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Earlier in the week, we gave you some insights to achieving better cyber security. Here are even more end-user security tips that won’t cost you a dime!
The cost of falling victim to cybercrime can be detrimental. Consequences of not being properly protected can range from a minor inconvenience, to reputation damage, to the loss of customer data, and even company closure. Did you know that 60% of small businesses end up closing after a cyber-attack? [source: The Denver Post]
Being an MSP, we often see small business owners adopt the, ‘it won’t happen to me,’ attitude. Putting it lightly…this is arguably the most dangerous approach to cybercrime you can have. Every single person using technology is at risk, and being protected doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg; in fact, the absolute best protection out there is completely free! It’s education – it really is the best preventative measure to cybercrime. Like we said in our earlier post, a business could have all of the best security solutions in place, but an uneducated end-user could still be its downfall.
That brings us to the second instalment of our two-part series: ‘The Secret to Cyber Security’, (you can check out part one, here) where we let you in on some really simple, effective tips on how you can protect yourself, and your business, from cybercrime.
I Spy Malicious Emails:
Emails are thought to be today’s #1 security threat, being that they are the most commonly used delivery path for malware. I’m sure you’ve heard of someone clicking a link within a seemingly legitimate email, only to suffer the wrath of being hacked and / or locked out of their system.
Unfortunately, spam & phishing emails have progressed from a mere annoyance, to infecting users with spyware, keystroke loggers, malware & more. If these attempts are successful, the effects can be crippling to businesses who are not properly protected, including causing complete loss of critical & private business data.
Here’s some red flags that indicate you may be dealing with a malicious email:
Tip: Skepticism is security! Question every email that comes into your mailbox: double check the sender & their email address, hover over any links to see where they’re going to take you first, and never open attachments that don’t look quite right. You can always ask your IT Provider to check the email in a secure environment if you’re unsure of its legitimacy.
Everything You Need To Know About Browsing Securely:
Browsing securely is important in keeping your data safe. It’s scary to think about the capabilities cybercriminals have when it comes to collecting information and executing viruses online.
Here are some things to keep in mind when browsing online:
- Change your browser settings so that no passwords or other login credentials are saved and stored automatically. And when your browser ‘helpfully’ offers to remember the password you just entered, always say no – they do not store these passwords securely.
- Implement two-factor authentication on accounts where possible. Doing this will prompt you for verification on a secondary device, like your mobile phone, when you’re logging into an account. Keep your eye out, this is a hot topic and we’ll have more details on what two-factor authentication is, and its benefits, in the coming weeks!
- Refrain from logging onto sites that house sensitive information, like online banking, on a shared or public device. While you can try utilising different ways to protect yourself (like browsing in a private window), there is no absolute way to prevent data storage, meaning your history and login credentials can easily be saved.
- One little ‘s’ can make a big difference. Ever wondered why some websites start with https:// and others are http://? Sites that use https:// (the added ‘s‘ standing for ‘secure‘), have an extra layer of security because they encrypt your data, meaning your computer converts all data to a code that blocks unauthorised access. To check if you’re on a ‘https://’ connection, look for a padlock in the URL bar of your browser, or check the URL bar in your browser itself to see if it begins with https://.
- Be a WiFi snob! One of cybercriminals favourite hacks is to retrieve credentials by using wireless ‘sniffers’, which is software or hardware that intercepts data as it’s transmitted over a network, and then decodes it into a format that is readable by humans, resulting in your login details being accessible…scary, huh?
- When shopping online, always try to use services such as Paypal, rather than credit & debit cards, as they’re more likely to reimburse you for fraudulent charges, should they occur.
Tip: It’s always our recommendation that businesses provide a secure Wireless infrastructure, which acts is a shield against cybercriminals intercepting your WiFi service and stealing data. Ask us about C3 Managed WiFi.
If you want to ensure complete protection to your business and its critical data, we would highly recommend that in addition to educating yourself and your staff, you implement cybersecurity solutions that are proactively managed and monitored by Managed Services Providers, like ourselves.
We’ve developed C3 CyberSecurity, an effective multi-layer security solution. Our security suite encompasses solutions from best-in-class vendors. Each layer works seamlessly together to provide superior protection to all areas of your technology environment.