For nearly all entrepreneurs, the prospect of operating without the internet is simply impossible. From teleconferencing to online research to social media – and even email, so much critical information is stored online. However, the convenience of the Internet comes at the price of vulnerability of crucial personal and professional information.
While no security measures can provide a 100 percent guarantee, following these strategies can significantly minimize the risk of unauthorized data access or loss.
Practice Commonsense Online Safety
Hackers and identity thieves have become more sophisticated over the years. However, it’s also true that most identity thieves go after low-hanging fruit, like those who fail to take basic online safety precautions. It’s much easier to hack a computer with no firewall and no antivirus or anti-malware software than a computer with effective security software installed. Machines running outdated operating systems are much easier to infect with malware than computers where the OS is consistently updated. Other basic online security measures include using a virtual private network (VPN) to connect to public Wi-Fi networks and refraining from clicking on links found in suspicious email messages.
Limit Unauthorized Data Access
Data encryption provides an additional layer of protection against unauthorized access to a company’s vital data files by hackers or identity thieves. Data encryption is critical for laptop computers and mobile devices, which are prone to theft or loss than desktop machines. Likewise, two-factor authentication can also significantly reduce the likelihood of hackers gaining access to email and other accounts, even if they have guessed or have your passwords. Password managers make it possible to employ strong, unique passwords for every site and account.
Employ Backups to Repel Ransomware
Ransomware has become a popular trick among hackers in recent years. Security experts advise against paying ransomware demands, stating that paying ransomware demands perpetuates the crime. There is also no guarantee that ransomware thieves will actually release access to data after the ransom is paid.
In rare instances, it may be possible for ransomware victims to regain access to their data through forensic computing operations. However, the only foolproof way to repel ransomware demands is to ensure that vital data is backed up, either on a hard drive not connected to the network, or in secured cloud storage that ransomware thieves cannot touch.
Enable Remote Wiping
Mobile phones and tablets are easy targets for theft. Laptop computers are frequently stolen from hotel suites and conference rooms, or forgotten on the back seat of a cab or rideshare vehicle. Enabling remote wiping on mobile and portable devices allows users to remove data from mobile devices by performing a remote factory reset in the event of loss or theft.
Invest in Identity Theft Protection
Engaging any – and preferably all of the data protection strategies above can greatly enhance the security of your vital data. For the most comprehensive protection, it is worthwhile to invest in LifeLock protection plans, which provides professional, 24/7/365 identity theft protection. With the benefit of around-the-clock monitoring, dedicated specialists will work to limit the damage and restore victims’ data and identities.
Keeping Business Data Secure
Any computer or mobile device connected to the internet is a potential target of identity theft, malware or ransomware. But going offline is not a viable option for today’s entrepreneurs or business owners. Employing commonsense online practices, limiting data access, and enabling remote wiping make it more likely that hackers will look elsewhere for easier targets. Investing in professional identity theft and anti-malware protection adds an extra layer of security online, along with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that robust that recovery efforts are included in case or a breach.