Real People. Real Stories. Real Business.
Chris Bell

Everything You Should Know About IT Security

Being safe online is something that you need to take into account every time that you log on. It’s difficult to have avoided the rise in online security news stories over the last decade, and with tens of millions of people falling victim to cybercrime every year, the onus is on you to protect your data, your identity, and your credit. Despite the fact that so many businesses have realised that online security needs to become an important factor of their management, it has become increasingly difficult to sort between the facts and the myths of IT security, and it’s never been more important that you at least understand the basics.

The role of SSL encryption

For businesses and for private individuals, SSL encryption needs to become second nature. Essentially, it’s a way for data to be transferred between browsers and servers while remaining as secure as possible. This makes it very difficult for hackers to gain access to your information, but not impossible. The best way to find out if a site uses SSL encryption is to check the address bar: if it starts with ‘https’, then you’re good to go, because that ‘S’ stands for security.

Remember to log out

For business managers and employees at work, it’s very quick and convenient to remain logged into company accounts. At work, it can be all too easy to assume that you’ll be back checking the bank account to ensure that a payment has gone through, or stay logged into an account that has access to your payment details. If you’re making use of an SSL encrypted site, you will normally be logged out automatically after a few minutes of inactivity, but hackers have been known to use that small window of opportunity to wreak havoc.

Keeping your software updated

Tools like anti-virus software and firewalls are fantastic when it comes to adding an extra layer of defence to your online business management. However, their usefulness is absolutely negated if you fail to keep them updated. Not only are the updates designed to counter very specific threats, but they are also very easy to automate so that they occur when you’re not making use of your computer systems. Often, keeping track of your security software can mean a lot of work, but making use of business organisations like can ensure that your security is maximised at all times. Check that your anti-virus software is fully up to date so that it can tackle all of the most common viruses, worms, Trojans, and spyware.

Watch your cookies

When it comes to your cookies and your cache, it’s a good idea to make clearing them a regular diary event. It can be very easy to forget about erasing them, but they do contain a lot of private and potentially sensitive information that hackers can use. Like software updates, it’s possible to set your systems up so that cookie and cache clearing is done automatically, and if clearing your cache is something that you neglect on a regular basis, then it may be worth going that route.

Often, cybersecurity is simply a matter of being aware of the risks and following the most basic of advice. The more that you understand, the less likely that you will fall victim to the malicious activities of the global cybercriminals. Don’t allow your business to remain at risk.