How Can Telematics Reduce the Dangerous Risk of Driver Fatigue?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) driver fatigue causes 100,000 collisions per year which leads to the injury of over 40,000 people. More than 1,500 lives are lost. 

Even more concerning is the fact that this number is only an estimate. Why? Because law enforcement may overlook driver fatigue as the cause of many accidents.

Is your fleet management team staying on top of driver fatigue? Without telematics software, it’s difficult to keep track of driver hours and when (or if) they take their breaks. 

Your drivers can easily comply with the United States Department of Transportation through the use of customizable fatigue management reporting tools. These tools are made possible by fleet GPS monitoring, known as telematics software. By adjusting your business’s tools to meet the requirements of specific fatigue legislation you can feel at ease knowing that your drivers will be alerted when they need to take their breaks.

blurred vision from driver fatigue

What is Driver Fatigue?

Driver fatigue is a state of being very tired, drowsy, or worn out, which makes it hard to concentrate. This causes drivers to have a delayed reaction when split-second decisions may be the difference between life and death. When tiredness makes it hard to make quick decisions on the road, ‭everyone’s safety is threatened.

Fatigue can happen to the best of us. What’s most important is that we identify the reasons and catch the signs before it’s too late.

Driver fatigue can be caused by:

  • Physical exhaustion
  • Inconsistent sleep patterns
  • Insufficient naps or breaks
  • Medication that causes drowsiness
  • Health problems or disorders

Noticing the signs of driver fatigue can help to save lives. According to the CDC, its effects are much like being under the influence of alcohol. Drivers should pull over and rest immediately if they experience:

  • Disorientation
  • Lack of focus
  • Microsleeps
  • Loss of peripheral awareness
  • Forgetfulness
  • Drifting lanes
  • Delayed reactions

Driver Fatigue Legislation

Maximum driving and work hours are set for commercial truck drivers by the US Department of Transportation, but this doesn’t take into account other commercial vehicles. Your drivers may not have any regulations guiding them through safe practices. 

But the good news is a fatigue risk management system (FRMS) can help any business fight driver fatigue. Fleetistics telematics software is your greatest ally when forming an FRMS by offering your fleet management real-time data and your drivers easy and accurate reporting.

reducing risk of driver fatigue with telematics

Fleetistics Telematics Software Solutions for Driver Fatigue

The majority of GPS tracking and telematics hardware is hosted by software that can determine the time and distance of a journey, but it can do so much more.

Fleetistics software can:

  • Alert the driver and office when vehicles are driven for an excessive amount of time
  • Alert for breaks/rests
  • Provide electronic logs/reporting to record hours on the road and break times.
  • Identify distracted driving behavior
  • Identify impaired driving behavior
  • Monitor speed
  • Catch hard braking

In addition, we highly recommend that you install dashcams and cab-facing cams in your commercial vehicles. This will allow you to record and save video of an accident for insurance purposes (and in the case of a lawsuit). Accident reconstruction telematics and liability can give you crucial information that could save you thousands if not millions of dollars. 

Vehicle cameras can also help your fleet management team to monitor drivers in real-time for visible signs of trouble. From nodding off to yawning excessively, these indications of driver fatigue cannot be caught through technology alone. But a keen eye can make a huge difference. 

If you’re ready to start your own fatigue risk management system and want the assistance of technology to make it easier, talk to a Fleetistics representative today. We can answer all of your questions, including if fleet management solutions are right for your business. 

You can combat driver fatigue effectively, and Fleetistics can help!

Vehicle & Asset Telematics

Electronic Forms

Mobile Viewing

Routing

Vehicle & Asset Telematics

Electronic Forms

Mobile Viewing

Routing

GPS Tracking Small Equipment

GPS Tracking Small Equipment Reduces Theft

One of the biggest requests we get is how to protect small equipment from theft. Mowers are one of the most frequently stolen units because of their mobility, value and ability to provide revenue. They are hard to trace since most police will not randomly stop and check VINs on a mower. GPS tracking small equipment is a good way to reduce the risk of not recovering your mower, monitor productivity and add a layer of safety. GPS trackers and mobile app trackers are affordable options for any landscaping company. Fleetistics can track trucks, people and equipment in one account for central command and control. GPS tracking small equipment may also reduce your insurance premiums if you have an ongoing theft problem.

