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7 Computer Security Mistakes to Avoid for Small Businesses

published 5/11/2020

Cybersecurity attacks cost businesses on average around $200,000 per incident. Not many companies have that kind of cash lying around. That kind of penalty can have serious consequences.

Most attacks can be prevented by putting some security measures in place. These range from simple to more complex and can be individualized for each business.

We've compiled a list of the most common computer security mistakes you should work to avoid.

1. Weak Passwords

Passwords are required for everything these days. It can be tempting to use the same password for many places or to have it be something easily remembered.

But this is one of the most common mistakes that people make. These weak passwords make it so easy for hackers to gain access to systems. This is especially true for businesses when the same password is used multiple times.

Keeping a computer secure should start right at the beginning of the computer's use with the password.

One of the best ways to create strong passwords is to change them on a regular basis. It might be frustrating to figure out how to remember the new password, but it will help to keep hackers on their toes.

2. Using Unsecured Wifi

The main use for most computers in business is to have access to the internet. So many aspects of the business are dealt with online—accounting, sales, projects.

A wifi network can be a very vulnerable place for businesses if left unsecured. Hackers can get in through the network and infiltrate the rest of the computer and its files. Luckily, there are web protection services that can secure your network completely.

When these protection services are employed, web-based viruses will be blocked. This keeps the computer running smoothly and efficiently. It also buoys up the email networks to give them an extra layer of protection.

Most hackers get in through a network, so putting effort into locking yours down will be a big benefit.

3. Passive Approach

If it's never happened to you, cyber-attacks can seem like a made-up threat. Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that it won't happen to them.

But the chances are very high that it will happen to you.

When you have such a mindset, it puts you on a passive approach to security. Instead of spending the time, energy, and money into preventing attacks, you're waiting for them to happen and dealing with the consequences later.

This type of passive approach can lead to major insecurities and vulnerabilities.

When you have the opposite attitude, you can put into place the things that are necessary to keep your business safe. It's much better to be protected and not need the protection, then not be protected and wish you were.

4. Failing to Conduct Tests

One of the best ways to have this defensive and active kind of attitude is to conduct regular security tests.

Hackers are continually improving their skills and tactics. You should be doing the same with the security side of things. These kinds of regular testing sessions can help you to see where the system is weak and needs improving.

It's also very important to do something with the test results right away. Waiting to install new software or strengthen up weak areas can lead to even more insecurities.

Unfortunately, cybersecurity systems aren't just a set it and forget it type of thing. They need to be continually monitored and adjusted to specific needs.

5. Lack of Computer Security Team

When you really look into it, there is a lot that goes into effective cybersecurity measures. All of those tasks can seem daunting to a business owner among everything else they're responsible for.

And that's why it's a big mistake to not have a dedicated team member in charge of cybersecurity.

This dedicated cybersecurity individual is in charge of handling all of the installation, testing, monitoring, and updating. All of these tasks are crucial for a properly functioning and strong security system.

Many companies choose to hire an outside security specialist to keep their systems secure.

6. Disregarding Update Opportunities

Those update installation reminders can be so annoying and frustrating. They always seem to pop up at the most inconvenient times. But ignoring those updates and putting them off is a big cybersecurity mistake.

These updates are often designed specifically to guard against new hacking approaches the software company has seen.

When these software companies see a common trend in attacks, they work backward to build up a better defense. Hackers know they do this, so they'll look for those systems that haven't updated and don't have the full protection.

Updating as soon as possible makes sure that you have the most up-to-date security possible.

Also, this ensures that you don't get too behind on updates which can cause major efficiency problems. And that is something no business needs!

7. Putting Up No Protection

The biggest mistake of all is putting up absolutely no protection at all. Many businesses just don't believe that they have the money to invest in these cybersecurity systems.

But, the truth is, businesses don't have the money not to put up cybersecurity systems.

The money loss and issues that come from major cyber attacks can be devastating. They can have lasting effects for years afterward. It's just a better idea all around to protect your business and do all you can to avoid an attack in the first place.

Avoiding Computer Security Mistakes

There is a cyber-attack happening every 39 seconds across the internet. This means that at least one attempt will be made to attack your business.

This is why it's important to do what you can to avoid computer security mistakes. A little bit of effort and some smart systems can prevent you from suffering any massive damages.

If you're interested in learning more about cybersecurity and how we can help you, contact us today!