If there’s one thing that we’re passionate about at ZenKey it’s cybersecurity. This quick list of our top five cybersecurity tips may just help you and your business stay a bit safer when cybercriminals decide to swing the target in your direction.
It’s easy to think that it simply won’t happen to your business. Perhaps you’re confident in the cybersecurity tools that you have in place? Perhaps you’re just a small company, unobtrusive, simply doing your part to serve your customers?
It bears reminding that each of us is at risk, on a personal and business level. The stakes are high when financial data and the reputation of your business are at risk.
Tip One: Keep your software and hardware updated
By installing the recommended updates, you will be providing your systems with the most recent fixes for any potential security vulnerabilities. Turn on automatic updates where applicable and set a reminder to check for additional updates or patches periodically throughout the month.
Remind every person working for your business of the importance of keeping up with updates on the devices that they use to access company records and files.
Tip Two: Don’t fall for phishing scams – phone calls and emails alike
Phishing scams should be considered a constant threat. Through social engineering and other clever tactics, cybercriminals will try to trick you and your employees into surrendering personal data, including financial information and logins to important systems and services.
Phishing scams are often carried out through social networking platforms, text messages, or phone calls. Most often they are sent through email. Many of them can look really official and authentic. The IRS offers great information to help you know what to do if you are contacted by someone claiming to be from the IRS. Visit the Social Security Administration website for information related to scams in their name.
Be on the lookout for an email that looks official but seems like it could be suspicious. If you get a phone call asking for your social security number or a credit card number, disconnect the call.
Tip Three: Good password management is essential
It’s easy to take a lazy approach when it comes to all of the passwords that you have across systems, apps, and websites. Most of us simply have too many passwords to juggle so it’s understandable that we’d want to take a shortcut by using the same password across the board.
This makes things more convenient for you, certainly. But it also increases your risks exponentially. All a cybercriminal needs to do is figure out your password to one system and now they have the ability to potentially access each system, app, and website where you’ve used the same login credentials.
Tip Four – Take care when clicking
Avoid opening attachments from an unknown source. Avoid downloading and installing software from an untrusted source. This is quite often how malware is silently and automatically installed in the background.
Tip Five – Don’t leave your devices unattended
Keeping your devices physically secured is just as important as securing them technically.
If you’re using your laptop, tablet, or smartphone in public, be sure to lock them before stepping away from them. This will make it harder for someone else to get into the device. If you keep your information on an external hard drive or perhaps a flash drive, be sure to encrypt the data to protect it.
Tip Six – Safeguard sensitive data
It’s tempting to keep high-level information that should be protected on your laptop or another device. This could include some of the following.
- Social security numbers, or scans of social security cards
- Birth certificates
- Credit card or bank account information
- Health records
Unless you have highly secured solutions for protecting this information, it should not be on a device where a cybercriminal could potentially access it. When and where possible, you should encrypt data when transmitting or storing that which may be sensitive.
Tip Seven: Mobile device safety is important
Our mobile devices are such a significant part of our daily lives, both personally and professionally. They are also susceptible to an attack from a cybercriminal if we don’t take the right steps to protect them.
- Ensure your device is locked with a passcode or a PIN.
- Don’t leave your device unprotected or within easy access of potential cybercriminals.
- Install apps from trusted sources only; Google Play or the Apple AppStore.
- Keep up with device updates.
- Avoid storing personal data or sensitive customer information on the device.
Tip Eight: Data backups are essential
Does your business routinely perform backups of all of your data? If you are targeted by a cybercriminal who deletes your data or uses ransomware to keep you from it unless you pay up, a backup of your data can save you a significant amount of time and money.
If you feel in over your heads when it comes to cybersecurity, or you feel like you could use more help, don’t be afraid to call in the pros. Cybersecurity professionals can offer the right cybersecurity solutions to meet the needs of your business.
At ZenKey we strive to be leaders in the digital identity, security, and fraud protection world, we are focused on ensuring a safer tomorrow for all. Let's start a conversation.