The security of your small business is important in these uncertain times. Stories of data breaches and cyber attacks fill the news, leaving many business owners wondering what they can do to protect their own companies. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to improve your small business security and reduce the risk of becoming a victim of a crime.
1. Use strong passwords and change them regularly.
This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s important to use strong passwords for all of your accounts, and to change them on a regular basis. A good password should be at least eight characters long and include a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. It’s also important to avoid using easily guessed words like “password” or your company name.
2. Install security software and keep it up to date.
Security software can help protect your computer from viruses, malware, and other threats. Make sure you install a reputable security program and keep it up to date with the latest virus definitions and security patches. For example, Microsoft offers free security software for small businesses called Microsoft Security Essentials.
3. Keep your operating system and other software up to date.
In addition to keeping your security software up to date, it’s also important to keep your operating system and other programs patched with the latest updates. Many security vulnerabilities are exploited by taking advantage of known holes in outdated software. By keeping everything up to date, you can help close these holes and make it more difficult for criminals to exploit them.
4. Be careful what you click on.
One of the most common ways that computers become infected with viruses and malware is by clicking on malicious links or attachments in emails, instant messages, or on websites. Be very careful about what you click on, even if it comes from someone you know. If you’re not sure whether a link is safe, don’t click on it.
5. Educate your employees about security.
Your employees are one of your biggest assets, but they can also be one of your greatest security risks. Make sure they know how to spot phishing emails and other attempts to scam them, and remind them not to click on links or open attachments from unknown sources. You should also educate them about the importance of using strong passwords and keeping their computer systems up to date.
If you need help managing your small business security, consider working with a managed information technology (IT) service provider. Managed IT services can provide your small business with comprehensive security solutions, including data backup and recovery, email and spam filtering, firewall protection, and more. These services can help you reduce the risk of becoming a victim of a cyber attack or data breach, and can provide peace of mind knowing that your business is protected.
Now is the time to take action and improve your small business security. By following these simple tips, you can help reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime and keep your business safe.