Keeping Your Business Safe – A Guide
In the 21st century, the idea of keeping your business safe is about much more than simply locking your doors and windows and hiring a security guard to check on on things from time to time.
Nowadays, any business owner has to be just as concerned, if not more so, about keeping his or her business safe in the online world.
Any business owner in 2019 and beyond needs to have an online presence to be successful, but the world of cyberspace also comes with its own unique blend of dangers and pitfalls. So it’s important to be aware of those and take measures to keep you and your business safe online, as well as in the “real world.”
Let’s go over a few tips that will keep you as safe as possible in the world of cyberspace:
Educate Yourself. It’s true that nothing is 100 percent safe, but you should definitely read up on ways to keep your business and website safe. Knowledge is power, so arm yourself with as much knowledge as you possibly can. Read books, take seminars, solicit advice from other small business owners and do whatever else you can to keep your business safe online.
Think Before Clicking on Emails. You probably already know about the different types of viruses and malware that are hidden inside of emails, so be extra cautious before clicking on anything that you’re not 100 percent sure is legitimate. You will never, for example, receive an email from the United States government, your bank, credit card companies or online service providers that asks you to update your information online. If anything looks or seems suspicious, call and verify that it actually came from who you think it came from before proceeding, and then encrypt your information using special programs that are available online.
Install Anti-Virus Software on All of Your Devices. Fantastic programs are available at reasonable costs and should be implemented and then updated regularly to ensure your company’s security. Install this on every computer, tablet and Smart phone that you or your employees will be using to access company data and information. Security patches are also available regularly, so be sure that you have the most recent ones. Consider setting your operating system to do regular updates, perhaps in the middle of the night when you’re sleeping so it doesn’t disrupt your business during working hours.
Make Passwords Difficult to Crack. You don’t want to use passwords that are easy for someone from outside of the company to guess. Things like your birthday, your wife or kid’s names or your Social Security number should definitely be off-limits, as well as anything else that can be easily determined. It’s also a good idea to change your passwords regularly, at least once per month, and to always be sure that your computer is password protected whenever you need to step away for whatever reason.
Only Use Secure Wi-Fi. Yes, those free Internet connections at local restaurants are tempting, but you should never use them when you’re going to be dealing with sensitive information regarding your business. And when you’re using your wi-fi connection at your home or business, be sure that the password is required to keep anyone not with the company from accessing it. It’s also not a bad idea to set up your router so it doesn’t broadcast your actual business or network name.
Backup Critical Information in Multiple Places. You likely already know about the importance of backing up your information, but you should really attempt to do so in more than one location. Consider not only using a cloud-based system like Dropbox or Google Drive, but also use an external drive to back up your information just in case things are hacked or lost for any reason. You’ll also want to make sure that any sensitive information is password protected at all times.
Manage User Access. Be sure that only the right people have access to your company’s files and documents, particularly the sensitive ones. If you give access to anyone like vendors or outside contractors, be sure that you’ve thoroughly vetted them and that you’ve not putting your company’s sensitive information in jeopardy. You should also keep track of who has access to your system and document their log in times, in case you need to go back and check up on anyone later.
Use a Firewall. Always be sure that you have a firewall installed on your system and that you’ve updated this regularly to the latest versions of the software. This is yet another layer of security that will make any outside attacks more difficult to accomplish.
Make Regular Backups. We’ve already talked about backing up your data in more than one location, but you also want to be sure that you’re doing this as often as possible. Things more quickly in business, so you should be backing up your data regularly to ensure that you have everything you’re going to need should something go wrong.
Protect Your Personal Information. You should treat your personal information as if it’s cash money and you should never share this with anyone that you don’t trust 100 percent. Give some extra thought and consideration to who gets this information, as well as how it’s collected through different websites and applications. If you feel like someone is asking for too much information, it’s always a good idea to go with your instincts. It’s better to be safe than sorry, to be sure.
Staff Training. All of your employees should have proper training to make them aware of your company’s security policies. One company who specializes in security in the workplace is a private investigation company in Austin . ACES of Austin actually gets paid to conduct security audits, physical security assessments, and conduct employee cybersecurity training. Any training should include possible cyber threats, main risk areas and consequences for both them and the company should your security be breached. Online security is a big deal nowadays and all staff members should be aware of how important this area is, and then be extra diligent whenever dealing with company information online.