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

How to verify apps before installing them on an Android device

Android devices are one of the more popular mobile devices, partly due to the large variety of apps available to users. Unfortunately, many of these are anything but useful. Fake apps purporting to be made by reputable developers can steal your personal data or infect your devices with malware.

How can you protect yourself and make sure that your Android device is running only safe applications?

Enable Google Play Protect

Google Play Protect proactively checks every app before you download them and rechecks your device regularly to ensure it’s free of dangerous software. The service helps keep your device safe and secure by:

  • Running a safety check on apps from the Google Play Store prior to installation
  • Checking your device for potentially harmful apps downloaded from other sources
  • Removing known harmful apps and warning you about any potentially harmful ones that are detected
  • Notifying you about detected apps that violate Google’s Unwanted Software Policy
  • Sending you privacy alerts about apps that can get access to your personal information, violating Google’s Developer Policy

If it finds a potentially harmful app, it will do one of these three things:

  • Send you a notification that will prompt you to remove the app
  • Disable the app until you uninstall it
  • Remove the app automatically

Google Play Protect is enabled by default, but you can turn it on or off by following these steps:

  1. Open the Google Play Store app.
  2. Go to Menu > Play Protect > Settings.
  3. Toggle on Scan apps with Play Protect.

Download from a trusted source

Make sure to download only from well-known and legitimate sources like the Google Play Store, Samsung Galaxy Store, or Amazon Appstore, as these are routinely monitored and scanned for fraudulent apps. However, bogus apps still make it into these stores from time to time, so it’s important to check the ratings and reviews of an app before downloading it. It’s also well worth checking its privacy policy so you know how the app will handle and protect your personal information.

Use third-party antivirus software

Because the market for tablets is growing, more and more companies are offering mobile antivirus solutions. Although there are free antivirus software that are legitimate and effective, the better option is to purchase security solutions from well-established companies to get maximum protection.

Third-party antivirus software may come with monthly or yearly subscriptions, as well as different premium rates for different types of security measures, but their benefits far outweigh the cost of purchase.

Be vigilant

There are many effective steps you can take to make sure your tablet or smartphone is safe against fake apps:

  • Before downloading from a trusted source, read the fine print as well as user reviews, and look out for evident security risks.
  • Uninstall unused apps. This will not only help you avoid any unnecessary risks with potentially vulnerable apps, but also make more room on your device.
  • Update your software. Patches from software updates can fix bugs of vulnerabilities, which, in turn, can thwart cyberattacks. To avoid software update inconveniences, enable automatic updates on your Android tablet or smartphone.

If you are looking to learn more about protecting your Android device, we can help. Contact us today.

This post was originally published on this site

How to verify apps before installing them on an Android device

Android devices are one of the more popular mobile devices, partly due to the large variety of apps available to users. Unfortunately, many of these are anything but useful. Fake apps purporting to be made by reputable developers can steal your personal data or infect your devices with malware.

How can you protect yourself and make sure that your Android device is running only safe applications?

Enable Google Play Protect

Google Play Protect proactively checks every app before you download them and rechecks your device regularly to ensure it’s free of dangerous software. The service helps keep your device safe and secure by:

  • Running a safety check on apps from the Google Play Store prior to installation
  • Checking your device for potentially harmful apps downloaded from other sources
  • Removing known harmful apps and warning you about any potentially harmful ones that are detected
  • Notifying you about detected apps that violate Google’s Unwanted Software Policy
  • Sending you privacy alerts about apps that can get access to your personal information, violating Google’s Developer Policy

If it finds a potentially harmful app, it will do one of these three things:

  • Send you a notification that will prompt you to remove the app
  • Disable the app until you uninstall it
  • Remove the app automatically

Google Play Protect is enabled by default, but you can turn it on or off by following these steps:

  1. Open the Google Play Store app.
  2. Go to Menu > Play Protect > Settings.
  3. Toggle on Scan apps with Play Protect.

Download from a trusted source

Make sure to download only from well-known and legitimate sources like the Google Play Store, Samsung Galaxy Store, or Amazon Appstore, as these are routinely monitored and scanned for fraudulent apps. However, bogus apps still make it into these stores from time to time, so it’s important to check the ratings and reviews of an app before downloading it. It’s also well worth checking its privacy policy so you know how the app will handle and protect your personal information.

Use third-party antivirus software

Because the market for tablets is growing, more and more companies are offering mobile antivirus solutions. Although there are free antivirus software that are legitimate and effective, the better option is to purchase security solutions from well-established companies to get maximum protection.

Third-party antivirus software may come with monthly or yearly subscriptions, as well as different premium rates for different types of security measures, but their benefits far outweigh the cost of purchase.

Be vigilant

There are many effective steps you can take to make sure your tablet or smartphone is safe against fake apps:

  • Before downloading from a trusted source, read the fine print as well as user reviews, and look out for evident security risks.
  • Uninstall unused apps. This will not only help you avoid any unnecessary risks with potentially vulnerable apps, but also make more room on your device.
  • Update your software. Patches from software updates can fix bugs of vulnerabilities, which, in turn, can thwart cyberattacks. To avoid software update inconveniences, enable automatic updates on your Android tablet or smartphone.

If you are looking to learn more about protecting your Android device, we can help. Contact us today.

This post was originally published on this site