WHAT WE LEARNED THIS WEEK: Australians still don’t understand cyber security

It’s the same story you hear time and time again.

PayPal released new research this week showing just under half of all smartphone owners don’t use a password for their device, and only 30% wipe their data remotely after losing a smartphone.

The research was released as part of National Cyber Security Awareness Week, and highlights yet another problem entrepreneurs have with their technology – they underestimate the value of setting passwords.

There isn’t much to say about this that hasn’t already been said. Well-chosen passwords can save your business from a huge amount of trouble should a device go missing.

Businesses should implement strict policies about passwords and usage as soon as they can. If an employee loses their smartphone, they should know what to do immediately. More workers are handling tasks on the move, so each smartphone in your office should at least have some sort of protection.

There’s too much at stake to underestimate cyber defence. Introduce some policies for smartphone protection before it’s too late.

Familiarity with Yelp more important than ever

Apple’s decision to leave Google behind and use its own Maps program will have some huge ramifications for advertising and digital mapping – especially for SMEs.

Apple has one of the biggest penetration rates when it comes to smartphone software. All of a sudden, users will be searching through Apple Maps instead of Google – and they’ll be searching the Yelp data Apple has partnered with for the program.

This means businesses need to pay a lot more attention to their Yelp account, looking to make sure their details are correct and there aren’t any old details that could cost them a sale.

Whenever your business comes up on Apple Maps, users will see your location and if any reviews have portrayed you in a negative light. In an instant, users will be able to decide whether they should visit your location or not.

If you haven’t looked at Yelp at all, now’s the time. It’s going to become an integral part of the Apple infrastructure later this year, and if you haven’t updated your account with any new information, you’re going to be left behind.

Keep on top of your reputation

This week, social media consultancy SR7 scored a huge partnership with accounting giant KPMG. The firm will be able to help KPMG clients with their social media reputation management – a core service of the company.

That KPMG has recognised the importance of social media monitoring should be a warning for smaller businesses which may have ignored it in the past. Keeping on top of what’s being said about you online is more important than ever.

You don’t need to hire a consultancy to find out what’s going on with your name online. Just do some Google searches, browse through TweetDeck and search through blogs to find out what’s being said about – you may find you have some damage control to do.

Set aside some time each week to do this, or if you don’t have time, delegate it to someone else. It’s likely that something, somewhere is being said about your company online. Some of it may be negative – so figure out how to deal with it the best you can instead of ignoring it. If you respond well, customers will appreciate you for staying in touch and appearing connected.

Branch out on social media to sell

For all the criticism directed at Myer and David Jones, at least they’re really attempting to succeed with online shopping. Last week, both companies revealed new tactics being used to lure people back into stores for mid-year sales.

David Jones revealed a particularly obvious one – using social media.

“The base is press, television and radio, but the key difference for this year is we have introduced digital display advertising and Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest,” the company said last week.

There’s a good lesson here – social media crosses all platforms, not just one or two. If you’re operating a larger retail business, then you shouldn’t just use Facebook, or just use Twitter. Combine them and see what type of results you can get.

You shouldn’t be using all platforms unless you’re a larger business like a department store. But figure out where your customers are, and then promote yourself on those platforms – don’t just limit yourself to one.


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