From phishing scams and viruses to social engineering and password theft, the everyday business computer receives daily attacks on multiple fronts. Hackers and criminals employ multiple tactics to break into computers and steal personal information. Everyday.
The biggest financial threat these days comes from cyber attacks, rather than physical robberies. Good news is, there are a number of defenses available against identity theft and hackers. Businesses can take steps to ensure their computers and private information such as employer identities, bank account passwords, and credit card numbers remain secure. These are our top three recommendations:
1) Install Reliable Firewall and Anti-Virus Software
A firewall controls and filters business network traffic. It essentially places a secure boundary around an office computer to ensure outside networks can’t attempt to run or access programs, unless first listed or approved as safe by a network administrator. Also, anti-virus software blocks any malware installation attempts.
Malicious software that has already infected a local computer will be detected and removed. The forms of infection anti-virus software guards against include trojans, adware, rootkits, spyware and more. More often than not, anti-virus software is sold separately or bundled with identity theft protection software.
As malicious code becomes more sophisticated, computer security must advance in order to protect against it. Updating firewall and anti-virus software is essential to stopping new malware and cyber attack attempts in their tracks.
2) Set Up Multi-Factor Authentication
Sometimes, a complicated password isn’t enough to secure a business account, though. Adding another step to the login process to prove a user’s identity bolsters the computer with another layer of security.
Authentication, combined with a username and password, can be confirmed by PIN, TAN, a code sent to the user’s phone or email, a USB stick, a card, fingerprints, voice recognition and believe it or not, even eye scanning.
3) Avoid Sites With Questionable Marketing Methods
Avoid and blacklist sites containing invasive ads and adjust browser settings to automatically block pop-up ads that open new windows and tabs. Viruses often hide behind advertisements attempting to convince users to either click them, inadvertently triggering malware installation, or download adware or fraudulent programs asking for personal information.
Some pop-ups don’t even need to be clicked for unwanted and contaminating downloads to begin. While a good anti-virus will guard against intrusive ads at your place of business, avoiding and blocking pop-ups so they never appear in the first place prevents any malware from slipping through the cracks.
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