Gareth’s 5 Tips to Secure Data at Your Company
Our Saskatoon IT Tips are from the Trusted professionals at Burnt Orange Solutions. We promise to have a one-hour response time for all your Saskatoon IT support needs. Honesty and respect are important to us. In our latest IT Expert tip Article, Gareth provides 5 tips on how to safely secure data at your company.
Secure Data with Gareth’s 5 Tips for Your Company
Owner of Burnt Orange IT Solutions, Gareth McKee, provides his top 5 Tips on how to secure data safely and improve the security of your data at your company. Watch the video below or read on.
1. Secure Data with the Use of Strong Passwords
According to Forbes, in the last 6 months of 2019 over 4 billion records were exposed by data breaches. Included in these records were over 1 billion passwords retrieved.
The top 5 easiest passwords to hack are:
#1 – 12345
#2 – 123456
#3 – 123456789
#4 – Test1
#5 – Password
But they are not always the easy ones to crack by hackers, as shown here:
#21 – princess
#30 – monkey
#48 – chocolate
#97 – babygirl
So, what do we learn from this? There are ‘bots’ and phishing scams active every day on the internet, looking to gain access to your network, steal your data or encrypt it to extort money from you.
What Does a Strong Password Look Like?
Strong passwords need 2 things: length and complexity.
Both are really easy to achieve with a little imagination. Let’s firstly achieve the length. Rather than think of a passWORD, think of passwords (plural) or a passPHRASE.
One solution is to think of 4 unrelated words such as:
#Potato plastiC either strong!
The above is 30 characters and notice I have added the # and ! to make it a little more complex.
Or, you can use a phrase such as:
!Theres a m00se 0n the 100se#
The above is 29 characters. Replacing letters with numbers can be a good way to achieve complexity (example changing O’s to zero’s).
The best solution is to use a password manager, which is a secure app that remembers all your complex and long passwords for you so all you have to remember is the 1 password to the manager.
2. Secure Data by Locking Your Computer
How easy would it be for someone to walk past an office, walk in and steal data from an unlocked PC? This happens more often than you think, and whether it is a disgruntled employee or a stranger who has walked in to your building, it is so easy to steal data in this way.
The solution is to have your PC lock itself after a certain amount of inactivity. This is easy to achieve, simply decide the length of inactivity before allowing your PC to lock. I recommend 5 minutes.
Looking after a network properly can be a difficult and time consuming job so to make your life easy, engage with a local, professional IT Security company such as Burnt Orange IT Solutions. You will find that the money spent on network security is easily recovered by staff efficiencies.
3. Receive a Suspicious Email? Call the Sender Before You Click
Email spoofing costs businesses millions of dollars every year. I am sure you can remember Saskatoon City Council being duped in 2019 to the price of $1 million.
If even a known client emails you asking to transfer money, providing you with new banking details, large orders, or asking you to click anywhere, call the client to ensure the information has come from them directly.
A quick phone call can save a lot of money, embarrassment and is a way to secure data.
This should be a standard practice in your office. If you don’t have an Acceptable Use Policy, or User Best Practice Policy in your organization, contact your best local IT company, they can help you achieve best practices in your business.
4. Take a Breath
We all have 10 hours or work to complete in an 8 hour day, but just by taking 1 second to look at an email can save a lot of heartache.
Hovering over an email address or a web link can show you where it is actually directing the click. Just because the link reads www.rbc.com , this does not mean it will direct you there.
Also, hackers often send a link which looks real, but is slightly misspelt, for example:
if you look closely there are two ‘i’s in online. In a busy day that may be easy to miss, you navigate to a website with a virus, allowing it to download, the virus waits a day and ultimately encrypts all the data on your server. Not a good day for you or your company.
The accepted solution here is to put DNS protection in place. This service scours the internet all day, looking for dangerous websites, whether they are legit or not, and if a dangerous website is found, the service will stop you from accessing the website.
If you can’t access the website, you cannot download the virus. Simple as that!
Professional IT companies offer this service for a fraction of the cost of the downtime experienced should a virus be download by accident. Contact your local IT company for help.
5. Back Up Your Data
Even in a small office where there is no ‘real’ server, it is always a good idea to treat one of the PCs as a file server. Have all the data held there, back up that PC, and only that PC. This makes the backup and recovery activity simple and easy.
Impose a rule that all data must be held on that PC. Configure each PC to have a share to that PC. Complete this task and you have just saved yourself days of non-productivity in a recovery situation.
The best backup solutions today backup to the cloud. They will:
Encrypt your data before it leaves your PC,
Be password protected,
and YOU will test it, at least once per month to ensure the data can be recovered.
A backup that does not work when you need it is as much use as a chocolate fire guard. Test it before you need it.
As with all the problems discussed, your local professional IT security firm can help you with all these tasks, and for much less than you think.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Burnt Orange IT Solutions.
We hope this article gave you some insight. If you want to ensure your business’s IT security, contact the Trusted Saskatoon IT professionals at Burnt Orange Solutions and we can take IT worries off your plate.
Burnt Orange IT Solutions Products & Services:
- Managed Networks
- Backup and Recovery
- Data and Network Security
- Hosted Services
- Telephone Systems
- Secure WiFi Networks
“IT Support You Can Trust and Understand”