Advances in technology this century have continue to create more opportunities for small business owners. On the dark side, however, different sorts of advances heighten the potential for the destruction of small businesses through cybercrime.
Most small business owners aren’t cyber security experts. Most people know not to send sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, in emails. And, by now, a large percentage of the online public is savvy enough not to click on suspicious links or attachments. But how can you protect your small business online beyond the common scam?
For starters, make sure that all of the computers and other devices that your business uses have the latest anti-virus and anti-spyware programs. And make sure this type of software is purchased through reputable vendors, as some malware is disguised as anti-virus software.
If your company is active on social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, among others, it’s a good idea to upgrade your security and privacy settings on these sites. Your employees should be instructed never to download apps without permission.
It’s a good idea to add an extra step to the simple act of logging into sensitive accounts through what’s known as two-factor authentication. This will help prevent sensitive data from falling into the hands of unauthorized persons or bots.
Sensitive data should also be encrypted. If not, personnel information, and the personal and financial data of your customers can easily be accessed by hackers. Placing encryption protocols on your networks, cloud storage, e-mail and operating systems can help ensure their safety.
It’s important to note that not all cloud storage options are equally secure. Google Drive, Dropbox and Apple iCloud are all fairly secure as long as strong passwords and two-factor authentication are in place. But, if your firm handles sensitive data, it’s critical to use the type of service that specializes in secure cloud storage.
Lastly, backing up all of your data is a simple and cost-effective strategy to neutralize ransomware. Cyber criminals use ransomware to lock your data until you pay to retrieve it. Backup files of all important documents and sensitive information, stored offsite or through a secure cloud storage option, can save time, stress and money down the road.