How To Keep Business Information Safe Online
June is Internet Safety Month. Every year it becomes more and more important to be aware of how to keep our data safe online. Let's start with the basics.
Too many people are still using the same passwords for every site or worse yet very insecure passwords. In 2016 the top two most used passwords were "123456" and "123456789" (you can see the whole list here). Obviously, you should be using a stronger password than those above and using different passwords for every site you visit. However, if you are anything like me that means you will need a unique password for more than 123 different sites under your regular use. How do you keep track of them all? The best way is to use a password manager, like LastPass (they have an awesome business version also). This service keeps your passwords encrypted on their servers and they are accessible from any devices. It can also help you automatically generate new, entirely unique passwords.
With the recent mass data breaches passwords no longer seem like enough. That is where two-factor authentication comes in. Two-factor authentication requires you to have something other than just your password to log into your account. The most common device where you encounter two-factor authentication is your cell phone. You either receive a text with a unique code or use apps like Authy to generate one.
By using strong, unique passwords and two-factor authentication you will be able to keep your data safe even if there is a breach
Email / Online Storage
If it was not already sometimes painfully clear, nothing in life is free. If you are using a free service like Gmail, Outlook, Dropbox, or Google Drive, the emails you send and the information you upload isn't only seen by you. Microsoft, Google, and any other providers use information they collect in these services to analyze you and better advertise to you. Most of the content of emails and files remains private within those services, but they still look at it.
The best way to combat this process is to use a paid service. An example would be using a paid service like G Suites from Google. Since this is a paid service Google treats this data differently and privately. The data in this service is not analyzed or shared. G Suites is even HIPAA compliant.
The best way to keep your data private and secure is to pay a service to store it.
This one is pretty simple. If you want it to be private, then don't share it. The internet never forgets. Before you post something take 10 seconds to decide if you want it to be associated with you in 5 to 10 years. This not only includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn posts but also includes comments on any website. Keep your discourse civil because even if you think you are posting anonymously your information can be traced back to you.
The Internet can be a great resource, but it also needs to be respected. Use a password manager and two-factor authentication; consider a paid email/storage system; and don't post anything you want to keep private while keeping discourse civil. If you keep these things in mind, then your time and information on the internet will be vastly more secure.