In cyber space, the frequency and sophistication of attacks is increasing
When it comes to cyber attacks, are you guilty of the “it won’t happen to me” kind of thinking? Small business owners often say that when they think about phishing scams, targeted attacks and malware. They may believe they are too small for crooks and criminals to target when they hear about website attacks, data breaches or network intrusions.
That is wishful thinking, and it is dangerous.
Cyber criminals don’t care about the size of a company when they plan an attack. To them, data is data, and they can and will steal it from the smallest of businesses.
The frequency and sophistication of cyber attacks is increasing, making it more and more difficult for small business owners to keep up the right defenses, but following these simple tips can help secure your online presence:
Create Unbreakable Passwords
Any and all of your online accounts should be guarded by solid passwords, including your domain registrar, social media, hosting account, PayPal, SSL provider and others. Passwords remain the dominant way to protect online accounts, and yours should be unbreakable.
Cyber criminals can easily and quickly break weak passwords. To come up with strong ones, use a password manager. These programs randomly generate passwords and securely store them. It is far better than using “password,” your birthday or your children’s names!
Scan Your Own Sites
Just like your computer, your websites can become infected with dangerous malware. Cyber criminals take advantage of your site’s vulnerabilities to inject harmful coding that redirects visitors elsewhere, slows the load time of your site, displays unwanted advertisements or infects their own computers with malware. Monitor your site with a scanning program so you are alerted to malware before it becomes a threat.
Update and Patch
Both your Web server and Website should be regularly updated and patched. Installing patches as soon as they are available is important to keep attackers at bay.
Stay in Control
Even if you hire outside people to work on your site, your business should always keep control of your actual website, SSL certificate and domain name. If an outside Website builder leaves, he or she should not be the only one with access to those elements. It is far more difficult to transfer ownership or add accounts when the original holder is unavailable. Always keep someone within your business on the accounts to keep control. This way, you will always be in control of your hosting account, certificate and domain name.
Get an SSL Certificate
An SSL Certificate lets your customers know their information is safe on your Website. When you are doing business online, only share information with sites with an active SSL certificate.