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Google Bans Zoom, Amazon Now Allows Non-Essential Products…And Other Small Business Tech News

By April 22, 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 — Google told its workers that they can’t use Zoom on their laptops anymore.

Google announced last week that they are banning Zoom—the well-known videoconferencing software—and will no longer allow their employees to use the software on their devices. While Zoom is a top competitor to Meet—Google’s videoconferencing app—the company cited that the reason they are banning the software is due to the many security breaches Zoom has faced over the past several weeks. As of this week, the company announced that Zoom will no longer work on Google employee laptops. (Source: Buzz Feed)

Why this is important for your business:

Of course the first question you have to ask is why were Google employees allowed to use a competitive product to begin with? Oh, that’s right…because it’s better! Putting that aside, Google’s ban has highlighted the significant security issues affecting Zoom users. We’re all using Zoom so aren’t you also concerned? Clearly, the collaboration app’s management is concerned and the company’s CEO admitted mistakes. If your company is using Zoom you should be keeping up with its security updates and possibly evaluating alternatives.

2 —Amazon is letting sellers resume shipping “non-essential” items to warehouses.

Amazon has shared that they will allow third-party sellers to continue shipping items deemed as “non-essential” to their warehouses again. In March, Amazon decided to pause shipping of items not considered essential in order to help meet the rush of orders on medical and cleaning supplies due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Initially put in place only up until April 5, Amazon extended the policy as the pandemic spread. Non-essential items will still be limited with the easing of this restriction in order to allow the prioritization of essential items and safety and welfare of employees. (Source: Engadget)

Why this is important for your business:

So who do you trust to really know when the pandemic is really easing, the U.S. government…or Amazon? By allowing non-essential shipments again, Amazon is quietly telling us that things are slowly getting better. So that’s good news. What’s better news is that third party sellers, many of whom are small businesses, can start selling again.

3 — YouTube launched a video building tool.

This past week, YouTube rolled out their free video-building feature—called Video Builder—in order to assist in businesses staying in touch with their customers throughout the shutdown due to COVID-19. While the current release is YouTube’s beta version, the company shared that they decided to release the tool sooner than they had originally planned in order to ease the burden on businesses who are currently struggling with limited resources and may not have access to outside video equipment. With Video Builder, business owners can produce either 15-second videos or six second videos, as well as pick from various layouts, colors, and fonts to use for their videos. (Source: CNET)

Why this is important for your business:

My business, like many small businesses, produces lots of YouTube videos to help our clients better use the products we sell. But we’re not video producers and we’re not experts with this technology. So tools like Video Builder helps…a lot. Many it can help you as much.

4 — Microsoft is delaying ending support for older versions of Windows 10 due to Coronavirus. 

Microsoft has announced an extension regarding their support for the older versions of their Windows 10 software. Initially, Microsoft had planned to stop technical support for Windows 10 this past week. However—due to the Coronavirus pandemic—the company has now extended the support up until October 13, giving IT administrators an extra six months. With IT administrators working more on helping employees work from home during the crisis, the company wanted to be sure that security updates and patches would still be provided for the older Windows versions until things die down. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

Does this mean you can happily use your older version of Windows 10. It does not. Regardless of the fact that is merely a stay of execution, companies running older versions of Windows are more exposed to security threats, including malware attacks and data hacking. Just the fact that Microsoft is giving you more time shouldn’t stop you from upgrading your Windows 10 operating system to the most recent version. Otherwise, you’re really risking your company’s data.

5— An electrical worker safety startup launched a COVID-19 workplace distance and contact tracker.

Proxxi—a startup based out of Vancouver—has launched a wearable device called Halo in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19. While Proxxi typically focuses on creating devices that assists in safety among those working in the electrical industry this new device—which can be worn on a user’s wrist—focuses on helping users follow the recommended distancing guidelines set forth in light of the pandemic. (Source: TechCrunch)

Why this is important for your business:

The company says its band will vibrate and provide a notification if two individuals wearing the device are not at least 6 feet away from each other. The band will also keep track of every band that it comes in close proximity with. Could be a useful tool to improve workplace safety in these pandemic times.

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