of disaster.

Review your backups and disaster recovery plan. Don’t have one yet? Don’t put it off another year! Most small businesses have backups for their critical data in place (hopefully testing them on a regular basis) but have no recovery plan for getting their business back up and running in the case of a major disaster. Ask yourself, if your office building burned to the ground, would that mean the end of your business? If the answer is yes, it doesn’t have to be! With the cloud technology era in full swing, there is no reason that with the proper technology in place, your business cannot survive a major disaster like a fire, flood or hurricane and be back up and running immediately. If you do not have a disaster recovery plan for your business, consider that your first order of business in 2015.

5. Take the road less travelled.

Create your IT Roadmap for the New Year. An IT Roadmap is typically a three year plan of the hardware upgrades, software upgrades and new technology investments you plan and when they will be completed. It also includes a budget and an evaluation of your current IT environment. By developing a technology roadmap and budget you can see exactly what you can expect for the New Year and your employees can get excited about implementing the new technologies they have been missing!

If you have any questions or would like support with your 2015 IT adventures, call me at 908-240-4616.