News Letter, BetterWorld Tech Talk!
Monthly tech talk from BetterWorld's Thought Leaders
May 2023, Reston, VA USA
TECH TALK “Insider Tips to Make Your Business Run Faster, Easier and More Profitable”
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
Why App Fatigue is a Security Issue Vulnerability Management for Your Tech
Gadget of the Month Tech Tip of the Month
Virtual Appointments in The Coolest Tech from CES
Microsoft Teams ...................................................................................
......................................................................... Technology Trivia
Everyday Objects Can Steal ...................................................................................
We love technology, and we love helping people.
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- James F. Kenefick
Founder & CEO
WHAT IS APP FATIGUE & WHY IS IT A SECURITY ISSUE?
The number of apps and web tools used by employees on a regular basis is constantly increasing. In fact, most departments are now using between 40 to 60 different digital tools. Unfortunately, this has resulted in 71% of employees feeling that the use of these apps is making their work more complex than it needs to be.
One of the biggest culprits of this app overload is the various alerts that we receive on a daily basis. From getting a "ping" on Teams when someone mentions our name, to receiving notifications of available updates or security issues, these constant interruptions can lead to a phenomenon known as "app fatigue." This is not only a productivity issue but also a cybersecurity concern, as the more notifications people receive, the more likely they are to ignore them altogether. It's important to recognize that digital alerts can come from a variety of sources, including software apps on your computer, web-based SaaS tools, websites where you've allowed alerts, mobile apps and tools, email banners, text messages, and team communication tools. In some cases, employees may even receive the same notification on two different devices, further compounding the issue.
At Better World Technology, we believe that app fatigue and cybersecurity risks can be addressed through a variety of measures, such as streamlining the number of apps used, disabling unnecessary alerts, and providing training to help employees manage their digital tools more effectively. By taking these steps, we can help alleviate the issues that impact productivity and cybersecurity in the workplace. Introducing new apps to employees can be a double-edged sword. While these tools may be useful, each new app typically requires a new password. Given that the average employee already has to juggle around 191 passwords, using at least 154 of them during the month, adding more to the mix can be overwhelming.
How Does App Fatigue Put Companies at Risk?
Employees Begin Ignoring Updates
App fatigue can also put companies at risk by leading employees to ignore important updates. When digital alerts continually interrupt workflow, employees can feel like they are always behind. As a result, they may start to ignore smaller tasks that are seen as not time-sensitive, including clicking to install an app update. When overwhelmed with too many app alerts, employees may tend to ignore them, including important updates. They may quickly click them away, feeling that they can't spare the time right now or not knowing how long the update will take. However, ignoring app updates on a device can be dangerous. Many of these updates include crucial security patches for vulnerabilities that have been found. When updates are not installed, the device and its network become more vulnerable, making it easier for cyber attackers to succeed.
To address the issue of app fatigue and help prevent cybersecurity risks, Better World Technology recommends providing training to employees on how to manage their digital tools more effectively. This includes encouraging employees to install updates promptly and streamlining the number of apps used to reduce the number of passwords they need to remember. By implementing these measures, we can help protect both employees and companies from the risks associated with app overload.
Employees Reuse Passwords (and They’re Often Weak)
App fatigue can have a severe impact on password security in the workplace. With an increasing number of SaaS accounts to create, employees are more likely to reuse passwords, resulting in weak password security. In fact, it's estimated that passwords are reused 64% of the time, making it easier for hackers to gain access to sensitive data. One of the key drivers of cloud data breaches is credential breaches. When hackers can easily crack weak passwords, multiple accounts become vulnerable if the same password is used repeatedly. As a result, it's crucial to take steps to improve password security, such as enforcing password policies and providing training to employees on how to create strong passwords and avoid reusing them.
By improving password security, businesses can help protect their devices and networks from cyber threats. It's important to educate employees on the risks associated with weak password security and provide guidance on best practices for password management. By doing so, businesses can help reduce the likelihood of successful cyberattacks and maintain the security of their sensitive data.
