With so many high profile data breaches, hacks, and scams in the news the last few years, it can be daunting for a business owner to consider their own online security. Fear not, there are a few simple online business security basics that can protect you, your information, and the future of your business.
For a long time the world wide web was like the last frontier: there was no sherriff to track down wrongdoers, and you were susceptible to whatever malicious links you clicked, or sketchy email attachments you downloaded. These days it’s much easier to keep your business email protected with advanced firewall and scanning technologies.
With these security advancements, inevitably, scammers have also adapted and gotten trickier, making it difficult sometimes to tell if a message is legitimate or not. Increasing web standards, however, have made a few simple rules of thumb a useful guide for avoiding online threats:
– Only download files in emails if you know the sender, have verified that it is sending from their address, and – best case – you’ve confirmed with the sender that they’re sending an attachment
– Stick to websites that are served securely, especially when submitting important, personal information like your email address, credit card information, and more. In all web browsers these days, you can find out whether a site is secure by looking for a small lock next to the website address.
– Use spyware protection software to routinely scan your computer for security threats, vulnerabilities, and viruses you may already have. These sophisticated pieces of software can help to stop small issues from becoming large network security threats.
In the Real World
Many of the threats to a business computer system don’t come over the internet at all. There’s a long list of environmental hazards for computers – things like electrical surges, flooding, and even power outages can result in your business losing its hard work.
It’s becoming standard for many programs, including popular office tools like Microsoft Word, to have autosave features that will keep a copy of work you haven’t saved in case of a disruption. These are useful and effective in most cases, however, in the case of a catastrophic loss – say your computer doesn’t come back on, a hard drive has crashed, or your equipment is unretrievable – you’re going to need a more robust solution.
How to Protect Your Business Technology
The first defense against threats on the internet is being a savvy user. Learning what phishing scams look like, staying away from sites you don’t know, and not downloading files from unknown contacts will keep you generally pretty safe. One of the easiest online business security basics is a network firewall that can stop malicious attacks, emails, and more from even reaching you and your network.
Preparing yourself against real-world disasters can also be equally simple with automatic data backups. This is an invaluable service that saves a copy of your work in another location, so that when and if catastrophe strikes, your hard work won’t be lost, even if your computer network is.
Learning these online business security basics can save you and your business time and money.
Your technology may be one of the most integral parts of your business – keep it safe.