Running a business online has numerous benefits that will make your work a whole lot easier, but it also has a huge downside that you need to be aware of at all times. That downside lies in Internet security, and the fact that many people don’t care nearly as much as they should about how safe they are on the Internet. It’s very easy to get unauthorized access to information via the Internet these days if the holder of the information isn’t careful enough, hackers are becoming more and more proficient at their craft and their tools are constantly improving.
In order to make sure that your business thrives in the long run, you’re going to have to know how to protect your business from online threats and security breaches, or you won’t get very far without something truly scary happening. Some examples are theft of credit card information, user credential leaks which can be both yours and your clients’ (which is arguably much worse), and so on. Any kind of information that you share and store online is potentially accessible by a hacker who’s good enough to break through your security system.
In this article, we’re going to be focusing on a few points regarding Internet security, and inform you of the five things that you should do right now in order to minimize the chances of being targeted by a nasty cyber attack.
1. Update Your Browser and Operating System
We’re going to start with the most obvious point. The best way to instantly protect your system from security breaches is to make sure that you’re using the latest version of your browser and your operating system. The main reason why updates are released in the first place is usually to patch up any potential security holes and flaws in the software; entire development teams focus on this particular issue day and night, so the least you can do is download their updates and receive all the free protection that they’re offering you.
2. Remove Malware
Malware comes in various shapes and forms, some more dangerous than others. A lot of malicious software is simply used to hijack your browser and make you load advertisements, or to utilize your Internet connection for a large-scale DDoS attack. However, certain malware can be used for more malicious purposes than that. Keyloggers can record your keystrokes and let the hacker figure out your passwords, and DNS hijacking malware can lead you to a fake credit card website where, if you fall for it and enter your credit card credentials, the other party receives access to your entire bank account.
If you suspect that you have malware on your computer, you’re potentially at risk of any of this happening, so it’s best to remove it right away. Your operating system most likely has some built-in malware protection to begin with, but it’s best to play safe and download a free anti-virus app to double-check if you have any dormant infection on your machine, and if so, remove it ASAP.
3. Use a VPN
The best way to instantly and significantly enhance your Internet security is to access the web through a VPN, instead of directly. When you connect to a VPN’s server, your connection is encrypted with a secure tunneling protocol and it receives a new IP address, which means that it’s much harder for a hacker to pinpoint your location, discover which ISP you’re using and read any of your online traffic.
There are a lot of great VPN providers out there for very little money, so you should definitely check some of them out. Just make sure that they use a good tunneling protocol such as OpenVPN and that they don’t keep logs of your traffic themselves (because some of them do). Free VPN providers are generally less secure and their speeds are rather poor, so we have to advise against them.
4. Train Employees in Security Basics
One of the most common reasons for a massive security breach in a company is due to an employee’s error. Whether it’s plugging in an infected flash drive in order to download some data or not changing up their passwords as frequently as they should, it’s something that you want to prevent – and the best way to do so is to educate your employees about the potential risks, and teach them how to avoid said risks.
5. Backup Regularly
In the event of a successful cyber attack, there’s a possibility that you’ll lose everything; all your files, all your documents, everything that you’ve worked on and stored on your computer or on a Cloud-based storage service. Therefore, it’s extremely important that you keep your data in multiple places at once, and that means making regular backups.
We’d advise that you backup your data every day or at least once a week; whether you use a separate, secure Cloud service or an external hard drive is up to you, although we do recommend that you keep an offline backup next to an online one, simply because it’s easier to retrieve later and virtually impossible for hackers to access.
Even though he’s born on American soil, Thomas Milva has Italian blood in his veins, which can be easily deduced from his last name. He is very good at his job of Information Security Analyst and he really loves doing it. What’s more, his understanding of the job granted him the title of a writer for wefollowtech.com. He enjoys spending time in the fresh air, usually with his pet dog and his girlfriend.
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