Keeping Your Family and Business Safe Online

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The internet has brought a lot of conveniences to our lives. Whether it’s a Google search that ends an argument or researching a business deal, the internet has given us access to information we could have only dreamed of years ago. But with all good things comes warnings. There are plenty of reasons why your business (and family) needs good cyber security. Here are the most valuable tools to ensure your family and your business remain safe online:

Keep Your Family Safe

Prevent Identity Fraud

Cybersecurity is one of the most important things to focus on as a parent and an adult. Parents should be more aware than ever of their infants’ and toddlers’ identities. Cyberthieves are known to steal a child’s SSN and open accounts in their name. This type of fraud can completely destroy a child’s credit history before they even reach adulthood. This type of identity fraud can make a permanent stain on your child’s financial future. By frequently running credit reports, you can check for possible identity fraud. If you think that your identity has been stolen, you should freeze your credit to prevent future theft.

Secure Your Wi-Fi Network

Your home Wi-Fi allows your family to access the internet from anywhere in your home. If your network is not secure, hackers might use your connection, or worse, they may compromise your security. Hackers can infect your PC with malware or steal your information by having access to your network. Your home Wi-Fi acts as an entry point for hackers, so make sure it is secure.

Protect Digital Documents

With the increase of specific medical technologies, digital medical records are also at risk of being hacked. Since HIPPA laws prevent the sharing of medical records, a hack that compromises digital records can be both unsettling and stressful. Make sure that your physician is using a secure and encrypted platform for storing and sharing medical records to avoid a security breach.

Stay Safe on Social Media

Everyone is on social media these days, so make sure you’re being safe. Don’t talk about vacation plans or absences on social media. Doing so leaves your home at risk of a break-in. Don’t share photos with identifiable details like a license plate, address, street sign, etc. Also make sure that your family is not utilizing social media “check-in” options. This allows you to tell people on social media where a specific photo is taken or where you are during a certain period of time. This increases the risk of a potential robbery while you are gone.

Keep Your Business Safe

Only Share Necessary Information

Make sure that the information you share is necessary. Limit access to information only to those that need to see it. There is downloadable software that can monitor communications to make sure that certain documents and information are not leaked. For a business that works with remote access employees, consider requiring more than one username and password to gain access to documents. Companies make tokens that display a regularly updated second password. This can help ensure that the documents you are sharing are only being seen by who they are intended for.

Protect Your Customers

Companies like MasterCard and Visa require most online businesses to verify the steps they have taken to prevent fraud. These steps are things like data encryption that help to protect customers when they use their credit or debit cards online. If you are concerned that complying with these big corporate standards will be challenging for your smaller business, you can outsource payment processing through companies like PayPal.

A good way to protect your customers’ information while also offering them a safe and easy way to sign documents is to require e-signatures or digital signatures. These are the most secure ways to get signatures. This type of signature ensures that it will not be stolen from hackers. A valid signature from a customer can be incredibly valuable to a hacker.

Backup Your Data

Make sure to frequently backup your company’s data. This can help you recover what you may have lost in the event that your information is attacked. From a financial standpoint, customer records, business plans, and personal information are the most important to keep backed up. This will help lessen the damage if there is a computer problem or a security breach. A good backup system has daily incremental backups to either a cloud storage or a portable device. The system you chose should have both end-of-week and quarterly server backup options.

Choose Strong Passwords

This one should go without saying, but strong password improve your digital security, period. Make sure to change your passwords frequently and make them difficult to guess. Protecting your finances is the primary reason for having a strong password. If you use the same password for all of your accounts, you put yourself at risk of coming under cyberattacks. Consider disabling administrative access to accounts completely to avoid the risk of an attacker gaining access to your business documents. Attackers can gain full access to your systems with access to an administrator-level account clearance.

Prevent Malware

Malware is a malicious software whose sole purpose is to infiltrate or damage a PC or network without making the owner aware. Keeping malware away from your business is essential not only for your security but for the security of your consumers. People are employed as white hat hackers to help organizations learn where loopholes and problems lie in these types of security systems. This makes the internet safer for everyone.

Make sure to apply a firewall on your network and PC. The best security software to purchase goes beyond just a standard level of protection without slowing down your PC or network. Choose a protection solution that protects against high-risk websites, hacker attacks, and identity theft.

The internet is a wondrous place full of infinite knowledge and resources for both your family and your business. By making sure your information stays safe you ensure a life full of successful internet use.

This guest post was authored by Brooke Faulkner

Brooke Faulkner is a writer, mom and adventurer in the Pacific Northwest. She spends her days pondering what makes a good leader.  And then dreaming up ways to teach these virtues to her sons, without getting groans and eye rolls in response.

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