Life without the internet seems impossible. Especially, for those running an organization and overseeing what’s best for its growth. In today’s high-tech environment, data breaches, cyber threats or invasion of privacy are a few hurdles that can prove to be costly for a company and may come in the way of its smooth running. That’s why, the need for businesses to focus on cyber security and online privacy has become important (read very important) more than ever. Especially, when sensitive information is scattered across the internet.
How does one get started? Some organizations postpone security tasks for later - either intimidated by the ocean of information available or consider it to be a cost rather than an investment. When it comes to cyber security, the longer you wait, the higher the chances are for you to be vulnerable to cyber threats and crimes.
Investing time and money in cyber security can be hard. Recuperating from a cyber security breach is harder. Choose your hard.
Here are some easy and simple steps that you can follow to make sure your accounts and information are secure online.
- Use an Antivirus – This should be top priority! Especially, with most of us working from home and using different ways to connect to the internet. Windows already has a built-in antivirus called Windows Defender, however there are many free antivirus solutions available which can be easily installed and will provide additional security against malicious software. Some examples include AVG, Kaspersky, Bitdefender and Avast.
- Use a password manager – Password managers are a perfect resource for securely storing all of your passwords in one place. Password managers are commonly available offline (like KeePass) or online (like LastPass) to store your passwords in an encrypted format. One unique password can be used to unlock the password manager and access all of your passwords at your fingertips, just make sure to make the one unique password complex enough to not be guessed.
- Review privacy checks on apps you use - Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc. all have "privacy review" features in order to get your account privacy in check and ensure your data isn't being used/stored without your permissions to your best available knowledge. Remove any unwanted privacy permissions possible to better control your own data and prevent advertisers from using it.
- Use two-factor authentication (2FA) - 2FA should be used for your most important accounts (and any others where possible) in order to security control and lock down these accounts (i.e. email and bank account) to prevent hackers from targeting them. Deploying Microsoft 365 for your organization helps address this.
- Be phishing aware - This is a big one, especially in corporate environments. Everyone gets email and phone phishing calls these days and they can have dire consequences. Be conscious of the suspicious calls or emails you get and don't trust unknown sources of calls or email links. Review the actual sender address of the email (not just the name of the sender), check for spelling mistakes, don't click on any links in emails that may seem suspicious, don't give your password to anyone, etc. Another tip: Hover before you click. Keep your mouse cursor over a link to see if the complete link seems wrong or fishy.
As technology progresses, cyber threats get even more sophisticated. Thankfully, tech companies are constantly working towards developing tools and software to improve user security and data protection. Moving to a cloud platform like Microsoft 365 can safeguard your business data with its built-in security features, especially when most of your employees work remotely. Meanwhile, the least you can do is to cover the basics at your end to ensure you are safe online. We hope our suggestions, at least, give you a starting point to make sure you continue using the internet safely and securely.
If you want support with security solutions for your organization, let us know here. We will be happy to help!