Practical Technology

Worried about how safe apps are? Don’t be

Worried about how safe apps are? Don’t be

When you're using apps for your business, online security is important. So how do you know your data is safe?

The freedom to work from anywhere, at any time – that's the beauty of business apps. They can be used on your smartphone, tablet and desktop computer. They’re also accessible from wherever you want to work, so you can juggle other responsibilities while responding to emails, checking bank accounts or updating shared documents.

 

When you work online, you need to be aware of potential safety concerns so you can ensure your data is secure. The information held by conveyancers and property lawyers is personal, legal and crucial to each transaction. Any loss or theft of that data could be devastating for your business. Here's what you need to know.

 

Establish a secure base

 

An easy way to ensure a technology product is safe is to buy it from a reputable source. If you’re not sure, search its name online and read the reviews, or ask your technical advisor if you have one. Google Play and Apple’s App Store are generally the safest sources for mobile apps because they have strict rules and charge developer fees.

 

As with many other areas of your business, maintenance is key. Invest in reputable security software and schedule your devices to regularly check for and install updates, as these will contain patches against new threats.

 

Take steps to protect yourself

 

Using reputable business apps and secure technology is only part of the equation; it’s also important to establish best practices for your business and review them on a regular basis.

  • Use strong passwords (consisting of letters, numerals and varied cases) for all apps dealing with sensitive information.
  • Protect computers with a password and set a PIN to unlock mobiles, tablets, SIM cards and voicemail.
  • Log out of websites when you’re finished.
  • Don’t click on email attachments unless they’re from a trusted source.
  • Wi-Fi hotspots in public places are convenient but not always secure. If you're using these hotspots, restrict your activity to browsing and avoid logging into password-protected apps.

Back up your data regularly

 

Ensuring your business’s data is backed up will help recover files if you unfortunately lose them due to hardware failure, a virus or a device hack, or if cloud servers go down.

 

It’s good practice to set a routine for regular backups and use multiple methods including DVDs, a USB drive, a local server or secure online backup. Keep in mind that physical storage devices can be lost, stolen or destroyed so will need to be held securely.

 

Steer clear of threats by signing up to the government’s free Stay Smart Online Alert Service. If your computer is attacked by malware or a virus, contact your technical support immediately – in most instances they should be able to repair and restore your data before harm is done.

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