Our small businesses require 24/7 computer access. There’s nothing more troubling than computer challenges. Check out these tips in collaboration with Lisa Margetis. She is sharing about keeping your computer cleaned up and ready at all times.
What’s the best way to get started “cleaning up your computer” for a small business?
The best way to start getting business files organized is to create and implement a style of folder organization that is easy-to-follow for both you and your employees. If you can create an accompanying training guide as well, this will be very helpful in keeping all of your organization’s files consistent across the company. It’s also important to enable network sharing settings for employees who may need to access files that don’t live on their hard drive. However, an alternative option would be to use a collaborative document system that lives in the cloud (such as Google Drive) so that all employees can access any documents at any time from anywhere. Google Drive is great because it also allows you to share documents with individuals both inside and outside of your organization at your discretion.
What steps do you take to organize information on your computer?
Personally, I use an organization system that organizes by project I am working on. For example, when creating this calendar, I have my files organized with the prefix CCC (for Clean Computer Calendar) followed by a bar symbol (|) and then whatever the document is about. Some example file names are: ‘CCC | Calendar Draft’, ‘CCC | Calendar Copy FINAL’, ‘CCC | Finished JPG’, etc. This way, all items from a given project are grouped together which makes it easier to find items in the long run. I often create a folder for a given project once it is complete so that my ‘Documents’ folder only contains items that I am currently working on. Likely in a few months’ time I will create a folder labeled “Clean Computer Calendar” and put all of my items labeled with ‘CCC’ into it. My folder system words so that it would be located in Documents>Projects>Clean Computer Calendar. I try to use a system that any coworker could understand if they were looking for something on my computer.
What’s one thing that all small business owners should do to maintain security on their computer?
The best way to maintain security is to do two things.
• Make sure to always be updating your system, as well as any antivirus or firewall software you have installed. Although it can be tedious and annoying when an alert pops up that your computer needs updating, it is extremely important to take the time to install these updates, as they are often being released to help combat some sort of security feature that will help protect your system.
• Make sure to use unique passwords and update them regularly. Personally, I try to rotate my passwords every two months. Again, this probably seems tedious and annoying, but it helps safeguard your system. It’s important to note that these passwords shouldn’t just change incrementally (ex: ilovemydog1, ilovemydog2, ilovemydog3, etc.) and instead are completely different each time they are changed (ex: ilovemydog1, catsrule23, mynameislisa14, etc). If you can avoid using dictionary words, that’s even better, as the more difficult you make your password, the less likely it is that a robot could crack the code.
What suggestions do you have for backing up computers for small business?
It is so important in today’s technology age to be backing up all the time and in different locations. For small businesses, I would definitely recommend backing up to a dedicated cloud server for your business, and doing so in a location that isn’t close to where you are headquartered. This is called co-location, which is the practice of backing up your data in multiple locations. This way, if a disaster happens (fire, flood, etc.) at your headquarters, your data is safely housed somewhere else. It also helps with business downtime, so that if your hosting company is affected you can still access files and your site can still run off of its backup servers located elsewhere.
Use this month calendar to get the job done.
Great tips from Lisa!