Keep Your Business Safe With These 10 Cyber Security Tips

In today’s digital age, having an online presence is crucial for businesses of all sizes. If your business doesn’t have an online presence, it may as well not exist. But finding a free website builder and hosting for small businesses is just the first step. However, with the rise of cyber threats, ensuring your business’s online security is equally important. Once you’re online, you need to think about cyber security. Every year, Cyber Criminals attack businesses of all sizes, often in an attempt to steal company data. To protect your small business from hackers, spammers, and other online threats, here are 10 essential cyber security tips for 2023.

What exactly is cyber security?

Cyber security encompasses a collection of tools, methods, and strategies devised to shield networks, devices, software, and information from harmful actions, harm, or unauthorized entry. This field is also known as information technology security and focuses on safeguarding digital assets against threats and breaches.

Cyber security may also be referred to as information technology security.

Cyber Security Tips 2023

Here’s what you can do to stop them:

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  • Regularly update your operating system, applications, and security software to patch vulnerabilities.
  • Use complex passwords and enable multi-factor authentication for an added layer of security.
  • Be cautious of suspicious emails or links. Verify the source before providing any sensitive information.
  • Install and regularly update a reputable firewall and antivirus software to detect and block malicious activities.
  • Backup your important data to an external source or cloud storage to safeguard against ransomware attacks.
  • Change default passwords, use WPA3 encryption, and hide your network’s SSID to prevent unauthorized access.
Cyber security
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Use a reputable VPN

A virtual private network, or VPN, hides your location and encrypts data you send and receive over the internet. This keeps sensitive business and customer details safe from hackers. Choose a provider that offers 2048-bit or 256-bit encryption.

This encryption ensures that sensitive business information remains confidential and protected from potential cyber attackers.

VPN provides end-to-end encryption and delivers a secured web connection to company devices, no matter where employees connect to the internet. Once your company data is encrypted, it is private and secure from fake Wi-Fi, hackers, governments, competitors, and advertisers. Check these essential VPN features, Before Buying a VPN

Implement Strong Passwords and 2FA

Strong passwords involve creating combinations of letters (both uppercase and lowercase), numbers, and special characters. Such passwords are complex and not easily guessable, providing a solid barrier against brute-force attacks.  Remember the basics: Don’t use a recognizable word, use a mixture of upper and lower case letters, make sure all passwords are at least 8 characters long and use different passwords for all your accounts.

Consider adding Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). Along with a password, 2FA uses other pieces of personal information to restrict access to a device. For example, you may choose to set up your accounts so that you have to provide a fingerprint or a mobile code.

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of defense.

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Use a firewall

Firewalls monitor incoming traffic on your business’ computer network and block suspicious activity. You can set up a firewall that blocks all traffic other than sites you’ve whitelisted, or a firewall that only filters out banned IPs.

Firewalls act as digital gatekeepers, standing guard between your network and potential threats.

Secure your Wi-Fi networks

Your Wi-Fi network’s security starts with changing default router passwords to prevent unauthorized access. Never use the default password that comes with your router. Set up your own, and only share it with those who need it. Change the network name to something that won’t catch the attention of hackers, and make sure you are using WPA2 encryption. Keep your public and private networks separate. Keep your physical router in a secure place.

Separating public and private networks, as well as physically securing your router, minimizes the risk of breaches.

Get the latest updates

Regular software updates are vital to maintaining a strong defense against cyber threats. Hackers often exploit known vulnerabilities in older versions of software. By updating your operating systems and software regularly, you patch these vulnerabilities and ensure that your systems are fortified against the latest threats.

Hackers look for, and exploit, known weaknesses in operating systems.

Make regular backups

Data loss is a potential consequence of cyber attacks. Regularly backing up your critical business data, both locally and remotely, ensures that even if your systems are compromised, you can restore operations swiftly and without significant disruption.

Keep local and remote copies of all your sensitive data and important information.

Educate Employees

Don’t assume that your employees understand the basics of Cyber Security.  Employee awareness is a cornerstone of cyber security. Regular training sessions educate your staff about identifying and avoiding common online scams, creating strong passwords, and maintaining secure online behavior. This human factor is crucial in preventing social engineering and phishing attacks.

Teach them how to avoid common online scams, how to choose strong passwords, and how to keep your business networks and information safe.

Train your spam filters

Training your email system’s spam filters by flagging suspicious emails helps improve their accuracy. Rather than deleting spammy emails, flagging them teaches the filter to identify similar patterns and prevent potentially harmful messages from reaching your inbox.

Email scams are still an effective way for Cyber Criminals to steal information and install malicious software on a machine.

Use an account privilege system

Managing account privileges restricts access to sensitive areas of your network. Use administrator settings to control what your employees can access, and when. Don’t give anyone the power to download new software or make network changes unless it’s absolutely necessary. The fewer people who can make potentially unwise changes, the better.

Limiting access to only those who require it minimizes the risk of unintended breaches.

Plan how you will respond to an attack

What will you do if there’s a data breach in the company? Who will you call if your website is hacked? You can save yourself a lot of grief by drawing up a contingency plan. You may have to notify your country’s authorities if hackers get hold of sensitive data, so check your local laws.

Getting outside help

If you aren’t sure how to keep your business safe, call in an expert. Look around for a firm with a solid background in cybersecurity. They will be able to give you tailored advice and training. See their services as an investment. With the average cybercrime costing at least $80K, you can’t afford to skimp on security measures.

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