Cybersecurity is important, without a doubt.

But what does that look like for your business?

Working towards a better security system can feel like a huge task. All the “what if?” fears of price tags, training hours, new system adoption – it can seem daunting.

As a matter of fact, that is why we see solid businesses operating without much in the way of a protection plan.

There is good news, though: Getting started doesn’t have to be complicated.

There are all kinds of small ways a business may keep security top-of-mind without completely disrupting the usual routine. For instance, locking the door behind you when you leave home or locking your car after parking likely feels like muscle memory at this point, doesn’t it?

Oftentimes, those simple, affordable new habits help build a powerful line of defense for protecting what matters most.

While we help you plan for your business’ future success, our security experts have offered four no-cost, easy-to-implement ways that you and your team can boost your security, right now:

1. Update Your Software and Devices

Keeping your devices, browsers and other tech up to date is one of the best first lines of defense against cyber-attacks, without requiring much in the way of tech expertise.

Patches and updates fix any technical bugs, along with providing vital security updates. These, in essence, replace the ‘lock’ on your software and devices before any bad actors can make a copy of your ‘key’.

Most major operating systems update automatically, but it never hurts to double-check that your device has these enabled.

For Windows systems, use this how-to guide to turn on your automatic updates.

For Macintosh systems, the guide linked here to set up your device for automatic updates.

2. Secure Your Online Accounts

The more lines of defense there are for an attacker to combat, the tougher it is for them to successfully carry out an attack. For your online accounts, including email and social media, two of the best methods for establishing extra lines of defense are by using strong passwords and setting up 2-factor or multi-factor authentication (sometimes known as 2FA or MFA).

Using the same password for multiple accounts hinders your cybersecurity by providing an attacker with a skeleton key of sorts for your data. This can include payment information, physical addresses or other confidential information. If you need help keeping track of multiple passwords across different services, consider using a free password manager extension..

If you have had a website text a confirmation code to your phone, then you have used 2-Factor Authentication, or 2FA.

Most sites and devices have this available at login to keep your account secure. Enabling this is usually done under your “security” settings. Once enabled, an extra layer of protection is implemented by the prompted additional security check. These may look like a randomly generated one-time code sent to your phone or an app like Google Authenticator. Enabling this means that for your account to be compromised, an attacker would need both your password and access to your mobile device.

Also, a good rule of thumb is to change your password, at minimum, once every year to keep things fresh.

3. Encrypt Your Devices

Encryption doesn’t have to be as complicated as it may sound.

In reality, it can be as simple as changing your desktop background. Not only is file encryption a readily available setting within Macintosh and Windows systems, but it’s also a free process with no additional downloads required.

For encrypting your device on a Windows system, follow the step-by-step guide linked HERE.

For encrypting your device that uses a Macintosh system, follow the guide linked HERE.

If you need additional assistance with encrypting your files, consider reaching out to cybersecurity experts like Hamilton.

4. Avoid Suspicious Emails

With phishing, hackers attempt to gain access to your information or credentials through your email inbox.

Phishing scams may seem like a relic of the past, but over the years it’s become one of the main culprits behind countless cyberattacks. Hamilton can help provide a robust training program to get your team fully versed in combatting phishing attacks, starting off with a simple tip we’ll share here:

If the email address, link, or contents look suspicious:

• Do not engage with the message.

• Do not open the email, click on any links, or provide any information.

• Instead, contact your IT support immediately.

If you’d like to learn more about phishing and what it can look like, see our related article here.

Improving your cybersecurity does not need to be an expensive or frustrating process. Simply getting started is the key—just as you don’t have to know all the components of a lock to make a habit of locking your door when leaving home.

No two business safety plans will look the same. That is why partnering directly with a consultant like Hamilton is crucial towards establishing a custom system for your business. Your team will, in turn, be better equipped with the knowledge and infrastructure necessary for keeping your operation secure and successful today, tomorrow, and well into the future.

We are proud to provide security upgrades and personalized support for a variety of areas within your business, including keeping your data secured and protected through data center services to 24x7x365 network monitoring to much, much more!

If you’re looking to upgrade your business technology and security or want to understand the basics of cybersecurity, consider taking a look at our full list of available services. We are eager to collaborate directly with you to build a plan that fits your business’ unique goals, needs and structure.

Contact us today for any questions, or to schedule a free consultation with our cybersecurity experts!