Tips for protecting your business information
The question sounds silly, but with reliance on computers and the increase in cyber attacks, it’s a question that needs answered.
Computers are prone to viruses, crashes, power surges, and user mistakes that can cause data to be lost. It might not be the end of the world for a home user, but could be catastrophic for a business. Below are tips for keeping your data safe.
- Use anti-virus software and keep it up to date. Yes, it costs money, but it’s a small investment that protects your largest investment: your business.
- Don’t open emails or attachments from unknown sources. It sounds obvious, but this is the number one way viruses are spread. Be careful even when opening emails from people you trust. People frequently spread viruses unknowingly.
- Use firewalls to protect your computer from unwanted intruders. Firewalls help filter out unwanted data They work, so if you don’t have one, get one!
- Regularly download security updates and patches for your operating system. Software companies create patches to eliminate software vulnerabilities as they are discovered. By continually downloading these patches you help close the gaps in your computer.
- Use passwords that are hard to guess. Passwords are easy to figure out with software programs that will run billions of potential combinations. The only way to create a secure password is to vary upper and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols, make them at least eight characters long, and change them regularly.
- Back up your computer data regularly. You will inevitably lose computer data at some point (if you haven’t already). Once this happens you will know why backing up your data regularly is so important. Prevent it from happening in the future by backing up your data to removable media on a regular basis.
- Don’t share computer access with strangers. This sounds simpler than it is. Obviously you won’t let a stranger play on your computer, but what if you use a file sharing program? That opens the door for others to use your computer from a remote location. Don’t let that happen.
- Disconnect from the Internet when not in use. The Internet is used to send and receive information, which means that when you’re online, you’ve opened a two-way portal. The surest way to keep people out is to disconnect. It’s that simple.
- Check your security on a regular basis. Your security settings can become outdated over time, so check them regularly. A good rule of thumb is to review your computer security every time you reset your clocks for daylight savings.
- Make sure others who use your computer know what to do if your computer becomes infected with a virus. If other people are using your computer, make sure they know how to update virus protection software and download security patches. This way, if you aren’t around, you won’t have to worry about your computer’s security being compromised
While you can’t protect your computer from everything, there are preemptive measures that you can take to greatly reduce your risk.