As a business owner, your goal is to grow your business and keep your assets and people protected. You might have cover for any mistakes made on-site, and you might store your supplies in a secure area. But what about protecting the parts of your business that aren’t so tangible? To help you keep your business data protected, we’ve put together some tips to keep your business cyber-safe this year.
1. Don’t go phishing
We’re not talking about getting out on the boat and sinking a line and a few beers. This kind of phishing is a type of cyberattack in which someone tries to trick you into clicking on a malicious link or sharing your username and password.
This is a huge threat to your business because one small mistake could result in sensitive company or customer data falling into the wrong hands. If you or your team suspect an email you receive is of this nature, don’t click any links inside, and check out the actual email address it was sent from. If it looks dodgy, report and delete it.
2. Keep your passwords strong
It’s not always easy to come up with good passwords for the many different logins you’ll have, but taking the time to set up strong ones for your business will save you later. Because a cyber-criminal can figure out a password made up of just numbers instantly, it’s important that you do add in numbers and symbols, no matter how frustrating it can be to remember.
You can even use song lyrics or names of places you love – just use the first letter of each word and throw in some replacement symbols for letters, such as $ for the letter S, and that will help you commit it to memory. A great example we’ve found is using the AC/DC lyric “It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll” – so your password would be: i@Lw2tTiUwr’n’r.
3. Enable two-factor authentication
You might have seen some of your online platforms asking you to set this up lately. This is because it adds a great layer of security for your login. Two-factor, or multi-factor, authentication simply requires you to input another piece of information other than your password to access your account.
So you might pop in your password, but if you’ve set this extra authentication up, it’ll send you a unique code via text message to put in as well. This is quite handy because if someone is trying to hack your account, they likely won’t have your phone and won’t be able to input that number.
4. Make sure your software is up to date
It can be tempting to put off that important software update while you’re trying to get work done, but make sure you do get it sorted ASAP. This is because the operating systems your computer and apps are using are designed to be updated regularly to fix known security issues.
If you leave your computer or software as is and don’t update it, you’re leaving yourself wide open to cyber attacks. You should be regularly checking for updates and allowing time for them to install – you can even schedule them in for when you know you’re out at a meeting, or working on something else that doesn’t require the use of your computer.