Since the dawn of the Internet Age, people have been trying to infiltrate sensitive files, and businesses have spent billions of dollars on keeping them safe. Fortunately, even if you do not have a corporate-sized budget, there are things you can do to keep your company’s information out of the wrong hands. Keep reading as Nashville’s premier cybersecurity service provider shares insight on 10 simple strategies you can implement starting today.

  1. Password management.

As one of Nashville’s top cybersecurity service providers, ImageQuest’s team of experts say one question they hear most frequently is, “How do I keep up with all of my passwords?” Statistically, the average office worker has 17 different passwords just for work. The solution is to utilize a password management program like 1Password, LastPass, or Dashlane. It is worth it to purchase the paid version of these managers for the additional benefits.

  1. Multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication is essentially a two-step user access process. Your IT department or cybersecurity service can create a system where users trying to log into their accounts on your site must enter an additional code, which is can be texted, emailed, or called to them. The same technology can also be applied to employee workstations.

  1. Lie on security questions.

Lying is not usually something to be applauded. However, in the case of security questions, it’s never a good idea to answer with honest information. It is entirely too easy for a hacker to get information, such as your mother’s name, high school, or children’s birthdays, and use this knowledge to get into your accounts.

  1. Unique email password.

If you struggle to remember 17 different passwords, make sure that you at least have a unique password for your personal email. Why? Because this is the first place that cybercriminals will infiltrate when they want to hack away at your identity or data.

  1. Change passwords regularly.

Any cybersecurity service in Nashville will urge you to change your passwords at least once each quarter. Do not merely tweak by changing one character. Instead, use your password manager to easily generate new, secure passwords. The password manager will keep your passwords secure and automatically use a new combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.

  1. Be cautious when working remotely.

Having remote employees is one of the greatest perks of the digital age. However, making your systems available for remote access can add the risk of allowing an opening for criminals. The best thing you can do is to create a VPN (virtual private network). This creates a secure channel and makes it considerably more difficult to enter your digital space without authorization. Be sure to research VPN providers and steer clear of those providing free VPN connections.

  1. Frequent data backup.

If you have ever lost a personal hard drive with family photos, then you understand the importance of backing up your files. Make a point to keep at least three copies of your company’s pertinent documents. One remains live and is changed as needed, a second as an on-site backup, and a third off-site copy that can be retrieved in case of an emergency. You also need to back up your information regularly during the day and test your backups to make sure your data is available and uncorrupted.

  1. Utilize paid file sharing.

DropBox, Google Docs, and other free file-sharing services have made it easy to transfer data from one person to another in an instant. However, the old adage that you get what you pay for it is true here as anywhere. While these companies have made great strides in protecting information, a paid service, like Citrix Share File, will have comprehensive security and better administrative control.

  1. Watch for phishing emails.

Phishing emails are the bane of the cybersecurity service industry. These are elaborate copies of official correspondence from companies you may already do business with, such as PayPal, FedEx, or Amazon. They might ask you to click a link to “verify your information” or could claim that your account is in jeopardy. Train your employees to diligently check the sender address on these messages, or forward them to your iT department ASAP, and to never click a link they do not seek out themselves. 

  1. Avoid ransomware. 

Speaking of phishing emails, the biggest threat that can result from them is a ransomware attack. Although these are usually introduced through fraudulent emails, it’s worth noting separately to underscore the importance of never opening anything that you cannot verify.