In the midst of growing cybersecurity threats, small businesses need to protect both their own data as well as customer information. Follow these ten steps to establish a safe workplace protocol for internet security.
Train employees properly. Establish clear procedures for handling customer data, require strong passwords, and establish internet use guidelines with clear penalties for violations. Make certain every employee has received this vital training.
Set up a firewall. Generally speaking, your operating system’s firewall is not strong enough to protect your small business. You need to set up a UTM Firewall that has security software built in, and which monitors all traffic coming and going.
Maintain your computers properly. Keep your security software up to date, and make sure your operating system installs all updates automatically. If you don’t know how to access these items in your computer’s settings, consult with an expert about security.
Protect mobile devices. Protect all mobile devices with passwords, install security software, and encrypt cell data. Establish clear procedures for reporting lost or stolen devices.
Back up your files. Set your computers to automatically back up all important data to both a cloud and an external hard drive.
Secure your wifi network. Always require a password to connect to your business’s wifi network, and set it up as a hidden network. Protect access to your router, and don’t allow anyone outside the company to use your wifi.
Control access to company computers. Set up user profiles and passwords for each employee, and never allow outsiders to use your equipment. Set laptops to lock automatically when they aren’t being used.
Limit employee access to important data. It’s unlikely that all employees need access to all types of data. Employees should only be able to access the data that they need to do their jobs.
Change passwords regularly. A good rule of thumb is to change passwords every three months. Consider implementing multi-factor authentication programs, which require additional information to gain entry to your system.
Protect payment methods. Make sure you’re using the most up-to-date anti-fraud services to process payments. Isolate payment information from other programs, and don’t use the same computer to both process payments and browse the internet.