The Internet is a great tool to use for business, but it’s also full of threats that could undermine your security if you’re careless. The main issue with cyber security is that it’s extraordinarily difficult to cover all of your bases, especially if you’re not tech-savvy. We’ll go over, in detail, some of the many security best practices that you can implement to keep your sensitive information and account credentials safe from hackers.
- Practice proper password management: Protecting your passwords is one of the most important parts of online security management. You should be using complex passwords (upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols), and you can use an enterprise-level password manager to securely store them. This software only calls the passwords and usernames when you need them, so you can take full advantage of secure passwords without forgetting what they are.
- Check for security certificates: If you’re going to enter sensitive credentials into a website, make sure that the site is using a security certificate. In Google Chrome, you can ascertain if the site is secure by checking the green padlock icon next to the URL in the address bar. Generally, if a website is using https://, you can know that a site is secure enough to enter credentials in.
- Integrate a spam filter: Hackers like to scam users by sending links in their spam emails. These links won’t lead to where they say they’re going, and instead will activate a download of malicious software or redirect you to a fake website. Instead of falling into these traps, hover over the link to see where it goes before clicking on it.
- Be mindful of what you download: Some online free software will come with unwanted programs that may (or may not) be malicious. Always pay attention to what you’re downloading and installing. This means keeping an eye on what you’re agreeing to in the end user license agreement prompts, as well as any vital information in the software’s installer.
- Always use a firewall and antivirus solution: This should go without saying, but we feel the need to remind PC users from time to time that firewalls and antivirus solutions are valuable assets for anyone doing business online. Firewalls keep threats out of your infrastructure, while an antivirus solution eliminates threats that can bypass your defenses. Both are crucial to keeping your network secure.
- Use content blocking: Some hackers will make fake websites that are designed to capture information through login forms. The idea is to make a website that looks almost exactly like your targeted destination, which will provide the needed trust to enter your credentials. A content blocking solution can help your team detect these sites and other online malicious (or time-wasting) content.
- Identify phishing attacks: A phishing attack is basically a deception tactic used by hackers to convince users to willingly hand over important credentials or sensitive information. They do this most commonly through email, but a phishing attack could consist of any situation where a hacker pretends to be someone they’re not in order to obtain information. Look for spelling errors or inconsistencies in email, and never open attachments that come from unsolicited sources. Most important of all, make sure that you never let your guard down, especially if the source is asking for information that they shouldn’t be asking for.
- Use common sense: Many online hacks happen because people tend to act impulsively and irrationally in the face of threats. By approaching threats in a cool and calculated manner, you’ll make logical decisions that will put your users and your business at minimal risk.
The best part of keeping your business secure online is that many of the above concepts are available in an all-in-one online security solution like Unified Threat Management. By compounding security technologies with preventive maintenance and management, you can significantly improve your chances of avoiding hacks. For more information, give us a call at (416) 256-9928.