A guide to looking after your business online

Most businesses fear the prospect of losing their reputation or information in a cyberattack. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that all business owners are equipped with the knowledge to prevent such an event. Educating yourself on the basics of cybercrime is one of the best approaches you can take for your business. Not only will this save the time of retrieving all your information, but also money in terms of time wasted and reputation.

Create a culture of safety
Of course, expertise is one of the best weapons you will have in looking after your business online. There isn’t any real replacement for a firewall or anti-virus software. However, a hugely important step to take is to educate everyone on-site. This is a preventative measure to stop fraudsters and cybercriminals from attacking your systems from the inside. Here are a few ways you can inform your employees:
• Host meetings to remind them of the most recent methods of cybercrime
• Alert them to what phishing scandals look like
• Prohibit BYOD (bring your own devices) unless they have company-approved anti-malware software on them
Don’t forget your use of apps
Online security isn’t often talked about when it comes to apps. However, in the era of smartphones, almost everyone is using an app of some description. It is therefore crucial that you use software that is primed to filter out any untrustworthy download sources and you are aware of what is mobile application security.
Password safety
We’ve all been guilty of relying on a less-than-safe password from time to time. While shorter, less complex passwords are easier to type in, they’re certainly less effective at protecting us against cyber-crime. If you want to protect your company through your use of secure passwords, be sure to install a policy that ensures:
• Passwords must be incredibly complex (upper-case, numbers and special characters all included)
• Employees have to change their password every month or so. This stops their password choice from becoming predictable.
Update your software
If your computer system is constantly reminding you to install updates, it’s a good idea to get on with downloading these. Software updates are often trying to outrun cybercriminals to keep your computer safer. In turn, this means that cybercriminals are also trying to keep up with software companies and their updates. Not updating your computer means that you have just become vulnerable to hacker’s established methods of penetrating older software versions.
Backup everything
If the worst were to happen, what would you do? If you don’t back up your information regularly, the event of a cyber attack could be detrimental to your business. Remember to back everything up on a regular basis (ideally on cloud storage) to ensure that if your business is the victim of online crime, you will be able to stay afloat. Recovering lost information is costly both in terms of time and money.
Looking after your business online is not only important for retaining sensitive information, but also your reputation. Keeping your business and employees safe ensures that your company can run like clockwork, without the threat of a cybercriminal interrupting the process.
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