No matter what industry you’re in, it’s likely that you use computers every day on the job, in some capacity at least. From marketing, administration and sales processes, through to payroll, finance, and customer service, most areas of business involve computer assistance these days.

If you run your venture from home, and don’t therefore have an I.T. department on hand to safeguard your systems, it’s important to be vigilant about the security of all your computers and your network. Doing so will help you to ensure that you are protected from the onslaught of malware threats, viruses, spyware, and other scams used by hackers to gain access to financial and personal information.

If you’re in the process of setting up a new computer, or have been using a device for way too long without taking proper precautions, now is the time to secure your systems against any potential online threats. Read on for some tips you can follow to keep hackers at bay today.

Make Use of Security Software

The first thing you should do when setting up computers for your business is purchase top-quality security software. Search online, and you’ll quickly discover that there is specific Windows and Mac virus protection available to safeguard each type of computer system, as well as anti-spam, anti-malware and anti-spyware products that help to thwart digital thieves.

When you’re comparing products, look for professional-grade software that is designed for business use. The best options will be those that protect all of your devices via multiple features. For example, be on the lookout for products that:

  • Block harmful Websites, emails, and attachments
  • Provide advanced virus protection at all times
  • Keep your online data safe (such as the details you input on banking Websites, shopping carts, and social media sites)
  • Protect your systems from identity theft
  • Boost the overall performance of your computers
  • Block all phishing emails
  • Maintain user privacy
  • Can identify and protect against applications designed specifically to steal data from computers

Use Comprehensive Passwords

Next, don’t forget that lots of hackers gain access to sensitive information because people simply don’t protect their data with proper passwords. Although you might be surprised by this, millions of people across the globe still put simple codes like “123456”, “admin” and “password” in place, rather than coming up with codes that won’t be immediately guessed.

You can safeguard yourself and your business by always using comprehensive passwords that are made up of a minimum of eight characters. As well, the difficulty of cracking codes is increased dramatically if you use a combination of upper and lower case letters, in addition to symbols and numbers.

It is also important not to use the same password across all Websites, devices or systems, so that if one code gets compromised, hackers won’t be able to access all of your data at once or shut down all of your computers remotely. If you struggle to remember the various different logins you use across devices and sites, consider utilizing a password manager.

Install Firewalls

Another way of protecting your information is securing your networks and devices with firewalls. Firewalls act as a barrier against digital thieves by creating a shell around computer systems and making them more difficult to hack into. These walls work to filter out potential threats from other more credible, secure information that is coming in.

You’ll find that many desktop computers and laptops already have built-in firewalls installed on them. Remember to check, though, that these firewalls have been enabled, as they don’t always come automatically activated. If there is no firewall on your computer, or if you want to use a more comprehensive one, you’ll also find plenty of quality products available to buy online or in stores that use reputable third-party software.

Update Your Systems Regularly

Lastly, you should also update all of your computer systems on a regular basis if you want to keep your information as secure as possible. This includes the security software you install, plus firewalls, operating systems, and browser plug-ins (like Google Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer).

Software companies that create all of these products refine them all the time to fix security issues that pop up due to hacker attacks or gaps in systems. This means you need to keep an eye out for update releases. You might like to set your computer to automatically update, or at least alert you, when new releases become available for the various browsers, programs, and operating systems you use on your different devices.

Jackie Roberson is a content coordinator and contributor who creates quality articles for topics like technology, home life, and education. She studied business management and is continually building positive relationships with other publishers and the Internet community.