Protecting Your Business from Cyber-Criminals

Even small businesses can be vulnerable to cyber-attacks, which can compromise not only your company’s integrity, but possibly result in leaks of sensitive information, proprietary secrets, financial data, and client information. Ensuring your computer systems and online activities are protected will be an asset for you and your customers. B.S. Consulting offers a range of resources that can help keep your business operating in a safe and secure manner.

What is Cyber-Crime?

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), cybercrime includes activities like email scams, identity theft, and the installation of ransomware that holds data captive in exchange for monetary payment. Malware and viruses can also compromise or shut down your network. Some types of cyber-crime are highly sophisticated, which makes them even tougher to identify and eradicate. Your best defense, in this case, is a good offense. Making sure your systems are secure and that you’re alerted to suspicious activity will keep you, your business, and your customers protected.

What’s the Damage of Cyber-Crime?

On the low end of the spectrum, small attacks can result in slow-operating systems, glitches, corrupted files, and reduced productivity. On the higher end of the scope, cyber-crime can be financially devastating for you or your clients. You also run the risk of having your reputation ruined if you have a data breach. Consumers need to know the companies they do business with are protecting their personal and financial information, so guarding against cyber threats is a critical function of business operations. 

How Criminals Target Businesses

The majority of cyber-crime is financially motivated, so hackers and bad actors look for opportunities to steal money. This might be in the form of lifting identities and getting new credit or access to finances under those names. Skimming credit card data is another approach, while phishing scams that trick people into sending money under the guise of legitimacy are another. Criminals may also target wealthy individuals, as well as businesses that have wealthy clients or are likely to have financial information for clients in their databases. Criminals look for unprotected systems that are easy to access.

Why You Must Train Employees

Having anti-cyber-crime protocols in place can help reduce your company’s vulnerability. According to PC Mag, instruct employees about proper online activity and information protection. Also, be detailed in explaining what type of information is shareable and what is not, and institute strict password guidelines to help reduce the potential for botnets that spread malware. Staffers should also be instructed to immediately report any activity that appears unusual or suspicious. If you have an IT staffer or consultant, regularly-scheduled diagnostic system reviews can also help identify areas of concern.

Be Proactive in Protecting Networks

Preparation is key to reducing the potential for security breaches. In addition to training employees, back up your systems regularly and update software as necessary. If you aren’t a cybersecurity expert, enlists the services of someone who is. This is a rapidly evolving field, and professionals who work in it every day are up to speed on relevant best practices. Consider hiring a freelance cybersecurity professional from a reputable job board. Weigh reviews, delivery time, and cost before retaining someone’s services.

The world of cyber-crime is continually advancing, evolving, and becoming more and more sophisticated. To protect yourself, your business, and your clients, ensuring the security of your networks is an issue of paramount importance. If you are hacked or otherwise infiltrated, fast action is a necessity. Contact B.S. Consulting to learn more about the best ways to prevent and appropriately respond to cybercrime activity in your business. Call (512) 434-0611 or reach out via email.

Photo by Pixabay

Affordable ways to safeguard your Android device

While Android devices are prone to hundreds of different cybersecurity threats, protecting your Android device doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. If you don’t want to spend a great deal of money on security, this guide will help you safeguard your Android phone or tablet without breaking the bank.

You don’t have to purchase expensive software to safeguard your device; most of the best protection against common Android threats is available for free. Here are inexpensive ways to secure your Android devices.

Buy devices from vendors that release Android patches quickly

Beware of handset makers that don’t immediately release Android patches. If you subscribe to a vendor that delays the release of such patches, your device will be vulnerable for a longer time to security threats like bugs and will have a higher risk of getting compromised.

Always keep your apps updated

Apps release updates from time to time. These updates improve security, add new features, and/or remove outdated ones. To install updates as soon as they’re released, you can choose to update Android apps automatically by following these instructions:

  1. Open the Google Play Store app.
  2. Go to Menu > Settings.
  3. Tap Auto-update apps.

You can then select whether to update apps using Wi-Fi or mobile data.

Lock your device

Keeping your devices locked provides an extra layer of protection, as unlocking them requires entering a unique key such as a passcode or a pattern, or using your phone or tablet’s facial recognition feature

The simplest way to lock your device is by using a personal identification number (PIN); however, make sure that you use a hard-to-guess but easy-to-remember combination. If you have a newer Android device, you can use fingerprint or face recognition technology to better ensure that only authorized people can access your device.

Download apps only from the Google Play Store

Google Play is the safest place to download apps for your Android device. Third-party sites may offer an interesting lineup of apps, but their software can contain malicious codes. Sometimes, though, bogus apps make it to the Google Play Store, so always read reviews before downloading apps to ensure their legitimacy.

Use Google Play Protect

Google Protect is a built-in malware scanner that monitors apps in the Google Play Store and on your device. It also runs a safety check on any app from the Google Play Store before you download it.

