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e-security April 12, 2005

Posted by peewitsol in Technical.
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Top Tips for keeping your business secure

The following steps on e-security will ensure small businesses minimise the risk of an attack – and can rely on their software for long-term success:

Use your common sense and be careful whenever you are using the Internet, as well as when sending and receiving email.

Change your password often, at least every three months. In fact, Microsoft recommends you to change your password as often as every month so as to prevent unauthorised persons from getting access to your Internet account and your mail messages on your Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) server.

Use numbers, letters and other characters in your password and keep it secret. The more combinations there are, the more options you have. This will also make it harder for unauthorised persons to find out your password – remember to keep it top secret!

Use a firewall. A firewall is a security system that acts as a protective boundary between a network or individual computer and the outside world, by shielding your system when you’re online. Windows XP comes with an in-built Internet Connection Firewall.

Do not open attachments from people you do not know and be careful about opening attachments in general, as they can contain dangerous viruses. Even when you receive an attachment from someone you do know, you should be careful opening it if you aren’t sure about what the file contains. Many viruses are spread through being automatically forwarded to all the contacts in a person’s address book, which means that you can receive email with files infected by viruses even from people you know.

Make sure you log out from your Internet account. Logging out closes down your connection and prevents harmful programs or unauthorised users from accessing your Internet account.

Do not reply to junkmail, also known as spam, because if you do there is the risk of your email system becoming overloaded with mail messages, which can block the system.

Always use antivirus software. This minimises the risk of you having any virus problems. Make sure that you update your antivirus software regularly so that it can detect even the newest viruses.

Specify a security level for your web browser. Always follow the security information which comes with your web browser and specify a security level. In Internet Explorer you can specify the following security settings: Low, Medium-low, Medium or High. For more information on how to set the security level in Internet Explorer, go to the section Secure Your Software. If you are running Microsoft Windows XP, make sure you have the in-built Internet Connection Firewall switched on.
When you are shopping on the Internet you should only deal with web sites which are supported by SSL technology (Secure Sockets Layer). Microsoft Internet Explorer has an integrated system for SSL and other security services which guarantee the security of your transactions over the Internet. An SSL connection encrypts information transferred between your web browser and the seller’s e-commerce site. Web sites with a secure connection usually have an address starting with https://, instead of just http://.

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