We at Passpack are all about making sure that your identities and information are protected in any way we can. We provide you a secure password manager that is protected with host-proof host protection, secure messaging that encrypts your messages from sender to recipient and a Ring of Trust that allows you to send passwords that are in your account securely to your closest friends and acquaintances. That’s what we were also huge fans of Identity Theft Awareness Day 2008! To celebrate and educate you on how to protect your identity online, we’ve asked a friend of the community, Bart Mroz, who is a serial entrepreneur and IT consultant to write a guest post on protecting your small businesses with tools and lessons that are readily available to you.
Small businesses, more than ever, should be aware of security issues that they face. They do not usually have IT departments, let alone security experts, to go over what should be done or not done by the users to keep everything safe. I think that now is an important day to go over security issues that might affect your company. Here are few tips:
File Storage – Smaller companies are starting to issue laptops to users as their main machines so that employees can work anywhere. Storing company files on the laptop opens up smaller companies to a lot of security breaches. Laptops should be password protected, data should be encrypted, and backed up. Companies should also keep most of their files on a file server at the office with a VPN connection to the server. There are many ways of accomplishing this and a quick Google search can lead you on your way. The other way to store files is to have them stored in a secure hosting facility that will backup all the files for you just in case something happens to the data center or the original documents.
Passwords – This happens to all companies both big and small, a user either has easy passwords, passwords that are easy to guess like the name of their dog, or they write it down and put it in easy view (think War Games). We already know that users hate when the IT guy walks around and makes them change their password every 2 weeks but users need to do it even if that means that they will hate the geek that patrols their cubicle.
Starbucks (the office away from the office) – We know it’s fun to work in a remote locations especially one like Starbucks or any local coffee shop but as a small business you need to protect yourself in these locations. Make sure you use VPN when working on an open wireless connection and use one of the laptop locks that fits in to that slot on your machine (that’s the one that most people have no clue what its for). Going to the bathroom and doing the strange dance of “Do I take the laptop with me?” will make you look stranger than using one of the locks.
So these are few basic ways for small businesses to help protect their property and identity. In a world where you can work from anywhere as long as there is an internet connection it’s better to be very safe and take some precautions. So use remote file storage, keep your passwords safe, encrypt everything, and have that second cup of coffee as long as the machine is locked to the chair.
Bart Mroz has a very well rounded technology and business background. Currently a partner at round3media, a creative agency. Bart has been providing strategic technology and business consulting services through Bartek Management for the past few years and he is also one of the founders of IndyHall in Philadelphia, PA, USA. You can find most of his internet life at electronicsandbox.com.