Anti-Hackers: Low-Cost Tools to Shield Your Small Business Data

By Sean Ross

2 min read

Some high-profile hacking stories in recent years illustrate the importance of data security for businesses, shareholders, and customers. Regardless of the size of your company, you should consider prioritizing the protection of sensitive information from hackers.

You don’t have to break the bank to find high-quality security software. Compared to the potential loss of a data breach, the expense of a satisfactory protection system is awfully small.

The Basics of Data Protection

Data security is fundamentally about making it difficult for unauthorized users to enter your systems and look at, copy, and send sensitive information to outside parties. No matter which security software you use for your business, there are some steps that you should take to safeguard your information.

Whenever you or your coworkers work online, make sure they log in through a secure Wi-Fi network. Hackers frequently patrol unsecured wireless networks, especially at busy areas such as libraries, coffee shops, or apartment complexes. Consult experts or task a member of your team with updating security, staying abreast of the security industry, and finding effective protection services. Make sure that passwords are kept secure, and be careful when working in public spaces. If all else fails, you can purchase hacking insurance.

Cost-Effective Tools

BitLocker, the encryption tool used by the Windows operating system, is available to anyone who uses a non-standard version of Windows. Your business can get BitLocker by upgrading to Windows 8 or a later version.

Apple’s FileVault is the go-to protection tool for Apple OS, and every device with OS X Lion or later automatically has FileVault 2.

Other Windows-based software to consider include Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, Panda Antivirus Pro, and Avira Antivirus Pro. Apple users should also look at Avast Mac Security and Sophos Anti-Virus.

Low-Cost Cloud Data Security

Small businesses rely increasingly on cloud-based technology for storage, sharing, communication, and even online accounting. Storing data online through a cloud is often safer than relying on a single device for storage, but it is not hacker-proof. Here are a few tips about how to improve data security if your small business is on the cloud.

  • Create secure passwords: A priority for all devices at all times, password security is even more important on the cloud because there are a lot of users who can be potential hacking targets. Avoid simple passwords or passwords that seem cleverly related to your business. The most secure passwords are long and very random.
  • Use anti-malware: Anti-malware or anti-virus software helps prevent malicious software from entering your electronic devices. Some malware is designed so cleverly that it can log into your user ID, use your passwords, find sensitive information, and quickly send all of it to a hacker. There are lots of low-cost anti-malware providers.
  • Consider multi-factor authentication: Multi-factor authentication means your online data requires multiple levels of authentication to access. This could be a password plus a unique, randomly generated code. It could even involve fingerprint or voice activation.
Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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