As a small business owner, you have a great deal of responsibility – including protecting your investment from any possible threats. In September, or National Preparedness Month, we learned the importance of having an emergency plan in case of flooding, blackout, or natural disaster.
October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. According to a CNBC report, cyber attacks cost U.S. companies an average of more than $15 million per year and 14 million U.S. small businesses have been hacked in the past two years.
Technology is essential for any entrepreneur or small business owner trying to increase efficiency, productivity, and their bottom line within a 24-hour period. Here are ten tips to protect your thriving business from cyber attacks:
1) Consult with a cybersecurity expert to identify customized solutions.
2) Install and maintain up-to-date antivirus software on your computer to periodically monitor your electronic devices for any threats via files or email.
3) Implement internet use guidelines with basic security policies and best practices for employees.
4) Use strong, unique passwords to protect your computer, laptop, mobile phone, and the Wi-Fi connection used to process any transactions.
5) Beware of “phishing” emails or suspicious emails that are typically full of typos, seeking your confidential information, or instructing you to download a file that may contain malware.
6) Always backup your data.
7) Create separate user accounts for employees to ensure accountability, which should be terminated immediately upon resignation or termination.
8) Change your passwords on a quarterly basis.
9) Report any loss or theft of company property to local law enforcement.
10) Use encryption and/or a firewall.to protect your business and customer information.