Don't underestimate how much you rely on your computers, or how much it is going to cost you to keep them safe, effective and legal.
- Make sure that the offices containing computers are well-secured, and that your insurance covers both the hardware and the software.
- Get quotes from a few computer services companies for a maintenance contract for your computers. Your most common requirements are likely to be: emergency call-outs for problems like virus infections or breakdowns; and regular updating of programme patches and licences.
Looking after your business data and information
The efficiency that computers bring to a small business has meant that much more of your information will be stored on your computer's hard drive, rather than in files on your shelves. While this is mostly very convenient, it also creates a huge business risk that you need to manage carefully.
Computer theft is common, so insuring your actual PCs and printers is crucial. But what about the information stored there? There are a few crucial issues you need to deal with:
- Regular backing up of all your information, from client details to invoices;
- Safe storage of this back-up data, either in physical form (on a compact disk, for example) or on an off-site server;
- Insuring against lost earnings if your information systems fail and temporarily prevent your business from operating.
- Protection against viruses from the internet, email or external disks.