Contact Fleetistics to discuss your GPS tracking small equipment needs. 855.300.0527

Tips To Deploying GPS Tracking for Small Equipment

  1.  Find a device with battery life greater than 2 years
  2.  Match the GPS device cell network to the cell network that works well in your area
  3. Understand how the GPS device will be reporting at rest and when in motion
  4. After installation, review the data to see how it looks
  5. Combine various security measures such as motion detectors, dogs, cameras, chain and fencing in conjunction with GPS tracking. The stress of the theft process will reduce their interest in searching for a GPS tracker.
Part 1- Transcript of GPS Small Equipment Tracking

Hi everybody, Eron with Fleetistics and today we are going to be talking about different types of tracking. We are going to talk a little bit about tracking zero turn mowers we also have an opportunity to talk about trailer tracking.

There are a lot of customers that lose these expensive commercial mowers to theft, we can track mowers to help recover them in the case of their stolen but we can also track the mowers to help indicate productivity. It’s one thing to get to a job site, it’s completely a different situation for that expensive piece of equipment to get right to work and be busy throughout the course of the day.

If you’re on a job for four hours but you’ve only got two hours of cutting and you’ve gotta ask yourself why. Why are we losing productivity and we can do that through a physical GPS device hidden on the mower itself or we can utilize a mobile app which can be provided to the driver which has secondary benefits. So if you are using something like this in a commercial application in you are out in a remote area say you’re cutting a retention pond and you send somebody out to do it by themselves or even if they’re in a team in there working in different areas but from the same vehicle; what happens if something happens to that employee? If the mower rolls over or the mower gets stuck something of that nature.

On a couple acre property it might take you quite a while to figure out where they are, especially if they rolled own an embankment or rolled into the water God forbid. So having a mobile app that functions in addition to tracking the equipment but can also track the employee if they get up off the equipment and walk somewhere to do some work provides some very nice secondary benefits so will pop some screen shots of what a mower in action looks like through the mobile app and then we can talk about you know what are the some of the differences between mobile app tracking and device tracking.

So the first thing I wanna do those I wanna talk about where on earth can you install a tracking device on a zero turn mower like this. So first I’m gonna grab a tracking device and we’ll go from there. Okay so here we have a fairly typical battery powered asset tracker and this is just a off the shelf waterproof boxes you can get almost anywhere. These asset trackers are typically IP67 rated so they are ready for heavy vibration as well as a wet environment that you typically find on a mower.

If you want to provide some additional camouflage or you want to provide some additional protection then a box like this can be that type of additional protection. You just simply put this inside of there it’s not gonna be any interference this is simply plastic so it’s not a problem. But, this little tracker here could be hidden on the mower and let’s take a look at the mower itself and kind of discuss some areas that we might put a tracker like this and why some areas might be better than others. So let’s switch over to the mower.

Okay so obviously we want to hide the tracker on the mower somewhere and what we really have to be careful of is not putting it in a location that is going to interfere with the operation of the mower or going to inter interact with the things that are being cut. When you have heavy vegetation things like that obviously that comes into play and it could wipe the device off vehicle the mower if it’s in the wrong location. So you start to get kind of limited.

The other thing to take into account is that you know GPS now is way better than it used to be so you can put these trackers upside down sideways you know all different angles. Which you wouldn’t want to do is completely surround them in metal I E. if you put it inside the control units like down in this area down here you may not get the performance that you’re looking for. Now that’s a really really good spot so you just take the tracker that you have and put in that environment and test it and see what happens but understand that is kind of the worst case scenario for placing a tracker.

The next thing or the next place to take a look would be pretty typically would be like under the seat. So lets go ahead so lets go ahead pop the seat and under the seat we’ve got a few options. The first place to look is directly actually on the bottom of the seat but you need to make sure that when the driver comes down the unit isn’t hitting of some kind of surface down here which the driver would be able to feel through the backside.

