While the widespread use of the internet has inspired us to meet new people and share different types of information and ideas, it has also broadened criminal elements that can threaten your well being, as well as the security of your company and its finances. Small businesses in particular are targeted by these criminals because they usually do not have the expertise or the resources to protect themselves from these very real threats. Fortunately, there are ways that these cyber threats can be combated, each of which can be easily integrated into your regular business routine.
Simple Preventative Steps
Often, the easiest ways to prevent criminals from accessing your personal files and banking information is to practice safe internet browsing procedures. This includes never accessing your bank files and personal reports or business emails in a public access spot, such as airports or cafes. In the worst case scenario, your private information can be intercepted by a hacker, who will then use it to access your personal files.
Additionally, it is a good idea to set up some firewalls that can be used as a deterrent to prevent unauthorized users from making direct connections to your computer. In the event of this happening, often they can access your desktop and look through whatever files they want to. Additionally, it is important to never open any strange emails from senders that you had never seen before. These emails are often loaded with viruses and malware that can access the personal data stored on your computer. Just as well, most major corporations and groups will not simply email you out of the blue. Avoid suspicious-looking emails from banks, auditors, and other seemingly professional groups. These emails may end up being more harmful than you may think.
Finding the Right Anti-Malware and Anti-Virus Software
Another important step in ensuring the safety of your business is to find a strong anti-malware or anti-virus agent that you can leave running in the background processes while you access your files and logs. Often the challenge is finding the right program that will work for your needs. If you are unfamiliar with the latest in anti-spyware software, you may unwittingly infect your computer with a virus or a keylogger, as popular new infections often take the form of fake anti-virus technology.
As far as choosing proper protection software goes, there are some familiar names that have been keeping up with the latest anti-virus trends, striving to provide quality protection for casual users and business owners alike. Norton Antivirus has especially been popular lately with the wide variety of free trials available that come with other types of software. AVG also has tried and true solutions for business owners that have been receiving regular updates over the years. It is recommended to find a program that has a process tree running in the background of your computer, so that it can stop threats as soon as they appear.
Educating Your Employees
Perhaps the most crucial step in preventing cybercrime from negatively impacting your company is to raise employee awareness and properly train your staff in handling security threats. Sometimes the biggest threat to your security is an unaware staff. It is a good idea to have an annual or bi-annual seminar on cybercrime and ways in which it can be prevented. By equipping your employees with the knowledge necessary to keep your network and financial records safe, you will already have taken a step in the right direction. Basic security protocol can always be easily arranged and incorporated into the regular schedule of your business. In addition, you may also consider weekly anti-virus or anti-malware checks, which will further guarantee the safety of the computers in your building of business.
About the Author: Joshua Turner is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to business. In this article, he offers information security tips to small business and aims to encourage further study with a Norwich University Master Degree in Information Assurance.
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