Cyber Security Tips For Small Businesses

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The Internet gives us the power to connect with people and businesses all over the globe. While this is a great opportunity for the growing number of small businesses and employees to reach each other it is also an opportunity for security risks. We are all familiar with the major breaches in cybersecurity lately for several large operations. Cybersecurity is no longer an issue for the future, it should be a present day concern for all businesses large and small. The good news is, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) established October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month to educate the public and business owners about cybersecurity.

Protect Your Network

First things first, make sure that your Internet connection is secured with a firewall, router, and password. If you have clients or guests that may want to use the wireless connection create a second password for those users. You do not want anyone who is not authorized to have the same access as you and your employees.

You are one link click away from viruses and spyware. Your business should be equipped with antivirus software and antispyware. Make sure that it is updated regularly and automatically to ensure that you are always up to date. Remind your employees to not click on or open suspicious links and emails as they can often spread very easily throughout your network once activated.

Another process that is worth automating is the backing up your data. Automating this step will give you and your employees piece of mind and help to protect your important documents and databases.

We all have so many passwords to remember and it seems like the requirements are getting more and more strenuous. However strong passwords, changed often, are going to help you control access to computers, laptops, and your network. Additionally access to computers should be restricted and administrative rights should be reserved for IT staff.

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Prepare Your Employees

Creating strong polices and best practices for employees are going to be one of the most important lines of defense for your network’s security. Provide education and support for your employees on ongoing threats so they can help protect your business against potential risks.

Establish clear security procedures for handling any sensitive material or personal identification  information and in-turn outline the consequences for violating the policies.

The policies should include posting company information online. Especially with most people having at least one social media account, outlining what is appropriate and inappropriate for employees will be an important part of their training.

Top Tools and Resources for Small Business Owners

File a Claim

If you suspect or have fallen victim to internet scams or fraud you should file a complaint with local, state, and federal law enforcement officials. Law enforcers review consumer complaints to spot trends and build cases against hackers, identity thieves, scam artists, and other fraudsters.

Agencies like The Federal Trade Commission collects complaints about fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices. If you think you may be a victim of fraud, file a complaint with the FTC. In addition, you can file a claim locally with your State Attorney General’s office. They handle a wide range of complaints related to consumer protection.

Report stolen funds or identities to The Internet Crime Complaint Center and complaints about businesses or services should be directed to the Better Business Bureau.

Additional Resources

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