How to check if your games will work on the Steam Deck

The Steam Deck is a gaming PC at heart, but physically, it is quite unlike any other gaming PC. After all, it uses a controller rather than a keyboard and mouse, is intended to be portable, and by default runs Linux when most games don’t have a Linux port, so it’s hard to expect very many games to work perfectly well on the Deck.

That being said, thousands of games can be played on the Steam Deck, and there are two very easy ways to check if your library is playable on Valve’s handheld PC.

Use Steam’s compatibility checker

As you might expect, Valve catalogs which games work on the Steam Deck and which games don’t. You can automatically scan your library for which games are verified to work.

Step 1: First, log into Steam on a web browser and then go to the Steam Deck Compatibility website.

Step 2: You should see a page like the one above, and your games will be divided into four categories:

  • Verified (green check mark): Fully functional on Steam Deck, and works great with the built-in controls and display.
  • Playable (yellow info mark): Functional on Steam Deck, but might require extra effort to interact with or configure.
  • Unsupported (gray stop sign): Currently doesn’t function on Steam Deck but could receive support in the future.
  • Untested (no symbol): Untested by Valve thus far.

Even if a game doesn’t have a Linux port, the Steam Deck can still run it via the Proton tool, which basically translates Windows games so that you can play them on Linux.

Unsupported games might actually run on the Steam Deck but can require a mouse and keyboard or VR headset. Technically speaking, the Steam Deck can use either of these things, but Valve’s rating is strictly about whether or not these games are playable on the Deck itself without any peripherals.


Look up your games on ProtonDB

If Valve hasn’t rated the game you searched on the official Steam Deck website, try checking out ProtonDB, the unofficial database for checking Proton compatibility with games.

Instead of waiting for game devs to confirm Proton compatibility, ProtonDB users report their experience using Proton for certain games. It’s basically crowdsourced bug reporting. However, this is strictly only for whether or not games work with Proton, not necessarily on the Steam Deck, which can’t play certain games due to other reasons, such as requiring a keyboard and mouse.

Step 1: First, go to

The front page of ProtonDB.


Step 2: In the top-left corner, find the search bar that says “Search games” and type in any game you’re wondering about, then press the Enter key. You’ll find a results page that should have the game you’re looking for.

The search results for Skyrim on ProtonDB.


Step 3: Each game is given a score based on how playable it is. From best to worst, they are:

  • Native: Runs natively on Linux.
  • Platinum: Runs perfectly out of the box.
  • Gold: Runs perfectly after tweaks.
  • Silver: Runs with minor issues but generally is playable.
  • Bronze: Runs but often crashes or has issues preventing you from playing comfortably.
  • Borked: Either won’t start or is crucially unplayable.
  • No rating: ProtonDB won’t assign a rating if there aren’t enough reviews.

Keep in mind, this is about how playable the game is on Proton, not necessarily on the Steam Deck. For example, Age of Empires II HD, Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, and Age of Empires III are all Gold-rated games but all have different Steam Deck ratings, so be careful.

Differing Steam Deck compatibility scores.


Step 4: If you create a ProtonDB account, you can check your Steam library, too. ProtonDB may focus on Proton overall, but it still shows you games in your library that specifically work with the Steam Deck based on community feedback.

If your games are verified or playable, then you don’t have anything to worry about. The Steam Deck might not be the most ideal way to play your favorite games, but with a verified or playable rating, they will certainly run.

Games with an unsupported rating either don’t run well on Proton or don’t work well on controllers and/or handheld PCs. While many games would probably work if you installed Windows and hooked up a keyboard and mouse or VR headset, this is certainly reaching the point where you might have been better off just using one of the best gaming laptops.

And if your games haven’t been verified one way or another, then the only thing you can really do is rely on ProtonDB’s ratings and make sure your games are playable with a controller and wouldn’t have any obvious problems running on a handheld PC. In the worst-case scenario, you might have to see for yourself whether or not a game works on the Steam Deck.

Editors’ Choice

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AI-driven background check startup Intelligo raises $22M

Intelligo, an Israeli startup providing AI-driven background check solutions to investors, financial institutions, and corporations, today announced it has raised $22 million from Felicitas Global Partners, one of its long-standing clients. The company said that the growth round, which takes its total fund-raise to $44 million, will drive the development of its AI-powered risk intelligence platform — Clarity — and help set up shop in additional geographies.

