antivirusInternet access is vital to the success of most businesses these days but unfortunately, the many hazards lurking online can also be your downfall. Protect your sensitive data and keep your customers happy by following these seven online safety tips.

Create strong passwords. Use capital letters, numbers, and symbols to create passwords that are difficult for hackers to crack.

Shop safely. If you place online orders for supplies, or any other type of shopping, check the address bar to make sure the website’s address begins with “https”. You might also spot a padlock symbol. Both of these signify that you’re using a safe website.

Be careful with email. Remember that email accounts can be hacked, and never send credit card information, Social Security numbers, or other sensitive data over an email. Also, be careful about clicking on attachments. If you aren’t sure of the source, that innocent picture of a cat could actually harbor a virus that infects your system.

Be smart about instant messaging. Use a nickname on instant messenger programs, and never discuss personal details. Instant messages can be easily viewed by third parties.

Approach emails and websites with a skeptical eye. Hackers often create fake websites, and even send very realistic emails from banks or other businesses. Don’t click links in emails; navigate to the site using a separate window, and remember that other businesses will not ask you for personal information over email.

Educate your employees on safe internet habits. Make sure your employees are following all of these rules, and remind them that you can monitor online activity on your business network. Employees should avoid games, instant messaging, downloading files for personal use, and other activities that put your network at risk .

Install a firewall from Davik, Inc.  A professionally installed firewall can keep hackers out of your network, and protect your important data. Give us a call at 888-RING-MY-TECH for more information on installing an effective firewall.