Saturday, January 4, 2014

Is Your Data Protection Stuck in the 1990s?

Let's be honest.  Business computing can be complex, confusing, and frustrating for the average small business owner.  Is it any wonder why most small business owners want simplicity when it comes to the securing of their business data.  Back in the 90's all one had to do was install a virus protection software that included a firewall and you were done.  Simple.

I hate to burst you bubble, but we are not in the 90's anymore.  Hackers, cybercriminals, and other techno freaks have punched so many holes into virus protection that it has rendered it as a mere annoyance. Cyber criminals have developed numerous end around approaches so they can get past the virus protection and firewalls.  Bottom line is one solution or one protection is no longer enough.  Simplicity gone, sorry.

Remember this Rule: If you make it simple for you, you make it simple for the hacker.

Is Your Business System Protection Stuck in the 90s?  If you answer NO to any of these questions...your stuck in the 90s...

Password Protect Data
  • Do you create strong passwords with at least eight characters, mixing in symbols, numbers and uppercase and lowercase letters.
  • Do you create unique login information for each of your online accounts.
  • Do you change passwords regularly.
  • Do you make it a policy to never share your account login information.
  • Do you use two-factor authentication processes when they're offered. These require users to sign in with a username and password plus a verification code that's typically sent via text message or displayed through an application on your device.
  • Do keep track of passwords with a password manager NOT and excel spreadsheet? (Available as a desktop program or as an app, this tool stores passwords locally and securely, and some even generate unique passwords for you.)

Practice Safe Web Surfing and Cloud Computing
  • Do you always back up the data you store in the cloud to a local computer or hard drive?
  • Do you update your operating system and/or web browser often to take advantage of security patches and updates.
  • Do you invest in anti-virus and malware programs. Do you keep these updated as well.
  • If possible, do you customize privacy settings so you control who can view your information and what information they have access to.
  • Do you restrict the amount of information you share online. Do you protect sensitive information by keeping it in a separate location with access restrictions.
  • Do you avoid directing all password recovery messages to a single address—a practice known as "daisy-chaining." A hacker who gets hold of your email login could gain access to all of your accounts.