High-speed Internet, interconnected mobile, desktop and laptop devices along with Web-based tools and digital applications are making small firms more productive than ever. But all that online speed and efficiency can come at a stiff price if your website, financial information, social media accounts, business or customer data fall victim to cyber thieves or troublemakers.
According to U.S. government crime data, digital information theft has now surpassed physical property theft as the most commonly reported type of business fraud. That alone is reason for business owners to be concerned. If you aren’t taking up-to-date steps to protect your business, you could be exposing yourself to serious trouble that can threaten your future.
Here are tips from the cyber security experts at the Federal Communications Commission:
• Keep clean machines: Your computers should be equipped with the latest security software, Web browsers and operating systems. This simple step is the best defense against viruses, malware and other online threats that are constantly changing. Install key software updates as soon as they are available and set antivirus software to run a scan after each update.
• Train everyone in security basics. Establish basic security practices and policies for employees, such as requiring strong passwords, and establish appropriate Internet use guidelines that detail penalties for violating your policies.
• Provide firewall security for your Internet connection. A firewall is a set of related programs that prevent outsiders from accessing data on a private network. Make sure your operating system’s firewall is enabled or install free firewall software available online. If employees work from home, ensure that their home systems are protected by a firewall as well.