If you just recently purchased or were given a new computer, laptop, smartphone, etc., computer security is vital for your small business. Let’s see why this is so important.
Many of you may or may not know that the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) has a mission to protect consumers by preventing anticompetitive, deceptive, and unfair business practices, enhancing informed consumer choice and public understanding of the competitive process, and accomplishing this without unduly burdening legitimate business activity. But, they also do their best to protect small business.
As a small business owner, you have a lot on your mind. You can’t afford to lose time or money to scammers or a compromised network. We can help you avoid scams, protect your computers and networks, keep your customers’ data safe – and protect your bottom line. You also can find out what the FTC is doing to protect small businesses.
What Is Computer Security?
Let’s see what Wikipedia says:
Cyber security, computer security or IT security is the protection of computer systems from the theft and damage to their hardware, software or information, as well as from disruption or misdirection of the services they provide.
Cyber security includes controlling physical access to the hardware, as well as protecting against harm that may come via network access, data and code injection. Also, due to malpractice by operators, whether intentional or accidental, IT security is susceptible to being tricked into deviating from secure procedures through various methods.
The field is of growing importance due to the increasing reliance on computer systems and the Internet, wireless networks such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, the growth of “smart” devices, including smartphones, televisions and tiny devices as part of the Internet of Things.
Computer Security Plan of Action
It’s not uncommon to hear about cybersecurity at least once a day – and the computer security landscape is only going to get more scary. You don’t have to let the thought of cyber security overwhelm you though. There are five steps you can follow to make sure that your SMB assets are secure.
5-Step Plan for Computer Security
1. Think about what your most important assets of your company data are.
Start by identifying your most critical items that should be protected in your company data. What are the most crucial pieces that your company holds? No, no, I don’t mean you have to do this all by yourself; get your virtual assistant to help you out.
These could be anything, from your intellectual property (things like copyrights, trademarks, authorship, strategic planning, and others to customer and client details, inventory, financial information, etc. Where do you store all of this data? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can start thinking about the risks that your data is open to.
Carefully collect and record all of the processes that you and your staff members use to collect, store, and get rid of this data. Also, think about all the points along the way through which this data could leak out or get stolen. Now consider the consequences of a cybersecurity gap for you, your employees, and your customer, client, and partner relationships. After doing so, you can start to put precautions in place.
2. Regularly update your anti-virus software and system updates for all your computers and smart phones and browsers and…everything.
***Disclosure: This post and our website contain affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make purchases using them. Please see our affiliate disclosure.***
Below is an affiliate link for one of Trend Micro’s small to medium-sized business solutions. Trend Micro has been in my arsenal of tools since 2011.
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3. Create, update and secure your passwords!
All employees in your organization should be required to follow this step.
A little unpredictability goes a long way to keep your computers secure. Don’t use the names of your spouse, children, pets, your name or birthday or street – for the most part these are easily found through search engines on the Web.
The longer the password that uses a combination of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and characters is going to be much stronger than password123.
Keep your passwords unique. If you use a password to log into one location, don’t use it again to log into somewhere else.
4. Consider using a password manager.
Password managers can be a useful tool. Do you have a lot of passwords? Do you have trouble remembering all of them? Thankfully, PCMag has taken the drudgery of finding a good one by providing you with The Best Password Managers of 2018. My recommendation if you use their chart is to not choose the least expensive. Take your time and do a good comparison to find the one that will really give your small business the computer security it needs.
5. Read up on even more ways to provide your company the computer security it needs.
Why not get up right now off the seat of your pants and look into cyber security. Make sure that when you do your research, you use current content. Hackers are just lurking in the cobwebs of the Internet waiting to infiltrate some unsuspecting person’s computer (or laptop, or smartphone…). So practice computer security now!
Yes, change management may be new for you. But in the long run, your small business will see many benefits.
Pam Lokker is a master writer and a virtual assistant professional who enjoys writing. While we are not currently taking on new clients, Borlok Virtual Assistants, LLC has been the place to get global expert VA services with quality and on-time delivery for many years.