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8 Tips to Prevent Data Breach (2/4)

This entry is part 11 of 25 in the series Data Security

Data breach is the exposure of sensitive customer information due to hacking, theft or the accidental release of data. Business owners are expected to be custodians of customer information and have a reasonable expectation to protect their customers’ data. A data breach is impactful for all businesses, but it can be devastating for a small business without the resources of a larger corporation. In this four-part blog series, we share what business owners need to know to diminish the possibility of a data breach and its destructive impact if one is experienced.

Data breach is the exposure of customer information, and should not be confused with identity theft – which is when thieves target individuals to obtain credit card and financial information – or cyber liability, which refers to the individual targeting of businesses to steal their financial information via hacking.

Preventing data breach is equal parts common sense and technical knowledge. It’s important to take a balanced approach because neither avenue alone can address all issues. Consider these tips: (more…)

How to React to a Data Breach (3/4)

This entry is part 12 of 25 in the series Data Security

Data breach is the exposure of sensitive customer information due to hacking, theft or the accidental release of data. Business owners are expected to be custodians of customer information and have a reasonable expectation to protect their customers’ data. A data breach is impactful for all businesses, but it can be devastating for a small business without the resources of a larger corporation. In this four-part blog series, we share what business owners need to know to diminish the possibility of a data breach and its destructive impact if one is experienced.

In the case of a possible data breach, a business owner should follow these steps: (more…)

Protecting Your Business from Costly Data Breach Damage (4/4)

This entry is part 13 of 25 in the series Data Security

Data breach is the exposure of sensitive customer information due to hacking, theft or the accidental release of data. Business owners are expected to be custodians of customer information and have a reasonable expectation to protect their customers’ data. A privacy breach is impactful for all businesses, but it can be devastating for a small business without the resources of a larger corporation. In this four-part blog series, we share the top three data breach myths, eight tips to prevent data breach, how to react to a data breach, and how to protect your business from costly data breach damage.

For 20 days in late 2013, Target Corporation experienced one of the largest data breaches in American history. Hacked information included some 70 million customer names and 40 million credit and debit card numbers including the short verification codes on the back of compromised cards. In addition to forcing the retail giant to book a reported $61 million in direct costs related to the breach, it also scared customers away from shopping at their stores – which resulted in a 46% drop in net profit during the holiday quarter. Although the exact full costs of the breach are not yet known, security analysts have pegged the costs at upwards of $400 million.

A data breach can be even more impactful for a small business and cause irreparable harm to your company’s reputation. The cost of even a small breach can be wildly expensive. Typical costs can include: (more…)

7 Common Causes of Data Breach

This entry is part 15 of 25 in the series Data Security

Data breach is the exposure of customer information and it is becoming a more common (and frightening) occurrence. Could your business be the next victim, left to face tremendous financial costs, lost customers and lost reputation? Consider these common causes of data breach: (more…)

Hacked! How to Comply with Data Breach Notification Laws

This entry is part 16 of 25 in the series Data Security

Unfortunately, your business is never 100% protected from data breach crimes, so it’s important to be prepared to respond if you should become a victim. In the event of a data breach, businesses must comply with data breach notification laws. Although data breach notification laws vary by jurisdiction, generally businesses must notify consumers whose personal information has been compromised by a security breach.

Who is required to give notice? (more…)

Password Storage Solution

This entry is part 18 of 25 in the series Data Security

Do you need a password storage solution? If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the following questions, it’s time to look for better way to secure your passwords:

Have you written passwords down on something and then put that something where you can always find it at your desk?  Is it stuck under your keyboard?  Is it in an unlocked desk drawer?  Or simply stuck to your monitor?  I hate to let these secret spots out of the bag, but unfortunately everyone knows that people “hide” passwords in these areas.

Many of us deal with confidential information on a daily basis – whether it is our own personal data or a customer’s.  It is important that this information be kept secure.  One of the cornerstones of protection is keeping login credentials and passwords safe and private. (more…)

Best Practices When Connecting to Public Wireless Internet

This entry is part 19 of 25 in the series Data Security

Technical skills are important for success in this day and age, and wireless internet access is available almost anywhere to help us stay connected on the go. In many cases, this service is provided for free or for a small fee. Some examples include hotels, airports, and businesses such as coffee shops and restaurants. Although having wireless internet accessible anywhere and anytime is very convenient, it also presents certain risks.

Follow these tips to help keep you and your computer safe when connected to a public wireless network: (more…)

PHISHY PHONE CALLS

This entry is part 20 of 25 in the series Data Security

In the midst of a busy workday, you receive a phone call from an outside number. The caller identifies themselves as a member of tech support calling about your computer. They may request your password, ask you to download a file, or request remote connection to your system. These calls may be phishing attempts and should be considered dangerous – but they can be tricky to identify and it’s important to be prepared to respond appropriately.

Here are 7 helpful tips to deal with phishing: (more…)

Don’t Be a Victim of Email Scams

This entry is part 21 of 25 in the series Data Security

Email is commonplace in the business world, with over 108 billion emails sent and received per day. The fact that emails are circulating in big numbers makes them a good target for scammers. We all need to be careful when opening emails.

Consider this scenario that was recently brought to my attention: (more…)

Password Best Practices

This entry is part 22 of 25 in the series Data Security

Many people agree that passwords are a major pain. Many people also agree that passwords are a necessary part of day-to-day business and life. After all, passwords are the first line of defense when protecting our information both at home and at work.

It’s manageable if you only have one or two passwords to recall but as technology now touches most aspects of our life, many of us need to keep track of login information for several accounts. We walk a fine line of making sure our passwords are difficult enough so that they can’t be hacked, yet easy enough so that they don’t have to be written down on a sticky note at our desk. (more…)