Doing any kind of serious work in this day and age is practically impossible without the use of a computer and the internet, therefore digital and online security needs to be a priority for all entrepreneurs. While big businesses and corporations have an IT department that take care of security, small entrepreneurs usually cannot afford that luxury. However, there’s no need to despair. With a little precaution and common sense, as well as a few of our tips, you’ll lower the chances that your work computer is the victim of malicious software and hacker attacks.
Load your computer with security tools
Though no one antivirus software is perfect, going on without them in this day and age is simply not possible. There are many free tools, as well as free antivirus softwares that provide at least the basic level of security. However, for business and professional purposes it is better to invest some money into a robust antivirus program. Ask your colleagues or a specialist for advice and recommendations. Also, do not forget to activate a firewall that will run in the background, filtering and limiting threats from the internet. The majority of antivirus software comes with a firewall included, and also contain operating systems like Windows.
Regularly install software updates
Hackers will often target vulnerabilities in security programs, applications, and operating systems, so always keep up-to-date with the newest versions of your software. That goes for antivirus software too which need to be updated to fight against new viruses every now and again, while regularly updating your operating system is simply common sense. The majority of software today offers automatic or scheduled updates, so it is advisable to use them.
Change your passwords
It sounds cliche, but it’s still worth repeating: forget about simple passwords like “12345”. Take a little bit of time and create a strong and unique password that will be made up of different letters (capital and lowercase), special characters (like #, $, %), and numbers. Keep in mind that for every online account that you create you will need a different and equally strong password. To make this easier on you, you should use a tool called a “password manager” which will remember your passwords so that you don’t have to. Wherever possible, you should use two-step authentication, a security measure that includes a verification code alongside your password.
Don’t click on everything you see
The internet is an endless source of information and content, but also full of corners best avoided. Avoid suspicious websites that throw up endless pop-up windows, certainly do not download anything from them, and don’t even think about using pirated software. Pay special attention and care to emails that show up in your inbox. If you’re unsure about the identity and the intentions of the sender, do not open any links or attachments in the email as it only takes one wrong click to infect your computer. Be cautious when entering personal details into web forms, only doing so when you are confident in the authenticity and security of the service.
Always backup your computer
Despite all the effort you’ve put in to protecting your computer, it’s never enough. Therefore you should make sure to routinely backup important files and business documents so as to ensure that you do not lose everything in the case of either a security problem or technical failure. Store your backup copies on external hard drives or on reputable cloud drive services, and then routinely keep the information on those hard drives up to date. If your computer ends up toast, at least you’ll know that your files are safe.