How much of your business's information is stored on computers or online? What about your client files? It is critical to keep your business's data and your client information safe. There are a few simple measures that could increase the security of your information.
You need a strong password to protect your information. Use a combination of letters (both lowercase and uppercase), numbers, and symbols. The longer your password is, the more secure it is. Use different passwords for each program or account you have. Homeland Security has more information on creating secure passwords.
2. Virus Protection Software
Download anti-virus and anti-malware programs if you don’t already have them on your computers. Schedule regular full scans of your computers. Many of these programs will be constantly running in the background and you won’t even notice them. Turn on automatic updates so your software is prepared for the most recently discovered digital threats.
3. Web Browsers
One simple way to improve your online security is to make sure your web browser is always up to date. Most browsers are set to automatically update by default. You can also stop viruses at the source with plug-ins to your web browser. Multiple web browsers have a library of available plug-ins, including ones that increase security. Some virus protection software also comes with additional software that runs in your browser as you visit websites.
4. Restrict Your WiFi
Most advisors understand the importance of restricting access to their office WiFi network. Change the password from the default that is installed on the router. You could also create a guest network for your clients and prospects to use when they visit your office.
5. Lock It Up
Digital theft isn’t the only way your data could be compromised. Offline threats need to be considered as well. You don’t want your data to walk out of the office when you step out for lunch. Your computers and hard drives need to be secured to prevent physical theft of information. Lock up your hard drives and laptops. If you have a desktop computer, you can purchase a cable lock for computers to secure your computer to your desk.
6. Backup Data
If your computer crashes, catches on fire, or gets struck by lightening, you need to have at least one backup. Most brand-name external hard drives come with backup software pre-installed. There are several online services that provide cloud storage that could be used in addition to physical hard drives.
These tips do not guarantee protection from data theft, but implementing these strategies could make your business’s data more secure.
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