Protect your Business – Back up your Data

 In Accountancy, Tax

Protect your Business – Back up your Data

Consider a major disruption to your information system;

What implications would this have on your business and its ability to continue to operate? What is currently protected? What is not? What information is essential to run your business?

This will tell you what you need to do to protect the data which is absolutely fundamental to the operation of your business, and what needs to be backed up at regular, ongoing intervals.

If you are not backing up already, we recommend setting diarised prompts in your calendar as a reminder to back up digital information, in the cloud, as well as to an external hard drive. Include all the essential files on your desktop, laptop and tablet (and other cloud-based files) as well as your mobile phone.

Remember that accounting records, bills, receipts and bank statements need to be kept for six years and it is your responsibility to keep these safe.

The Golden Rule
Do not simply rely on one system e.g. ‘just’ a cloud system or a hard drive. Systems can fail. Most businesses do not realize that their back up system is insufficient, until it is too late. Back up thoroughly and regularly to protect your business and check that it is possible to restore the data from the back up file effectively.

Anti-Virus and Encryption
Consider upgrading your anti-virus and / or encryption software. There are endless possibilities, so do some research, see what works best for you. Windows 10 has antivirus software included however you may wish to purchase additional anti-virus protection, depending on your needs.

A word on scam emails and links
There has also been a noticeable increase in scam emails and phone calls, hacks, data theft and ransomware attacks as opportunistic organisations seek to exploit cyber systems.

If you receive what you consider to be a fake or scam email, then it goes without saying to not click on the links or forward the email to anyone. Simply delete it from your mailbox unopened. If it’s that important, the recipient will seek to make contact another way. If you feel a second opinion is needed on the email, the best way to do this is to ‘screenprint’ the email rather than forward it to others for their opinion.

HMRC
HMRC will never call you to tell you about a refund and will never ask for your bank account or debit or credit card details to give you a tax refund over the phone. If you have not heard it from us that you are due a tax refund, then it is most likely a scam.

Some scams claim tax is overdue and must be paid immediately. Consider the wording; it is unlikely HMRC would ever use strong or threatening language in an email. Due to the systems we have in place at Equation, you will always know your tax payment dates, when taxes are due (or not), how much you need to pay and if you are due anything back.

Banks
In a similar way, the banks will never ask you to move money from one account to another or ask you to reveal your bank or card details to them over the phone whatever the reason. If you receive a call like this, simply hang up and then call the bank back through known channels.

Stay Cyber Safe.

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