Google Protect is turned on by default, but you can switch it off or on again by opening the Google Play Store app on your Android device and going to Menu > Settings > Scan apps with Play Protect.

Use on-device encryption

Every Android device running on Android 2.3 and above has an encryption feature that can render all your data unreadable to unauthorized entities until they provide the correct PIN or passcode. Whatever Android version your device is running, you can generally find encryption settings by going to Settings > Personal > Security.

Use a virtual private network (VPN)

When you’re connected to public Wi-Fi, there’s always a possibility that someone will intercept your data. Using a VPN encrypts your information so that even if someone steals your data, it will be completely unreadable and useless to them. There are numerous free VPNs on the Google Play Store. Compare their rankings and reviews before choosing one.

Protect your Google account with two-factor authentication (2FA)

Aside from protecting your Android device, you must also protect your Google account, which you can do using various methods, such as enabling 2FA. Just log in to your Google account, go to Security > 2-Step Verification > Get Started, then follow the succeeding prompts. You can choose to receive the verification codes on your phone via SMS or voice.

Keep an eye on your devices

Thieves are always on the lookout for potential victims. Treat your device as you would your cash, jewelry, and other valuables. Also, avoid using your device in areas with high crime rates to avoid attracting attention and getting robbed.

Keep these tips in mind to safeguard your phone or tablet from physical and digital risks. If you have any comments, suggestions, or questions about your Android device, call us now. Our experts are here to help.

This post was originally published on this site

Affordable ways to safeguard your Android device

While Android devices are prone to hundreds of different cybersecurity threats, protecting your Android device doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. If you don’t want to spend a great deal of money on security, this guide will help you safeguard your Android phone or tablet without breaking the bank.

You don’t have to purchase expensive software to safeguard your device; most of the best protection against common Android threats is available for free. Here are inexpensive ways to secure your Android devices.

Buy devices from vendors that release Android patches quickly

Beware of handset makers that don’t immediately release Android patches. If you subscribe to a vendor that delays the release of such patches, your device will be vulnerable for a longer time to security threats like bugs and will have a higher risk of getting compromised.

Always keep your apps updated

Apps release updates from time to time. These updates improve security, add new features, and/or remove outdated ones. To install updates as soon as they’re released, you can choose to update Android apps automatically by following these instructions:

  1. Open the Google Play Store app.
  2. Go to Menu > Settings.
  3. Tap Auto-update apps.

You can then select whether to update apps using Wi-Fi or mobile data.

Lock your device

Keeping your devices locked provides an extra layer of protection, as unlocking them requires entering a unique key such as a passcode or a pattern, or using your phone or tablet’s facial recognition feature

The simplest way to lock your device is by using a personal identification number (PIN); however, make sure that you use a hard-to-guess but easy-to-remember combination. If you have a newer Android device, you can use fingerprint or face recognition technology to better ensure that only authorized people can access your device.

Download apps only from the Google Play Store

Google Play is the safest place to download apps for your Android device. Third-party sites may offer an interesting lineup of apps, but their software can contain malicious codes. Sometimes, though, bogus apps make it to the Google Play Store, so always read reviews before downloading apps to ensure their legitimacy.

Use Google Play Protect

Google Protect is a built-in malware scanner that monitors apps in the Google Play Store and on your device. It also runs a safety check on any app from the Google Play Store before you download it.

Google Protect is turned on by default, but you can switch it off or on again by opening the Google Play Store app on your Android device and going to Menu > Settings > Scan apps with Play Protect.

Use on-device encryption

Every Android device running on Android 2.3 and above has an encryption feature that can render all your data unreadable to unauthorized entities until they provide the correct PIN or passcode. Whatever Android version your device is running, you can generally find encryption settings by going to Settings > Personal > Security.

Use a virtual private network (VPN)

When you’re connected to public Wi-Fi, there’s always a possibility that someone will intercept your data. Using a VPN encrypts your information so that even if someone steals your data, it will be completely unreadable and useless to them. There are numerous free VPNs on the Google Play Store. Compare their rankings and reviews before choosing one.

Protect your Google account with two-factor authentication (2FA)

Aside from protecting your Android device, you must also protect your Google account, which you can do using various methods, such as enabling 2FA. Just log in to your Google account, go to Security > 2-Step Verification > Get Started, then follow the succeeding prompts. You can choose to receive the verification codes on your phone via SMS or voice.

Keep an eye on your devices

Thieves are always on the lookout for potential victims. Treat your device as you would your cash, jewelry, and other valuables. Also, avoid using your device in areas with high crime rates to avoid attracting attention and getting robbed.

Keep these tips in mind to safeguard your phone or tablet from physical and digital risks. If you have any comments, suggestions, or questions about your Android device, call us now. Our experts are here to help.

This post was originally published on this site