Getting hacked is always an issue for companies, whatever the size of your business may be. It can mean too much downtime for your business, losing money, and worst of all, losing the trust of your loyal customers. When it comes to stolen passwords and security breaches, prevention goes a long way. Your business is your livelihood, and a breach could put that in jeopardy – if a breach is particularly bad, particularly smaller businesses are likely to struggle to recover. According to Small Business Trends, 60 percent of small companies go out of business within six months of a cyber attack.

Here are 9 sure ways you’re more likely to get hacked – pay attention to them and take the precautions necessary to stop it from happening to you!

1. Not Focusing On Setting Strong Passwords

Setting strong passwords is a must for everybody. They should be different for every platform used, and memorable but complex at the same time. Yes, it’s a little bit tricky to think of that many passwords and remember them, but it’s so easy for hackers to guess simple combinations. Plus, if you have the same one for everything and it is guessed by a hacker, your time is up! Make sure you do all you can to vary your passwords and keep them strong, and use a system to help keep them in one place so you can easily find them if you forget.

Employees should also update passwords periodically!

2. Unrestricted Access To Every Employee

Not everybody needs to access everything, so why give it to them? This puts you at more risk of exposure to keystroke loggers. Old employees still having network access can also be a problem. You should always restrict permission for people you no longer employ. Make it a priority to keep your business as safe as possible. While you should trust your employees, you don’t have to give them access like this to show that you do.

3. Failure To Update Your Software

Keeping your software updated isn’t just about keeping things running efficiently; it’s about making sure your systems are safe. Microsoft and Apple regularly find vulnerabilities that let hackers in, fix it, and then give an update. Make sure you install these updates. If you don’t take this seriously, you will be at risk of falling victim to malware, ransomware, and a hacker gaining control of your systems. At the very least, your systems will slow down and you’ll experience more productivity issues. If you aren’t sure if this is being done, check with your IT Support Partner. This is something they should be doing this for you.

4. Failure To Set Up A System That Reports Security Problems

There should always be an efficient protocol in place for reporting threats or violations. If your system is not reporting security problems or violations, you’re not helping to fix the problem.

5. Not Monitoring Efficiently

Hacking doesn’t always happen overnight. It’s usually a case of placing files on your server and collecting the data over an amount of time. Your systems should be consistently monitored and you need to research anything that doesn’t look right. You may then be able to put a stop to an attack before it happens.

6. Not Using White Hat Hackers To Find Holes In Your Security

One way to avoid getting hacked? Use white hat hackers to your advantage. White hat hackers can be employed to find holes in your security, and you can then work towards putting a solution in place. That’s right – they can be good guys too! This is a good idea if you’re working with particularly sensitive information, but even if you’re not, these hackers can give you peace of mind. The government do it, so why can’t you?

7. Your Files And Data Are Not Encrypted

If you do happen to fall victim to a security breach, you want to make sure that the information stolen cannot be easily deciphered. By encrypting everything, hackers will find your files difficult to understand even if they do manage to get their hands on them. This is a key defensive tool, and is fairly quick and simple to do.

8. Ignoring The Phishing Signs

Phishing is another trick that hackers use to gain control of your systems. They may email you and encourage you to click on a site that installs malware onto your computer, or convince you to give them your password. There are many signs to look out for, including poor syntax, incorrect spelling, or email addresses and links that include a lot of full stops. Keep your wits about you when receiving these types of emails and don’t click on any links. Security Awareness Training is a great way to highlight the signs to your staff. Any worthwhile IT Support Provider will highly recommend this service to you and I have written about the benefits extensively.

9. Failure To Pay Attention To Web URLs

If you see ‘http’ in a web page URL that means your connection with the page is unencrypted. This means information can easily be read by any hacker that happens to be waiting on that page. Look out for this on websites

you suspect may not be legit, and any other website in general. If you’re dealing with things like credit card numbers, personal details, and other sensitive information, ‘https’ is what you need to look for in the URL. This means your connection to the page is secure and the site can be trusted. Not every site with ‘http’ will hack you, but it isn’t worth taking the risk.

10. Assuming Your Work Is Done

When it comes to protecting your systems from hackers and security threats both online and offline, there’s always something else that can be done. You should consistently look for holes in your system and ways that your business could experience a breach. Never assume that your work is done, as there are always improvements that can be made to make your business even more safe and secure. Not only will this give you peace of mind, you won’t have to deal with the backlash from a particularly bad hack. Businesses who have left themselves open for attack in the past have had to pay out a lot of money, lost customers, and ruined their reputation.

Make sure you follow the advice in this guide, and train all of your employees on security and how important it is to the business. It may also be worth assessing your current IT landscape and evaluating if your IT Support Partner is providing you with adequate protection. You can do this by using our IT Checklist.

You’ll wish you’d taken these steps sooner if you do experience a breach of security. Don’t waste any more time!