Small to midsized businesses might not have the luxury of an internal IT security team and resources that large enterprises can afford, but they still face many of the same threats. Every business that uses the internet is responsible for creating a culture of security that will enhance business and consumer confidence. Taking the steps to carefully and securely protect confidential internal data, social media passwords and the overall health of your network can prevent costly breaches, loss of client confidence and their business! Here are Five essential network and computer security tips to help your business:
1. Use anti-virus software
Regularly update and upgrade anti-virus software to prevent malware, ransomware and viruses from corrupting important data, rendering equipment inoperable and impacting productivity. Malware is any program or file that is harmful to a computer user and includes computer viruses, worms, and spyware. Ransomware is another type of malicious software, but this software threatens to publish the victims data or block access to their data until a ransom is paid. I think everyone can agree on one thing here, no one wants to find any trace of malicious software on their devices.
2. Keep data secure
At the business level, secure VPNs and firewalls provide excellent protection from internet threats while still allowing remote employees to access company resources while away from the office. If you’re a mobile professional and often work from the road, unsecured WiFi in coffeeshops makes life easier, but exercise care when accessing any sensitive personal information. Avoid using insecure public WIFI networks when making online payments or entering personal details, the best WIFI to do this on is your own personal WIFI or use your mobile data.
3. Invest in a password manager
The best security available on the web can’t help if you use the same easily-cracked password across every site and service you regularly access. Password management applications create 20-character strings for seamless and secure logins for all users. These services are customizable for business use; important login credentials can be accessed by the employees who need them to perform normal functions.
4. Educate employees on the importance of strong passwords
Personal passwords are notoriously insecure. According to password management service Dashlane, an alarming high frequency of passwords contain combinations of letters, numbers and symbols that are adjacent to one another on the keyboard. This practice, called “password walking,” results in a less secure password easily exploited by hackers. When it comes to strong passwords, the best practice is to use a unique password that include symbols, numbers, and upper/lowercase letters. Changing your passwords about every three months or so will help your business become harder to hack.
Regularly backup critical data on all computers, financials, client information, employee records, and store off-site or in the cloud. Data redundancy is key: multiple copies held in multiple locations greatly reduces the likelihood of data loss. There are a number of excellent cloud-based solutions that easily scale for business use. Well known and often recommended services that are cloud based are OneDrive, Dropbox, and Carbonite. They all work on the same principle, files are uploaded to a web-based account for easy retrieval whenever you or a member of your team may need them.
Web security is a critical component that should be considered as a part of your digital marketing strategy. Need support? Contact BrickHost today for all your network and computer security needs.