If you want to make your technology work for you in a way that supports you and your business, instead of causing frustration and panic when something inevitably stops working, look no further than these top 5 tips. By taking some proactive steps you can achieve technology piece of mind.

  1. Have a backup strategy and verify that it works. If you only do one thing on this list, pick this one. How would you continue to run your business if you lost all of your files? Online backup is secure, it’s automatic and most importantly, it’s in a different location than your computer. Online backup is the best option for protecting yourself against encryption viruses. We recommend BackBlaze Online Backup. For businesses, we also recommend having a local backup on an external drive. In the event that you do need to recover your data, restoring from a local backup is much faster than downloading your files from your online backup. Once you have these systems in place make sure to test them! Try to recover a file. A disaster is not the time you want to find out that your backup was not actually backing up.

2. Save your contacts to a spreadsheet. Most of us now use cloud based accounts to manage our contacts. If for some reason you ever get locked out of your account you will lose access to those contacts. Downloading them to a spreadsheet once a month will give you a copy outside of your cloud account that will also get backed up by your backup strategy.

3. Your email domain name should reflect the name of your business. It makes a statement about how seriously you take your business and how seriously you want others to take your business. If you are using an email that is provided to you by your internet service provider, you will lose that account if you ever decide to switch to another company.

4. Host your email with Google or Microsoft. They have the resources needed to keep up with the ever growing number of security threats. If your email gets compromised you’ll spend the day trying to regain access to your account and apologizing to clients for the spam email they have received from you. Your clients are now also at risk of being compromised.

5. Keep your computer and software up to date. Make sure your operating system updates are set to download and install automatically. Restart your computer at least once a week to let these finish installing. Your software should be less than 7 years old. If it’s not, it’s time to repurchase a newer version. Your computer should be less than 4 to 5 years old. Having newer faster hardware in your computer will make you more productive. Planning a computer replacement assures that you will have time to shop for the right model and the down time at the right time to make the switch.

Content provided by Women Belong member Lauren Carter