We have all heard the horror stories of those unfortunate people who have been the victims of cyber-crime and every single business is at risk of data theft; professional hackers who trawl the web are constantly on the lookout for weak websites. As digital tech improves, so do the hackers, keeping pace with innovations and finding new loopholes to steal valuable data; here are a few cyber-security tips to help boost your online security.
- Change passwords regularly – Avoid obvious DoB passwords and change them often; using case sensitivity and symbols makes it harder to hack and with strong passwords, you are much less likely to be the victim of cyber-crime. Inform all of your employees to do the same; call a short meeting and give them a few tips when online, which will really help.
- Networks – A network has a door to the outside and a good hacker can often find the back door and can steal all your customer financial data, which would be considered a good heist in the hacking world. Whatever the industry, network security in the Charlotte area is critical, and there are managed IT service providers who specialize in protecting all types of networks and they can easily be located with a Google search.
- Train your staff – Inform everyone that they should never respond to a request for confidential information; banks and finance companies never ask their customers for this information. The hackers are very clever; they create a duplicate website to the bank and when you click on the link, you are taken to the phishing site and if you enter the requested information, it’s game over! Show your employees how anti-virus programs work and explain the need to update the virus database, in order to recognize new viruses and bad code; scanning your digital device for malware is another good idea and you need to decide on a policy regarding employees logging into your network with their personal digital device. If you are a budding entrepreneur, here are a few tips on creating and implementing an action plan, which might come in useful.
- Managed IT services – Most business owners don’t have the time to worry about cyber-security and they outsource to a managed IT service provider, who handles all their IT needs. If you would like to have an informal discussion with such an outfit, Google is your best friend. Cyber-security is in a constant state of change, as new tech arrives and if you want to be 100% protected, forging an alliance with a managed IT service provider is the best solution.
- Secure website – Your company website should be secure; a valid SSL certificate can be obtained for a few dollars; a secure site is denoted by the ‘s’ in HTTPS, or there will be a small padlock icon at the start of the URL. If your customers pay via your website, it must be secure and most people would not buy from an unsecured site. Ask your webmaster about SSL certification and check you have it.
The US government takes cyber-crime very seriously and businesses need to comply with state regulations regarding cyber-security and there are heavy penalties for those who fail to comply. Following the above advice will give you a good baseline for online security and hopefully, you’ll never be a victim of cyber-crime.