Bootstrapped small businesses don’t have the budget for an IT department. And, when an entrepreneur is wearing the hat of CEO/CFO/VP of Product Development/Administrative Assistant/HR/Everything Else, there isn’t time to worry about software updates, encryption, hackers or ransomware attacks. But, Symantec’s latest Internet Security Threat Report found that 43 percent of spear-phishing attacks fraudulent emails that appear to be from a known individual or business – specifically targeted small businesses in 2015. That’s up from 34 percent in 2014. Becoming the victim of a cyber attack can be crippling for a small business where data isn’t always properly backup and the entire enterprise is often run off just a few laptops.
The following are tips to help small businesses avoid cyber attacks and protect their valuable data:
1.) Back-up your data to an external device several times a day and store it for months. Ransomware is spreading like wildfire. If infected, it will lock you out of your data, demanding money to unlock it, and most likely transmitting it to other buyers in the meantime. If you have a backup, you’re in good shape to recover your information. Also, don’t use the infected machine without doing a full factory reset!
2.) Make sure all of your devices are using full disk or full device encryption with a strong password. If you lose a laptop, phone, or tablet this will make sure that anyone who has it doesn’t get access to your accounts or other data on the device.
3.) Well, what is a strong password? Never reuse a password and use a sentence that you can memorize as your password instead of a jumble of characters and numbers you’ll need to write down. Here’s an example: “TodayIsTheDayToStartSecurityIn2016!” If you’re really clever you can come up with something with a modifier to the end that is specific to a website or app: “CorrectHorseBatteryStapleAmazon.com!!”
4.) Make sure you have administrative access to all online accounts and services your employees or consultants use – if they leave the company you want to make sure they don’t abuse the service or lock you out.
5.) Watch out for new credit card fraud schemes. Now that the credit card chip is here, criminals are getting craftier with Internet fraud. If you are in the business of selling or buying items online, be aware of the latest Internet fraud techniques: triangulation, re-shipping, phishing, etc. and how to protect yourself from falling victim from these seemingly valid transactions.
For more information about protecting your security and privacy online, visit: www.sndr.com.
SNDR™ is a new app that combines all the ways you already communicate into a single platform. You can text, email, share files and use social media all from one app. And, every message is encrypted and completely secure.
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