When just one employee’s system is compromised, it can put your entire business at risk. Good security is a must! Even with good security software, end users must remain vigilant in order to keep bad guys out. To keep your business and your data safe, keep the following in mind:

  1. Always keep OSes and anti-virus programs up to date.

Hackers find new vulnerabilities in common operating systems and anti-virus software all the time. Software providers, in turn, come up with patches to protect your computers and your business. By updating your software whenever new versions or patches are released, you can ensure that you are always using the safest versions.

  1. Use strong passwords and change them when needed.

The conventional wisdom is that you should change your passwords on a regular basis. However, experts from Consumer Reports said this path makes it more likely that you will use weaker passwords. Pick strong passwords that are easy for you to remember instead. Your passwords do not need to be changed on a regular basis if they are strong in the first place. However, you should change them whenever there is a threat, such as a data breach at a service your employees use.

  1. Be sure who’s emailing you.

Make sure employees know that they should never click a link in an email or download an attachment unless they were expecting it. Just because it comes from a familiar address, doesn’t mean it’s a safe file. Impersonation runs rampant online. In some cases, thieves will use deceptive email headers to make it look like their messages are from someone else. In others, they will get access to an email address and use it to send malicious messages.

  1. Set up a sensible BYOD policy.

Smart phones and tablets have become ubiquitous. As a result, many more people are using their personal devices at work. If you allow people to use their own mobile devices, make sure that you have smart bring your own device (BYOD) measures in place. Have IT inspect each item that will be connected to your internal networks and create a list of approved apps for phones used at work.

  1. Back up your data.

Every year, thousands of individuals and businesses fall prey to ransomware. These viruses and worms take over your computer, encrypt your files and won’t let them go until a ransom is paid. Often, the only way to get away without paying is to wipe computers clean and reinstall. When your data is backed up offsite on a regular basis, you stand a much better chance of keeping that data safe .

The best practices to keep your business and its data safe are continuously evolving. Keep up on the latest threats and the best ways to combat them to reduce your risk and keep your business running smoothly.