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Don’t be a victim. Lock it up! 5 Actions you can Take to Protect your Data

How Important is Your Data to You?

Your data is your power, and it needs to be protected. We live in a dangerous world as far as cyber-attacks are concerned. The escalating attacks due to Russian and other hackers is absolutely happening and should not be downplayed.

If you have heard this from me before, I apologize, but the most common comment we here from small and even mid-sized businesses is that “I don’t have anything a hacker would want.” I can categorically say that is wrong! They want your money, whatever they can get. With the current conflict going on they want to cause havoc and disruption. They want whatever they can get, any way they can get it, and the easiest way to get what they want is if data security is ignored.

Let’s keep this simple. I have 5 things you can do that will likely be all you need to do to secure your data, secure your operations, and secure your money. So, let’s get started.

  1. Use Multi-Factor Authentication, if you don’t already.

I have been in meetings 8 plus years ago where FBI and/or military Intelligence officers have told me that it is the single best thing you can do to secure your accounts.

Kevin Johnson, CEO of the Consultancy Secure Ideas and a hacker hired by companies to test their own security vulnerabilities, said, “Using multifactor authentication everywhere you possibly can is one of the easiest and most important things people can do to protect themselves against cyberattacks.”

In some cases, it is just turn it on and it is free while in others there might be a small cost involved, especially if you want to consolidate under one service platform. Call us, and we’ll help you get the right product for your situation and get the system set up.

  1. Get a secure password manager, and don’t assume that simply changing your password means it won’t get exposed.

You can’t really function without passwords. They are everywhere. They are the gateway into your bank account, emails, employer or organizational information, and more. Once a cybercriminal figures out one password, it will open the door to others.

Enter a password keeper. This piece of software can create extremely complex passwords that you will never be able to remember, let alone want to type in. But, here’s the cool part, you can copy/paste or insert the password out of the password keeper right into the login screen you are trying to use!

Don’t worry about the password keeper, it can be available anywhere you travel and is secure and encrypted. You can get more info on password keepers from us, but PassPortal is an example of a good password keeper.

  1. Turn on automatic updates for software.

One of CISA’s top recommendations for individual-level protection against Russian cyberattacks is to update software and apps and turn on automatic updates so they stay current.

If you are one of our managed clients, we do this for you every night…. That’s right every night! So many security updates are coming out that we must make sure they get installed as fast as possible.

If you aren’t a managed client, turn on automatic updates, but be aware just because they are turned on doesn’t mean they are installing. You have to check to be sure they installed. One reason leaving the security management to us is a plus.

  1. Watch out for phishing schemes.

CISA estimates that more than 90% of successful cyberattacks start with a phishing email in which, “A link or webpage looks legitimate, but it’s a trick designed by bad actors to have you reveal your passwords, Social Security number, credit card numbers, or other sensitive information.”

The level of urgency or presence of emotional stressors is also a subtle tip-off. Is the email, text, or voicemail you received evoking a sense of urgency, panic or fear? That’s a sign.

When in doubt, don’t click; contact the person or organization to find out if the request is legitimate.

A hacker can buy a phishing kit for $40 and start a hacking career. Don’t get caught.

  1. Be alert to your surroundings, and don’t fall for confidence scams.

Nick Santora, CEO of the security awareness training platform Curricula, said people fall prey to the mentality of thinking cyberattacks won’t happen to them, but phishing scams, “happen every day to countless numbers of victims.”

“Anyone can pretend to be someone they’re not on the other end of the phone or other side of the screen,” Santora said. “Confidence is king, and that’s why hackers are successful in this approach targeting the most vulnerable population, such as the elderly.”

Just because someone says they are a trusted individual hired by a legitimate organization doesn’t mean they are.

If you partner with a company like us, you know who we are. You have someone to call that you can trust. That’s why we say, if you are in doubt, call us!

Scam Artist and Hackers will do their homework to fool you. We deal with people calling us constantly who have been scammed. After the fact it’s hard to do much more than clean up the system and put protection in place.

If the tasks seem daunting, you think I don’t have the time for this, let me tell you that the time and cost it takes to clean things up is even greater. Call us and let us help you protect what is important to you. That’s what we’ve been doing for 37 years, and that’s what we intend to continue to do.

Want to learn more? Contact us for more information!

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