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4 ways to protect your small business from a data breach

Small business success is hard enough to achieve, but if you become victim to a data breach, it can make it even harder. Not only could your company’s information be compromised but even worse, data held about your customers.

Putting some protection in place will minimize the risks of this happening, so it’s worth taking some time to make sure that your data is as secure as it possibly can be.

Here are 4 ways to protect your small business from a data breach.

Secure passwords

There are a few ways to make your passwords as secure as possible. Changing them regularly will make it less likely for a data breach to happen, so try to get into the habit of storing a new one every couple of months and ask your staff to do the same.

Another option is using a password manager. It is an encrypted digital vault that stores all your passwords and login details, and so because you don't have to remember them, you can use far more complex passwords. It is, of course, crucial that you use a password manager that has very tight security, but there are many available with unbeatable protection, so it shouldn't prove too difficult.

Outsource your IT

Outsourcing is something to consider as your company grows. You may not yet be of a size where employing dedicated IT staff is an option, so instead, why not have another company do it for you. For a fee, you will potentially get the same security as that of a larger business but with far more flexibility than directly employing someone.

Many IT companies will offer different packages depending on your requirements as well as your budget. It's a great and affordable way to have specialist teams looking after your company's security and will make any form of data breach far less likely.

When staff leave

Many small business owners fail to appreciate the security risks when a member of staff leaves the company. Regardless of whether they left on good terms or bad, any access they had to systems and company data, must be removed. Passwords should be changed, usernames removed where necessary, and email addresses suspended.

You might be surprised at the damage a disgruntled former employee can do, so as soon as they are no longer a company member, deal with the security aspects, or you could end up regretting it.

Stay top of software updates

Yes, pop-ups asking us to update and restart are annoying, but if you continue to hit the 'Not Now' button, you could be exposing yourself to a heap of issues down the line. Although many software updates are to fix bugs, speed things up, or for aesthetic updates, many are for security.

Cyber-criminals come up with new hacking techniques all the time, and so if you are using old software, you could be exposing yourself to unnecessary risks. Update when prompted, and you could save yourself lots of time and trouble in the long run.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes

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