In the past, starting a business required a lot of legwork. For example, you needed a business plan and a strategic plan to get financing and operations began.
Today you can start a business in less than one day with sites like Etsy and Shopify. That doesn’t mean you don’t need to have a plan before launch day, but it is less work than it was in the past.
However, these perks also come with risks such as intellectual property breaches, data breaches, and cybercrime.
In today’s digital age, where millions of people are online at all times of the day, implementing safe business practices could be the difference between a thriving business and a costly lawsuit or data breach.
Keep reading to learn how you can help your business stay protected and profitable!
Protect Your Business by Implementing Security Measures to Protect Your Data and Networks
Today, almost every aspect of a business can take place online, which makes things easier. But it also makes it easier for hackers to steal data or take money from corporations. So what can you do to keep your business safe?
One of the best ways to protect your business is to create and enforce digital security policies with your employees. For example, you could make policies such as
- Passwords should be changed every 45 days
- No devices with personal files or accounts brought into the office
- Keep software up to date to prevent security vulnerabilities
- Never login to your bank accounts while at work
These policies may not sound like they make a big difference, but they do! When everyone follows the rules, there will be less risk of a data breach or identity theft.
Here’s an interesting perspective on protecting your business’ data.
Educate Your Employees on Safe Online Practices
Implementing safe business practices goes beyond making policies and hoping your employees will follow them. The goal should be to make your employees see the importance. Help them understand the rules and why they need to follow them.
For example, help explain the importance of password protection or why they should never bring personal devices into the office. Then, periodically review those rules with your employees to ensure compliance.
Train them to spot scams and fraudulent emails, so they don’t accidentally send private information to the wrong person.
These simple strategies will help prevent data breaches and identity theft, costing businesses thousands and millions in fines.
Protect Your Business by Encrypting Sensitive Data
Encrypting sensitive data can protect your company’s files from hackers or data thieves who might be trying to gain access to it.
But like password protection, many business owners fail to encrypt their data and devices that contain it, such as laptops or phones. And that’s a problem!
Consider encrypting information that’s not needed daily, like employee records or customer payment information.
Then, store that information in an encrypted cloud or offline system to make it harder for hackers to steal it.
Secure Your Network With Firewalls and Antivirus Software
Another step to protect your business’ data is implementing an adequate firewall and antivirus software to protect your network.
A firewall is a protective wall between your internet connection and user devices that helps protect your network from hackers or other intruders.
Antivirus software helps prevent malicious software and viruses from infecting your network and destroying files. If there’s a data breach or virus outbreak, your antivirus software helps clean up the problem.
Use Secure Payment Methods and Protect Your Credit Cards
Credit cards are a great way to shop online or accept payments, but they’re one of the most common methods hackers use to steal information. In fact, 459,297 fraudulent credit card transactions took place in 2020.
To keep yourself protected and your business safe, here are a few steps to follow:
- Always use strong passwords for your online accounts, including bank accounts and credit cards. A strong password includes upper and lowercase letters and numbers and special characters like symbols or asterisks.
- Never give your password to anyone, including a spouse or employee. If you can’t remember your password, reset it, and don’t write the original password down.
- Never open attachments or click on links in emails from unknown sources. If you’re suspicious, contact the sender directly via phone to confirm it is accurate.
- If your credit card is lost or stolen, report it immediately. Then, cancel it and get a new card number to use while the problem gets fixed. In the meantime, pay bills using online apps or pay in person with cash.
Stay Informed About Online Security Best Practices
Always stay updated with the latest developments in cybersecurity and online protection practices to ensure your business is secure. For example, watching the news about data breaches or scams can help alert you to the latest threats your business might face.
If the news says there’s a new job scam going around or hackers have used a new method to access information online, you can take steps to protect your business before it happens to you. So, make sure you stay updated!
By following these simple steps, your business will have a high chance of being safer from scams and hackers who try to access sensitive data or destroy your network.
As a result, you can focus on running your business.