Love them or hate them, the holidays continue to roll through every year.
As digital innovations continue to expand, technology has become increasingly ingrained in the holiday season. Whether that be digital invitations, business campaigns, holiday shopping, or anything else – the tech is there.
However, with the people behind the businesses preparing for their own personal holiday celebrations, cybersecurity often takes a back seat. After all, do you know anyone who isn’t crazy busy this time of year?
Unfortunately, this is precisely why cyber attacks during the holidays are so worrisome. The hackers know you are busy. They know you’re distracted. And they know this time of year is their best opportunity to break into your network.
5 Ways To Protect Your Network During The Holiday Season
Between choosing the silliest photo for the office holiday card and planning celebrations, you’re too busy to deal with a hack. So make sure you’re taking the steps now to prevent your small business from becoming a holiday season cyber attack statistic.
Want to feel confident in your network security all year long? Contact BITS today to get started!
1. Don’t Let Your Cyber Guard Down
Hackers don’t take weekends or holidays. But they know you do.
You may be looking forward to spending the holidays with your family, or you may be dreading it. Either way, it’s likely creating at least a small distraction in your workflow.
This is one of the many reasons hackers ramp up their hacking during the holidays. They know the majority of people are both busy and more distracted than usual.
To make sure you never let your cyber guard down come holiday time, set an annual reminder in your calendar to double check your cybersecurity. Work with your MSP to create a network security plan. Your checklist may include:
- Change all business and personal passwords
- Remind employees to change their passwords
- Ensure all defensive software is updated
- Check for new patches for known IT vulnerabilities
- Stay aware of SSL certificates when online shopping
- Don’t click on promotional links in emails or text messages
Ideally, you’ll be covering all these bases all year round. But if you’re not, it’s best to beef up security before the holidays roll into town.
2. Stay Cautious While Holiday Shopping For Personal & Business Gifts
The holidays are a fantastic time to infuse a personal touch into your business relations. Many businesses do this by sending branded gifts to clients and vendors, sending holiday cards, and more.
This popular practice means the companies that produce branded products and holiday cards are busier than usual.
Even if you think a communication is legitimate, don’t click the links. Instead, open up your browser and go to that business’s website. You’ll still be able to input any promo codes that were emailed or texted to you. But taking this extra step will add an extra layer of security to online holiday shopping.
3. Brush Up On Phishing Training Before The Holiday Season
No matter which holiday you celebrate, there is one thing that unites us all – online shopping. However, with online shopping comes scams around the vendors delivering your items.
For instance, DHL delivery service is a very commonly spoofed company during the holiday season. The DHL website even has fraud awareness information to warn their customers.
Hackers tend to send out a lot of phishing scams when we’re getting excited about the holidays. As you are likely expecting several deliveries, a text message about a delayed shipment may not seem out of the ordinary. There’s even a scam going around requesting a $3 payment to resend items that were returned because delivery attempts failed. Don’t fall for these tricks!
Because these text messages, emails, and links seem legitimate, it can be easy to go down the rabbit hole. What happens is they might request your credit card information for a small payment. But once you give them your credit card, there’s no telling what charges will appear.
For instance, the hacker may go on an online shopping spree of their own. They may create a fraudulent credit card with your information in the magnetic stripe. This allows hackers to do in-person shopping. Or they may even sell your credit card information on the black market. And since you filled out your information, they already have enough personal information to make it easy to get around security questions.
Protect your business and employees with network security and phishing training this holiday season. Contact us today to get started!
4. Don’t Forget To Change Your Password & Keep It Secure
One of the riskiest things you can do in terms of network security is forget to change your password. After all, some of the most expensive and latest ransomware attacks have been linked back to one single employee’s leaked or weak password.
Unfortunately, this happens pretty often. After all, it’s hard enough to remember every single account you have. But remembering to change every account password on a regular basis is so important!
Brooks IT Services can work with your small business to develop password protocols to keep your network secure. This may include a reasonable timeframe for everyone to change passwords. The more often they’re changed, the better. But some business owners may choose to require new passwords every 3, 6, 9, or 12 months.
Additionally, the types of passwords are critical for security reasons. You don’t want to include any personal information. This means no pet names, nicknames, addresses, birthdays, schools, etc. Furthermore, you want to make sure each password includes at least one upper and lower case letter, digit, and special character. For example, h4ppYh0L!DazE2U!
5. Update Your Defensive Software To Keep It As Effective As Possible
Did you know that if you’re not updating your antivirus software, anti-spyware software, and anti-malware software, then they’re not working as hard as they could?
It’s true! In fact, these types of defensive software require updates to be secure against the latest cyber threats. The vendors that sell and maintain software like this employ specialists that research all the latest attacks. That’s how they create patches and other security measures to keep your network as safe as possible.
However, the only way to take advantage of their continuous research, patches, and additional security is to update the software. Typically, this will happen when you update your computer. So if you’ve been ignoring daily reminders to update your computer, you might want to rethink your method.
Moreover, the team at Brooks IT Services can work with your small business to manage and monitor your network. This means we can remotely update your computer and all your software. Plus, through monitoring, we can alert you immediately if a hack occurs.
Brooks IT Services Keeps Small Business Networks Secure All Year
Tired of wondering if your network is really as secure as it should be?
This holiday season, give yourself and your business the gift of peace of mind. With Brooks IT Services, we ensure small businesses like yours have optimized networks to get the job done. Plus, we strengthen and monitor network security.
With BITS, you’ll never question whether you have the right cybersecurity again.
Ready to learn more? Contact us today to get started!