We’ve all heard of cybercrime attacks such as ransomware, viruses, or credential harvesting malware, but how many of us have said “it won’t happen to me”. However, the problem is one of the fastest growing crimes, because all of us live with so much technology: our mobile phones, laptops, smart TV’s.
It has been predicted that cybercrime will cost the world in excess of $6 trillion annually by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015!
So how can you protect yourself and your business from becoming a statistic? By following some simple steps:
Choose Strong Passwords
Having a password like “admin123” is going to get you into trouble fast! Choose a password that has a combination of at least one capital letter, numbers and a special character where possible, such as @, #, *.
Although it’s easy to remember one password, if you have three devices stolen, chances are that the thief can gain access to all of them. Have a different password for each device and change your passwords every few months.
Don’t store your passwords in your phone contacts! Instead, consider using a password manager app that securely stores and creates passwords for you.
Secure Your Devices
Something as simple as logging onto a website, or downloading an app can result in malware, or viruses infecting your device. The software then runs in the background and can damage your operating systems, or send your personal information off to unsavoury sources.
Install security software on your mobile phones and laptops including anti-virus, anti-spy and anti-spam software. Make sure that the security software is set to automatically update.
Particularly in Chrome, the use of privacy extensions and ad blockers can take your privacy to the next level.
Back Up Data
Purchase two external hard drives and make it a habit to back up your data once a week and once a month. That way if you lose your data, or its compromised in any way, you will at least have a backup.
Store the external hard drives separately off-site and do not leave them connected to the computer, as they too can be infected from a cyber attack.
Regularly test and check the external hard drives to ensure they are in good working order. The last thing you want is to have your main computer infected and your backed up external drive fail!
Cyber Crime Insurance
The loss, or infection of data can cost you and your business thousands of dollars and many hours of lost time. And then there’s the cost for IT professionals to repair and reinstate your equipment and information.
Whilst it still does not prevent, or alleviate the pain of a cyber attack, cybercrime insurance can assist with the financial impact. Speak to your insurance company and compare their cybercrime insurance packages with others on the market.
When you leave your home you always make sure you lock the front door and good data management is much the same. By creating good habits for yourself and your staff, you are protecting your business and your customer’s private information.