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Apple Macs Are Now Twice As Likely To Get Infected By Adware Than PCs …And Other Small Business Tech News

By February 24, 2020No Comments

(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Macs are now twice as likely to get infected by adware than PCs, according to research.

Research has revealed that there has been a more than a 400% increase in Mac security threats for both businesses and consumers over the past year. According to the report released, in 2019 the detections of adware was at 11.0, as compared to 4.8 in 2018, nearly double the threats detected on PCs last year. Apple has not been able to contain Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) and adware in the same way that they have been able to catch malware, which has made it simpler for cybercriminals to go after Macs. Although the adware and PUP threats are not as detrimental as malware, the rise in this issue is becoming a cause of nuisance and concern for Mac users. (Source: PCGamer)

Why this is important for your business:

Once upon a time it was Microsoft that was far and away the number one target for malware. But that’s changed a lot over the years. The takeaway is that securing your network and individual devices is no less important regardless of whether you have a Windows or macOS environment.

2 – Microsoft is having another Windows 10 update problem.

The new Windows 10 KB4532693 Update from February 11th is creating headaches for both personal and business users. Users are complaining that the update is not only resetting Start menu and desktop settings – like wallpapers, icons and shortcuts – to their defaults but also, and more disturbingly, deleting some of their local files. Some users have also said they’re encountering that famous blue screen of death and having problems re-booting.  The good news is that Microsoft is aware of the issue and is working on a fix. (Source: Windows Latest)

Why this is important for your business:

This blip shouldn’t discourage employees at your company from regularly updating your devices. Doing this of course gives you new features and capabilities, but Windows updates (just like the updates made to Apple and Google devices) are extremely important because they include the most recent security fixes. But make sure you have good backups. Also, it’s best to wait for the next cumulative update.

3 — Support.com has announced a new tech support offering for small businesses.

Support.com, Inc. —which considers itself to be a “major player” in delivering technical support to both consumers and businesses— revealed this past week that they have rolled out Tech Solutions Small Business. The company’s newest addition will give technical support to owners of small businesses—as well as their employees—24 hours a day, every day of the week. The support will be on-demand and will provide assistance with any device and any technical problem. The company delivers its support through live agents—or “Tech Pros” —who are all based in the US and have a wide range of experience in technical issues that small businesses come up against on a day-to-day basis. (Source: Caster Communications, Inc.)

Why this is important for your business:

Here’s an IT firm looking to be a one-stop-shop nationwide for small business tech support and has setup an infrastructure to do that.  I’m not sure if the support extends to specific business applications (that’s a question you can ask them) but I think this will be a growing model for tech support over the next few years and for obvious reasons: to me it’s important to have a support agreement with a good IT firm so that your employees have a resource to call – 24/7 – if they have technical issues.

4— Robots are becoming a growing presence on farms.

Agricultural engineers at the University of Illinois recently introduced TerraSentina, a robot meant to bring accuracy and efficiency to evaluating various aspects of a crop. The robot works similar to autonomous vehicles with the ability to navigate their surroundings through laser pulses in order to evaluate and gain information about its environment. Visually similar to a lawn mower, the robot contains high-resolution cameras and wheels with the ability to navigate rough terrain. TerraSentina is able to measure details such as plant health and size and how many plants are actively producing, in an effort to help agronomists generate crops better each season. (Source: New York Times)

Why this is important for your business:

As the report states: a new generation of autonomous robots is helping plant breeders shape the crops of tomorrow. “Automation has always been a big part of agriculture, from the first seed drills to modern combine harvesters. Farm equipment is now regularly outfitted with sensors that use machine learning and robotics to identify weeds and calculate the amount of herbicide that needs to sprayed, for instance, or to learn to detect and pick strawberries.” If you’re in the agricultural business you need to make sure you’re prepared to invest in new automation that will help you keep costs low and productivity high. Ignoring this could be fatal to your business. You’ve been warned!

5 – Both Walmart and Adidas are leveraging social and mobile to boost engagement.

Walmart recently introduced a campaign called “Famous Visitors” with the intention of creating and engaging in more instant conversation with their customers and its success has contributed to its mobile app to be the second most popular app for shopping—right behind Amazon’s app—in the Apple Store. Since 2015, Adidas has been utilizing WhatsApp to communicate and connect with customers in an effort to have the app become a vital marketing avenue for the company.  The app is considered to be the principal avenue for creating world-wide marketing campaigns. Adidas sees this approach to marketing as a more efficient way to emphasize the company’s impact throughout their fan base, negating the need to spend money on getting that same impact. (Source:Digiday –  Walmart and Adidas)

Why this is important for your business:

Both Walmart and Adidas are investing in personalization. The companies are working hard to avoid being faceless brands and instead develop a more intimate relationship with both customers and its community by using tools like their mobile app and WhatsApp. To do this takes a long term approach, but for the right business – big or small – it could result in a big, long term payoff too.

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