What is Cyber Hygiene? 5 Basic Steps for Small Businesses

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What is cyber hygiene? Simply put, it’s the practice of keeping your computer and online systems clean and safe. Just as you would go to the doctor for a physical check-up, you should also have regular cyber hygiene checks to protect your business from digital threats, especially knowing small businesses are being targeted by cyber criminals.

Getting Your Cyber Hygiene Healthy

The first step to good cyber hygiene is understanding what it is and why it’s important. Cyber hygiene encompasses all the steps you take to keep your computer systems and networks clean, safe, and protected from digital threats. This includes everything from installing reliable anti-malware software to using strong passwords and backing up data off-site.

It’s a very similar concept to cybersecurity, but cyber hygiene focuses especially on the everyday preventative measures your business takes to keep all your digital assets uncluttered and protected.

5 Steps Small Businesses Can Take to Improve Cyber Hygiene

While it may seem like a lot of work, cyber hygiene is essential for any business that wants to protect itself from the growing number of online threats. By taking the time to implement these basic security measures, you can help keep your business safe from hackers, malware, and other digital risks.

1. Implement Employee Security Awareness Training

One of the best ways to improve your company’s cyber hygiene is to implement employee security awareness training. This type of training can help educate your staff on the importance of cyber hygiene and how to keep their computers and online accounts safe. 

You can implement employee security awareness training through online courses, in-person workshops, or seminars. These types of events can be a great way to engage your staff and get them thinking about cyber hygiene in a more hands-on way. Following up with pen testing and phishing simulations is a great way to test your employees’ aptitude at what they’ve learned.

2. Install Reliable Anti-Malware Software

Another important step in improving your company’s cyber hygiene is to install reliable anti-malware software. This type of software can help protect your computers and networks from malware, viruses, and other online threats.

When choosing an anti-malware program, be sure to select one that is well-reviewed and trusted by security experts. You should also make sure that the program is updated regularly to ensure that it can protect against the latest online threats.

Once you have selected an anti-malware program, be sure to install it on all of your company’s computers and devices. You should also make sure that all employees know how to use the software and understand its importance in protecting your business from cyber threats.

3. Enforce Strong Password Security Policies

You should also enforce strong password security policies. This means requiring employees to use complex passwords that are difficult to guess or hack and encrypting all sensitive data.

You can easily improve your company’s password security by using tools like a password manager and multi-factor authentication. These tools can help generate strong passwords and store them securely, and also add an additional layer of security beyond just a username and password, greatly reducing the risk of password-based breaches.

4. Use Firewalls

Another important step in improving your company’s cyber hygiene is to use firewalls. Firewalls can help protect your network from unauthorized access and prevent hackers from stealing sensitive data.

When configuring your firewall, be sure to block all incoming traffic that is not essential for your business. You may also consider implementing a VPN to further secure your network.

If you are not sure how to configure your firewall, be sure to reach out to a professional for help.

5. Back Up Data Off-Site

Finally, be sure to back up all of your company’s data off-site. This will help ensure that you can still access your data even if your computers are lost or stolen.

There are a number of different ways you can back up your data, but one of the most effective is through cloud storage. Cloud storage providers offer a secure and convenient way to create data backups that are easily accessible to your team when needed.

Improve Your Cyber Hygiene Today!

Ensuring that your company has good cyber hygiene is an important part of protecting your business from online threats. By taking the time to implement these basic security measures, you can help keep your business safe from cyber attacks.

If you need help improving your company’s cyber hygiene, reach out to our team at Tolar Systems. We can help you implement the steps outlined in this blog post and ensure that your business is as secure as possible. Contact us today to learn more!