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by Taylor Mullins

(Part 4) The Hacking Business: Protect Yourself and Your Data

Catch installments one, two, and three in the Hacking Series.

The last thing you want is to be the victim of a cyber crime. It is imperitave to protect yourself, your business, and your data from hackers. These tips aren't exhaustive, but they're a good start on your way to cyber security.

Assess Yourself

The first step to solving a problem is realizing that you have one. Look over your personal and business practices with a criminal's mind. Pinpoint vulnerabilities from the start. 

Educate Employees

As a business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that employees have proper training, and this includes cyber safety. 52% of IT security breaches can be blamed on human error. WHAT?! That essentially means that over half of these incidents are 100% preventable with the proper training. We know that mistakes happen, but with a number that large, we can chalk some of this up to lack of knowledge. 

Keep Software Updated

And this doesn't just mean security software. While that's important as well, individual programs have their own security processes. Keeping all of this updated can be a huge help in security.

Encrypt Sensitive Information

Okay, so the pictures of your dog at the lake aren't the world's most classified or sought after info. Banking information, business information, and the like, should all be encrypted on your computer if it is there. If you need an IT guru for this, we got you. 

Create Strong Passwords

We literally cannot say this enough. It takes only 10 minutes to crack a 6-character lowercase password. That means in about the time it takes to read this blog, someone could have access to your email, bank account, and other data - if your password isn't strong enough

Implement an Off-Boarding Process

Whether an employee’s departure from your company is their choice or *ahem* the company’s, every business needs to have a process for the split. This includes deleting employee access/logins for systems, changing the passwords in their possession, etc. While this seems like common sense, it’s a step many companies overlook or neglect, giving disgruntled former employees a lot of potential power to derail the business.

Back Your Data Up

And just because we're giving you this great advice, your data isn't still bulletproof - er, hackerproof. Hardware can be replaced but your data is your data. If you have an external drive located elsewhere, this is your best bet to keeping most of the information you need safe. 

Hackers are real and they are looking to steal from whomever, whenever. In the new year, vow to be a more knowledgeable tech user and protect yourself.