Data protection can decrease the risk of cyber-attacks that can negatively impact your company and your reputation. It is crucial to be aware and practice the best practices when it comes to safeguarding sensitive information. A breach of private information could lead to fines or lawsuits, which could have long-term repercussions for you or your business.

Secure all devices and files by using a password. This simple step can ensure that hackers are not able to gain access to your data. Use strong passwords that contain complex combinations of numbers, letters and symbols. Change default passwords supplied by the vendor to stronger passwords as soon as you can. Update your anti-virus software regularly and run a security scan on your computer and servers.

Don’t send sensitive or personally identifiable information via email. This includes Social Security Numbers, bank account numbers passwords, etc. Email is not secure and could be accessed by unsympathetic parties.

Make sure your data and network are safe – Ensure your laptops, computers, and portable storage devices are secured by using strong encryption when you send information to third parties and to safeguard the information stored on these devices. It is also essential to have a plan for responding to a cyberattack that includes who to notify and how to respond (e.g. employees, customers, credit agencies).

Make sure you keep a copy of all your data. Save the offline copies in an area separate from where your primary site link copies are. This will prevent hackers from gaining access to your primary copies or from deleting them.