Previously, we shared some suggestions for avoiding the panic that comes from posting a social media update to the wrong user account. Specifically, we were referring to those cases where a user has both a personal account and a business account on the same platform like Facebook or Twitter.

However, social media isn’t the only situation online where a small business manager encounters the need for two identities on one platform: One for personal use and a second one for business use. Amazon let’s users click between a personal account and and business one. So does Google. But for most online services, you must log-out and log-in to go between two accounts on one platform.

Here’s the good news

For most non-techy small business users, an easy-to-manage method of separating “personal” from “business” tasks, accounts, preferences and even bookmarks is to simply use two web browsers. Here’s what to do:

1. Download a second browser to your computer:

If you have a computer that uses Microsoft’s Windows operating system (and a majority of you do, according to Google Analytics), it came with Internet Explorer. If you have a Mac computer, it came pre-loaded with Apple’s Safari web browser. In addition to those native web browsers, download a second browser to you computer by clicking on the “Download page” of either of these two popular browsers. (There are others, but for now, we’re keeping this simple.)

Chrome (from Google) (Download)
Firefox (from Mozilla.org) (Download page)

2. Use the native browser — the one that came with your computer — as your business browser.

(We could have as easily suggested that it be your personal browser, but we like how-tos with definitive orders.)

3. Big tip to keep from being overwhelmed by web pages appearing from all those clicks on two browsers

Make sure you have both browsers’ preferences set to open a new “tab” rather than a new “window” whenever you click on a link. As the objective here is to have just two web browsers open, tabs will keep you from having dozens of windows–thus negating any benefit found in the previous paragraphs you’ve just read. (Note: Both Chrome and Firefox browsers come with default settings that open new tab, rather than windows.)

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