With the COVID-19 pandemic showing no sign of abating any time soon, many businesses have been forced to radically move a majority of their operations online in order to remain operational while still maintaining social distance. This might include, for instance, opening an online shop to sell your products, or moving the office environment online while your staff works from home. But, how can you ensure that confidential data remains protected while you and your colleagues are working remotely? To help you out, here are some tips on protecting your data online.
Ensure all computers have anti-virus software installed
Perhaps the most obvious first step in protecting your business’ data when working online is to ensure that every computer and laptop used by your employees has rigorous anti-virus software installed. This will protect your computers from any malware, including viruses, attempting to hack into your company system. To avoid the inconsistency of different anti-virus software being used by different people, you might want to invest in an anti-virus software business package to be installed on your employees’ devices. For further protection, you could even issue your staff with company laptops on which to carry out their work.
Protect your documents when sharing them
With the office environment being moved online with colleagues working remotely, there is by necessity a lot of documents being sent to and fro via email or data transfer sites. First and foremost, always double-check the email address of the person you are sending information to – you might inadvertently send a highly confidential document to the wrong person. To further protect your documents, insert a watermark to prevent plagiarism, and apply permission-based access to sensitive documents. Using a deal room will give you greater control over your documents when sharing them online.
Use strong passwords and change them regularly
Passwords are intrinsic to Internet security, but they’re often an area in which many people become lax. With most sites requiring login details, it’s easy to understand why 59% of people fall into the trap of using the same password for everything; however, doing this can actually make it simpler for hackers to access your information, thereby putting your data at risk. Ensure that you and your employees protect your work documents with strong passwords made up of a mix of numbers, letters of different cases, and symbols, and set reminders to change them at least every couple of months.
Regularly back up your data
Most people have experienced the horror of losing work due to a laptop malfunction. To help prevent this, make sure that you regularly back up your data and key systems to ensure that there is always a copy available should something go wrong. This might be saving your work to secure online cloud storage, or even saving it onto a USB stick or external hard drive. If you are using the latter, ensure that your storage devices are stored securely and regularly check that they work.