Computer accounts are hacked frequently. Many people with even a basic understanding of how computers run, computer languages, and computer programs could get into someone’s private account, whatever that may be. While it’s upsetting when an individual gets hacked, it’s also upsetting—sometimes even more so—when a business gets hacked. Consequently, it’s wise to take steps to secure your business accounts, and doing so may prevent you from a great deal of heartache and frustration in the future.
What is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is all about securing your computer systems. It means making sure no one can hack into your financial accounts or important business accounts and steal information. Such security is important because your clients trust you with their information. And beyond that, they allow you to have their information with the understanding that it will be protected. If you lose some of your clients’ personal information to hackers, you’ll likely not only lose information, but you’ll lose clients as well. Furthermore, in serious cases you could find yourself in trouble with the law. So, in both your private affairs and your business affairs, but especially your business affairs, take necessary steps to ensure that your clients’ information is carefully protected.
Now that you know you need to improve your cybersecurity, you need to answer an important question—what are you missing regarding this security? Review the security you already have in place on your computers and on your computer systems. If you don’t know what holes you have in your security web, you won’t know how to improve your security system. However, taking the time to review and understand the weaknesses in your system will, in fact, help you know how to put better security in place. Come up with an IT strategy to have a plan for how to overcome your weaknesses.
Once you’ve determined where your cybersecurity weaknesses are, take steps to strengthen those weaknesses. One weakness to potentially strengthen is to create backups for information you already have stored on your computers. In the event that your computers get hacked and your information is stolen or erased, you’ll have a backup ready that will save you a great deal of grief. Backups help you be prepared for all scenarios. Your IT service strategy should include an easy way to create backups of all important data, in case of an attack or other incident. So, though it may appear difficult at first, set aside time to do some research or to hire an individual to help you create backups of the information your small business has.
One way to increase your cybersecurity and overcome your security weaknesses is to change your passwords regularly. Many individuals and businesses choose one password they remember easily and use it for the rest of their lives. Furthermore, these individuals will often use that same password in many different areas. When they do, the password becomes much easier to track and to hack. So, though it’s easy to remember only one password, it’s best to use a different password for every account you create, every newsletter you sign up for, and every meal rewards points you sign up for as well. Don’t repeat passwords. Furthermore, as mentioned previously, once you’ve had a password for a lengthy period of time, change it. Changing your password frequently, especially when dealing with other people’s information, helps provide another layer of security and helps you not feel at risk of being the victim of potential information theft.
Another great way to increase your cybersecurity is to limit client-information access to employees only. Setting up a program block where only individuals who have specifically been given access to certain information are the ones who can see that information. Employees don’t need to know every little detail about your business. Simply allow them the ability to access information that they need to know, but don’t give them access to additional information. Little roadblocks such as this one provide an added wall of security, making it even more difficult for hackers or potential hackers to steal your clients’ information.
Run Background Checks
Along with limiting access to your employees, also run background checks on each of them. Running background checks in today’s world is rather simple and unobtrusive. Background checks don’t mean that you don’t trust your employees. Make sure this sentiment is clear. However, it does mean you are being cautious and wise—two important things to be when dealing with other people’s personal information and money. Plus, sometimes dishonest employees slip through the cracks and join the company. When this occurs, it’s much more difficult to keep your clients’ information safe. So, start background checks from the beginning and make sure employees are cleared before being given access to the animals.
Teach Cyber-breach Detection
Finally, as a final line of defense, regularly teach your employees how to notice security threats. Explain what emails, links, social media posts or messages, and so forth might look like when they’re actually from insecure sites. Oftentimes, your employees will unknowingly let a damaging virus onto your computer or a hacker into private information somehow. This happens when employees think they’re responding to a legitimate email or Facebook user, but they’re actually just opening the virus. So, hold training meetings with your employees to teach them how to spot potential cybersecurity threats.
Keeping your computers and online systems safe is crucial, especially in the business world. As a small business, you’re handling the information of many other individuals, potentially including your own employees as well. Therefore, it’s important to take steps to increase that security. Start by identifying and analyzing the weaknesses that already exist in your business’s security. Next, back up the information you have on those programs and computers. Update your passwords so they’re harder to decipher and restrict information access to only employees who need that information. Additionally, run background checks on your employees to make sure they’re trustworthy and then make sure those same, cleared employees receive training on how to detect cyber breaches. These little but important steps will protect your business and help your clients feel their information is safe with you.
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