In this digital age where information can be linked and duplicated, protecting your information can never be overemphasized. Imagine you had a physical store where you sold valuables, what would happen if you left it unattended to? Your guess is as good as ours.

Data privacy simply put, is how data should be handled, based on how important it is. It can be applied to critical pieces of information such as bank account data, credit card numbers, medical records, addresses and locations, passwords etc. The list of information to be kept secure can be exhaustive, as it is any and everything that a person or business considers confidential.

As an individual, here are a few ways to protect your personal information online:

1. Avoid using public Wi-fi for financial transactions:

Public Wi-Fi can be convenient but dangerous as the connection is public, and accessible to anyone. Unsecured internet connections are easy proofs for hackers to clone your card and get away with it.

2. Adopt multiple passwords across different platforms:

Using the same password across multiple platforms, allows the single breach of one account to lead to the easy access of other accounts.

3. Use a safe browser:

It is very common to have unauthorized pop-ups when visiting a web page that will lead to insecure websites. Change your settings to block unauthorized third-party activity while surfing the web.

Best practices for business owners:

1. Implement a disaster recovery plan:

Waiting till you are hacked before having a disaster recovery plan in itself is a disaster. As a business, it is very important to have a back-up plan for your most valuable asset – your data. You can read our article on why your company needs a disaster recovery plan

2. Set up a Two Factor Authentication (2FA):

If any password is compromised, 2FA prevents just anyone from logging into an account by requiring a second form of verification, such as a unique code sent to an email address or phone number.

3. Encrypt all data:

Data encryption is the act of translating data into a type of code or “cipher”, which can only be accessed and deciphered by specific users who have the decryption key. Think of it like a safe where your important information is kept, and only those with the combination can access it.

4. Eliminate inactive data:

Cyber thieves can’t steal what they can not see. Therefore, it is important to regularly identify data and applications no longer in use and fully take out in a secure manner.

5. Educate users in security awareness:

Never assume that employees know what information is confidential and can’t be shared. Educate them on all the ways to ensure data security and empower them with security tools to act as reinforcements.

6. Introduce access controls:

Not all employees need access to certain applications, even within an application, employees will not have equal rights to access select information. Once employees exit your business, ensure to remove their access.

Conclusion

On a final note, it is important for your company to take data privacy seriously as this can either hinder or aid the growth of your business. For more information, contact us today.

Today, the world has, and is still experiencing some distinct challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for business leaders and everyday employees. Whilst many businesses have been fortunate enough to weather the worst economic effects, one key issue remains the successful transition from an in-person workplace to remote operations.

Businesses that have only functioned within traditional offices may well have effective working practices in place, but this doesn’t always necessarily translate to keeping your team tight and productive when forced to move outside of the working environment your practices have been designed for. As a result, some previously successful businesses have found themselves on the back foot with a little struggle.

Let us examine the importance of structure to remote work and its positive impact. We will also look at some of the tech tools that can prove vital to supporting your structure in an increasingly digital-reliant workspace.

Why is structure important?

Any business leader knows that organization can mean the difference between success and failure. As the structures within the office are unlikely to be easily duplicated outside of it, the change to remote practices without a new structure in place can very quickly lead to chaos. In many ways, your staff rely on the structure of your business. Structure helps set the expectations for task completion, operational stability, and the culture of the business itself. Interrupt essential components of that structure, and there can be domino effects across all areas which is why creating a business continuity plan is so vital.

When an issue such as the current pandemic occurs, forcing a shift in operations, a continuity plan provides a road map to ensure the smooth transition to a remote working structure. Your plan minimizes unnecessary disruption for both customers and staff.

How can you create a remote structure?

We know that structure is important, but how can we go about creating it? Obviously, there will be nuances for each business, but there are some core areas on which you should be focusing.

These should include:

1. Workflow

Create a formal structure for how employees’ day-to-day workflow should look in remote circumstances. Clarify how this differs from usual processes, and why. Produce a step-by-step documented approach that makes it clear who is responsible for each aspect of a project, and set out a clear chain of production.

