The advances in internet technologies have brought us the life we see today; everything is at our fingertips and mobile phones, laptops and tablets are present everywhere. All these technologies have essentially changed the way we do business and have changed the boundaries previously set by physical distance.
Naturally, all this convenience comes with a bitter taste, as internet security risks are always present, and they can endanger your business as well. You may think that you are safe, but as long as you have people browsing the internet while in the office, which is almost inevitable, the chances are quite high that something might disrupt your normal business flow. That is why it is highly important to not only educate people about all the dangers that lurk around the internet, but also to implement all the software and hardware solutions in order to protect your assets.
1. Education is the key
The more employees you have, the harder it is for you to control their network surfing, so it would be a much easier solution to simply explain what and why is dangerous and how. People must use common logic, and they should always avoid giving their or their company's personal information to strangers, or to those whose identity is not yet confirmed. Tell them not to download anything, unless you completely trust the website, and forbid your employees from visiting porn or gambling websites. Those are quite commonly hosts to a variety of malware, which target to disrupt the normal work of computer networks, and they can be quite difficult to remove.
2. Software updates are your friends
Make sure to always update your operating system, as this will leave it less vulnerable to new attacks, and will offer new security features. Use the latest browsing program, such as Chrome, which is extremely reliable, and since it actively communicates with Google servers, it can even warn you if the website you're about to visit has malware, or is reported as being a phishing site. Most businesses use Internet Explorer, which also provides a good business solution which is extremely customizable, but because of its wide usage, it is a common target for attacks and security breaches. Advise your employees to only give their personal information on those sites that use secure connections, which are shown as having a "lock pad" icon.
3. Get rid of junk email
When it comes to business efficiency, just imagine how much time every day you spend dealing with reading unsolicited emails, as more than 70% of received emails are usually spam. Not only does this present a major waste of time, but It also presents a great security risk, since much of those email are not only unwanted ads, but some of them are very well-crafted phishing attempts, which are trying to steal your private bank information in order to simply steal from you, while others are trying to lead to suspicious websites where you'll get your computer infected. All of this can be solved with a spam-filtering program, which will automatically clean out your inbox, de-cluttering it, leaving only emails which you truly want to read. Another good tip is to use common sense, and never give out any information which you might later regret.
4. Use antivirus and firewall protection
While those can come as a hardware solution, which can simultaneously protect your whole network by acting as a barrier between it and the internet; software programs are much more common, and cheaper. All of them scan not only the files on your computer, but all the active internet connections, looking for those that are suspicious, or that seem to be downloading unusual files, usually aborting them. They can also restrict access to those websites that seem distrustful, and can even generate a report for each incident that has occurred, making monitoring much easier. No matter what the price is, it is usually worth it, when it comes to protecting the safety of all your internal data, and all your customers' information. In the end, a proper combination of education, software and hardware solutions will bring you the protection you need, which is not considered a luxury, but an essential part of every business.