For new businesses, having an online presence is a necessity, not an option. E-commerce is a rapidly growing sector of the economy, and it will only become larger in the upcoming years. However, this means it’s critical to protect your business against cyber criminals. Falling victim to a cyberattack will jeopardize the security of your personal data, businesses, and customer’s data. Here are a few simple ways to protect yourself against an attack.
Use an Antivirus Program
Using an antivirus suite is your first line of defense against cyberthreats. The suites protect against multiple forms of malware, such as phishing emails, ransomware, adware and keylogger programs. In the beginning days of your business, it may not seem important to pay for this protection, but it helps if your company were to be hacked, your company’s reputation would be significantly damaged.
It’s important that every device you use to conduct business is protected. Many companies conduct online business through their personal cell phone or a personal computer. This is fine, but these devices must be covered by the antivirus software, or they will be vulnerable to cyberattack.
Educate Your Employees (and yourself) on Best Practices
Early on, you may be one of the few employees your business has. Eventually, your business will need to hire more employees, and it’s very important for all new staff members to be aware of cybersecurity best practices before they begin their first day.
Training for these employees should cover different forms of malware like viruses and phishing emails. Also, be sure to go over the importance of protecting any passwords employees may use. Also cover the importance of using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which prevents others from seeing your computer on a public Wi-Fi network. Most importantly, you as the business owner should be modeling cybersecurity best practices for your employees by doing your research and being smart online.
Back up Your Data
No matter what you do, there is always the chance you will lose your data. This could be from a ransomware attack, a flood that causes damage to company computers, or an employee mistake. Regardless of how it happens, losing your data is devastating for a business. It can take several months to recover from losing data, and it could cost you customers in the process.
An easy way to prevent this is to back up your data. It is wise to have an additional copy of your data on a cloud-based server. Businesses can pay a provider for this service, or manually save their information by using a program like Google Drive cloud storage.
You should also have a backup copy of your information on a physical hard drive, stored away at an offsite location, in a fireproof and waterproof lockbox. This way, your data will be protected no matter what happens.
Common Sense Security
It may be easy to get lost in new technology, but many aspects of protecting your business just comes down to common sense. For example, if you use a laptop for company business, make sure you never leave it unattended. It’s also wise to use a savvy password, and enable services like the “Find My” app for Apple products or the “Find my device” feature on Windows products. Other tips include using two-factor authentication and using unique passwords for each account.
When you start a new business, there are many pressing concerns you have to attend to. However, you cannot forget cybersecurity, especially in the modern age of technology. It may be more work in the beginning, but much less than if you were the victim of a cyberattack by not following proper protocol.
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