Practical ways to protect your IT system

Cyberattacks don’t just happen to big companies. Small businesses, groups and charities must also protect their information systems. Here are some practical steps you can take today to tighten security.

Backing up data

Back up your data and do it regularly. If possible, keep it away from your primary job. So if there are burglaries, fires or floods, you will not lose everything.

Use strong passwords

Make sure you, your employees, volunteers, and everyone else in your business use strong passwords — including smartphones, laptops, tablets, email accounts, and computers.
Teach yourself and those who work for you how to detect suspicious emails. If you’re looking for clear signs like bad grammar, quick action, and payment requests, you can avoid getting caught. If it looks suspicious, don’t trust it either and alert your employees.

Do not leave papers or laptops unattended

Data breaches can occur when employees and volunteers leave paperwork or laptops unattended. It could be in the trunk of a car, on a train or at home. Be sure to protect your privacy by being vigilant and keeping it safe when not in use. Using public Wi-Fi or a dangerous connection can compromise your personal data, so you should always use a secure connection to connect to the Internet.

Lock the screen while away from your desktop

And make sure your employees do the same. It’s easy to lock the screen when you leave the desktop, but prevents other users from accessing the computer. You need to restrict who has access to your IT systems and buildings – you can’t let anyone in on your own because it makes your systems vulnerable. The fewer people you get, the better. Visitors must be clearly identifiable. Be sure to limit your IT usage to you wherever possible. If someone leaves your business, or if they are away for a long time, consider shutting down the use of the systems. Tracking personal information saves time and resources. It also helps you with your privacy obligations. Keep what you need for as long as you need it.

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