Small business owners can't assume cyber crime won't happen to them. But you can help mitigate the risks if you take some important steps to protect yourself and your business online. These steps are outlined below:
1. Make regular backups of your key systems and data. Keep copies securely off-site and check that they work.
2. Apply any new security patches for your operating system, web browser and all other software on your devices to keep them secure. In many case you can set the software to auto update its self or download the software patches manually.
3. Install and regularly update anti-virus and anti-malware software on all your devices.
4. Use strong passwords and change them regularly. Also, consider using two factor authentication for added security.
5. Use different passwords for different websites/services or consider using a reputable password managment tool.
6. Encrypt any sensitive data and do not send passwords or other sensitive data via email unencrypted.
7. To protect against phishing or ransomware be cautious of clicking on links sent to you within emails, social media website/apps or unfamiliar websites.
8. Use a firewall and check that your internet router/firewall has the latest firmware installed.
9. If you operate a Wi-Fi network make sure it is encrypted (eg WPA2) and regularly change the Wi-Fi password.
10. Use a VPN (virtual private network) if you are accessing your systems over public Wi-Fi or insecure network.
To learn more about online risks, see cyber security for business.