This has made it even more exciting and alluring for hackers and other cybercriminals. Most hackers today target everyone from charities, small businesses, groups, and large corporations. The only way to avoid becoming a target/victim is to ensure your data systems are protected. Here are a few tips how.
1. Make Regular Data Backups
Make a plan to have your data backed up regularly, or at least once every day. You can either use cloud-storage options for backups or an external backup device. It would, however, be advisable to ensure the external backup drive isn’t in any way connected to the company network and in a lockable safe place or room, offsite.
2. Use Complex Passwords
Cybersecurity experts recommend creating passwords with at least 8 characters consisting of numbers, letters, and special characters. You also shouldn’t use the same password in more than one account or device. This includes tablets, smartphones, laptops, computers, and email accounts. This also needs to be a policy that everyone in the company should follow.
3. Secure All Devices Working Remotely
If anyone (or all) has to work from home or remotely, they should ensure their devices are safe and secure. This is particularly important when accessing the company network and files.
4. Watch Out for Unsolicited Emails
Cybercriminals use fake emails to trick you into clicking an infected link or downloading a file onto your computer. Any unsolicited emails should thus be treated with suspicion, or even better, never open, click a link, or respond to any requests they might have. Call the respective company if you feel the need/urge to respond to the email to ascertain it came from them.
5. Install A Strong Anti-Malware and Anti-Virus Software
An anti-virus/malware software like XDR helps protect you from known virus and malware attacks. You, however, need to keep it up-to-date for active and continued protection.
6. Keep Laptops and Paperwork Secure
Leaving your laptop or sensitive documents/paperwork unattended increases the risk of a data breach. Ensure your electronic devices (laptops, phones, etc.) and files are securely tucked and digital devices password protected. This is especially important when on the train, car, or even at home with strangers around.
7. Password Protect Your Wi-Fi Network
While convenient, unsecured Wi-Fi networks put your devices and personal/company data at the mercy of hackers. Securing the network with a strong password, or even better, making it invisible, can help boost data security. You also should avoid using public networks both on personal and work devices.
8. Enable Automatic Lock Screen
Make sure to lock your screen when/if you have to step away from your station, even for a minute. It only takes a few seconds for anyone to use your details to access whatever information they can. Enabling an automatic lock screen after a few seconds away from the computer would be a good idea.
9. Restrict Access to The Building and IT Systems
Restricted access to various files, rooms, and the business, in general, can help lower the risk of data breaches. Tiered access would also be a good idea, especially where employees have different clearances on the type of data they can access. In addition to this, you’ll want to ensure visitors can be identified clearly with only set designated visitor’s waiting room.
10. Only Keep the Data You Need
Make a point of keeping only the information you need at that moment onsite and the rest in a secure backup server or drive. This is especially important with personal and sensitive company data, often central to internet marketing. Holding on to sensitive data for too long isn’t advisable.
11. Dispose of Old Files and IT Equipment Securely
Use the proper channels and methods of disposing of the company/personal laptops, computers, smartphones, and other IT equipment. These devices could be holding sensitive data that would be damaging in the wrong hands. This can be avoided by hiring a data specialist to wipe all data from these devices before disposing of or donating them. You could also use secure deletion software to shred digital files and folders from the same systems.