Many of us feel that our security is good enough, believing that the passwords we use and security questions we set protect us, but how safe is it really? For most, extra steps in security settings are unnecessary, while simultaneously admitting that they believe their personal information and data are vulnerable to hackers.
While admittedly there is little that consumers can do if their bank or telecommunications company is hacked, they can take extra steps to protect their data, whether that be business or personal. Getting started in your data safety journey is easy; this blog post outlines 5 simple security steps you can take to protect your business, yourself, and your data online.
Two-factor or multi-step authentication
Two-factor or multi-step authentication is an essential web security tool that works by confirming a login is really yours through a separate avenue such as a phone call, text, or email. This neutralizes the risk associated with compromised passwords by verifying the login is authentic. Even if a user’s password has been guessed, hacked, or phished, their account is still protected from hackers.
By actively involving the user in the login process, two-factor authentication empowers you as a participant in your own digital safety. When a notification requiring two-factor authentication arrives and you’re prompted to confirm it really is you, it requires your awareness. In the event of a breach, this notification can be an essential alarm that your account is compromised. With over 80% of hacking-related breaches caused by stolen or weak passwords, two-factor authentication is an easy-to-use solution that can help keep both business and personal data safe.
Password managers allow you to store your passwords securely, so instead of remembering a different password for each site, you can remember one master password which unlocks the manager. This allows you to use different, strong passwords for all your important accounts rather than variations of the same password.
Many browsers and phones will offer to create strong, randomized passwords when creating an account or signing up for services online. These features are fantastic for creating strong passwords however they are likely only helpful when using a password manager to help keep track. Many password managers will automatically save new passwords, synchronize them across devices and platforms, autofill them for convenience, and let you know if your password appears in a well-known data breach, so you know to change it. With a recent study finding that 66% of users always or mostly use the same or a variation of the same password, password managers can be an effective solution to remove the burden.
Antivirus software and firewalls.
Firewalls are an essential part of a network security system that works by monitoring and controlling incoming and outgoing network traffic. Using predetermined security rules and access lists, ensure that the network remains secure and free from any unauthorized access. Through this, firewalls establish barriers that prevent malicious software from accessing your computer or network via the internet, keeping your data safer.
Antivirus software is a security tool that works in tandem with firewalls, protecting your computer by detecting and removing malware. It scans your files and programs for any signs of viruses, worms, ransomware, or trojans. If any of these are detected, the software will then take action to remove it from your computer. Antivirus is a critical tool for both personal and business data safety, protecting data from the 560,000 new pieces of malware detected daily. With both the ability to manually prompt scans, and to automatically run scans based on a predetermined schedule, antivirus software ensures your computer is always protected.
Your computer’s security can be strengthened by using both antivirus software and a firewall. Antivirus software protects your files from harmful software, while a firewall keeps external threats at bay and prevents unauthorized access. Especially from a business perspective, they can be an essential layer of protection that keeps data safe.
Back up data
Backing up your data is the process of copying digitized data to a password-protected secondary location in case your data is damaged, deleted, or lost. In addition to safeguarding against various risks like human error, hardware failure, and viruses, this also allows access to previous versions of the data.
Even with the best security, there is always a chance that your data could be compromised. By backing up all crucial personal or business data, you give yourself the best chance of recovery.
Earlier this year we spoke to Barbara Terry who was working as the manager of Christchurch’s Canterbury and Harewood Memorial Gardens and Crematoriums during Christchurch’s 2011 earthquakes. She spoke of her experience both during the quake, and the aftermath, including their efforts to rebuild and to continue supporting her community. When recounting this experience, Barbara mentioned the backup of their data which they had saved externally. This backup allowed them to resume their work offsite, even as their location faced catastrophic damages.
Working in an industry that never stops can be difficult, especially when factors outside your control step in, but backing up your data is a step that puts you in the best space in the event of an emergency.
Secure integrated payments
One of the best ways to keep your, and your customer’s data safe, is by utilizing the most secure payment pathways. Integrated payment systems are a wonderful solution that connects directly with your CRM software, doing away with manual payments and making collection faster, easier, and safer. This simplifies the task of managing receivables by automatically linking payments and invoices, reducing the need for manual confirmation and the risk of human error.
Another benefit of integrated payment systems is that there are many industry requirements such as encryption which are in place to ensure your data safety. These standards are enforced, and ensure that your, and your customer’s data is kept safe. One security standard to look for is PCI Compliance which is a set of security standards to ensure that all companies that process, store, or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment.
With a variety of payment options and channels, both online and in the office, opuspay is an integrated payment platform that is protected by best-in-class security protocols. As a payment provider with experience in the death care sector, opuspay is an ideal partner to meet the industry’s unique needs. With the option for customizable payment solutions, seamless integration with byondcloud and byondpro, and adherence to the highest industry standards for data protection, opuspay is the perfect payment solution.
There are endless data safety tips that you could follow, and this list is by no means exhaustive, but we do believe that these are some of the most important and easy-to-implement steps to take. Securing your data is something that can only be postponed for so long, and the sooner you start taking steps to protect yourself and your business, the better.