By Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD
When using the Internet, it’s critical to be aware of the risks. You don’t want to take a naive approach toward security on your telephone answering service’s computers. Computer security is a complex issue, deserving serious attention.
At the risk of oversimplification, here are some simple guidelines to follow:
- Use anti-virus protection on each computer that accesses the Internet or is on a network with other computers.
- Apply all critical updates for Microsoft Windows and Office products. Hackers target these programs because of their popularity and nearly universal presence.
- Install and configure a firewall to protect computers that access the Internet.
- Practice safe computing. Don’t open unexpected attachments; have a healthy skepticism with unsolicited warnings. Viruses and malware often use these ploys as a way to sneak unto a computer.
- Use common sense. If something is too good to be true, it generally is; if something seems too risky, it probably is. Don’t believe everything you see online.
There is much more to these basic recommendations – and there are other issues to consider – but you can start by covering these essential items first and then build on them.
The future of your TAS and the security of your clients’ data are at stake. Don’t take any chances.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of TAS Trader, covering the telephone answering service industry. Check out his book How to Start a Telephone Answering Service.