These Are The Worst Passwords Of 2020…And Other Small Business Tech News

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them? 

1 —These are the worst passwords of 2020.      

Digital security company NordPass released data this past week indicating what the company considered to be the worst passwords of the past year based on how often the passwords were used, how quickly they were able to be figured out, and how often they had been exposed. The company also compared the worst passwords from the previous year as compared to this year in order to analyze how their ranks have changed. The top three worst passwords—according to the data— were 123456, 123456789, and picture 1, to name a few. (Source: NordPass)

Why this is important for your business:

You’ve been reading – and I’ve been reporting – on the significant rise in malware, like ransomware, over the past few years. Many small businesses have been affected and some so seriously that they were put out of business. There are ways to reduce your exposure but one of the simplest is having your employees use better, and different, passwords. I recently signed up with a password manager and have been making the effort to change every password to something much stronger while keeping them all unique. I’ll be asking my employees to do the same. You should too. Steps like this will save your business the disruptive costs of being hacked.

2 — Consumers’ preference for online car sales and auto loans shakes up banks and dealers.

Recent research from J.D. Power has revealed that more bank customers are completing their credit applications online when purchasing cars. While the switch to digital was slowly on the rise the coronavirus pandemic— according to the research, —is what sped up the trend to reach the heights that it has during the last several months. The research also indicated that it is unlikely that those who had a positive digital financing experience will go back to face-to-face financing once the pandemic ends. Banks have also revealed that they are happier with the confidentiality and speed that online loans provide, while the digital process also makes loan collection and servicing simpler. (Source: Pymnts

Why this is important for your business:

Banks and financing companies – like many other industries – were pushed into accelerating their online initiatives thanks to Covid and it’s one of the long term benefits that many consumers and small businesses will realize because of the pandemic. What interactions with your customers can you make more digital?

3 —Apple announced their app store business program.

Apple announced that they are rolling out The App Store Small Business Program, set to launch on the first of the year. The new program will work to benefit developers selling services and digital items through the app store by lessening commission by 15% if they are able to make at least $1 million in proceeds during the prior year. (Source: Apple)

Why this is important for your business:

The company says that with the pandemic bringing about new challenges and a heightened focus on the importance of apps due to companies learning to operate in a digital world, the reduced commission will free up resources for entrepreneurs and developers to grow and invest in their businesses.

4 — Google’s new Small Business Advisors Program aims to help SMBs grow.   

Google has rolled out a beta-version of their new program for small businesses—known as Small Business Advisors—that will assist in helping businesses in their marketing strategy on the search engine platform. Small Business Advisors will provide 50-minute sessions that will focus on personalized consulting from Analytics, YouTube, Ads, and Google My Business. The new program will be available to small businesses who operate in the U.S. and already have an open and active Google account. (Source: Search Engine Land)

Why this is important for your business:

I have questions. Can this program assure us that our ads won’t be overshadowed by bigger brands spending millions of dollars? What more can Google be doing to create a level playing for small businesses and their larger, corporate competitors? Also, an advisor is fine, but what can be done to help small businesses actually implement the advice? Perhaps you have the same concerns.

5— Construction tech startups are poised to shake up a $1.3 trillion-dollar industry.

There continues to be a rise in tech startups focusing on construction due to the challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Construction companies have experienced particularly difficult obstacles, with many construction projects and sites throughout the country at a standstill through the height of the many shutdowns. While heated debates as to whether or not construction workers should be categorized as essential workers raged on, tech startups got to work and started tackling problems brought on by COVID-19. These startups are focusing on construction categories such as project conception, designing, and engineering. (Source: Tech Crunch)

Why this is important for your business:

According to the TechCrunch piece, design software such as Spacemaker AI can help developers create site proposals, while construction loan financing software such as Built Technologies and Rabbet are helping developers manage the draw process in a more efficient manner. There are many others mentioned in this article, which is a worthwhile read for anyone running a construction business.

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