The first thing that comes to people’s minds when they hear ‘internet security’, is the need to install all requested security updates, so they don’t pick up any digital detritus while searching the web. For those who rely on their laptops for their livelihoods, as many of us do, keeping them clean inside and outside makes obvious sense. Also, the mass digitalisation of the real world (through the internet of things) means that damage to our internet security poses a real threat to the physical elements of your business (your shop’s inventory is just one example).
2017 brought the threat of viruses and malware into sharp relief. We’re particularly thinking of the ‘WannaCry’ attack that sent the NHS and plenty of other essential organisations and businesses into a collective tailspin, costing a whopping £92,000,000 along with other unforeseen impacts. In our work and personal lives built on digital foundations, the thought of losing essential, private information sets our teeth on edge.
In this blog, we’ve presented a stack of web security ideas for keeping both business and personal affairs safe and secure.
Out of the gate, the first important aspect of digital security is data protection. It’s majorly important for everyone, generally speaking, but particularly crucial when keeping client’s bank details on hand. The old-fashioned/relatively low-tech approach involves keeping secure, locked-up external hard drives, which can work well for one individual entrepreneur but is going to be a challenge for a larger team. Also, there is the need to set up a schedule for keeping the drive regularly updated.
The other solution is to keep your data stored in the cloud. It’s essential here to pick a provider that has a solid reputation and will be around for a while (names like Google Drive, Dropbox and iCloud are big for a reason). Having awesome, hard-to-crack passwords is key here, as mentioned later on in this blog. BookingLive prides itself on keeping all its clients’ clients’ data centralised and secure – check out more about this here.
50 percent of people take up to 45 days to install security updates when requested. Sure, it can be tedious to do the updates, save your open files and reboot your machine, but going through the process is absolutely crucial to good security. The top security software stays abreast of new digital threats, like the Ransomware behind the WannaCry attacks, but their updates only work if you download them.
There are loads of security software options that can be chosen from. Kaspersky is the biggest and most-trusted name. Anti-phishing tech is also very much worth looking into, given the recent rise in malicious email spoofing. There are some great options for preventing intrusive behaviour on PCs, while Privacy Badger and Ghostery stop sites from following your internet movements against your will. As with all tech, the judgement is yours in regards to balancing cost and benefit – cheap tools may not be the most up-to-scratch. Train yourself and your staff to spot dodgy websites.
It could be seen as a sign of paranoia, but those people who put a fake name and birthdate on their Facebook account may be on to something. Personal information on the web can come back to bite you in very nasty ways, so it is a good idea to carefully watch what info you put online. Be particularly careful about emails requesting personal information, keeping in mind that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Using alternative emails can give you extra security, with Hushmail, Guerilla Mail and Mailinator being good options for setting them up. However, nothing beats good web savviness.
Be sure to keep an eye on personal and business bank accounts, watching for unexpected withdrawals, and stay abreast of what information can be used in identity thefts. Also, consider ‘Googling’ yourself on a monthly basis. Beyond massaging your ego, it will give you a sense of what information exists about you in the public domain and will give you the chance to make or request changes.
ILVBB&C4AFSTBFST@W looks like a tricky password, but it is easy to recall if you know that you love bacon baps and coffee for a fast breakfast at work. Multiple experts recommend turning a memorable sentence into a complex, nigh-uncrackable password. Other top tips include using different passwords for different sites and changing those on a regular basis – not only when you think you’ve been hacked.
If you have multiple passwords that need to be accessed by a few different staff members, consider storing them all in one secure place through the use of a password vault like KeePass.
We at BookingLive take pains to make sure your client’s bookings and details are kept as secure as possible. Being both PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant and ISO27001 certified, BookingLive keeps the data of our customers (and our customers’ customers), securely locked away.
Our product also contains trust points for your customers and uses two-factor authentication through website tools and mobile apps, thereby ensuring that our client engagement is highly secure.
If you know of additional ways to boost internet security, please share them for discussion below.