Cybersecurity tips for small businesses

If you own and operate a small business, then you have probably seen how valuable technology can be. Unfortunately, not everything about being connected to the world is as positive; that’s why cybersecurity is crucial to your success. It might seem intimidating to navigate the often complicated topic, but the basics of keeping you as well as your company safe from these constant threats are easy to understand. Take these tips and build an effective cybersecurity plan that saves time, money, and morale at every small business.

Cybersecurity tips for small businesses
Cybersecurity tips for small businesses

Enforce Strong Passwords

Passwords are often the best line of defense against hacking, malware, and other similar issues. It’s essential to look at your password strength.

Protect Devices At All Times

Whether it be computers, tablets, smartphones, or anything else that runs on your network, everything needs to be protected. For each device, the strategy may be slightly different, but the ultimate goal should be privacy as well as security.

When your business is closed or not using regular operating hours, there should be a complete lockdown of products onsite as well as online. Software offers options to do just that, without facing an expense that compromises a technology budget.

In other cases, you may way to explore a physical lockdown that prevents unwanted access when employees are not on the job. This simple step can be done with safety-based software that provides a full lockdown that can only be unlocked by approved employees or yourself. Going even further, you can suggest an electricity cut-off that prevents the use of office devices. While these details do not help with online safety issues, it does deal with any robberies or other onsite concerns that occur.

Be Alert To Travel Dangers

Many employees and employers find their business compromised by forgetting that travel can be dangerous. First and foremost, keep any devices locked and change the passwords as often as you can; this is a significant step in preventing unwanted access to any files or data.

Another consideration is Wi-FI and Bluetooth connectivity. While it may seem like a modern convenience, and it often is, this is one of the best ways to open up your business to criminals. Although it might feel like the ultimate in on the go functionality as you and your team travel, leave those services off at all times. For most devices, these options can be shut off with the push of a button.

Watch out for Apps

Check out any apps operating on devices. Ranging from fun uses to productivity, apps are a way of life for most of the items in our lives. They serve a function and sometimes entertain you, but the details of each app could cost you far later. Many app developers install permissions that could access any part of your phone or tablet. Without your knowledge, your information, data, locations, and even your microphones could be accessed by apps.

The best way to avoid all of this is to leave the apps off any device. If that is impossible, then it is time to check permissions. These easy to find details will reveal everything that the developer can access on your device. If possible, deny any open permissions but be aware it may affect the app’s performance.

Focus On Storage And Backups

When it comes to your business’ details, there should never be just one copy of essential documents and related information. Instead, you should have a storage plan in place that covers every employee. Storage solutions are available to match any business size and needs, so it’s not hard to find an answer to your data issues.

For most small businesses, hiring an outside firm to control data is not an option due to cost concerns. Instead, some options connect business owners with professionals in the industry who accounts for unauthorized use while also helping out if something goes wrong. Lastly, hiring an IT professional doesn’t take a lot of money. There may be someone in the community that can accomplish your goals for a low price.

Buy And Maintain Security-Related Software

Software is a crucial component in taking care of your devices and network. Human error can open the door to hackers, but your employees have extra protection with the right software. Anti-virus software is an excellent start for any small business and keeps security budgets low. Most options in this category include free scans or features; instead, opt for the subscription plan that unlocks all features. It also pays off to set up a firewall that crosses every device in your business’ network. Some systems come with this feature already loaded, yet not everyone knows it is there or even how to use it. Keep an eye out for the firewall and check each device in your business the ensure it is ready.

Schedule Regular Seminars For Employees

One of the most common reasons for a lapse in small business security is a human error. With technology continually changing, the chance that an employee makes a mistake grows with the lack of proper guidance and instruction. Seminars can help avoid these issues while also giving employees the most current advice on various cyber topics. Once again, you may find someone locally that has the expertise and knowledge to present these events.

Do Monthly Check-Ups On Technology

As much as you do a check-up on your health or finances, do a monthly check on every device in your company. If a device is out of date, it might not have the capabilities to hold the most current security features. Software and other items may also have issues working on something without the manufacturer’s recommended specifications. Monthly check-ups can do all of this and help you identify lapses in your security strategy.

A small business is vulnerable to cyber-attacks and other issues. Taking some simple steps now, and implementing a plan can help you avoid potentially harmful disruptions. It’s these types of activities that prepare you for anything and help turn a small business into something more.

Isaac Adams-Hands

Full Stack Developer, Digital Marketer, and InfoSec enthusiast. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Western Sydney and his Business Diploma from Georgian College before joining various marketing positions in search portals, e-commerce, higher education, and addiction recovery services.

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