WHAT WE LEARNED THIS WEEK: Beware of Internet Explorer vulnerabilities

Yet another security exploit was found in Internet Explorer this week. Security experts have been quick to pounce on the finding, warning users they need to be aware of the exploit and keep an eye out for a fix.

The only problem is that Microsoft hasn’t released one yet. So experts are suggesting users switch over to a new browser until the exploit is dealt with.

The problems with Internet Explorer are well known, security exploits like this one have happened before. But this incident highlights just how necessary it is for business owners and entrepreneurs to remain savvy about what’s going on in the world of tech.

If you didn’t know about this exploit, ask yourself, why? You don’t need to be knowledgeable about every situation in the industry, but keep an eye on a few security blogs and make sure when a threat – and it’s definitely a threat – to your business appears, it can be dealt with quickly.

Keep an eye on mobile payments

Your business may not be thinking about mobile payments yet, and that’s fine – they’re a while away. But you should at least be keeping an eye on this space.

Square, the company founded by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, raised $US200 million earlier this week at a valuation of more than $US3 billion. It’s a big win for the company, which uses a plastic peripheral to turn iPhones and iPads into credit card readers.

Square isn’t available in Australia yet, but if rumours are anything to go by an international expansion will be coming eventually.

Your company may not be dealing with mobile payments yet, but this is a huge space. Best to keep an eye on it as it continues to grow, so you can be sure to jump in at the best possible point.

Social media in the workplace

Social media access in the workplace is a tough subject to crack as a business owner. If you allow open access, there is the risk productivity will be affected, while if you deny any access at all, the policy will impact on your company’s reputation.

A survey from recruitment company Hays released this week shows 19.7% of respondents to a survey about social media revealed they would consider declining a job offer if the workplace didn’t offer access to social media.

This is a problem you need to address. While there are no rules around this sort of policy, an all-out ban is something you probably want to avoid.

In the end, the best policy you can have is a good hiring system. If you have a good team, you won’t need to worry about lost productivity through social media. Ideally, your staff will be able to meet their goals and deadlines while also being able to peek at their social media accounts every now and then – and it shouldn’t be a problem.

The two sides of online retailing

Gerry Harvey and Myer chief executive Bernie Brookes were questioned by the media in the past week regarding their stances on online retailing.

The difference is clear – while both agree an online strategy is needed, both men disagree on the prospects for digital sales. While Harvey says they won’t reach the proportion of sales seen in Britain or the United States, Brookes is adamant they will, and is preparing the company for the coming onslaught.

The difference in philosophy affects either approach. The question remains – what do you think about online sales?

You need to examine your philosophy, and then act. If you believe online retail is going to form a large part of Australia’s economic future, then you need to start acting on that belief now.

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