2. Communication

Away from the office, communication can be one of the elements that very quickly fall by the wayside. This can be disastrous. Clear remote communications policies should therefore be implemented. Adopt secure video conferencing solutions that are easily compatible with calendars and scheduling applications and ensure regular team meetings with staff. This structure should include adherence to a single, secure communications platform — this not only helps to keep important business data safe, but it also promotes consistency.

3. Trust

The structure for remote operations certainly needs to include robust and consistent elements. However, micromanaging can be destructive. Leave room in your structure for staff to have some flexibility — perhaps in their working hours or setting priorities. Being constantly monitored is not practical for management, and it gives employees the impression they’re not trusted. Provide them with the remote tools they need and let them work. However, part of your structure should also include regular reviews to assess how successful this is for each employee.

4. What tools can help?

The key is to choose tools that best suit your workflow, the assets you will be producing, and the needs of your staff. Part of your remote structure should include clarity on whom these tasks should be delegated to, and what tools to deploy to ease staff workload. For example, Microsoft Teams, Gmail, M365 etcetera.

Conclusion

Structure is a vital component of any business, but an unexpected shift to remote operations can make traditional office organization impractical. That’s where Descasio comes in. We are your plug to help with the heavy lifting – understand potential challenges your staff could face working from home, and then equip you with tools that automate tasks while building you a structure to meet the business and employee needs in the middle. Contact us today.

The expectations from 2021 will be high due to the fact that 2020 has been plagued by the crippling pandemic that has devastated numerous businesses and hurt a number of economies. But luckily, we live in an age of high technology, meaning that the latest trends in this area can give SMEs a boost and mitigate the effects of this crisis.

Here are some of the trends that you should watch for in 2021:

1. Automation

Repetitive, manual tasks take up a lot of employees’ time and diminish their productivity, not to mention that we’re talking about low-level tasks that don’t significantly impact the bottom line.

And yet, they have to be completed.

Small business owners who want to boost the productivity and performance of their employees should think about automating all these mundane tasks. When it comes to small businesses, these tasks include appointment scheduling, data entry, customer support, and so on.

By automating these and many other tasks, you’ll allow your employees to focus on more complex, high-level, value-adding tasks that require creativity and critical thinking.

2. Deep analytics tools

Small businesses, especially those in the manufacturing industry, have to handle massive amounts of data and make sense of them. Hiring a data scientist or outsourcing this task is pretty costly, which is why deep analytics tools will become indispensable.

By leveraging this technology, you’ll be able to obtain a number of valuable and actionable insights into different aspects of your business that will allow you to optimize various important processes. Deep analytics can help you identify pricing trends and gain a competitive advantage or interpret your manufacturing data so that you can improve your production quality control, for example. And what’s best, modern software doesn’t require you to be a technical user in order to harness the power of data-driven insights.

3. Chatbots
Chatbots make up one aspect of the broader uptake of artificial intelligence on the part of businesses. Chatbots integrate with messenger apps like Facebook and Whatsapp (or natively installed live-chat boxes) and mimic human interactions.

They have a range of applications and enable businesses to provide support, process purchases, and notify customers of important, time-sensitive updates. Because chatbots are available 24/7, they’re also very convenient.

4. Remote Working

The COVID-19 pandemic has acted as a catalyst for what was already a growing trend in regards to remote work and with Nigeria experiencing its second wave, it seems like remote work is here to stay. Companies that let employees work from home have seen a range of benefits, including lower office costs, greater productivity, and increased wellbeing.

If it’s feasible, you should consider letting your workforce operate remotely, even if only for a few days a week. As flexible working opportunities become more commonplace, companies also need to think about how they will position themselves in the job market to attract the best talent.

Conclusion

While change can be difficult and confusing, it also creates opportunities. This is particularly the case when it comes to technology. Small businesses that effectively leverage new tech can achieve a variety of positive outcomes. These include more efficient, streamlined processes, higher-quality customer journeys, and happier employees. Find out more about how you can leverage tech and talk to a member of our team.