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We’re here with practical IT information for your business.


How to choose the right computer equipment for your business to increase your productivity and efficiency without it costing the earth.

Business software helps you complete a range of tasks. Choose the right software, provide support and train your staff with our introduction.

It is highly likely that you depend on the internet for some aspects of your business. Find out how you can use the internet more effectively.

Good communication with customers, partners and suppliers is vital for business success. This summary explores business communication methods.

How would you cope if your IT system failed or was breached? We cover the main IT security issues and how to protect against them.

Good IT management can help you choose, use and implement IT. Our overview helps you manage IT in a way that maximises the return on your investment.

IT support is vital if you rely on your IT system. But how can you set up an effective safety net in case things go wrong? We explore the options.

Getting the right IT is just the first step. Appropriate training, policies and working practices can help you maximise return on your IT investment.

Securing your IT system - checklist

Online criminals are increasingly targeting smaller companies, so no matter whether you store client lists or confidential product information electronically, take steps to protect your IT and data.

  • Make IT security a priority. Technology is integral to every small business, even those with just one computer.
  • Make someone responsible for IT security and ensure they have the time and resources to push through changes. If not, it's easy for things to get overlooked.
  • Assess the risks to your IT system. Look at how you and your employees use IT to identify vulnerabilities. For example, your internet connection should be protected by a robust security package that includes virus and malware protection, plus a firewall.
  • Take care of IT security basics. Simple precautions like not opening email attachments from unknown sources, learning about threats like phishing and changing passwords regularly can significantly reduce the risks.
  • Draw up an IT security plan. Once you have identified the risks your IT system faces, write an IT security plan. This should set out general rules to minimise the threat of hacking, theft and data loss.
  • Be prepared to invest time and money. Good security software with regular updates usually costs money. It also takes time to identify what precautions you need to take.
  • Perform regular backups and test that you can restore your data from your backups. At some point, every business will suffer a data loss - perhaps a result of accidental file deletion or a failed hard drive. Having a good backup system enables you to recover important data and carry on working.
  • Protect lost property. One of the quickest ways for someone to access your data is through lost or stolen laptops, smartphones or USB memory sticks. Mobile equipment should be password protected and encrypted. Implement a remote wipe system so your data does not get into the wrong hands if a device is lost or stolen.
  • Be aware of staff-owned devices. If employees are using their own smartphones or tablets for work then make sure this doesn't create additional security risks.
  • Train your staff. Ensure all employees are familiar with your security plan. Explain security procedures clearly, both during training and in employment contracts. For example, make it compulsory for staff to change their passwords regularly or to encrypt sensitive emails.
  • Make it easy to be secure. One of the biggest threats to good security is employees who circumvent rules because following them makes their jobs difficult. It's important your security measures don't place an unreasonable burden on staff.
  • Secure your website. Your website could be one of your weakest spots if hackers target you, particularly if it is the main point of contact for customers. In particular, make sure your online shop is secure.

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