Data theft is no more targeted at only large companies. To be fair, large companies can spend on building firewalls and pay for top notch enterprise security. Small businesses are being targeted and why not?!
Attackers want easy targets, but you are also not going to let your hard work slide into the wrong hands. You do not want third party information stolen, or the record of clients compromised. Whether you are an individual entrepreneur or a small business owner, the last achilleas heel you want attributed to your operations, is your inability to keep data safe and secured. You do not also want to lose your hard-earned client data because windows will not start or because your hard disk crashed. Here are 5 ways to effectively combat data theft and data loss;
- Acquire a MiFi or a Personal Hotspot
The ability to work on the go is a model which increases productivity. Sometimes the idea is not to move away from the office to work at the coffee shop, but it does happen, that you will receive a call requiring you to remotely solve a technical issue on your online shop to enable waiting customers make purchases. A situation like that can make you hurriedly connect to the open Wi-Fi at the coffee shop, forgetting that you are exposing your entire company to attackers. If you can acquire a MiFi, great, but if you are on a tight budget, speak to your network provider about the option to expand your data package to include a Personal Hotspot. This is a feature available in both Android and iOS. That way you can securely connect to your own network and not risk connecting to a public network which might just be betting on the wrong horse.
- Learn to Create Impregnable Passwords and Data Backups
The password needed to log into your laptop should be close to impregnable at least. Always include CAPS, NUMBERS, lowercases and Symbols. Be shrewd about it, and do not concentrate all the characters in your password at one side of your keyboard. There is also the possibility of your laptop getting stolen. Make use of the free cloud space Google Drive and OneDrive offers. Budget for more if you must, because a hard drive can crash unexpectedly. Make local backups as well and change your HDD to SSD if you can afford it.
- Storage and Backups are not Enough
So, you have been prudent by backing up your data online and locally on an external hard disk. That is not enough. Ransomware lurks all over the internet. Other malwares that can compromise data are multiplying. You need a strong anti-virus software which comes with a firewall that will manage your network connections and keep your computer safe when you connect to the internet or plug in a USB drive that is not yours. You also have to regularly keep an eye on the software which is responsible for syncing your files with your cloud storage to make sure backups are up to date.
- Collaborated Efforts can go Wrong
Mistakes do happen, but some people are just careless and negligent by nature. These days collaborating on a project in shared files and folders are great, but there is always the danger of one colleague wrongfully deleting some files or exposing his/her computer to a data theft. You need to have your own local backup for whatever file your team is working on. Do not assume everyone will be careful, because all your efforts can go down the drain because of some elementary mistake by a colleague. Always assume the worse and look out for yourself and the team.
- Use Secured Links and Send Password Protected Documents
Your business exists for your customers and you need them to achieve short and long term goals. As a small business, you cannot have your reputation ruined for mistakenly sending the right file to the wrong client. If that ever happens, only a password can save you, because you know only the right client has the password to access that file. Enterprise level security grants secured file sharing platforms and systems, and that makes working remotely safer. Small businesses cannot always afford such a service. Beware of sending sensitive links, and make sure there is some level of security created for clients to access their private data.