How to Protect Your Business and Your Family from Cyber Crimes?
Online security has become a huge concern in recent years. Keeping your business and especially your family safe from online predators is of utmost importance. And with cyber crime becoming both more common and more creative, greater awareness and precautions are necessary.
In his book The Secret to Cybersecurity: a Simple Plan to Protect Your Family and Business From Cybercrime, author Scott Augenbaum refers to the “Four Truths” of cyber crime:
- Nobody Expects to be a Victim
- You will likely never recover your money
- The cyber criminals will probably never be arrested
- Most cyber crime is preventable
While cyber crime is becoming more prevalent, the good news is that you are still quite able to defend yourself with a little effort. Here are some tips to keep in mind for your cyber safety:
- Be Aware of What You Are Clicking. Think before you click on any links and be sure that it is legitimate. If you receive an email from an unfamiliar source, do not click any links that it contains. If you do not know the sender of the email, or why you have received it, then exercise extreme caution.
- Make Use of Mobile Security. You may be under the impression that cyber crime is limited to computers, but that is unfortunately not the case. Something as simple as a text message may infect your phone. Adding additional layers of protection to your phone (lock, fingerprint, facial identification) will make it more secure and keeps your phone safe in the event that it ever finds itself in the wrong hands.
- Strengthen Your Passwords. Despite frequent warnings not to do so, many people still have the habit of using one password across all devices, and all services. While this certainly does make things more convenient for you, it also makes things convenient for any cyber criminal who discovers it. You should always ensure that you are using different, strong passwords on every account, and avoid entering those passwords in public places. You may wish to update your passwords regularly for extra security.
- Use Two-Factor Authentication. It is not available everywhere, but when two-factor authentication is available, make use of it.
- Know What Scams are Out There. You will likely encounter a variety of different types of scams. Perhaps you will be asked by someone to make a wire transfer, which is one of the quickest ways for scammers to make money. There are also many other rip-offs that include dating sites, work-at-home offers, or real estate, often coming through your email. Never divulge anything to anyone asking for information that seems inappropriate, and do not send photos. Try to keep up to date on popular scams so that you know what to look for.
- Beware of Ransomware. Ransomware is a major issue, and one that can be very frightening to deal with. The best thing you can do to protect yourself is fairly simple: back your data up frequently. Should you ever become infected, you will have the backups available so that your data will not be lost.
- Phone Scams. Not all the scams you will encounter will originate with your computer or mobile device. You may find yourself on the receiving end of a phone call that claims to be from tech support—it is most likely a scam. Do not give away any information. Simply hang up, and if you have any doubts about whether it could be real, you can always contact your IT department yourself to verify.
- Online Banking. Never do any online banking through public WiFi. This is extremely risky, and you would be ill-advised to try it.
Cyber crime needn’t leave you feeling frightened or overly wary. It is a problem, certainly, but your best defense is common sense. A little knowledge and attentiveness can go a long way toward keeping you safe.