Emerging Technology

WHAT WE LEARNED THIS WEEK: Don’t be lazy, protect your Mac

Patrick Stafford /

It’s been a bad week for Mac users. With some massive malware out on the loose, the Flashback Trojan, users who until now thought they would be safe from attacks have been forced to download patches and keep their security up-to-date.

 

And another Trojan is out on the loose, with the SabPub Trojan now infecting more computers along with the original Flashback Trojan.

But all this serves a good lesson – Apple products are just as susceptible to viruses and malware as other types of PCs. Until now, they just haven’t been as popular.

The Flashback Trojan hit 650,000 computers, security firm Kaspersky Lab noted, although since Apple released its patch that number has gone down.

If you own a Mac, protect it. Make sure you’re patched and with the latest updates. Use security software. Just because you own an Apple product doesn’t mean you should be kept off your guard.

Keep on top of your social media presence

Telstra chief executive David Thodey said this week the company has a 60-person social media team. That’s a huge number, but given the amount of times Telstra is mentioned on a social media account, discussion forum, or blog, it’s good to know the company has a team of people looking through everything that’s posted online.

You may not have a huge social media team, or even one full-time social media monitor, but the Telstra team should show you a thing or two about how to deal with your online reputation.

You need to be scouring the internet to find anything you can find about your company. If someone tweets about you, you should respond. Facebook comments should be provided with quick answers, and you should also look at maintaining a presence on discussion boards too.

If you want to maintain a good reputation online, then be sure to look at a variety of different places for mentions. Handling any complaints and praise will give your business a reputation boost.

More Australians starting online businesses

The latest ING financial wellbeing survey has revealed many households aren’t necessarily better off – but there’s also a surprising statistic about the number of people starting businesses. Of those who want to increase their income, 7% say they’re thinking about starting an online business. That’s up from 1% last year.

The online business is an easy first destination, as the cost base is low and cash can come fairly quickly if you pick the right target market.

Going online isn’t for everyone. But if you’re struggling in your business, consider trying some internet-based services to see where it gets you, or expand on some existing services. You may get further than you realise.

Group buying market dries up

There was a report this week that Yahoo will stop paying Spreets any more performance-based payments. This is just two years after the company spent $40 million on the group buying up and comer.

Whether or not this story indicates a slowdown in the group buying sector alone, the industry is definitely reaching a slowdown in its growth rate. This report is only just one piece of evidence that’s the case.

If you’re working with some group buying sites, best to consider which ones are actually going to be around a year from now – smaller, independent sites are still falling away.

Always have a back-up plan in the cloud

You may have missed it, but Gmail had some problems last night and went down for about an hour. It didn’t affect everyone – only about 2% of users, according to Google.

But it was enough. The outage affected millions of users, who were unable to access their mail.

These sorts of outages rarely occur, but when they do, you need to be prepared. If you use Gmail as a primary email platform, or any sort of cloud computing platform, then you need to makes sure you have a backup in place.

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Patrick Stafford

Patrick Stafford is a freelance journalist and a former deputy editor of SmartCompany.

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