Did you know that today is Computer Security Day?  We know, there's a day for everything, and we do love writing about them! Love them or loathe them, these made-up and sometimes extremely bizarre 'national' days give us a reminder to check up on a topic, and today is a great example.  Computer security is a hugely important issue for all businesses, but especially for small businesses and start ups.  But, so many people don’t understand what their responsibilities are and often it’s because the tech industry make things sound so complicated, business owners just don’t know where to start.

We’ve pulled together a simple break down of some of the steps that you need to take to keep your business cyber-safe.

 

Have a policy for strong passwords

How many of you have one password for everything in your business, and indeed personal life too? It’s tempting to do, but using the same password across multiple platforms will increase the chance of it being hacked. A few tips to implement straight away:

  1. Use password management software to keep track of your passwords. There are loads of options available  - just have a google and ask your associates what they use.
  2. Make sure your passwords are strong - a mixture of upper and lower case, digits and symbols. Did you know that 123456 and password have been the most popular passwords for years?

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Make sure your tech is safe
  1. Make sure you update your Spyware and Malware protection and ensure that it covers all devices including PCs, laptops, smart-phones and tablets.  
  2. Weak security around your WIFI and using cloud-based services with weak passwords will all put your business in a vulnerable position.

 

Hire a cyber security expert

Tech is complicated. It’s not everybody’s strong point, which is why we’d advise you to bring in a specialist to help you.  You might want to take a read of this article from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation to understand the difference between cyber-security and IT support.

 

Make sure you’re GDPR compliant

We know GDPR is a distant memory, but keeping data safe is fundamentally important to any business.  Make sure you have policies and procedures in place to keep data secure and make sure clients and prospective customers can opt-in and out of communications and unsubscribe from your newsletters, should they want to.  Protecting people’s personal data is critical for any business and demonstrating that you take this seriously will make sure you don’t fall foul of the law.

 

Implement your updates!

Make sure you are on an up-to-date operating system as the hackers are learning increasingly sophisticated ways to breach security and older operating systems can’t protect you against hackers.  When a security update does come out, it’s probably because a threat has been identified, so implement it as soon as you can!

 

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