Don’t Be A Victim of Cybercrime: A Guide to What Not To Do

Each year over the past decade, cybercrime has increased.  According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2005, 67 percent of businesses detected at least one instance of cybercrime and 60 percent detected one or more type of cyber attack. Think about that. In just 12 years, well over half of all businesses were attacked.  With technology evolving over time, this number has surely increased, which means that you need to take all the steps that you can to not be a victim.  Today, we wanted to share some of our experience with you to give you a quick guide of what not to do so that you won’t be the next easy target for a cyber criminal.

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Protect Passwords

Don't Use Easy Passwords for Accounts

The first thing you shouldn’t do is be lazy in the creation of the passwords that protect you.  It is very tempting to create a password for yourself that is simple, like your last name or a number like "12345", but that would be a big mistake.  Hackers can easily decipher simple passwords like those.  The last thing you want to do is make it easy for them.  Make sure that you use 7 or more characters that include all of the following: capital letters, lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols.


Install Security Updates

Don't Ignore System Updates and Security Patches

The second thing you shouldn’t do is ignore updates for your software and servers.  Too often we see businesses who have gotten busy and either forgotten to check for updates, or simply ignored the updates on their systems.  This leaves their networks wide open for attack from hackers and cyber criminals.  Software developers constantly work to keep you safe from outside attacks by updating their apps and programs to defend against intrusion.  By not updating your software and systems, you essentially let the lock on the gate to your business rust so that it can be easily broken off by outside attackers.  Trust us, the few minutes that it takes to update your systems can save you days or weeks of corrective time and thousands of dollars.


Limit Access to Systems

Don't All Strangers to Access Networks or Devices

The third thing you shouldn’t do is let strangers use your network or hardware.  We never understand why businesses do this.  Yes, it’s good to be nice to others and let them use your Wi-Fi or borrow your computer, but that is literally the equivalent of letting a stranger in your house to use your phone or bathroom.  That’s something that you would never do, because you can physically see those people and it’s more intimidating than letting someone login to your network.  You should consider both in the same light.

Once someone has access to your system through Wi-Fi or a physical computer, they can access all of your personal and private business information and wreak havoc on your network.  We know it’s good to be nice to others, but just be careful.


Beware of Fake Apps

Don't Download or Install Suspicious Apps Before Running a Safety Check

In case you weren’t aware, one of the latest and most dangerous Internet scams is fake apps. Scammers create apps that look and behave like a real app from a legitimate store. These fake apps can infect your phone or tablet and steal confidential information, including bank account and credit card details. They may also secretly install on your device malicious code that can spread, including to your company network.

Take a moment and reflect on these five tips before downloading any app:

  1. When in doubt, check it out. Ask other users before downloading it. Visit the store’s main website to see if it’s mentioned there. Find out from customer support if it’s the real McCoy.

  2. If you do decide to download an app, first check reviews. Apps with few reviews or bad reviews are throwing down a red flag.

  3. Never, EVER click a link in an e-mail to download an app. Get it from the retailer’s website, or from iTunes or Google Play.

  4. Offer as little of your information as possible if you decide to use an app.

  5. Think twice before linking your credit card to any app.


Find Network Security Help

Don't Settle for Default Network Security

Most importantly, get professional help to keep your network safe. It really is a jungle out there. New cyberscams, malware and other types of network security threats are cropping up every day. You have more important things to do than to try and keep up with them all. 

Never go it alone when it comes to cybersecurity.  We know what you’re good at, and that is your business.  You know just what your customers need and can help them at the drop of a dime.  You’re an expert at that, just like we are experts at cybersecurity.  The best way to protect yourself from cybercrime is to bring in partners like us who have years of experience, expertise, and training in the field.  We have seen it all, and because this is what we do for a living, we constantly learn more and focus on what each one of our clients needs. And if for some reason you are attacked by cybercriminals, we can quickly solve your issues and get your business safe and secure once again.


Learn to not make a few simple mistakes that could leave you vulnerable from our years of cyber security experience. Contact us today to make sure your business is protected.

Originally published on June 23, 2017

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About the Author

Cybersecurity and Compliance Cybersecurity and Compliance

Organizations entrust Centre with protecting their technology ecosystem and strengthening their security posture. Centre’s cybersecurity and compliance solutions delivers layered IT security to protect businesses’ employees, customers, and content from known and unknown threats. Through employee awareness training, detailed security assessments, and 24x7 threat containment, Centre is a trusted partner for businesses seeking comprehensive network and data protection. Learn more about Cybersecurity and Compliance »

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