Whether it's checking account information or your Social Security Number, attackers are looking to get their hands on just about anything. And if you aren't careful enough, you can make your business an easy target for hackers.
Don't think your small business represent a target? Let’s take a look at the numbers. As of January 2017, there were 1,093 data breaches occurring in 2016, exposing nearly 36.6 million records such as emails, phone numbers, passwords, checking account information, and more.
Luckily, there are quite a few ways you can protect your customers' data from the dangers of online attackers.
1. Check the software
Every computer relies on software for important tasks, whether it's for editing photographs or typing up a quarterly report. Developers usually push updates out on a regular basis. As such, always check for updates and install them. Don't forget about any anti-virus software you have installed, as updates provide added protection against new threats. You'll also want to ensure the firewall is turned on.
2. Watch what you type
Never share personal information on the internet, even if you think a website is secure. The same security mindset also applies for emails you send.
Try your best to avoid using employee identification numbers, financial statements, account numbers and more online. But if you have to, make sure the website is secured and has the necessary security certifications.
3. Avoid a master password
Passwords are essential to access accounts. Yet, you want to avoid relying on a master password that if stolen, could allow the attacker to access customer data and other sensitive information in your company. Check out our tips on creating a strong password.
4. Delete old data
Data that isn't being used is a perfect candidate for deletion. Deleting information that is no longer in use will prevent it from being stolen in a breach.
5. Physical data
Not all security breaches happen online, as some are the result of physical intrusions. Lock customer information and shred it when necessary.
6. Watch credit reports
Commercial identity theft is a serious crime, but luckily, by checking your business credit report regularly, it can help shed light on if this occurring. Be sure to create real-time monitoring alerts so you can stay on top of unusual transactions.