small business owner with good security working on laptop

Bad Small Business Computer Security Habits

When it comes to small business computer security, prevention costs less, hurts less, and makes more sense. So why is it that so many of us still fail to practice the basics that can protect from big, expensive computer problems?

It boils down to a lack of understanding.

  • You may not understand the risks, so why would you undertake IT improvements?
  • You may not understand how simple acts can be as important as they are, so you ignore good computer habits.
  • And you may not understand why IT recommendations were made, so you never implement those best practices.

“If it ain’t broke ” is a common mindset, but it can cost you a lot. I know IT is boring for most people but I want to quickly cover two areas where many small business owners form bad computer security habits.  My hope is with some free guides and information that can help protect your business, you will take action to close security gaps and reform bad habits to help protect your business.


Passwords

We’ve blogged about tips to protect you from being hacked.  And today we’re revisiting some of those good computer habits.

The first one is password habits. People have bad password habits.

Weak, old or reused passwords are persistent problems that create unnecessary risk for your business.

  • Do your team members know what makes a good password?
  • Do they understand the simple rules that go a long way to managing password safety?
  • Do you review these dull, boring but important computer security topics with your team every 6 or 12 months to re-enforce the principles?

You can request a free copy of our small business password policy guide. It will explain what you need to know to improve password policies in your office today. Click to subscribe and it will arrive in your inbox shortly.

It’s free. It’s helpful. It could save you from a big techache down the line.

You can introduce the policies yourself, or call your IT provider to get help.  No IT Support in Toronto ON? Call us.  That’s what we do.  The important part is implementing your password policy because it’s important.

I know this stuff is boring and annoying.  But you know what is far more annoying? Explaining to your customers that their contact information has been stolen from your admin assistant’s computer.  Trust me, you don’t want that kind of “excitement” in your life. Download the guide.


Antivirus

The second habit is antivirus. Antivirus every time.

61% of Small Business Owners Fail To Install Antivirus On All Computers

Recently, we were onboarding a new team for managed IT Services.  They wanted to skip antivirus and support for one of the laptops in the office because they “only use it sometimes”.  This happens all the time.  What seems like a cost saving shortcut is actually a big IT security gap.

network security risk of spare computersYou have to ensure that every computer your team uses is locked down, secured and monitored.  This includes all computers in the office (even the “spares”) and any computers, laptops or SmartPhones employees use at home to access company data.  Each is an entry point.  Each requires IT security and management. Even a computer used part time.

In fact, “spare” computers can be more of a risk because if not used often, chances are no one is doing regular software and security updates on it.  This is another common bad computer security habit. But that’s another topic. Back to antivirus.

Each device should have up to date antivirus on it, and not the free stuff.  You need a commercial product which actively scans any file you try to open.

If your employees use their own devices for work, this is a form of BYOD- or Bring Your Own Device. BYOD is a security nightmare if not set up securely.  And the truth is, it is often rather haphazardly setup, without any planning at all.

Whether your employees use company owned devices or their own devices at work, you can’t skip this important work today.  You must enforce password policies and choose the antivirus software all devices must have installed.

I know, it sounds like overkill, when in fact, it is the basics of IT security best practices.

You will be leaps ahead of many small business owners if you implement these two basic but important computer security practices for your small business today.


Take a look at this sobering small business cybersecurity infographic.

small business computer security risks infographic

Do you see how often the computer security basics are overlooked?

These statistics are from 2011 – 2012. Online threats have grown exponentially since then.

Protect your business right now by improving your computer security.


Small Business Computer Services in Toronto

Small business owners in Toronto ON looking to identify and close computer & network security gaps will benefit from a deep dive network security audit.  TUCU is tech u can use, serving the Toronto small business community since 2003, providing Network Setup, Security & Review Services, as well as IT Support Services.  Please call on us today to get the IT support you need.