Protect Your Cyber Privacy and Data - Some Do’s and Don’ts

protect-data.jpgSome of the largest cyber data breaches have resulted from some very basic cyber security best practices. In 2017, one of the largest data breaches came about when Equifax failed to update an application and apply the patch that was made available to them.  This breach is expected to cost the company over $600 million according to a Reuters article. Even if your business is small the cost of data breach can be devastating as there are many Security Breach Notification Laws and expenses that the business can be held responsible for.

Here are a few basic Do’s and Don’ts that can help protect you:

  1. Don’t wait to install updates. Many programs have updates and frequently the update will increase the program or systems security. Good software and app developers will continually look for weaknesses and threats in the programing and find solutions to keep evolving cyber criminals from accessing your personal information.
  2. Do be aware of Business Email Compromise (BEC). This particular scam targets small businesses and will do things like try and trick an employee into wiring funds or handing over personal information. The cyber criminals are getting increasingly proficient at making emails look legitimate. They will often spoof an email address to make it look like a person of authority in the company has sent the email and asked them to complete the task.  The best prevention of falling victim to this is to confirm directly with the requesting person.
  3. Don’t assume your business is too small for someone to target. Studies have shown that small businesses are increasingly targeted by attackers. Often these small businesses are easy targets because they have no formal cyber security plans in place. Creating a plan and educating your employees on the expectations and procedures can help prevent a costly breach. Your plan should include things like acceptable use of computers, devices that are allowed to be connected, password procedures, email best practices, etc. It is well worth the upfront cost to have a professional help you develop the plan.
  4. Do change your passwords and use multifactor identification whenever possible. Changing passwords and using different passwords for accounts is a good practice. If one of your accounts gets hacked the other ones will still have some protection.
  5. Don’t use passwords and PIN numbers that are easy to guess. The odds of someone guessing a PIN number because you used your birth year are significantly higher than if you come up with a random sequence. In fact, many sources say skip a 19 in the beginning of your PIN altogether.
  6. Do be cautious about free Wi-Fi. The saying “the best things in life are free” doesn’t apply to public Wi-Fi connections. Connecting to a public Wi-Fi network can enable someone with the right know-how to see your online activity. Anything that you do while connected is not secure.

Contact Us With Your Questions

If you have questions about cyber security, contact our accounting professionals at The Innovative CPA Group at 203-489-0612.  Or contact us online.