Developing a new smart device can be an exciting endeavor to be involved in, especially if you feel like it has the potential to one day become a household item. However, the process of creating and marketing your new technology can also be intimidating because there’s always the risk of your ideas and trade secrets being compromised and even used by the competition before your official launch.
When you’re developing new technology, you’re usually dealing with a group of people participating in the development, so there has to be an element of trust and you must use your discretion to only disclose information on a need-to-know basis. Aside from those obvious suggestions, here are a few specific ways you can protect smart technology while you’re still in the development and research phase.
1. Address Browser Plug-ins
Although modern web browsers are relatively secure, particularly when used in conjunction with an active antivirus software suite, the biggest weakness they have is third-party plugins like Flash and Java. These are different from browser extensions, and they’re not completely necessary for you to browse the web. Thus, it’s recommended that you disable and uninstall any plugins that facilitate such risks. Having your computer infected by malware or hacked during the development of a major technology opens up the possibility of your financial info and business data making it into the wrong hands.
2. Copyright Materials and Apply for Patents Before Sharing
Take full advantage of copyright and patent laws that are designed to protect inventors and developers from intellectual property theft. Don’t start telling everyone about your great new idea on social media before it even takes off. You might think that the chances of someone actually running with your idea and spearheading it first are slim, but a truly great idea can spread quickly and before you know it you’re not the one pioneering the project anymore.
3. Segment Development into Individual Tasks
Of course, you have to share information with the engineers and developers who are responsible for bringing your technology into fruition, but that doesn’t mean you have to give every individual worker your entire blueprint and game plan. Keep everyone on a need-to-know basis and only instruct them to complete the portion of the project that you need them to complete. Break down objectives into smaller tasks and then split up those segmented tasks among multiple employees. Separating the project into micro tasks ensures that your entire team doesn’t have the ability to disseminate and leak your technology.
4. The Importance of Protecting Data and Privacy During the Early Stages
It can be easy to become lackadaisical about intellectual property protection when your project is still in its infancy, but in actuality this is the most crucial time to keep everything secure and private. By utilizing a well-rounded combination of security software, managed cybersecurity maintenance, and patenting/copyrighting measures, you can effectively ensure that your invention is able to make it to the market without being duplicated and distributed by another company that capitalizes on your hard work.