Today, businesses are facing higher risks than ever. From cyber criminals on the prowl to liability, you should take the appropriate measures to protect yourself from any and all potential threats to your livelihood. Here are a few of the most effective ways businesses are protecting themselves in today’s landscape:
Cybercrime is on the rise and not only presents a threat to your business’s sensitive information, but your customer’s information. To help protect your business from cyber attacks, you should:
- Have a firewall on your internet connection
- Install antivirus software on all computers used to conduct business activities
- Ensure that your office or home internet is secure
- Consistently update antivirus software to protect against the latest threats
- Make sure you and your employees are using unique passwords
- Educate employees about the signs of cyber attacks
- Have a system in place for reporting any potential cyber attack attempts
- Make sure that your website is secure (SSL certificates, security plugins, etc. should be put into place during web development)
If it fits in your budget, it can be highly beneficial to hire an outside cyber security company to help keep your company’s data secure. It may also be sufficient to have an IT consultant in house.
When it comes to hiring, you can’t be too careful when it comes to employee screening. While it might be tempting to consider it sufficient to review their LinkedIn and other social media (after all recruiting top talent is hard enough), there might be important details you’re missing out on.
For example, a prospective employee might lie about their identity or claim that they’ve never been convicted of a crime, when in actuality, they have. This becomes increasingly important if they will be involved with handling business finances or exposed to other sensitive information. You also need to worry about the safety of your customers.
That’s why more and more businesses are running an official criminal background check before hiring a new employee.
Full-Coverage Insurance Policies
At the very least, you should have liability insurance for your business in case of an accident or injury. Depending on the type of business you run, you might also want to consider investing in:
- Property insurance
- Workers compensation insurance
- Product liability insurance
- Vehicle insurance
In most cases, the more coverage the better.
Using disclaimers as a form of protection that has long been employed by businesses of all sizes. You’ve likely heard the long list being rattled off at the end of commercials, but in today’s world this more applies to online instances.
For example, you should have a broad disclaimer at the bottom of your website to help limit your liability. However, a disclaimer isn’t a blanket shield. You should still be careful about making any claims on your website or blog. And, you should always fact check any claims that you make in your content. If you have third-party content on your site, like ads, a disclaimer can also function to protect yourself against any harm that may be caused by those ads.
Additionally, disclaimers can help protect your work by granting or limiting permission as to how it is used. Before throwing a disclaimer on your site, you may want to consult a lawyer.
Keep Detailed Documentation
When it comes to your business’s finances and activities, you should keep detailed documentation. This will come in handy if you are audited, need to apply for a loan, are looking for investors, or simply need to find information about a particular transaction, expense, or period. Keeping digital copies of everything on the cloud is likely your best best since paper documentation can easily get lost or destroyed.
Similarly, your personal bank account and expense should always be kept separate from those related to your business. Careful money management is just as important as keeping a clean paper trail.
Whether you’re just starting out, or your business is well-established, these tips shouldn’t be hard to implement. While we sincerely hope that you never run into serious threats to your business’s livelihood, you can enjoy the peace of mind that these best practices can save you a lot of headache, time, and money down the road.