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10 Solutions for Better Cyber Security of Small Businesses

10 Solutions for Better Cyber Security of Small Businesses

In today’s online world, if you aren’t making use of a number of different cyber security solutions, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to attack. Don’t make the mistake that you’re not important enough or large enough to come under attack from a hacker, either.

Even the smallest business may be targeted by a cyber-attack. Sometimes these attackers even seek out small businesses with little to no security just to have fun destroying their servers and data. If you’re a small business, here are ten cyber security solutions you need to consider implementing today.

1. Symantec

Symantec’s small business option provides the same level of security that many larger enterprises make use of, only at a much more affordable rate. These cyber security packages are designed to keep your data secure and your equipment protected from cyber assaults.

Implementing Symantec’s small business package provides you with antivirus and antispyware programs, a strong firewall, and programs that automatically back up data, provide quick disaster recovery options, keep your connections private, and much more.

2. Random.org

One area that is often a security weakness that isn’t something you can fix with some additional software is weak passwords. If your employees don’t use strong, difficult to guess passwords to access their accounts, hackers can gain access to your entire network fairly easily.

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Even if you give your employees guidelines to use, some may still select weak passwords that can easily be broken. Random.org takes care of that problem. It randomly creates a strong password for each employee, giving them no excuse not to have their accounts protected.

3. Comodo

Comodo is a top of the line security tool that is available for free. It allows you to remotely monitor and manage computers, patch programs remotely, and more.

Comodo also offers several other programs that provide solutions to isolating machines infected with malware and blocking malware from accessing your network. Some options are free, while some upgrades must be paid for.

4. Snort

Snort is designed to watch over your network when you can’t be there to do so. This intrusion prevention and detection software monitors the entire network in real-time.

As soon as a user or program tries to access something they shouldn’t, that user or program is flagged. Too many unauthorized attempts will lead to the user being blocked or the program being quarantined until you can review it and decide if it should be given an exception or not.

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5. ESET

ESET is a security system that can be expanded to cover more than just your desktops and laptops. It can cover your servers, networks, mobile devices, and even your USB drives. It also covers Mac and Windows systems, Android and iPhones, and a variety of different email and file servers.

You can even create custom solutions for your network. Simply select your company’s size, the type of product you have, and your industry to begin customizing your package. You can add remote management, endpoint security, encryption, mobile security, file security, two-factor authentication, and much more.

6. Lookout Mobile Security

If many of your employees use mobile devices or their smartphones for work, you need Lookout Mobile Security. It’s designed specifically for these products and helps to cut down on the number of data leakages, malware, and other risks.

These risks often come with apps and devices that have been jailbroken or otherwise tampered with. The program also lets you add apps and mobile software to a white list, view what devices are using your network, and investigate any security breaches.

7. StaySafeOnline.org

If you know that you have security issues but aren’t sure where to start addressing them, look at StaySafeOnline.org. This website includes a number of different resources that will help you assess your overall risks, create a plan for handling your cyber-security, and prepare training materials for your employees.

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The website is a part of the National Cyber Security Alliance and contains new information related to cyber-security as it becomes available. It’s a great place to start preparing your business’s cyber-defenses.

8. CloudFlare

CloudFlare offers another set of free tools that help prevent your website from coming under attack from things such as denial of service or SQL injections. These types of attacks can lead to your website going offline or losing data, so it’s vital you protect against them.

CloudFlare detects and blocks attacks automatically, then creates a detailed report so you know what’s happened. It also tracks visitors and assesses their IP address, reputation, and a number of other factors. It can use these factors to block those that may cause you harm.

9. CSID

CSID is a protection service designed to keep a business from falling victim to identity theft. While you have heard of individuals having their identities stolen, you may not realize it can happen to your business, too.

CSID, however, is a full-service identity protection solution designed to battle many different fraudulent activities and scams designed to steal your business identity or authority. The program also provides advanced authentication tools to help protect the transmission and storage of sensitive data.

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10. HTTPS Everywhere

This final tool is designed to protect your network from virus-filled websites and scripts that try to come into your network through the internet. It is a browser extension that can be used in Chrome, Firefox, Android, and Opera to encrypt all of your communications.

While many believe that HTTPS, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, is enough to protection all online communications, few people realize that only a select number of pages are coded in HTTPS.

Conclusion

Many websites, in fact, mix HTTP and HTTPS pages, and that can lead to gaps in their security. HTTPS Everywhere adds additional protection as you browse, protecting you from these security gaps so you are secure no matter what webpage you’re on.

While these ten tools may not provide full coverage of your network, they can address many issues you may have. As a small business, the fact that many are free or are budget-friendly is a major plus.

Featured photo credit: Small Business via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

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So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

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For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

Bonus:

If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

3. Take meaningful time for yourself

We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

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No time for me-time? Try this:

If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

Bonus:

Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

4. Get productive and feel accomplished

Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

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Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

Try this:

Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

The bottom line

There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

The only question is — which tip will you try first?

Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

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