Amazon Now Lets You Use Venmo … and Other Small Business Tech News This Week

Here are five technology events that happened last week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 – Amazon now allows customers to make payments through Venmo.

Amazon recently announced that customers will now be able to use Venmo on its platform to make payments. The new option was rolled out to select customers last week and will be available to all US users on both the Amazon mobile app and website by Black Friday in November. (Source: Tech Crunch)

Why it matters to your business:

It is very important to make sure that you offer your customers as many payment options as possible. Even Amazon now accepts Venmo and continues to flirt with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. My recommendation is to accept PayPal because you can also accept various other forms of payment through it. But additional services like Apple Wallet and Google Pay are also important to embrace. Don’t let your customers walk away because their chosen payment method wasn’t available.

2. There is a new attractive reason to transfer your business to Google Workspace.

Google Workspace users will be able to get even more out of their subscriptions thanks to a significant expansion of the platform. Google has announced that those who subscribe to the office software suite will now enjoy 1TB of secure cloud storage, up from the previous 15GB. The update also includes smarter emails with merge tags and other personalization options. (Source: Technological radar)

Why it matters to your business:

It’s certainly an intriguing new proposition given the huge amount of file space your business probably needs. But it pretty much brings Google in line with what its biggest competitor, Office 365, has to offer.

3—PayPal becomes more secure to log in with a passkey.

Payment platform PayPal recently announced that it will now add passkeys as an updated method to securely login to the platform without passwords on Mac, iPad or iPhone. Access keys for PayPal were rolled out to US customers last week and will be available to other countries early next year. (Source: Edge)

Why it matters to your business:

So what is an access key? In accordance with TechTarget:

Access keys are a new type of login credentials that eliminate the need to enter passwords. Authentication requires either biometric authentication — such as fingerprint or facial recognition — or a PIN or pattern used by Android for access. The passkey works on the person’s device, so users cannot use the passkey features on another device without a QR code. Users can scan a QR code from their phone and use their Face ID or Touch ID to sign in from another device nearby. Access keys were generated using the Web Authentication API security standard, which uses public-key cryptography for access. Each key is unique and created with encrypted data for added security—imagine a digital version of a key card.

Say goodbye to passwords, people. Prepare your business for these security changes that rely on biometrics and some form of multi-factor authentication.

4 – The FBI warns that this group of ransomware targets poorly secured VPN servers.

The FBI is warning users about an increase in ransomware attacks from a group known as the Daixin Team, which is targeting poorly secured VPN servers. The FBI issued a statement along with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding the attacks affecting the health and healthcare sector since June, and warned providers to immediately install secure VPN servers. (Source: ZDNet)

Why it matters to your business:

My advice is to forward this warning to your technical support team to evaluate the security of your VPN client. Of course, if you already have apps and data hosted by a reputable managed service provider, they’re probably here.

5— According to tech review website PC World, the Dell XPS 13 looks great but falls short on performance. Or does it?

The team at tech review website PC World recently reviewed the Dell XPS 13 and awarded it three stars out of five. According to the review, the notebook’s compact, slim design is paired with a “beautiful and solid aluminum chassis” and is comfortable to use. However, the look is marred by limited computer ports, a grainy 720p webcam, and overall mediocre performance. (Source: PC world)

Why it matters to your business:

Definitely a warm review. But this is only one opinion. Dan Ackerman of CNET, for example, says the laptop is a “slim, rugged performer for MacBook envy.” I believe I’ve owned XPS laptops for years (I have two now) and will buy another one when the one I’m writing this column about eventually dies. I like the product line and have found it reliable and well supported.

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