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    7 tips to increase cyber security for small businesses

    Make sure your data is secure

    Hannah | Oneflare

    Data breaches have become quite common in 2020. This has raised concerns on how to boost SME cybersecurity in 2021. Hacking is quite risky because this means that your data can be accessed by unauthorised people. Most of them are committed by individuals that can do severe damage to businesses. The fact that small businesses do not have enough resources to protect themselves from fraudsters even worsens the situation. In this piece, we have discussed some of the best ways to ensure information security in Australia.

    Fortunately, there are many security measures and managed IT services that can be put in place to ensure cybersecurity in Australia and to prepare your small business for attack from hackers.

    1. Modify your passwords

    Changing your password regularly is one of the best ways to ensure that your data is safe from possible attacks. If you haven’t done this, try to run checks on your primary emails and usernames and make some modifications. You can make good use of online tools that run your important information through specific account data. These tools can tell you the ones that have been accessed illegally and then let out into public domain. Even if you learn that your data still safe, consider changing your passwords and usernames.

    Data breaches are rampant, and you might not appreciate being a victim of fraudsters. Still, you don’t want to change your password details so often that your employees find it hard to access information that they need. Worse still, it has been realised that if businesses have to change their passwords many times, they tend to use a pattern. They take the old password and make some slight modifications.

    Modify simple passwords / Source: Shutterstock

    2. Use a password manager

    You should make use of various online passwords manager tools. These tools will help you manage unique passwords for all the sites you need to use and keep them secure for you. With the password manager tools, you reap the full benefits of changing your passwords. SME cybersecurity should involve picking the right tool that has been tested and confirmed to be highly reliable.

    It is a great way to manage your accounts without giving your employees a hard time. If you need a member of your team to log in to any of the business accounts, you can share a set of passwords with them. You can also let them change things on the website and even manage social media accounts on your behalf.

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    3. Get rid of unused accounts

    It is easier for hackers to access your information using credentials that fall along the way. To keep business information safe, go back and delete old unused accounts. This is one of the surest ways to ensure information security in Australia as it does not leave anything behind for the hackers. If you recently moved to a new system or transitioned through multiple employees, you will end up with many accounts. This mostly happens when you do not have a good off-boarding plan. Doing some regular housekeeping might help you get rid of old accounts that you no longer need.

    4. Use two-factor authentication

    If you have not started, you need to consider using two-factor authentication. It helps you achieve extra security on your logins. It is a simple process that works like registering a new phone number or installing an application on your phone. However, it brings about an extra layer of security so that an attacker cannot access your business information. You can learn more about how it works from reliable offline and online sources before you start using it.

    5. Make sure your software is up-to-date

    Software updates tend to come up at the most inconvenient time. Therefore, you can easily ignore or even save them for later. This is one of the hugest mistakes made by SMEs. For the sake of cyber and information security, you should ensure that you update your software on an ongoing basis. You will usually be asked to update your software when a new version comes out.

    For passwords, you should know that once the vulnerabilities have gone public, hackers will start looking for people responsible for the unsafe software. If you have a pending update that needs to be done, go ahead and do it as soon as possible.

    Two factor authentication / Source: Shutterstock

    6. Identify phishing and spear-phishing attacks

    Phishing and spear-phishing are some of the most popular ways attackers use illegally access business information. While phishing tends to be general, spear phishing is more specific and usually highly convincing. Through training on how to identify any of the two attacks, you can ensure that your business information is not illegally accessed. Also, your employees should know everything involved in phishing and spear-phishing attacks and what they need to do in case they detect an attempt. They should also know the details to be ready for in case a hacker makes an attempt to access important information.

    7. Use antivirus and antimalware protection

    As a small business, you must use professional antivirus and antimalware protection to protect your business from attackers. Regularly, check if all devices used in your organisation have the latest versions of operating systems and software. Make improvements in the necessary areas using highly safe software.

    You also need to make use of spam filters to ensure that 99% of spam emails are kept off your email account. This will protect your small business and ensure that your employees are getting the most pleasant user experience. Also, in this case, you need to select reliable spam filters that have been tested and proven to be the most effective.

    Every small business should take cybersecurity seriously. This must be done even if there is not enough budget to employ sophisticated initiatives. The steps mentioned in the piece can be highly effective when it comes to protecting your small business from attackers. Make sure that you check your login credentials and use password managers regularly to ensure cyber and information security.

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