POTTSTOWN PA – Many people overlook Internet security until word of a new virus or e-mail worm hits the headlines. Even then, it’s easy to assume that anti-virus software is enough to safeguard computers and data. But as the Internet has grown in sophistication, so too have threats to the security of the people who use it, according to business counselors with the Pottstown chapter of SCORE.
One technology firm that screens e-mails for spam and viruses on behalf of small business customers estimates that 3.6 percent of all messages contain a virus. Even for those who strive to be alert for suspicious e-mails, a distraction or familiar-sounding sender is all it takes for one to slip through.
Business owners must be prepared to protect their hardware, software, and data resources, SCORE advisers say. The first step is to educate everyone within the business about the dangers and set policies for using the Internet and opening e-mail attachments. Employees should avoid using file sharing Web sites, and employers should prohibit downloading applications from unknown sites.
All computers, networks, and e-mail servers should have anti-virus software and other security features installed. Computer firewalls can block incoming traffic that is not needed for your business. Owners also should update all operating systems, software, and security measures on a regular basis. Older versions are more vulnerable to attack.
Those who discover an infected PC should remove it from a network until fixes can be installed. Several software companies offer a range of anti-virus, anti-spam and computer problem-solving solutions for small business.
To learn more about technology issues facing every small business, call the Pottstown chapter of SCORE at 610-327-2673. SCORE is a non-profit organization of more than 10,500 volunteer business counselors who provide free, confidential business counseling and training workshops to small business owners. The Pottstown SCORE office is located at 244 High St., Suite 102.
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