• Protect access to your personal data by implementing a firewall on your network. Firewalls are designed to block unauthorized access to your computer while permitting outbound connections. Free firewalls such as Online Armor, Comodo, Zone Alarm, Tiny Wall, and Little Snitch allow you to identify and permit or deny traffic going to and from your computer.
  • Secure your WiFi network. Dedicated and determined hackers can steal and crack passwords and access WiFi networks with ease. This allows them to utilize the WiFi networks of apartment tenants, homes, and small businesses to conduct malicious activity. Once an online crime has been committed, the owner of the host IP address is often the first suspect for law enforcement. To protect your WiFi network, first ensure you have a strong network password—and change your password frequently. In addition, update your firmware code, change your default password, and enable the guessing lockout feature. This will prevent other WPS connections (the network security standard that allows users to easily access a connection without accessing the router configuration screen) for a preset period of time to thwart the attacker. Guest Wi-Fi networks can also segment and protect your network.
  • Constantly check for and implement security updates for your networks, computers, and devices. Ever hear of Patch Tuesday? Operating system developers typically discover vulnerabilities and push out weekly updates on Tuesdays to strengthen your computer and network. Technically savvy users will discover these bugs and issues and provide the developers with a “bug bounty” to update the software. This feedback helps fix the vulnerability, helping your devices run more smoothly and securing them from potential vulnerabilities in your day-to-day activity.
  • Make sure your staff do not save passwords and personally identifiable information (PII) to their computer. This information can easily be accessed and monetized with malicious intent. Monitor your computers’ logs closely. Programs such as SpyAgent, WebWatcher, and SniperSpy give you full visibility into ongoing chats, emails, launched applications, visited websites, and online searches to make sure that activities remain clean.
  • Secure and protect your information by performing a daily backup. Clean images and clean clones of current files and computers give you a safe rollback option and will allow you the option to visit previously deleted files and folders. Whether you back up your files to the cloud or to a physical drive, having such backups is crucial to the continuity of any business.
  • Control physical access to network devices and components. The quickest way to take down a network and your business is through a physical attack. When computers and devices aren’t being used, ensure users log out and secure sensitive documents and information. Strengthen the physical security surrounding your servers to prevent intruders from gaining physical access enabling them to upload or download information or files that may damage your organization.
  • If employing a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, deploy antivirus or anti-malware tools to ensure the environment is protected. Frequently, small businesses rely on their staff to provide their own devices. However, BYOD environments offer the opportunity for nonuniform operating systems and files to be deployed on a network. Up-to-date antivirus and anti-malware tools can protect your staff and network.
  • Cover your web camera with tape or a slide. Often, hackers conduct reconnaissance on a target by remoting into their personal computer and using its camera to spy on the unsuspecting victim. By physically covering your camera, you prevent it from being used against you, your family, and your company.
  • Perform due diligence on the people and businesses with which you work. When working with various companies, banks, and service providers, make sure they are using the proper tools and security measures in order to protect your valuable information.