It’s no longer news that one of the disadvantages of digital transactions which has overtime posed a critical concern for business owners in Nigeria is the menace of Cyber-Crime on Big Businesses as well as Small Businesses. The need for more information on cyber security is high!
The possible solution to this menace, however, is to educate small business owners on how they can escape Cyber-Crime from hackers and internet fraudsters. With the right information being disseminated to business owners in Nigeria, the rate of Cyber-Crime in the country will drastically decrease.
To make things worse, internet fraudsters, scammers and cybercriminals are increasingly targeting small businesses. Since the Big Businesses can afford to outsource their Cyber-Security goals to an agency, small businesses might not be able to afford this for a start.
Small business owners cannot afford to take cybersecurity lightly. A successful cyberattack could prove catastrophic. To this end, we’ve put together these cybersecurity tips for small businesses that can be implemented to improve the company’s security, help prevent data and financial losses.
TESTED CYBER-SECURITY TIPS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
1. EDUCATE STAFF ABOUT CYBER THREATS AND HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE:
Educate your employees about online threats and how to protect your business’s data. Teach your staff about how to spot suspicious emails. Small businesses can take an active role in protecting their data. The first step is realizing where the attacks are coming from.
The most common attack is “phishing” (a malicious and fraudulent email that appears to be legitimate). Using these emails, a hacker is trying to get access to your business’ private data (customer, employee, financial, etc.) A simple solution is to make all employees aware that this is a vulnerability and such emails should be ignored.
Teach your staff to check emails for spelling mistakes, the email address of the sender, and hover over URLs to see where they’re being redirected before clicking them. If they’re still unsure, calling the sender to verify where the email came from is the best bet.
This might seem like a lot of work, but when you consider the possibility of having your data stolen or your information compromised, it is better to be thorough than sorry. By having employees as active participants in protecting the business, small businesses stand a better chance of navigating the evolving cyber threat landscape.
2. CONFIRM ALL PAYMENTS FOR GOODS OR SERVICES MADE VIA ONLINE TRANSFERS:
Internet fraudsters have now devised new ways of not paying for goods or services rendered by sending fake credit alert to business owners. They send Fake bank alerts to confuse business owners. You must do due diligence when confirming online payments for goods and service
Always check to see that the SMS is really from your bank and also that the Account balance stated on the credit alert tallies with the expected Bank balance before allowing the customers to leave with the goods sold. We’ve seen many unscrupulous internet fraudsters get away with this. Make it a daily task to confirm the online transaction before releasing goods.
3. UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF DATA BACKUP:
Ransomware (a form of malware in which internet fraudsters effectively holds a user’s computer hostage until a “ransom” fee is paid. The malware often infiltrates a PC as a computer worm or Trojan horse that takes advantage of open security vulnerabilities) is popular among cybercriminals who can lock your computer so you can’t access your valuable files & data, like your private photos, videos or work files.
One of the best ways to combat the threat of ransomware is to back up your data on a regular basis using external backup devices (Flash drives or external hard drives) or by using cloud storage services such as Google Cloud and iCloud. Make backup copies of important business data and information.
Regularly backup the data on all computers. Critical data includes word processing documents, electronic spreadsheets, databases, financial files, human resources files, and accounts receivable/payable files. Backup data automatically if possible, or at least weekly, and store the copies either offsite or on the cloud. Maintain Cloud Backups. Back up all business to a cloud server in a different geographical region. Google provides 15 GB of storage for free but you can get the premium version if you need more storage space.
4. GET AN SECURE SOCKETS LAYER (SSL) CERTIFICATE FOR YOUR WEBSITE:
SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. Most eCommerce websites must use this secured. Without this certificate, any computer between you and the server that is receiving the information can get access to your sensitive information.
As of July 2018, Google started flagging websites containing password and credit card input fields as not secure if it does not have an SSL certificate. Having an SSL certificate allows your website to be secure for its users and the business, while not having one could be risking traffic loss (and potentially a security breach) for your website. If you’re not sure if your website has this certificate, talk to your web programmer, or check the URL to see if it has “HTTPS” instead of “HTTP.”
5. USE A TRUSTWORTHY SECURITY SUITE TO HELP PROTECT YOUR DEVICES:
A security suite is a Cybersecurity software that prevents unauthorized access to data that is stored electronically. This type of software protects businesses from data theft, malicious data, and system usage by third parties. When buying a security suite, make sure you invest in software that provides comprehensive protection for all your family members and their devices.
So that’s it! We hope that you’d implement this free tips to prevent hackers and internet fraudsters from hacking into your website and database. Your security is of critical importance as a business owner in Nigeria.
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