Six ways to keep your computer system safe

IT breaches are nearly always serious. No business can afford to compromise data security or risk losing trade because of a computer virus.

In this blog, we look at some of the ways businesses of all sizes can protect their computer systems from hacking, data breaches and other problems. Some of these responsibilities are for management; others are good habits that everyone should get into.

IT responsibilities for management

  1. Back up your data

When all your data can only be accessed through one means, it could get lost. This could prevent you from accessing it when you need it. It’s not just about where on your hard drive or the cloud your data is stored, it’s also about what you could use to access it if there were a power cut. Protect your business by backing up your data.

  1. Pay for the right software and anti-virus protection

The business version of standard software sometimes costs more, but it is worth it. Make sure you’re using the right package for the size of your business – this will enable your whole team to access the same system which is more secure than separate arrangements. Depending on what your business does, it might be worth investing in bespoke software.

Anti-virus software is essential for anyone who uses a computer for their business. If your computer falls prey to a virus, you won’t be able to use it and it could cause problems for your business. Employers should consider purchasing anti-virus for everyone on their payroll – this way, you can be sure everyone has the right software and there are no weak links in your cyber-security chain.

  1. Close accounts when staff members move on

It’s important that ex-employees no longer have access to your systems after they leave your business. They may not do anything wrong themselves, but the more people who have access to your systems, the bigger the risk that the system could be hacked or data breached.

IT responsibilities for individuals

All your employees should follow IT best practice so they don’t compromise your systems. Create a positive culture where it’s easy for employees make the right choice and where they value the responsibility you give them. And if you work on your own, these security tips should be no-brainers.

  1. Use strong passwords

Whatever software and hardware you use for work, you should use strong passwords and change them frequently. It’s also important that you use different passwords for different applications.

  1. Consider who else can access your computer

Remember to lock your screen when you’re away from your desk so no unscrupulous person can get at the information or pose as you online. Take care too if you’re working in a public place like the train or a coffee shop – it’s very easy for others to see what’s on your screen.

  1. Don’t use personal accounts for work

Most of us have a personal email account and social media profiles, but these will not be as secure as those we use for work. Remember, never send work emails from your personal account in case you compromise security. If you need to, talk to your IT support about accessing your work email and server from home so you always have the tools you need.

Outsourced support for IT safety

Get Ahead provides outsourced support for businesses of all sizes. We can help you find the right software for your needs and keep your information secure and compliant. Our diary managers can help you stay on top of updates and software contract renewals, and our communications experts can help you get the message through to your team. To find out more, contact your local regional director.

Choose the right business software for your scale-up business

When you first started your business, you probably managed very well with basic Excel spreadsheets and even pen and paper for keeping records and planning ahead. But as your business grows, you may benefit from dedicated software, developed with businesses like yours in mind.

In this blog, we look at the importance of having the right software when you’re scaling up your business, and consider some areas you could automate to make your business run more efficiently.

Why is it important to have the right business software?

When your business gets beyond a certain size, low-tech solutions can be inefficient. By investing time and money in the right business software, you’ll make savings in the long run. You won’t be taken away from your core business to balance the books or rummage for a customer’s contact details – your software can take care of that for you.

Finance and accounting software for scale-up businesses

Accountancy apps like Xero and Quickbooks are a great solution for the day to day running of your business. They are quick and easy to use, and connect to your business bank account. They allow you to:

  • keep up with invoices and expenses
  • pay bills
  • claim expenses
  • accept payments
  • track projects
  • manage payroll
  • complete bank reconciliation
  • manage your inventory

Many of the Get Ahead regional directors use Xero and Quickbooks. They find the apps make finance really clear, while reminders help them stay on top of invoicing and reconciliation. You will probably need an accountant as well to guide you through financial reporting and tax, but having an accounting app is a great way to stay on top of your regular admin.

Customer relationship management (CRM) software for scale-up businesses

As your client base grows, it can become harder to keep track of who’s who and what they need from you. Is that the new client or the one with the repeat order? Do you deal with them directly or are they a conduit to a larger project? And where did you put their phone number?!

Many start-ups use an Excel spreadsheet to record client information. However, as your business scales up, you’ll need something with greater functionality, and which is secure and reliable too. A CRM system like Hubspot is a great solution.

Social media scheduling software for scale-up businesses

Social media is free marketing for businesses. If you’re not marketing your business through social media, you really should be.

However, social media can be very time consuming. For example, you might go onto Facebook to post to your business page, get distracted and lose an hour of your working day. Don’t worry – we’ve all done it! Fortunately, there is a solution. Social media scheduling means you can plan all your posts for a week or even a month, and then let them roll out one by one without you having to log in during working hours. Our social media experts use platforms like Hootsuite and Buffer to deliver regular, on-brand posts for Get Ahead’s clients.

You will still need to keep on top of comments and testimonials, but at least you can rely on consistent social media to shout about your business online.

Get Ahead supports scale-up businesses

The team at Get Ahead use various pieces of software to keep businesses running smoothly, and we are always delighted to share our experience with clients. New software can take time to get used to, but we feel it’s well worth the investment. Our team of virtual experts can guide you through the new challenges and even set the software up for you – all you’ll see is a more efficient way of working.

To find out more, visit our services page or speak to your local regional director.