Making your data secure: 4 essential cyber security tips

Posted on 17 Oct 2016 by The Manufacturer

Gone are the days of typewriters, faxes, beepers, and other outdated devices that used to do the heavy lifting of business communication.

Today, all you would really need is a decent computer set-up and a reliable network connection, and you are good to go. The problem is the very fact that everything is so easy to set up also makes it easier for people to access your data.

Accessibility makes it great for personal and business use. However, the fact that anybody can use a computer and the internet means that criminals can carry out illegal activity from the comfort of their own homes or an internet cafe in the most far-flung parts of the world.

In this article, we will give you four important tips in order to keep your company data secure from any cyber threats that you may encounter.

  1. Always keep your password in a safe place: your mind

Obviously, you probably should not keep your login credentials written on a post it noted that has been stuck to your computer monitor, since anybody and everybody would be able to see it. While you could keep it on a piece of paper stashed away in your wallet instead, you will be in a lot of trouble if you were unfortunate enough to have somebody pickpocket you. Or worse still, if you are robbed of both your wallet and computer at the same time.

With the proliferation of different applications and online services, each with different minimum password requirements, it is getting more and more difficult to remember all those passwords. So, if you really need some guides in order to remember your passwords, try investing in a password manager app.

  1. Never give your password out to anybody: avoid phishing schemes

According to Bankrate, you should never automatically fill out any forms with your logins without closer scrutiny. This is especially true if you were given a link to click by an individual you are not familiar with, especially if they claim to be from a company that takes care of one of your accounts.

Any company that wants to be viewed as reliable would never, ever ask for their users’ passwords, under any circumstances, mostly because they already have access to your accounts and could already access your information in if they wanted it. Whether they are asking for your login credentials for your e-mail, your cloud storage, or your Blue Jeans encrypted video meeting for IT, remain calm and ignore them, even if they become insistent. You may have to report the person to the proper authorities if they do not stop asking you.

  1. Do not store all of your company files in a single cloud storage server

As much as the cloud makes it so much more convenient for you to handle your files, you should never make it a habit to store every single file that your company owns onto one online storage server. Even if the cloud has the latest cyber security measures installed, you cannot take the risk, especially if the data that you are trying to keep there happens to hold the sensitive information of your many customers or clients.

If you have any old or outdated invoices in there, or even information sheets about employees who no longer work at your company, you should remove them and store them in an offline manner instead. Otherwise, you may be at risk for being sued in case those peoples’ data is leaked without their consent.

  1. Tell your employees to use complex passwords and two-factor authentication

The more barriers that your employees put up in order to protect their business accounts, the less likely they will become victims of a persistent hacker. Thus, the first line of defense that you can implement is to require your staff to create a password that is as complex as possible. You should also encourage them to activate two-factor authentication on all of your accounts, if possible, as this will require anybody who logs into your account to provide a passcode that is provided to a specific mobile number.

The Takeaway: work together as a team in order to lock out scammers

As per CFO, you need to engage everybody in this effort to protect your data for maximum effectiveness. The best way to avoid becoming a victim of a cyber breach is to stay vigilant and to never, ever fall for any of the schemes we have mentioned above.

However, all will be naught if even a single person in your company is gullible enough to believe the words of a scammer. That is why you must do your utmost in order to educate your employees on proper cyber security habits and the importance of staying alert at all times. By making your company’s cyber security a group effort, you will be much more successful at thwarting off any suspicious activity on your servers or accounts.