For years, due diligence processes such as background verification have been manual and time-consuming (typically taking 10-15 days). Agencies providing these services often struggle with delays and backlogs, leaving end-users — people requiring the due diligence — little option but to provide temporary clearances. In some cases, analysts can also miss out on important sources of information such as news reports.

Automated background checks

Founded in 2014 by Shlomo Mirvis and Dana Rakovsky, Intelligo tackles this problem through automation, claiming to bring speed and accuracy into the whole process. The company’s Clarity intelligence system employs multiple layers of AI and automation to comb through more than 400,000 public data sources and gather all relevant information (legal, professional, regulatory, financial, online media) required to make a decision on a particular individual or company.

Then, a team of in-house experts reviews this information to create the final report for the customer.

“Each client has an account where they can log in and run a report at any time from any place, share and collaborate with other team members, and manage the account in a very simple way,” Mirvis, who is also the CEO of the company, told VentureBeat. The dashboard gives a 360-degree view of the gathered data, with full information of the sources and links to original documents, allowing customers to vet potential red flags in the risk profile.

Currently, the platform returns reports between 30 minutes and five days, and it is used by hundreds of customers, primarily investment banks, private equity firms, and hedge funds with combined assets under management of over $500 billion. Plus, even after producing the report, Clarity can continue to monitor the target and provide alerts as and when something changes in its background profile.

“We use our AI algorithms to weed out irrelevant data and deduplicate data to keep only the most relevant data in the report and help individuals arrive at the right conclusions. Our AI also uses advanced natural language processing analysis to identify adverse news articles written about our subjects,” Mirvis said.

Competitive space

Intelligo is not the only one solving the problem of legacy background checks with technology. Over the past few years, a number of players have come up in the same space, including Checkr, HireRight, Kroll, K2 Integrity, Paycom, and Exiger.

“There are a number of companies in the background check and human resources technology space targeting different ends of the market. Most are focused on general checks for hiring at all levels — from minimum wage positions on up. Intelligo, however, is focused on the high end of the market for both pre-hire and pre-investment decision making by firms, as part of their risk intelligence,” Mirvis added.

Targeting accuracy and revenue growth

Moving forward, the company aims to double its headcount and expand the capabilities of its risk intelligence platform to draw more customers.

While the CEO didn’t share how exactly the company plans to improve the platform, he did note that Intelligo continues to take recommendations from clients and improve the accuracy of the solution. Part of the effort is likely to be driven toward covering an even broader base of data sources, as background check reports are only as good as the data they are based on. The company has seen 200% revenue growth over the past three years and expects to clock 300% growth in the current year.

“The last 18 months have been very positive for Intelligo as remote and hybrid work structures have made due diligence processes and recruiting even more essential. A lack of face-to-face interaction takes away the ability to make intuitive, personal connections, so organizations are even more reliant on getting accurate and thorough intelligence that provides a 360-degree view of who candidates really are,” Mirvis said.

Globally, the overall market for due diligence, pre-investment and pre-hiring, is estimated to be valued at $17 billion.


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Check your permissions: default settings in Microsoft tool exposes 38 million user records online

Default permissions settings in an app-building tool from Microsoft have been blamed for exposing the data of 38 million people online. Information including names, email addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, and COVID-19 vaccination appointments was inadvertently made publicly accessible by 47 different companies and government entities using Microsoft’s Power Apps platform. There’s no evidence of the data being exploited, though, and the underlying issue has now been fixed by Microsoft.

The problem was originally discovered in May by security research team UpGuard. In a recent blog post from UpGuard and report from Wired, the company explains how organizations using Power Apps created apps with improper data permissions.

“We found one of these [apps] that was misconfigured to expose data and we thought, we’ve never heard of this, is this a one-off thing or is this a systemic issue?” UpGuard’s vice president of cyber research Greg Pollock told Wired. “Because of the way the Power Apps portals product works, it’s very easy to quickly do a survey. And we discovered there are tons of these exposed. It was wild.”

