If you’re a small business owner, you may think that your systems are safe simply because you have antivirus software installed on your computers. Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily so. Cybercriminals, who can attack your business from anywhere in the world, have a personal interest in obtaining your data or locking your systems down.

The IT specialists at Jimmy’s Computer Service share a few things you should know.

⦁ Increasing awareness pays off. Cybersecurity is a serious concern for businesses. You have to understand the risks of a cybersecurity breach to properly respond to the dangers. Take the time to read about recent breaches and other cybersecurity threats. And never underestimate criminals or assume that your business is too small to matter. By knowing what you potentially face, you may save yourself from an incident. Implement a cybersecurity training program for your employees, which should include learning how to ⦁ recognize phishing emails and to determine if a link is safe.

⦁ Back up your data. It doesn’t matter how little data you collect from your customers, vendors, or employees; ⦁ back it up. This cannot be underscored enough. A good rule of thumb is never store information you are not willing to lose on a single device or in a sole location within your networks.

⦁ Be proactive, not just reactive. Backing up your data is part of a smart cybersecurity plan, but it is not enough. You need a recovery plan already drafted before you are targeted by cybercriminals. The right recovery plan is the one that works for your business and includes many layers of protection. Most importantly, it will be easy to test frequently and can be scaled quickly and effectively as you grow.

⦁ Be mindful of online tool use. There is a glut of online tools available for small businesses, but be careful about what you use, and confirm your actions are secure. From something as major as setting up a ⦁ wire transfer to a small task like having to ⦁ convert a PDF to Word file, confirm that providers are committed to security and privacy.

⦁ Install firewalls. A ⦁ firewall is essentially filtering software or hardware that reduces unauthorized access to your computer. You can think of it like a bouncer at a club door. It turns away the riff raff and works with your other security measures to ensure only the people you want accessing your computer and network can get in.

⦁ Insist on stronger passwords. Your firewall is great at identifying known threats and keeping them out, but some threats come dressed as a friend. Hackers can easily steal passwords and login to your systems posing as an employee or customer. Make sure that anyone that logs in to your internal networks or your website creates a strong password, which Google explains will ⦁ protect your files and other content. Passwords should be at least 10 characters long and contain a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Further, passwords should change often, and your system should never allow previously used passwords.

⦁ Keep home and work separate. If you use or allow your employees to use their home computers for work, you may be opening yourself up ⦁ to even more threats. Whenever possible, use a dedicated computer for your professional endeavors. Insist that your employees do the same or, at the very least, use a VPN and prohibit your employees from logging into work from a public Wi-Fi connection.

The internet changes every day, and cybercriminals know exactly how to keep up. Stay one step ahead, and you’ll be that much closer to keeping your systems safe. The tips above, from increasing your own and your employees’ awareness to not using the same devices for home and work, can help you run a safe and secure business in today’s digital environment.

Whether you have computer issues, need to set up a new network or want to find better low-cost solutions, connect with Jimmy’s Computer Service today!

Cybersecurity: Keeping Your Business Safe and Secure

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