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16 tips for boosting your small business security

From crime to cybercrime, security breaches of any kind are a major concern for today’s small businesses, so here’s what you can do to protect yourself

Security is a huge part of any business’s success. A business that fails to secure itself is one that leaves itself open to risks and dangers, potentially jeopardising its current and future success.

This is especially true for small businesses, where a single lapse in security judgement can result in potentially disastrous consequences. It’s hugely important that small businesses take the time to make sure both their security and cybersecurity are up to scratch. Luckily, we’re here with all the tips you need to make sure your organisation stays safe in every sense.

Security

Keyless entry

Keys can be a risky option. They can all too easily get lost or stolen, putting your workplace at risk. Nowadays however, keyless entry has become commonplace. Smartphone apps make it easier than ever to access your place of work securely without the need for keys, giving you peace of mind when it comes to your office security.

Wireless cameras

Security cameras are a must for any office, especially if you’re located in a city. But while old security cameras tend to bulky and expensive, modern models are much more accessible and compact. Portable security cameras and wireless models can be easily placed where you need them with minimal fuss.

Locate dark spots

Adequate lighting throughout your workplace is vitally important, both inside and outside. Make sure you check for any dark spots and brighten them up so that criminals don’t have any convenient places to hide.

Train your team

You can take all the precautions you like, but if your employees are lax when it comes to security, then you’re putting yourself at unnecessary risk. Make sure you regularly take the time to train your employees on the best security measures regarding issues like locking up, bringing devices to and from work and sharing information. By making this part of your normal routine, you’ll significantly improve the overall security of your small business.

Motion lights

Motion lights are a simple yet effective security measure that every business should implement. It’s a way of being proactive against potential criminals before they strike, by introducing lights which automatically switch on when they detect motion. Even if a criminal does target your business, motion lights give you a better chance of capturing them on camera so that they can be successfully apprehended.

Bright entrance lights

While we’re on the subject of lighting, it’s also important to ensure that your entrance is particularly bright. In the winter months, it’s going to be dark for the vast majority of the day, meaning crimes are more likely to occur. A brightly lit business is one which isn’t an easy target for criminals, so be sure to install effective lighting everywhere, especially in the entrance.

Close blinds after closing

Don’t give thieves the chance to window shop your business. Leaving blinds open after hours give potential criminals a handy invitation, while closing the blinds is a good way to make your place of work stand out less. This will help you avoid tempting any passing robbers.

Cybersecurity

Change your passwords

A strong password is the absolute cornerstone of effective cybersecurity. In fact, most cases of cybercrime occur due to poor passwords. A strong password should be reasonably long and include both uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and a symbol or two. You should also avoid using the same password for multiple accounts, as if one account is breached then it becomes all too easy for criminals to access your other accounts too. Be sure to change your passwords every few months, and encourage your team to do the same.

Antivirus protection

Many businesses don’t invest in anti-virus protection because they’re reluctant to fork out the costs, but the price of a subscription is far less than the potential costs of repairing a security breach or malware attack. Having antivirus protection installed on all your workplace devices gives you that extra level of protection against threats, providing peace of mind.

Filter spam

Spam comes in many forms, which makes spotting it difficult sometimes. Be wary of any emails you receive from a sender you don’t recognise, especially if the email address seems suspicious or if the email contains a link. If you do receive a suspicious email, report it, block the contact and delete the email from both your inbox and your trash. Make sure to instruct your employees on this protocol too so they don’t end up making a rookie mistake. You can also invest in spam filtering tech to provide greater security, and many email providers include a version of this in their standard management.

Defend your Wi-Fi

Setting up Wi-Fi permissions is a good way to limit the people who can access your connection, making you less of a target for potential cybercriminals. This is important, as accessing your Wi-Fi could lead criminals on to access the files you store and share using that connection. Set up a main Wi-Fi for your team to use and then a separate guest connection for clients and customers.

Firewalls

Introduce a first class firewall into your business connection to give yourself the best chance of staying safe. On top of the router your Internet Service Provider has probably installed, you’ll need a firewall in order to manage the traffic accessing your business. This will also stop your team members from accidentally visiting compromised websites and putting your business at risk.

Outsource your IT

Managing your IT can be difficult and time-consuming, so handing the task over to experts you can trust like the team at Syntax is a great way to protect your business and save up your time for the things that matter more to you.

Look at privacy policies

It’s not enough to simply get familiar with your own privacy policies. Every business needs to know that the security and the privacy policies of the companies they deal with are up to scratch. This is especially true when data is being shared with them. You don’t want to be held liable for any data that gets leaked.

Backup your files

It’s hugely important to backup your files. If you’re relying a single device or set of devices to run your business, you’re putting yourself at enormous risk of a security disaster is something happens to that device. A virus or a security breach can happen at any time, and if your PC is targeted you want to know that at least the documents you need in order to run your business are still ready and accessible. Cloud computing storage is one of the simplest ways to do this. It’s secure, and it makes it easier than ever to share files with the rest of your team.

Patch management

It’s always tempting to ignore it when your computer says it’s needs an upgrade. It might just never feel like the right time. However, it’s important that you make the time for these updates as they often come with the latest version of your tech’s security features, making you as safe as possible.

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My name is Gary, a 31 year old Tech Loving marketer passionate about home tech and coffee.

I'm a Programmer for hire working with small to medium businesses.

I network in Warrington, Liverpool and Manchester in the North West, England.

This website is my online notebook dedicated to tech, marketing and finance.

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