Power Apps allows companies to build simple apps and websites without formal coding experience. Organizations implicated in the breach — including Ford, American Airlines, J.B. Hunt, and state agencies in Maryland, New York City, and Indiana — were using the site to collect data for various purposes, including organizing vaccination efforts. Power Apps offers tools for quickly collating the sort of data needed in these projects, but, by default, leaves this information publicly accessible. This is the exposure UpGuard discovered.

The mechanism of this particular ‘breach’ is interesting, as it blurs the line between what is a software vulnerability and what is merely poor choice in user interface design. UpGuard says Microsoft’s position is that this was not a vulnerability as it was users’ fault for not properly configuring the apps’ permissions. But, arguably, if you are making an app designed to be used by people with little coding experience, then making things as safe as possible by default would seem to be the smart move. As reported by Wired, Microsoft has now changed the default permissions settings responsible for the exposure.

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Check Out This Cool Track Featuring 45 Years of Apple Sounds

Apple kicked off Monday’s keynote with a brilliant music track (below) made up entirely of sounds from its diverse range of gadgets released since the company’s launch in 1976.

Created by artist-producer A.G. Cook (no relation to Apple boss Tim Cook, as far as we know), the 100-second composition will have Apple fans fizzing with joy as they try to match the sounds to gadgets released by the tech company over the past 45 years.

To add to the fun, Apple set the accompanying video inside a garage that’s clearly supposed to remind us of 2066 Crist Drive in Los Altos, California, the childhood home of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, and where, so the story goes, he and his buddy Steve Wozniak knocked together the very first Apple computer (actually Wozniak has since claimed that it didn’t happen quite like that).

Start Up, as the track is called, kicks off with the chime familiar to every owner of a Mac computer, and then slowly builds as other iconic sounds are added to the mix.

The nostalgia trip includes not only the sounds, but the actual gadgets, too, so have a listen and take a look and see how many you recognize.

To help you out, here’s the full list of sounds used in Start Up:

iMac G3 startup, MacBook Pro startup, AirPods case closing, iOS alert, HomePod minimum volume, iPod click wheel, Note alert, email whoosh, MagSafe charger, Night Owl ringtone, HomePod nope, HomePod PingPong, Mac 2020 alert, empty trash, message sent, message received, HomePod device identify, iPhone keyboard, Airdrop invite, Mac “sosumi” alert, Apple Pay

Apple’s Unleashed event took place on Monday, October 18. During the online presentation, the company announced a number of upgraded products, including the redesigned MacBook Pro (complete with notch!) powered by new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, and the third generation of its AirPods earbuds. It also added new color choices for the HomePod Mini, and announced a new Voice Plan for Apple Music, which combines Apple Music with Siri.

Editors’ Choice

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Tech News

Microsoft: Install the PrintNightmare fix right now – then check this PC setting

Microsoft is warning Windows users to update their systems as soon as possible, taking the unusual step of releasing PrintNightmare security patches for even out-of-support versions of the OS. The potential hack, described as “critical” by Microsoft, is already believed to have been actively exploited in the wild.

The culprit, Microsoft says, is the Windows Front Spooler service. Normally that’s the part of Windows which manages printer jobs, including for networked computers. However, hackers have figured out a way to use it to install their own code on PCs.

“A remote code execution vulnerability exists when the Windows Print Spooler service improperly performs privileged file operations,” Microsoft explains. “An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run arbitrary code with SYSTEM privileges. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.”

The existence of the vulnerability was revealed prematurely, after security researchers announced their discovery thinking that Microsoft had already pushed out a patch for the flaw. In fact, it turned out, that was an update for a different issue with the Windows Print Spooler. In the aftermath, Microsoft was left scrambling to ready a new fix.

The first part of that was pushed out earlier this week, with updates for a whole host of Windows systems including Windows 10 and Windows Server 2012. Now, Microsoft has followed that with a new release of further patches. “An update has now been released for all affected versions of Windows that are still in support,” the company says.

However, in reflection of just how serious this potential exploit is, Microsoft has also readied updates which will address it on out-of-support versions. That includes Windows 7, official security support for which ended in 2020.

