Advice

Strong Data Obstacles

Technology can be breached. It’s a tough fact to accept, but as consumers of technology, we should each try to make it harder for cybercriminals to succeed in their malicious goals. Here are a few tips to help you put up obstacles to your data and create layers of protection through passwords, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and policies and procedures within your business.

Password Security

Stronger obstacles demand stronger passwords. Do the following to better protect yourself and your data:

  • Use long passwords
  • Add complexity with special characters, numbers, and a combination of upper and lowercase letters
  • Never reuse passwords
    • Don’t use a duplicate password for more than one account
    • Don’t use the same password with a 1, 2, 3, etc. added on it
  • Change passwords frequently
  • Make sure your email password is different from all other accounts
    • Email passwords are most susceptible to being hacked since there is so much data housed in an email account (i.e. password resets for other accounts like social media, banking, etc.)
  • Use 2-factor authentication where, for example, you log into a social media account and receive a text message before the process can be completed.
  • At all costs, avoid these most common passwords: http://time.com/5071176/worst-passwords-2017/

Operational Recommendations

Whether you have a full IT department, a single IT professional, or you’re the boss handling all roles from CEO to HR to marketing and technology, these recommendations are applicable in all situations:

  • Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software
  • Set a personal device policy to avoid employees bringing in unwanted cyber traffic via their use of personal email or browsing on the company Wi-Fi.
  • Stay up-to-date on cyber trends
  • Consider penetration tests & vulnerability scans
  • Block malicious IPs using your firewall
  • Back up your system to restore data when critical for your business

Other Considerations

  • Do not post vacation and/or travel plans of business staff or personally on social media. (This just gives your family, friends, and business partners a window of opportunity to strike.)
  • If you are a victim of fraud, call your bank and then call the FBI. You can also file a report with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.ic3.gov.
  • Self-monitor for clues of identity theft by checking your bank accounts daily.
  • Take advantage of free credit reports.

Read More:

Building a Digital Defense against Business E-mail Compromise Scams

Scams and Safety: Internet Fraud

Safety and Security for the Business Professional Traveling Abroad

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