The internet is likely to be the single largest source of security risks to your business. Dodgy websites and fishy emails can be a source of virus infections and malware that can result in data destruction and financial loss. Here’s how to avoid them.
You may encounter a number of internet and website security issues. For example:
Taking key steps to protect your computer - like installing security software and using a firewall - will help you guard against these internet threats. However, there are a number of other things you and your staff can do.
Most website and internet security problems occur as the result of something you do. For instance, if you open a suspicious email attachment, your computer could be infected by a virus.
This human element plays a part in many IT security problems, so it’s vital your staff understand how their actions can damage your business.
Unfortunately, this is a tricky message to convey. People are generally poor at sticking to security rules, particularly if they view them as obstacles to getting work done.
Make sure your IT policies include guidance on browsing the internet and handling emails. Also offer training if you feel it’s necessary. Some companies test their staff by sending dodgy-looking emails and seeing who clicks links in them. This can be a good way to demonstrate the issue.
In any case, stay on your guard and follow these tips for good website security:
If you’re buying from a website, make sure the site you’re on uses a secure connection to transfer your payment details. Look for a padlock and green highlighting in your browser's address bar – click this for information about the company running the site. If it doesn’t match the site you’re on, don’t proceed with your purchase.
Always check that an online business has a real world presence, with a street address and telephone number. And it’s a good idea to buy with a credit card, as most offer extra protection if anything goes wrong with your purchase.
Good internet security software and an effective spam filter will block most suspicious emails before you ever see them. But it’s inevitable some will slip through the net. What’s more, social media tools like Facebook and Twitter provide other channels for hacker attacks.
Although the nature of online threats is always evolving, the general principles involved in protecting your business tend to remain the same. You need a combination of strong security software and switched on staff to stay safe.
If you'd like more information on this topic, see the Resource box on the right.
You might also be intested in: