Computer security is quite often something that is overlooked by businesses. Many people take the standard security precautions such as adding a password for when you login to your computer, but what about when you are carrying your laptop around to meet clients? Do you have two-factor authentication enabled to help prevent a data breach? Are you someone who connects to Wi-Fi in a café, exposing yourself to hackers?
Keeping your computer safe
Here is a simple list to help you with your computer security. Save it as a favourite on your browser, print it off and stick it on the wall. Anything that will help you to remember!
- Check you have changed the username and your password on your router from the default ones.
- Install a firewall and anti-virus software onto your computers.
- Set up your operating system to receive automatic updates.
- Download the latest security updates to help cover vulnerabilities.
- Set up, and manage, levels of access to the information required by staff.
- Don’t let your staff share passwords.
- Use encryption where possible – both on the hard drive, and for the data files.
- Back up all of your data regularly, either through portable hard drives, a server outside the building, or to the cloud.
- When disposing of old computers, securely remove all personal data (either by using technology, or destroying the hard disk).
- Setup anti-spyware – programs that are designed to monitor and protect your computer from spyware threats. They are often free to use and update, and are essential for all business owners as spyware can capture your passwords, banking credentials and more, before forwarding them onto the dark side of the web.
Emails are something that we all use day in, day out, often without much thought behind them. There are a few things to consider with regards to email safety though, that you may not have thought about:
- Think about the content of the email. Are you sending high profile or sensitive documents that should either be encrypted or password protected, in case they fall into the wrong hands?
- Auto suggest is a great thing, but also a bit of a nuisance sometimes. If you start typing in ‘Ian’ you may have several contacts that are called Ian. Be sure to send the correct email to the correct person to save embarrassment!
- If you are wanting to send an email to a recipient without revealing their email address to other people included within the message, make sure you use Blind Carbon Copy (BCC). Remember, CC will show everyone’s email addresses, so don’t confuse the two.
- When using a group email address, think about who is included within the group. Make sure you really want to send your message to everyone.
A final thing to note is that if you send a sensitive email from a secure server, and the recipient has an insecure server, the message becomes insecure. If you are sending sensitive information, ensure the receiver has a secure email address.