What Are The Top 3 Ways To Protect Your Data?

Data protection is important, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Follow these three steps to protect your data from cybercriminals.

Contrary to what you might think, the topic of data protection isn’t meant to scare people. A lot of talk about cybersecurity is what you call “doom and gloom”. It’s all about scaring people into action.

The truth is that kind of thinking isn’t necessary – we all know how dangerous cybercrime is. The real point of business security is to make sure you have all your bases covered.

And when it comes to data protection, it’s likely simpler than you’re assuming.

3 Ways To Protect Your Data

Implement The Right Technologies

The first step in data protection is to make sure you have the right cybersecurity technologies in place:

  • Firewalls: Firewalls control the internet traffic going to and from the computers on your network. They provide an important barrier between your business and the outside world. This is especially important if you have multiple computers connected to the same network. This same firewall protects the spread of a virus from one computer to another. On the off chance that a computer wasn’t protected and got infected, this would keep it from spreading the virus throughout your network.
  • Antivirus: While firewalls are an excellent source of protection from viruses, they can’t do everything. This is where antivirus protection comes in. An antivirus program constantly scans your computer to prevent viruses by detecting suspicious files. If it finds a suspicious file, the antivirus will work to isolate it and keep it from spreading until deleting the file and neutralising the threat.

Best Practices

Strong security isn’t just about the technology you have in place – it’s also about how you use it.

  • Use Strong Passwords. If you or your employees use simple, and easy-to-guess passwords, you could be leaving your business more vulnerable than you know. Develop strong passwords that use capital and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and symbols. And, change your passwords every two months.
  • Update Your Programs On A Regular Basis. Whenever there’s an opportunity to update, it’s important to do so. Updating is like having a secret security group constantly working to keep your business safe. Plus, they keep your computers and systems running at optimal performance.
  • Backup Your Systems On A Regular Basis With all the ways that your data can be compromised, it’s incredibly important to backup data regularly. This protects data that could be wiped out due to a virus or a lost or stolen laptop. Without regular backups, you run the risk of not only losing your data but having to spend valuable time and money to replace it.
  • Educate Your Employees – Your employees play a huge role in your data protection practices. Without realising it, they could compromise your defenses. For example, your employees can get an e-mail that looks like it came from a person in HR asking for a copy of their contract. If the employee didn’t recognise the e-mail address as being incorrect, they could inadvertently release confidential information. Employees should be trained to remain vigilant and constantly look for e-mails that are phishing attempts or have red flags such as simple grammatical mistakes or excessive punctuation. Implement a policy to flag suspicious e-mails. And, train all your employees on the importance of not opening or clicking on any suspicious e-mails or links.

Don’t Forget About Mobile Devices

Just because they’re not connected directly to the servers or used only at work, doesn’t mean your laptop, tablet and mobile phone shouldn’t be considered when it comes to data protection. If they deal with business data (say, in your work email), then they need to be protected.

  • Secure Your Laptops:  Laptops offer the portability to take work home with you. This comes with an entirely new risk to your company. Laptops can easily be lost or stolen, so you must secure them. A recent study, by Dell Company, shows that a laptop is stolen every 53 seconds. Securing a laptop can be done in a few ways.
    • If you must leave your laptop in your car, lock it in your trunk to better protect it from thieves.
    • Set your laptop to require a strong password at startup.
    • Use encryption software to secure your laptop. Encryption software makes the data on your computer unreadable until the right password is entered.
  • Secure Your Mobile Phones: Phones can be used to complete many of the same tasks that employees perform on their computers but without the same level of protection. It’s important to treat these like you do your laptops. Ensure all employees’ phones use encryption software, password protection, and remote wiping capabilities. For example, you can easily trace where your iPhone is by using the “Find My iPhone” app on a different device. If you can’t find your phone, you can protect your data by remotely locking and/or erasing the information on your phone.

For more information about and expert support in your data protection efforts, get in touch with Steadfast Solutions at {phone} or {email}.