Anyone who uses the internet knows that it has risks associated with it. By that, we are talking about the malicious hackers who are just waiting to attack your network regardless of your security solutions.
It takes just one small gap in your security to open you up to dangerous viruses or malware in your network infrastructure.
Fortunately, there are a few precautions your business can implement to avoid these online threats.
In this post, we will highlight five ways that can help you secure your devices from malicious actors.
1. Update your software frequently, or better yet, automatically
The first and easiest way to secure your business is by downloading the latest security programs, including anti-malware software with multiple technologies. We know updates can be annoying, but advise you not to skip them.
Additionally, we suggest backing up your systems. Once a week should suffice depending on the number of changes you make daily.
Remember, if you don’t do this regularly, you put your business’ security at risk.
2. Protect your Wi-Fi with an encrypted password
Leaving your Wi-Fi network unsecured makes you a vulnerable target to hackers and makes all of your personal information like files, passwords and finances fair game.
Disabling the SSID (service set identifier) broadcasting function on your wireless router is a great way to avoid it. By disabling this function your network becomes practically invisible and only accessible to users with the exact network name.
Unfortunately, disabling the SSID only hides the name of your network and still leaves it open to hackers. It is, therefore, critical to update your network to the latest encryption standard.
The current standard is WPA3, which is an updated and more secure version of the Wi-Fi Protected Access protocol to secure wireless networks. When it comes to passwords, avoid using simple or easy identifiable words. We highly recommend a password filled with letters, numbers, and punctuation.
Just be sure to remember it!
3. Password protect all of your devices
As important as it is to protect your router, it is just as critical to protect your devices. Laptops, phones and tablets are more commonly used these days and contain a whole host of personal information.
Some suggestions to keep them protected:
- Lock your phone and make the timeout short
- Use the biometric locking/unlocking function for the iPhone and passkey or swipe for Android.
4. Encrypt your data
When sending or storing sensitive information over the internet, it should be encrypted. It’s also a good idea to turn on full-disk encryption tools that come standard on most operating systems.
According to The Intercept_ “Most disk encryption works like this. When you first power your computer on, before your operating system can even boot up, you must unlock your disk by supplying the correct encryption key. The files that make up your operating system are on your encrypted disk, after all, so there’s no way for your computer to work with them until the disk is unlocked.
Once your computer is on and you’ve entered your passphrase, your disk encryption is completely transparent to you and to the applications on your computer. Files open and close as they normally would, and programs work just as they would on an unencrypted machine. You won’t notice any performance impact.
This means, however, that when your computer is on and unlocked, anyone using it has access to your files and data.”
Because the encryption only applies when users log into their computer, setting your computers to lock automatically after 15 minutes of inactivity helps enforce this measure.
5. Take Advantage of Antivirus and Firewall Solutions
If you aren’t using firewalls or antivirus protection yet, you need to get on that immediately!
Support Tree advises, “Your firewalls, antivirus, and spam protection should focus not just on keeping threats out of your systems; they should also concentrate on identifying and quarantining existing threats so that they don’t cause any further harm.
These solutions should be enterprise-level to ensure that they’re powerful enough to protect your business from all types of threats.”
By following the above guidelines, you’ll be able to avoid many of the common traps that can lead to network and data breaches.
Lastly, we encourage you to test your system to make sure you haven’t left any areas vulnerable. This can be done internally or by an external agency that will perform an independent test.
Do you need assistance with your digital products? Get in touch and let us do the hard work for you.