There’s no amount of security that makes a small business owner feel comfortable. The number of hackers and attacks are rising; large corporations are getting scammed out of millions of dollars…where does that leave your business? Through no fault of their own, employees are usually your weakest link when it comes to information security. This can be easily combated by simply teaching employees about cyber security best practices.
At a minimum, your employees should know:
- How to differentiate a phishing email from a regular request
- How to create strong passwords that aren’t obvious choices
- How to avoid dangerous applications that can put your business at risk
Taking the time to educate employees about recognizing and preventing any type of scam is crucial. Keeping your information safe isn’t as easy as locking a file cabinet anymore. With more and more companies embracing cloud computing and new applications the threat is more close and more real than it ever has been. Make sure you are in constant communication with your staff regarding cybersecurity, technology is constantly changing and with those changes come different types of scams.
1. Check your apps
Applications make businesses run like well-oiled machines. They’re awesome and sometimes we don’t know what we would do without them. But, without proper inspection, your data may be at risk. This is because you’re essentially giving your data to the app and blindly expecting them to protect it. Hackers know which apps are the least secure and then they target them attempting to get your information.
2. Security is top priority
When Home Depot’s systems were hacked a few years ago they were actually in the process of adding additional protection to their system that would have fought off the attack. Imagine that regret! Make sure that the software that is in place is completely up to date, you just might thank yourself later.
3. Social media protection
Make sure to keep a close eye on your social media! As great as it is for promoting your business, it also presents some problems. Make sure your employees learn and understand the potential dangers that linger on social media sites and ask them to maintain personal and professional safety at all times. Hackers can use information they’ve retrieved from social media to answer security questions that are protecting your personal, professional, or financial information.
4. Protect your web browser & mobile devices
The easiest and most important step you can take for added protection on your web browser, cell phone, or tablet is keeping it updated. Outdated software opens your information up to security vulnerabilities. Always choose “automatically update” when given the option, it takes the guesswork out of the updating process. Read more on keeping your technology updated here.
Last year, 70% of small businesses that were infected with ransomware ended up paying a ransom for access to their own data and their own software back. Most of these incidents could have been easily avoided if the business had a protection plan put in place…which is where we come in. Think of this plan as insurance. Without it, you’d end up in the emergency room every time you had the sniffles. It just makes sense. (Read more about the importance of having an IT emergency plan here.)
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