Building a small business is a monumental task, and it’s only made more complex by having to manage your own IT matters. Unfortunately, cyber criminals don’t care about the blood, sweat, and tears you put into your business. So whether you have ten workstations, or you’re an army of one, it’s extremely important for small businesses to arm themselves with a basic knowledge of cybersecurity.
That’s why the Federal Trade Commission
recommends that small businesses take these 5 steps to secure their devices and their data.
Update your software
Recent ransomware attacks like WannaCry were made possible by businesses who didn’t update their operating systems. Software updates often contain security patches for known exploits, so whether you use a Mac or PC, update your software and apps whenever you’re prompted.
Improve your passwords
Make your passwords as long and as complex as possible. Incorporate special characters, capital letters, and numerals throughout, not just at the beginning or the end. For instance, SnugglesIsMyCat1
isn’t as effective as u""2PH8`SXZ)T?zf
. Clearly, complex passwords are a struggle to memorize—that’s why Webroot SecureAnywhere
Small Business AntiVirus includes a Password Manager feature. This way, you just need to remember one master password to log into any of your important online accounts.
Use two-factor authentication
Though not all services offer this additional security option, you should take advantage of it whenever possible. It requires that you enter a secondary piece of information after your password, often only available to you through email or text message. This way, even if your password is hacked, the hacker won’t gain access to your account.
Secure your WiFi network
If you’re using a wireless network from a cable or DSL provider, you may need to change some factory settings on your router to ensure you’re secure. They often come with preset network names and passwords, which make them easy for hackers to breach. Change the factory name and password, check proactively for router software updates (pro tip: set a calendar reminder to double check your software is up to date). If you’re not sure how to change these settings, your internet service provider should be able to help.
Stay safe on the go
Running a small business often requires connecting from just about anywhere; coffee shops, airports, hotels, and more. If you’re connecting to an unsecure WiFi network, consider using a virtual private network (VPN). There are many affordable apps that will encrypt your data on unsecured connections, ensuring that digital eavesdroppers aren’t listening in on your data.
Of course, you’ve already taken the first step toward securing your business with Webroot. If you need more security tips, why not pick the brains of other small business owners in our peer group
? And don’t forget, Webroot’s world-class support
is standing by to help with any security concerns you may face.