Depending on what version of the OS your PC is running, you can access the security patch in different ways. The easiest, for consumers, is probably to use Windows Update. That may automatically be installing updates periodically, but you can access it manually and load the patch straight away instead.

“We recommend that you install these updates immediately,” Microsoft cautions.

Once the patch is installed, you should take a moment to check that the Windows registry has been updated appropriately. Microsoft explains what to look for:

In order to secure your system, you must confirm that the following registry settings are set to 0 (zero) or are not defined (Note: These registry keys do not exist by default, and therefore are already at the secure setting.):

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows NTPrintersPointAndPrint
NoWarningNoElevationOnInstall = 0 (DWORD) or not defined (default setting)
NoWarningNoElevationOnUpdate = 0 (DWORD) or not defined (default setting)

Having NoWarningNoElevationOnInstall set to 1 makes your system vulnerable by design.

The new patches also include protections for CVE-2021-1675, the other Windows Print Spooler service exploit.

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How To Check Your PC’s Specifications On Windows 10

Whether you want to build a new PC or you just want a quick reminder of what’s inside your current desktop, knowing how to check PC specs is definitely useful. There are a few ways to do so. The easiest way is to simply look around in Windows 10, as there is plenty of information lurking in the right menus. If you want to dig a little deeper, there are programs out there to help you do that.

Here’s how to check your PC’s specification on Windows 10 in just a few clicks.

Step 1: Enter the Start menu

Click on the Windows logo in the bottom-left of your screen on the taskbar. Alternatively, press the Windows button on your keyboard — it should be located close to the space bar, on the bottom-left side.

Step 2: Enter the Settings menu

Click the Gear icon above the Power button, highlighted in red on the above screenshot, in order to enter Windows Settings. You can also type in “settings” with the Start menu open. The system will then suggest the right app to you.

Step 3: Access the System menu

Windows 10 settings.

Click on the System section in the top-left corner. This will take you to a basic overview of your computer.

Step 4: Enter the About section

Windows 10 system information.

Scroll down on the left side of the Windows Settings until you locate the About section at the very bottom. Clicking on it will tell you some basic things about your PC.

Entering the About section will tell you the kind of processor (CPU) you’re running, the amount of memory (RAM) you have installed, and the device ID. It also shows you the version of the operating system you’re using.

This kind of information will suffice in many cases, but if you want to know more about the hardware inside your desktop PC or laptop, keep following through the next few steps.

Step 5: Check the Device Manager for more information

The Device Manager in Windows 10 contains a full list of all the components that you own. There are two ways to access it, and the first one can be found without exiting the previous Settings window.

In the Related Settings menu in the top-right corner of the About section, click the link labeled System Info.

Windows 10 system settings.

Next, find the link labeled Device Manager in the top-left corner.

Alternatively, you can enter the Device Manager by using the Start menu. Simply repeat the first step of this guide. Open up the Start menu by clicking the Windows logo.

Windows 10 Start menu search function.

With the menu open, type in “device manager.” Click the highlighted search result or simply press Enter on your keyboard to enter the Device Manager.

Step 6: Browse through the Device Manager

The Device Manager contains information about all the components in your PC or laptop. It lets you see the exact model of most pieces of hardware, including the processor, the graphics card, disk drives, ports, peripherals, and more.

Windows 10 Device Manager.

Expand the categories that interest you by clicking on them — this will show you more information about your hardware of choice. For example, clicking Display Adapters will show you the graphics card (GPU). Similarly, clicking on Processors tells you all about the processor (CPU) installed in your PC and shows you the number of cores that your CPU has.

You can double-click any component in the Device Manager in order to learn more about it, such as its status, installed drivers, and more.

Windows 10 Device Manager.

Device Manager contains most of the information you need about your current PC. However, if you want to dig a little deeper, check the alternative option below.

Alternative: Use Speccy to quickly see the specs of your PC

Speccy is a program that will show you how to check PC specs easily. It’s a lightweight, quick-to-use tool that offers bite-sized information without delving into too much detail. You can download Speccy here and then choose between the free and premium versions. The free version is sufficient for most users.

Once you’ve installed Speccy, run the program. After a quick analysis, you will be presented with a summary of the components in your PC. Speccy also highlights temperatures and alerts you if your PC is too warm. If the temps are too high, you may be in need of a better cooler, but there can also be many other reasons behind the issue.

