COVID-19 Crisis – Keeping Your Technology Safe and Productive

A letter to our Clients and Friends:

It’s time to step back and take a deep breath. Yes, breathe in. Exhale slowly. Relax.

We don’t know how long our public health crisis with the coronavirus will last nor how it will end. But we’re in it together, and we at Sterling Rose want to offer you a few guidelines to help make your work and home disruption a little less disruptive.

If you are an employer or partner in a small business and need to conduct business from home, here’s what you should be doing:

  • Make sure everyone with a laptop computer – whether company-issued or personally owned – can log into your cloud or server to access the apps and files that drive your business. If there’s a problem, contact us.
  • Make sure that all of your hardware has the latest firmware (it’s basically like app software for hardware) installed. Do the same for your employee’s personal computers if they are working from home and logging into your tech system.
  • Make sure all of your software – OS, apps, web browsers – has the latest updates and upgrades installed. While updates improve performance, they also have the latest security patches, and that will be most important. Hackers will be in high gear to try to penetrate your defenses.
  • Make double sure that any employees who use their personal computers to conduct your business have of their software up to date for the same reasons.
  • Make sure you and your employees have strong network passwords for Wi-Fi networks and that everyone has installed and activated antivirus and malware protection programs. We strongly encourage everyone to have a password management program in place, too, for convenience and security.
  • Train everybody and constantly remind them to be careful about emails they receive and respond to and links they click. This is like the holiday shopping season for hackers. They’ll prey on your trying to do many things in a short time while under stress. If something looks just the slightest bit out of place, don’t click. Make a phone call.

If you are working at home and/or have kids at home who need to learn online, here’s what you should be doing.

  • Make sure you have the internet and Wi-Fi capacity to handle multiple users at one time. You could have two people working and using cellphones while your kids are either online for classes or homework and/or streaming 4k content on HD TVs or other devices.
  • Make sure your network is secure with a strong password – complemented by antivirus and malware protection software for every device that comes on your network. If your Wi-Fi system has the capability, set up a guest network for family and friends who visit – even though we’re not supposed to have visitors. It will help keep your network secure.
  • Make sure everyone who is on your network has strong passwords for online activities, and make sure everyone in your home has up-to-date firmware, OS software and app software for every device and system they have.
  • Make sure everyone in your home understands the threats caused by hackers. If you’re working at home, you’ll be under stress, so be careful about the emails you open and the links you click. Your kids at home may be bored. Make sure they are careful about the emails they open, the chats they get involved in and the links they click.

Again, take a deep breath, exhale slowly and relax. Take an extra minute to make sure you have your technology safe and functioning and take two extra minutes to make sure everyone – at the office and at home – is aware of the need to practice good online health while we try to avoid getting sick.

Finally, know that we are available to help you, your employees and your family be happy and productive online. Call us – 973-433-6676 – for any problems you have with technology at home or work. We’ll do our best to solve your problems by remote, and we’re still available for onsite visits to solve your problems.

We can all get through this together. We just need to be careful with our personal health and technological health.

All the best,

Norman Rosenthal
Sterling Rose