Malware. Phishing. Viruses. Data theft. These are just some of the common Internet security threats facing businesses today. If your email has ever been hacked, or your website has been subjected to a brute force attack, then you’ll know how vulnerable organisations can be.

A reliable Internet service like Everyday Communications’ high-speed broadband can help to improve your business’s productivity. But you can only grow uninterrupted if your network is secure and robust. Thankfully, we’re here to help you boost your Internet security and stay safe. Just follow these five helpful tips to shackle cyber threats.

1. Take passwords seriously

In the early days of Internet security, people often used naïve passwords like ‘123456’ or their birthday. Today’s devilishly cunning cyber criminals can hack codes like this within milliseconds and put your whole organisation at risk. After all, access to one part of your network can quickly compromise other areas too.

To combat this vulnerability make sure that everyone in your team uses strong and unique passwords. The more keystrokes and unique characters the better. Never use anything that criminals could guess by looking at your social media accounts. In fact, it’s best not to use memorable words at all. Random sequences of letters and punctuation are best.

For extra reassurance try using a password manager to help your team create strong and unique passwords. You could also consider multifactor authentication like many financial institutions. This is when a password plus another level of security is required to login e.g. a code sent to an employee’s mobile phone.

2. Boost your network’s security

With many employees now working remotely, they’ll no doubt be accessing emails and logging into your applications from different Wi-Fi networks. This isn’t such a problem at home or in the office where a password-protected router can encrypt your data. However, it could be concerning if your employees frequently use free public Wi-Fi services.

There’s no need to panic though. Whilst slippery hackers can hijack your information with relative ease in public places, the risks are minimised by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPN software establishes a secure connection so your team can work securely wherever they are. This is hugely important in this new age of integrated cloud-based communications.

3. Install effective anti-virus software

Computer viruses prowl the digital world looking for vulnerable networks to infect. Fortunately, there are plenty of anti-virus software solutions ready to boost your Internet security. These detect computer viruses, prevent them from spreading, and stamp them out before damage is done. This keeps your files, operating systems and data safe whilst helping your hardware to perform efficiently.

Our Everyday Fibre for business comes with free Mcaffe Anti-Virus software. This ensures full security for employees working at home and includes bit locker encryption — a feature that prevents company data from being compromised during transfers to USB devices.

4. Don’t forget your firewalls

Even if you’re using cloud-based applications — more about these later — it’s still important to support your network with a firewall. These electronic barriers have been around for years but they’re still effective at blocking unauthorised access to your computers and enhancing your Internet security.

Firewalls remain important because of the growing number of devices connected to the Internet in office environments: printers, smart bulbs, thermostats, project management tools, and even coffee machines. The Internet of Things is very much on the rise; therefore firewalls will be needed into the foreseeable future.

5. Run your business applications in the cloud

If you want the very latest Internet security features, especially if members of your team work remotely, then cloud-based applications are the natural solution. They enable you to integrate your communications, share files, amend documents live and more from any location 24/7. Microsoft’s Office 365, Google Workspace, and Amazon AWS are three well-known examples.

Cloud providers invest huge sums staying one step ahead of cyber crooks. What’s more, they update applications automatically (which saves you time and worry) and back up your data constantly. Consequently, cloud-based solutions are a blessing for businesses that don’t have the resources or expertise to manage their own security.

Subscribing to cloud-based packages puts your security in the hands of specialists. It’s something we can help you to implement too. Our team will work alongside your Chief Information Security Officers to apply appropriate security policies and then fine-tune them as time progresses.

Remember that cyber criminals never sleep

Finally, don’t forget that Internet security is an on-going responsibility. Threats evolve and new vulnerabilities emerge; therefore it’s not something you can tick off and then forget about. Anti-virus software, spyware detection, and firewalls all need to be patched and updated continuously. Never let your guard down.

It’s also wise to spend time educating your team. Remind them never to click on untrustworthy links or disclose sensitive data unless they’re sure exactly who they’re dealing with. It’s also worth protecting your employees’ business mobile phones with whole-disk encryption software and a remote security app.

Follows these tips and you’ll soon establish a safety-first culture that keeps the criminals at bay whilst letting you focus on what you do best: running your business.