You’ve worked hard to build your hive…don’t let anything destroy it.

I like to think of a small business as a beehive. Everybody works together toward a common goal, and the constant activity keeps all worker bees motivated, energized, and ready for action. Sometimes a predator tries to get inside the hive. When that happens, the worker bees need backup systems to protect themselves. That’s what whitelisting does. It protects your business from outside intrusion and other threats that could cripple your business technology.

Guide to Application Whitelisting

When you whitelist applications on your network, you control what apps, software and websites your employees, customers, and other people who visit your business can access. Now if you are allowing customers to access your network, you should invest in a public wifi network that is separate from your private business network. Whether your network is public or private, you should create a list of approved programs and apps to keep your network safe.

You should also create a blacklist of apps, websites, or other destinations that could prove unsafe. Both whitelisting and blacklisting can protect your business.

We’re living in an increasingly BYOD or bring your own device world. Which means that the company doesn’t issues phones, laptops, and other gadgets. While this strategy saves money, it also gives up a measure of control. Your employees or contractors might visit a website or access an application that they believe is safe, only to open the door to malicious malware or a hack. Setting up BYOD policies prevents that outcome.

Engage your tech team or an outsourced IT specialist to help you set up permissions on your network. If an application or other destination doesn’t appear on your whitelist, people who access the internet on your network will be denied access.Think of it as childproofing your network, except you’re more worried about protecting trade secrets than fragile fingers.

Guide to Email Whitelisting

There are other considerations for whitelisting, too. You want your email subscribers to whitelist your business email address so they continue to receive your newsletters and any other special offers or communications you might send out. Often, mass emails get sent to spam folders, never to see the light of day (or a consumer’s eyes). That’s not what you want. When consumers opt-in to receive your emails, remind them at least twice to whitelist your address or domain. That way, your emails don’t get lost in internet oblivion.

Of course, you might also have to do part of the work. Some domains get blacklisted by service providers because they’re viewed as spam, so you can help keep your domain whitelisted by following a few of my best practices for smart email marketing:

  • Never send emails to recipients who don’t opt-in to your subscriber list.
  • Use a reputable email marketing service, such as Infusionsoft, MailChimp, or Aweber that has a stellar reputation in the industry.
  • Send less frequent emails. Instead of emailing every day, consider reducing your emails and weekly or even monthly and make sure the content is interesting, and customer focused.
  • Avoid buying email lists.
  • Craft engaging headlines.
  • Include the option to unsubscribe somewhere in each email.
  • Reduce the number of outgoing links you include in each email.

These tips can help you land on the “safe senders” list for most email clients. Plus, they make your content marketing more effective, so it’s doubly beneficial.

Speaking of which, I have my own weekly email newsletter filled with valuable content for entrepreneurs like you. I only send out information I know you’ll enjoy, so sign up for my weekly newsletter to join our tribe.

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The post Why Your Small Business Needs a Whitelist Policy appeared first on Succeed As Your Own Boss.

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