If you think your office isn’t an attractive target for hackers, think again: Small businesses face the same online threats as large corporations, according to studies done at Symantec. The information that you handle every day to make sure you’re doing the right things for your clients is not the kind of information you want to make accessible. Part of cultivating a trustful relationship with your clients is making sure that this data cannot be compromised.
This checklist of recommended security practices, offered by Symantec, can help you ensure that your information is protected. Share this list with everyone in your office, so that your entire team knows how to guard that trust.
- Install antivirus software on all desktops, laptops and servers to prevent virus infection.
- Use a firewall on all desktops, laptops and servers to block intruders.
- Stay current on operating system and security-software updates to ensure you have the latest protection.
- Create strong passwords with at least eight characters combining alphanumeric and special characters. Change passwords every 45-60 days.
- Open email responsibly. Never open attachments from unknown senders. Don’t respond to spam.
- Enable the security settings on your web browser and do not enable file sharing.
- Back up important data regularly and store extra copies offsite.
- Secure all remote computers with antivirus and personal firewall software. Evaluate the benefits of a virtual private network (VPN) that provides a private “tunnel” to your business.
- Secure wireless connections with a VPN and install firewalls.
- Follow routine physical-security precautions—from using the screen-locking feature to locking down laptops with a cable.
This list is reprinted with permission from Symantec. More helpful resources are available at www.symantec.com/smallbiz.