Tuesday, July 23

Cyber Security Tips for Small Businesses

If you own a small business, you know it takes a lot to be successful. One of the most important ways to ensure that your company is off to a great start is to focus on cyber security. Avoiding data breaches and hacking can help to keep your business safe and secure and protect your customers’ or clients’ data as well. There are small business cyber security tips you will want to follow.

Use Up-to-Date Antivirus and Anti-Malware Software

Every computer and other devices that are used for business purposes, whether at the office or elsewhere, should be secured with antivirus and anti-malware software. These programs should not only be run on a regular basis, but they should also be updated regularly to ensure that they can detect and protect against the latest viruses and other types of malware. Cyber criminals are constantly releasing new malware on a daily basis, which means outdated antivirus software might not catch it. You can even configure your settings to automatically install any updates or security patches.

Secure Your Network

Keep your Internet connection secure by using a firewall and encrypting all data. Your Wi-Fi network should also be kept secure with a hard-to-guess password that includes a good alphanumeric combination of characters. You can also hide your Wi-Fi network by setting up your router or wireless access point in a way that does not show its network name. This is also known as Service Set Identifier (SSID). Password protecting access to the router is also wise and can fight against cyber attacks.

Practice Proper Password Management

Although it might be tempting to use a single, easy to remember password for every computer and device, that can spell trouble. The best practice when protecting your small business against cyber attacks is to teach your employees to use only strong passwords at all times. These should be comprised of both alpha and numeric characters as well as special characters. In addition, educated your employees against writing down their passwords. If they do have difficulty remembering them, encourage them to download an app specifically meant to retain passwords.

Use a VPN When Using Unsecured Networks

If your business frequently allows for remote work and you or an employee has to work in a place that has an unsecured network, such as the local coffee house, you should use a virtual protocol network (VPN). A VPN masks your true IP and essentially hides your online activity from the prying eyes of cyber criminals. It also encrypts all the data being transmitted.

Back Up Data Regularly

Make regular backups of your company data on all computers. Everything from your financial files, personal information for all employees and data that is vital for running your business should be backed up as a type of insurance policy in the event that a cyber attack occurs. That way, you will still always have access to your important data.

Monitor Personal Devices

The best small business cyber security practices always include monitoring personal devices in addition to those at the office. These days, many people use their personal laptop, smartphone or tablet for their work, which means they can access sensitive company data from those devices. As a result, it’s important to implement policies that allow your network administrator to install software and automatic security updates for them. Employees should also regularly change their passwords on their personal devices to ensure that they remain safe from hackers and other cybercriminals.

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