Information Security Tips For Small Businesses
Posted on December 13, 2013
Starting your own company is much easier thanks to advancement in technology. Information about the business’ inner workings and financial transactions can be easily stored in electronic devices or the Internet. However, technology can also make it vulnerable to theft and other problems if we aren’t aware on how to protect our information. Here are some tips that you can use to protect your business from Information security problems.
Establish Strong Security Policy
Creating an agreed upon set of security policies is a great start in protecting your company’s information. Typical basic policies include not spreading business information in unsecured or unrecorded means of communication like a phone and installing security and anti-virus software in computers and other electronic devices. You can also later add other security measures to your policy as your business grows.
Train Your Staff
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Even the best security measures will be ineffective if the members of your staff are unfamiliar on how to effectively use them. Explain to your staff that they play a key role in protecting your business’ information. A vigilant staff will minimize human errors which are the usual causes of Information Security breaches.
Sort your Sensitive Data
Your typical business would probably produce and use a lot of data ranging from common receipts to sensitive trade secrets. It would be hard to protect information if you don’t know how to identify which ones need to be protected. A data inventory will make your work a lot easier.
After sorting which data are considered sensitive or vulnerable, you can now focus on protecting them. The most basic means of protection is to limit the copies of the sensitive information to as little as possible. It is easier and less expensive to establish security measures and look after a smaller number of copies of sensitive documents.
Back up Your Important Documents
A back-up can help your business quickly recover stolen or destroyed information. Regularly update your back-up and test it to see if it’s still effective for storage. Just be sure that you have stored your back-ups in a secured area as well.
Check Your Employee’s Background
It’s better to check the background of your prospective employees before hiring them to work in your business. Ask him or her for at least two references from former employers and ask these references to see if the candidate’s working history is indeed true. You should also check if your candidates have any credit or financial problems and whether they also have criminal records.
Use Strong and Different Passwords
If you’re using electronic devices and software to protect your information then you can make it even more reliable by employing strong passwords. A mix of lowercase and uppercase characters in your passwords will make it harder for hackers to steal your information. You should also use combinations of letters and numbers that are not normally found in a dictionary. A skilled hacker usually has an application that can bombard your security programs with a combination of dictionary entries and numbers to guess your password. You should also switch passwords on a regular basis, such as every three or four months, to further deter thieves.
Use Paper Shredders to Dispose Documents
Sensitive information, like credit card and social security numbers, can easily be fished out from the documents that we discard. As such, it’s better to shred the documents beyond recognition before sending them to the trash heap. It also has an indirect benefit of reducing the volume of your company’s solid waste as well since the shredded pieces tend to use a smaller space in the trash bin.
Joshua Turner is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to business. In this article, he offers business tips and aims to encourage further study with an ACU Online Masters in Organizational Development.