With viruses and malware like Ransomware and ShellShock raising the eyebrows of businesses and consumers, it’s only smart to update antivirus software to help stop these threats. We’re entering into the season of festivities, which means a lot of holiday shopping online. With Internet shopping come grave threats, which can leave your financial information exposed and used for sinister purposes. Hackers are on the lookout for vulnerabilities in software and Web sites, so to steal personal and financial data from unsuspecting Internet shoppers. With this being known, it’s recommended that you gear up for the season, not with protection from the cold, but protection from viruses and malware. Whether you are a business or a consumer, you can use the following tips to help secure yourself and your computers from malware and viruses this winter.
Dangers Lurking out there Today
With big chains like Target having data breaches during Black Friday, it only makes sense that small businesses and consumers go the extra mile to safeguard their data. To date, the businesses that have been hacked and attacked have done a great job of offering its customers with identity theft protection foras long as oneyear. This monitoring allows consumers to know when unauthorized use of their credit cards have taken place and can quickly take action against the culprit.
Business Security 101
If you run a business, you know that the security of your systems should be up to par. With that said, it’s important that you ensure that all business transactions are completed over network connections that are secure. You can have a VPN and network firewall installed for communications and data transfers that are handled remotely, rather than relying on Wi-Fi and data network security. Whatever protection you are using for your computer systems today whether AVG or Immunet Antivirus, it’s important that you update antivirus software regularly. Times are always changing, which means that you need to keeps your antivirus software up-to-date with new and emerging threats. All of the equipment you use, such as servers, desktops, laptops and mobile devices should have encryption implemented for further security. Then just in case, you should have any critical data backed up and have a procedure ready that can be used for a secure restoration of your systems.
Security Tips for Consumers
It’s important to note that any time you shop using your debit or credit card, it is at risk of being jeopardized. This means that shopping online isn’t your only threat. Whenever you swipe your card at a store’s terminal, this too can cause a security threat. So be careful wherever you decide to shop and if you notice any suspicious activities on your account, contact your card company and the credit bureaus right away to let them know of a possible identity theft. Here are some other tips you can use to keep your financial data safe:
- Update antivirus software on all of the computers you use, including your laptop, tablet and smartphone. Always keep your security software current, so that it can provide you with the best protection possible.
- Shred all financial data after use. When you are done with bank statements, health forms, financial statements, utility bills, billing statements and other documents that have personal and financial data on it, shred them up before throwing them out.
- Frequently change your passwords. Don’t keep the same passwords for your email and financial accounts for too long. It’s a good idea to use long passwords that have upper and lowercase characters, symbols and numbers.
- Be wary of using Wi-Fi hotspots. Staying connected on the go is best done using your own personal hotspot or data plan. When connecting to public hotspots, make sure that you only send personal info through Web sites that have full encryption.
- Stay abreast of ways to stay safe while shopping online and offline. You can check trusted Web sites like BBB and even Twitter of Facebook to find out the latest scams. Knowing this information can help safeguard your identity from being stolen and misused by hackers.
- Don’t trust emails, texts and links that are sent to you by unsolicited emails or popup ads. Clicking on and opening the documents or links in these messages could set forth a download for a virus onto your personal device. Rather than giving in to your curiosity, delete the message right away.
- Monitor your bank and credit card statements. Since this is the time when a lot of shopping is done using credit and debit cards, it’s advised that you regularly look over your statements online, so that you can quickly check for unauthorized purchases.
Whether you’re a person or an entity, using antivirus software and security measures to protect your confidentiality is important, especially during this holiday season when transactions will increase.
Share small business news, blogs and social media tips with Project Eve's community of small business owners and entrepreneurs today. Our contributors come from a wide range of backgrounds; so whether you are a small business owner, social media strategist, financial adviser, serial entrepreneur, or write an amateur blog we urge you to contribute a blog to our 500,000+ community today. For more information, please refer to our Content Submissions Guidelines.