Eighty five percent of cyber attacks are directed at startups and small businesses. Here’s how to protect your privacy and security.
If you are a startup or small business owner, your priority is probably the growth of your company. You are dealing with long working hours, payroll and many hassles that are a part of building your own business.
Most likely, cybersecurity is not on top of your mind, unless something happens that makes you realise how important it is to protect your sensitive business information right from the start.
According to the security firm Threat Metrix, cybercrime attacks went up by 50 percent in all segments in the 2nd quarter of 2016, which is a worrisome trend. Startups are considered to be an especially easy prey for hackers: in 2014, 85 percent of all data breaches were directed at small businesses and startups.
Besides targeted cyber crime, startups suffer from malware, rogue software, unprotected Wi-Fi and much more. While the types of attacks could be many, we have selected some common sense solutions that every startup owner should know.
1. Use only https URL
Make sure all websites that you give your data to have the secure https URL. The ‘s’ in the URL means that it is a secure protocol and your data is encrypted properly.
2. Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network)
VPNs connect you to the Internet through an encrypted tunnel. A VPN server acts as a relay between the Internet and a company’s private network, so nobody can see what data is being shared over the Internet. All that can be seen is that you are connected to a VPN server.
3. Avoid downloading files from unknown senders
The rule is simple: if you are not familiar with the sender, don’t click to download any attachments or any links they might send.
4. Update your firewall
Most systems have an automatically installed firewall – just make sure you follow up with its regular updates.
5. Use anti-virus
Use an updated virus protection to make sure your system is protected from malware such as malvertising (advertisement online with malicious codes).
6. Strong passwords
Perhaps the most basic requirement for any online account setup is using strong passwords. Weak passwords make it simple for hackers to break into your system and cause severe damage.
7. Update your operating system
It sounds simple and easy to do, but it happens that we ignore the pop-up reminders for software updates. However, it’s one of the most important things to do with a computer, as the updates fix security vulnerabilities and system bugs.
8. Secure your mobile
If you are happy that your system is now secure, you might be forgetting one important part – your mobile devices. You probably store important passwords on your smartphone and other sensitive information, therefore, don’t forget to encrypt your phone either.
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