If you think small businesses are immune to cyberattacks, think again. From poor password protection to stale antivirus software, it's simple errors that are costing businesses big-time.
Recent reports show that the majority of corporate data breaches target companies with fewer than 100 employees. Why? Naivety and unpreparedness, one security expert tells Forbes. Fortunately, businesses need only make minor adjustments to thwart a host of online security risks.
Here are a few common cyber security risks and simple precautions every business owner should keep in mind:
- Cloud storage risks. Though cloud storage offers businesses a host of potential benefits, such services also come with security risks. You will want to know how your data is being protected and who exactly is liable for data breaches. Be sure to express any special needs or concerns you may have with your data in particular.
- Outdated antivirus software. If your antivirus or malware software is out of date, then it's essentially useless, reports Forbes. Keep your antivirus software updated, and stay abreast of all software patches and updates. That will help protect against malware looking for credit card numbers, social media passwords, Excel files, QuickBooks files, and other sensitive information. If your business uses Macs, don't fall for the myth that they're immune to malware -- look into Mac security.
- Social media hacking. Reduce your risk of hacking by having different passwords for different social media accounts. If your business doesn't have a very active social media presence, get into the habit of checking your account(s) at least once a day, just to make sure they haven't been compromised.
- Unsecure passwords. A password is only as secure as you make it. A strong password is long and contains numbers, upper-and-lower case letters, and $pec!@l ch@r@cter$. If you're all tapped out of good password ideas, consider using a secure password generator. But even a strong unique password can be compromised, so make sure to change your password every so often. Changing a password every 90 days is pretty standard.
To learn more about protecting your business online, check out FindLaw's Online Safety section.
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- Cyber Attacks: Small Business Guide (FindLaw)
- Cyberattacks Now Targeting Small Business (FindLaw's Free Enterprise)
- Can 'Social Media Insurance' Protect Your Business? (FindLaw's Free Enterprise)
- Most Small Biz Still Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks (FindLaw's Free Enterprise)