Did your small business face any security related challenges in 2016? Were you able to avoid a major disaster that cost your company both time and money?
While you may have been lucky enough to avoid trouble, the same can’t be said for everyone. From Yahoo to the Democratic National Committee, many hacks and data breaches took the world by storm last year.
So, as a small business owner, this leads to a very important question: what can you do in 2017 to avoid a similar fate?
While there is no guaranteed strategy for avoiding a security mishap, here are five tips that can help keep your company safe:
1. Discuss the Importance of Password Protection
There are many ways to create a secure password, but some employees continually overlook the importance of doing so.
Don’t hesitate to discuss the importance of password protection on a regular basis. Sometimes, all it takes is a brief reminder to keep your staff on the ball.
Additionally, if you use free Google services (such as g-mail) and social media for your business, take advantage of the enhanced security features they offer, such as two-step authentication to help safeguard your accounts.
2. Secure Your Wi-Fi Network
Have you taken a “set it and forget it” approach with your Wi-Fi network?
While you may be able to get away with this at your home (although it’s not recommended), you shouldn’t employ this strategy at the office.
If you’re worried about hackers – and you should be – it’s a must to implement a few Wi-Fi network security tips:
- Change your admin username and password upon setup (and every so often).
- Activate encryption.
- Disable guest networks.
- Check your router for firmware updates once a month.
- Turn down the transmit power control.
These steps are easy to take. They can also go a long way in keeping your Wi-Fi network secure.
3. Keep Cloud Data Secure
The number of cloud users continues to grow. This is particularly true of small businesses that have found the cloud helpful in regards to saving time and money, while also improving worker efficiency.
Unfortunately, there is more to the cloud than meets the eye. In some ways, you leave your company vulnerable to security concerns. Here are three things to keep in mind:
- Read the terms and conditions as to fully understand how the service provider works.
- Avoid sharing hypersensitive data in the cloud. It’s not worth the risk.
- Password security is top priority. It only takes one person to crack your password and gain access to important information.
4. Focus on Email Security
Did you know there are approximately 2.6 billion email users throughout the world?
With a number like this, you can only imagine how many emails are sent each and every day of the week.
As a business professional, you know that email remains the best way to communicate with coworkers, clients, and prospects. You should also realize that this exposes you to a variety of security concerns.
According to Bloomberg, approximately 400 billion spam messages are sent each day. Furthermore, many of these messages contain a virus, which could lead to an infected computer and/or network.
Unfortunately, spam messages and viruses are just the tip of the iceberg. There are other email related security concerns, including but not limited to phishing and compliance issues.
Email will remain a top form of business communication into the future, so it’s a must to focus the appropriate resources on security.
5. Don’t Delay if You Spot a Security Concern
The mantra “it’s better to be safe than sorry” absolutely holds true in regards to security for your small business.
If you have any reason to believe something has gone wrong, no matter how big or small the issue, it’s imperative to pinpoint the problem and implement an immediate solution.
From tax changes to security, small business owners always have something of importance on their mind.
This article originally appeared on SurePayroll