In numbers far greater than the combined populations of the U.S. and Canada, our Internet identities are falling into the hands of hackers—over 552 million breached in 2013 alone. And in this era of cybercrime, small businesses stand to lose big.
Trojan horse viruses and malicious software used to ride in through pop-ups, or emails from distressed Saudi princesses with “money” to spare. Now they’re riding in unknowingly on the soft, poorly protected underbellies of small businesses.
Have less to lose
“Their customer’s information is the most important thing that they have to protect,” says Compeau.
Avoid third party surprises
“More and more they’re relying on outsourced services from the cloud or for managing transactions – those are targets for hackers,” says Compeau.
It’s the golden rule least followed but vital for protecting both customer and the businesses data says Julie Thorpe, assistant professor of IT security at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
Have a password policy
But perhaps the most overlooked element of cyber security is the password. Thorpe points to the recent leak of racy celebrity photos by hackers.
Avoid predictable themes
“There’s a lot of really common patterns behind what people are choosing in passwords,” says Thorpe. “Because of all these leaks hackers know these patterns and can use them against you. Source