CyberScout outlines simple ways to improve business and personal data security
In recognition of Data Privacy Day, CyberScout, a global leader in identity theft resolution, data defense and employee benefits services, has compiled a series of simple steps that consumers and business leaders can take to enhance data security in 10 minutes or less.
“We hear every day about cybercrime becoming more pervasive, sophisticated and expansive, and many consumers and business leaders have become overwhelmed by the perceived complexity,” said Jennifer Leuer, Chief Executive Officer, CyberScout. “At CyberScout, we work to make cybersecurity attainable. That is why we are sharing these simple checklists, which can help enhance data security in less than 10 minutes.”
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Tips for small businesses
- Keep Alexa at home. Digital home assistants may be a good way to change the music in the kitchen, but devices like that are designed for in-home use. Bringing a consumer version of these types of products into the office means they could be listening in on sensitive business conversations or provide access to the network.
- Give printers a good cleaning. No, this doesn’t mean to dust more frequently. Anyone with access to a printer can recover the data stored in it, so ask the IT team to keep them clean by regularly erasing temporary data files and residual confidential material.
- Remind employees to watch out for phishing and vishing. Unusual email requests for gift card purchases or wire transfers are sure signs someone is phishing, looking for access to sensitive information. Increasingly, fraudsters are “vishing” using voice recordings to sound like an employee’s boss. Have an agreement to confirm a manager’s request using another communication channel (email, text or call) before taking action.
- Back up data every day. Ransomware is designed to lock up systems so that businesses have to pay hackers to get operations back up and running. However, if all business data is backed up regularly, the business can easily continue operations on new equipment without paying thousands of dollars to unlock its own systems.
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Tips for consumers
- Change passwords. Yes, you have heard this before, and that is because it’s important! Change passwords regularly and do not use variations of the same password for multiple accounts. Better yet, for added security, invest in a password manager and generator if you do not want to swap passwords every 90-180 days.
- Stop using public WiFi. Seriously. Public WiFi is not secure and can provide hackers, or even casual snoopers, with immediate access to a device as well as all data contained on the device.
- Password protect personal WiFi access. It can be tempting to leave home WiFi access open, allowing guests to more easily use it when visiting. However, leaving a network open gives everyone access to your home network and personal information. Keep it safe. Keep it locked.
- Post personal updates later. When vacation information and photos are posted to social media in the moment, criminals know you are not watching your accounts nor your physical property. Posting in real time makes you an easy target, so hold onto those snaps to post upon returning home from a trip.
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