8 Ways to Protect Your Small Business' Data from Hackers

Tue, Jun, 10, 2014 @ 09:06 AM

hacker, data theftCyber Attacks are on the Rise

In 2014, hackers exposed the personal information of 110 million Americans -- roughly half of the nation's adults, and that number has been rising in 2015. Do you see a problem here? Because I do. We need to take proactive steps in not only protecting ourselves, but also our businesses from the possibility of getting hacked.

While some massive corporations have had devastating data-breaches throughout this past year, (Ashley Madison, eBay, Target and Neiman Marcus), that doesn't mean that they are the only victims of malicious hacks. They're just the ones you hear about. A recent threat report from the Internet security firm Symantec found that three out of every five cyber attacks last year targeted small to medium sized businesses. 
 

Never fear--below are 8 tips for you and your employees to help fend off pilfering hackers.

 

1.   Clear logins and passwords to sites, especially if the computer is a public one. 

2.   Protect your SSN and other identifying information.

3.   Don't carry your SSN with you as it increases the chances that it can be stolen. Keep this information in a place where people will not be able to access it.

4.   Change your logins and passwords regularly. Use strong passwords. A strong password should be more than eight characters in length, contain both capital letters and at least one numeric or other non-alphabetical character. 

5.   Be alert for phishing, a trick in which you are giving access to your accounts or information under false pretenses. For example, a pop-up or email mimicking legitimate banks or businesses to obtain your information. 

6.   Check your financial statements regularly. If anything appears to be out of the norm or a purchase you did not make, report it immediately. 

7.   Monitor your credit report for unusual activity, such as opening credit cards you actually did not open. Write "Check I.D." on the back of your debit/credit cards in case they are literally stolen from you, their identification will not match the card credentials.

8.   Shred important information, such as old bank account statements or things with your information on them. Be aware of what you are throwing away in the trash.

 

(Infographic via staysafeonline.org

Don't be a victim. Protect yourself and your information today. 

It is easier to be proactive and take these steps each month, than to be reactive dealing with identity theft. Save your peace of mind and time when it comes to your data. Sometimes, all it takes is one swipe or input of information in the wrong place.