October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month
. It's a topic that's important to us both as consumers and as business leaders.
From our own online banking, to filing our taxes, to supporting our nation's infrastructure, it seems every aspect of our lives is dependent on the Internet.
We're more connected than ever before and it seems that almost daily, there are headlines about cyber attacks including corporate security breaches, spear phishing
(very targeted attacks through emails that appear to be from colleagues), social media fraud and more.
The Department of Homeland Security offers tips to help you and your business stay safe online:
- Set strong passwords (mix of lower case and capital letters, numbers and special characters) and do not share them with anyone.
- Keep your operating system, browser and other software safe by installing updates as soon as they're available.
- Communicate regularly with your family and employees about Internet safety.
- Limit the amount of personal information you post online and use privacy settings to avoid over-sharing, especially on social networks.
- Be cautious about what you receive or read online: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Stop. Think. Connect.
- Stop: Before using the Internet, understand the risks and learn how to spot potential problems.
- Think: Be certain the path is clear. Consider how your actions online could impact the finances and safety of yourself, your family and your business.
- Connect: Enjoy the Internet with greater confidence knowing you've taken the right steps to safeguard yourself and your computer.
The Department of Homeland Security has provided a list of resources for business owners interested in protecting their bottom line.
For additional information and advice you can trust, start with bbb.org.