It feels like every week some huge company gets hacked and me, you, and everyone’s personal information ends up in the hands of scammers and identity thefts. Until recently I thought that attackers focused on large companies because they have more data…turns out I was wrong.
According to Michael Kaiser, Executive Director of the National CyberSecurity Alliance, “Nearly half of all cyber attacks target small businesses.” Small-scale companies are easy targets for online hackers because of a handful of reasons. Unfortunately, most small business owners either aren’t aware of these issues or don’t invest in the right security software and training to minimize these problems. (Source – NameCheap)
Of course, not surprisingly, a lot of these breaches could be prevented if more small businesses followed a better security regime, and it all starts with privacy. NameCheap put together one of the most comprehensive guides I’ve ever seen on everything you’d need to know about privacy as a small business owner.
In the guide, NameCheap put together a solid list of nine ways that small businesses can protect their business online. Two that have always really stood out to me are:
Two-factor authentication – this is a big one since any password you’ve used anywhere else could have already fallen into the hands of scammers.
Given that anyone who takes possession of a password can waltz into an account and take whatever they need, all logins pertaining to your emails, banking, and website login need to be bolstered with two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA was devised as an answer to the shortcomings of the password. It boosts security by providing an extra layer of account protection, like a PIN or confirmation request sent to your phone in real time.
Start using a VPN – I’ve been using VPNs for years, especially at places like airports where hackers are known to have a field day.
Every time you use WiFI networks, you are actively increasing the risk of outsiders gaining access to your business’s data. A shady cafe employee or someone sitting at another table could be spying on you, gathering information transmitted through the business’s open internet traffic. Using a VPN helps ensure no one is snooping on your connection. As a general rule of thumb, when you’re out of your home or office network, you really need a VPN.
This is only two out of nine security measures, so if you’re a small business looking to beef up security and avoid becoming another data breach story, NameCheap has you covered with this handy guide.