How To Keep Your Business Safe
Running a business means you have to think about many different elements. You need to be able to make decisions about all kinds of things, from marketing to pricing to social media campaigns, to customer service, and more. One of the aspects of running that business that you will need to consider, but that might not be immediately obvious, is its safety. Of course, if you have a physical store or go to see people in their homes, then safety is easier to think about; you will have alarms, CCTV, or have a system in place so that someone knows where you are at all times.
However, most businesses will rely on their computing software to keep them running. Not only are you likely to have a website that may even be a significant source of income for your business (perhaps even the only source), but many of your systems within the business will be reliant on digital working in some way. How can you keep these aspects of your business safe? Read on to find out.
Installing antivirus software on your computers and network is essential if you want to have a safe business. This kind of software will protect your computer system from anything that you might accidentally download or that might be sent in a spam email, for example. Viruses can be downloaded or received without you even knowing about them, and having antivirus software installed means that these issues are detected early on and dealt with before they can do any damage.
Malware is a serious problem that an antivirus software package can eliminate for the most part. Malware is software that has been explicitly designed to attack your computer. It might send out dangerous emails without you knowing; it might corrupt your files; it might lock everything down, meaning you can't do any work. Whatever it does, a virus like this can seriously harm your business.
Educate The Team
If you work with others and employ people in your business, then it is vital that you take the time to educate them about the dangers that the online world can bring. Explaining about viruses and malware is a good start, and although they might still accidentally allow a virus like this into the business, it will be much less likely. Vigilance regarding incoming emails and suspicious links combined with good antivirus software will set up a great defense against any problems that might come at you.
If you have a large enough team, allocating the responsibility for online questions and internet safety can be a good idea. There won't be any mixed messages this way, and everyone will be working on the same information. You might even want to create a specific online safety policy and have your staff sign it to prove compliance.
Training when it comes to your online safety, digital safety, and compliance training to ensure that everyone understands what data is sensitive and why it's important to keep it safe should be part of your onboarding process, as well as something you regularly give to ensure your team remains aware of these threats and alert to the dangers.
Social media is extremely important for businesses, and it is something that many are now utilizing to their advantage; after all, so many of their customers and potential customers are online and using social media that it makes sense to put the business right in front of them.
However, as with anything, there are some important safety considerations to think about. Ideally, you should have just one person posting to the social media account. This means that just one person (or a very small number) has log-in details, thus keeping the account much safer. It is also important to understand what is confidential information and therefore should not be shared on social media and what is not and can be shared. Sharing the wrong information, even accidentally and for a very short period of time, could be a serious breach of security.
Lots of people use their personal phones and tablets for work and for use in the home instead of having two separate devices. It works for many because they are always available and can work from home if need be.
The problem is that sometimes an email can be sent from the wrong account, or the wrong social media profile might be used to post something that could cause problems. However, although unfortunate, this is not a security risk as such; it is, however, something that needs to be addressed if people are using just one device.
The security issue comes because that device will be harder for business owners to keep control of. You won't know where the employee is going in their spare time or who might be looking at their phone or using their tablet.
Again, a written policy dictating what is expected and what is allowed should be enforced.
Secure Your Server
Make sure there are just a few points of entry to secure your company's data as well as your customers' data. Configure firewalls and keep data backups offsite in case you are hacked, so you can swiftly restore your data and get back up and running. Restrict access to your data to just those who need it, as this will prevent accidental sharing or even virus infection.
Passwords should not only be complex, but also updated on a regular basis by staff to avoid hacking. It may also be advantageous to use two-factor authentication for highly sensitive systems that contain a large amount of important data. If you or your staff struggle to remember passwords, consider adopting a password management system to discourage the use of simple passwords.
The internet is an amazing resource for businesses, opening them up to millions more customers and giving them the chance to push their business to success. However, there are safety concerns that will always need to be addressed, which, if left undealt with, could devastate the business. Use your online resources carefully, and you can bypass the issues.