7 Small Business Network Security Tips

Michael Morales  -  December 18, 2020  -   

Today, we're going to talk about seven Small Business Network Security tips.

Tip number one: Make sure that you're using really good hard-to-guess passwords for your Wi-Fi at home or your work. Any way that you're connecting to the internet, you want to make sure that nobody else can get onto your network and then start to sniff the traffic. 

Essentially, you'll want to look at three things with a password. Passwords should be very complex, which means a mix of upper and lowercase symbols and numbers.  You also want to make sure that they're long, so the longer, the better. More numbers and more characters mean more permutations for the passwords for a computer to guess. Lastly. They should be unique; make sure that you're not reusing passwords for many different accounts. Be right back; we have to go home and change our Wi-Fi password quickly (kidding).

Tip number two, also related to Wi-Fi, is to change your SSID, which is the short name of your Wi-Fi that you connect to when you're trying to pick the signal. This one's pretty fly for a Wi-Fi; you can probably change it to Wi-Fi guy, Bill Nye the Wi-Fi guy,  or even band number seven. You can have a little bit of fun with it, but it also sends a message to hackers that this person most likely has changed their Wi-Fi password and will make them move on to the next target. 

Tip number three: Another great tip is to make sure that you're changing the login for your router. Most of the time, when you sign up for the internet, your ISP will send you a router, and it comes with the pre-installed SSID. Look at that box; it has information on how to log into the gateway and change your router settings. It's a local website that only you can access within the range of your router. It has many settings, including the username and password, which is equal to asking to get hacked if you leave at its default.

The fourth tip, is to make sure that you're not broadcasting your SSID. What does that mean? It is an option for your SSID not to show up in the Wi-Fi list that you can connect to. This makes it harder for the hacker to try and find your internet access. You need to make sure that you've set it up. If you have guests come over to the house, it may take a little longer to make sure you're typing in the SSID and the password for them, but you can all do all that stuff from the router access panel. 

The fifth tip- Many entrepreneurs need to get out of the house or the office now and then run errands. There are public Wi-Fi spots almost everywhere. How should we be protecting ourselves when using these connections? You may want to disable the auto-connect option on your devices- mobile phone or laptop because the closest signal may be coming from a hacker who has a fake wireless access point. These are not that expensive or difficult to set up, and they could give your device internet access in exchange for your data. They're also looking at everything that you're looking at on the internet and screen passwords and other pertinent details. Also, make sure to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). VPN is usually a paid service that you can use to connect to a proxy server. Hence, your traffic goes through that service instead of the wireless network you're connected to, making information encrypted so that nobody can sniff on your traffic. 

Tip number six, make sure that your antivirus is updated. This makes sure that you have the latest virus definitions to catch emerging malware or attacks. This one's not just for your computer but also your mobile device. Ensure that you're protected, and you have a way to block any attackers from getting in. There's usually a default antivirus with these computers, but you may go with the paid, reputable ones and see what's out there. 

We are partial to Malwarebytes, yet there are some really good ones out there. Most of them are better at catching newer malware variants, but they're getting rid of older stuff in the database. Kaspersky is another really good one, Bitdefender, but look at your options. 

If you stick with the one that's installed by default, that's okay too. It's not a terrible idea to have a couple of different options, although you only want active protection on one antivirus. It will scan everything incoming to your computer, like a firewall. If you have two of them, chances are they will end up scanning over top of each other, which can slow down your computer. But you can have as many antiviruses as you want as long as they're just for scanning every once in a while, and you have one that's actively protecting you.

And now we're on the final tip. What's tip number seven?

Tip Number seven is backups, backups, and backups of your backups. You want them to be redundant, so you have multiple copies in different locations, ensuring that they're accessible if one source gets lost. Utilize cloud storage for your photo and make sure your files are in a reliable location. Also, make sure that you've tested your backups and you know how to restore them if needed. Once you've tested that it actually works, trust, but again, verify.

Treasure your files, all that hard work. All those cute photos of your kids, your dogs, your view on a beach, all your hard work. 

So there you have it! You've learned seven tips for your small business network security.

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