4 Tips To Keep Your Business Secure
This is a guest blog post from one of our sponsors, Estimate Rocket.
1. Keep Everything up to Date
Nobody likes pesky pop-ups telling you to update your computer’s operating system or web browser, but those updates are important.
2. Use Strong Passwords
The reality is that passwords are usually the only thing between your data and the outside world, so it’s important to choose passwords that aren’t easy to figure out.
- Use a different password for every login. That way, if one account is compromised, your others won’t be.
- Use long passwords – the longer the better. Having a password with a minimum of 8 characters will exponentially increase the attacker’s time needed to crack the passphrase.
- Use capital letters and numbers and pick uncommon passwords. Password123 is almost always one of the first entries on a password-cracking list as it’s the most common password. Be creative when deciding your next password.
- Use 2-Factor Authentication. 2FA is an additional security step that requires a username and password, along with something only the individual has or knows. An example of this could be a fingerprint scan or a code texted to your phone number.
Password managers like LastPass, 1Password, and Dashlane can help you with all of the above. They generate secure passwords for you, save them in a secure place, and autofill them when you need to sign into a site.
3. If You Didn’t Go Looking for It, Ignore It!
The easiest way scammers get you to do what they want is to impersonate a real service you’re using, like a credit card provider, bank or online payment provider.
You may have heard the term “phishing emails” before. Simply put, these are extremely well-crafted emails that are designed to appear as though they’ve been sent from a legitimate company and can be indistinguishable from the real thing.
Let’s say you receive an email from your bank asking you to log in to view a recent transaction. Most likely, they’ll provide a convenient link that will take you directly to your account.
Instead of clicking on the link, it’s a good idea to go to Google and find your bank’s website yourself and then log in. In our research, we’ve found a tool that can clone any website in seconds, making you think it’s the legitimate website. As soon as you try to log in, the attackers have your login and password.
A similar thing can happen over the phone. Someone may call you pretending to be your bank, and they could possibly gather enough information about you and your business from looking around the web to convince you to divulge sensitive information.
If your credit card company or another service contacts you out of the blue, don’t give out any personal or account info. Look up the company’s phone number and call them yourself to find out if the person who called you is legitimate.
Keep your operating systems and web browsers up to date, use strong passwords, don’t click or give information to anyone or any website you didn’t go to and find yourself, and have a good antivirus system watch over your computer. Following these tips can’t guarantee that you won’t fall victim to an attack, but they’re good habits that will greatly decrease the likeliness of one happening to you.
If you’ve enjoyed this content, check out our podcast with Estimate Rocket’s Tom Droste.