You might think cybercrime is something that larger businesses have to be concerned about but it is often easier to hack into the data and computers of smaller businesses. Cyber attacks on small businesses can be devastating – a majority of them are out of business six months later.
Cybercrime is a term that refers to any criminal activity that uses computers or gaining online access for illegal purposes. Two of the most common forms of cybercrime are:
Everyday online activities can expose you to crippling viruses or malware that can quickly jeopardize your business operations.
Here are five effective ways to step up your own protection from cybercrime.
If you notice any unusually large online purchases, take a further look. If there has been no customer contact, make a “customer service” call to verify the order. Automatically block any online order if any customer data field has not been completed or for orders exceeding a certain dollar amount. Require customers to provide the 3-digit security code found on the back of major credit cards. Those who have only the card data but not the physical card will not be able to complete the order.
To protect your network, servers and data, investing in up-to-date anti-virus software and a firewall is critical. MacAfee and Norton are two well-known, reputable providers of anti-virus and malware detection software.
Encryption technology converts sensitive data such as credit card info or Social Insurance Numbers into unreadable formats, rendering them useless in case hackers get into them. Encryption software is another worthwhile investment.
One of the simplest ways to protect your business from a data breach is to establish challenging passwords. The best practices for creating strong passwords are:
It is certainly convenient to do business on the run, using your laptop or tablet while grabbing a coffee but free Wi-Fi may come at a price. Public Wi-Fi is not usually secured or password protected so never use it for online banking or purchases or to access any sensitive data. It is better to sign in on your own wireless plan first and use secure access for these activities.
Check out the Government of Canada’s site for lots of additional info about protecting yourself and your business from online criminals.
Protecting your business from theft and fire is one thing; now additional protection in case of data theft or a firewall breach is available. If you have any questions about cybercrime or would like a no-obligation quote one cyber insurance, contact Sean McNamara at Mitchell and Whale Insurance Brokers today at 1-800-731-2228 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I specialize in commercial insurance and I’d be happy to talk with you.