Google Now Lets You Remove Your Personal Info From Search Results…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

(This column originally appeared in Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them? -

1 — Google now lets you request the removal of search results that contain personal data.

Google will be releasing a tool making it easier to remove search results that contain personally identifiable information such as addresses, phone numbers, and more. The new feature — called “Results About You” — is aimed at helping users more easily control what personal information can be displayed in Search results. (Source: Engadget)

Why this is important for your business:

This is a huge thing for many people that are concerned about their personal information available online. This particularly impacts CEOs or other high-profile individuals. I’m assuming a good hacker can get around this change, but it’s something that will make it harder for them to do. I suggest taking advantage of this tool as soon as it’s available. I know I will.

2 — Meta integrates WhatsApp, Salesforce to let merchants chat with consumers

Messaging platform WhatsApp, which is owned by Meta, will soon be able to integrate with CRM software Salesforce. (Source: WhatsApp)

Why this is important for your business:

It’s about time. As a CRM consultant, I’ve been frustrated with the lack of integration between messaging apps and popular CRM platforms. This integration is a step in the right direction. On WhatsApp’s blog, the company gives the example of how one client — L’Oreal group brands — will soon be able to use WhatsApp “to reconnect with consumers who had previously left items in a shopping cart and will send them coupons and offers, right on the chat thread.” However, there’s still something missing — integration with text messaging on our phones. I discuss this further here.

3 — North American companies are sending in the robots, even as productivity slumps.

According to recently released data, companies across North America purchased a record number of robots in the first half of 2022 to try and make up for a struggling labor market. Data shows that 12,305 units were ordered during the second quarter which was valued at $585 million. This is 25 percent more than this time last year. (Source: Reuters)

Why this is important for your business:

Companies — big and small — around the country are investing heavily in robotic technology to replace those workers that aren’t available and helping existing workers get more done. The price of these units have fallen significant over the past few years, making it a more affordable investment. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring this investment just because of the current slowdown. That will end and smart companies are preparing themselves for when that happens.

4 — Wegmans has discontinued the self-checkout app, citing losses.

Supermarket chain Wegmans announced this past week that it has discontinued its self-checkout app citing losses. The app known as SCAN — which allowed customers to scan their groceries as they shopped — was rolled out early during the coronavirus pandemic to help facilitate a more contactless experience. Wegmans did not disclose how much it suffered in losses or whether they were a result of stolen items or customers forgetting to scan groceries. (Source: New York Times)

Why this is important for your business:

There will still be self-checkout lines, but even these are becoming less popular. The cost-savings benefits are tempting, but the reality is something different. Scanning products throughout the store more easily leads to theft and many businesses, like Wegmans, weren’t prepared for the extent of shoplifting that occurred. And anyone will tell you that oftentimes doing the self-service line is more time consuming than regular checkout. Improvements to these technologies are needed.

5 — Employee cell phone attacks pose new threats to companies.

A recent wave of security breaches at various companies is highlighting the dangers of workers using their cell phones at work. (Source: Axios)

Why this is important for your business:

According to reports, hackers are tricking employees into providing digital passwords and credentials through phishing campaigns targeting cell phones. With more people working from home, security teams are having a difficult time keeping up with new accounts, apps, and personal devices being used for work. You need to invest in more training for your employees.

Originally published at https://www.forbes.com.

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Gene Marks

Columnist on smallbiz, economy, public policy, tech for The Guardian, The Hill, Philly Inquirer, Wash Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur. Small Business owner and CPA