Looking after your Data

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No, not another blog about GDPR... think we have had plenty of those not to mention all the emails checking we wanted to be on mailing lists! But do you look after the data in your business? First off, a disclaimer – I am not an IT expert and nor do I have any pretence at being one, however, I have worked with so many clients both via Simplified Accounting and in my life in big practice before hand that I’ve seen some absolute corkers over the years, so my top tips are:

Back up your data

Look to have a back-up procedure in place and remember you aren’t just wanting to protect from hardware failure, you want to protect against theft, fire etc too.  So backing up onto an external hard drive that lives in your laptop bag which you carry around isn’t going to be any help if it gets nicked!

Look at cloud back up options, there are lots available ie i-cloud, google, dropbox as well as full back up services that back up the contents of your hard-drive on a regular basis and make sure you know how often it backs up and what their security and back up procedures are too.

Two-step authentication for key software

Yes, it can be a pain in the backside to have to put in a password and then also get the latest code off your phone but let’s face it, how many people have all their passwords saved in their browser in the first place?  I have two-step authentication in place for all my software and there was the option when I set it up for security questions as well in case I don’t have my phone on me.

Passwords

Have different passwords for everything and don’t share them.  Use password generators if you need and don’t write them down.  You can use software like Lastpass etc to store passwords if you aren’t the best at remembering them.

Policies and procedures

If you have employees and they leave, remove their access immediately and change passwords if needed – hopefully they aren’t disgruntled or dishonest but protecting your documents and IT is crucial.

Website security

If you take payments via your website then make sure it is secure, that the password is strong and that whoever is hosting your website has a back up server and back up procedures.  Working with small businesses is great, but if they are looking after your data make sure that they are doing what the big boys do to ensure it is safe and secure.

And finally

If this has made you have a panic ... get some advice!

Rachael Savage