Employees May Turn Off Alerts
It's true that some alerts can be turned off, such as notifications about group threads, it's important to recognize that turning off important security alerts can be detrimental to cybersecurity. It's essential to find a balance between productivity and cybersecurity when it comes to managing digital tools. App overload can make it challenging to manage the sheer volume of digital alerts and notifications that employees receive. With each new alert, employees may feel more overwhelmed, reducing their productivity and increasing the likelihood of missing important updates and notifications.
There comes a breaking point when one more push notification can push someone over the edge. As a result, it's crucial to provide employees with training on how to manage their digital tools effectively, including how to manage alerts and notifications. By doing so, businesses can help reduce the risks associated with app fatigue and improve productivity in the workplace without sacrificing cybersecurity.
What’s the Answer to App Fatigue?
While it's not realistic to go back in time before the proliferation of digital tools and apps, there are steps that businesses can take to address app overload and improve productivity and cybersecurity in the workplace. One such step is to implement a strategy that puts employees in charge of their technology, rather than the other way around. By providing employees with training on how to manage their digital tools more effectively, including how to prioritize alerts and notifications, businesses can help reduce the risks associated with app fatigue and improve productivity.
It's essential to recognize that digital tools and apps are an integral part of the modern workplace. However, by taking a proactive approach to managing these tools, businesses can help ensure that they are not overwhelming employees or compromising cybersecurity. By putting people in charge of their tech, businesses can help employees work more effectively and achieve better outcomes.
Streamline Your Business Applications
Have Your IT Team Set up Notifications
Automate Application Updates
Open a Two-Way Communication About Alerts
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VIRTUAL APPOINTMENTS IN MICROSOFT TEAMS
In today's fast-paced world, communication is more critical than ever before. With the rise of remote work and the increasing reliance on technology, virtual appointments have become a necessity for businesses and organizations worldwide. Microsoft Teams is a powerful collaboration platform that has emerged as a game-changer in this arena. With its seamless virtual appointment capabilities, Teams is redefining the way we connect, collaborate, and communicate.
By leveraging Teams' advanced features, businesses can hold virtual appointments that are just as productive and effective as in-person meetings. Teams allows users to schedule appointments, share files, and collaborate in real-time, all in a secure and user-friendly environment. In addition to virtual appointments, Teams offers a range of other collaboration tools, such as instant messaging, video conferencing, and document sharing. With these features, businesses can stay connected and productive no matter where their employees are located.
At a time when efficient and effective communication is more critical than ever, Microsoft Teams is helping businesses worldwide to stay connected and productive. By embracing this powerful collaboration platform, businesses can redefine the way they connect, collaborate, and communicate in today's digital world.
The Rise of Virtual Appointments
Communication is more critical than ever before. With the rise of remote work and the increasing reliance on technology, virtual appointments have become a necessity for businesses and organizations worldwide. Microsoft Teams is a powerful collaboration platform that has emerged as a game-changer in this arena. With its seamless virtual appointment capabilities, Teams is redefining the way we connect, collaborate, and communicate.
By leveraging Teams' advanced features, businesses can hold virtual appointments that are just as productive and effective as in-person meetings. Teams allows users to schedule appointments, share files, and collaborate in real-time, all in a secure and user-friendly environment.
In addition to virtual appointments, Teams offers a range of other collaboration tools, such as instant messaging, video conferencing, and document sharing. With these features, businesses can stay connected and productive no matter where their employees are located. At a time when efficient and effective communication is more critical than ever, Microsoft Teams is helping businesses worldwide to stay connected and productive. By embracing this powerful collaboration platform, businesses can redefine the way they connect, collaborate, and communicate in today's digital world.
Benefits of Virtual Appointments in Microsoft Teams
1. Enhanced Collaboration
Virtual appointments in Microsoft Teams allow teams to collaborate seamlessly, no matter where they are located. With features like screen sharing, whiteboarding, and file sharing, Teams enables teams to work together in real-time, improving collaboration and decision-making.
2. Increased Flexibility
Virtual appointments in Microsoft Teams offer unparalleled flexibility, allowing team members to join meetings from any device, anywhere. This means that employees can participate in important discussions and decision-making processes, even if they're on the go or working from home.
3. Cost Savings
Virtual appointments in Microsoft Teams can result in significant cost savings for businesses and organizations. By eliminating the need for physical meeting spaces and reducing travel expenses, businesses can reduce costs while still maintaining productivity and collaboration.
