Protecting your business is good for you, after all, it keeps your reputation and profits safe. It is also good for your customers, as it keeps their details away from criminals, plus it boosts their trust in you. There are many threats which can come from the digital and online world, and anything you can do to ensure that those threats don’t harm your business is what you should be doing first and foremost. So what are the best ways to protect your business from serious online problems?
Don’t Allow Malware
Not allowing malware is something that is much easier said than done, but it is possible with the right software and the right knowledge. You wouldn’t leave your home’s back door open when you go out, so why leave your computers open to an intruder? It’s better to lock them and make them secure so you can be happy that everything is safe.
Malware is exactly that kind of intruder. It is software designed to damage a network or individual PC, and often the harm is done before you even realize you have a problem. Therefore, it’s best to prevent the attacks in the first place. You can do this by installing a good firewall and then also protect the PC itself using additional software including spam filters on your emails. You should also ensure that any mobile apps you use in your business are safe. Understanding how fintech app development works, for example, can help you to get a better idea of what to do and how best to serve your customers safely.
Educate Your Team
You can have plenty of protection on your computers, but if your team aren’t aware of the rules that will help to keep the company safe from online attack, then they might accidentally still allow a piece of malware or a virus to get onto your network. In this case, it’s important to write a computer usage policy book that everyone needs to read and sign.
Policies that you should include are letting employees know which applications can be used and installed and which need permission (or cannot be installed at all). It should have tips on how to create a strong password and internet usage information. As well as email education (for example, what attachments are safe, which ones should never be opened), and appointing someone as the ‘go to’ person when it comes to issues with computers.
Now that social media is so prevalent and so important for businesses; it opens up new channels where problems can occur. You will need to appoint just one person in your company to use the social media platforms as your representative, thus reducing the potential for problems to occur. Have a backup name in case that person is sick or on vacation, of course, but it’s far better to have just one person answering queries and comments online.
When working with social media, it’s important to define what is confidential and therefore shouldn’t be typed up on an open page or forum. These are the kinds of details that criminals can get hold of and use for their own gain, at the expense of the company. Make sure there are guidelines in place that your employees can follow. This includes what they say about the company on their own blogs and social networking sites too.
Passwords are essential for most programs and pieces of software, but they can also be the downfall of many businesses because they are not strong enough and can easily be hacked. To truly make a strong password, it should contain at least eight letters, numbers, and symbols. This will prevent attacks aimed at the company passwords that simply try to guess what the most obvious ones might be.
As well as this, it’s important to change passwords regularly (every six months or so should be fine) so that it becomes even harder for hackers to find out what they are. Passwords should always be kept safe and never written down, so make sure that your employees are aware of this fact and of the consequences for letting anyone see their password, and that includes storing it on their cellphones.
Think About Personal Devices
These days, many employees are using their own personal devices for work. It means they can always be available and many employers like the idea because it costs less in equipment. However, these devices are used for both personal and business use, and it means they are harder to keep control of when they are out of the company’s time and space. In turn, that means there are higher security risks associated with them.
As with all internet guidelines, there should be a written policy that directly relates to personal devices and how to use them for work. Data shouldn’t be stored on them, for example, and they really should only be used as a communication device for out of hours work.
Be The Example
The more careful you are as a business owner when it comes to your online security, the better because it is always good to lead by example. It only takes one person to let their guard down, and a virus can spread across the entire company’s network so being vigilant at all times is a must.
If you hear about something that could offer better protection to your business, then make sure you share that information. Discuss the idea with your team to see if it is something that needs implementing. Equally, if any of your employees have a thought or an idea about additional safety measures, listen to what they have to say as it could help you immensely.
Keep Up To Date
Once you have installed antivirus software or you have changed your passwords and encrypted your files, you still need to stay alert. There will often be updates for your apps and other software that means better security measures in place for you, so if something is out of date, make sure that it gets updated as soon as possible so as not to cause a breach.