How to protect yourself and your business from hackers

by | Feb 12, 2014 | Small Business IT

Do you know if your personal or business IT systems are protected from hackers? If you don’t then you need to start thinking about it. Hacking has become a real danger for businesses and individuals, with sometimes disastrous consequences; yet people still don’t seem to see it for the threat that it is.

What is hacking?

Hacking is when your computer or network’s security is compromised by a malicious attack with the view to getting access to personal details and passwords. People and businesses have lost money, clients and had their reputation damaged because a hacker has accessed their email, website, blog or computer network.

5 ways you can protect yourself from being hacked

  1. Make sure that your internet connection is secure – This is the easiest method to help secure your computer and networks against hackers. Basically you need to add a password to your Wi-Fi connection. If people can access your Wi-Fi then they can hack your computer and leaving your network unsecured is unnecessary. Not sure how to add a security key? Google will help, it’s a simple process.
  2. Take time with your passwords – It seems like everything that we do online these days requires a password and it would be so easy to use the same one for everything, but this is a mistake. If a hacker gets access to your computer or network, through your unsecured Wi-Fi or under the guise of offering a free security scan, they will only need to crack one of your passwords and voila they will be able to get into everything. Use different passwords and make sure that they include numbers and punctuation if possible.
  3. If you don’t know what it is don’t download it or click on it – People think that if they have up to date virus software installed they are protected, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Hackers are clever and have found ways to bypass virus scanners through downloads, for example, offering a free system scan, or by hacking your email account. They then send emails to your address book which include a link. Once the recipient clicks that link the hackers are in and able to get access to their personal information – they’re very clever – if only they would use their powers for good. If you don’t know what it is then don’t download it or click on it.
  4. Allocate someone in your office to manage downloads – this may sound extreme but it follows on from the previous point. If you set up a system administrator, then whenever your staff wish to download something the designated person has to login as administrator and check the validity of the download before it can be completed. This is particularly relevant if your staff are handling sensitive company or customer data.
  5. Use an IT support company you trust to monitor your systems and deal with any threats – At Ilkley IT Services we are proud to say they we can ensure the security of your network through Cloud Anti-Virus from AVG alongside other security measures such as firewalls, password and permission settings and software restrictions. With Cloud Anti-Virus we can monitor and act on any threats to your system so you don’t have to worry, it’s a great service that probably costs less than you think.

Organisations that deal with a lot of sensitive data, their own or their clients, find having an offsite security contract in place not only provides peace of mind, but it can actually help win high profile clients. You will be seen to be taking the security of their information seriously.

If you need any further advice or would like more information about how you can protect yourself, your business and your employees from hackers then give us a call on 01943 601 601.

About Ilkley IT Services

Ilkley IT services have been providing local businesses and home users in the Wharfedale area with reliable and cost effective IT and computer support since 2005. Our aim is to ensure that you IT systems perform to the highest standards possible through our call out and support contract services.

We also offer online data backup, antivirus and Microsoft Cloud Email set up and support.

Over 95% of our new business comes via recommendation and we are proud of our client list which includes big and small businesses alike.

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