15 Computer Security Tips for Businesses

Security Sep 09, 2019

Your business depends more and more on technology. We use the computer to perform all kinds of tasks (accounting, document processing, banking, information search, online store) and store much information in them. What less than spending some time protecting them from any danger, right?  Here are the essential computer security tips you need to follow to make your business secure.

1. Use an antivirus.

The use of an antivirus program is necessary to use a computer. It should almost be the first thing to be installed after the operating system. This way, you will be protected from viruses, spyware, and other threats. A single unprotected computer can affect the security of the entire company.

2. Secures networks.

It uses a good firewall to protect access to the private network and encrypts the information sent over the network. If not, anyone could enter from the outside and freely browse through all the devices connected to it.

3. Protect your WiFi.

Use a strong password and don't give it to anyone: in case you have frequent visitors and want to give them access to the Internet while they are in business, set up a guest network. The safest thing is to hide the SSID from the network, so you have to know its name to connect to it for the first time. You can also filter access by MAC address. This way, only devices that you have identified by their physical address can connect.

4. Be careful where you connect.

No matter how secure there is in the corporate network if you then connect the laptop to any open WiFi network, you may be throwing it all away. It's common to take your laptop to advance work while having a drink in a cafeteria, waiting for a flight, at a fair or a congress, etc.. Keep in mind that free public networks can be very unsafe.

Use encrypted connections as much as possible and try to carry delicate work while you are connected there. It is preferable that you share the data connection of the smartphone rather than connect to a public network. It is advisable, in all cases, to use a VPN.

5. Keep your computers up to date.

It is usual for software manufacturers to publish regular updates of their programs. Check that both the operating system and the applications you use have the latest security patches and, of course, that the antivirus database is up to date.

6. Use strong passwords.

Another classic tip. Please do not use "123456", neither your name nor the name of your children or your pet, as a password. It is best to use random character strings that include letters, numbers, and other less common symbols. If it's hard for you to remember how much more will it cost a possible intruder to guess?

There is much free software for password management. A good software you can use is https://keepass.info/. It's free and open-source software

7. Don't install anything from unknown sources.

Never install programs from unknown sources. Don't download anything from suspicious or unfamiliar pages. You may be installing malicious software without knowing it.

8. Configure the computer lock.

You get up from your desk for a moment, and you entertain yourself with something else for a while and, without realizing it, you have given access to your computer, its data and the company's network to everyone who has passed by. Configure the system so that, after a short time without any activity on your part, the screen is blocked and you have to identify yourself in order to be able to use it again.

9. Watch what you publish on social networks.

It is never superfluous to think things over before uploading them to social networks. You can be revealing to the world much more than you want.

10. Don't connect external drives to crazy.

We installed an impenetrable firewall. We buy a very secure antivirus and update it daily. We put very long passwords to everything. Also, then we happily connect any USB stick to the computer. Make sure you disable the automatic execution of both USB storage and optical disks and that the antivirus examines them as soon as you connect them.

11. Make backups.

If they gave any technology journalist or security expert a euro every time they made this recommendation well, they wouldn't be costly, but they would have raised enough to invite a few reeds to friends. You should set up automatic backups of essential data on all business computers.

12. Use the cloud wisely.

Using online services is not the wrong solution in itself. On the contrary, it solves many of the risks associated with the use of physical copies (loss, breakdowns, viruses, etc.). Make sure you use a reliable company, use secure passwords, don't connect from anywhere that is, apply all these tips when you access the cloud.

13. Control access to computers.

Working devices should not be used by anyone but you. Do not lend the computer to anyone, nor leave it to children to play for a while. In the case of a company, physical access to computers by unauthorized personnel should be controlled.

14. Don't lose sight of mobile devices.

Laptops, smartphones, and other mobile devices are candidates for theft or loss. In the case of the phone, do not forget that it is a real computer that contains much sensitive information. If you lose it, not only will you be giving access to your business data: you will be exposing your whole life. Extreme caution, a few seconds in front of an unlocked mobile may be enough for an intruder.

15. Patience and common sense

Most of these tips can be put into practice in this one: act with your head and don't be rushed. Yes, waiting for a backup is very dull, and having to enter a very long password every time you stop using the computer for a minute is a real pain in the ass. However, think of those seconds of panic when you thought the computer had broken down. Alternatively, the time when it did. Would you have given anything for backing up the data?

Tony

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