As businesses continue to grow in the digital world and rely on technology more and more, companies need to learn how to protect themselves from online viruses and other threats. Businesses need to be vigilant in their hunt for threats by knowing what potential risks could compromise their company. And how to protect against them, you can ensure your business stays safe in the digital age.
What Are the Threats?
It is important to protect your company’s computers from prospective threats that could impact your business. These threats could come from an unsolicited email, clicking on a non-secure website, opening email attachments, or by inserting a disc or external drive.
Here is a list of some common threats that viruses could bring to your device:
Stealing Information: This is by far the most common form of a virus that mainstream culture knows about. By inputting your data (i.e. credit card information) on certain websites, you can have your information stolen and used for things such as identity theft and fraudulent card charges. Viruses can also affect businesses by stealing employee information or the information of clients.
Remote Viruses: One of the biggest misunderstandings about viruses is that many people assume they are something that you can only get from downloads and that they have to live on a computer in order to harvest information. Though this was true when the internet was just beginning, this is no longer the case. Modern-day viruses are incredibly sophisticated and can harvest your information from a website you click on, not requiring you to download anything at all!
Destroy Your Computer: Many viruses are made specifically to destroy your computer from the inside out. So, having programs that hunt for viruses can be helpful, but ultimately useless if you install it after some of these self-destruction viruses have already infected your device.
Compromise Connections: One of the most distressing things about many viruses is that they operate without you knowing it by hiding in the background. For example, a certain virus can make it difficult for your computer to connect to the internet while still sending your information to an outside source.
How to Protect Yourself
While the majority of threats are undetectable, there are steps you can take to protect your business from online viruses.
The best way to stay protected is to install software specifically made to hunt for threats. By investing in antivirus and anti-malware software you will protect your computers from malicious activity. Antivirus software will run in the background on your computer and continuously scan for viruses. The software will detect and prevent security threats by stopping the malicious activity and delete potential threats that appear and could damage your computer or network. Make sure the antivirus software you install is updated regularly and you periodically run full scans on your computer.
Businesses should invest in firewall software to provide an extra layer of security. Firewalls will prevent unauthorized access to or from your private network. If something sneaks onto your computer without you knowing, these programs can also disable the threat and delete it from your computer.
Secure Browser Settings
Your browser is the main tool you use to connect to websites. You want to make sure you use and install the most secure internet browser you have access to. Also, it is important to update your browser and keep it current. Updates to your browser will include improved safety against malware and other security risks.
To protect yourself and your computer, you want to make sure you enable privacy and security settings. By customizing your security settings like turning off “autofill” and “cookies” will improve your privacy and keep your computer (and yourself) secure while online. You will also want to “block pop-up windows” to prevent ads from popping up when you visit web pages.
Password Manager and Strong Passwords
A password manager will remember all of your credentials (username and password) for a website and fill them in when you go to login on that page. This will allow you to create unique and secure credentials for each website you visit and you will only need to remember one password, which is the master password to access your password manager.
Be creative when creating passwords. It is recommended that your password be 16 characters long and combine upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Also, remember to change your passwords periodically. Changing them every ninety days will help to keep you safe.
For your business to be successful in the digital age, it is important to protect yourself against online viruses.