5 Tips to Protect Your Business Computer

Hackers and spammers are actively looking for computers to exploit and the small business is the most common target.  Small business owners are typically not IT professionals and don’t have time to keep up and protect against the latest threats.

Despite that, there are some pretty simple things you can do in order to keep your critical business tools working. 

Tip 1: Planning
Planning your security strategy with your business in mind is critical.  Each security product has different strengths and weaknesses.  Someone who does all their work online has a completely different profile than someone who shares files with partners and clients locally.

Tip 2: Layered Security
Security threats today take forms such as email links, hijacked web pages, and infected files.  These are all best addressed by different security products.  Antivirus, Anti-Malware and firewalls used in a layered approach can provide excellent security.

Tip 3: Update Software
The most common way that computers get compromised is due to vulnerabilities in the operating system or the programs we’re using.  Not all programs update automatically and some have critical issues which put your business at risk.  Regularly check your Antivirus, Anti-Malware, Windows, Adobe Reader/Flash, Java and other applications for updates.

Tip 4: Review Security Logs
Your antivirus might be doing its job, but is it overworked?  Are you getting more than your fair share of threats?  This could be evidence of one of your other layers of security failing.  Make sure you check on those logs and evaluate if there might be a weak spot in your protection plan.

Tip 5: Learn and Encourage Safe Computer Habits
Many scams and hack attempts start with fooling a computer user into clicking an email attachment, website link or some other bait they hope you’ll “bite” on.  Remember to verify the sender before you open the attachment.  Be suspicious of a link sent to you with no explanation, or content that doesn’t seem like something the sender would actually give you. 

Wade Stewart is the Managing Member of Stewart and Son Computer Services, LLC in University Place, WA and serves as a trusted partner to many local small and medium sized businesses.

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