Being A Small Business Doesn’t Mean You’re Immune To Cyber Attacks
Data security is quickly becoming a reoccurring theme in today’s high tech age. Businesses of every size are facing data breaches, which is putting many Canadian consumers personal information at risk. Not only do these breaches affect consumers and clients, but they also greatly affect the company at the heart of the issue. Companies who fall victim to such breaches can incur significant expenses to rectify the breach, risk damage to their reputation, risk the possibility of being sued, and risk losing loyal customers who feed their business.
In order to protect your customers’ and/or clients’ private information, it is important to ensure that your business is taking all steps necessary to keep such information safe. The first step is knowing that just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you are not susceptible to such breaches. In fact, you are more of a target as information in small businesses is generally easier to access.
Change passwords on a regular basis.
With everything you use to run your business that requires a password, be sure to change the password regularly. It’s also important to that you don’t make your passwords very simple, such as 1234, as they are very easy to break. Be sure to use a combo of upper and lower case letters, symbols, and numbers.
Educate yourself and your staff about cyber threats.
Inform your employees on the variety of threats they can be vulnerable to and what they can do to combat them. Provide them with insight on items such as phishing scams and malware links within emails, and what they can do to identify threats.
Improper document disposal.
When it comes to disposing old files or documents that may no longer be needed yet have important personal information on them, do not just throw them out. It is imperative that they are properly disposed via a shredder prior to being placed in the garbage or hiring an outside firm to dispose of them safely.
Back up your data.
In the unfortunate case your information is hacked and corrupted, it is imperative that you have a backup of all important files. In order for you business to not lose important information such as client details and financials, a backup of all information is great safety blanket.
Limit your collection of information.
Collecting personal information from your customers/clients may be an integral part of your small business if, for example, you run a small clinic. The information will help you treat your patients to utmost standards and ensure their files are up-date with their medical history.
All the information collected should be kept to a minimum, with your business only collecting what it needs to run efficiently and to provide great customer service. Collecting an abundance of personal information puts you at risk for a cyber breach and puts your customer information at risk as well.