The difference between keeping your company afloat and having to close your doors for good is a single email. Over 70 percent of businesses in the US have faced a phishing attack over the past two years.
Phishing is when a hacker sends an email that, at first glance, seems innocent. It’s not until you click on the link provided in the message that you realize you’ve given away valuable data.
Phishing isn’t the only threat that you have to look out for when you’re on the web. There are common online security errors that business owners and employees make every day that have nothing to do with phishing. Keep reading to learn what they are.
1. Being Too Trusting
When browsing the web, you need to be suspicious of everything and everyone. Unless you can verify the sender, go over all your emails with a fine-tooth comb.
Look for common signs of phishing, such as spelling errors and pushiness. If the sender seems desperate for you to send them money, that’s a red flag. Most banks and government officials won’t ask for your personal information over an email.
Place your cursor over the links in the email. If the sender is Amazon, but the link is going somewhere completely different, don’t click on it.
2. Poor Password Protection
Rule number one of password protection is to use a different one for all your logins. If you only have one, and a hacker manages to guess it, they’ll have access to all your business data.
If you’re scared that you’ll forget your passwords, it’s okay to write them down, but don’t leave them out in the open.
Avoid using common streams of words and numbers like password1234. Don’t use personal information that someone could get from your social media page, and always use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Consider using long and complicated passphrases that are difficult to guess as well.
3. Leaving Your Wi-Fi Unsecured
If you don’t secure your Wi-Fi, you won’t have to bother with giving the password to every new hire who comes through your doors, but you’ll also leave your business vulnerable to common cyber threats.
Anyone will be able to access your network and intercept valuable data that’s being passed around between yourself and your employees. Cybercriminals can also slow down your connection and interrupt productivity.
The easiest solution is to create a password that you only share with your employees. Remember that it needs to be different than the one you use for your work logins and should be a combination of letters and numbers.
4. Failing to Train Employees
Your employees don’t need to know the ins and outs of online security tools, but they should be able to grasp IT basics. Talk to them about the importance of strong passwords and put a security policy in place that they can remember.
If you’re having some trouble with your virus protection training, hire professional IT services. Not only will your digital security team be able to keep your business safe, but they can also take care of the training process.
5. Being Too Money Conscious
Again, if you experience a data breach, you may end up having to close your doors for good.
Losing customer information will cause them to stop trusting you. You’ll never be able to get your reputation back. To this end, outsourcing your business security is a wise idea.
It will ensure that someone is looking over your network 24 hours a day. If a hacker does attempt to break into your systems, you’ll get a notification.
IT companies make it their business to stay updated on all things cybersecurity, so your company will always be compliant with local privacy laws.
Your IT department will run a security audit. What that means is that they’ll attempt to break into your system the same way a hacker would. This will reveal any large holes in your network that need filling.
6. Not Restricting Access
The more people who have access to a piece of confidential data, the more likely it is to fall into the wrong hands.
Your employees should only have access to the data that they need to do their jobs. If there comes a circumstance where they need to look at your confidential business files, allow them to do so with manager permission only.
7. Failing to Keep Your Computers Updated
Computer updates never come at an opportune time. You’re always in the middle of an important project when the little notification pops up in the corner of your screen. As tempting as it is to select the “remind me tonight” option, go ahead and let your computer perform the update.
You see, developers usually release fixes to recent cybersecurity issues in the update. If you don’t download it, you’ll leave your computer vulnerable.
The same goes for your web browser. When Chrome tells you that it needs to update, let it do so.
Common Online Security Errors All Business Owners Make
Every day, business owners make common online security errors that could put their valuable data in the hands of a hacker. Don’t make the same mistakes.
Keep your computers and browsers up to date, restrict access to files that your employees don’t need to have to do their jobs, choose strong passwords, and consider hiring professional IT services.
For more tips that will help you keep your company protected, visit the Business section of our blog.