More than 60% of small businesses have been attacked by cyber criminals in the past year.

With more people working remotely and using mobile devices for an ever-increasing amount of their work, there has never been a greater need for protecting your data, your systems and your business.

There are 5 main things you can do to manage the cybercrime problem:

1.  Back up your data

  • Use cloud computing so that your data is stored instantly and with minimum fuss or work. (Make sure you use a reputable firm to manage your data storage).
  • If you don’t use cloud storage then make sure you back up all data daily and store it in a different location from your computer systems so that there is no danger of loss through fire, theft or flood.

2.  Protect your systems from viruses (malware)

  • Switch on the firewall on your systems.
  • Install reputable anti-virus software.
  • Use your antivirus software to scan USB and other portable data devices before you copy files to your systems.
  • Whenever a device, App or software says there is an update, INSTALL IT!

3.  Avoid phishing attacks (i.e. when somebody emails you or sends you a link purporting to be from a bank, supplier or well-known website, but trying instead to get you to reveal personal details)

  • Raise awareness about suspicious emails or phone calls.
  • Never follow “links” in documents or emails.

4.  Protect your smartphone and mobile devices

  • Keep your device up to date (updates deal with protection as well as “bugs” in the system)
  • Update your Apps.
  • Be careful when connecting to external wi-fis.  Make sure your system knows that it is a public network and check that your anti-virus software is up-to-date.
  • Make sure that you can delete the data on your devices remotely if they are lost or stolen.

5.  Manage passwords properly

  • Change all default passwords.
  • Have a different password for everything.
  • Use complex passwords – accept the fact that you will not remember them and use a Password Keeper to manage them.
  • Never write a password down or share it with anybody else.
  • Use 2 factor authentication.