McDonalds, Pepsi and other big brands are buying real estate on the Metaverse…and more tech news for small businesses this week

Here are five tech events that happened this past week and how they’re impacting your business. Did you miss them?

1 – Virtual real estate is reaching new frontiers with the arrival of large companies.

Admix, a virtual reality platform, is popular in the metaverse and is currently partnering with McDonalds, Pepsi and other major companies to buy and sell virtual real estate. The virtual real estate market is very similar to the real world and uses cryptocurrency as its primary source of money. Admix has purchased between $200,000 and $1,000,000 in real estate on this virtual platform and is encouraging others to take advantage of this new venture. The company believes that this is the new era of capitalism and a very smart way for companies to integrate their business into our digital world. (Source: Fast Business)

Why it’s important for your business:

I often tell an incredulous audience of small and medium business owners that the Metaverse is real and should be taken seriously. Big brands like McDonalds and Pepsi are already buying. In a few years, products and services — from art and clothing to furniture and entertainment — will be sold and used in this virtual world, and every business will need to have a plan for reaching customers there. †

2 – Immediate payments for employees can help manage financial uncertainty.

Employee instant payouts have become popular among employees, especially those who live paycheck to paycheck. Grubhub introduced its Instant Payments in 2018, allowing employees to collect their paychecks immediately after their shift instead of waiting weeks or paying late. Many workers in various industries are advocating this new form of payment arrangement to help combat financial difficulties and boost employee morale. (Source: PYMNES)

Why it’s important for your business:

Many entrepreneurs look at solutions for ‘same day payment’ with their eyes. But it’s a nice perk to offer. Why? Since two-thirds of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and get paid the day they provide services, according to recent data, it can be the difference between hiring that employee or losing it to a company. Yes, there is a cash flow problem. But don’t you already do that with the babysitter?

3 – Hackers have turned to printing problems to scam individuals.

Canon, one of the largest printing companies, has had to deal with incidents where hackers created fake websites with customer service instructions to access computer hard drives. Many fake websites even ask for a monetary fee to fix any problem that the user faces. What has caused so many people to fall into this trap is issues with Canon’s official printer software troubleshooting website. Canon has not released a statement about the attempt to repair its own system and has not commented on the large number of fake websites. (Source: Gizmodo)

Why it’s important for your business:

What, are you still printing? Just kidding, of course you are. And if you use Canon printers, be aware of the latest scams to avoid headaches.

4 – Working from home proves superior to pre-pandemic working conditions in the oil and gas industry.

A study by the Texas A&M University School of Public Health found that Houston workers prefer to work from home after the effects of Hurricane Harvey. Many workers were forced from their jobs after this natural disaster banned workers from coming to work, leading them to advocate for a hybrid model. Major companies such as Apple and Google have designed a hybrid model to enable this new search. The study also found that working from home improves workers’ health and prevents many diseases that affect their ability to work for extended periods of time. The study would examine other factors influenced by the hybrid models, such as mental health, substance abuse and stress levels. (Source: ZDNet)

Why it’s important for your business:

The debate about working from home will never end. The bottom line: You need a policy and it should be some sort of hybrid home/office arrangement. But more importantly, if you have employees working from home, you need to make sure their devices and routers are secure, because I bet they aren’t. Combine a work-from-home arrangement with an IT support and monitoring agreement to avoid potential security vulnerabilities.

5 – Google has more ways to protect users from cyber-attacks.

Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) has monitored cyber activity in countries around the world to help combat cyberattacks against users by outside forces. Google claimed to have built a sophisticated security infrastructure with tools such as account security status, phishing protection in Google workspaces, automatic two-step verification, and virtual cards. They have also expanded their cybersecurity efforts with the introduction of secure computing to secure data information, as well as new privacy tools that give users control over Google ads and searches. (Source: Google)

Why it’s important for your business:

Ask your IT team to dig deeper into the information in the Google blog post above and find out what they should be doing to further improve your company’s security.

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