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8 Cybersecurity Mistakes You May Be Making

cybersecurity mistakes
Making cybersecurity mistakes could be detrimental to your business and are more common than you may think.
As a business owner or entrepreneur, you’re probably well aware of the importance of cybersecurity. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you’re immune to making cybersecurity mistakes that can leave your business vulnerable to data breaches and other cyber attacks.
Here are 8 common cybersecurity mistakes that can leave your business vulnerable. By understanding these risks, you can better protect your business from cybercrime.

8 Common Cybersecurity Mistakes

1. Avoiding personal responsibility

It’s easy to think that your data is safe and a cyber attack could never happen to you. You’re not some high-profile billionaire, surely nobody would ever want to target you. However, this simply is not true.
It’s important to keep in mind that data breaches and cyber attacks can happen to anyone. Therefore, it’s important to take responsibility for enhancing your cybersecurity. And don’t worry, you don’t have to be some tech genius to do this. By simply being aware of common cybersecurity mistakes and taking intentional steps to avoid those mistakes, you can do wonders for your security.
Remember, the biggest mistake you can make when it comes to your cybersecurity is to do nothing at all.

2. Not updating your software

Keeping your software updated is a critical component of protecting your business’ data. However, many businesses neglect to update their software regularly, which results in outdated software that can make you increasingly vulnerable to a data breach.
Ensuring that all of your devices have the latest security update can help keep you one step ahead of cyber criminals. They are constantly looking for new ways to get their hands on your data, and one of the best ways to prevent that is to ensure that all of your software is up to date.
It’s easy to forget about updating your software. One way to prevent this is by enabling auto-updates where available. For any software or devices that require a manual update, set regular reminders to check those devices and keep the software up to date.

3. Not backing up your data regularly

Unfortunately, failure to back up their data is one of the most common cybersecurity mistakes many business owners make. In fact, according to The Harris Poll 2018, 24% of people never back up their data. If there is ever a breach or loss of data, failure to have backups will only cost your business more in the long run.
It is recommended to back up your data daily, monthly, and yearly. The simplest way to back up your data daily is to use an encrypted backup software that helps you backup your files automatically and with ease. In addition to the daily backups, doing monthly and yearly backups to a device that will be stored offsite is also recommended.
Again, it can be easy to forget these backups if you don’t make them a priority. So put a data backup on your month- and year-end checklists so that you aren’t caught without your data if the need ever arises.

4. Not deleting unused accounts

When you lose an employee or stop using a certain website for your business, it’s important to delete all accounts associated with those websites. When you have unused accounts, it’s easy for them to be out of sight, out of mind. This opens them up to easy access for cyber criminals that you likely won’t notice until it’s too late.
It’s time to do an audit of your website accounts to ensure that you don’t have any unused accounts still open.

5. Reusing passwords for multiple accounts

Let’s be honest, remembering multiple passwords can seem overwhelming, so using one password across multiple accounts seems like a simple solution. However, this can be one of the most dangerous cybersecurity mistakes you make!
If there is a data breach on one platform, cybercriminals can then use your exposed password to access your other accounts. Having a different, secure password on each of your accounts is a simple way to prevent easy access to your information.
If you’re worried about remembering all of those different passwords, use a password manager (like LastPass) to remember your passwords. Or you can write them down in a secure location that is stored in a safe place away from your computer.

6. Clicking unknown emails, links, attachments, or pop-ups

If something seems suspicious, it probably is. If you receive an email with an offer that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your gut and never click on suspicious emails, links, attachments, or pop-ups.
If you’re questioning whether you’ve received a scam email, here are some tell-tale signs:
  • incorrect grammar and spelling
  • poorly written sentence structure
  • incoherent email
  • sense of urgency
  • suspicious email address
Whenever you receive a scam email, it’s not enough to simply ignore it. Be sure to report it as spam and delete it immediately.

7. Using public Wi-Fi

While it’s easy to take advantage of free public Wi-Fi, it’s risky if you’re connecting to it for business purposes. With public Wi-Fi, hackers can easily hack the router or broadcast their Wi-Fi signal. When this happens, they have are able to modify, intercept, or see data that you send and receive.
One way to avoid this is to use a VPN, or virtual private network. VPNs are readily available and affordable these days. We recommend using one so you can safely work from virtually anywhere and keep the cybercriminals at bay.

8. Not asking for help

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, even though you are well aware of the necessary steps to prevent cyberattacks and data breaches, we all make mistakes. Even if you’ve taken all the necessary steps to secure your information, if something seems “off,” don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Never assume an issue will resolve itself.
This is as simple as reaching out to a trusted source, such as a tech-savvy friend or IT professional, for recommendations on what to do. Whether it’s about installing new software or asking for advice on potentially suspicious activity, never be afraid to ask for help. It will benefit you in the long-run.

We’re here to help!

If you’ve realized you’re making one of these cybersecurity mistakes, it’s not too late! Take some time to intentionally examine your cybersecurity practices to see if you need to make any changes. If you have further questions about steps you can take to tighten up your cybersecurity, reach out to us.
We’re here for your business. If you are looking for an accountant who understands the value of your cybersecurity and will work with you to protect it, let’s talk. Your financial success is our goal!