13 Cyber Tips for Small Businesses

13 can be an unlucky number – especially for those who don’t take their online and internet security seriously!

Here’s our top 13 Cyber Tips for Small Businesses made simple to help keep your business continue to work like clock-work.

Protect against viruses and spyware on PC’s

Make sure each of your business’s computers are equipped with antivirus software and antispyware and update regularly. The software you’ll need is readily available online from a variety of sources who all regularly provide updates to their products to help correct security problems and improve functionality.

Stop Spam and Phishing Emails

Some of the worst examples of what we call Malware are delivered by emails that while looking like the real thing, contain nasty attachments. They are designed to trick you into opening the attachment and unleash the virus they contain. Take steps to use a good spam filter and services like Office 365 and Gmail do provide everything you need.

Secure your Web Browsing

There are tens of thousands of new web pages created every day! Many of these are either left unattended or have been created purely in order to deliver malicious codes that will shut down your PC or Mac. Ad Blockers can help to prevent networks delivering this kind of infection and some of the anti-virus software available contains a web page checker. If you’re unsure if your provider does, you can purchase Web Protection software.

Keep your software update

Every piece of software you use becomes vulnerable at some time and some are more vulnerable than others. This means that all software needs to be updated regularly preferable automatically but if not check frequently and update to the latest version.

Secure your networks

Safeguard your Internet connection by using a physical and manufacturer supported firewall.  Keep a record of the devices that you have connected to your network. If you have a Wi-Fi network, make sure it is secure and hidden. To hide your Wi-Fi network, set up your wireless access point or router so it does not broadcast the network name). Password protect access to the router and keep the details secure.

Establish security practices and policies to protect sensitive information

If you are responsible for a business who rely on an secure internet connection, establish policies on how you and your employees should handle and protect personally identifiable information and other sensitive data.  Clearly outline the consequences of violating your business’s cybersecurity policies.

Educate yourself about cyber threats

We’ll also be updating details of threats on this site, so please book mark this page. It’s also worthwhile educating yourself on how to protect your business’s data. Use trusted websites such as the BBC tech for news articles that highlight current threats.

Use strong passwords and to change them when necessary

Strong passwords containing combinations of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols are harder to crack, and as a direct result, more secure. Consider implementing a two-stage access policy that requires the user to input additional information beyond a password to gain entry. Check with your suppliers that handle sensitive data, especially financial institutions, to see if they offer multifactor authentication for your account.

Employ best practices on payment cards

If you are taking card payments using your computer then isolate payment systems from other, less secure programs and do not use the same computer to process payments and surf the Internet.

Make backup copies of important business data and information

Critical data including includes word processing documents, electronic spreadsheets, databases, financial files, human resources files, and accounts should be backed up frequently. Backup data automatically if possible, or at least weekly, storing copies that may be required at a later date either offsite or on the cloud. You can now work directly from cloud storage but consider taking your own backups or use two cloud providers. If you’re interested in how we can help, contact us here <link to contact form>

Control physical access to computers and network components

Prevent access or use of business computers by unauthorised individuals. Laptops can be particularly easy targets for theft or can be lost, so lock them up when unattended. Make sure a separate user account is created for each person and require strong passwords. Administrative privileges should only be given to trusted IT staff and key personnel.

Keep mobile phones safe

Mobile devices can create significant security and management challenges, especially if they hold confidential information. Protect mobiles with passwords or PINs, install security apps to prevent criminals from stealing information while the phone is on public networks.

Protect your website

Your own website can become a threat to yourself and others. Websites now are made with software and this software becomes out of date very quickly. Acquire your website login details and check that all the plugins are updated. Take backups of the website and the website database.