Does your small business rely on the internet to perform its operations? Even if your small business doesn’t sell its products or services online, you may still get online to connect with customers, advertise, research new markets and perform other tasks associated with your small business’s operations. Whether you use the internet multiple times a day or once a week, though, you should follow these tips to stay safe and protect your small business from cyber threats.
#1) Use Caution When Downloading Files
Malware infections often occur from downloading files on the internet. A file may look legitimate, but once you download it, the file may infect your computer with malware. You can still download files on the internet, but you should exercise due diligence to ensure that it’s legitimate. If the file is located on a website that’s you’ve never seen or heard of, it’s best to err on the side of caution by not downloading it.
#2) Update Web Browser
All of the major web browsers, including Chrome, Firefox and Edge, offer a high level of security — but you need to use the latest version for the highest level of protection against online cyber threats. If you’re guilty of postponing browser updates, you’ll only leave yourself exposed to cyber threats when browsing the internet. If there’s a new version of your preferred web browser available, download it ASAP.
#3) Connect Through a VPN
Rather than directly connecting to the internet, funnel your traffic through a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN works by encrypting your connection and also masking your Internet Protocol (IP) address.
#4) Delete Cookies
When was the last time that you deleted your cookies? Stored in your web browser, cookies are small, temporary files that contain unique data about your online activities, such as logins. If a hacker gains access to your computer, he or she could steal your cookies to gain access to your online accounts. Furthermore, some cyber threats involve the deployment of malicious cookies. By deleting your cookies on a regular basis, you can protect against these and related cyber threats.
#5) Look for HTTPS Websites
You’re less likely to sustain a cyber attack when browsing HTTPS websites rather than HTTP websites. HTTP websites are considered more secure because they use an encryption algorithm to turn readable data into unreadable data. If a hacker spies on your connection while you are browsing and using an HTTP website, he or she won’t be able to the data you submit to the site or the data you receive from the site.