Ten Cybersecurity Tips for Small Businesses

Jamey Miricle

Introduction

Cybersecurity is a hot topic, with recent attacks hitting big companies left and right. At times like these, it’s easy to feel like an attack on your small business is inevitable. But there are steps you can take to protect yourself from cybercriminals and hackers. If you’re worried about becoming the next victim in this wave of cybercrime, read on and learn what you can do to protect yourself from hackers.

Are you prepared for a cyber attack?

  • Are you prepared for a cyber attack?
  • What is a cyberattack?

A cyberattack is any attempt to disrupt or gain access to networks, systems and data without authorization. The consequences of a successful breach can be devastating–from loss of sensitive information to financial losses. Small businesses are especially vulnerable because they often lack the resources necessary for adequate cybersecurity measures, such as hiring an IT professional or investing in specialized software tools like firewall applications. To protect yourself from becoming the next victim of identity theft or ransomware extortion attempts (where hackers hold your files hostage until they receive payment), it’s important that you take steps now to prepare yourself against potential threats.* How can I prevent my small business from being hacked?

  • There are several ways that you can keep hackers at bay:

Know what’s on your network.

The first step to securing your business is knowing what’s on your network. With so many devices connected to the internet these days, it can be difficult to keep track of them all–and that includes things like laptops and smartphones that are used by employees outside of the office.

To help you keep track of everything, consider using software such as netsta or Shields Up! These tools let you scan your network for vulnerable devices and services so that they can be fixed before attackers get ahold of them.

Keep track of updates, patches and fixes.

You should keep track of the software you use, and the version of it that’s installed on your computers. You also need to know when updates or patches are available for each program. When they come out, install them right away: it’s easy enough if you have a tech savvy person on hand who can do it for you–but if not, there are plenty of tutorials online that explain how to install updates manually.

If you don’t know how to do this stuff yourself (or even if you do), find someone who can help out!

Keep your software up to date.

  • Keep your software up to date.
  • Keep your antivirus software and operating system up to date.
  • Get rid of unused apps, especially those that run in the background of your computer or phone.

Do not use public Wi-Fi networks.

Public Wi-Fi networks are not secure. If you have to use them, use a VPN. A VPN (virtual private network) creates an encrypted tunnel between your computer and the server of the VPN provider. The data passing through this tunnel is protected from eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks.

That said, no security mechanism is 100{b863a6bd8bb7bf417a957882dff2e3099fc2d2367da3e445e0ec93769bd9401c} reliable, so don’t get overconfident just because you have a VPN running on your phone or laptop when connected to public Wi-Fi.

Make sure employees are trained in cybersecurity.

Training your employees in cybersecurity is the first step to making sure they are protecting your business. The more they know, the better equipped they will be to handle threats and attacks. Here are some tips for training:

  • Make sure everyone knows what to do in case of an attack or breach. If a hacker breaks into your network, employees need to know how to identify it and report it immediately so that you can take action before any damage is done–and make sure all relevant information is backed up so nothing gets lost in the process!
  • Train new hires on basic security measures even before they start working with sensitive data like customer data or financial information (which should always be encrypted). It’s also important that everyone understands how important it is not only for themselves but also their colleagues who have access rights over certain pieces of sensitive data; this way we can keep ourselves safe from cybercriminals by making sure no one leaves doors unlocked behind them when leaving work at night because “that’s not my job.”

Don’t click on suspicious links or attachments.

One of the most common ways hackers gain access to your computer is through phishing scams. Phishing scams are emails that appear to be from legitimate companies or people, but actually contain links or attachments that infect your computer with malware.

If you don’t recognize an email sender and they’re asking for personal information like passwords, it’s best not to click on any links in their message or open any attachments they’ve sent you (even if those attachments look official). If someone does send you something suspicious–like a file labeled “confidential”–scan it with anti-virus software before opening it. If possible, contact them by phone or another method outside of email so that there’s less chance their identity could be compromised by hackers intercepting their communications with you.

Use strong passwords and change them regularly.

Passwords. They’re the keys to your online kingdom, and you should take them seriously. The most important thing to remember is that no one should be able to guess your password. Anyone who can easily guess your password has access to everything in your account–and that’s not good news for anyone involved!

To make sure this doesn’t happen, here are some tips:

  • Don’t use the same password for multiple sites (or even parts of one site). It’s tempting when you have a lot going on, but if someone gets hold of one password they will then have access everywhere else too!
  • Don’t use a dictionary word as a password; hackers know these words too well and can crack them easily using brute force techniques or other methods like phishing emails which trick users into giving up their information willingly by pretending they’re from an established company like Microsoft or Google instead of actually being malicious software designed specifically for stealing passwords by tricking people into giving them up under false pretenses (such as claiming there’s been some kind error with their account).
  • Never write down any of your passwords anywhere – whether it be on paper or stored digitally somewhere like an email inbox where anyone could find it by searching through messages sent between friends/business associates…etcetera…

Review your firewall settings and modify as required.

You should review your firewall settings and modify as required.

Firewalls, in general, can be configured to allow or deny traffic based on a number of factors. These include the source IP address of the computer requesting access (e.g., internal vs external), the destination port being used by that computer, whether they are using HTTPS (or not), etc. Configuring these rules properly is key to securing your network against threats like malware infections and data breaches because they will prevent unauthorized access while still allowing legitimate users access when needed

Contact your ISP if you notice something unusual with your internet connection or bandwidth usage, or if you feel that you are being hacked by an outside source..

Contact your ISP if you notice something unusual with your internet connection or bandwidth usage, or if you feel that you are being hacked by an outside source. If a hacker has infiltrated your network, they can use their access to steal data from it and cause other problems for the business.

Small businesses can benefit from these tips to protect themselves against cyberattacks

Small businesses are vulnerable to cyberattacks, but they don’t have to be. The following tips will help your company protect itself against cyberattacks:

  • Encrypt sensitive data that’s being stored on your computer or in the cloud.
  • Use strong passwords for all accounts, including email and social media accounts, as well as any financial information you may have online (such as credit cards).
  • Make sure all employees know how to spot phishing scams, which try to trick people into giving up their passwords by pretending to be from an organization like PayPal or Amazon. Employees can learn how not just from training manuals but also by watching short videos on YouTube–and even showing them examples of some actual phishing emails sent out by scammers!

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many ways to protect your small business from cyberattacks. The most important thing is that you don’t wait until something happens before taking action. If you keep these tips in mind as part of your daily routine and make sure employees are trained on how to handle potential threats, then your chances of being hacked will be much lower than if you hadn’t taken any precautions at all!

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