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Small Companies

Every business with digital assets needs cyber security. This check­list will help you under­stand how you can protect your small office or home office.

Even the smallest businesses are a target for cyber criminals. But what is the right level of preparedness when you are an entre­preneur with limited time, budgets, and no IT staff?

Cyber security for small businesses does not have to be stressful or complicated. This small business cyber security check­list helps you choose the right measures to protect your small office or home office.

1. Identify your most valuable assets

A cyber risk assessment may feel like too much work for the smallest businesses but knowing the most valuable assets for your business will help you protect them. List your important information in order of priority, for example customer data, payment information, web­site, recipes, ideas, finances, or social media accounts.

2. You need a small business anti­virus, and more

There is no single tool that can stop the many shapes and forms of cyber threats today. An anti­virus is vital for keeping out malware, but in addition you should have multiple layers of protection to reinforce your defenses. Get a solution that will protect all your devices, your privacy and online identity — in one go.

3. Simplify what you can

When you are a small business owner with a million and one things to do, you would want to avoid complexity in all areas. The best protection is the one that is so easy to use that you will use it and will install it on every employee device. Go for an all-in-one internet security solution that is easy to install and works in the back­ground without affecting the performance of your computer or phone.

4. Secure your mobile devices

Small businesses handle many things on the go. Carrying out tasks from a hotel, café, library, or another country makes work flexible for you and your employees, but can you be sure it is safe? When you access business information on mobile devices, they need to be protected. A VPN will encrypt your connection from hackers and other snoopers on public Wi‑Fi networks.

5. Use strong passwords

We all have tens or hundreds of pass­words. And we all know they should be difficult to guess and kept private. However, memorizing such a number of random characters or having a system that cyber criminals could not crack is absurd. The most effective way to protect your pass­words — and, consequently, your online accounts and identity – is a pass­word manager tool.

6. Protect your online accounts and identity

Popular business online services like Face­book, Linked­In, Google and Drop­box have been involved in several data breaches over the years. Losing personal information stored on these accounts or being locked out from your account can have unwelcome consequences for free­lancers and small business professionals. Good pass­word practices, multi-factor authentication and avoiding shared accounts will help keep your online accounts safe. Use a free tool to check if your email address has been involved in data breaches.

7. Stop ransomware

Ransomware is one of the most prominent threats to small businesses. It can lock you out of your data or devices and then demand a large payment for releasing your information. You should never pay the ransom, because there is no guarantee that you would get your access back. Ransom­ware can be costly, so having an effective protection against it makes sense.

8. Backup and update

Backup your data regularly. Backups will make sure you can access your data in case you encounter ransom­ware. Also make sure you keep your devices and soft­ware updated. Software vulnerabilities are security holes that offer an easy way for cyber criminals to infect your systems.

9. Protect your money

Banks are a common target for fraud. Cyber criminals are trying to phish your banking credentials by setting up fake web­sites that look identical to your online bank login page. When you are paying invoices or making online purchases for your business, ensure your money is protected. An effortless way to stay safe is a banking protection soft­ware that lets you know when you enter a safe banking site and secures your connection to that site.

10. Good online habits

Cyber attacks often start with unsuspecting individuals down­loading a malicious attachment or filling in their credentials on a phishing web­site. There­fore, training employees about cyber security is important even for the smallest companies. Awareness, a healthy dose of skepticism, good pass­word practices and being smart about sharing data, such as customer information, will help protect your business data and reputation.

Cyber security is important for a small business, because your actions also affect the security of your customers and partners. By taking into use a few simple habits supported with comprehensive internet security for small business, you can enjoy running your business without worries.