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From online holiday shopping to the post-election drama of potential cyber-wars, online security is a topic on everybody’s tongue these days.
As a startup owner, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about how I can make sure that my business’ data and information is secure.
The question, “How do I protect myself online?” is especially important for startups and small businesses that rely on digital and web tools to do their work. And, just as it often is for individuals, securing your business online can be a daunting task.But you can keep your business relatively secure with just a few steps.
Put Together A Plan
A good place to start is with the Federal Communications Commission’s free online tool, Cyberplanner, that helps you to create a strategic plan for online security. Cyberplanner walks you through the topic areas that affect a range of small businesses and provides you with a prompt to identify whether or not the topic is relevant for your particular business.
Once you’ve selected the relevant sections, you get a PDF document full of them.
As you and your team go through that document, specialize it to your company. Think about what information your business collects and owns. My startup is a media company so we have a lot of stored information about sources and story-subjects. One way to offset the risk of a security breach into that information is for us to keep that information separate from that person’s contact information. I personally prefer to keep people’s emails and phone numbers hand written in a notebook than keeping them stored online.