How confident are you that your small business is 100% safe and secure from cyber-attacks?
Recent survey results have shown that 70% of respondents felt that SMEs could do more to protect their client data, so we’ve compiled a list to help you to understand if your business is protected, and simple steps you can take to improve.
Use strong passwords
Hackers can use your email to gain access to all your personal accounts, leaving you vulnerable to identity theft or fraud.
Using passwords made up of at least three random words can really help to keep your accounts secure, and adding lower and upper case letters, numbers and symbols will make your account information even less guessable.
It’s essential to never use any word which is related to you and may be easy to guess, for example by looking at your social media pages. You’ll be surprised by just how much your social media pages say about you, and using information that’s readily available is a sure-fire way of compromising your online security.
Download software updates
Your computer, tablet or smartphone may sometimes prompt you to let you know that a software update is available. While it’s easy to hit ‘cancel’ and go back to what you’re doing, the few minutes it takes to download and install the software updates could save you an enormous amount of time and trouble in the long run.
On top of having the most up to date security, software updates also usually include new features and functionality – so why wouldn’t you install them?
Download software and app updates as soon as they appear. They contain vital security upgrades that keep your devices and business information safe!
Delete suspicious emails
Do you seem to have won a competition you have no recollection of entering? Or is a prince in a foreign country offering to split his fortune with you?
Thousands of people get scammed by these kinds of emails every year, and it’s easier to fall victim to them than you think. You should always delete suspicious emails as they may contain fraudulent requests for information or links to viruses. Remember- if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Visit www.cyberstreetwise.com/common-scams for further advice on suspicious emails.
Use anti-virus software
Your computers, tablets and smartphones can easily become infected by small pieces of software known as viruses or malware. Installing internet security software like anti-virus on all your devices can help to prevent infection.
There are two main types of security software:
Security software packages:
These are full security packages that provide virus scans and other protection including a firewall, spam filtering and parental controls. Good quality free security software is available from many providers for computers and mobile devices, with an option to upgrade for additional functionality and technical support.
Antivirus / Antispyware scanners and malware removal software:
These scan your computers or mobile devices for existing infections and remove them. They can usually be set to check your system on a regular basis. As computers can appear to function normally when infected, it is a good idea to run these regularly in addition to installing antivirus software
If your security or scanner software is unable to remove a virus, then contact a computer specialist and they will be able to help.
For more information on installing security software, check out our SME guide to setting up an IT system.
Train your staff
Make your staff aware of cyber security threats and how to deal with them. The Government offers free online training courses tailored for you and your staff which take around 60 minutes to complete.
Visit www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/sme to find out more and take the course.