For almost every contemporary business, the talent to safely email, work remotely and manage a website is essential to its everyday operation and success. The basic safety rules are similar to those we apply to our personal computers and other communication devices, but there are a number of differences which are based mainly around the number of different people working in the business, and a duty of care to look after not only itself but also its customers and other parties.
Cyber security is a hot topic for businesses and consumers alike. In the wake of multiple corporate breaches over the last few years, all users are on higher alert about the safety of their susceptible data. But cyber attacks don’t just happen to big companies; small businesses need to be prepared for the possibility of hackers infiltrating their network, too. Here’s an overview of everything you need to know to protect yourself.
Ready to care for your business and its data? These best practices will keep your company as secure as possible.
Keep your software up to date. When your antivirus software or other safety application notifies you that it’s about to perish or needs a patch, don’t delay in updating your system. Hackers are constantly scanning for safety vulnerabilities, Cobb said, and if you let this fault go for too long, you’re greatly increasing your chances of being under attack.
Apply formal security policies. It is directed to be requiring strong passwords — those with a combination of upper- and lowercase letters, with numbers and symbols — that should be changed every 60 to 90 days. Hold your employees responsible for cyber security, and make confident all employees understand their responsibilities in using both company-issued and personal devices for work purposes.
Practice your event response plan. You already know you should have a plan of action ready to go in case of a data breach. But have you practiced that plan with your employees to make confident all employees know what they’re doing? It is recommended running a drill of your response plan (and refining if necessary) so your staff can identify and contain the breach quickly should an incident happen.
Make sure your password is protected. Passwords are the first line of protection. Use a password that contains upper and lowercase letters as well as numbers and special characters. The more complex your password is, the harder it is for hackers to compromise.
Never use personal information in your password. It’s a bad suggestion to use your name or that of a spouse, child or pet as a password. The same is true of birthdays or phone numbers, as this information also widely exists via a Google search of your name.
Don’t leave your computer unattended when logged in to a site. It can be tempting to go away your browser open if you have to leave your PC for a few minutes, but that’s a golden chance for snoopers. Close all applications and log off before you step away.
Create a “burner” email address. It’s a good idea to open a free email account with sites like Gmail that you can give out when you’re required to offer an email online or open an ecommerce account. You’ll avoid spam at your primary address and decrease vulnerability.
Password-protect mobile devices. Many people don’t bother creating a password or PIN for their mobile phone or tablet, which is a big mistake. Like PCs, phones and tablets typically have responsive account information on them that also needs to be kept safe.
Use different passwords for all the registered sites you visit. Many people make the mistake of using the same password for all the sites they visit, but that means that a hacking confrontation on one site compromises all of their online accounts.
Change passwords repeatedly. If you change your password frequently, you’ll reduce the likelihood that you’ll lose valuable information in a hacking incident. Aim for making a change to all registered passwords approximately every 30 days.
With sites worldwide under threat by attacks from increasingly stylish hacking groups, it makes sense to be concerned about your data, whether you run a business or are a casual Internet user. Since passwords are the primary line of defense, focus on creating strong passwords, and make sure you change them around every 30 days.