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Worried About Cyber Security?

Tag: internet security

Worried About Cyber Security?

Worried About Cyber Security?

A small business owner comes to his office at 9 o’clock as usual and starts his day by checking his emails. He also checks his bank account online in order to upload the payroll sheet and release the salary of his employees, but he is shocked to see that there is no money in his account. Worried, he calls up his bank and enquires about his account status.

The bank customer service tells him that the previous day, there was a transaction made from an unknown location and the funds have already been diverted to another account. In 2012 alone, some 6.5 million LinkedIn accounts and 1.5 million eHarmony accounts had been hacked.

It is not uncommon, so even if you own a small business, you are not immune to these predators and hackers. There are many inexpensive software programs that can be used to hack your account or website. All you need to do to crack a password is to buy a $300 graphic card and you will be able to run 420 billion simple lowercase password combinations every minute.

The big companies have the budget and resources to protect themselves from cyber attacks. According to the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) more than 50% of small business owners complained that they were subjected to a cyber attack in 2013 in the US.

In this article, we will suggest some of the most trusted methods to prevent cyber attacks.

  1. Stay alert

The first measure you can take against cyber criminals is to stay alert, because they know that the small businesses are vulnerable in terms of security. You can be a soft target because these criminals know that if you have regular cash flow, then you are also likely to have money available in your account.

  1. Use messaging apps with encrypted data transfer feature

Messaging apps are quite common and people randomly download it from Google Play and some other resources and start interacting with their colleagues and friends.

People also send files and other important data through these apps. In order to minimize the probability of data leaks, use secure messaging apps only.

  1. Be smart with your passwords

Many people do not change their passwords because of laziness and convenience, but it can be disastrous. From your email account to software and bank account, you should choose hack proof passwords and change them frequently. It is found that more than 55% people keep the same password for all their logins, which makes the task of a hacker much easier.

  1. Don’t use vulnerable software programs and browsers

It is important to know that old versions of software and browsers can be vulnerable to security threats as many software programs and browsers automatically save your passwords. If somebody is able to hack into your browser or software, they may also get access to your passwords. So, use the latest versions of browsers and software programs.

  1. General precautions

General precautions include using your own devices and computers, installing reputed antivirus software, and not sharing your passwords even with your employees unless it is inevitable and warranted by the circumstances. Change your passwords as soon as the employee who had access to your passwords leaves your organization.

  1. Enable 2-step authentication for all your accounts

A two-step authentication involves the login confirmation through a One Time Password to be sent to your mobile device. Prominent email service providers such as Gmail and Yahoo and banks use two-step verification.

  1. Secure your connected devices on Wi-Fi

If your mobile phone or tablet is connected to your company network, use pin code protection. Don’t use free Wi-Fi available at public places. You can rather use your own virtual private network and your own Wi-Fi hotspot.

  1. Make cyber security a habit

There is no written code of conduct or set of rules related to cyber security. You should make it a habit to implement cyber security at every level. Do not click links you do not trust, especially those that are sent by unknown senders both on social media and email. Do not use an infected USB drive.

  1. Use multi layer security if you are using Cloud

Using Cloud is a convenient and easy option for data storage for many companies and that’s the reason they use it to dump all their data.

However, that’s not a good practice from security point of view. Data should be segregated according to sensitivity and criticality. Multi layer security and permissions should be implemented preventing unauthorized people to access your important data.

Final thoughts
In the end, security is not just about preventing someone from unauthorized access; it is also about convenience and confidence to do things that you need to do to keep you in business.

Security is a vital element when it comes to safely surfing the internet.  If you are one of the several million people who use online payments, providing sensitive information over the internet can leave you targeted by hackers looking to take advantage of your internet activity. Whether it’s about online safety, online payments or data clouds, the following tips will provide you with what you need to know to make sure you stay safe and secured on the internet:

  • Online Payment Security:
  1. Enter websites you are familiar with:
    Always shop using trusted websites instead of browsing on search engines. Search engine results can be misleading.
  2. Find the Lock symbol:
    If the website you are on does not have an SSL encryption, never purchase from it as your credit card information can be compromised.
  3. Never share unnecessary information:
    E-Commerce websites do not ask or need sensitive info such as your social security number for business reasons.
  4. Regularly check your statements:
    Make it a habit to check your statements online for your credit card, debit card, and checking accounts to ensure no fraudulent charges exist.
  5. Never use public computers:
    This is self-explanatory, using public computers puts your information at high risk of being stolen.
  • Internet Security:
  1.  Two-factor authentication is recommended:
    Two-factor authentication lets users provide another code in addition to their password. Eg, sending codes via SMS etc.
  2. Update your browser and devices:
    Outdated browsers and devices leaves you at risk of being hacked. Hackers usually find glitches in older version where it is possible for them to capture information from software and devices. Continuous updates prevent that.
  3. Create strong passwords:
    Avoid using simple words, birthdays, or any word that is easily guessed. Always be sure to reach the “strong” gauge when creating passwords, mixing between upper and lower case characters is also recommended.
  4. Use Google Security:
    This free service from Google helps strengthen your accounts to further guarantee your safety online.
  5. Regularly change your passwords:
    Other than creating a strong password, it’s important to change them regularly to keep hackers at bay.
  • Credit Card Security:
  1. Keep your PC well protected and up-to-date:
    Your antivirus and spyware software needs to be running and updated to the latest version when you are connected to the internet. Many existent online bugs are designed to track and record all of your personal information. Don’t make purchases or transactions without enabling anti-spyware and antivirus software.
  2. Try E-Wallets:
    A helpful software where your address and credit card information can be stored on a program in your computer that requires you to sign in using a password and username. This software then automatically fills in the blanks for you.
  3. Include Virtual Cards:
    They offer another level of protection involving using a false card number that you can use to make a purchase online. A virtual card will disguise the real account number so hackers will not be able to steal it. Only select banks offer this.
  4. Secure Your Email:
    If your do not own a secure email address, you may be loosely giving away credit card information to hackers. It’s preferred to print confirmation emails immediately then to discard of them online. No sensitive information should be found in your emails.
  • Cloud Security Tips:
  1. Be aware of where your data is stored:
    Include specialized hardware to permit cloud computing services to pass the most strict security procedures.
  2. Always backup your data:
    Many backup outlets are available to store your vital data in a safe and secure place.

Ensuring all your software, electronics, and information are constantly updated and protected will be the start of an important step to keeping you safe on the internet. At PayTabs, we highly value security. Our services come with a built-in fraud protection system which includes our own in-house fraud protection layer as well as the internationally recognized 3DSecure system. This two-layered system ensures that your transactions are highly secure and hassle free. Keep checking the PayTabs blog for many more useful tips and updates!