In today’s world of ever increasing reliance on information technology the danger of hackers accessing your information is rife, with increasing incidences of hackers attacking large high-profile global companies and crippling them through the use of ransom ware. This can have a large financial impact on your business through both fraud, as well as the efforts and loss of productivity to rectify the situation.
Many people themselves have been hacked through their email accounts such as Hotmail, sending out phishing emails with links to your address book in the hope that someone will click on a link to give them access to your computer and information.
However, there are a few simple things that we can each individually undertake to protect our businesses.
- Use a good antivirus software. This includes staff using personal computers.
- Use passphrases (a random string of letters/numbers/symbols) rather than passwords, these are much harder to hack.
- Use multi-step authentication where possible e.g. Banking is a great example.
- Access only encrypted websites “https” when on public/free WIFI.
- Type the website address into your browser instead of clicking on links in emails. This ensures that you gain access to the legitimate site rather than a dummy site.
- Never share your passwords/passphrases.
- Never use the same password across work and personal accounts.
- Don’t share personal information.
- Never click on links in SMS.
- Never click on links or download attachments from unknown sources.
- Never perform important transactions, such as online payments, when connected to public/free WIFI.
Social media sites are a great place for hackers to obtain personal information about individuals. They then use data mining programs to find common threads and use these to try to crack passwords.
A great way to avoid this happening to you, is to not use easy to guess passwords such as 1234 or information that is on your social sites, such as family member or pet names, also to lock down the security of your sites. If you are unsure of how open your social media sites are the best option is to use an ‘Incognito’ or ‘InPrivate’ browsing mode and do a Google search on your name.
By ANGELA JEFFREY, DIRECTOR, BUSINESS ADVISORY | BRISBANE
As Director in our Business Advisory division, Angela advises on small to medium sized businesses in all industries on the most effective tax and business structures to help them achieve maximum results. When Angela isn’t spending time with her beautiful daughter, you’ll find her either taking a spin on her road bike or sweating it out at an F45 gym.