Friday, February 27, 2015

Cyber Security for Small Business Owners

Tips for Keeping Your Business Information Safe

With the recent security breaches that companies have been experiencing lately – the Target credit card hacking, the Sony information leak and a few others – small business owners should be more alert than even about the safety of their business information. Hackers have the ability to retrieve financial data, emails, and even customer information if this data is not being secured properly. Small businesses need to be especially vigilant as even the smallest security breach could mean the end of their company.

Keep Software Up to Date

One of the most important and easiest ways to make sure information is secure is by having all of the software your business uses up to date. Modern software has many more security measures built into it and making sure those barriers are in place is crucial to information safety. Make sure to download any and all security updates on a regular basis as well as making sure all of your anti-virus and malware protection is up to date. Also, consider encrypting personal data such as credit card numbers.

Use Complex Passwords

Cyber Security is a
Major Concern for Small Business
Another first line of defense between business information and potential hackers is to make sure you are using very secure, complex passwords for all business applications. In addition to creating unique, complex passwords for all the accounts you and your employees use, it is also a good practice to change those passwords at regular intervals, such as every 30, 60, or 90 days. Always include lowercase letters, capitalized letters, numbers and symbols and never write down or store passwords on your computer.

Security for Wireless Networks

More and more businesses are using wireless connections to get online and complete their daily tasks. While it is convenient to not have your computer tied down by an Internet cord, wireless networks are also highly targeted by hackers. In order to keep your business, your employees, and yourself safe, make sure to use your wireless router’s highest level on encryption and protect both the connect and the router with a complex, changing password. This will not only help keep hackers from accessing your information but will also help to stop non-employees from using your Internet access.

Security for Cloud Networks

With more employees working on the go, having a cloud network to access files and applications is almost required. But, much like wireless connections, cloud networks are highly targeted. In order to keep this information safe while still doing business, make sure to choose a service that only allows vetted employees access and be careful of what information is stored in this network – if confidential information must be stored in the cloud, make sure it is encrypted and protected by a password.

When we think of security breaches and information hacks, we usually imagine that only large businesses and corporations are the victims of these types of crimes. It is important to realize that just because you run a small business does not mean you cannot become the target of a hacker looking for confidential documents, customer information, or simply who want access to your wireless network. By taking the steps outlined above, you can greatly reduce the risk of your business being infiltrated by a hacker.

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