Based on the deluge of emails received this week, this is probably the 400th message you’ll get about Coronavirus. I KNEW I was on a lot of email lists, but never have I been so reminded of that fact – and I’m guessing you’re the same. So, I’ll try not to rehash here any of those mostly redundant messages about hand-washing, “social distancing” and “the extraordinary, extra, super-duper, cleanliness measures” that everyone’s promising. Hopefully, this article will be helpful – and you haven’t stopped reading because you’re already as tired of virus news as I am.
First, snuck in with all that extra email, there’s some Coronavirus-related emails that are spreading viruses of the computer kind. The usual email precautions are especially important now. Keep your antivirus up to date. Consider the sender, and is it the type of message you’d expect, written in a way that’s normal? Don’t click through links in suspicious emails. Don’t open attachments you aren’t expecting. The bad guys are first to exploit a crisis; don’t help them.
Next, we visit a lot of businesses and have contact with many people throughout the week. So, we are limiting our in-person visits. For our clients on IT Vigilance remote monitoring and management plans, that might not be a big change -- we already do much of our work remotely. Our visits will be limited to hardware fixes, adds and changes -- and situations where we don’t have remote access. I’m not a doctor, don’t even play one on TV – and so, to the extent we can, we’re going to take our lead from those presumably ‘in the know’. That means our ‘social distancing’ will include some ‘professional distancing’.
With that, if your business doesn’t have a business continuity plan, or at minimum a ‘work from home’ strategy, it’s not too late to develop and execute one - for this time - and for the next time. Again, clients with IT Vigilance on their office desktop PC’s already have secure remote access available. if you’re not already using it, contact us and we can quickly make ‘work from home’ work for you. If you know of other businesses with this need, we’d love to help them, too. In many cases, we can get a business from ‘zero’ to ‘work from home’ same day, in a few hours.
My last bit of information may be the least important, unless you’re in the process of making some significant equipment changes. That info is this: nothing much in the way of tech has left from China for almost two months. As a result, there are real shortages of desktop PC’s, laptops, display monitors and servers. Delivery lead time estimates from our manufacturers are scarce and, by their own admission, not necessarily reliable. While that will eventually correct itself and supplies will return to normal, it’s affecting pricing and the ability to deliver equipment into some projects. If you have upgrades / changes planned and needed in the short-term, now is the time.
If you need help checking a suspicious email, executing a remote work plan, or any other business IT need, please reach out; we’re here to help.