So you’ll be smart about where you located there the second challenge in this location is what do you actually attach it to it how are you going to attach it? Are you going to use the 3M tape which is really really good stuff it’s almost you know it’s almost too hard to get it off if you decide you want to move it later. If you put to in two strips of the one inch 3M automotive this tracker is absolutely not going anywhere.

You can also look up underneath the battery plate. So the battery sets on a piece of metal you could look at sticking it up underneath that or down in this area there’s actually a metal structural plate that connects the frame into different areas if you could put it underneath that somebody that. Stealing this mower is not going to be looking at all those particular areas. I mean they’re thieves for a reason right. They’re gonna take a quick look perhaps but after they’ve done a quick look they’re gonna move on so your mower and hopefully at that point you have a GPS coordinate yeah.

Obviously don’t go recover the mole yourself call the police and go get your mower but also with people they don’t do it again the next time that you’re out. So you know you really got to kind of play and do some testing with the placement of the device because these devices all very to you know the quality of the GPS receiver how they transmit that type of thing varies between asset trackers and how they are configured.

You may have the same asset trackers your buddy but this one could be programmed differently from the one that your friend has so that’s something important understand. Now let’s talk a little bit about how these are going to perform as opposed to a vehicle tracking system which might be on a on a vehicle. Anytime that you have a battery solution you’ve got to be aware that you have to control how it the reports. If you don’t it just reports once every minute then what’s gonna happen is this is going to die so fast that you’re gonna get very frustrated going around chasing batteries to replace them all the time.

You could get a unit that wires into the mower with a backup battery which is really kind of the best combination so when the mowers running throughout the course of the day it’s recharging the batteries but when the mowers off the batteries in the unit are now supplying the tracking and the tracking when the when the unit is powered is going to look different than it would when it was using the batteries. So you have to understand that difference now let’s talk about mobile apps.

(open next section)

Part 2

We have a mobile app that you can put on your android or iOS and it uses the phone’s GPS and it stores that information on the phone and then you can look at that track information either on a portal or we have a version that is less expensive that will email information in and you can look at it you know essentially from an email report. The portal one is great because you just log into a cloud account and then you look at the you know the the assets you know where they are throughout the course the that’s a little bit more traditional tracking that you probably interested in doing.

If you want to see if the guy’s got the job site then the mobile app would give you that visibility and then you would start to be able to see them go back and forth as they were mowing and cutting and things like that. If they went MIA you’d be able to see you know where they disappeared. But, also in the mobile app the other big advantages but you get an sos button and the sos button has a couple different ways of alerting.

So if there is an emergency somebody back in your office would get notified and then you can call and try to get a hold of somebody or dispatch 911 out to the exact location because you now know that. So it’s a big big safety variable and we all know that with equipment like this it only takes a second for things to go terribly wrong and it could be a widow maker dead tree that drops a limb because you hit the lower branches and all of the sudden it breaks often falls on somebody. You could slide this thing down into a pond. You get stuck in mud. All different kinds of things that happen out there. You guys certainly know all the stories that you’ve encountered over the years.

It is possible that you want a asset tracker for theft and then you would go with the mobile app to monitor the productivity side right? So you can do combinations and we can put all of that data into one GPS account where you can see everything and when I say everything that includes the trailer. So this type of unit is very well suited for mounting underneath the trailer like this and if your trailer gets stolen then you got a chance to get back and then we can also incorporate vehicle tracking.

If you’re looking at vehicles trailers, and equipment, all in the same account all the same screen. One of our systems allows you to change the icons so you could differentiate between those three things and really get a really good picture of what’s going on out in the field.

So if you have any questions about GPS tracking, vehicle tracking, asset tracking, how to do installs, what type of device is going to work best for you, what of mobile apps and asset trackers are gonna work for you, give Fleetistics a call and talk to one of our account managers. We’ve been doing this for over twenty years account managers are very experienced and talking through all different types of scenarios and we have a lot of different technology that we can help you with, not only out of the box, but if you want something custom to we’ve got free API’s that allow you to do integrations and other systems.

So contact Fleetistics.com and let us know and we’re here to help you so thank you and good luck and may you never have a expensive commercial mower stolen again .

