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Don’t Get Hacked: Cyber Security for Small Businesses

'A lot of small businesses don’t think they’ll be on the radar of hackers, but generally speaking, they’re much more of an easy target compared to large-scale companies with lots of money to invest in a corporate security system.'

The spooky season has come around again, but online villains don’t just come out on Halloween. 

Did you know that more than £190,000 per day is lost in the UK as a result of cyber crimes?

Did you also know that 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses? 

Believe it or not, we’re not here to scare you this Halloween, but to help you on the journey to securing your business from future attacks.

Read on for our tips on cybersecurity so you can protect your business from threats online.

 

Update Your Software Regularly

Allowing your software to fall behind on updates can be a major risk to your online security. As well as patching up flaws in your protective network, updating regularly also helps to defend your data from interference. One of the most common ways that small businesses get caught out is through a lack of updates, which could allow hackers to encrypt sensitive data and charge you to try and get it back. Keep things fresh and you’ll be much less likely to become a target for hackers.

 

Back-Up Your Data

As well as updating your software to protect data, there’s also the obvious point of backing up any information running through your business. Whilst it seems like a pretty normal thing to do, you’d be surprised how many small businesses fail to back up data and then get caught out when things go wrong. If everything stays backed up and secure, you can be sure to avoid losing anything important to your organisation.

 

Avoid Phishing Attacks

Phishing is one of the most common ways that small businesses fall victim to hackers, particularly data thieves who will take any passwords, usernames or security data to get into your systems.

One of our team members was recently targeted by a phishing scam in which the hacker impersonated our CEO via email and asked them to complete a task that would normally be part of their everyday routine at work. This is how clever phishers can be. There are three main ways to avoid this from happening in your business:

 

-Use a secure communication platform which only allows employees to enter chatrooms with a specific URL and password

-Be suspicious of every email and doublecheck addresses to ensure you recognise the sender

-Don’t share any sensitive or financial information over email unless it has been agreed and you are sure all the steps have been taken to secure it- or better still, don’t email it at all!

 

Manage Passwords

A lot of small businesses don’t think they’ll be on the radar of hackers, but generally speaking, they’re much more of an easy target compared to large-scale companies with lots of money to invest in a corporate security system. 

Using free software such as LastPass in your browsers is a great solution to this, and a lot cheaper too. The app stores all of your passwords and usernames under encryption and only those with access to it can edit or use them in their browsers. This means your information stays secure AND saves people writing down passwords on post-it notes and losing them around this office. 

 

Secure Smartphones

Although you might not always work from your phone, any information regarding the business which passes through a mobile device can put you at risk. This includes conversations, stored images and video and again, usernames and passwords. Banking apps are also a key risk factor due to financial fraudsters who will often attempt to trick you into releasing funds from the business.

Secure your smartphones by doubling up on password protection and account security. Back up any data on your phone to the cloud and ensure that if your phone is lost or stolen, you report it missing straight away and shut down the system remotely through your provider. Keep your data safe on the go.

 

We hope you have an enjoyable Halloween and can use these tips to keep your business protected!

Follow our social channels for more valuable tips about the many ways digital strategy can improve your business.

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