It’s odd nowadays if a business doesn’t have a website. There’s a degree of authenticity that comes from having an online presence, and without it, it gives off an impression that you don’t necessarily want to move with the times. But that’s no surprise when the online world is a scary one. Hackers are roaming the web looking for their next victims, and there have been plenty of horror stories where companies have suffered both financially and reputable from cyber attacks. So how do you keep your business safe on the internet? Here is a useful guide if you feel like you’re in the dark when it comes to this subject.
The Types Of Dangers
So what dangers are available when a business starts up an online presence? Well, there are plenty out there so it’s good to have an awareness of what could potentially cause damage your either your company’s reputation or financial stability. Here are just a few examples below:
- Viruses and Malware – These have and always will be a constant threat to the security from the online realm. These viruses can severely damage your system’s internal data or performance.
- Social Media Accounts – Your social media accounts aren’t secure, with some social media platforms already falling victim to security breaches themselves. Remember that even if you send information privately across social media, that private information could one day become comprised.
- Cloud Sharing – Sending your personal details and data up into the cloud can seem like a hassle-free situation, but there is always a risk that it could fall into the wrong hands. Cloud sharing is great for storing files and other data that you don’t have room for on your computer, but you must understand the risk that this information could be stolen.
So with that in mind, how can we prevent examples like the above from happening? The digital world is one that keeps on growing, and it can be hard to keep up with it even if you surround yourself with it every day. Therefore, it’s a good idea to combat each of these potential threats to help reduce the risks as much as possible.
Create A Social Media Policy
For your staff, they are the cogs that keep the business turning and therefore play an active role in keeping the company safe from harm, digitally. In order to communicate the importance of security to everyone, it’s certainly a good idea to create a social media policy. This goes for both those who use the company social media and those who don’t have access to it. Some of the key things to mention in the policy should be to outline what can and cannot be shared on the profiles. You should avoid mentioning any personal information and that of your staff because this could increase the number of phishing emails you get.
It’s also important to tell your employees about what potential security threats are currently popular amongst other businesses and how to actively avoid them. Don’t forget to also outline any roles and responsibilities individuals may have when it comes to representing the company online.
Strengthen Your Security
Thankfully for every hacker and attempted cyber attack, there’s plenty of security software and systems like https://mssit.com.au/ available for a business to take advantage of. Each one is different and offers a range of benefits depending on what your business is, how big it is and to what level of security is required. When it comes to your social media profiles, there are also a variety of settings relating to security that you can manually change.
Privacy and Visibility Settings – These are good for applying things like two-step verification. Depending on whether it’s a company shared profile or just operated by the one person, you could link the profile up to a mobile phone so that every time you log in from a new device, it needs to enter a code or verify it via the phone. This is useful if you ever find that someone attempted and successfully entered your password. It means that they can’t get any further thanks to the two-step verification and it’s a warning to create a stronger password.
Mentioned above, passwords are important to both social media accounts and for use online and on company computers. So it’s good to start practicing stronger passwords for all those in the company, especially for when picking them to protect your social media accounts and any other software you use online. Avoid any that relate to the company and are fairly easy to guess. Try mixing it up with as many letters, numbers, and symbols as you can manage and be sure to use a different one for each account.
Also, don’t give out your password to any members of staff and if you all need access, there is a way of creating a team via the social platforms in which you can have multiple users on one account.
Be Careful With Third Party Apps
When connecting your social media profiles with other apps, it’s important to check what they are using your account for and what rights you are giving them. Whenever you create an account and link your social media profile, you’ll normally get a pop-up to say you are authorising the app to use your social media account to some degree. Pay close attention to this section because some of the things they are wanting to do may potentially bring harm or breach the security of your profile. Having admin rights or access to your financial details that may be on the account are just a few ways a third party app could get hold of personal information through this authorisation portal, so be careful.
Pick your third party apps carefully and be sure to not use too many. If you start to lose track, it might be worthwhile to do a regular audit. This way you can remove any that are no longer of use so that the app doesn’t have any control or viewing capabilities with your profile.
Educate Your Staff
It was mentioned before that your staff plays an important role in the security of your business online. And it may be certainly beneficial to take advantage of training and various courses/workshops that are available to you both online and in person to educate your staff about safe practice. You could bring in an IT or Security expert who can talk your staff through the various threats that exist in daily working life and how to prevent them from happening.
For example, phishing is something hackers or those wishing to blackmail or commit fraud, will pose as other staff members or as companies that the business are known to use. To anyone who doesn’t pay attention, one innocent click on the link within the email and a virus could have been planted. But upon a closer inspection, one look at the email and it’ll have no connection to the business or any services that the company uses. So it’s tips and tricks like this that can really help boost the knowledge of your staff so that it can be taken seriously by everyone. Implement this into all aspects of the company, including managers and HODs.
Another popular example that some experts will use to test employees is when browsing websites. There may be sites that staff need to go on for research or to purchase materials, and unfortunately, some may not be as secure or genuine as they first seem. Look for the encrypted lock in the top left-hand corner of the screen where the webpage link is a sign that all is secure with this website. If it isn’t there, then it’s best for the employee to click off it and try somewhere else!
Protecting Your Work Devices
Work devices are also important to protect if staff are using them to tweet or post a photo on the company Instagram. The same security software you have internally in your office should be applied to all work devices so that when they’re taken out of the building they are still protected. It’s good to have company mobile phones linked up a secure system too so that should a staff member leave on bad terms and with the company phone nowhere to be seen, you have the ability to wipe any information that’s on there.
Again, a safe practice should be taught to staff when it comes to work devices too and that any personal sites should be kept for the personal mobile only.
But even though there’s a lot of danger to the web, there is really a lot more to gain in terms of success and presence when it comes to building a social profile. So with careful caution, your business can certainly benefit. If you haven’t already, get yourself a website and create some social media profiles that suit your business the best. Who knows what success may come from it in the future?