The average day of a business owner is filled with to-do lists, agendas, planning, meeting with clients, and more. In fact, each day is truly anything but average. With the constantly changing nature of your day-to-day activities, it’s important to be prepared for anything including a cyber security threat.
These days 81% of all data breaches happen to small businesses. Safeguard your sensitive data by learning about the most common cyber security mistakes and how to fix them.
- Failing to Protect Your Passwords
The requirements for passwords seem to grow more complex every day, don’t they? Setting up a new account on any site or with any program will require you to supply a new password. We all know “1234” won’t do, and most of us are realizing that recycling passwords is a bad idea.
So how do you and your employees remember a multitude of passwords? Falling prey to the mistake of using post-its, lists, and scraps of paper to store passwords is one of the most common cyber security mistakes.
Here’s why: doing so puts your passwords in front of the eyes of many, many people. While we’d like to believe every single person who enters our offices has the best intentions at heart, that’s sadly not the case.
Break free of the post-it habit by using a secure password manager.
Just don’t forget to remove former employees from your access list. Keep things as under wraps as possible by setting each password to expire after 90 days.
- Using Out-of-Date Operating Systems
We use technology constantly in our businesses but sometimes don’t give it as much as attention as we should. Operating systems are often forgotten about because it appears to be simply easier to not update them. However, an out-of-date OS is one of the biggest security risks.
Instead of adding yet another line to your to-do list, make use of a manager service provider. They’ll update the system for you on a regular basis and keep an eye on any potential security vulnerabilities.
- Never Pressing “Update” on Your Security Software Notifications
Firewalls and antivirus software are excellent measures for protecting your business. However, they become less effective and more vulnerable over time, especially if you forget to update them. Always, always make updates to your security software, even if that means signing up for the subscription that goes along with it.
- Letting Malware Run Rampant
Malware is bad news. Short for malicious software, malware is used to hack into your private data and sensitive files without your consent. It takes many forms including spyware and ransomware. Ransomware is arguably the worst of its kind as it locks down your system and holds your data hostage, demanding that you pony up to regain access.
Malware often worms its way into your system through email attachments, advertisements, and downloads. Keep your business safe by reminding employees to never download email attachments from unknown senders and to avoid 3rd-party software downloads.
- Forgetting to Backup Your Data
Don’t let all of your business’s hard work go to ruin; backup your data on a scheduled basis. There are several ways to backup your data, one of the most common being with the use of flash drives. These devices are quite convenient, but they have a major downfall: human error. Using flash drives requires you to remember to use them, keep up with them, and protect them from prying eyes.
Cloud backup services securely send copies of your data to a protected, off-site server. You can access your data at any time and set it up to back up as you see fit (i.e. hourly, daily).
To learn more about common cyber security mistakes and how to protect your business, be sure to download “The SMB’s Guide to Cyber Security.”