Make no mistake – cybercrime and hacking are not likely to go away anytime soon. That means it's down to you as a business owner to make sure you protect your business and computer systems in the best possible way you can, and that starts with taking an in depth look at everything you are doing, to see how safe your business really is.

Unfortunately this is where many businesses fall down on the job. They are quite literal too busy to take care of the security issues which could bring down their whole business in the space of a few hours if those issues were ever exploited.

Of those businesses who do take steps to protect themselves, the time and money invested often are not in proportion to the actual needs a business has. And you should not make the mistake of thinking that just because your website does not sell anything you are not at risk, because you are.

The bottom line is that hackers get through people's defenses for all kinds of reasons. Some send malicious viruses and worms which can destroy all kinds of valuable data. Someone's bizarre attempt at entertaining themselves can mean serious consequences for your business if you do not take the right steps to combat them.

You might think that your internet business is safer than it actually is. Because we often can not see or tell that someone is trying to hack into our systems – until it's too late – it's easy to be blissfully ignorant and that that everything is okay. That's why it pays to sit down and analyze your whole business to see how well protected it really is.

The steps you can take vary from the most basic to the more advanced, which you will probably need help to achieve. Make sure you have the right anti-virus and anti-spyware software in place to protect you and perform your updates and scans on a regular basis. Make sure you have a secure firewall as well, since this will also help protect your data. If you employ a lot of people it is wise to make sure they are aware of the need to protect the business in every possible way. Do not assume that everyone knows what to do because not everyone does. It only takes one person opening an infected attachment on an email to cause havoc and lose you business as a result.

There is something of an assumption that hackers are only after personal information, but that is not always the case. Some businesses have been the victim of hackers who have used their systems to distribute spam emails by the thousands, for example. If this happened to you, you can bet it would effectively shut down your website until the problem was sorted.

Many businesses are now taking on the services of external and trusted internet security companies to keep regular checks on their systems to make sure no vulnerabilities appear or are left unchecked. If you do this, you stand the chance of remaining in the group of businesses who are fully protected right round the clock.

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