Certain non-essential businesses have begun reopening in Rhode Island, giving business owners a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel.
Many business owners are walking into offices and retail locations that have been shuttered for about two months and they’re looking forward to seeing them come to life again. But reopening your business after weeks of being dormant isn’t as simple as just turning on the lights and equipment. Technology needs to go through certain steps to ensure it’s properly prepared and safe for your reopening. In addition to addressing IT service for your electronics, businesses are also faced with new guidelines when it comes to reopening that can change how they’ve normally done business. These include things like:
- Social distancing requirements for employees and customers
- Wearing of masks
- Regular disinfecting of premises
- No-contact payment systems
To answer the initial question: No, you cannot just walk back in after 8 weeks and use your office tech as usual. You need to take a few steps first to ensure it’s secure, can operation effectively, and is safe to use.
Guide to Getting Your Technology Ready for Reopening
The last thing you want when you can finally reopen your business after being on lockdown for several weeks is to have your equipment go down shortly after reopening. Here is a helpful Tech Reopening Guide from Onsite Techs of Rhode Island to give you the information you need to ensure your tech is ready to support your business again.
Step 1: Do a Thorough Dusting
After being dormant and unused for 8 weeks or so, equipment is likely to have gathered dust. Dust isn’t just unsightly it can cause serious equipment problems if left unchecked. Dust particles inside a computer can cause an almost immediate head drive crash. Ensure all equipment is unplugged, then use compressed air and microfiber cloths and wands to thoroughly dust all your equipment, including computers, keyboards, servers, point-of-sale (POS) devices, printers, etc.
Step 2: Disinfect All Electronics (Carefully!)
While it may be well past the time the virus could still survive on a surface, disinfecting is important. By starting your business off with fully disinfected surfaces, including electronics, you instill trust and help both employees and customers feel better about visiting your business location. Electronics need special care when being disinfected to ensure sensitive components aren’t harmed. Tips for proper sanitizing of your technology equipment, include:
- Use a solution or wipe with at least 70% alcohol
- Do not use bleach or water
- Do not submerge electronics in cleaning agents
- Use clean microfiber cloths to ensure you don’t leave lint or scratches
- Allow disinfectant to remain on surface at least 30 seconds
- Keep equipment off and unplugged during disinfecting
You may also want to contract with a service to keep equipment sanitized on a regular basis.
Step 3. Turn Devices on and Scan for Any Malware
If your equipment was still connected to the internet while your office was closed, it’s important to ensure that it didn’t get compromised by a hacker while you were gone. Have a thorough virus/malware scan done to ensure your cybersecurity is still intact and your network hasn’t suffered a breach.
Step 4. Apply All Updates and Security Patches
There are likely to have been several updates issued for your operating systems, software applications, and hardware while your devices were dormant. These need to be applied before you begin using your equipment. Unapplied security patches were linked to 60% of data breaches in 2019.
Step 5: Reposition Equipment if Needed for Distancing
When you left your office 8+ weeks ago, you most likely didn’t have to worry about placing devices at least 6 to 8 feet apart. But now, businesses are required to socially distance, which means you may have to move employee computers, POS devices, or other technology in your office. This needs to be done strategically by an IT professional, so you don’t end up with broken network connections or unsafe wires running throughout your office.
Step 6: Have Equipment Thoroughly Checked and Serviced
One last step before your equipment is ready to get back up and running at full speed is to have your devices serviced. They could possibly run into hardware problems, or a critical service like your cloud backup and recovery may have become disconnected. You want to have all equipment thoroughly checked and serviced to make sure there are no hidden problems and that hardware is fine and ready to go back into full-time operation.
Need Help Getting Your Tech Ready for Your Reopening?
Don’t risk potential downtime right after you reopen your office or retail location. Contact Onsite Techs of Rhode Island! We can ensure your computers and other IT devices are safe, secure, and ready to support your business. Contact us today to set up a technology consultation at 401-415-6290 or reach out online.