As a New Jersey business owner, it's important to be aware of the cybersecurity threats that are out there. Unfortunately, cybercriminals are always coming up with new ways to steal information or damage your systems, which makes keeping up with the ever-evolving threat landscape difficult That's why it's important for everyone in your organization to practice good cybersecurity habits. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the best practices that everyone should follow to help keep your data safe.
Use strong passwords
Many users choose simple phrases such as "password" or "123456,” as these are convenient and easy to remember. The problem is that these passwords are equally easy for others to guess. It’s better to create passwords based on the following rules:
- Use at least 12 characters.
- Mix it up — use numbers, symbols, and both upper- and lowercase letters.
- Consider using unusual spellings of regular words.
- Don’t rely on substituting letters with numbers or symbols, as in c00k!3 instead of cookie. Many cyberattackers know this trick and can configure their software to easily get past it.
- Check the strength of your password on online password checkers like Security.org.
Use multifactor authentication
Multifactor authentication (MFA) increases the level of security significantly. This method involves using two or more elements, such as something you know (e.g., your password), something you are (e.g., your fingerprint or facial structure), and something you have (e.g. an authenticator app on your mobile device). Having multiple steps of authentication makes it much more difficult for any hacker to get into your system, as they will need to first gain access to every element required to log in.
Never leave devices unattended
You and your team should protect your devices at all times. Although it’s obvious that devices shouldn’t be left unattended, a visit to your local coffee shop or public library will leave you surprised at how many people leave their gadgets unwatched and unlocked. This is incredibly risky, as a lost or stolen device can be used to gain access to sensitive files and systems.
Never click on suspicious links
You should be cautious of any emails that arrive out of the blue, especially if they contain a message that’s too good to be true and a website link that leads to who knows where. Even innocuous emails from unknown senders should be treated with the same wariness, as many email-based attackers use professional-sounding messages to dupe people into clicking a link embedded in the email body. Clicking on unsolicited links often leads to disaster, as it can trigger anything from a secret malware installation on your device to the injection of a ransomware program into your system for a future attack.
Avoid public or open networks
It's a big convenience to be able to access Wi-Fi anywhere, but it also raises important security issues. There is no such thing as a totally secure public Wi-Fi network, so exercise caution when deciding whether or not to join one. As a general rule, you should never use public or open networks to send work emails or access professional systems. Wait until you can connect to your home or office network before you do such tasks.
Never send payments without coordinating with the receiver
If you need to make an online payment, contact the receiver directly and verify that you have the correct payment address. Also, make sure that they received your money when the transaction is completed. While most third-party payment and credit card providers have a slew of security services for transactions, it’s still best to ensure that any money you send digitally is received and acknowledged promptly by the recipient.
There are a lot of dangers in the digital world, but having some common sense and careful planning can help you avoid them. Visit Online Computers’ resources page to learn more about the best cybersecurity practices your employees can follow. You can also contact us to schedule a discovery session and learn more about which cybersecurity systems suit your needs.