Access to the Internet provides businesses with a means to become more productive. Employees use it to access and share the information needed to do their jobs or access training, among others.
The Internet also makes possible for companies to grow and expand their business. Ordering stock, paying for items, communicating with suppliers and clients — these are only some of the tasks that can be accomplished online.
This is why these days, all businesses are expected to subscribe to a high speed Internet plan. Even entrepreneurs who are not planning to get into e-commerce are advised to have an Internet plan.
However, all the convenience and benefits the Internet provides come at a price. Unsecured connections allow cyber thieves to access your information, whether it be your personal information, financial data, customer data or other business details.
That is why it is so important for entrepreneurs to take steps to protect their business from cyber criminals. Here are a few tips to keep your connection and details secure.
1. Get your staff involved
Develop a cybersecurity plan that includes a list of best practices. Include tips on how to keep both personal and business information safe while using the Internet. The plan must also include steps that employees must follow in case a security breach occurs.
Once the plan has been developed, get your employees involved. Allocate time to teach your employees about how to protect their personal details and company information.
Train your staff on how to create strong passwords for their accounts. Encourage them to set up and use the two-factor authentication process. This may require access to a phone or another mobile device, but doing so secures your accounts further.
Update your company’s cybersecurity plan whenever possible. You may also need to remind or inform your staff on any changes or new procedures.
2. Watch what you share
Be careful of what you post online as your posts reveal more about you than you realize. Even posting status updates during your vacation can let potential robbers know where you live and that nobody is home.
What you post can also land you in court. For instance, you can get sued for defaming people online without providing any proof.
Read contracts carefully before signing them. Posting sensitive information about your clients, suppliers, your staff or co-workers may go against the terms of the company’s NDA.
3. Back up your data
Find a way to create a backup of all your business data such as databases, spreadsheets, financial documents and more. Store multiple copies of your backup data. This way, you have other copies to refer to in case of an emergency, or if one backup becomes corrupted or inaccessible.
Ideally, backups should be made automatically. If this is not practical, an alternative is to have the data backed up at least once a week with the data stored in a cloud server or offsite.
4. Keep your computers updated
Regularly update all devices that you use including computers, smartphones and tablets. Do the same for your device’s operating systems, web browsers and programs.
If you don’t have an antivirus program or security app on your computer or mobile device, now is the best time to install one. These programs are designed to protect your device from known attacks, including Trojans and other malware. Keep your antivirus software and apps updated or set your device to update them automatically.
You may also need to install firewalls on your business devices. Firewalls help prevent unauthorized access of data on your private network. As there are legal types of software that will try to access your computer or mobile device on a regular basis, you may need to setup your firewall to help it determine which connections should or should not be allowed.
Install a firewall on all your home devices and instruct your home-based employees to do the same. This way your data and connections remain protected even while working from home.
Follow these security tips whether you are working inside a corporate office, at home on a small business Internet plan or on the road. By following these tips, you are keeping your personal and business data safer from both cyber criminals and hackers alike.