We all know it’s important. But most of us will delay doing the necessary tasks, indefinitely. We have broken down this chore into a checklist. None of these are time consuming. And now that it’s being broken down in to bite sizes, it shouldn’t be tedious either.
1) Password lock your laptop. Perhaps the most obvious, but still worth mentioning. Your staff are more likely to be working from home or public spaces. Make a formal announcement to your staff – “password lock your laptops.” They may have bought these computers for just home use. But as more staff are working away from the office, they are more likely to work in public spaces. In that case they probably didn’t add a password, because they trust their home environment. However, they have forgotten to update this issue, now that they work in Café’s and Bars.
2) Back up your work. Make sure that the files in all the computers are being regularly backed up by a service in The Cloud. It’s not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’. Computers are not built to last. Like the rest of capitalism, supply and demand is key. Therefore, desktops and laptops are designed to die unexpectedly. Be prepared.
As a side note, pay for a service. Don’t settle for a free service like Google. You get what you pay for, and if something goes wrong, then you have a company that is accountable. If Google isn’t taking your money, then in essence it has a moral right to do what it wants – including stopping you from accessing your own work!
3) Tape over your camera. You are being watched. Get a piece of paper and stick it over the camera. Do not assume that just because you are not using it, that it is not being used.
Watch this video, it’s creepy and shocking. Your camera is being accessed legally by large corporations (Do you read Terms and Conditions before signing?), and illegally by hackers. Good old fashioned lo-tech sticky paper will give you the confidence that no-one can see you.
4) Antivirus Software. Again, it is not a question of ‘if’, but ‘when’ your computers will catch a virus. If you think you are safe because you don’t allow porn in your office, think gain. All kinds of sites, including big companies like the BBC or CNN, can carry malware. Viruses are downloaded to your computer when just visiting a website. Hackers can then gain access to your computer, or obtain information like passwords. It’s a very lucrative business. Even a 1% success rate can bring in Millions for these crooks.
I had a client once tell me that he had nothing of importance on his home computers. Therefore, it wasn’t necessary to have an Antivirus software installed at his house. Sometimes the hacking of your business website starts off from your personal computers. WordPress.org: “In addition to scanning your website, you should start scanning your local environment. In many instances, the source of the attack / infection begins on your local box (i.e., notebook, desktop, etc…). Attackers are running trojans locally that allow them to sniff login access information to things like FTP and /wp-admin that allow them to log in as the site owner.”
5) VPN Software – Virtual Private Network. VPNs are frequently used by business travellers to access their business’ network, including all its local network resources, while on the road. The local resources don’t have to be exposed directly to the Internet, which increases security. VPN’s are also good for accessing public WIFI connections. They can prevent someone snooping into your staff’s internet activity while working in Costa Coffee. There are many other reasons, and I think it would be worth writing an article dedicated to the how’s and why’s of using a VPN.
Now having completed this article, it has become obvious to me that there are far more points of defence that need to be addressed. However, this is a good starting point. Some may seem a little insulting to the intelligence of an experienced business owner, but were included none the less, for the sake of completeness. Another 2 maybe 3 articles will be written in the near future. Each with a list of 5 points, so that implementation and understanding is as easy as possible.
Need to know more? Read our next article about security for your business. It’s still easy to follow, but a little more in depth.