Whether it’s our social, professional or personal lives, each has a place online. The average internet user has 80 apps on their smartphone alone—that’s a lot of information stored online.
But concerns about data privacy are growing. Most internet users have become more aware of the ways companies track, store and share their information. In 2021, it matters that you take steps to protect your information online to prevent being hacked. For entrepreneurs, data security is directly tied to your business success. Digital safety is essential to a modern business strategy because it protects both you and your clients, and it increases trust in your brand.
Take Care of the Basics
Cybersecurity expert and ethical hacker Mervyn Goh En Wei works with companies to detect any vulnerabilities in their virtual systems. As a child, Mervyn would work to find cheats on various video games. As he grew up, he decided to become an ethical hacker—sometimes called a “white hat”—and work on behalf of companies, instead of against them. Now, he engineers and develops safer and smarter security systems for large-scale companies.
While it may seem like a no-brainer, many people forget the basics of cybersecurity and thus make themselves vulnerable to attack. For example, too many people use the same password for multiple sites and forget to change them frequently—two things that Mervyn says are critical for keeping your data secure. In addition, he advises people to store their passwords somewhere that they can’t be found (perhaps through an encrypted system like LastPass).
Encourage your employees to follow best practices and regularly change their passwords to promote security. Require more elaborate passwords on company computers or softwares, and use two-factor authentication.
Think About What You Share & What You Use
Hackers can pull from multiple sites, profiles and data sets in order to get access to your information. With this in mind, keep track of what you share online and don’t share too much of your personal information. Another important factor in cybersecurity is considering which platforms, systems and software you use.
As a business leader, you should clearly communicate with employees how to use company computers and technology. Create company security policies and regularly remind employees of best practices. This includes appropriate uses of company materials, external email communication rules, and the types of approved software.
Your employees should have a clear understanding of which information is confidential, what can be shared online, and how employees can communicate about the inner workings of your company. Clear expectations are key.
Double Up On Security
Use two-factor authentication wherever possible. Most social platforms and online services have this available as an integrated setting. While it may take a second or two longer, this can help you prevent hacking, and you will get notified if someone is trying to break into your accounts.
You can also use an external authentication service, like Authy or Duo Security. These will allow you to receive one-time codes on your mobile phone every time you’re logging into a particular platform.
Cybersecurity can make or break your personal brand and your business. Make sure that your information is protected, and keep an eye on what you share online, and what your employees share. If you want to go the extra mile, hire an expert ethical hacker who will show you your vulnerabilities and teach you how to stay secure.