Many business’ are unprepared for the security concerns of the internet, especially if the business isn’t focussed on technology. Regardless it’s important to keep your business secure online so we have outlined a few steps that any business can follow to help out.
- Even if your business is just you, create a password policy. Set the expectations that passwords should be secure no matter who created them and it’s important that all employees who create or manage business accounts understand that secure passwords are the most important step to keeping accounts secure. Outline your expectations for setting passwords, updating forgotten passwords and even what to do when an account is compromised.
- Utilize a password manager. Password managers are designed to securely store sensitive data using encryption, while making it easy to share passwords with employees who may need access to business accounts. We go more in depth about password managers here.
- Create new accounts where possible instead of sharing passwords. It’s always more secure to invite employees, vendors or clients to a platform with their own accounts because usually that means you can also remove their access when they no longer need it. Sharing a password means you cannot ensure that they will keep it secure and you will need to update it when you want to remove someone’s access.
Secure your computers
- Keep your computer, browsers and security software up to date. This will drastically reduce your vulnerability to viruses and malware while using the internet.
- Install AdBlock on browsers when possible. Not only does this make many websites less distracting, it blocks scripts which may threaten the security of your computer.
Secure your email
- Train yourself and your employees to not open emails from individuals they don’t know. Fake emails looking to scam your business, known as phishing emails, are one of the most common ways computers become compromised. Use a reputable email service with spam blockers and never open anything that looks suspicious. Check out this resource on spotting phishing emails.
- Never use your emails password anywhere else. Most of the time when your email gets hacked, it is because you used that password on another site where it was originally stolen from.
Secure your website
- Keep your website software up to date. Especially if you are using a common software such as WordPress, websites are often a target for hackers and bots and an insecure website can cost you greatly. Properly maintaining your website can prevent major problems down the road.
- Use an SSL to secure your user’s data. That way when they give you their name, address or even credit card it will be encrypted and it will keep prying eyes away. SSL's are so important in fact, that we gave them their own guide.
Secure your data
- Use encrypted cloud storage. Sending data that is sensitive over email or as an attachment is not always secure. Instead opt to invite someone to access your data using an account with a cloud storage solution, such as DropBox.
- If you ever collect user data, make sure it is secure through encryption and you know who has access. Fines can be handed down for breaches or insecure storage of many types of data including credit cards, sensitive personal data, health data or data on minors. If you are not sure about this, consult with an expert and do your best to minimize your business’ liability with handling data.
These are only some of the many things you can do to help keep your business secure online. Most importantly use common sense and training to avoid major avenues of risk to you, your business and your data. No one knows your business better than you, but experts can help you determine potential issues and ways to improve security.