Top 10: Protecting your end-user data

Security is a hot topic thanks to a visible escalation in cybersecurity risks, but end-user data is often overlooked. With an increasingly mobile workforce, sensitive data is now found on all manner of devices, including laptops and mobiles – and it must be secured.

Protect your business by ensuring that you and your staff follow these 10 tips for better data security.

1. CLICK SMART
Clicking on a suspect link or visiting a malware-infected website risks compromising your personal privacy (or worse). If a link or file looks suspect, it probably is – especially if it arrives in an unsolicited email.

PROTECT YOUR DATA BY:
Looking for “https” and the padlock icon in the URL field when visiting a site, and using secure, updated browsers that
prioritise privacy and security.

2. STRONG PASSWORDS
Not changing default passwords, having a weak password or using the same one on multiple accounts is extremely risky, and could expose your devices to being hacked.

PROTECT YOUR DATA BY:
Getting your team to use a password manager to generate strong passwords and store them securely.

3. MULTI-FACTOR ID
Two-factor or multi-factor verification – which adds further steps or pieces of information to prove your identity when accessing an account – is fast becoming the new standard for online security.

PROTECT YOUR DATA BY:
Activating this feature for all your team’s critical accounts

4. BACKUP
If your data or website is hacked or compromised by ransomware, you could be facing an expensive fix or worse. Regular backups are a necessity.

PROTECT YOUR DATA BY:
Using a system that backs up your data automatically. If your security is compromised, you have the option of restoring it all with a few clicks.

5. SOFTWARE UPDATE
Not keeping all your software updated is like leaving your windows and doors open, and cybercriminals will pounce if they spot a vulnerability. Failure to take this crucial step could mean hackers or malware gain access to your data.

PROTECT YOUR DATA BY:
Turning on auto-updates for all your software to minimise the risk of being compromised.

6. DON’T PIRATE
Original software can be expensive to purchase, especially for small businesses and startups, but using pirated or ‘cracked’ software is not a solution. Pirated software often contains malware, and the very act of copying patented software is illegal.

PROTECT YOUR DATA BY:
Always purchasing software from the manufacturer, and not downloading or copying illegal versions.

7. PRINTER SECURITY
Printers are often overlooked when it comes to security, but they are connected devices that store sensitive personal and corporate data. They can also be an entry point for malware and viruses.

PROTECT YOUR DATA BY: Ensuring your printer software is updated regularly with the latest firmware and security patches. Protect your local network by only giving access to known users.

8. PRIVACY SETTINGS
Apps, search engines and browsers all come with default privacy settings, which control what data about you is collected and how it’s shared. Many of us don’t bother to check these when we start using a device or service.

PROTECT YOUR DATA BY:
Taking the time to review and adjust privacy settings, or (where possible) opting out of data collection.

9. ANTIVIRUS
Fail to install or keep your existing antivirus software updated and your personal or business data could be stolen, deleted or corrupted by malware.

PROTECT YOUR DATA BY:
Updating your software regularly, so you are protected from all the latest threats, including specific protection against malware.

10. COMPLIANCE
Regulations around customer privacy are increasing and they make organisations responsible for the data they hold. They typically include stringent penalties for any breaches or losses of user data in their possession.

Protect your data by understanding and complying with the local and international regulations that apply to your business and its data.

Brad Lynch blynch@macnair.com.au

Need further help? Speak with us today.

Ph (02) 02 8814 5011 | www.macnair.com.au

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Brad Lynch