Online privacy is crucial when protecting a business against cybercrimes. Small businesses should note that digital privacy is an issue for corporates of all sizes, both small and large, and their clients and employees are not immune to cyber threats. Recent studies confirm that around 43% of reported cyber-attacks against companies target smaller businesses. Online privacy remains a priority to all entities since losing valuable data results in high costs.
Why are small businesses vulnerable to cyber-attacks?
Virtual hackers target small-scale firms because most owners fail to invest in the right security measures, and others are not aware of such threats. Small business owners should implement digital security practices to secure their data.
Here are four incredible pointers to protect small business online privacy:
Implement Two-Factor Authentication
Secure your sites by setting up two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA is a security measure that confirms the identity of a website user using an additional factor. This way, a hacker cannot access your essential sites even after figuring out your logins.
"Setup 2FA for every site available (Microsoft, banking, line of business applications, etc), ensure the machine is up to date with security patches and anti-virus, be suspect of adding plug-ins to your browser that give it access to your machine & data." Michael Nelson from TLC Tech suggests.
Fortunately, 2FA is a security booster, and all your banking, website, and emails logins need the two-factor authentication bolster. Are you looking for a secure method to prevent cyberattacks? 2FA has gained popularity as online financial institutions and data companies use it to secure transactions and transfer files.
An online user using two-factor authentication can only access their accounts after their logins, and security code is verified. Customized software protects sensitive files send virtually from landing into wrong recipients.
All the same, your business email account needs protection, even if you rarely use it. Online hackers use business accounts to access all your accounts, including website and social media pages. Get an email server with 2FA to limit access to your details and accounts and keep your small business information safe.
The two-factor authentication method is also useful when sending confidential files to employees, customers, or professional boards. The recipient ought to authenticate that they are the right persons to open the folders. The system will require the readers to confirm identity through the two-step process.
Secure Your Systems and Network
Any business with a virtual presence should ensure that stored data is kept out of unauthorized hands. Data breaching is not only costly but damaging to your small company. Customers can sue you for exposing their details without their consent. So, ensure that all your database, network, and site are secured using malware protection, password management service, and anti-virus.
Malware software is installed on a system to carry out tasks to benefit a third party. Viruses delete files while ransomware software demands you to pay a given amount to unblock folders on your computers. Using a website connected to your business when browsing the internet exposes your accounts to virus and malware attacks.
Cyber-attacks like viruses and malware might crush your small establishment. Companies that depend on their sites for client acquisition are at a higher risk of these attacks. Small digital businesses are the biggest target for hackers.
"Perhaps the biggest risk is working on a public internet connection. I’m of the opinion that nothing of any import, or of any data sensitivity, should be done on a public internet connection. If that circumstance can’t be avoided, a software VPN like Nord VPN can be used to protect the data transfer." Matt Mercier from Acapella Technologies supports the use of security software to enhance data security.
Preparation against online attacks is essential for your small business to thrive in the digital world. Install the right antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-ransomware suite to protect your IT assets. Train employees on logins management to ensure they do not expose your company accounts to a third party. Get the right software to create and store passwords securely.
Manage Your Browser
A browser extension is a plugin for a browser that comes with certain features and functions. Extensions are useful when translating languages, blocking ads, and bookmarking pages. Not all extensions are good for your systems, as malicious extensions can damage your files. Be cautious about the extensions you allow on your browser as some are dangerous.
However, some extensions are useful to your operations, and you should not ignore them. Avoid installing many extensions to avoid exposing your browser to potential attacks and decrease the performance of a computer. Get extensions from reliable sources and check their permission requests to confirm that they match the application functionality.
Use a security solution that can spot and act on suspicious codes in browser extensions. The antivirus solutions will notify a browser user about a malicious extension in the system. Consider blocking such extensions. Luckily, antivirus providers update their solutions frequently to stay on the lookout for new malicious extensions to keep your browsers secure.
Use Private Browser
Are you searching for a more secure way to access the internet? Well, public browsers are not a solution for you and your business. Get a browser that protects your downloads, filter URL, and cannot be tracked. Small scale businesses need a more dedicated private browser.
Private browsers are perfect for small-scale businesses that depend on their browser for business activities like sourcing suppliers, procuring commodities, and sending emails. Get an advanced private browser protected from virtual attacks and leaking out information.
A good browsing software makes it hard to trace back and monitor your online activities by obscuring the IP address used to connect to the internet. Use such apps when accessing your company files and accounts from a public browser.
A small business will continue with their operations securely as the advanced browsing software ensure no one can trace your location and information source. Well-established entities use such applications to protect their virtual activities from snoopers. The browsers are easy to use, and no expert help is required.
Jorge Rojas from Tektonic Inc. suggests other ways of maintaining data security; "Avoid providing personal information on social media, secure your social media so unknown people can see your info, beware of scams, always confirm links on emails are legit if in doubt go directly to the company instead of clicking on the link provided, and avoid clicking on suspicious emails links on mobile devices since is difficult to identify if the address is correct."
Online privacy affects anyone using the internet. Vigilant companies are working on improving their online security, and eliminate any chance an opportunistic hacker could have to add unsafe cookies, breach logins, and infiltrate emails.
Come up with strategic measures to safeguard the online privacy of your small business, especially if you depend on IT assets to run your daily operations. Compromising on your online security might lead to valuable data leaking out.
By implementing the above mentioned proactive measures to keep your network, IT systems, website, and data safe and secure, you will be ahead of virtual attacks. Small-scale business owners must keep updating themselves with trending cybersecurity threats and ways to handle them for them to flourish in the computer-generated world.