Tag Archive | business continuity

The Importance of Self-Registration

With the public focused on the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, now is a good time to encourage your citizens, volunteers, employees and stakeholders to self-register their cell phone, Voice over IP phone number, e-mail address, and other contact information.

The news coverage of recent disasters often touches on the use of mass notification systems and one of the biggest challenges faced by organizations is the lack of contact information. It becomes increasingly difficult to deliver important alerts when so many have cut the cord and now rely solely on mobile phones.

Self-Registration for cell phonesFEMA’s Integrated Public Alerting and Warning System (IPAWS), allows local officials to send alerts to cell phones without requiring the public to sign up, but the system has many limitations. The IPAWS/CMAS system enables approved local authorities to send alerts to mobile phones in a targeted geographical area, but it can only reach those who (1) have a CMAS/WEA enabled smartphone, and (2) are physically located in the area at the time of the alert.

The Denver Post published an eye-opening example from the recent wildfires in Colorado. They discovered a huge gap between the adult population in any given county versus the number of cell phones registered to receive alerts. For example, El Paso and Teller Counties have a combined adult population of over half a million people, but the counties have only 13,000 registered cell phone numbers. That represents just 2.5% of the adults in the area.

If have not already taken advantage of Rapid Notify’s Self-Registration option, please contact us today

Bring Your Own Device?

There is a recent trend to organizations adopting a “Bring Your Own Device” policy whereby employees can use personally-owned mobile or tablet devices to access privileged company resources such as email, file servers, and databases.

One of the benefits to the BYOD policy is that it generally saves the organization money with employees paying for some or all of the costs for the hardware, voice or data services, and other associated expenses. Employees tend to prefer a BYOD policy as it allows them to use the devices they prefer, rather than devices that are selected and issued by an IT department. Often this means BYOD devices are more cutting edge than the hardware that would typically be rolled out across an entire organization.

Left unmanaged, this practice can result in data breaches. If an employee loses a smartphone used to access the company network, untrusted parties could potentially access any confidential data stored on the phone.

The MIT Technology Review recently explored how IBM had to adapt after loosening restrictions on the devices its employees could use.

Bring Your Own DeviceIn 2010 IBM adopted a BYOD policy and now has up to 80,000 employees accessing internal IBM networks using their own smart phones and tablets. The challenge has been for the IT department to establish guidelines to teach employees how to use these devices safely and securely. The guidelines detail specific applications or “apps” which should be avoided because of security risks. On the list of banned apps are public file-transfer services such as Dropbox, which could potentially allow confidential information to get loose. The department also prohibited the auto-forwarding of company e-mail to public Web mail services or using smart phones to create open Wi-Fi hotspots, which make data vulnerable to snoops.

Now, before an employee’s own device can be used to access IBM networks, the IT department configures it so that its memory can be erased remotely if it is lost or stolen, disables public file-transfer programs like Apple’s iCloud, even turns off Siri, the voice-activated personal assistant, on employees’ iPhones.

The American Civil Liberties Union recently called out Apple for collecting extremely personal data when Siri is activated, including your “Voice Input Data” and “User Data” to potentially be shared with “Apple’s partners who are providing related services to Apple.”

IBM is not the only company facing these challenges. Companies of all sizes are adopting BYOD policies.

The important step is for organizations to create a clearly defined policy for BYOD that outlines the rules of acceptable use and states up front what the expectations are with regard to minimum security requirements. The policy should also detail the process for data retrieval in the event that an employee is let to or leaves the company.

Read more here: http://www.technologyreview.com/business/40324/

Big Changes for Brands on Facebook

If you haven’t already noticed, there have been some big changes to Facebook’s design recently.  Perhaps you have already upgraded your personal Facebook page to the new Timeline layout.  Well now you can upgrade your Facebook brand page too.  Facebook recently announced that all Pages will automatically get upgraded on to the Timeline layout on March 30, 2012.

To turn on your preview for the new Pages design, click on the green button at the top of your Page.

Mashable has a helpful guide to the top six changes to be aware of and how they will impact your brand presence on Facebook.

Your first step will be to upload a “cover photo” which will appear at the top of your brand page.  Choose a unique photo (851 x 315 pixels) and change it as often as you like.

The Page itself is now separated into two main columns by a dividing line, which represents the passage of time. This format provides brands with the opportunity to outline their corporate history with milestones, such as founding date, major initiatives, public events, etc.

Rapid Notify Facebook Timeline

If you used custom tabs, those have been moved to a new location. Your tabs will now appear in rectangular panels underneath the cover photo. Only three tab panels are viewable at any given time, and you can specify which ones those are. To see more, users must expand the tab panel by clicking a drop-down box.

Unfortunately for many brands, the option to set a default landing Page is no longer available. This will dramatically change your options for customizing user impressions when they first visit your Page.

Constant monitoring will be needed to pay close attention to all the top messages in the Timeline, as they will be the first objects seen by visiting users. You have the ability to “pin” certain posts to the top of the Timeline for up to seven days. You can pin only one item at a time, and the pinned item then exists in two locations — as the top item on the Timeline itself, as well as within its chronological place.

Brands will now be able to exchange private messages with users. This can help remove clutter from the Timeline by moving your customer/follower interaction to a more private communication channel that will not be visible to all.

Read the full Mashable article here: http://mashable.com/2012/02/29/facebook-brand-timelines-changes-marketing/

Learn more about how to use the new Pages:





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