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March 7, 2011

Stay Protected

The recent Data Protection Day in January passed largely unnoticed, but it’s vital for every business to ensure they have put in place appropriate measures to keep data safe.

Data Protection Day is a yearly event across Europe which aims to raise awareness about the importance of keeping personal data safe.
With the rapid increase in technology being used throughout business, and the majority of all records and data on staff and clients being kept digitally, it is more important than ever that even small businesses have measures in place to protect vital data.

Ensuring the data you hold is secure doesn’t have to be a complex and lengthy task. A few simple measures can make all the difference. We have put together some top tips to help you implement a simple strategy to protect yourselves.

Passwords and user accounts:
Having passwords and accounts for all staff, which restricts and designates the kinds of information they have access to is the simplest way to protect more sensitive data eg bank accounts. Take the time to remind and teach staff about simple passwords etiquette – such as not writing passwords down, not sharing them with colleagues, and changing them regularly.

Email etiquette:
Email has become the most common form of business transaction, the world over. Email and computer viruses are often sent by email. While most of them are harmless, there is a percentage that can be used to damage your business.  Attachments known as Trojan horses are designed to gather information from your computer and transmit it to another computer, while other programs mimic legitimate businesses in order to steal data. In businesses where most computers are linked by a central sever this can be especially damaging. Make sure you have an established email policy, which is understood by all staff, and a good email program that can spot phishing or junk mail and quarantine it safely where it can’t harm a computer.

Backup:
Perform regular data backups, daily is a good target, more regularly – morning and evening – for financial or time sensitive information.

Early protection:
As we’ve seen with emails external threats and programs are one of the biggest problems for all business systems. Viruses can disrupt programs, steal, erase or corrupt data and cause a serious information breach. As new viruses are created every day you should have an antivirus system that regularly updates itself to combat new viruses.

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