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7 Ways to Protect Yourself from Business Identity Theft

September 18, 2017
By Eric Rosenberg

Identity theft impacts more than 17 million Americans per year, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and businesses are not immune. The same havoc that identity thieves cause for individuals can harm a business’s finances and credit history. And, unlike individuals, when a business is attacked it could threaten the livelihood of many employees and customers who rely on the company. If you want to avoid identity theft for your business, follow these seven steps.

1. Switch to Digital Statements

Mail theft is a simple but common entry point for bad guys looking to steal a business’s information. Bank statements, credit card bills, human resources files, and other mail can be used to attack the business or others. To end susceptibility of mail theft, turn off the mail.  (more…)

5 Common Small Business Cyber Security Myths

December 21, 2015
computerBy Hanna Burmeister, Michigan SBDC 

It’d be difficult to find a business today that doesn’t use at least one computer-based or online system.  With online cloud-based services available for anything from accounting to file sharing, it’s no wonder that small businesses are adopting (and inventing) these new technologies.  However, as technology gets smarter, so do hackers.

Though cyber attacks on large companies like Target or Home Depot may make headlines, hackers are increasingly targeting small businesses.  Unfortunately, most small businesses are unaware of cyber security threats, leaving them especially vulnerable.

In order to better understand small business cyber security, let’s start by investigating five common cyber security myths:

1. Hackers only target large companies.
Unfortunately, small businesses make excellent targets for hackers. Most small businesses don’t have the resources to invest in heavy-duty security measures, but still possess valuable information.  Additionally, many small businesses are simply unaware of cyber security risks and how to mitigate them. Hackers are a real threat to small businesses, and developing a cyber security strategy is incredibly important no matter a business’ size.  (more…)

Password Managers: Protect Your Business Online

November 23, 2015
By Scott Gerlach

padlockPasswords are broken.

OK, now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s talk about why, and some ways to help protect your business online.

To make passwords hard for computers to guess, you have to make passwords hard to remember. To prevent one compromised account from destroying the security of all of your online services, you should use different, hard-to-remember passwords. This predicament leads people to use one easy-to-remember password for everything. Which wouldn’t be bad except you don’t want your Facebook password to cough up your online banking credentials. Nor would you want to lose your domain names and hosting sites to a slip of a Twitter credential. (more…)

Password Safety

November 10, 2014
By Whitney Lemon

Lesson Highlight: Keep your business accounts secure with strong passwords

On top of that, many people use the same, easy-to-guess password. According to this CBS news story, the most common passwords of 2013 were: “123456,” “password,” and “12345678.”

Online security is an important topic for everyone, including small businesses new to the web. There are steps you can take to protect yourself and your online accounts. How? Create strong, secure passwords. It’s the simplest, and perhaps the most important thing you can do to protect yourself online.

Many people use one password for all their online accounts. That’s like using one key for everything: your home, car, office, etc.

If you are using any of these passwords for your accounts, please speed-read through this post then change your passwords to make them secure. Here are tips from Google’s Safety Center:  (more…)

Common Myths: Mobile Data Security and Universal Commerce

June 4, 2013

As consumers demand greater access to information, offers and payment functionality—anytime, anywhere—the lines between in-store commerce, eCommerce and mobile commerce are blurring. In this emerging Universal Commerce environment, it is therefore crucial to accurately identify potential new vulnerabilities and build effective defenses to stay ahead of data thieves. This short quiz will help us explore some of the myths and realities of security in the age of Universal Commerce.

Fact or Fiction: Fraudsters will actively look to siphon account information from phones and EMV cards.

Answer: Fact AND Fiction.
For passive devices like contactless cards, this is technically possible for criminals to do by picking a consumer’s pocket and attempting to circumvent the devices’ security features. However, it is practically unlikely and has compensating controls to prevent it from being an efficient method of data theft. For active devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets) with secure elements, remote data removal and encryptions, this is unlikely, and to reach the information, it would require a device-level “hack” to penetrate the layers of security. (more…)