Vehicle & Asset Telematics

Electronic Forms

Mobile Viewing

Routing

Vehicle & Asset Telematics

Electronic Forms

Mobile Viewing

Routing

Getting Drowsy While Driving

Drowsy Driving Statistics

According to one post, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA)  says “Drowsy driving kills – but is preventable.” They attribute 697 deaths in 2019 to drowsy driving related crashes. In another article, Jesse Blatt, NHTSA Senior Research Psychologist estimated that getting drowsy while driving, specifically fatigue and sleep deprivation, contributes to as many as 100,000 reported collisions annually in the US, resulting in as many as 1500 deaths.

Considering the sedentary lifestyle, and long hours spent driving, much of it at night, commercial truck drivers are at extremely high risk for falling asleep while driving. According to FMCSA, studies indicate that 28% of commercial truckers may actually suffer from undiagnosed mild to severe sleep disorders that affect their quality of sleep.

Getting Drowsy While Driving Lighter Duty Vehicles

For service truck and delivery drivers, it is nearly impossible to track as work hours and driving time are not tightly regulated as they are for over the road truckers. But when deadlines are looming and workers put in overtime hours, work related fatigue can also contribute to getting drowsy while driving.

Even vacationers driving long distances that they are not used to can fall victim to drowsy driving. In the case of leisure travelers and long weekend road trips, alcohol may also become a contributing factor. Bottom line, we all share the same roads and inherent risks.

Danger Signs of Drowsy Driving

According to the Sleep Foundation, these are the signs to be aware of. If you notice them, you should look for the next available opportunity to stop and rest. If you notice them in a vehicle you are driving near, put some space between that vehicle and yours.

  • Frequent yawning
  • Feelings of dozing off
  • Tired eyes, droopy eyes, or an increase in blinking
  • Drifting into other lanes or hitting “rumble strips” on the road
  • Inability to remember the last few miles
  • Missing a road sign or exit
  • Following other cars too closely
  • Difficulty maintaining proper speed

Liability Issues

There is a wealth of information to be found on the law firm websites that specialize in collision litigation. It is not surprising that trucking companies are concerned about potential nuclear verdicts when you see the number of law firms engaging in this specialty. One such firms states on their site, “fatigued truck drivers account for approximately 750 deaths and 20,000 injuries every year according to the FMCSA”. What we learn from their content is that if you are involved in a collision and suspected of drowsy driving, that is just the beginning. The deeper your pockets, the deeper they will dig.

Drivers taking prescription meds for legitimate conditions may not be aware of the side effects of those drugs. Any drugs that have side effects such as dizziness or drowsiness should be avoided entirely to prevent getting drowsy while driving. Drivers under pressure to pick up the next load or deliver on time may be tempted to skip a break or a vehicle inspection to save a few precious minutes. If this comes to light in a subsequent litigation, both the employer and the driver will be held accountable.

Get A Good Night’s Sleep to Prevent Drowsy Driving

As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Nothing is better than a good night’s rest to prevent getting drowsy while driving. There are a variety of sources available to truckers (as well as the rest of us) for the sole purpose of getting better, more comfortable sleep for improved health and wellness. We found lots of great suggestions for drivers on MySlumberyard.com as well as other health and wellness sites.

Here are the top 10 suggestions we found.

  1. Getting good, restful sleep is critical! Create a great sleep environment in your sleeper cab. This includes a good comfortable mattress, mattress topper and pillow appropriate to your size and weight. Be sure to have a way to block light if you have a window in your sleeper cab. Have blankets or comforters in weights appropriate to the climate/season you are driving in.
  2. Park as far from buildings, street/parking lot lights, and other vehicles as possible for a quieter sleeping spot. Use white noise or ear plugs when needed. Avoid parking next to reefer trucks and live animal loads.
  3. Treat yourself to a motel with a real bed every now and then.
  4. Have a sleep routine. As much as possible stick to that routine so your body develops a rhythm for when it’s time to drive and when it is time to rest. Keep in mind, experts say midnight to 6:00 AM is the drowsiest time of day for most people.
  5. If possible, bring a travel companion. Good company and conversation help to keep you alert.
  6. If you have problems falling asleep or staying asleep, or often feel sleepy during the day, see your doctor for evaluation of potential sleep disorders.
  7. Learn where the best Truck Stops and Rest Areas are along your route and plan your drive time so you can stop at them.
  8. Eat nutritious meals and avoid excessive eating or drinking before going to sleep.
  9. Avoid stressful phone calls before going to sleep.
  10. We all need to wind down after a busy day. Consider a meditation routine, leisurely walk, yoga, or listening to relaxing music before going to bed.

