Computers have certainly made running a business significantly easier. Bookkeeping is a breeze now that you don’t have to enter every journal entry by hand – twice! All your databases for customers and inventory are also extremely more convenient with that handy PC device.
But what about all that data you collect through everyday use? Every little bit and byte must be stored somewhere for later retrieval. Is that information protected and secured from loss and theft?
Even a small business needs to have a data protection policy in place. Here are a few tips to get yours started:
Secure Your PCs
Whether you use a single desktop or a myriad of desktops and laptops for your business, be sure that each one is secured. Lock up your business at night. Protect your laptops from theft by keeping them locked in your home, not in your car. Also secure them with adequate encryption software so if it does get stolen, the data cannot be read by identity thieves.
If you connect your PCs to the internet, you are at risk from hackers. Protect your data by setting up firewall software to encrypt data coming in and going out.
Clever programmers design new and more destructive viruses all the time. Don’t let one get into your computer and destroy your precious data. Use a major brand of antivirus software Like Norton or McAfee, and be sure you purchase a support plan that allows you to get regular antivirus updates.
Set Strong Passwords
All the passwords you require for antivirus, firewall, and sign-ins should be strong passwords that are nearly and statistically impossible to hack. 4 or 5 letters are not good enough. Create passwords that are at least 7-10 characters long and include letters and at least one number and one symbol. Also, your passwords should be reset every 90 days or so.
Backup Your Data
Never trust your data to your computer’s hard drive. Set up regular backups including daily, weekly, and monthly backups onto long-term storage media. Then keep all your backups in a location away from your business, such as a bank lockbox or even a safe in your home.