A screenshot of Speccy.

You can also click around the program on the left-hand side. Going into any of the sections will tell you more about that particular component.

If you find that you need even more information about your system and its status, a good alternative is HWiNFO. You can download it here.

Editors’ Choice

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Microsoft Fixes A Big Frustration with PC Health Check App

The first beta versions of Windows 11 will be coming to PCs this week, and Microsoft is already listening to some feedback from those who are unable to run the new operating system ahead of release. The company recently updated its PC Health Check app, which should now better reflect the reasons why a Windows 10 device can’t update Windows 11.

The update was first noted by a Microsoft employee on Twitter, who mentioned that the PC Health Check app now better provides more detailed information on which requirements to run Windows 11 have not been met. Basically, this update helps address frustrating cases where the app was simply just reading “this PC can’t run Windows 11” without saying why.

We just made updates to the Windows 11 PC Health Check App. It now provides more detailed info on requirements not met. This should help in cases where folks assumed CPU compat issues were TPM related

— DWIZZZLE (@dwizzzleMSFT) June 25, 2021

Thanks to the update, the PC Health Check app should mention things like the lack of a TPM 2.0 chip, low disk space,  unsupported processor, and secure boot. TPM 2.0 and a lot of these things are requirements by Microsoft to run Windows 11, which has been a source of controversy as it leaves certain PCs and high-end gaming machines in the dust.

These requirements are all mentioned on the Windows 11 hardware requirements page. The page was even updated by Microsoft in the past week to remove “hard floor” and “soft floor” requirements, and correct the guidance around the TPM requirements for Windows 11 so that it is clear TPM 2.0 chip is mandatory.

Other than TPM 2.0, to run Windows 11, you’ll need a compatible 64-bit processor (Intel 8th generation or newer, or AMD Ryzen 2000 series and newer,) 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a TPM 2.0 chip, or a graphics card that’s compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver. If you don’t meet these requirements, then your PC will have to stay on Windows 10, which will continue to be supported by Microsoft through the year 2025.

Windows 11 is expected to arrive in the Windows Insider program for beta testing this week. You can enroll your PC into the Dev Channel of the program in just a few steps to get started with it if you’re ready for some bugs and other early issues.

Everyone else who isn’t brave enough to beta test Windows 11 should see a release in October, as most of Microsoft’s marketing images seem to tease this release date. Even Walmart has mentioned “free upgrade to Windows October 2021 when available” on laptops, again hinting at an October release.

Microsoft mentioned a”holiday 2021″ release for Windows 11 and said the new OS would roll out through 2021 and early 2022.

Editors’ Choice

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Tech News

Windows 11 TPM and other requirements added to PC Health Check

PC Health Check was given an update this week shortly after complaints by Windows 11 seekers on reveal week. This being the week in which Windows 11 was first revealed, PC Health Check was a very popular download from Microsoft. Microsoft provides PC Health Check as a simple means for automatic checking many things, including requirements for a PC’s future upgrade to Windows 11.

Before PC Health Check was updated today, users would potentially see a relatively vague message with “This PC can’t run Windows 11”. All the alert would add after this was “While this PC doesn’t meet the system requirements to run Windows 11, you’ll keep getting Windows 10 updates.” The application linked the user to a Windows 11 requirements page online, but required that users do their own research from that point on.

The new version of PC Health Check makes the whole process more instantly actionable. If the user checks their PC for compatibility with a potential upgrade to Windows 11 and their PC does not meet requirement, a slightly more detailed explanation of the reasons why it does not meet requirements is shown.

Microsoft Director of OS Security David Weston revealed the update this afternoon with several examples of results users might seen when checking their PC for Windows 11 compatibility. A user may see the message “the PC must support Secure Boot” or “the processor isn’t supported for Windows 11” or “the system disk needs to be 64 GB or larger.”

The most likely candidate for a “can’t run Windows 11” message is “TPM 2.0 is a requirement for running Windows 11.” Even the most powerful and connected PCs aren’t compatible with Windows 11 if they do not have TPM 2.0. The Trusted Platform Module tech overview page at Microsoft shows more about what TPM does and which machines work with said technology.

