When you have a small business, security is key. There’s no room for error, and any breach of your security can spell real trouble. However with these tips you’ll be safe to fight another day.
Securing Your Passwords
You should start off by securing all of your passwords. The paranoid among you may be keeping a hard copy of your passwords, and writing them down in code for yourself just in case it falls into the wrong hands. The not so paranoid may just be using a few tricks to keep themselves secure.
You can now set up the majority of your business’ social media accounts and accounting profiles to request a code if you’re using an unfamiliar device. It can be set up so that it automatically sends you a security number in the form of a text message to your phone, and once you receive that you can continue with the login process. These are generally called “Two-step verification” procedures, and they’re simple and secure.
There are also lots of password management apps you can download to your browser that store your passwords, regularly change them, and know which accounts require which username and password. I personally like to use a password management app to manage all my passwords. Most all of these apps will generate secure and very long passwords, too.
Manage Your Devices
Make sure all the devices that you are using to access any of your accounts have got up to date virus protection. Use them so that if you one of your employees does open them by mistake then you won’t be a victim.
With your own devices, make sure they are locked securely if they contain sensitive information. Many of them offer fingerprint granted access, which obviously give very secure and unique access. If you use Bluetooth on your devices regularly in public locations, then make sure that they are passcode protected. Try not to leave your Bluetooth on otherwise they can be vulnerable to attack.
Avoid Email Oversights
When using your email, be sure to never give out any important, valuable details. If you do, try and email them using different addresses and accounts for added security. Also, don’t reply to those suspicious looking emails from people you don’t know.
Anyone who tells you they have a million dollars locked up in an account is only bad news. There’s rarely such thing as a free lunch. Also, while emailing, if you use Gmail, then make sure you enable the “undo” button. It will save you the embarrassment of accidentally sending that email to the wrong person, or with a typo you saw just at the last second.
Keep An Eye On Your Credit
Consumer rights experts recommend that you check you credit at least once a year if not more often. That also goes for you business credit, if you have a line of business credit or if you’re working on building your business credit.
Here is why you need to monitor your credit: in this day, it’s likely that you will experience identity theft at some point in your life. There are so many large scale data breaches that it becomes a given that you’ll eventually become a victim. So even if you’re following all the guidelines for keep your identity secure, you can still become a victim of identity theft.
Regulate Your Social Media
If you fear or suspect that someone has got access to your social media accounts, then there are ways of finding out. With Facebook, for example, you can check in your settings how many devices are using your account and where they have logged in from. If any of them don’t appear to be you, then you can cease their activity immediately, and then it’s time to change your password before they do! This is also possible with Gmail and the majority of other social media sites.
Also, watch what you share online. Personal details that you think are harmless to announce may be used against you. If any of your details that you share, for example your birthday, or your pet’s name etc. are used in your passwords or security questions, then they could well be used to hack your accounts. Furthermore, it’s very easy for people to make duplicate versions of your profile, imitating you with nefarious intent. Consider making your profile hidden, or restricted to outside viewers.
Technology is fantastic for the everyday businessperson, and can really get you ahead of the game, but if used carelessly then it can cause more headaches than expected.
- Remember to use strong passwords and consider using a password management app to help you manage your various accounts.
- Keep your devices secure by using up to date antivirus software.
- Ensure your Bluetooth devices are locked down with a passcode if you are using them in public places.
- Monitor your credit reports – both your personal and business credit reports.
- Keep an eye on your social media accounts and be mindful of sharing sensitive information.
This article comes from Doug Cunningham, writer for iTestCash.com providing information and products to better organize and protect start-ups, small businesses and growing companies.