Vehicle & Asset Telematics

Electronic Forms

Mobile Viewing

Routing

Vehicle & Asset Telematics

Electronic Forms

Mobile Viewing

Routing

Fleet Preparation for Hurricanes

Fleet Preparation for Hurricanes

Fleet preparation for hurricanes and other natural disasters is a necessary step in general fleet management. Your GPS system is an invaluable tool in this preparation. From vehicle and equipment locations to current fuel levels, your GPS system provides the tools necessary to prep for the hurricane as well as the tools necessary to manage in the aftermath.

Vehicle driving in storm

Fuel Availability

The first step in Fleet preparation for hurricanes hurricane is to ensure the availability of fuel. In the aftermath of a hurricane or large tropical storm, rarely do fueling stations have the power necessary to pump fuel from storage tanks. Prior to the hurricane, make sure all vehicle and storage fuel tanks are full.

If your organization maintains a local fuel supply, top off your vehicles at local gas stations to preserve locally stored fuel for after the hurricane. After a hurricane, the issue isn’t a lack of available fuel, it’s the inability to pump the fuel due to lack of electrical power. Most GPS systems report fuel levels of vehicles. This feature simplifies determining the vehicles that need fueling as well as the ability to monitor fuel levels in remote vehicles.

Missed Business Opportunities

If your business is one that will be in high demand after a hurricane, you should plan to capitalize on the situation as quickly as possible. To be ready you need three things in place. Inventory, people and systems.

Determine what items are going to be in high demand and stage them at a safe location. Competitors who do not do this will not be able to get inventory for days or weeks and your business can thrive. People must be ready to return to work. Knowing who will be available will determine how much post hurricane work you can get done.

Last is business systems must be in the cloud so they can be accessed from home or from any computer based on where Internet and power is available. Fleetistics uses Microsoft 365 from IGTech365 so employees can work from anywhere, anytime, with an Internet connection. Files are backup to the cloud using Azure and servers are virtual or co-located to avoid flood damage.

fuel level in tank

Fleet Preparation for Hurricanes -Staging Location

The next step in fleet preparation for hurricanes is to stage your fleet location. Make sure vehicles are protected from wind and water as much as possible. The primary danger to vehicles from the wind is falling trees or power lines. Hurricane force winds may not be high enough to affect the vehicle directly, but even a category one hurricane has winds high enough to take down power lines and trees.

Power lines can take a vehicle out of service by blocking the vehicle’s path or by falling on the vehicle. After a hurricane, downed power lines are a danger because many times they are live. Falling trees are directly responsible for more damage to vehicles than wind. Stage your fleet in a location that mitigates the effects of downed power lines and falling trees as much as possible. Your GPS system provides the tools necessary to monitor your vehicles whether the staging area is at your location or a more secure remote location.

vehicle locations fleet management preparation for hurricanes

Organizationally, designate a disaster manager. This position should be the single point of contact for all fleet preparation for hurricanes and communications. The disaster manager and their team should have a reliable communication system that isn’t dependent on power from the electrical grid. In the case of cell phones, backup power sources for charging should be available. In many situations the fleet vehicles can be a source of power to recharge communication devices. Cell phones and tablets provide access to your GPS system. Since GPS systems are hosted, they will be available to internet connected devices. Many GPS systems offer a mobile app. Most of the mobile apps do not provide access to all features of the system. Using­­ a tablet provides a more convenient way to access the full GPS system by using a browser.

