Whatever kind of business you run, big or small, you likely do a lot of your business online. That’s just the way it is nowadays, with more and more business owners switching to online accounting, record keeping, staff management, and more. Even marketing is now done online, with the majority of companies employing digital marketing as opposed to more traditional methods.

This is all great, as it speeds up company performance and allows for cross-platform and multi-location business operations. However, with online working comes the need to protect your online data and keep your business secured. If you are running any kind of business, read on for all the important information on how to protect your data and why you need to do so.

Why is Online Data Important?

Online data comes in many forms. As mentioned, you may do your banking online. For a start, the last thing you ever want is to leak or lose any of your banking information. If this was to fall into the wrong hands, you could face the real prospect of losing money rapidly or even having your business shut down.

The same applies to all kinds of other data. Whether it’s information regarding your employees, your customers, or even your products. With so much stored and accessed via the internet and work computers, it’s more important than ever to protect it. In the past, you may have kept important records in a safe or under lock and key somewhere. Now, you need to make sure you’re doing the same, but digitally.

The Threats of Cybercrime

Sadly, as the internet has rapidly developed, so has crime. In fact, cybercrime is now one of the most common threats to everyone – business or otherwise. Cybercriminals are estimated to attempt attacks on around 2,000 businesses or individuals per day, with an estimated yearly cost of almost $1 trillion.

These numbers should rightly alarm you. The issue here is that all the data you store, even if just regarding customer information, can be extremely valuable to hackers and criminals. Data has become one of the most valuable assets on the planet. So, if hackers are operating at such speed, what are you doing to protect your business from their threats?  

VPNs Can Help

One of the easiest ways you can start protecting your internet activity, and therefore your data, is through the use of a virtual private network (VPN). VPNs effectively sit on top of your regular internet connection, creating a new channel for you to connect to various sites. This new tunnel is an encrypted connection, helping to protect all your data from any outside attacks. It also helps to mask your location and browsing history.

VPNs are easy to buy and set up, even for business. As seen at swagbucks.com/shop/nordvpn-coupons, there are plenty of deals to be found on VPN for business, making it even cheaper and easier to start protecting your business right away. This sort of software will help protect every single computer in your office, making it an essential tool.

Use a Firewall

Another way of helping protect your data is to use a firewall. This software is also readily available, with business plans on offer from almost every provider. A firewall acts as an extra line of defense, behind your VPN or regular network. It works to set parameters, checking every bit of data entering your local office network. If anything seems suspicious or malicious, it will block the download, while also advising you on how to deal with this potential threat.

Check for Viruses

Even with all the above working in your favor, it is still sometimes possible to end up with a virus on your computer. The risks of viruses are varied, but for data purposes, you want to look out for things like ransomware. 

These bugs will sit on your computer and soak up all your data and activity. Once it is all stolen, the virus producer will demand money from you to return the data. This sort of activity is common, especially when dealing with companies with large bank balances. A virus scanning software will run 24/7 to try and prevent these viruses from ever setting up shop on your network, or help you eradicate them if they do appear.

Train Your Staff

It’s important to also think about the people in your business. Without any knowledge of these kinds of attacks and threats, your staff could act in a way that puts your data at risk. Through no fault of their own, staff could easily click on phishing scam emails, connect to unsecured networks, or download viruses.

For these reasons, staff training on data security is very important. Show your staff how to use a VPN, virus software, and firewalls. Teach them what issues they may be on the lookout for. And explain why data security is so crucial. This kind of training can help prevent your business from ever making any rookie mistakes with online security.

Protect All Devices

Finally, a word on protecting every device your company uses or owns. Over the past year or two, the need for remote working has completely changed the way many businesses operate. Now, more and more companies are allowing staff to work from home or use their own personal devices to access work data. This is fine, but it does come with a level of risk.

If your staff is handling sensitive or important data remotely, whether, on their laptops, phones, or tablets, you need to make sure you are taking the same steps to protect those devices as you would with an in-house device. Install VPNs, virus blockers, and all other necessary software, while also intensifying any training around security on their devices. 

So, whatever your business may be, you can see the risks involved with cybercrime and the need to keep your data secure. Take these steps to help make your office and remote working computers safer and more protected. Keep the hackers at bay and save your business a lot of trouble and stress!

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