4. Improved Communication
Microsoft Teams' virtual appointments facilitate clear and effective communication, thanks to high-quality video and audio capabilities. The platform offers features like live captions and translations, ensuring that language barriers and accessibility issues are no longer a hindrance to effective communication.
5. Enhanced Security
Microsoft Teams is built on the secure and reliable Microsoft 365 platform, ensuring that your virtual appointments are protected by enterprise-grade security measures. This means that you can conduct your meetings with confidence, knowing that your data and conversations are safe.
6. Centralized Platform
Microsoft Teams is a centralized platform that eliminates the need for multiple software subscriptions. With Teams, businesses can access a range of collaboration and communication tools, such as instant messaging, video conferencing, file sharing, and more, all in one place. This simplifies workflows and improves productivity, making Teams a preferred platform for businesses of all sizes.
THESE EVERYDAY OBJECTS CAN LEAD TO IDENTITY THEFT
Everyday objects can lead to identity theft, such as smart toys, discarded mail, public Wi-Fi, ATMs, and old electronics. To protect yourself, be mindful of personal information shared online, shred sensitive documents, and wipe personal data from old electronics before disposing of them.
Old Smart Phones
A cybercriminal could easily strike data theft gold by finding an old smartphone. Make sure that you
properly clean any old phones by erasing all data.
Protect wireless printers by ensuring you keep their firmware updated. You should also turn it off when you don’t need it.
You should never plug a USB device of unknown origin into your computer. This is an old trick in the hacker’s book. They plant malware on these sticks and then leave them around as bait.
Old Hard Drives
When you are disposing of an old computer or old removable drive, make sure it’s clean. Just deleting your files isn’t enough. It’s best to get help from an IT professional to properly erase your computer drive. This will make it safe for disposal, donation, or reuse.
Identity theft criminals aren’t only online. They can also be trolling the neighborhood on trash day. Be careful what you throw out in your trash.
Children’s IoT Devices
You should be wary of any new
internet-connected kids’ devices you bring into your home. Install all firmware updates and do your
This is called skimming. Malicious actors can use hidden devices on ATMs or card readers to steal your card information during transactions.
TECHNOLOGIES TO GIVE YOU AN ADVANTAGE
Customers look for convenience. In today’s world, that means technology that makes their life easier.
From webforms to POS systems, you need to keep the customer experience in mind in all you do. When people aren’t happy with their experience interacting with a company, they leave. And their experience might not have anything to do with your products or services. Maybe they found it hard to navigate your website. Technology is key to converting website visitors into clients.
These technologies can give you that edge:
Business Mobile App
VoIP Phone System
6 THINGS YOU SHOULD DO TO HANDLE DATA PRIVACY UPDATES
Once data began going digital, authorities realized a need to protect it. Many organizations have one or more data privacy policies they need to meet. Industry and international data privacy regulations are just the tip of the iceberg. Here are a few things you should look into to handle data privacy updates:
Identify the Regulations You Need to Follow
Stay Aware of Data Privacy Regulation Updates
Do an Annual Review of Your Data Security Standards
Audit Your Security Policies and Procedures
Update Your Technical, Physical & Administrative Safeguards As Needed
Keep Employees Trained on Compliance and Data Privacy
THE COOLEST TECH FROM CES 2023
At the beginning of each year, a group of global innovators meets. They introduce and show off breakthrough technologies at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). People love their gadgets. It’s estimated that the global smart home household penetration was 14.2% in 2022. By 2027, it’s expected to more than double to 28.8%.
What new gadgets did innovators introduce at this year’s CES?
Here are a few that you may want to check out further:
Loona – Intelligent Petbot: Want a pet that doesn’t make a mess?
Ring Car Cam: More than just a dash cam
AtmosGear Electronic Skates: Up to 25km/H of fun
Tilt Five Augmented Reality Glasses: Change the way you interact with the world
Jabra Enhance™ Plus: Hearing aids or headphones? A little bit of both
Twinkly Squares: Add a pop of color to any space
Xebec Tri-Screen 2: Dual portable monitors for your laptop