Most businesses are online-based businesses these days and hold an enormous amount of Personal and/or Financial Information.
We’re not just talking IDs and contact details, but information relating to investments, banking, and our behavior online – all of which is extremely valuable information for organised cybercriminals.
This is why we must always pay attention to security measures in order to mitigate the risk of cybercrime as much as possible.
Your business is built on trust and you’ve worked hard to earn that trust.
You spend a lot of time ensuring our advice is compliant and all data is up to date and accurate.
Adding security to that list is more than important as the world digitally transforms and essentially most of our operations are online.
Ensuring the safety of all information goes hand in hand with ensuring the safety of your business, and your clients.
Consider yourself and your business a target
It’s crucial we acknowledge we are a potential target and are at risk. We simply have to take steps to manage that risk.
I want to share some easy steps you can take towards improved online security:
1. Use of password management software
Password management software helps you to securely store and retrieve passwords.
The passwords are heavily encrypted and each user will require a unique and complex master password to access their account. Your master password must be very strong and a random combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
2. Use strong passwords and update regularly (every 90 days minimum)
Any tricky password combination of a word followed by some numbers will take less than a microsecond for a hacker to guess. Sadly, any cunning mnemonic device or special wordplay trick that you have conjured up has also likely been anticipated by the hackers.
Here’s a simple tip: Unless your password looks something like this “wfTQvDb$95!hF9*^1BcgXSfEF”, consider it easy to guess.
Obviously, there is no way you will be able to memorise these types of passwords for your day-to-day internet usage.
This is exactly where a password manager to automatically generate and store these passwords comes in handy.
3. Use multiple security layers and 2-Step verification where available
Combining multiple security controls will help protect your resources and data. You should activate and use 2-Step verification where possible which requires a secure code sent to a mobile phone.
We often use GDrive, One Drive, Dropbox and Office 365 to collect and store a lot of data. Always ensure that all files are only ever shared with appropriate parties and use the most secure sharing settings.
4. Use caution with unfamiliar or unusual emails
- Handle all emails with a bit of suspicion. Remain skeptical of any email that has a strong call to action (particularly attachments), even if the sender is familiar to you.
- Ensure the email tone is consistent with what you would expect from the sender.
- Be wary of any requests for passwords or data from a bank or institution.
- Be wary of spammy social media invites, particularly from LinkedIn.
5. Take care with anything you download
Be wary when downloading any applications that could be a risk for your security (e.g. torrents, music or movie streaming).
It’s not uncommon for a seemingly legitimate download to include adware, browser extensions, and other software that bundled with software or a file you’ve intentionally downloaded.
6. Other security-related precautions:
- Never share your passwords with anyone (even within your team),
- When working in public space do not leave your laptop unattended and unlocked. Always completely log out and switch off when finished,
- Install all the regular updates for your computer,
- Don’t save passwords anywhere on your computer, and always use a password management software,
- Regularly empty your downloads, trash, cookies, and browser history,
- Avoid using your work email address for personal purchases and newsletter sign-ups to reduce the risk of receiving dangerous emails,
- Avoid clicking any links online or in emails that could be suspicious,
- Ensure no data is being shared other than with the person who is in charge of or owns the data. Always ensure correct email addresses are being used to avoid sending data to the wrong person,
- Download and install an antivirus program and run it regularly (e.g. Avira, Norton, McAfee).
As you can see, there are plenty of things you can do to protect your and your customer’s data and avoid becoming a victim.
Pam Doerf is an expert in building strong operational foundations for businesses running remotely. Over the years she has worn many hats and has worked in many different contexts to gain a skill set that can be applied to many areas of business and life.
Pam found her passion in Operations and automating businesses using technology. It’s her greatest satisfaction to see when automation can improve a process, or even a whole business!
Pam has run multiple businesses and built remote teams for over seven years. She has over 20 years of experience in tourism, hospitality, and finance.
Pam is a genius of efficiency, mastering the art of minimising the input and maximising the output of a team by using technology, systems, and processes, and driving remote work in industries where spending 9-5 at the office is the norm.
Sign Up: KAIZ Chief Actionary and expert in business operations for maximum efficiency Pam Doerf takes us through her top five rules for avoiding the email hangover and owning your inbox.
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