After The Hurricane

In the aftermath of a hurricane, the security of vehicles and equipment is paramount. Theft is a major concern after the hurricane passes. A GPS system provides the ability to create zones or geofences. This provides the ability to designate and monitor approved locations for vehicles and equipment. GPS systems can provide notification when vehicles or other device equipped assets are removed from designated areas.

After the storm

Many organizations use multiple GPS systems. Vehicles are managed by systems that specialize in reporting vehicle specific data. Other systems specialize in tracking trailers and other equipment. Fleetistics provides a unique tool for monitoring multiple systems in a single window. During and after a disaster, switching between multiple systems is an inconvenience and it uses more power through maintaining multiple connections to servers. Fleetistics offers a system that displays vehicles, equipment, and other assets in a single window. This simplifies monitoring all assets as well as conserves power.

In the aftermath of a hurricane, local, state, and federal government resources need time to deploy. After the hurricane, most government agencies, state organizations and individuals should prepare to be totally self-sufficient for at least 3 days. Crowd sourcing apps like the PubSafe app from Aftermath Data can be a great help both with internal and external disaster related communications.

Disaster planning can mitigate many of the challenges during and after the hurricane. Stockpile as much fuel and consumables as possible. Designate a disaster manager. Plan for the location of vehicles and other assets. Use the tools provided by your GPS system to monitor asset location as well as fuel levels and other parameters reported by the system.

Vehicle & Asset Telematics

Electronic Forms

Mobile Viewing

Routing

Vehicle & Asset Telematics

Electronic Forms

Mobile Viewing

Routing

10 Simple IT Security Steps for Small Business

IT Security is Critical

Malware attacks due to lack of IT security have made big news lately. Cybercriminals are a huge concern for all businesses. Unfortunately, small businesses that lack an IT department have a higher risk of exposure to their attacks. Though not as attractive a target as a Fortune 500 company, they may be considered by hackers as a much easier mark. Ultimately, a single attack could wipe out many small businesses.

After taking steps to upgrade our own security procedures, Eron Iler, Fleetistics fearless leader, documented what he learned through the process.  In this video, he shares 10 steps that any company can take to improve their IT security and lower their risk of falling victim to cyber-attack. To learn about cyber crimes visit IGTech365.

Transcript of 10 IT Security Steps
Click Here to View

Hi everybody! Eron here with Fleetistics, and today we’re going to talk about something a little bit different than fleet tracking technology. What we’re going to talk about is technology
that has come to the forefront in the news lately, and it’s really about securing your business. We’re not only interested in your fleet, but we want to see your overall business flourish and in the future we hope to bring you more business related products and services that will just help you grow your business and make it a more profitable business.

So the topic today is actually IT security. There are some things that we have done internally to improve our security
and these are the same types of things that most small to medium businesses should be doing as well.

Now if you’re in a bigger organization you probably have IT staff that is available to take care of these things for you. You
may hear some things that you’re not doing and you may have to ask your IT group as to why you’re not doing certain things, because these are pretty basic you know type security measures that should be implemented.

So the very first one is two-factor authentication, and if there’s anything that’s going to help you avoid getting hacked – and it’s the easiest thing to do – two-factor authentication is it. You can receive an email, an SMS, or you can use the authenticator app to get a code which then allows you to enter that code to
then access sensitive areas of your organization or to sign in to perhaps you know a company resource like SharePoint or something like that. It is a very very simple way of doing
things.

And with all security there’s a trade-off. There’s convenience
versus security, and every time that you add more security you’re going to have a little more inconvenience, so you’ve got to realize that in our world today we are just dealing with
things differently. And now when it comes to malware, spyware you know the encryption technology, things of that nature, those things have very, very real consequences. And you can see from the gas, the gas company who is a major organization which would probably or should have had some of the best IT available, they still got caught. So what are you going to do in your small business? And it is just as easy as clicking on something that looks familiar, not paying attention to the destination URL and then you install something that encrypts your hard drive, right? Or, you know, even worse yet it gets into your network and encrypts your network so something like two-factor authentication is a very easy way to put up an initial barrier to that process.

