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The first quarter of a year is a fresh start. Time for businesses of all sizes to start planning how to make 2019 the most productive, efficient and profitable year yet. One way to do this is by investing in security software and tech, which can make the working day far easier.
Gadgets are a great idea if you’ve experienced problems or challenges in 2018 which have eaten up
too much time or posed a risk to the smooth running of the business. There are lots of devices,
security software, apps and tools available now that can solve some of these problems. As well as solving
problems, tech can also boost productivity and streamline working practices.
Let’s take a look at just 7 of the essential gadgets your business could make use of in 2019:
Did you spend some of 2018 worrying about your business premises when you weren’t there, or
perhaps you had an issue with supplies or stock going missing? It might be time to consider installing
CCTV surveillance cameras. With smart cameras keeping a close eye on your business, you can lock
up and leave at night, or go on holiday, in full confidence.
When deciding which system to go for, choose a CCTV camera which is motion-activated and that
sends real-time alerts when motion is detected. An alert can be sent to your phone, email or even a
private security firm or the police when unwanted behaviour is detected. Some systems let you
define what is ‘unwanted behaviour’, such as zones that no unauthorised person or vehicle is
permitted to enter.
With real-time alerting, you can potentially stop a crime in action. Your cameras will also gather vital
evidence for prosecution, or in case you aren’t able to catch burglars or vandals red-handed.
You can also use surveillance cameras inside your business if you wish. This can be useful if you are
worried about the theft of stock, behaviour of your employees or even just productivity during work
hours. You will have to manage it carefully in terms of informing your employees, and make sure not
to violate their privacy or any privacy laws.
Does your business have a fleet of vehicles or company cars? Even if you only have one or two
vehicles, GPS trackers could be extremely useful. These trackers give you a huge amount of vital
information about your vehicles, from where they are at any given time to the routes they’ve taken.
From a central console or even just your phone, you can monitor how fast vehicles are travelling and
how much fuel they use.
This information can be used to:
How secure is your existing computer network system? You might think, as nothing has happened so
far, that your IT security is just fine. But on closer inspection, you’re likely to find a huge number of vulnerabilities that a hacker or malicious party could easily exploit. Key areas that are often missed
include encrypted communications, cloud application security, weak firewall and anti-virus
protection, email security and unmanaged access to the different parts of your system. The start of
the new year is as good a time as any for a security overhaul, starting with a security health check
and the switch to more robust security software.
The way companies work is changing, which means that many people now work remotely or while
on the move. This creates new security risks, which you may not be managing properly. Start by
protecting all smartphones and tablets used for work (or accessing work files or systems) with a
professional-level mobile defence system.
Smartphones and tablets used for work in public places such as cafes and co-working spaces should
also use a VPN or other encrypted method. This is to make sure that no one else can access the data,
files or documents being transmitted over public Wi-Fi.
Remaining on the topic of security, how often do your employees take work home with them? They
may simply access files on a home device (which as above, should be protected) but they may also
use USB devices to take documents home with them. This isn’t secure, as the device could be stolen
or lost. Nor is it a wise idea for employees to email files to a personal email account for accessing at
The solution to this problem is simple – encrypted portable hard drives. They can store a large
amount of data and are encrypted so that there’s no risk to the business if they go astray.
If you regularly work while on the move, a portable power bank is an absolute essential. In fact, give
everyone on your team one. They don’t cost much, nor are they very heavy or bulky to carry around
with you. There’s nothing worse than running out of battery on your smartphone, tablet or laptop
while in the middle of something crucial. These power banks are small but surprisingly powerful, and
they can be real life-savers if you’ve forgotten to charge up in advance.
Your work laptops will already have USB ports, but there are never enough, right? A simple USB bank
will solve your problems. They don’t cost much but give you access to four or more USB connections
per port on your computer.
You can use these extra ports for other useful, productivity-boosting innovations such as portable
extra screens. These surprisingly affordable, high-resolution and lightweight universal screens fit
onto a huge number of devices, powered by USB. This gives you three times the number of screens
to work from, which can be hugely helpful for a number of purposes – particularly when looking at
multiple spreadsheets, doing research or comparing different sets of data.