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  • 7 Security Tips to Protect Your Data

  • There is a lot of work that goes into good IT support and in keeping your data protected. That said, there are some basic security practices that every business owner should be aware of. The following seven security tips can help you improve the security of your business and the sensitive data that you are responsible for:

    1. Keep systems regularly patched and updated - this may sound obvious but an alarming amount of business owners have no idea how often their systems are being updated and receive no confirmation to ensure systems are receiving the updates they need to remain secure. 
    2. Do not use administrator accounts for daily use - Microsoft claims that over 90% of all known vulnerabilities can be avoided simply by not operating your computer as an administrator. 
    3. Encrypt your devices. All of them! - Encryption has become easier than ever and with modern technology, performance concerns are a thing of the past. Healthcare professionals in particular should ensure all devices are encrypted and that any movement of data should also be encrypted. This will go a long way to minimize the chance for serious financial penalties as a result of a data breach.
    4. Use unique passwords - Too many people have fallen into the habit of using one common password or a variation of the same password for all of their services and devices. This is a dangerous practice with potentially devastating consequences. There are several apps both free and commercial that can be used to store all of your passwords centrally and securely.
    5. Antivirus - Yes, even for Macs. There is a common misnomer that Macs do not get viruses, which is absolutely untrue. For years, Microsoft devices were the primary target for hackers simply because there were so many more of them and hackers would put the majority of their effort into attacking this larger base of users and data. Make sure that all of your devices have antivirus installed and that they are automatically updating. 
    6. Malware software - some antivirus tools have malware scanning capability built into them but many do not. This software should be used as another layer to scan for browser vulnerabilities and downloadable threats that can do serious damage to your data and your business.
    7. Be careful in public! - Computers in libraries, universities, hotels or public cafes are terrific for surfing the web. However, you really need to understand the risks that are present when inputting confidential information in these areas. There is really not much you can do to ensure the safety of your private information on someone else's computer. You are dependent on the security measures they have put in place or the potential lack thereof. Someone else could also have come in before you and put a flash stick into the device to gather information. Keyword loggers are very easy to download and install to gather and send any/all of the keystrokes silently in the background. If there are no other options available and no other way of getting your work done, you run the risk but if it can wait, it may be to your benefit.

       



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