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CyberSAFE-ty – What you need to do to stay CyberSAFE

Most people nowadays are becoming entrepreneurial, and women, in particular, are opting to work at home not as homemakers but as job creators. A recent study shows that an increasing number of people are flocking the online business world, and they tend to create home-based businesses that rely on the internet. The study also suggests that women will own half of all the small businesses in the country by 2018. Since many of these businesses depend on the internet, there is need to understand and take the necessary measures to prevent cyber crimes.

Despite the fact that most entrepreneurs use the internet to boost their businesses, most of them do not protect themselves and their businesses from the threats of hacking and viruses. Unfortunately, the problem affects more women than men since many rarely take time to understand the intricate security procedures. Entry via a single loop-hole is often all that’s necessary to infiltrate and crush their businesses. So what do women need to know about cyber security? What are the key elements to ensure their online businesses remain safe?

Use secure passwords

If a website is hacked, it’s often because the hacker worked out the password. It is important to avoid using lazy passwords and women are the most affected. They should know that the more keystrokes and characters they add, the stronger their passwords will be. Here are a few tips that can help one create strong and unique passwords.

• Start out strong- It is crucial to take care of their systems right from the start. They should make sure their passwords have embedded numbers and diverse characters. Strong passwords are hard to guess and will help them prevent simple attacks.

• Change password- Even if the passwords have not been compromised, it is necessary to change it frequently. A pro-tip would be to set reminders on the calendar to help one make password changes regularly.

• Keep passwords safe- Women mostly use simple passwords and save them or write them somewhere. It is crucial to take charge and educate employees on why using lazy passwords, storing passwords on cell phones and writing down passwords puts their businesses at risk.

• Use random numbers, letters, and special characters- Strong passwords do not use words only. We encourage internet users to take advantage to use complex passwords to ensure they are CyberSAFE.

Use firewalls

Even if a network is secure, a hacker will still find a way to penetrate it. It is, therefore, important to ensure they use firewalls to protect their data. Firewalls are electric barriers that will help prevent unauthorized access to their computers or other devices. Using firewalls will ensure all devices connected to their networks are secure, including IoT devices like webcams and thermostats.

Use secure payment seals

Secure payment seals help one verify that the websites they are making their transactions on are legitimate. These seals also help secure sensitive information via SSL, which encrypts data being sent over the web.

Keep private information private

There are many con artists out there who write emails and make calls to unsuspecting consumers and are able to trick their victims into thinking they are authorized vendors. It is important to take extra precautions in giving information to unsolicited people. Besides, internet users who want to keep their systems secure should use HTTPS websites only. HTTPS helps prevent intruders from interfering with communications and makes it hard for them to acquire personal information or install malware.

Invest in encryption and decryption technology

For online entrepreneurs to protect themselves, their enterprises and customers, they should invest more in encryption and decryption technologies. These technologies protect data and make it readable only by the intended parties and this makes it hard for hackers to gain access to their accounts or tamper with their communications.

Learn from others

Learning from the mistakes others is the best way to stay ahead in developing best practices in cyber security. There is information on compromised websites and one should use it to learn from others’ mistakes. Reading the latest news on cyber-attacks will help people identify their security flaws and help them adopt new approaches to protect their networks.

It’s true that cyber crimes keep evolving and protecting a business against web threats have become an incredibly complicated task. However, that does not mean we should sit and wait. The tips discussed above can help internet users stay CyberSAFE and also help women entrepreneurs gain an edge in the dynamic business world.

Sources:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2013/01/22/7-steps-to-protect-your-online-security/#78504f182aa6
http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/cybersecurity
https://www.forbes.com/sites/joannabelbey/2017/06/30/how-to-avoid-cyberattacks-5-best-practices-from-sec-and-finra/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2017/06/20/five-types-of-cyberattacks-you-must-defend-against/#6cf3485d70f5

 

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