Ways to Protect Your Company’s Data
A data breach can be a huge headache for any company to deal with. Unfortunately, small businesses can be the most unprepared for it. As a small business owner or employee there are plenty of smart steps to take in protecting your business from a data breach.
Here are a few things to consider:
Although outside hackers getting into your systems is fairly common, one overlooked component is employee error. This can be anything from a stolen computer or mobile device, downloading a software containing a virus or opening a phishing email. Proper training for your employees in understanding these risks can prevent a data breach incident. As a business owner, take the time to have the necessary conversations with your employees on how to protect your company’s data before it’s too late. You can know the steps to take, but also making sure your employees know is vital as well.
Be aware of Phishing Schemes
Phishing schemes are fake email messages that can be used by hackers to target your identity, credit and gain access to your computer containing any company information. They are unfortunately getting smarter and smarter at their techniques and they can appear as if they are from a trusted source; such as credit card company, or a vendor that you work with. Often times they will include links that can be downloaded. Before you open, download, or click any link consider the following,
- Do I know this person?
- Check the email address, does it seem off?
- Does it look odd, with unusual spelling or characters?
Your Work Space
Before you step away from your desk, always make sure your computer is locked. Your computer can contain sensitive business information, passwords and client’s personal information. You don’t want visitors who are not authorized to see any of those things.
Some things to consider doing:
- Lock your computer when you step away from your desk.
- Setting an auto-lock on the times you may forget to lock before you step away.
- Clean up any confidential documents off your desk when you’re away and keep those documents in a secured location.
- After a meeting, clean up your area.
- After you print, scan, or fax be sure to not leave your documents in that location.
- Stay aware of your surroundings.
Using the same password for everything and never changing it is the easiest option right? However, it’s most definitely not the safest for your company. Using a strong password and changing it regularly will make it harder for hackers to gain access to it. Store your passwords in a secured/locked location that only you have access to, and never share your password with anything who does not need access.
Some tips for strong passwords include the following:
- Passwords should not contain all or part of your name or ID
- Passwords should be at least seven characters long
- Passwords should contain characters from at least two of the following four categories; upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
Be sure to share these tips amongst your company and train your employees to take these preventive measures into consideration. Establishing best practices for preventing a data breach is the first step to security.
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