Oftentimes, amidst the hustle and bustle of our daily lives and work, robust cybersecurity measures get put on the backburner. Obviously, that shouldn't be the case, especially when dealing with you and your customer's sensitive information.
According to CustomGuide, these are the security basics you need to know to keep your business and information safe.
Though we usually only hear about data breaches at large companies, that doesn't mean small- and medium-sized businesses aren't also targets. Viruses, phishing scams, vulnerabilities in software and hardware, and network security gaps are among the common ways your data can become compromised.
While 11% of U.S. adults having had their personal information stolen and one in five people have had an email or social media account hacked, only 40% of adults know how to protect themselves against these types of attacks online.
When it comes to passwords, it's suggested to use ones that are at least eight characters long and include a combination of numbers, upper and lowercase letters, and special characters. Research shows it takes exponentially longer to crack passwords that include all of these factors.
Consider a firewall for additional protection, which is basically a security guard for your information. There are two types:
1. Hardware-based options, which create a protective barrier between your internal networks and the outside world.
2. Software-based options, which are often part of your operating system.
If browsing online, be sure the webpage you're visiting has a URL that begins with "HTTPS"—the secure version of "HTTP." Why does this matter? Websites that use HTTPS—often indicated by a padlock in the address bar—encrypt all communication between your browser and the site.
For phishing and email scams, keep a look out for the following:
- The sender's address. It should correlate with their name or company.
- Grammatical errors. Reliable companies and businesses aren't likely to share communication including these.
- Not being addressed by your name. If the greeting is generic, it could be a bad sign.
- An immediate action item. Steer clear of anything calling for you to act right then in that moment.
- Be wary of attachments. Never open them immediately! Also, hover your clicker over links to see where they would take you before clicking.
Keeping all of these factors in mind, keep your network security on the up and up by performing regular security checks, updating your system when needed, set permissions for shared files and, of course, practice safe browsing.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for Groups Today.