Lexicon Systems, LLC Blog

lex'•i•con: the vocabulary of a branch of knowledge. Thoughts on environment, health & safety (EHS), sustainability and information technology to support them.


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Business texting on the rise

Text messaging is a quick and easy way to communicate–as teenagers and twenty-somethings have known for years. Business texting is on the rise, part of the BYOD (bring your own device) trend.

Benefits and risks

Sometimes texting is more convenient than email or a phone call. It is “short and sweet” and promotes an almost immediate response. I send business texts to certain clients, as I know that they prefer it. When I can, I use iMessage service available to iPhone, iPad and Mac users.

No technology is risk-free. Some of the risks of business texting are:

  • Commingling of personal and business text messages on the same device–some users prefer to separate the two.
  • Security of data transmitted over cellular and WiFi networks.
  • e-Discovery–as with email and other electronic communications, the texts stay in the system.
  • Recipient of text does not respond quickly–if you need an immediate response, or something more than a few words, a phone call or email is better.
  • Potential injuries. Texting while walking causes more–though usually less serious–injuries than texting while driving (more…).

Texting

Next time you have the urge to send a text message, decide if this is the best way to communicate. Weigh the risks and benefits. And don’t text while on the move (unless someone else is driving)!

For further reading, see The Rise of Business Texting.

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How good are your passwords?

A while back I facilitated a number of  environment, health & safety (EHS) software training sessions. Some of the trainees–mostly what I would call occasional users–needed instruction in computer fundamentals, including how to set a secure password. Some rules of thumb for what NOT to use as a password are

  1. don’t use your name or parts of it
  2. don’t use your pet’s name
  3. don’t use clever passwords like “password123” or 1234567
  4. don’t use your social security number, phone number or address
  5. don’t use common words
  6. don’t use the same password for multiple applications and/or Internet sites

… and the list goes on… When I mentioned rule no. 2, above, one of the trainees said, “Gee, now I have to change my password!”

A “strong” password is eight or more characters long and contains three or more of the following elements

  1. upper case letters (CAPITALS)
  2. lower case letters
  3. numbers
  4. special characters (e.g., $, #, ?, %, !)

Here is a great infographic, How hack-friendly is your password?


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Read the fine print when surfing the Web

We often surf the Web, download documents or apps without reading the Web site terms and conditions and privacy statements. A Time post by Victor Luckerson says that when we use a Web site, we enter into a contract, and we may click “Agree” without knowing what we just agreed to. Companies can track your activities, sell your information and photos and give your information to law enforcement agencies without your knowledge. You may not be able to delete your account on some sites, or may not be able to delete content permanently. And terms can change at any time. So beware!