If there’s one thing small business owners need to pay more attention to, it’s their computer network in their place of business. A 2012 PC World study showed that over 30 percent of all cyber attacks were targeted at small businesses.
The unfortunate thing is most of these attacks could have been repelled by simply taking a few security measures and securing your computer network. The following are a few proven tips that you can apply today to secure your network and protect all your important files and documents.
Encrypt Your Wireless Network
Open Wi-Fi networks are good if you run a coffee shop and are looking to attract more customers with that. But, if you have that in your office without any intention of making it public, it’s time to get that remedied.
You may not know this, but it is possible for snoopers to intercept any and all information sent on an open Wi-Fi. It’s why all cyber security experts recommend that you password and encrypt your Wi-Fi as your first line of defense against individuals with malicious intent. Use the WPA –also referred to as WPA-PSK- or WPA2.
With these options, your Wi-Fi will be passworded and only accessible to people with said passwords. Make sure to use al-ha-numeric passwords too, names or words that can be found anywhere won’t cut it.
Disable Document Sharing on Mobile Devices
One of the biggest advantages of technology is the ability to take your work with your wherever you go. This is both a good and a bad thing.
The bad thing is that snoopers and hackers looking for network shares –this happens more than you can ever imagine- can easily sniff out private information on data packets sent from public places like the Airport, library or coffee shop. While you don’t want to reduce worker productivity, you also don’t want your files being in the “public domain”.
So, what do you do? It’s simple really: disable file sharing or printing on devices that are out of office. Instead, use tools like Lucion’s Crashplan to upload all your files to the cloud or a central server where everyone in the office can access the files.
Minimize Access to All Files
If you need your staff to work remotely or you need to do so yourself, take advantage of secured collaboration platforms and limit access to files in such a way that they may be able to edit or work on the file remotely. But limit download access or any access at all that could put your work documents at risk in any way.
Take Whole Disk Encryption Seriously
Like it or not, there are unsavory individuals everywhere. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that people can break into your hotel to steal your PC. There’s also the risk of fires and natural disasters.
Whatever the case, make sure to have a whole disk encryption plan that will make it impossible for anyone without your password or encryption key access files on your PC. This way, if they want to use your PC, they would have to wipe out all the data.
The same goes for thumb drives or any other gadget that stores information. This is good because even if you lose your PC, your work files will be protected.
Always Back Up Your Data Offsite
You may have a central web server in your office. That’s okay. But if you want to sleep well at night, you need to always backup your data to the cloud or a secure offsite server.
There are many of such providers –Amazon charges you less than $10 a year for storing your files. This will protect you in case your files get missing, you suffer a hard disk failure, lose your PC or just get careless.
Following these tips will ensure your security will be at least be 90 percent better than other small business owners.
The writer of this article, Oscar King, is a freelance writer and small business owner who contributes articles from his own experience in maintaing an effective business. If you would like to learn more about Oscar, feel free to check out his Google+ profile.