Small businesses are attacked every day through various hacks with the main focus of either getting your data or your customers’ data so it can be used against you for financial gain.
Companies that get attacked often are so badly affected that they go out of business within six months. As a small business owner, you should do everything possible for this not to happen. In this article, we will give you some tips on how you can digitize your data and keep it safe. After all, not all attacks are done through the internet and some are done in person by going through your company’s waste.
Converting Paper Documents to a Digital Format
If you run a small business, it’s quite common for receipts and contracts to be carried out physically which leaves a paper trail for potential criminals to get their hands on. If your business is still doing business like this you should consider moving your processes to something digital.
Proposals, for example, can be sent digitally via online services and you can even handle the contracts being signed digitally and take payments through companies such as Go Cardless or Stripe. All of these websites will have security certificates installed with high levels of encryption, this makes sure your data and your customers’ data is kept safe.
Moving Your Old Media to Digital
How old your business is will influence the kind of media that your business has. Newer businesses may all be digital already whereas old school businesses may have company data or training on floppy discs or VHS tapes. If you have older media files you should convert them to a digital format and destroy the originals.
A VHS tape that’s kept in a metal draw is less secure than the same media stored in a password protected cloud-based storage service. There are many ways of converting your old media, one I would suggest if you are a busy business owner is to use an online service to do it for you. Digital converters is an online service that converts videos to DVDs and much more.
Alternatively, you can look for conversion software and hardware that can take your media and replicate it to other digital formats.
Keeping Your New Data Safe
At this point you should now have converted your data into different media formats, this could be MP3, MP4, MPEG, AVI or any other digital format. This doesn’t mean your data is secure yet, as you need to put additional steps in place.
Firstly, you will need to get rid of your old data formats which pose a security threat. When you have done this you will need to find out the best ways of keeping your data safe depending on the device you have stored it on.
If, for example, you have taken your old VHS files and converted it to a DVD you will have to put that DVD into locked storage. This storage will act as a physical barrier for anyone looking to cause your business harm. Physical locks however can be broken easily so what I would then do is to take this DVD and convert it into digital media and store it in the cloud.
Cloud storage is far safer than a physical metal storage box and will allow you to keep your data safe. Just be sure to check if your cloud storage comes with data backups.
Cloud storage is only as safe as the passwords you set to access it though, so be sure to make a strong password that is hard to guess or crack. You can use software such as 1password or LastPass to keep all of your passwords safe.
Converting your old media into new safer solutions is going to keep your business safer in the long run. Of course, all businesses should still be vigilant when it comes to handling and securing data but the tips above will help.