Security breaches in the digital world have become an ever-increasing threat to both personal data and crucial company secrets. This is especially relevant after the recent Equifax hack, which saw 143 million Americans’ data exposed to the risk of identity theft. Once upon a time, storing your valuable information online was thought to be more secure than physical storage because of how common property theft had become. And online storage can be secure, but there are certain precautionary measures you and your business should take.
- Set strong passwords
If your password is literally ‘password1234’, you almost definitely will be hacked. And it wouldn’t be a very difficult ‘hack’ either. Most people who want access to an account will try common passwords first. In fact, cyber security experts believe that up to 80% of security breaches are the result of a weak admin password. Any IT support specialist will tell you that if your password is easily guessable, it is not safe to use. Make sure that every administrator in your company knows how to choose strong passwords.
- Watch out for phishing scams
Like fishing for bass on a calm lake, phishing involves a scammer sending out spam emails far and wide and then waiting for a bite. If you’ve ever gotten an unsolicited email that on first glance looks like it’s from a trusted service you use, and it gives you a link that takes you to a login page, that is likely a spear phishing scam. Often, employees of media companies, financial institutions, and healthcare companies are targeted with phishing emails, which contain links or email attachments with malware. Check the credentials of any URL or email address in your inbox, and teach your employees to do the same. If you’re unsure how, contact an IT consultant for further information
- Don’t tell anyone your passwords
This should go without saying, but telling anybody, even a trusted friend, how to access your private company information is a recipe for disaster. Also, using one password for everything should be avoided like the plague no matter how convenient it is for employees in the moment. If you’ve told someone your password or you got phished, the person with information for this one account can now access all of your accounts.
- Use two factor authentication
Known better by its shorthand, 2FA is an added layer of security that requires a second form of proof that you are who you say you are. This can be anything from a standard security question to a text sent to your verified phone number with a PIN that you use to complete your login. Most IT support specialists consider this essential for cyber security.
If you need assistance protecting your personal or company related information online but are unsure of how to proceed, an IT consulting company can help guide you through the process.