The first three rules of cyber security: encrypt, encrypt, encrypt!

Your data is extremely vulnerable during silly season and the experts agree on the following tips on how to protect your data:

  • Cloud storage can be more than just a backup solution, use an encrypted cloud service to store your data safely in the cloud while you are away on holiday. Never send any account login or password details over an unsecured or public wi-fi network! People who work remotely or who take their laptops with them on holiday should always use public wi-fi with caution.
  • When working on a long-term project, it is a good idea to create a dedicated email address to centralize that data. It makes it easier to hand over or share with colleagues.
  • Magnetically clean your old hard drives or make them unreadable by using trusted software to wipe it clean, as sensitive information may be obtained from old computer devices.
  • Insist on a better level of security with hardware-based firewalls built into your network routers. This assists in preventing spyware, viruses, or dangerous programs from infiltrating your systems.

As the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and insurance company Nationwide points out, “According to Nationwide, 68% of small businesses don’t have a disaster recovery plan. The problem with this is the longer it takes you to restore your data, the more money you’ll loose. Gartner found that this downtime can cost companies as much as $300,000 an hour.” Backing up data is often most overlooked yet basic way of protecting data. Before you go away on holiday, make sure that all your data is backed up to a secure, encrypted storage.

Most of our private devices, such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, are to some extent or another linked to our businesses. It is thus extremely important to lock your device. It is said that more than 25% of smartphone owners indicated that they do not use their screen lock or any other security measures on their devices.

When on holiday, we feel free, we let our guard down, we talk a bit louder. Be conscious of eavesdroppers when you are talking about your business in public and be very aware of people trying to peep over your shoulder.

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