All right number two is only allow computers that are connected to your network through the company to actually
connect up to your resources. And it is convenient for us to allow people to work from home, and use whatever computer computer they may have already in place. It is also inconvenient for employees to have to use a company computer because they probably already have a workstation set up, however, what you cannot do is rely on that computer and that employee to manage their security the same way that you want to manage your business security. Therefore, if you enable the functionality that only a company computer that is registered through your IT department on your network can actually connect to your company resources, you will avoid the holes that are created by employees who may or may not keep up with IT security. They certainly are not going to have the level of security that you would want to have to protect not only your data in your operation, but your customer information as well. And if you happen to be storing you know credit card information or sensitive data then by law you have requirements like this to protect that information. You know if an organization was to steal all your contact information… you know maybe it’s something they could find online, but if they took that list and turned around and sold it to a competitor (and I don’t know about you, but every day I get prompted via email “hey would you like to buy a list from this organization or this industry?” They can take that information and make it available to your competitors and then start calling on your customers. Right? So it may seem mundane for certain types of information but they can do a lot of things with data
that you and I don’t even think about.

So another step is to control what IP addresses can connect to your network. And even if someone’s working from home you can simply type in “what is my IP” you can get their IP address and you can share that with your IT department. The IT department can then configure the firewall to only allow certain IPs to connect. The firewalls have a lot of advanced functionality and you could actually do additional things like only allowing connections during certain times of the day.

So we know that a lot of hacking takes place coming out of
Russia and China and their hours of operation are typically not going to be our normal business hours. By blocking you know network connectivity outside of working hours, you’re going to
remove a huge chunk of opportunity for people in these other countries to hack into your network. Hackers don’t want to go where it’s hard to do things, they want to go where it’s easy. They may probe a lot around different companies and networks looking for these little gaps and then when they
find then they exploit it. If they can’t even touch yours because you’re, you have IP restrictions either by individual IP and or IP and by day and time, then you’ve created a hard surface or a
hard security scenario that they aren’t going to want to waste
time trying to figure out. If they can’t hack it then they can just move on to your neighbor or your competitor who hasn’t
done anything, and they will easily be able to continue on with
hacking.

The next thing is the implementation of Intune. Intune is a Microsoft product and it allows you to protect your data
on mobile devices, laptops, even PCs, but you know a lot of people connect phones, and I do the same thing, I connect my mobile phone to my work. I connect up SharePoint, OneDrive, email, OneNote… All of those things are on my phone, and what happens if my phone gets stolen, right? I’ve now created a pipe from my phone straight into my business. And because authentication has already taken place, if somehow they can get into my phone then they’re going to have that direct
access well. With Intune, it’s an app that installs on these devices, and if you know the the phone gets stolen, or a laptop
gets stolen like we had. In our case we actually had an installer who had a laptop stolen out of the vehicle, and at that time we had remote monitoring software on the laptop and we
were actually able to log into the laptop and we could see the user was, you see their emails and we could see that they were in Africa, it was West Africa somewhere… in the, I think it’s called the Cape Horn area, and we could see what they
were actually typing and things like that, so we sent a little message and consequently we never heard from them
again after that. But Intune allows you to go in and
compartmentalize your company information and lock it down
and uh you know if something gets stolen you can reach out to that device and you can lock that information and delete it off of the device completely. And it’s only affecting business related information and there’s no spyware involved, so your employees don’t have to worry about that. But, you know if something happens you can grab that data and you can delete it off that device and know that your information is protected.

If you need assistance or are interested in Microsoft 365 or Intune, I would recommend checking out IGTech365.com, which we’ll post in the show notes. IGTech365 is an IT company. They handle our IT and they can handle your IT as well. Even if you have the Microsoft Office 365 package today or Business Suite today, they can become your partner of record and it doesn’t change your price or anything else. And once they become your partner of record, then they will actually also provide support that goes along with that. So if you have a question or a problem then you don’t have to call Microsoft. You call IGTech365. They’ll handle it and get on the phone with Microsoft or help you through that. It’s a full service it company, so you can check with them and see what other services they offer as well, from Microsoft Teams as a voice over IP system, which we also use internally – which is great, to the full office 365 Suite.

