Your computer network is one of the most valuable components of your business. Not only do you need the hardware to be running efficiently to carry out your day to day tasks, you also need your data to be secure and uncorrupted. However, the reality is that there are thousands of people around the world who disseminate malware to be either malicious or to steal data which they can use for fraudulent activities. You need to remain one step ahead of these people. Let’s look at how to create a technological force field around your business.
IT Security Training
The first question to ask yourself is whether you would benefit from some training in the area of cyber security and virus protection. For many of us, IT isn’t our profession and we are not even sure of the best way to protect our systems. Depending on the type of data you hold it is just as important not to go overboard on security as it is to under protect your hardware. As PGI explains it is vital to assess your risk accurately and balance this against the precautions you take. Training can help you do this and it can also reassure your clients that any of their data held with you is safe.
Protecting Your PC
When it comes to protecting your PC or laptop from viruses the first step is to clean it up and remove any malware that may already have been installed without your knowledge. Malware is a term which includes any type of software that is likely to cause hardware to malfunction or which can steal your data. Viruses, worms and Trojans all fall under this umbrella, which is why you should take the time to clean up your computer’s hard drive as a matter of urgency.
Anti-Virus Software & Scanning
Once you have a clean PC, backing up the data and taking it back to factory settings if all else fails, you can install software to prevent the issue happening again. Anti-virus software should be installed on all PCs and laptops at your business. This should be set to scan automatically to check for malware, to quarantine and ultimately to remove it. The software should also be updated regularly as new forms of malicious malware are constantly evolving.
Passwords Are Important
The importance of passwords for keeping our data secure cannot be underestimated. Hackers have powerful tools at their disposal to try to ascertain your password and the sad truth is you won’t even be aware that this is happening until it is too late. Here are some guidelines to adhere to when it comes to your passwords:
- Every site you access should have a unique password
- Passwords need to be complex and at least 12 characters long, if the site allows that length
- Create the password using lower and capital letters, numbers and a variety of symbols
- Change your password at least every three months, preferably sooner.
One key area not to forget if you run your business via Wi-Fi, is to secure the connection. If your Wi-Fi is not protected by a password, not only can those in the vicinity be using your paid bandwidth for free, they can also easily access your data.
Be Careful What You Click
Hackers are constantly looking for ways to force you to download malicious software to your PC without your knowledge. Therefore, always be vigilant if you receive emails from an unknown source, particularly if they contain attachments. Never open or download any file from a source you don’t trust implicitly.
Also be careful when accessing websites that you don’t know well, again especially if you are downloading any music, images, desktop wallpapers or any other type of file. Either avoid the unknown completely or do due diligence and check them out before proceeding.
By wrapping a virtual force field around your business you can go a long way to minimising the risk of being attacked by any form of malware. Remember however, that your systems are only as secure as the people who use them, so make sure that your employees also receive training in every aspect outlined here.