Mind your own business – tips for today’s best privacy and small business security.
Unless you’ve been living in off-the-grid seclusion you’re well aware that since early 2000 Americans have less privacy, and as a result, less security. But there are solid ways to counter the impact of marketing ploys and surveillance to maximize your privacy and minimize both home and small business security risks.
The perks and perils of 21st century technology
Along with the joys of technology, there’s the reality of abuse, mismanagement and theft of both personal and business information. Online activity like searching for medical insights or credit ratings can be stored and used by websites; shared social media content can be parlayed into stolen identity; and seemingly harmless apps can wreak havoc when privacy policies are not fully understood. Follow these helpful tips to protect your home and small business security and privacy:
- Keep private to stay private. Don’t share your private information online – social security number, date of birth and phone number, and carefuly consider what you do share. This is especially true on social media or anywhere a sign up is required “to play”, along with quizzes or games. A simple innocent quiz can collect info to guess your password, or create a profile of you for marketing purposes.
- Break the itchy clicker-finger. Resist “click bait” and the temptation to randomly download apps. If a service or product is free – surprise – you are paying the price by providing detailed information about yourself. Read the Terms and Conditions/Privacy Policies carefully, and when it comes to websites verify the https:// source and contact details etc to confirm you’re dealing with a real, live company.
- Keep work and personal separate. Avoid co-mingling work and home passwords, doing personal browsing on your company PC and discussing private matters on your work line. Privacy aside, it’s a good best practice to keep work and home separate. When it comes to passwords at both home and work, use a Password Manager (some are free but most are low cost and for use across all platforms). Keep privacy in business by maintaining different emails for private and work use and protect your privacy on social media by creating multiple social media identities.
- Disabling GPS and WiFi. Unless you want your physical location tracked, disable your GPS until you need it. The same goes for your WiFi which can broadcast not only your location but detailed information about your device, apps, and usage.
Privacy in business: how to protect your customers’ privacy – and your own
There’s a lot riding on your business privacy and security platforms, and not just your own sensitive data. Customers and employees count on you to protect their information as well. Follow these tips to make sure everyone is covered:
- Secure your office devices. Every device you touch should have the latest security software installed to protect from viruses and malware, and your server guarded by a firewall that only acknowledges authorized users. An astounding 98% of printers in use today are vulnerable to intrusion; Xerox® ConnectKey® Technology offers the latest security features.
- Encrypt your website. Take password protection up a notch by making it more difficult for hackers to get to your data by encrypting your entire website, enabling you to deploy site-wide encryption and security measures. Install the “HTTPS Everywhere” plug-in to encrypt all of the content transmitted between your servers and your website visitors to prevent it from being captured along the way by malicious individuals.
- Protect your documents. Be careful what you send by email, and avoid sending passwords and usernames together by email or text. Protect private information by marking it for internal use only. And – if sending by email – zip files such as data and send a password separately. Xerox printers are equipped with standard and optional security features like Xerox Secure Print, data encryption and image overwrite to help protect your sensitive documents and information.
- Mind the regulation. Become familiar with commercial communication regulations and make sure you are in compliance to avoid fines or legal consequences. The recent EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) pertains to any messages sent to or received from the European Union. The Canadian Anti-Spam Law has been in full effect since 2016 and covers all messages sent into or out of Canada, but does not include messages simply routed through Canada. The US Anti-spam regulation CAN-SPAM is the most lenient of the three and the only one that is an opt-out law, which doesn’t require prior consent from recipients to be sent commercial messages.1
- Avoid collecting data if possible. If you don’t need it to do business, don’t gather or store it. The less you have, the less likely you are to be targeted by cybercriminals, and the less you have to protect and manage. Only collect what is vital to your business such as processing orders and billing information.
For more insights on how to protect privacy and small business security, visit our small business tips now.