Small businesses are often seen as easy prey for cyber criminals and malicious data hackers. People associated with these nefarious activities are very aware of the limited resources that small business owners have to effectively manage their IT security needs. With that limited amount of resources in mind, the following is a list of five valuable IT security tips any small business can afford to implement:

Establish Policies

Write effective and workable IT security policies and make sure your employees are fully aware of them. Carefully cite the penalties associated with violations of each policy and firmly enforce them to ensure maximum effectiveness. Many data breaches and other security issues take place due to lack of employee awareness or adherence to best security practices.

Utilize Anti-Virus Software

Many extremely effective and affordable versions of anti-malware software are available. It’s just flat out careless to not install these applications and periodically maintain them to provide sufficiently updated protection. Remember that it’s not enough to just install these apps — They must be updated at recommended intervals to protect against current and emerging threats.

Back It Up

Perform regular and consistent backups of all vital data including technical documents, financial spreadsheets, client files, human resources information, databases, and more. This will give you the peace of mind in knowing that even if a catastrophic loss event does occur, your most crucial data will still be there.

Secure Wi-Fi

Make sure your wi-fi network isn’t a free ride for cyber criminals to see all of your company’s transactions. Configure the wireless router to the most secure settings possible, and be sure you don’t broadcast the SSID over the Internet.

Passwords

It’s really the easiest and potentially most crucial form of solid IT security your small business can perform. Require periodic password resets and make them as difficult to decipher as possible. In other words, don’t let your employees use “123456” as the password for six months. Require creativity and variance in all passwords and this will deter malicious actions from people who may not be professional hackers, but may still might have ill cyber intent.