11 Steps To Take Now To Be Certain Your Computer Is Protected Online
Seems like we’ve been inundated over the past 6 months with rampant cybertheft. Target, Nieman Marcus, Yahoo and even mysterious $9.84 credit-card charges. Unfortunately, in the world we live in, this is most likely the norm going forward and not just a blip on the radar.
So, how can you stay protected online? While there is no way to absolutely, positively, 100% stay safe online, by taking these 11 steps, you will be as safe as possible.
1. Make sure you have a cloud-based, managed, Anti-Virus solution. Plain old Anti-Virus solutions don’t provide adequate protection because they do not check into a server each day to let you know they are still alive and healthy. A common trick virus makers use is to neutralize whatever Anti-Virus you have installed as soon as they infiltrate your computer. Having a secondary process in the cloud makes for a great double-check.
2. Upgrade your router’s security to support “Unified Threat Management”. Most newer routers support additional filters that will protect your whole office. They utilize a number of technologies such as: “Safe Surfing filters” to block potentially bad or infected web sites, additional Anti-Virus engines that filter many viruses before they even reach your PC, Intrusion Prevention algorithms that detect and block common hacker tools, and also “application control” to limit which applications and services can access the internet.
3. Install Available Security Updates On Your Computer SmartPhone and Tablets. Many cybercrimes target known security holes on your computing devices. Stay up to date to stay secure.
4. Only Shop On Secure Websites. Before you type your credit card into a website, ensure it is secure. Look for “https://” in the address bar of your web browser when you are checking out.
5. Avoid Financial Transactions Over Public Wifi. You can’t guarantee that free or shared WiFi access is secure. Ok to connect for browsing the web, but avoid financial transactions on these connections.
6. Setup Banking Alerts For Unusual Or Large Transactions.Ask your bank to notify you of any suspicious or large transactions.
7. Use Credit Cards Instead Of Debit Cards. Most credit cards offer better fraud protection, plus if money is stolen from a debit card, then it has already left your bank account.
8. Pick Complex Passwords.Use phrase acronyms and keyboard combinations. Never use repeat passwords or words in the dictionary for your financial accounts. Change your passwords often.
9. Never Directly Answer Or Respond To An Email From Your Bank or other financial services companies. Criminals have become very adept at appearing that they are a financial institution when they are not. Never rely on links in emails to access your financial accounts.
10. Check Your Bank Balances And Statements Regularly.Good ol’-fashioned visual checks on your balances and a scan of your transactions are the best practice to be sure that nothing has slipped through the cracks.
11. Never install any web browser or software add-on’s to view videos, play games, or anything not from a large company you regularly do business with.
Free Business Cyber Security Audit
Gives You Peace Of Mind
At no cost or obligation, our highly trained team of IT pros will come to your office and conduct a comprehensive Cyber-Security Audit to uncover loopholes in your company’s online security.
During this audit, we’ll review:
- How well your current "Unified Threat Management" system will truly protect you from hackers, cybercriminals, viruses, worms and even sabotage by rogue employees.
- Your current security patching strategy for known vulnerabilities. If you’re not seeing weekly reports on this, you’re probably not properly covered.
- Your mobile-device policy to ensure that your employees’ mobile devices are properly secured. Mobile apps are another big way hackers gain access.
- Your written Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) for employees that details what they can and cannot do with company-owned devices and Internet access.
- Your company’s password policy. Most companies are severely lacking in a proper password policy, opening themselves up to cyber-disaster.
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