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Many business owners tend to ignore or simply don’t know about taking steps to secure their personal and company information on their network from online hijacks.  By then it’s too late and the damage is done.

BUT THAT COULD NEVER HAPPEN TO ME!

About 1 in every 30 people will experience identity theft every year.  And with new and clever technologies developing all the time, this number could increase.

So what should you do to protect your company?

  1. Make sure your backups are encrypted.  It just amazes me how many businesses don’t have the security of encrypted backups.  If you DON’T have encryption, you are opening yourself up to a BIG risk of your identity and other important data being swiped.
  2. Make sure your virus protection is always on and up-to-date.  I don’t think anyone today doesn’t understand the devastating effects that a virus can cause.  With virus attacks coming from spam, downloaded data and music files, instant messages, web sites, and emails from friends and clients, you cannot afford to be without up-to-date virus protection.
  3. Set up a firewall and update it regularly.  Small business owners tend to think that because they are “just a small business,” no one would waste time trying to hack in to their network, when nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve conducted experiments where I connected a single computer to the Internet with no firewall. Within hours, over 13 gigabytes of space was taken over by malicious code and files that I could not delete. The simple fact is that there are thousands of unscrupulous individuals out there who think it’s fun to steal your personal information just because they can.
  4. Update your system with critical security patches as they become available. If you do not have the most up-to-date security patches and virus definitions installed on your network, hackers can access your computer through a simple banner ad or through an e-mail attachment.
  5. Create unique passwords.  The more complicated your passwords are, the more difficult they are to hack.  Don’t pick generic passwords like “password” or “12345″ or things like your birthday or wedding anniversary. The best passwords are at least 8 characters long and contain 3 of the following 4:  A small letter, a capital letter, a number and a special character.
  6. Secure wireless networks.  It’s important to allow only the right people to have access to your wireless networks. Besides saving bandwidth, this also prevents leechers and hackers from using your connection to tap into your system or use it for unscrupulous activities.

OK, I know you have heard some of these things from me over and over and here I am listing them again.  But one of the biggest, costliest mistakes you can make is to ignore this advice with the false hope that identity theft could never happen to you.

To know more about keeping your identity and data secure, please give us a call and we’ll be happy to discuss a security solution that meets your specific needs.

Published on 23rd January 2012 by Jeanne DeWitt.

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