Computer viruses are nothing new. In fact, they’re older than you might think. First theorized in the 1940s and published in 1966 by mathematician John von Neumann, the first real computer virus would appear only 5 years later in 1971, the Creeper Virus. Computer users have been dealing with viruses, leaks, and hacks ever since. No matter how cautious you are, there’s always a chance that a virus might infect your system and paralyze your business until IT can patch your system.
There are ways you can prevent and protect your business’ valuable data. You don’t need a computer science degree or expensive software, either. Software consulting companies and experts agree that much of this protection comes from applying good, old-fashioned common sense to your computer use and teaching your employees to do the same.
Five Tips for Better Data Security
- Update your software: You know those annoying update notices that pop up on your screen every now and then? Pledge to start running them instead of ignoring them. Software manufacturers sometimes issue updates and patches when holes in the software code are exploited by hackers to spread viruses and malware. Older software is more vulnerable to problems than newer software, and updates help prevent and protect your system. Run those updates and consider investing in newer, more secure software, or better still, cloud-based software, which typically features even better security.
- Add virus protection: Software that scans incoming emails and checks websites before allowing you to enter them also adds a layer of protection to your online interactions. Some virus codes can be picked up just by visiting an infected site. To prevent this, software that scans sites for safety can help you avoid problematic places online.
- Improve password security: Change your passwords monthly and ask your staff to do the same. Instruct them to use complex passwords that include upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. Strong passwords incorporate phrases that only the user knows but are hard to crack. Avoid sharing the same password among different systems or websites. If one is hacked, that password can then be used to access other places online where it has been used. Avoid the temptation to share passwords or tape them to your computer.
- Switch to the cloud: Talk to your software consulting company about cloud-based software which offers excellent data security. Not only is your data protected behind numerous firewalls, but it’s backed up frequently on the cloud. Cloud-based systems can protect your data better than most on-site systems.
- Teach your team basic email protection: Many hackers use simple tricks to enter systems. They send “change password” emails that pass the glance test. Others send messages asking the recipients to click a link to access information or change passwords. Never click links in emails unless you are sure they come from the company itself. When in doubt, close your browser, open your internet browser again, and manually enter a website user name and password to check on your account. Simple precautions can save you a world of trouble later.
The True Cost of a Data Breach
Data security breaches can be costly, not just in terms of the financial impact and fines such as GDPR, but in terms of customer trust and goodwill. Many companies spend thousands of dollars to repair the damage caused by data loss and compromised data security. Others find that they lose customers after a major data breach. Even if the breach isn’t your company’s fault, customers will still see it as a reason to take their business elsewhere. While there’s never a 100 percent guarantee that your data will remain absolutely secure, good data security helps you keep good customers and can mitigate costly problems later.
Secure Partnership with PositiveVision
Whether you’re looking for more secure cloud-based solutions or a protected upgrade of a system you already own, at PositiveVision, we take your data security seriously. For the past 15 years, as a software consulting company, we have been serving businesses near and far with cloud software, ERP, and other products to secure and enhance business data. Let us help you secure your data today with the right software solutions for your data protection needs.