Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar business owner looking to beef up their online presence or a freelancer who’s totally digital, securing your business web presence should be a matter of “when,” not “if.”

Given the rise of hacking and phishing scams, entrepreneurs can’t afford to gamble with their business’ futures because they don’t have a proper security plan in place.

Fortunately, checking the boxes of security for your company is probably easier than you think. It doesn’t matter if you’re running a corporate empire of a solo gig: the following five-point strategy is an absolute must if you want to avoid some major headaches down the road.

Don’t Neglect Your Network

We often obsess so much over device security that we overlook the importance of locking down our networks. From working remotely on public wi-fi to our own office spaces, network scanning should be a major priority for those looking to set up a strong line of defense between their business and a potential threat.

Set Up a Separate Bank Account

Having an established bank account for your business may not seem like a security issue; however, given the rapid rise of identity theft, sometimes it pays to keep your professional and personal assets separated. Likewise, managing your business’ funds in their own account can help you avoid needless digging during tax season.

Beware of Outsourcing Snafus

Many modern businesses outsource a bulk of their work to others given the wealth of remote workers, freelancers and virtual assistants offering up their services at a fraction of the price of full-timers. That being said, managing such relationships can leave you prey to security snafus if you aren’t careful. For example, make sure that you…

  • Avoid sharing sensitive passwords or file information with people you don’t totally trust
  • Make sure to have very specific contracts in place to protect your intellectual property (for example, you should know how to draft a non-disclosure agreement)
  • Think twice before giving others access to your CMS or email accounts which could be potentially disastrous in the wrong hands

Before outsourcing any piece of your business, make sure to aggressively vet your potential hires and likewise see if they have any reviews or testimonials to let you know they’re up to snuff.

Be Vigilant During Email Communication

Don’t make the foolish mistake of answering or clicking through emails from people you don’t recognize. This seemingly small misstep could compromise your entire business in a single click. Given that phishing costs companies billions per year, it always pays to give your business’ communication extra attention.

When in Doubt, Talk to Your Lawyer

Legal counsel is essential in today’s sue-happy culture, but likewise helps provide business owners peace of mind when a security breach occurs. If you know for a fact that someone online is coming after your business, having a lawyer on deck can provide you with advice and options regarding your next steps. Don’t think of hiring a lawyer as a nagging expense, but rather a long-term investment for your business’ safety.

Without a security plan in place, your business is prone to several problems which could ultimately diminish your bottom line. Rather than live in constant fear, take the time to protect yourself and your company so you can focus on getting down to business.

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