Build a Business Online Safely

Build a Business Online SafelyBy Amanda Walters

The Internet offers an ocean of opportunity for budding entrepreneurs and freelancers, with revenue being generated by everything from video advertising to web design. However, if your living relies on the web then it’s important to ensure you keep your business secure.  We’ve put together these tips on how to build a web business safely:

Ensure your networks are secure.

Almost any kind of network, whether it be a simple WI-FI connection or a multinational company intranet, are susceptible to attack in some way.  It’s important to make sure that you do everything possible to keep any networks you’re connected to secure to protect them from issues such as a Trojan horse or apt advanced persistent threats.

First, and most obviously, you should ensure that any computers you’re working on use the latest software protection to help keep out spyware and other forms of virus. Secondly, any larger network should be protected by a seriously strong firewall: if you’re uncertain about this then consider consulting an expert about how best to go about installing one. Another key is to avoid using flash drives where possible, as they have the potential to get past the firewall and allow unwelcome bugs onto the network. Use cloud storage if you can. Finally, consider the merits of a secure virtual private network (VPN).

Ensure that your ‘real world’ security is maintained.

When people talk of keeping a web-based business safe, they often don’t consider the merits of genuine real-world safety, such as minimizing access to your office building and only allowing people with relevant clearance to access certain areas of the network. It’s also a good idea to keep physical backups of all your information on external hard-drives, and to make sure that if you’re running your own server, there are backup servers ready to go should the current ones be stolen or become infected. Ensure you keep backups offsite, too.

Always keep everything up-to-date

One of the reasons that businesses suffer attacks despite having installed all of the necessary software is that they don’t download updates. Because of this, the technology that’s meant to be protecting them falls into a state where it’s unable to keep up with the level of the up-to-date, cutting edge attacks. Needless to say, it’s vital to ensure that you keep all of your protective as up–to-date as possible. Unfortunately, viruses are always evolving, so your defenses have to, as well.

Don’t store truly essential data where it can be accessed

While it’s important to ensure that all of the information is available on the network that is required for your business to run and for the staff to do their jobs, there’s a fine line between this and just storing everything in one place. Keep all extremely valuable information away from the web, when possible, as this will mean that even if you do suffer from an attack, the damage the perpetrators are able to do will be kept to a minimum.

Amanda Walters is a journalist, blogger, poet and an artist. She has written for various websites including Huffington Post and Daily Waffle and had her concrete poetry work exhibited at university events in the UK. She loves to network in order to learn and expand her horizons, gaining inspiration from those around her. Find her on Twitter @Amanada_W84.

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