6 CyberSecurity Ideas for the Paranoid Small Business Owner

6 CyberSecurity Ideas for the Paranoid Small Business Owner


Cyber - Cyberspace. Cyberpunk. Cybercafe. This word has infiltrated every single aspect of the modern person’s life, and for the most part, it has made everyone’s life easier and more productive. With constant access to an infinite amount of information, no question goes unanswered. With a phone in everyone’s hand, people can always have a map to get where they need to go. People can even control their TV or bedroom lights by just using voice commands. On the other hand, it has created a gateway for criminals to enter someone’s day-to-day routines and take whatever they can gain access to. A person’s identity, their money, their information, their secrets. This is cybercrime. But for everything, there is a balance, and that’s where cybersecurity comes in.

Cybersecurity can be defined as preventative methods a person can use to protect their information from being stolen, damaged, or attacked. Cybercriminals develop viruses, malicious codes, credit card scanners, phishing emails, and target unsuspecting victims to get whatever information they want. Not only do they go for the little old lady who only shops on eBay, but they have the gall to go after massive companies like Twitter and Garmin. How are you supposed to protect yourself when even Twitter can be hacked?

Unfortunately, the hacking game is ever-changing and becoming more complex by the day. For every step forward cybersecurity takes, cybercriminals are one step behind and moving in, fast. We have put together a list of tips to try and instances to be aware of to give yourself a little bit more protection in the world of technology.

  1. Phishing Emails

    According to HackingBlogs.com (https://hackingblogs.com/email-phishing/), phishing is a way to lure a target by showing him (or her) some look-alike websites which give lottery, gifts, or money, but in actual they steal your credentials without giving you that gift.

    The best protection from phishing emails, is to recognize them in your inbox and avoid clicking on it. Here are a few good indicators to look for:

    • Real companies never ask for private or personal information over emails. If the company is asking you to log in to their site to verify some information, or update your password, you should automatically be skeptical. Hover over the email address and see if the company’s domain is attached. If not, delete it.
    • Fake emails or spam usually start with “Dear Customer” or some other generic term. They don’t have your information yet, so they use a generic term in their template that they send to thousands of other victims.
    • Fake emails always have a destination site they want you to go to. That is where they have the trap set, but to get there, you have to click a link in the email. DON’T DO IT!

    Of course some emails will get through, and they are getting better all the time. For a small business, it is important to utilize tools that can scan and check the legitimacy of emails before they even get to the employees.

  2. Strong passwords

    Creating a strong password should be a no-brainer when it comes to cybersecurity. A hackers first point of entry is always going to be your password, because once they get that information, it’s a chain reaction. They test every account you may have. They test those accounts with the same password and hope for the best.

    Maybe you have created a super strong password, but it’s hard to remember, so you use it for your email, your bank account, and your amazon account. Using that password multiple times can defeat the purpose of creating a strong one in the first place.

    There is an art to creating a strong and secure password (and remembering it). Head over to TechJury.net’s (https://techjury.net/blog/how-to-create-a-strong-password/) article to get a more in-depth understanding on stopping cybercriminals from snagging your password.

  3. Updated operating system

    When was the last time you updated your operating system? Well, everything works well, why should you update it? There may be changes that you’re not used to, right? Well, the longer a version of an operating system is out, the more time hackers have to play around and find vulnerabilities and glitches to exploit. As mentioned by GSystems.com (https://www.gsystems.com/blog/why-to-upgrade-os-1), over 300k new malware samples are being created and spread every day! It’s important to keep whatever operating systems you use (Microsoft, Apple, or Linux), up-to-date.

  4. Camera covers on computer and phone

    Many people are nervous about the cameras on their computer being activated without their knowledge. We see it all the time in movies and shows, hinting that you can always be seen with the technology around you. Computer camera covers are a great way to make sure the camera cannot see anything it isn’t supposed to. But what about your phone? Everyone uses their phone cameras as well, and those should be covered if you’re even slightly paranoid about security. It may be a bit of a hassle when a family member tries to Facetime you, but it will ease your mind in the long run.

  5. Social Media + Children

    Social media has integrated itself in every aspect of modern-day life, and most of us are guilty of putting too much information out there for the world to see. You want to show off your kid’s achievements or a cute video of your cat, but that information could be used against you.

    Always keep your social media accounts set to private and only allow those you know or are willing to network with to have access to your information.

    Be aware

    • To not overshare
    • Use strong passwords (as we’ve mentioned before)
    • Don’t use social media on public devices
    • Disable geolocation data
    • Don’t trust suspicious links
    • Set up 2-Factor authorization

If you want more information on how to secure your social media and why it’s so important, read the full article here: https://nordvpn.com/blog/social-media-privacy-issues/

You may already be aware of these steps and feel pretty confident that you minimize the risk of someone getting your information, but do you have children or teens in your home with access to the internet? Do they know these rules by heart? What about clicking through phishing emails. It’s never too early to start educating your kids about how to protect themselves online, and not to be too trusting of every site they visit. This is especially important if you are remotely working from home. You may not go to any sites you don’t trust, but your teen may want to download music from a site a friend recommended, and it could open a gate to your network and let a cybercriminal in. Be sure to monitor their access and teach them to not click on every link they see.

We can go on and on with tips on how to protect yourself in the fast-paced world of technology. We could write books about the scams you should be aware of, but with so many new attacks being developed and deployed daily, it gets overwhelming for just one person. Technology grows and expands exponentially and if you are not keeping up-to-date on those threats, you could find yourself lost in the chaos. It takes a lot of energy and awareness to keep yourself protected, but what about your business? Are you going to be able to keep your company’s sensitive data out of cybercriminals hands every single day, while still maintaining the focus and energy to push your team forward? You have deadlines to keep, people to meet, and plans to build. If you’re going to put so much effort into keeping your personal life secure and out of reach, why would you not give your business the same chance?

Contact us today at 817.835.0000 or visit us at myIT.com so we can help monitor your systems 24/7 and keep your data protected!

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