Everyday is Data Privacy Day

When the average business owner hears the term cybercrime, one of two things likely happen:

  1. They think about attacks happening to larger corporations, or
  2. They disregard it and go back to their work.

Besides, hackers are only interested in big corporations, right?

According to Keeper’s “2017 State of Small and Medium-Sized Business Cybersecurity Report”, 61% of our country’s 28 million small and medium-sized businesses reported they were either the victim of or experienced an attempted cyber attack that year. This represents a seven percentage point increase from 2016. But despite this chilling statistic, a separate survey by Manta revealed few business owners are concerned about cybercrime, with 87% saying they felt they were not at risk.

Cybercrime is defined as criminal activities carried out by computers or using the internet. The most common types of cybercrime include Corporate Account Takeovers (CAT), intellectual property theft, identity theft, online predatory crimes and unauthorized computer access.

The Internet opened the global economy for business. Companies like yours can now connect and do business with people near and far. But this opportunity also increases the threats you face. Now is the time to plan to reduce your risk of being attacked.

Data Privacy Day serves as an annual reminder for business owners like yourself, to take a pause and reflect on actionable steps you can take. Following are 5 actions you can work on today and put into practice to better protect your business, your employees, your customers and your reputation.

  • Upgrade your password practices: Based on the risk posed, all passwords should be long, strong and unique for every account you have. Upgrade them by using the SNL (symbols, numbers and letters) Triad, enabling two-factor authentication and utilize a password manager.
  • Update privacy settings: When was the last time you reviewed your social media websites’ privacy settings? Clean up unnecessary contacts “friends” and make sure you are sharing only what you intend to with your audience.
  • Protect your mobile devices: Use a strong passcode on your smartphones and tablets to ensure they are secure, physically secured and back them up just like your computer.
  • Mind your inbox: Be mindful of links, requests or attachments from outside sources. If a supplier or retailer is asking you to click on a link, you can usually access that information directly from their website. Or when in doubt pick up the phone and inquire verbally about the request.
  • Use secure online payments: If you are paying online, check that the website utilizes a secure payment platform. It's also smart to check with your payment card providers about what services they offer to protect your identity and guard against fraudulent activity.

For more tips and information, visit the Department of Homeland Security at https://www.dhs.gov. You’ve worked hard to build your business and we want to see you achieve the financial success you’ve dreamed of. We encourage you to share this with fellow business owners so they can protect themselves. If you have any questions, continue the conversation with your relationship manager.