October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. This month is aimed to educate us all about the measures and steps that we should be taking regularly to protect ourselves and our businesses. While there are many things that can be done to help ensure the vital information from your business or personal life is kept safe, here are a few common, but often overlooked things that can help prevent fraud and identity theft:
Change Your Passwords
While there are two schools of thought on this, one being that changing your passwords regularly will result in the creation of weaker and weaker passwords, and the other that changing them will help mitigate risk that a password is discovered, you should at the very least change those passwords that you know are weak (yes, we are talking to you users who use “Password” as a password). Try to create passwords that are a minimum of 12 characters with a mix of numbers, symbols, capital letters, and lower-case letters.
Order New Credit Cards with Chip Technology
Most banks and credit card companies have automatically sent you new cards with chip technology embedded into them. These microchips help encrypt information to increase data integrity and security as we all make transactions and purchases at terminals and ATM’s. If you are still swiping, it is time you asked for a new credit card with these chips to help secure your transactions.
Review Smart Phone Security
Changing your lock screen from the traditional swipe to unlock, to a pin or fingerprint method, and keeping your phone up to date with the latest updates will help prevent possible malicious exploits. Making use of free online backups and understanding the permissions that you grant apps, will also help ensure proper phone security.
Never Share Your SSN or Driver License Number via Text or Email
The title says it all. If you are sending emails with SSN’s or other identifying data you are putting yourself at extreme risk that the information will fall into the wrong hands.
Review Your Firewall/ Get an IT Systems Audit
While the previous suggestions have been mostly about protecting your personal information, this one is aimed at protecting your business. You want to make sure that your current firewall is doing its job of preventing unauthorized access to your IT systems. An IT Systems Audit will expedite this process as you identify vulnerabilities and fixes within the IT structure of your business.
Remember, the great majority of data and information breaches happen due to human error. Take proactive steps, now, to secure your data.
Contact Williams @ 888-478-3453 to find out how we can customize a records management plan to help secure your documents and data. A records specialist will guide you through the proper steps to securely store and shred your vital information.