How to Protect Your Business from Malware

Cyber-attacks can be devastating for small business owners. One study showed that one out of 10 small businesses that endure a cyber-attack will survive less than six months following the attack.

Malware is one type of attack that can concern you as a business owner. Malware is a code or program used to harm a computer system. These programs seek to damage and disable a computer system by gaining control of the system. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make your business’s system less vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

Manage and Monitor Scans and Setting

Most business owners understand they should use programs that provide protection against malware. And while a good antivirus program can be installed and will run on its own, it is a good idea to take a more active approach when using these programs.

You should schedule scans of your computer every few days and monitor the scans to assure everything is working properly. You can plan scans at night if you are concerned with your system moving slowly while a scan is being performed. Also, be sure to adjust your computer settings so that your system will not sleep or hibernate while the scan is being performed.

Protect Your Business from Malware

Perform Regular System Updates

Each software provider has its operating system that will provide you with protection against malware. You will have to update your system of choice regularly to guard against new vulnerabilities and get the maximum benefit from your anti-virus program.

Software updates will solve any problems with the software. Software manufacturers will identify any issues with the software and let users know when updates are needed to fix any bugs. Updates will also solve security holes in the software. You don’t want to allow unwanted visitors to get into your computer and gain access to personal data

Most software has the option to selection auto-update. If this is available, it is a good idea to turn it on. If the option is not available, make sure to regularly check for any system updates and perform the updates as soon as possible.

Use Secure Networks

The proliferation of wireless technology has resulted in many people exposing their personal information over the internet regularly. This information is not as protected as most people think and you are playing with fire if you participate in some of the following activities:

  • Use public Wi-Fi without protecting your browser.
  • Fail to use and protect the password on your network.
  • Use only WEP router encryption. This is the weakest level of encryption possible.

It is a good idea to use a Virtual Private Network whether you work at home, at the office, or a local coffee shop. A Virtual Private Network extends a private network across a public network. The private network is established through an encrypted layered tunneling protocol allowing VPN users to use authentication methods in order to gain access to the VPN. A Virtual Private Network will allow employees working remotely to use the private work network and access company’s applications and resources without being vulnerable to potential attacks.

Use Common Sense When Online

There are common sense principals we all use on a daily basis to protect ourselves from crime in the streets. But many people might not be as aware of the fact that there is a list of common-sense guidelines that can protect your business from cybercriminals. Some of these commonsense tips include:

  • Stay away from websites that provide pirated materials.
  • Do not open email attachments from unknown senders.
  • Do not download a file without first scanning it.
  • Always hover over a shortened link to view where it leads before clicking.

Final Thoughts

It is estimated that 18 million websites are presently infected due to a cyber-attack. However, you do not have to view it as an inevitability that your business system will one day be victimized by a cybercriminal. With a little planning and discipline, you can provide yourself with the protection from cyber-attacks that will keep your business computer system up and running at all times.

Mark Blackwell

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