Boss Lady

How to protect against hackers, malware and ransomware


Hackers are everywhere, and they aren’t going away. As a business owner, you must take responsibility to protect yourself, your business, and your customer data. Practice the following six techniques to safeguard your business from hackers.

Use strong passwords

To prevent hackers from accessing your online data, protect your information with strong passwords. Use passwords that are complex and have capital letters, lowercase letters, numerals, and symbols. Instruct your employees to do the same; set password strength requirements when customers create accounts.

In addition, you and your employees should change passwords on a regular basis or at least once a month. Using two-step verification is another way to safeguard your data. When you log in to access information or conduct transactions, you verify your identity by entering a code sent via SMS (Short Message Service).

Protect your Wi-Fi network

Install a firewall to keep unwanted individuals from accessing your Wi-Fi network. Use an antivirus software to scan your computer for viruses and malware. When choosing an internet service provider, look for one that has strong safety measures in place.

Encrypt your data

You need only one breach for all of your customer data to be stolen. Protect their information by encrypting it. Use a secure SSL connection that is PCI (Peripheral Component Interface) compliant so that customers can enter their personal information securely.

When storing your customers’ information, use a secure secure cloud storage service such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), which offers multiple safety measures implemented on all levels, including firewalls and the ability to assign user roles and control user access through identity and access management (IAM).

Don’t store unnecessary customer data

Store customer data only when necessary. Once you’ve completed a credit card transaction, delete the credit card information from your system. While customers may be inconvenienced by having to enter their credit card information every time they buy from you, keeping their personal data safe should be your main priority.

Educate your employees about data breaches

Many data breaches occur because of employees who are either careless or uninformed about safety practices. Hold monthly presentations that explain various security problems and how to avoid them. Put company-wide safety rules into place.

Warn your employees about opening suspicious emails and clicking on suspicious links. When your employees are working remotely, they should not use public Wi-Fi networks. Instead, they should use their phones as mobile hotspots. If they do use public networks, make sure they use virtual private networks (VPNs) to encrypt their data.

Back up your data

Besides being proactive in safeguarding your data, you want to have a backup plan in place in case something goes wrong. Hackers can encrypt your data and force you to pay hefty fees to get it back. Known as ransomware, this particular type of malware has affected thousands of businesses worldwide.

Back up your data to a hard drive or to a cloud storage service. Make sure that the hard drive isn’t connected to your network so that its data can’t be encrypted as well. If you become a target for ransomware, you’ll be able to restore your data without paying any fees.

Data security is something for which you must continually stay proactive to ensure the success of your business and the trust your customers have in you.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

Recommended for you