The best thing about the “New Year” is committing to new or old resolutions and starting fresh. Whether you are an individual or a small business, the following applies:
- Delete. Go through your files, deleting and organizing as necessary. Clutter is confusing. Security and “confusing” don’t work well together. Delete!
- Back up your data. Back up to a secondary hard drive inside or external of your devices. Utilize cloud-based backups, too. I have my data on four local drives and two cloud-based servers.
- Reinstall your operating system. Reinstalling your operating system every year or two eliminates bloat and malware and speeds up your PC.
- Get device savvy. Whether you’re using a laptop, desktop, Mac, tablet, mobile, wired Internet, wireless or software, learn it. Take the time to learn enough about your devices to wear them out or outgrow them.
- Get social. One of the best ways to get savvy is to get social. By using your devices to communicate with the people in your life, you inevitably learn the hardware and software.
- Implement social media policies. Social media is a great platform for connecting with existing and potential clients. However, without some type of policy in place that regulates employee access and guidelines for appropriate behavior, social media may eventually be completely banned from every corporate network. Teach effective use by providing training on proper use—especially what not do too.
- Get digitally secure. Your security intelligence is constantly being challenged, and your hardware and software are constant targets. Invest in antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-phishing and firewalls.
- Protect your mobile. Bad guys are paying attention to mobiles and creating thousands of viruses meant to steal your data. There has been a significant increase in Android-related hacking, and Android users therefore must download and install all the latest updates and invest in a mobile security product.
- Go EMV. EMV, which stands for Euro MC/Visa, also known as “chip and PIN,” is the new more secure credit card and is underway in North America. Both Canada and Mexico are going full-on EMV, and several major banks in the United States are beginning to test and even roll out EMV. EMV cards are far more secure than traditional credit cards, and consumers should embrace these new, more secure cards.
- Get physically secure. Security cameras, alarm systems and signage are essential to protect the perimeter of your property from vandals, as well as protecting the inventory from theft, or even the cash register from sweethearting or robbery. Security cameras are an essential component to any small business security system.
- Hire honest employees. Unfortunately, too many people lie, cheat and steal—and when they come to work for you, they drain company resources until they are fired. It’s best to use prescreening services.
- Upgrade wireless. If your wireless router is more than 2 years old then it’s time to buy new. Security standards continue to be upgraded and old is often not secure.
- Don’t’ worry about any of the above! Seriously! Now I didn’t say don’t do it, because you should, but don’t needlessly worry. Take action, get secure, keep on top of it, and have a Happy New year!
Robert Siciliano, is a personal security expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto and author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked! . Disclosures
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