Many who have worked in the automotive industry learn to appreciate the ups and downs, but when you love your job, just like with any relationship, we tend to overlook certain things. You know what they say, “love is blind.” We sacrifice for the other person’s happiness. When it comes to your responsibility as a leader, it’s very important to consider how the decisions you make affect not only your business but also your customers and employees.
We can all agree, lowering costs and budgeting is an important part of keeping your dealership’s doors open. And as a leader, it’s also important to create a positive culture and provide a great working environment for our staff. Unfortunately, at times we tend to focus more on instant gratification, not realizing how this could affect our entire business in the long-haul.
For example, cutting costs on your IT could inadvertently compromise your dealership’s security. Even though some automotive dealerships may not have all the resources available that large corporations do, they are still just as vulnerable to the same security threats. Which in turn causes disruption in productivity or worse, could cause you to go out of business entirely.
This Valentine’s day, Kobargo would like to provide you with some tips to help you keep your dealership secure while keeping costs low and most importantly, customer and employee information secure.
- Purchase anti-virus software. Every computer is vulnerable to a wide variety of viruses, trojans, and worms that are on the Internet. These malicious software programs can do anything from damage your computer and files to steal your password and other important information stored on your computer. Purchase a good anti-virus software program and make sure that it is always up to date. Also, check to see that your anti-virus software checks for spyware, adware, and any other type of malware that could be hiding on your computer.
- Avoid phishing emails. It is important to discuss the importance of not opening spam email, attachments or forwards that could possibly contain viruses, with your employees. Make sure that your email has a filtering system that helps to filter out spam and other malicious email. Responding to phishing emails can be another costly mistake. Phishing emails are disguised as legitimate emails that then request login and password information. Changing passwords monthly can help to lessen the damage should an employee accidentally respond to a phishing email.
- Minimize damage from dishonest or disgruntled employees. Sadly, we have seen it time and time again. Just like with any relationship, it is often difficult to predict if one of your employees will become disgruntled or dishonest, but you can put some safeguards in place to help minimize the damage should you find that you have one. Thoroughly screen your employees before hiring them, especially if they will have access to any confidential or financial company information. Limiting the number of employees that have access to this confidential information and changing your company passwords often, can help to prevent former employees from accessing company computers.
- Secure your wireless network. Make sure that your wireless router is encrypted, and that your business is using WPA2 wireless security. A firewall is another important key to protecting the security of your small business. A firewall will allow access only to authorized users while blocking unauthorized access to your network.
- Have an internet use policy. Aside from the obvious lack of productivity that personal Internet use can cause for your business, it can often be too easy to click on websites that contain malicious software that could infect your company computers and shut your system down temporarily or even permanently. It’s important to have this policy in place for all employees and staff.
- Avoid having everything on one computer. Purchasing computer equipment can be costly. That’s why many dealerships will try to get away with fewer computers to save money. If you have your financial information on the same computer where your employees are accessing their company emails, you could risk losing everything that is vital to running your business should an infected email slip through.
- Have a data backup system. Be sure to have some type of data storage and backup system in place, in the event that your current system goes down. Having your files readily available to you in case of an emergency can ensure that your dealership will continue to run smoothly no matter what the disaster.
- Minimize damage from stolen equipment. It is difficult to prevent break-ins or equipment from being stolen from your home or office building, but you can have some security by ensuring that the information on your computer is encrypted and password protected.
Just like with any relationship, we must make difficult decisions to spare ourselves heartache and stress. In this case, to prevent data breaches and keep our employees and customers information safe. You must always question whether an investment will bring value to every aspect of your business or if it’s just an additional expense.
Arm yourself with the knowledge of what your dealership could be up against and take steps towards prevention. The investment will give your dealership the security necessary to keep your customer and employee information safe.
Don’t have the time to be a technology expert? Schedule a free 10-minute call with one of Kobargos expert team members today!