Simple Tips To Keep Your Data Safe
The lifeblood of any business is its clients. Most organisations from massive conglomerates to small local businesses handle and store a large amount of sensitive client information as well as the personal details of its employees. More and more of this information is kept electronically and with personal data theft becoming a growing ‘industry’, effective data protection is vitally important if client confidence (and investment) is to be maintained.
How To Keep Company And Client Data Safe From Hackers?
- Begin by carrying out a risk assessment so that you know exactly what personal information is held in your files and on your systems as well as who has access to it. Only keep sensitive data in your system for as long as you have a solid business-related reason to do so.
- Restrict access to personal client data to employees who have a legitimate business-related need and keep any documents or devices containing sensitive information locked securely away.
- When sending sensitive information via the internet or when storing it on networks or portable devices, always encrypt it. Laptops should always be encrypted in case of theft.
- Keep all your antivirus and anti-spyware software programs current and make sure that they’re run on servers and individual computers.
- Implement a company-wide protocol requiring strong passwords that use a combination of letters, characters and numbers. Prohibit the use of common words that can be found in the dictionary or staff birthdays, pet’s names and the like. Insist that passwords are changed every 45 to 60 days.
- When removing sensitive information from any device including copiers and printers, use a “wiping” programme to ensure that the data is overwritten, or alternatively shred the hard drive.
- Limit the wireless devices that can be connected to your network and encrypt transmissions from them.
- Implement employee training on your company’s confidentiality and security policies for handling sensitive information and on how to prevent data breaches. Regular training and updates are essential if you are to create a security conscious culture.
- Any paper documents containing sensitive information should be shredded and it should be company policy that such documents are not taken off-site unless absolutely necessary.
Some Ideas To Help Keep Data Safe
Data can be lost as well as stolen. Here are a few simple housekeeping ideas to help keep your data safe.
- Always back up; test the backup and make sure you keep up-to-date copies of important information offsite.
- Exit all programs before you shut down your computer. This prevents data loss and avoids program corruption.
- Install high quality surge protectors on line conditioners for all your business computer equipment.
- Never turn off peripherals before you shut down your computer; directory damage can occur whilst the disk is still active.
- Before you reformat your drive, test your backup. Make sure you’re familiar with the backup software before archiving data if you use tapes.
- Always power down before you move a drive and prevent jostling in transit by using a padded container.
- The drive’s cooling vents are there for a reason; don’t block them by placing your laptop on books, papers (or your lap!) which might block the airflow.
- If possible, avoid rapid changes in temperature. If your drive was previously in a cold environment, allow it to reach room temperature before operating and avoid storing your machine in extreme temperatures.
- Don’t be tempted to use software utilities if you suspect corruption of physical damage to your drive as this will probably exacerbate the problem.
- If your drive begins making unusual sounds, this could be indicative of a mechanical issue and if you persist in using your machine, you could finish up losing all your data.