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Five tech tips for non-profits new to coworking spaces

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Lucas Keiffer manages technology support for members of the Advent Coworking space in Charlotte. He recently discussed best tech practices for non-profit organizations, small businesses, and new members of coworking spaces.

1. Ensure you have a fast, reliable internet connection.

The most frequent and most important requirement for businesses that come into a co-working space is that they have a fast, reliable internet connection. You want to have a certain level of bandwidth that's always changing, but I would say at a minimum you want to have around 100 megabits per second download speed.

2. Tap into tech expertise within the coworking space.

There’s always this kind of built-in expertise when you have a community of people who are working together in a co-working place. So I’ve seen a lot of instances where people are having trouble with their website, and there’s a web developer at the table next door. If it’s usually just a quick fix they don’t mind giving you a verbal how to.

3. Install antivirus and use two-factor authentication.

There’s a lot of hacks going on. You do need to make sure you have your basic antivirus on your computers. Security-wise, on all your online accounts, such as Google, you should start using what’s called multi-factor or two-factor authentication: where you get a text through a little app that gives you a code, in addition to your password, so in case your password gets stolen, someone would have to have your phone or your actual phone number in order to get into your account.

4. Have a backup solution in place.

Have a backup solution in place to protect you just in case you get infected froml ransomware infections. Dropbox and Google Drive are two great options to start.

5. Two great apps for non-profits and small businesses.

There are two apps that are especially useful for smaller startups. The first one is Trello - it’s a good way to organize your thoughts. The second is Freshbooks - I realized that I was actually missing invoices that I just had not collected on. That paid for the service itself.

Basic stuff like that will really help you out in the long run.