With the holiday period just around the corner, it’ll soon be time for you to enjoy the festivities and a well-earned break.
But before you do, we thought we would share some simple tips designed to keep your IT systems safe and secure during that time.
As businesses prepare to close down operations, many will decide to shut down their computer systems as well. But even when turned off, your computers and the data on it are still at risk. Unexpected events such as power surges, fire or theft can cause data loss and serious damage to your business. To avoid this, there are a few precautions you need to take in advance.
Take a data backup
Data is the lifeblood of your business and, while IT equipment can be bought off the shelf, data cannot be replaced when lost. So, taking time to back it up properly before you go off will pay dividends should anything go wrong.
You can use several different methods, such as external hard drives, USBs or Cloud storage to backup all your data. This should include documents, files, emails, contact lists and accounting records. We recommend:
• making two copies of your data, leaving one copy onsite for easy access and the other offsite. This means your data will still be available even if one location is damaged in a disastrous event like a fire or flood
• also, we cannot recommend Cloud storage enough (and if you still don’t have this in place please let us know and we will be happy to provide more information).
Unplug (almost) everything
When a machine is turned off but plugged in, there will still be electricity running through it.
The power surges caused by winter storms can seriously damage your IT equipment. Unplug your computers, printer, modems, routers and other machines from any network, telephone lines and cable connections. Servers, on the other hand, are designed to run 24/7 and should be left switched on.
Make sure you also have an UPS connected, so should the power go down the Server will be properly switched off.
Keep equipment out of sight
Unfortunately, the time of year is peak time for thieves and IT equipment has a high resale value and can be easily moved. This makes your office a likely target over the holidays.
Lock away any portable IT equipment and draw the blinds or curtains in rooms where you keep machines that are difficult to move. There’s also the clever tactic of leaving out less valuable IT equipment such as old or broken laptops, monitors and phones, so they can act as a ploy to distract the thieves if they do happen to break in.
Check for security updates (particularly if using home PCs due to the disruption)
When you return, your computer will be vulnerable to new viruses and other malicious software released over the holidays. Chances are these will appear as phishing emails waiting in your inbox. To protect your data and computer programs, it’s important to run any system and security updates on your computer, before opening your emails or connecting to the internet. This is particularly important due to current circumstances where people are working from home more – so if you are using your home PC ensure if is fully protected.
By taking these precautions before you leave for the holidays, you can relax knowing your data is safe and that your business will be up and running smoothly once you return.
Enjoy the break!!
Managed IT Experts team