You might also want to take a peek at why TPM 2.0 is non-negotiable for Windows 11. Microsoft isn’t budging on this one.

A wide variety of PC makers have released PCs in the last few years with support for TPM 2.0. Dell, HP, Lenovo, Panasonic, Acer, ASUS, and Microsoft itself have created TPM 2.0 capable devices. If you’ve purchased a PC in the last half-decade, you probably have a PC that’s capable of using TPM 2.0, or already has TPM 2.0 switched on by default – provided you have the most recent firmware update for your machine.

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Tech News

Windows 11 update: TPM 2.0 and PC Health Check confusion

Microsoft revealed Windows 11 this week with a PC Health Check update and a confusing point of order. Some users are checking their high-powered Windows PC, finding that “this PC can’t run Windows 11” without significant explanation. One would expect that the PC Health Check system would tell the user the specific reasons WHY they do not meet requirements for Windows 11, but it doesn’t. Let’s take a peek at what’s likely the matter.

Your “PC health at a glance” appears with the PC Health Check app, available from Microsoft now. The basic requirements for Windows 11 use on a PC should be simple – it’s extremely likely that you’re using a machine that can run Windows 11 if it already runs Windows 10.

Windows 11 hardware requirements:
• Processor: 1GHz (or faster) with 2+ cores on 64-big processor or SoC
• 64GB storage space for install
• System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable
• Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0*
• Compatibility with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
• 9-inch+ HD Display (720p) with 8 bits per color channel or better

You can access a comprehensive processor list for AMD, Intel, and Qualcomm for Windows 11 now. This list also covers the bases for all versions of Windows back to Windows 10 1709 for all three processor brands, and back further for Intel and AMD.

*The most common hang-up point among average users right now seems to be TPM 2.0. If your computer’s firmware isn’t up-to-date, there’s a decent chance you have a version of TPM that’s earlier than 2.0 – or that your PC has no TPM enabled in the first place. Drop in on the Trusted Platform Module Technology Overview page in Microsoft’s Documentation collection to learn more about this tech.

You may need to update your firmware or enable fTPM and/or secure boot in BIOS. If you’ve never used BIOS on your PC before, you might want to get help from a friend who is familiar with slightly more intense information technology experience. That’s your friendly IT computer person, the person you know who you ask why your computer isn’t working, and their first response is always “have you tried turning it off and on again?” They’ll probably be able to guide you through this process on your unique machine.

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Tech News

Google Maps and your business: Time to check it, now, today

It’s time to take a peek at how you and your business appear on Google Maps – and the rest of the internet. This isn’t just about having your own web page, and it’s not about updating your “under construction” Facebook group. It’s about seeing your business through the eyes of the everyday potential customer – and seeing how messy the internet can be here in 2021.

Google Maps

You do not need to pay any money to have accurate info about your business listed on Google Maps. There’s a Verify your business on Google page that makes it all very simple. Once you’ve gone through the very simple process of verifying that you are who you say you are, you can list accurate, up-to-date information on Google about your business.

If you do not do this, it is POSSIBLE Google Maps will still have accurate info about your business. It’s possible, but not guaranteed. Especially given the major changes many businesses have had to make over the past couple of years, Google Maps (and similar services) currently have massive potential for inaccuracies when it comes to listing information about businesses in your city.

How to check your info

You may want to begin by searching the address of your business in Google Maps and see if it lists your building and most accurate and updated information about your business on the map. Also search for the name of your business in Google Maps and see if Google provides accurate information.

If anything Google has listed is incorrect, Google is not necessarily under any obligation to provide accurate information. It may not seem fair or right, but it may be in your best interests to make certain the information Google has listed for the public is both true and correct.


As a business owner, you’ll need to consider things like: “Do I want people to avoid my business because Google Maps placed the location pin on the wrong side of the block?” You might also consider: “Are people giving my business bad ratings because Google Maps has our hours incorrectly listed?”

Issues like this spring up more often than you’re likely than you’re comfortable thinking about – it’s a mess out there. And it’s not just Google Maps – though that’s probably the first place you should start to look into curating. Start right now – it’ll be worth your while!

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