Are you secure enough in your business?
I’m not talking about the confidence type of secure, either.
Today, I’m talking about the actual SECURITY of your business.
Q: “Why, Joelyn? I’m just a small guy, why would anyone want to mess with me?”
A: “Because they can”
As small business owners, we have this tendency to feel like we’re in this little protective bubble. A bubble that just includes us, our small list of clients, and the crew that works with us. We forget sometimes that our LIVES are wrapped up in this business.
So let me ask you a question: What would happen if a hacker (or social engineers as they like to be called now) got a hold of your social media accounts?
Think about what it would be like. Would they be able to access your personal accounts from there? Would they be able to gain access to your bank account, etc? Would you be able to combat the constant trolling and heartache? Would it be detrimental to your business? What would it COST in TIME and in MONEY to get your identity back?
Now before I go any further, I’m not writing this to scare you. I’m writing this to open your eyes. (Disclaimer: I’m NOT a CyberSecurity expert, but watching friends and fellow business owners go through this, I feel like my other fellow business owners NEED to know and stop burying their heads in the sand. )
As I said, we have this tendency to live in a bubble.
Let me share with you a couple of facts about the world we’re living in now and then i’ll share some ways to help better protect yourself.
Here are some facts about the society that we live in (taken from heimdelsecurity.com):
- About 600,000 Social Media accounts are attacked by hackers everyday
- The rise of Social Engineering has cost victims 1 Billion (with a B!!) dollars over the past couple of years
- 68% of funds lost in a Social Engineering attack were unrecoverable
- Many of the hacks come through holes in outdated software
- They don’t care how small you are, if you’re an easy target, they’ll come after you. It’s a game to them.
Since our world and the Internet are constantly changing, unfortunately we won’t be able to always protect ourselves from hackers but we can sure as heck make it a little harder for them to get us.
So if we can’t really protect ourselves from these Social Engineers, what CAN we do to help secure ourselves and make us less of a target?
First off, let’s just get this out in the open now: You could change your passwords all day but that’s not how the hackers are getting into your stuff. Sure super secure passwords are a part of the equation (and we’ll get to those in a minute) but you want to know the shady way that they are getting into your world? Through. Your. Security. Questions.
Seriously. No lie. How? These Social Engineers watch your Social Media accounts like a hawk. They probably know more about you than you wanted them to know. They know everything from your dog’s name to your alma mater to where your kids go to school. It’s frightening how much information we put out on social media thinking that we *might* be safe.
And if you’ve ever signed up for a new account anywhere, the security questions are fairly similar. Given a couple of glances at a social media account, one may be able to guess the correct answers to those questions and change the passwords right underneath your nose. Then they’ll try to extort money from you to get them back. It’s a sick, twisted system.
So again, what’s one to do?
Here’s a couple of suggestions:
- Get a Password Manager. There are several out there such as Dashlane.com, LassPass.com, KeePass.com, 1Password.com, and RoboForm.com. I personally use 1Password, but every one of these sites are awesome. Just do some research and see which one fits your needs better.
- Reevaluate Your Security Questions. Yep. Every single one of them. Is it going to take time? Heck yeah it is, but it’s going to take even longer after an attack, so this is a choose your battle situation.
- Turn On Two-Factor Authentication Wherever You Can. Any Google product has an easy two factor authentication that you can turn on. Most major banks and sites such as Amazon have places where you can turn on two factor authentication. Check out twofactorauth.org as well to check and see if a site has two factor authentication or not.
- Update Your Software. Most people don’t do it because it seems like a hassle. Just do it. It’ll make it just a tad harder to get through.
- Quit Linking Apps to Your Social Media Accounts: You know the ones where instead of creating a new login, they just say “Oh! Sign in with your Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn account!” It’s just a domino effect just waiting to happen.
- Check and Update Your Security Settings on Your Social Media Accounts. Again, just another one of those things that’s going to take time, but time spent now taking care of it may help prevent you spending the LOADS of time that it will take you to undo things in the future.
Although I could make an incredibly lengthy list and blog post about this subject, I’m just giving you the Reader’s Digest version. Please do your due diligence on this matter. The future of your business depends on it!
I hope that you got some value out of this. If you did, please share amongst your friends and fellow business members.
Now I’m off to make sure that I follow my own advice 😉