Cybercrime has become a genuine threat to businesses. Your home office is not immune to being targeted by a cyber attack. To make matters worse, cyber criminals get more and more sophisticated each year, and their tactics often evolve quicker than the security software meant to stop them. Even lawmakers have a hard time keeping pace with these elusive Internet crooks.
To help protect you and your business from the dangers of cyber attacks, we’ve compiled this list of 5 security tips that you can implement at your home.
Encrypt Your Data
Your bank routing numbers, social security numbers, credit card information and other private, personal data are all in jeopardy of winding up in the hands of cyber attackers, unless you take the necessary precautions. Luckily, most standard operating systems have a full-disk encryption tool that will allow you to encrypt your information. Even better, the process only takes a few minutes and won’t slow your drive down.
What’s the catch? Cybercriminals are a savvy bunch of folks, and they can get around the basic encryption from your operating system. So, you have two options: invest in a tighter encryption tool or use your basic encryption very wisely. The basic encryption preloaded into your operating system is only active when a user isn’t logged in. That’s how it’s able to keep the drive from slowing down when the computer is actually in use. This means you’re vulnerable to attacks when you’re away from your computer but still logged in.
To maximize the security efforts, you should set your computer to log a user out after just a few minutes of inactivity. This will prevent malicious attempts at accessing your files while you’re off accessing the refrigerator or gossiping on the phone with your aunt, Jane. It’s a bit of an inconvenience to have to log back into your account every time you step away for a few minutes, but your sensitive files will be protected.
There’s nothing to take if you’ve already emptied the vault, right? By routinely dumping your data onto an external hard drive (or two, for an added backup), you’re taking the cookie out of the jar. No matter how good a cybercriminal is, they can’t tap into an external hard drive that is sitting in your desk unconnected from any network device. This means that if a data breach occurs, the culprit is only getting the most recent files created after your last data dump.
The issue with moving sensitive information to an external source is that, if you need that information, it is hard to recall quickly. That’s a significant reason why cloud storage solutions have become so popular; the ability to connect to sensitive data from anywhere, with just a username and password, is highly advantageous for a company that wants to keep as much information off their internal servers/hard drives as possible.
Recognize The Benefits Of Being A Home Business
The reason that most businesses don’t back up their sensitive information on an external drive is it is effortless for someone to physically steal the drive and all of the information contained on it. As a home business, you have the esteemed benefit of knowing that no one in your household will steal any files or hardware (at least we would think not). In other words, a home business can focus entirely on stopping outside attacks because there’s no risk of an internal breach occurring.
Educate Others About Security
Perhaps, the downside to being a home business is you have people on your network that might not be as secure and safe as you are, especially if you have children. You can take every precaution in the world, but if they are visiting unscrupulous websites or downloading malicious software, then you have a chink in the armor that hackers and Internet criminals can easily find and take advantage of. By educating your entire household on security, you can help to plug up some of these holes.
Non-home businesses usually have an Internet policy, which dictates what employees can and cannot do on the web, while at work. This is precisely what you need to create, but for your family members. You may also decide to consult an IT expert about setting up a firewall preventing users on your home network from visiting specific sites.
You should routinely remind your housemates about the importance of Internet security and the genuine possibility of a cyber attack.
Legally Protect Yourself
Sometimes, the person trying to access your computer and your files remotely is not a cyber attacker, but rather the law. When compiling a case against someone that has yet to be arrested, investigators are using the same methods that hackers use to access computer and files to find critical evidence. Not only is this against the law, but it’s also complicated to prove. If you’re handling a lot of sensitive information or worried that you may wrongfully be under investigation, you may want to look into hiring a defense lawyer.
Stay Aware of Cyber Crimes
While laws may have a tough time keeping up with cyber crimes, at the end of the day, it’s simple theft and fraud. You can do a lot to prevent these attacks and slow Internet crooks down, but they’ll eventually find a pathway through. Your best bet may be to legally defend yourself by choosing a legal solution that focuses on these types of cases, even when the culprit is the law itself!