Computer Security Tips for Small Businesses – Part 1

While large companies and government agencies move forward in the battle of cyber security, small businesses have similar, but unique hurdles when it comes to securing their systems. Many small businesses do not have full time IT support and rely on an outside vendor for computer services. If you are a small business owner or manager, you may have several questions on securing your business.  Here are some quick tips for securing your business.

1. Make sure your workstations and server(s) are receiving windows security updates. If you do not have an IT staff and are not comfortable checking your server, have your support company check it and show you that it is receiving these important security patches.

2. Make sure that you have anti-virus/spyware programs running on all your servers and workstations and that they are getting regular updates. Check the status of your anti-virus program and check that the protection is set to “enabled” and that it has received updates recently.  Some viruses will disable your anti-virus, or hinder the update process, so it is good to check on this once in a while. Also, you should run a full virus scan on your systems regularly.  It might be a good idea to do this off hours or weekends, because it will take a while to complete.

3. Check your Wi-Fi and router security settings. Many times, Wi-Fi routers are accessible from outside your building so it is imperative that the security be set to the highest available. If your wireless router is older or is set to WEP security, it needs to be changed. WEP has been cracked awhile ago and is not secure. Change this to WPA or preferably WPA2. Change your SSID from factory default and make sure that the router is set to not broadcast the SSID. And last but not least, change the administrator password on your router; it is set to a standard default password from the factory.

 4. Make sure you have a firewall installed, either one built into your internet router or use the built in Microsoft firewall.

- Continues in next post – 

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~ by D. Dieterle on January 28, 2010.

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