3 Essential Cybersecurity Tips for Small Businesses

We live in an increasingly digital world, where more and more businesses are choosing to invest heavily in developing their online presence.

In fact, being able to translate brand values to an online audience has never been more essential for businesses looking to keep up with the competition.
This shift towards digital technologies also presents a new set of challenges for companies of all sizes, none more so than cybersecurity. As the online marketplace increases in size, so does the propensity for online scams. The need for security measures is greater than ever, especially when it comes to email fraud, insecure websites and fake mobile apps.

For any small business out there, it’s essential they have an in-depth understanding of these issues – which is why we’re here to talk through them.

Email Phishing – Don’t Take the Bait

In the modern age, the idea of email fraud has gone up a gear in terms of subtlety and sophistication. There are now plenty of fake websites out there that cleverly disguise their fraudulent intentions by stealing brand templates from well-known brands.

That said, scammers still largely have the same aim: to lure unsuspecting people into submitting their personal details. For small businesses which potentially have a wealth of data at stake, the cost of leaking confidential information can be substantial and potentially damaging to key client relationships. Always be on the lookout for strange URLs, especially if it’s an email claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service or another reputable organization.

According to a recent Couponbox article which gives tips to avoid online scams, companies such as Amazon have started providing guidelines to help people identify phony phishing attempts – a very good idea that may encourage a few other big retailers to follow suit.

Make Your Website as Secure as Possible

As a growing business, you need to protect yourself from potential hackers and security issues early on. This is the only way to prevent unexpected problems further down the line.

It really pays off to update your web script regularly, or whenever there’s a new version of a script available. This is because each update effectively patches up the bugs in the previous version, giving you an additional layer of security. Many CMSs also give you the option to add additional security plug-ins like WordPress Security, for example.

Then there are fairly obvious things like choosing a super secure password for all your logins, especially for the back end of your website. The strongest passwords involve capitals, numbers and are quite long. If it’s a question of easy to remember, or slightly more effort to type, always go with the latter!

Train Your Staff in Defense Against the Dark Arts

No matter how many staff you employ, if you don’t offer them training and tips in what to look out for then you are not safeguarding your business from every possible angle.

Your business will benefit from having a distinct set of rules for what programs, applications and files employees can install on their computers or mobile devices, especially if they have direct access to sensitive data. It also always pays to back up information on an external server or dedicated hard drive just in case somebody’s computer decides to die one day.

If you’ve got these three areas covered then you stand a much better chance of winning the fight against any would-be cyber gremlins or hackers out there, or even some rare virus that has found its way onto your office’s computer system.  Don’t get complacent and keep fighting the good fight!

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