According to the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s (ACSC’s) Annual Cyber Threat Report 2021-22, approximately 27% of all cybercrimes reported in Australia relate to online fraud. Identity theft is a growing issue, and if you run your own business or are privy to sensitive information, it’s not just your identity you need to be concerned about.
Your customer data needs to be protected, because, if recent news has taught us anything, your company’s reputation is on the line.
But not every business can afford their own IT team – in fact, it’s usually only large organisations who have dedicated technology and security support. Certainly, small to medium sized businesses such as accounting firms do not always have tech support on speed dial.
As passionate enthusiasts of tech and security, we’ve come up with a handful of ways to help protect your customer data from cybercriminals.
Only collect data you truly need and delete it when you no longer need it
Sure, having data on your customers is great, as you can use it to gain a better understanding of your demographic and improve your marketing capabilities. However, one of the easiest ways to ensure you don’t leak customer data, such as credit card information and passport details is by not keeping it in your system. When you’re creating new customer accounts, always ask yourself how vital is the data you’re gathering? Also, regularly review and delete data that is no longer required.
One of the secondary bonuses of collecting less data about your customers is that they’ll trust you more from the outset – think about when you deal with a company that wants to know your full personal history, but you can’t understand why they’d need to know your mother’s maiden name and your household income.
Use a password manager
There are many ways an employee’s password can be hacked. From phishing scams to weak passwords to brute force attacks, cracking a password is one of the most common methods cybercriminals use to gain access to your data.
There’s a handful of methods you can implement to better protect your password, and our favourite at Geeks2U is a password manager.
A password manager both stores and creates your passwords. This is handy because not only does it help you remember the hundreds of passwords you have floating out there, but it also generates strong passwords that are much tougher to guess.
You only need to remember your one password – the one that gets you into your password manager – which is the master key to your vault. Often, password managers will also let you use biometrics to log in, such as your fingerprint or Face ID, which is even more secure than a password
Book a third-party cybersecurity health check
If you’re not a master of cybersecurity, then you can rely on technology experts to come in and review your business security systems.
For example, Geeks2U’s Digital Security Check is designed to highlight cyber security vulnerabilities which could result in online threats. It will help to protect against data breaches, malware, identity theft and more.
Our Digital Security Check will check to see if your operating system and other programs are up to date, review your anti-virus software and ensure it’s protecting you against the most recent threats, check if your data is being properly backed up and is easy to retrieve, review your password practices, and more.
Try to keep all your data in one place
The more spread out your data is, the more vulnerable you are to a leak. You might have data stored in unsecure locations that you have completely forgotten about. If a certain data storage provider, app, or website has been breached and you forgot you were storing data on the platform, how would you even know to address the issue?
Businesses need to store their customer data in as few tools as necessary. Not only will this be safer, but it will also give you a better, more wholistic view of your data. We call this a “single source of truth” and has many benefits outside of cybersecurity.
Update all computers, devices, apps, and programs
Admittedly, keeping on top of updating your devices can be a bit of a pain, but it is absolutely vital to stay protected against the newest threats. Cybercriminals are constantly coming up with new ways to attack your devices, and if you don’t have the most up to date operating system or anti-virus software, you’re putting yourself at risk.
Geeks2U can help make sure your devices and software are up to date to best protect you against the most current threats. Book an appointment now to make sure you have the most recent versions of your hardware and software.
According to the ACSC’s Report, cybercrime is reported every 7 minutes, which is why you and your business need to be aware of what you can do with your customer’s data.
The tips above are just some examples of how to better protect your data but are not a comprehensive solution and should be used alongside your own data security plans.
If you haven’t reviewed your business’ online security in a while, and are unsure where to start, give Geeks2U a call today and enquire about our Digital Security Check, which can help to find your business’ vulnerabilities before the hackers do.
or complete our form today to set up an appointment with a computer repair technician