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TikTok Could Be A Huge Security Risk…And Other Small Business Tech News

By July 19, 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 — Wells Fargo directed employees to remove TikTok from company devices.

This past week Wells Fargo announced that they have told employees that if they have TikTok on any devices that belong to the company they need to remove it immediately due to privacy issues and concerns. Wells Fargo is the most recent company to respond to concerns regarding security regarding employees utilizing the app. It was reported that the Chinese-owned app reached 2 billion downloads this past April, but has been flagged due to several security issues. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

Wells Fargo is not the only organization to show concern with TikTok’s security. Both the U.S. government and the country’s two major political parties have banned its use over privacy concerns and even Amazon warned its employees to stop using the app, although the company later retracted the order. Regardless, the Chinese-owned social service – which has had problems in the past – has caused many technology executives to re-think its use on company owned devices that are used by employees. It may be a consideration for you. Yahoo Finance’s Daniel Howley has a great perspective on the issue here.

2 — This is the cheapest 4K laptop right now.

The cheapest 4K laptop on the market right now comes from a company you might not be familiar with: Chuwi. The AeroBook Plus by Chuwi can be purchased for less than $600. The device’s dual-core processor was rolled out in 2015 and the device runs off of 8GB RAM, contains Bluetooth 5.0, and has a battery that can last up to eight hours. Currently the AeroBook Plus is able to be shipped all over the world. (Source: Tech Radar)

Why this is important for your business:

Chuwi has been selling technologies for more than 15 years on many online platforms, including Amazon. But the company’s finances and operations are a little murky. Does that matter if you’re getting a good price? I think it does. Laptops and devices need support and – for security purposes – should be bought from known brands if you want to minimize any potential headaches in the future. I would avoid these bargain price options and stick with names you know because hey, when something sounds too good to be true….

3 —Amazon has unveiled its own smart grocery cart in a new effort to automate physical retail checkout.

This past week, Amazon announced that they will be rolling out a smart grocery cart, making it the first of its kind. The grocery cart— known as “Dash Cart” —will operate using sensors, cameras, and a scale in order to immediately recognize and log merchandize using a digital screen located behind the cart’s handle. Using the cart will allow shoppers to shop and exit the store while negating the need to stand in a line in order to checkout. Rather than stores having to install sensors on shelves or cameras throughout the building, Dash Cart will be able to operate independently. (Source: GeekWire)

Why this is important for your business:

The Internet of Things (IoT) is alive and well. Variations of smart shopping carts have been around for a few years, but with Amazon’s new entry the market for these rolling devices will certainly become larger and more recognizable. And why not? The shopping cart we’re using at the grocery store today is the same cart our parents used decades ago. If you own a retail store you can bet that customers will soon be demanding – no, expecting – a smarter, more automated cart to help make their shopping experience better and – more importantly – faster.

4 — Twitter gets hacked. Big time.

Many celebrities – from Barack Obama to Elon Musk – found their Twitter accounts hacked last week in a massive effort to promote digital currencies like Bitcoin. (Source: New York Times)

Why this is important for your business:

No one was hurt and no reputations were ruined. But when an enormously popular mainstream service like Twitter – who, we are to believe has all the resources necessary to protect their users’ security and privacy – gets hacked it really does call into question how secure all systems are that maintain our most confidential personal and corporate data. Spoiler alert: not as secure as you may think.

5— This free tool can test how good your security is when you’re working remotely.

With more and more companies having employees work from home due to COVID-19, cybersecurity has become an even bigger issue than before. Thanks to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), individuals working from home can now have access to a free set of tools to help test how secure their systems are from attacks. The new toolkit is aimed at assisting SMBs to prepare for potential cyberattacks through allowing employees to role play real hacking scenarios and providing approaches for how to effectively handle them. (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business:

If you’re not up for hiring an IT firm to help with security the least you can do is have your remote employees download and run this free tool to check for any vulnerabilities. More work may be needed after that, but at least you’ll have the facts.

My new book, Want More Cash? 100+ Ideas And Strategies For Increasing Your Company’s Cash Flow This Year is now available on Amazon and other leading booksellers.

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