Being Mindful of Data Thieves While Operating a Business Online



Many people who are interested in operating a small beading business choose to do so over the Internet from the comfort of their own home. While this is not a poor decision in comparison to conducting business at a commercial location, Entrepreneur.com notes that a number of issues must be taken into consideration before relying strictly on networking. The Internet is full of challenges and constantly changing, meaning it takes a tech-savvy business owner to keep up with the World Wide Web.

The web is full of hackers who can steal your information.

First, relying on computers and a network to conduct business means that safety has to be a priority. Technology is a convenience that many people take for granted in the 21st century, including entrepreneurs. Although computers can make business operations easier, it can be difficult to protect the data stored on these devices.

A study recently conducted by Trend Micro found that 25 percent of the 100 million comprised computers in operation belong to businesses. This makes them a prime target for hackers and identity thieves. To protect your small beading business from criminals online, take the following steps into consideration:
  1. Invest in a reliable antivirus program. Although most operating systems already include a firewall, hackers make a living out of learning how to get past these boundaries and seize information. Instead of running the risk of a criminal stealing your company data, purchase reliable antivirus software for all of the computers you use to conduct business. Remember to update your program on a regular basis to get the most for your money and fully protect your devices to the best of your ability.
  2. Look for Windows program updates. If you use Microsoft programs, such as Office, it is important to install patches and updates when possible. The company routinely comes up with patches to protect computers from hackers and new viruses that have emerged on the Internet. By installing these patches, you can improve your security and reduce your risk of becoming a hacker victim. Criminals are constantly aware of loopholes that are embedded within Windows programs, making it more important than ever to stay on top of new patches and protection methods released by the company.
  3. Search for free protection services. A number of reputable security companies offer a basic level of protection to computer users at little or no cost. Do your research and consider installing this added level of safety to keep your computers from falling to data thieves. Remember to do a scan with these services to make sure that you have not already been infected.
In the event that you suspect that one of your small business computers has been infected, you will need to act quickly to prevent any more company data from being seized. The first step is to disconnect the infected computer from the rest of the network. This will protect the hackers from stealing information from other devices that may be linked to your business.

Next, try to recover sensitive data from the infected computer and transfer it to a clean device. In the event that the computer needs to be tossed or sent in for repairs, you can avoid losing all of this information in the process. It can also help you maintain your productivity while dealing with the situation at hand.

Try to be aware of trends that occur in the hacking industry. Although it seems like a waste of time, staying up-to-date on criminal activity in your region can heighten your awareness. More criminals are relying on bots, or nonhuman programs, to steal information from companies. The lower cost has many hackers turning to this method to quickly obtain sensitive data.

Be mindful of such changes to hacking that can affect how you protect your company and information. Staying one step ahead of the game can help you stay afloat and operate your business with little or no interference from data thieves.

Finally, run your antivirus software to detect the problem on the infected computer to hone in on the problem. If you cannot identify the spyware or virus that has been unintentionally installed onto the device, you may need to seek help from a professional to restore the computer. This can be costly, which is why it is important to put in an effort to take measures to prepare for worst case scenarios.

The biggest target for hackers is typically small business owners who are just starting out and unaware of the dangers that come with hosting a company over the Internet. More than 721,000 cases of fraud were reported to the Federal Trade Commission in 2009. Taking the proper precautionary measures can prevent you from becoming a victim and increase your chances of success as a small business owner.


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