Whether a business owner or a private user, when you login to the Information Highway, you are instantly at risk of cyber-attack; today’s hacker has an arsenal of tools to help them steal your data and some are very successful. Of course, we only get to hear about the major corporation hacks, but that doesn’t mean small businesses are safe, far from it.
Whether for personal or business use, here are a few cyber-safety tips to keep you safe from cyber-criminals. Also, it is advised to take an IT security course to avoid such crimes in the future.
- Change passwords often – Perhaps the most obvious way to thwart a hacker, changing your passwords often makes it harder to decipher. Never use a DOB or vehicle registration when choosing a password; there are password creating apps that devices remember, always with a strong password setting.
- Email attachments – This is a common way for a hacker to install malware on your computer; a typical scenario would be an unsolicited email stating you have won a prize, inviting you to click on the attachment to see what you’ve won. The .exe file gets to work as soon as you double-click and install itself in a hidden folder on C drive. Never open an attachment from someone you don’t know, if in doubt, delete!
- Cloud computing – If you run a business and you use the cloud, there are network security solutions in Charlotte to protect your valuable business data. The managed IT services provider has a wide range of services for today’s business, network security being just one. You may already have cyber-security in place and would like to know how secure it actually is; talk to a network security specialist and they will carry out penetration testing, using ethical hackers to see if they can penetrate your network defenses.
- Phishing – This usually involves receiving a link from your bank or credit card company, which isn’t real, asking you to follow the link and confirm your personal information, citing a server crash as the reason for the request. The link takes you to a replica website that images the real thing and you enter your information, thinking you are communicating with your provider. As a rule, you should only access your financial platforms using your bookmarks, not external links; one way of checking is to look at the URL, the fake site will have an extra character or period. Here are a few innovative ideas for company growth.
- Using shared computers – You should never access your email accounts from a shared computer and if you do, always uncheck the ‘remember me’ box, otherwise the next time the site is accessed, your username and password are already entered. The same goes for any username access, such as a business network, as you are leaving a door wide open.
The amount of cyber-crime in the US is growing and we all need to adopt safe online practices in order to protect our valuable data.