A closed lock on a keyboardDid you make any New Year’s resolutions this year? Maybe you decided to lose twenty pounds, finally organize your garage, or save money for your dream vacation. Those are all great goals, but consider the fact that your business faces an unseen danger every day. And yet, by resolving to develop better habits, you can take better care of your computers and network.

Back up your data.  You’ve heard me preach this many times before, yet I still come across plenty of business owners who do not have a backup system in place.  This is in spite of the fact that it is one of the easiest things to do.  If your computer or network crashes, not having a backup could have a devastating effect on your business.  Get this in place asap if you aren’t already doing it.

Update all of your computers.  When developers find problems with their software, they issue updates to solve the problems or patch holes in security. But you won’t receive those updates unless you allow them to be installed on your machines. You can set your computers to allow automatic installation of important security updates, but some optional updates must be approved first. These optional updates can improve your machine’s performance or enhance your experience, so they are still important. Set a schedule to check for optional updates on a regular basis.

Install a firewall.  Establishing a strong firewall can prevent malicious attacks on your computers via your internet connection. It can also help to prevent one of your computers from infecting another. It’s a good idea to ask a professional to configure your firewall for you, since they can vary in strength and occasionally interfere with certain work processes. Also consider installing both a hardware and software firewall.

Install anti-virus protection.  Even if you’ve installed a firewall, which can prevent worms and hackers from getting through, your computers can still harbor viruses. Install a quality anti-virus program on each computer, and run regular scans on your computer. Resolve to do this once per week; you can even set your anti-virus programs to run scans automatically on the days and times of your choosing.

Ask a professional to review your network security settings. The best way to protect your network is to let a professional identify and fix areas of concern. An IT expert can review your network settings and passwords to ensure that your network is as secure as possible. She or he can also set up a network security key, which will turn on encryption. Any information sent through your network can only be viewed on computers that also have the security key to decrypt it.

For more information, call us at 888-RING MY TECH. We can answer all of your computer and network security questions, and help you establish a system that will protect your business throughout the year.