Top 10 security tips for your small business

We are seeing more stories about technology causing the downtime or deletion of customer websites. When this happens, it only highlights how important websites are to small businesses, and how important it is to have a back-up plan should such incidents occur.

So how should small business help protect themselves from potentially catastrophic errors, leaks, crashes, or hacks?

1. Back up everything

And I mean everything; your website, your files, your customer information, even your contacts. Making it an ongoing part of your routine can help you from having that ‘if only’ moment when you notice files have disappeared. A quick backup every time you do something important online will help save you hours in the long run.

2. Keep your security software updated

As your first line of defence against malicious activity, be sure you have firewall and antivirus software in place and updated. Don’t forget, security companies have teams working around the clock to continually develop their products so they keep up with new potential threats that could cause harm.

3. Strenghten your passwords

We’re all fully aware that having ‘password’ as our password for everything is not going to cut it anymore. However, as authentication hacking tools grow more complex, our passwords need to do the same. Use diverse characters, including capital letters and symbols. The strongest are the longest, so a sentence featuring punctuation works well. Be sure to change your passwords every three months, and don’t share them with others.

4. Train your employees

If you employ anyone at your business, ensure they’re trained in basic online security. Employees are the biggest security risk to a company, so take the time to let them know they have to be on the ball when it comes to protecting your business and your customer’s online. It’s everyone’s responsibility.

5. Consider BYOD's implications

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a relatively new challenge for businesses looking for complete control on their security. All it takes is for a mobile phone to be stolen for everything to be compromised, as it is up to the individual employees to protect their personal devices. Employee security training should focus on devices, and having processes in place to help ensure nothing confidential leaves the business is a must.

6. Implement encryption

Rightly so, customers expect their data to stay secure. Encryption is key to keeping information secure and there are various ways you can do this. Software such as Malware Removal scan your website for malicious programs or viruses and identify vulnerabilities on your website. However, encryption is key to helping to keep information secure; SSL Certificates are one of the best ways to do this. An SSL certificate is essentially a mechanism that forms a secure connection between your browser and the website you are connecting to – your business website, for example. It does this by encrypting the information exchanged, such as credit card details, before it is sent and then received by the source, where it is decrypted and received securely.

7. Manage your DNS

Keep your website, email, and online apps up and running with robust DNS management and security. Premium DNS subscriptions make it simple to manage and can help secure your DNS so your website is available, performing reliably, and safe from hackers who may try to reroute your site and capture your sensitive customer information.

8. Embrace the cloud

While cloud technology is relatively new and some people are still considering whether or not to adopt it for their small business. It is a scalable solution for businesses and individuals to back-up their data as a first step. Choosing a known and reliable service provider can also help ensure you are getting a reliable and secure service.

9. Watch out for phishing

156 million phishing emails are sent every day, with 80,000 people falling for them and sharing personal information. As someone running a small business, you likely hold vital information on your enterprise. Sharing personal details puts the whole business at risk, so be suspicious of any unsolicited emails and think twice before clicking links.

10. Stay informed

While you don’t have to be an online protection expert, it’s good to stay on top of the latest security news. A quick browse through the latest technology news or opting in to receive updates from your security service provider could save your business from succumbing to the latest threat.

Stefano Maruzzi, VP EMEA at GoDaddy

Image Credit: Shutterstock/shutteratakan