Cybersecurity Tips to Keep Your Business Safe
Learn the Basics of IT Cybersecurity to Keep Your Business as Secure as Possible
Cybercrimes can destroy businesses. Hackers and online attackers have the ability to delete, alter, or expose private business information and data which could ultimately put a company out of business. As the use of technology becomes more apparent and utilized in businesses, the need for cybersecurity becomes increasingly necessary. There are various methods of cybersecurity that can be adopted in order to best protect a business.
What is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting mobile devices, networks, computers, and other electronic systems from hackers or data breaches. Cybersecurity comes in many different forms, such as installing outside software, using an outside IT (information technology) service, or simply making a personal effort to keep personal data and information private and secure.
Cybersecurity is important for anyone that uses technology; however, it is especially important for businesses. Businesses often have large amounts of private data and information that has to do with money, official documents, and even people’s personal information; it’s important to keep this information secure and out of the hands of hackers or outside attacks. Using cybersecurity methods to protect information and data is crucial and can potentially save a business. Here are some cybersecurity tips to keep your business safe from computer criminals:
1. Install Antivirus Software
An easy and practical way to protect your business from outside attacks is to install antivirus software. Antivirus software acts as a form of defense from hackers by using security downloads against spyware, adware, and protection from malware digital viruses.
This software is fairly inexpensive and will protect devices from getting viruses. Additionally, this software will scan devices constantly to ensure no outside attackers are present and will back up data and store it in a cloud.
2. Choose Secure Passwords
This may seem like an obvious task when operating a business, however, password hacks are one of the most common ways that businesses fall victim to cyber-attacks. It’s important to choose passwords that are secure and use multi-step authentication. Hackers can easily make their way into a computer system by cracking passwords. Hackers do this by doing research on the business/ employees of the business to create a list of possible passwords; these lists contain names, birthdays and other personal information hackers uncovered through research.
Here are some pointers to keep in mind when setting up passwords for businesses:
- Create a password that is between 12-15 characters and uses numbers, letters, and symbols as well as upper and lower case letters
- Do not share the password with employees that do not need access to certain information
- Choose a password that has no significant meaning; don’t use a password that contains names or birthdays of people in the business/ their family; hackers will be able to discover this kind of information by looking on social media or other websites
- Change all passwords if one is exposed
3. Encrypt Information
Encrypting information means scrambling data via code so that the only way it is accessed is by using key codes. This ensures that private information will only be able to be accessed by employees that know the code in addition to passwords.
Basic encryption is a tool that can be learned by employees fairly quickly and can help avoid data breaches and information exploitations.
4. Back-Up Everything
This is perhaps the most valuable tip when discussing cybersecurity for businesses. Backing up all information multiple times can save a business as well as all of its data and information if a hacker deletes or alters information. It’s important that businesses know where data and files are in order to back them up effectively. It is also key to back up information in multiple places; this can be on multiple servers or drives that are accessed by a limited amount of employees.
It’s also important to remember to delete the information after it isn’t needed anymore. This will make backing up information easier and valuable information will be easier to locate as well.
5. Pay Attention to Questionable Emails
Emails can be used to steal data, hijack devices, and even implement malware/viruses. When checking emails, ask yourself if they seem like they are from a trustworthy source or recognizable company. Training your employees to spot and report questionable emails is an important part of cybersecurity as well. Below are some tips to point out to employees in order to teach them to spot malicious emails.
- Look for poor grammar or incorrect spelling in the subject line or body of the email
- Check to see if the sender is legitimate by looking up him or her or the company, he or she claims to be from
- Ask yourself if this company/person makes sense to be reaching out to your company
6. Limit Employee Access to Sensitive Information
Not all employees need access to passwords that access certain data and information. Many cyberattacks on businesses have been known to come from within the company; that could be attributed to an employee having access to information that he or she shouldn’t.
Sensitive content and information should only be given to employees that need it in order to complete their daily work tasks. Not only does this tip limit the possibilities of cyberattacks from happening within the business, but it also allows for a business owner to get an idea of who leaked or deleted information if a cyberattack does, in fact, take place.
Protect Your Business
Keeping tips like these in mind could ultimately save your business from cyberattacks and hackers. Easy tasks like these are also inexpensive, or even free, ways to practice cybersecurity in order to make sure your business is secure from hackers or data breaches. Be proactive by protecting your business from malicious computer criminals.
Jennifer Bell is a writer for IT Acceleration, a computer, and a digital forensic service in Philadelphia. Jennifer is also a dog-enthusiast, avid beach-goer and book lover living in Southern New Jersey.