Protecting Your Moneymaker

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It is safe to say that most every business has at least 1 computer these days and most companies have many.  These computers are your everyday tools to make money.  You must protect your moneymaker!

The black market companies creating & deploying viruses / spyware have everything to gain and you have everything to lose.  Do not make it too easy for them.  Here are a few tips to help you protect your technology investment.

Anti-Virus / Malware Software Protection
This should go without saying, but I’m saying it anyway.  EVERY computer & server must have anti-virus & malware protection software running at all times.  More than that, you must make certain that you are keeping that software updated regularly.  This software should run a full system scan upon installation and then scan each piece of data as it goes in and out of your computer.  I would also suggest that you setup a schedule for full system scans to happen weekly.  A full system scan does take longer to run, so you might consider setting it to run during the middle of the night while it’s not typically in use.

Update your operating system
Every computer has an operating system like Windows 8, Windows 10, etc., this is the main software that runs your computer and controls all other software.  When this software is released and installed on your computer, it was as secure as they could make it at the time.  Never forget how creative criminals can be though, once they know how you are trying to keep them out, they will search until they find an alternate way in.  Criminals will find a way in!  When this happens, the programmers will re-write code to close off the access.  When they do this, they will release Security Updates to their operating system.  If these updates are not installed and tested, your computer will be vulnerable.

Use and Change your password often
At every level that you can, setup, use and change password access to your computer and programs.  The rules of passwords have changed dramatically and most require the use of Complex Passwords.  Complex passwords should be at least 8 characters long, include both numbers and letters as well as upper and lower case.  The days of using your last name with a number at the end and increment that number by one every time you were forced to change it, are long gone.  Most programs require a complex password and suggest that you change it often.  I would suggest changing it every 90 days and every 6 months at a minimum.  This may seem like a hassle but there is no simpler way of protecting your data.  Also keep in mind that in case of a breach, you should not use the same password for everything.  Once a password is found, you want to minimize the doors that can be opened with it.

Install a Firewall
If you have 1 or more computers connected to the Internet, you need to have a firewall installed.  The basic definition of a firewall is something that creates a barrier between your local computers / network and the Internet.  A firewall controls what information is allowed to pass between the two.  A firewall can be either software based or a hardware device.  Rules are setup within the firewall to inspect data requesting to go in or out of your network.  These rules come preset in the firewall and can also be customized to your specific needs.  As threats change, so does the level and type of protection you need.  Firewalls, just like operating systems and antivirus protection software need to have updates done on them too ensure that stay up to date with changing threats.  Do not neglect updates!

Most important… Backup you’re Data!
No matter what the threat, no matter what the protection, something will fail eventually.  Even if you are not compromised by a hacker or virus, your computer is always susceptible to hardware failure.  Therefore you must protect your data!  Nothing is better at doing this then doing daily backups of your computer.  Make a backup!  Technology Service Providers can repair most any hardware failure and we can reload software.  We can even reconfigure customized settings on your computer but we cannot recreate your data.  We can however, restore your data from a good backup.

If you need any help protecting your moneymaker, let us know, we are happy to help.