It’s never been more important to get your small business online. Canadians love shopping on the internet, racking up an impressive $19.2 billion dollar spend in 2016 alone. This burgeoning frontier presents almost limitless potential for growing your bottom line, but it’s not without its drawbacks.
Thousands of Canadian businesses are faced with the unwelcome reality of cyber attacks each year. It’s a constant arms race between the myriad of resourceful hackers out there, and the front line defenses business owners deploy to keep their assets safe. Taking a multi-faceted approach to your online security is the best way to stay on top of the issue. We spoke to cyber security expert David Morrish to get his five top tips for keeping your business safe online.
Five Tips to Keep your Business Safe Online
Keep Security Software Current
Having the latest security software, web browser and operating system is the best defense against viruses, malware and other online threats. Even something as simple as installing AdBlock on your browser can keep you safe from a lot of threats.
Lock Down Your Login
Fortify any online accounts relating to your business by enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics, security keys or a unique one-time code through an app on your mobile device. Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key business accounts like email, banking and social media. An increasing number of websites are now offering “two-step authentication” for your login. When this option is offered, always use it.
When in Doubt, Throw it Out
Links in emails, social media posts and online advertising are often how cybercriminals try to steal your personal information. Even if you know the source, if something looks suspicious, delete it. If you happen to click on any of these links, it’s best to change your passwords to stay safe.
Own your Online Presence
Online security is an ever-evolving area. Stay current. Keep pace with new ways to stay safe online. Do your research online, consider attending seminars or courses on the topic, and share with friends, family, and colleagues, encouraging them to be web wise.
Personal Information is Like Money
Treat your personal information like hard currency. Value it. Protect it. Information about you, such as your purchase history or location, has value – just like money. Be thoughtful about who gets that information and how it’s collected through apps and websites. If you feel like an app or website is asking for too much information, walk away.
Protect Your Business
In an exclusive deal for Small Business BC community members, TruShield is offering their Cyber Insurance Package (a $100 per year value) free with purchase of a TruShield business insurance policy. This package features coverage with a $50,000 limit for all combined cyber risk occurances, including incident response expense, data recovery expense, business interruption, and e-commerce extortion expenses. Visit their dedicated Small Business BC landing page for more details.