10 Information Security Tips for Small Businesses

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A large number ten, for the Information Security Tips for Small Businesses in QuebecData and record breaches aren’t exclusive to big corporations. Small businesses are increasingly falling victim to hacking and identity theft schemes. Here we offer 10 information security tips to help you protect your organization:

1. Make Backup Copies

Disasters and data breaches happen without warning, potentially limiting access to your information. That’s why every device on your network should be backed up regularly. If you don’t already have a backup and recovery strategy, look for a data protection partner who can implement one for your business.

2. Store Your Backup Media Offsite

Disaster recovery and information security experts agree that offsite media storage is crucial for any data protection plan. Store your backup tapes in a media vault where they are professionally protected and managed.

3. Destroy Outdated Digital Devices

A treasure trove of information can be stolen from a discarded hard drive, computer or mobile phone. Make your outdated digital devices impossible to read by having them professionally destroyed.

4. Control Access to Paper Documents

A file cabinet offers no real protection from a dishonest employee. By storing your files in a commercial records centre, they are protected with the following security systems:

• 24/7/365 internal and external surveillance
• Facility access-control technology
• Alarm systems with active monitoring

Barcode technology tracks the activity of your file inventory so you always know who accessed your information—and when.

5. Shred Paper Files

Holding onto paper files longer than necessary puts your clients, employees and organization at risk. An onsite mobile shredding service helps keep this sensitive information out of the wrong hands. A paper shredding partner can provide locked collection containers for free. On a scheduled or as-needed basis, the contents of the containers are collected by a background-screened shredding technician for secure destruction. After your files are shredded, you are provided with a Certificate of Destruction for your records.

6. Use Strong Passwords and Change Them Often

Weak passwords make it easy for hackers to steal sensitive information. Use passwords that combine letters, numbers and non-alphanumeric characters, and require your employees to change their passwords often.

7. Protect against Viruses and Spyware

Viruses and spyware can cripple your computer system and destroy your data. Make sure your desktop and laptop computers are equipped with antivirus and anti-spyware software which is kept up-to-date.

8. Encrypt Your WiFi Network

Cyber criminals target weak wireless networks. Make sure that your WiFi network is protected with a strong password and WPA-2 encryption. Setup a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for secure, remote access to network applications.

9. Establish an Information Security Policy

Without an information security policy, your business isn’t secure. Establish procedures on how employees should handle and protect personally identifiable information (PII) and other sensitive data.

10. Educate Your Employees and Hold Them Accountable

Your staff is your first line of defense against data breaches. Educate them about the risks and provide training so they can utilize the strategies we’ve mentioned above.

Docu-Dépôt provides records and information management services for businesses in Greater Montréal and throughout Québec. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

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