Protect Your Computers from Being Hacked!
Computer hackers have been in the news again, breaking into big company systems and wreaking havoc with websites, customer information and general operations.
Small businesses aren't immune to such attacks. Experts say nine out of ten businesses have been hit by some form of cyber crime! And the consequences can be even more disruptive to smaller operations. Some ways to foil the hackers:
1. Have a secure password strategy.
Use a different password for each major login you use. Make sure these passwords are different from ones you have with personal accounts. And change passwords regularly, especially when someone leaves the company. Search online for good password management applications that can simplify these tasks.
2. Set access rules.
You'd be surprised at how many people freely broadcast their Wi-Fi addresses without restricting access to their desktops. Be sure to activate settings that restrict access--just to a drop box, for example. Ask a techie for help on this if you need to.
3. Keep anti-virus programs updated.
Make sure your anti-virus program is set to update automatically. Anti-virus software companies stay on the lookout for new threats and develop code updates to combat them.
4. Beware of all e-mail attachments.
Hackers often use attachments to deliver computer viruses. Only open attachments you're expecting to receive. Even if the e-mail comes from an address you know, check to make sure that person sent it. Hackers can easily steal e-mail addresses. Look out for e-mails sent to large lists of people you don't know.
5. Back up often.
Backups will protect you from a great deal of damage from hackers--plus fires and natural disasters. With a backup, you can quickly recover software, files and website content, losing only data entered since the last backup. And you'll be able to keep operating while systems are fixed. Back up hard drives at least once or twice a day and keep copies offsite if you can.
6. Delete software you don't use.
Over time, computers collect all kinds of plug-ins, and some are security risks. Delete any plug-ins or other software code you don't need or use.
7. Don't forget physical security.
Make sure no one walks away with your computers or hard drives. Lock your office door if you'll be away for a while, or install lockable laptop cables. And do not attach unknown hardware to your computer. Iranian nuclear engineers found some thumb drives in the parking lot, brought them into their high security workspace, plugged them in and watched the Stuxnet virus take down the operation!
8. Get cyber insurance.
Cyber risks are not included on standard insurance policies, but coverage is available. You can insure for a range of computer risks: business interruption, lost income, denial of service, crisis management, privacy and security liability, media or Web content liability, even cyber extortion. Policies are offered by many large insurance companies, so there's no excuse not to be covered.
Protecting your operation isn't difficult; you just have to commit a little time to addressing the issues. But a little time spent now can pay big dividends in the future.... Enjoy a great month!
Happy Wednesday, August 31, 2011
This is not the opinion of Brad Bergamini, Realty Executives Northern Arizona or any of its affiliates. This post is for informational purpose only and is not guaranteed and does not render as legal advice. Buying and selling Real Estate in Arizona or Prescott Arizona is a serious task and should be consulted with personally with Realtor or Real Estate Attorney. Please visit my website for contact information