It’s never been easier to run a small business. You can hire remote employees, sell your products on Amazon and Etsy, and accept payments through PayPal. But all these conveniences come with risks. You’re more vulnerable than ever before to cyber criminals looking to steal sensitive information or hold your data hostage. Be proactive about protecting yourself against cyber threats by following these steps:
Keep your antivirus software up to date.
- Keep your antivirus software up to date.
- Make sure you have good antivirus software and a firewall.
- Make sure that your computer’s operating system and all of its applications are up to date.
Use a firewall.
A firewall is a software or hardware device that monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic. Firewalls can be used to block or allow traffic, protect the network from malicious attacks, and prevent unauthorized access to the network.
Update the firmware on your hardware.
The firmware is the software that runs on your hardware. It’s not as well protected as the operating system, so it’s prone to bugs and exploits. Firmware updates are free and easy to install, but most people don’t bother–until their security is compromised by a vulnerability in their device’s firmware.
When you update your router’s firmware, make sure you’re using the latest version of DD-WRT (a popular open-source router firmware) or Tomato (another open-source option). These two routers come with many advanced features like VPN support, QoS controls for bandwidth allocation, and traffic shaping rules that can help protect against DDoS attacks or botnets trying to take over your network connection by flooding it with requests.
Use a password manager and make sure you’re using strong passwords for each account.
Password managers are software that can help you keep track of all your passwords. They’re like the digital equivalent of a physical wallet, with slots for each card or ID. Instead of having to remember every username and password, you just need one master password (or PIN) to unlock them all.
Password managers also make it easier for you to choose strong passcodes–that is, passwords that are difficult for hackers and other malicious actors to guess or crack with brute force methods like dictionary attacks or rainbow tables (which contain pre-computed hash values).
To keep your business safe from cyber threats, we recommend using at least two different password managers: one for personal accounts such as email addresses; another one specifically dedicated towards work-related logins such as social media profiles or productivity tools like Google Drive or Dropbox Business accounts.
Back up your data regularly and keep backups off-site.
- Back up your data regularly and keep backups off-site.
You should back up your data on a regular basis, but it’s especially important to do so if you suspect that there may be a breach or cyberattack in progress. If you’ve been hit with ransomware and can’t access your files, having a recent copy will help immensely in the recovery process (and might even prevent some of the damage from occurring). Additionally, storing backups off-site is an excellent way to protect them from physical threats like fires or floods–and remember: it doesn’t need to be expensive! You can use external hard drives or even cloud storage options like Dropbox or Google Drive for this purpose.
- Keep multiple copies of all important documents in different locations at all times; don’t store everything together on one device!
Cybersecurity is an ongoing process, and you will always be at risk of a cyber-attack. It’s important to take the right steps to stay safe and protect your business, but it’s not something that can be done overnight. As long as you continue learning about cybersecurity best practices, make sure your team keeps up with them too, and store backups offsite in case something goes wrong (and it will), then you should be able to keep your company safe from harm.