In recent years, cyber crime has gone from being a futuristic-sounding concept to a fact of life for businesses in the UK. At one end of the scale are the headline grabbing attacks encountered by major companies, such as Talk Talk’s recent £35m hack but on a smaller scale as many as 74% of small UK businesses have been victims of cyber crime in the past year alone.
While not all businesses owners are especially tech-savvy, there are plenty of straightforward steps you can follow in order to reduce the chances of you being affected by cyber crime, as well as to reduce the impact a successful attack has upon your business. Here are our 5 top tips for countering cyber crime:
Secure your computer
This should go without saying but if your company uses computers, you need to make sure that they’ve got basic cyber defences in place. Activate your firewall to block dangerous sites, viruses, and hackers, and install (and regularly update) anti-virus software to keep your computer safe.
Use strong passwords
When choosing passwords, don’t just use your company name or date of birth. Pick a password that uses a combination of lower case letters, upper case letters, numbers and special characters so that it is impossible to guess and more difficult to crack. It’s also helpful to regularly update your passwords – remembering new passwords can be a pain but by changing them, it makes them harder to crack and also limits the damage people with unauthorized access can do.
Be careful using public wi-fi hotspots
If you’re doing work outside of the office, public wi-fi hotspots can be very convenient but they are not always secure. Always check what wi-fi you’re connecting to and only connect to trusted providers. Even if you’re connected to a hotspot you trust, be mindful of access or sending sensitive data.
Don’t get scammed – only open mail you trust
Always be careful when receiving mail from a sender you do not recognize. Check the subject line and sender details carefully and think twice before clicking links or opening files from unknown sources. Never send ID information, banks details or passwords.
Prepare against the worst with Cyber Liability Insurance
Sometimes these steps are not enough and it can be impossible to make yourself truly immune against every possible threat. With Cyber Liability Insurance in place, however, you’ll be covered in the event of a breach or attack and have vital support in place to get you back on your feet as quickly as possible. This includes cover for damaged computing equipment, for restoring and updating your IT and web security systems, for legal expenses, loss of business, PR and more so that you’re able to quickly bounce back from what could otherwise be a devastating situation.
For help arranging a Cyber Liability Insurance policy for your business, get in touch with Hinks Insurance today and we’ll be there to offer independent advice and quotes.