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December 16, 2015updated 19 Dec 2017 2:54pm

10 tech decisions you will regret this Christmas

List: Avoid these Christmas tech blunders and you'll have a happier January.

By James Nunns

We’ve all made bad decisions at Christmas, sure I have room for that Christmas pudding, or what’s the harm with another little drink.

Tech is as susceptible to bad decisions as we all are when it comes to gorging ourselves during the festive period.

But don’t worry, CBR is here to help with some suggestions of what to avoid this Christmas.

1. Being cheap

This isn’t to say that all cheap tech gifts are bad, you can get plenty of excellent gadgets for low prices. What this means is, don’t go for a really cheap knock-off of a popular device.

For example, you’ve seen the new iPhone but the name on the back of the device is something like iPhine – it probably isn’t from Apple, won’t last and could potentially be a hazard.

Just look at how dangerous cheap knock-off batteries can be – cheap li-ion batteries have recently been found responsible for hoverboard explosions.

2. Drones

I’m not a fan of drones, it’s not that they don’t potentially have their uses, but in the hands of the general public they have the potential to be a nuisance and lethal.

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Prejudices aside, changing regulations regarding the use of drones is seeing them banned from a number of cities around the world, so finding a place where you can actually use one is becoming increasingly difficult.

To add to that, safety concerns regarding their use is also becoming a greater concern – a recent child in the UK lost an eye when a family friend was flying a drone, which suggests that they should be used with proper safeguards in place.

3. Hoverboards

I mentioned in point one the problem with exploding batteries and, like drones, they are increasingly being banned in cities and events.

The Consumer Electronics Show 2016, has already taken the step of banning their use at its venues.

The problem is that as more safety concerns are raised regarding the technology, it will be harder and harder to find places to use them, meaning they might be a trendy gadget but limited to home use.

4. Failing to prepare

It’s said that if you fail to prepare you prepare to fail, something that students will no doubt hear throughout their years of education.

But this also applies to the tech world. With some of the busiest shopping days of the calendar year coming up, it would benefit your business if you were to be fully prepared.

If you aren’t, then expect to see your website unable to deal with a larger volume of traffic and crash, leading to a loss of revenue.

5. Locking in to the wrong technology

I talk about forgetting your licenses in point nine, and the importance of not jumping to a bad technology just to fill the void is significant.

A decision like moving towards a monolithic architecture should be carefully considered, you don’t want to be lumbered with an inflexible and expensive to maintain platform.

Even looking at database technology, you can see that there are plenty of options available to you, don’t be afraid to browse.

6. Hiring the wrong people

Plenty of staff changes happen in and around the New Year, as people identify the time as a good opportunity for change.

Perhaps you have been given a bigger budget to expand your team, or you are replacing someone, but it is important to not jump to the first person you find.

Like any big decision in the tech world, think it through and get the right person, not necessarily someone that might be suited to one area that isn’t a business priority.

7. DIY tech

There are plenty of examples of homemade tech being excellent and in no way being a threat to your safety. But if movies have taught me anything, for every good invention there are dozens that should have never seen the light of day.

So even if you’ve got a bit of spare time, a soldering iron and an industrial purpose welder, maybe think twice before you decide to jazz up your push-bike with an engine, or handlebar TV set.

8. Ignoring regulations

Regulations seem to be frequently changing, whether you’re looking at Safe Harbour or banking regulations – Christmas isn’t the time for forget them.

Even if you think your department has done a good job and deserves a treat with some new services, think twice and assess whether or not it is affected by regulations.

9. Forgetting your licenses

For many businesses, their software licenses come up for renewal around the Christmas and New Year period.

You may be swamped with other work, but forgetting your license is something that will potentially have a lasting damaging affect.

So stay on top of your licenses, have a look around and importantly – plan ahead.

10. The Christmas party

We all like to let our hair down a little at Christmas, but there are boundaries to what you can do.

We should all know by now what the photocopier should and shouldn’t be used for, but given the power of social media and the damaging affect inappropriate videos and photos can have, you should also be aware of the appropriate use of tech.

Remember, sending a WhatsApp to your boss of you doing something inappropriate will probably get you fired.

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