Business owners of any size and shape need to protect themselves from online security threats. Small businesses as well as entrepreneurs, often begin with a single employee which is usually you. You begin a home based business operation, obviously without a dedicated IT staff, and then usually expose yourself to the constant Internet security threats that’s lurking around on a daily basis.
These new online threats however are not going to wait around for you to establish yourself as a new business before it decides to strike. Especially since most small businesses are now realizing the productivity benefits offered by mobile technology and the promotional and productivity benefits of using social media. You are treading on very active grounds for the breeding of dangerous worms and viruses that grow and mutate daily.
That means that you as an entrepreneur need to take on some basic baseline steps in securing all of your active IT devices connected to the Web. The easiest and the most practical is for business owners to at least install a self updating anti-virus and malware software program on all of their computers as well as servers, this according to online threat research experts.
The top Internet security software company’s are surprised at how many entrepreneurs and small business owners just install anti-virus software on their workstations but not on their servers, where active file-sharing viruses and malware can spread faster since it’s a hub.
Mobile Viruses Are Big
Viruses and malware threats on mobile devices, which include smartphones and tablet PCs, will tend to steal your personal identification information stored on the devices. So it’s recommended that you change your passwords frequently, avoid storing pin numbers or banking information, and lock your phone when not in use. Also, make sure you store those, uh, at times compromising photos somewhere else.
Social Media Spreads Viruses As Well
Then there’s social media, where at times may not be that social or friendly at all. If you look at the very nature of most social media sites, what happens is a colleague, friend, someone that you trust, or even a complete stranger will send you a link, and it’s easy to get fooled by clicking that link which may expose you to a virus.
You can compare social media threats the same way that we’ve been dealing with e-mail and it’s security issues and threats over the past few years. So with social media, the same practical precautions and awareness should be applied.
While small self-run businesses will not obviously have the same concerns of larger organizations who may have unsuspecting employees freely downloading corrupted files or applications, there are other immediate threat factors that should be considered, such as your kids sharing the same computer at home, or Wi-Fi stalking neighbors.
Protecting Home Based Computers
If you happen to run a home-based business and if you have kids or other computers and mobile devices roaming in the same environment, they can be a frequent target, so it’s extremely important that you isolate and dedicate a single computer for your business on the home network if you have one.
Although basic firewall software does help, but as your data usage increases over and beyond say 150MB per month, pairing a self updating anti-virus software along with an ‘Edge Firewall’ is recommended.
You will also eventually experience business success and growth, and decide on hiring employees or perhaps moving into a corporate office downtown. The increased responsibilities of managing network security also expands as well. So make sure that all the vital updated anti-virus and malware software as well as the necessary security patches are downloaded to all of your employees computers, and that the firewalls as well as access rights are configured correctly.
Internet Security Via Cloud Computing
You may eventually need dedicated IT personnel to keep up and track the security end of your network, but if you don’t have the resources of setting up that dedicated IT staff, you can do so through cloud computing services. This will also reduce your management and maintenance expenses as well.
The very core concept of ‘Cloud’ based security is that all of the decisions are made from a remote server. The automated and required security updates are handled in a few hours rather than at times taking days.
As online security is growing and while the threats are ever expanding into a new era, it’s recommended that you follow these practical steps. Remember, Proceed with caution, always be protected.