The next thing is to scan network connections for sensitive
information patterns such as credit cards and social security numbers. That’s a little bit more complicated and a little bit more advanced. Most small businesses aren’t going to do
that, especially if you don’t maintain that type of information, but there are programs that you can put on computers that will scan traffic in and out, and look for patterns of information i.e a social security card number or a credit card number. And when it recognizes that 16 digit number then it flags it and sends that information to Management, so they can look at it and make a determination as to whether or not that’s something that should or should not be happening.

Monitoring you know computer activity is another one. Whether you’re looking at detailed information or just looking at activity. If you see a computer as active during off hours, then maybe somebody is taking control of that computer when you know that employee is not going to be working. So if you saw activity at three o’clock in the morning, and you know it’s a it’s an administrative position that would never have a need to work at that time frame, then you can pick up on that and go in and take a look and see what’s going on.

Something as simple as locking your screen, and you may not know this but if you hold down the windows key and hit the L key at the same time, it’ll actually lock your computer, which is a very easy habit to get into when you’re walking away from your computer. Even in your house, you know you have people coming and going in your house, maybe a cleaning service something of that nature, and if you walk away from your computer and all of a sudden you know your computer is opened up and you leave the house to go walk the dog, there’s nothing preventing someone from getting on your computer, taking a picture of your computer, things of that nature. So getting in the habit of locking that screen and putting an auto lock on that screen after let’s say five, ten, thirty minutes of no activity is a great way to help lock down the computers and avoid you know that type of intrusion that you might not think happens, but it’s totally possible.

The next thing that we did is we updated our password policy. And changing your password every 30 days is just not practical. Everybody hates it it’s, that is a sacrifice that I don’t want to make, but what we can do is make the passwords more complex, and we can make them longer. We can require capitals and lowercase, and special characters and some number combinations, things of that nature that are going to make the odds of it getting hacked pretty, pretty low. And once you do that, then you know maybe change your password once a year type thing is what you want to do. IT people are going to have a different you know opinion on that, but if you do that in conjunction with two factor authentication, then you’re going to have a pretty secure login process.

And the last thing is taking advantage of the you know the employee background checks these days who is actually getting into your systems. Who are you hiring are they the right
people? So there’s a personal security protection that you need to be looking at. There are so many online services today that can run background checks for you to make sure that the people that you are, that you’re hiring are the right folks, and the people that you can trust to handle certain types of sensitive information. And what you don’t want to do is have information that walks out your organization. A platform like SharePoint, which is part of the Microsoft 365 platform, can also monitor for downloads of files you know large quantities, if files are being deleted it can monitor that. It does keep a recycle bin for you and a version history for you which is great, and again if you want some help with that and you want to learn more, IGTech365 is the company to call.

You know so there’s protections in all these different areas that you need to be looking at and they’re just so, so simple that there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go about making some of these changes. But these were just 10 things that I came up with as a small business that would make sense for your business whether you have two people, right? If it’s not family still you know some of this stuff you want to do regardless, even on your personal computer. But if you have two people and they’re not all family then that’s when you should start this practice. And if you have it implemented when you hire people then it’s much easier than to implement after you’ve got you know people that are that are hired and used to doing things the old way, right? Because change is always difficult.

So that’s what I have for you today. I hope you enjoyed, I hope you got some tips. If you enjoyed the content, hit the like and subscribe button down below, and we will see you on the next video. Good luck growing your business and stay profitable!

IT Security Top Ten List

  1. Implement 2-Factor Authentication.
  2. Only allow resource access to computers that are connected to your network.
  3. Control what IP addresses can connect to your network.
  4. Only allow connections during certain times of the day.
  5. Implement Microsoft Intune or a Mobile Device Management (MDM) service
  6. Scan network connections for sensitive information patterns.
  7. Monitor computer activity.
  8. Lock screens when not at your computers. (Windows + L key)
  9. Update your password policy to be 8+ characters, numbers and symbols.
  10. Require employee background checks.
Vehicle & Asset Telematics

Electronic Forms

Mobile Viewing

Routing

Vehicle & Asset Telematics

Electronic Forms

Mobile Viewing

Routing