Your business relies on information. Whether it’s customer records, the financial data of your business, or monitoring performance, the information you have is vital for your success. If you’re like most other businesses today, much of your data is stored electronically.
While storing data electronically is convenient, you need to take proper precautions to protect it. Any vulnerabilities leave your computer, your software, and your data at risk for being hacked, which compromises not only your data but your business and your customers as well. Here are X tips to help you keep your computer and software (and your business) safe.
Install Protective Software
If your computer is connected to the internet, it’s at risk for viruses and other threats. To help keep your computer and software safe, you should install protective software, such as antivirus, antimalware, and antispyware.
Antivirus software is one of the most well-known ways to protect computers. The software typically deals with treats like viruses, trojans, and worms. Antimalware software deals with newer, often more dangerous, threats. Antispyware works to detect and remove spyware programs that have been installed on your computer without your knowledge to collect information.
Keep Your Computer, Software, and Browsers Up-to-Date
It’s not enough to just have protection on your computer. Everything needs to be kept up-to-date. Hackers are constantly finding new ways to get around protections. Developers create new patches to reduce vulnerabilities and keep you safe.
As soon as an operating system, software, or browser update is released, it should be installed. You can set your computer to take care of updates automatically, so you don’t even have to worry about it.
Adjust the Browser Settings
Most internet browsers have options that allow you to adjust your level of privacy, which can lower the risk of infections and attacks. The problem, however, is that these options are typically disabled by default. It takes only a few minutes to adjust your settings and increase your security.
Firewall is a protective barrier between your network and the internet, stopping threats from entering your system. Many operating systems come with firewall built-in that you can turn on. You can choose to install an additional firewall for extra protection. There are free or paid options. Antivirus software also often has firewall protection included.
All of these options are software firewalls. Look into hardware firewall for even more protection. Hardware firewall can be purchased separately but may also be included in your router. Check yours to see if it’s there and turn it on.
Password Protect and Authenticate
Passwords protect everything that you can. Use complex passwords and avoid using the same ones over multiple applications. If you can’t remember several passwords, use a password manager to help.
Along with password protection, you should also use some form of authentication. Options to consider include:
- Two-factor authentication
- Email or text message codes
- Biometric information
Monitor Your Network
Monitoring your network provides you with information about the health of your network and allows you to better understand long-term trends. It can also help you to watch for issues and potential threats. Using a tap port, you can copy all of your network traffic to monitor it and ensure the safety of your system.
Set Up a VPN
With a VPN, all of your internet traffic travels through another server in another location. It’s also encrypted. Any information that does get intercepted is scrambled and useless. You can safely respond to emails. Employees can work remotely. Customers can access information securely. There’s no worrying about hackers gaining access to (and stealing) sensitive information.
Be Mindful of Emails
The ways in which hackers are gaining access to computers are becoming increasingly more sophisticated. They can even send emails that look like they’re from legitimate customers or businesses. While spam filters can detect and flag many potentially dangerous emails, you shouldn’t rely on them alone. Think twice about clicking on a link or opening an attachment, especially if it looks suspicious.
Protecting your computer and software is vital for keeping your business’ valuable data safe. Not only does this help to protect your business, but it also keeps your customers safe as well.