Having a back-up of your data – both for your mobile phone and in the office – is critical for your practice and the customers whose accounts you look after.
BTCSoftware has recently helped a customer retrieve their data, which can be a stressful process, especially during the busiest time of the year for accountants. So that you don’t need to go through the same process, we have prepared a short guide to support and inform you.
Here are our top tips to keep your data safe and secure:
1. ALWAYS have a back-up
First and foremost, to protect your data, you need to keep your computer or device backed up. This way, if you are a victim of cybercrime or accidentally leave your laptop on the train, you have a copy of everything.
A good way of making sure your data is safe without having to remember to set manual back-ups is to set up your computer or device to automatically backup on a daily or weekly basis. If you handle customer data on a regular basis, it's best to back up daily.
As important as backing up your data is, its also just as important to test that the backup system is working regularly – you don’t want any surprises!
2. Keep your antivirus updated
Choose a reliable antivirus and install it on all your devices to protect them against threats such as viruses, malware, spyware to prevent hackers from stealing or using your data. Once installed, you won’t need to do much except make sure it is regularly updated.
You should also be careful about what sorts of links and files you open on your computer as they can sometimes carry viruses. Specific antivirus solutions and email service providers automatically scan email attachments before you open them to keep you safe.
3. Restrict access
It’s important to have team access to your information, however not all employees need the same level of access to all the files. With individual access, you should also be able to tell who has made changes and submissions.
Make sensitive files password protected and, if possible, limit sharing access so that strangers cannot access your data.
4. Use a cloud system
Even though not everyone trusts the cloud, it can protect you against data loss, which is a problem that makes businesses lose their reputation and face huge fines every year.
Additionally, cloud systems allow you to access your information remotely and quickly, so if there is anything urgent to deal with you can access all the relevant files even when you are far from the office. BTCSoftware offers a cloud-based solution so that your data is safe and secure, this way you can still have access to the cloud remotely. Hard drives and memory sticks are no longer considered the way forward nor safe.
5. Protect your data from the public
Keep your data protected with strong passwords containing special characters, capitals and numbers and consider changing them when any staff members leave.