Passwords are the only thing standing between hackers and all your personal or business files, documents, photos and deepest, darkest secrets.
Is isn’t difficult for accounts to be hacked and passwords to be changed or attained when your passwords are weak.
There is software floating about that super techy guys know how to work, which decodes passwords in seconds and gives access to anything from an Instagram account to a CEO’s personal email. It works a bit like cracking a safe – in theory it’s a good, ‘secure’ idea but it’s actually really easy to break into.
This means you have to up your password game to stay protected. A measly name or street road, password followed by a number won’t cut it anymore.
TIPS TO SECURE YOUR ACCOUNTS:
1. Make sure you don’t have the same password for all your accounts.
2. Select a standard of 8 characters, 1 capital letter and 1 special character.
3. No common words or things associated to you personally (date of birth, pets name, street name)
4. Download a password manager and two-factor authentication app such as Last Pass. This way if a hacker does gain access to your password they won’t be able to log in without a one-time generated code.
Phishing is a fraudulent online method of coaxing sensitive information such as; usernames, passwords, credit card details, medical history, etc. through the use of emails, phone or text.
These emails are designed to seem legitimate and are sent by scammers posing as real people or companies that that person does business with.
In actual fact, they are from attackers looking to infiltrate your system or attain a payment or your credentials. It could include a prompt in the form of a link to a website or a simple request of payment details.
TIPS TO AVOID SCAMS:
1. If the email is from a sender you don’t recognise – DO NOT OPEN IT.
2. If the email is from a sender you DO recognise, but the subject line and message are regarding an issue unknown to you or asking for a payment, always call the person to CONFIRM the details.
3. Double check the sender’s email address – often scammers will misspell or add numbers to a familiar email to make it believable. E.g. if the real email is ‘[email protected]’, the scammer might use ‘[email protected]’
4. If the email isn’t addressed to anyone – be suspicious. If payments are being requested, it should at least greet your personally (Hi John). If the email goes right into requesting funds without any niceties or conversation topics familiar to you and that person, it could be a sign of phishing.
5. Some blackmail hackers will use scare tactics to get you to make a payment. This could be threats such as; ‘We will release your search history to your colleagues’ or ‘We will delete your database’, etc. followed by, ‘unless you make a payment to this account’. Don’t believe it and make your IT department aware.
6. Change your password regularly [See our post about how to create a secure password].
When starting a business, being able to track your growth accurately and protect your ideas and business plans is important. Ninety percent of all start-ups fail within the first year. You should optimise every cog in the machine that contributes to the smooth take off of your business and lands you in that tenth percentile.
sector you find yourself in, it is highly unlikely you won’t require some sort
of IT or tech to get you started. As well as the standard smart phone and
emails, here are five IT essentials that will ensure any hiccups in the road,
won’t be because of the tech.
1. Computers (obviously)
You’ll need a devise to carry out basic business such as accessing the internet, emailing, compiling reports, etc.
While a phone is handy and can do nearly everything
a computer can, sometimes when doing real work you need a bigger screen and the
ability to type – so consider portability.
Will you need to access files and emails from
remote locations or on-the-go?
If your start-up hasn’t established offices and a
permanent working space with monitors and desktops, laptops and tablets are
Consider a screen size that works for you. Do you carry bags that will fit larger
laptops? Do you need a bigger screen to see detailed images? What sort of job
do you have and what features do you require from the device? Are you in a
creative field and need touch screen or boosted graphics? Will any portable
device with Microsoft Office, suffice?
All to take into account when choosing your brand
As you’re presumably trying to spend money smartly,
you don’t have to go for the premium, high range products. Having said this
don’t cheap out and opt for unreliable tech with a short life span. Mid-range
if perfect for new companies. As you grow and learn what best suites the needs
of the business you may find changes with your devices need to be made or
replacements and upgrades. It will be the safe option as you haven’t spent a
small fortune on a laptop that you decide isn’t for you after a year and you
haven’t jeopardised your work with shoddy equipment.
2. Online Storage
More often than not, it is easier and more efficient
to store files and important information onto some sort of cloud. The
unpredictability of saving crucial documents onto physical devices – with an
array of scenarios in which you could lose or break them, is too risky. With
all the options on offer there’s no reason not to utilise online storage. It is
cost effective and saves physical space.
With apps and sites such as Dropbox, Google Drive
and iCloud files can be instantly backed up and accessed from anywhere with an
This eliminates the need to rummage through your
belongings for the correct USB and the most recent version of a file that
you’ve saved five times.
With sensitive information and everything you use
to track your company’s operations, all stored on a tech device, imagine the
catastrophe when you lose it all to a silly virus.
Antivirus software is like an umbrella in the rain.
Even if you don’t have a start-up, protecting your device from a virus is just
4. Phone Systems
If your business is customer/client focused, a
primary method of communication with them can be via telephone. This can be a
tricky process to keep track of and analyse if you don’t have the correct
system in place to monitor it.
You mightn’t have ever thought to use your phone
line traffic to your advantage and determine key information about your
clientele, but in can prove extremely useful in your marketing strategy going
A comprehensive system can track the statistics and
figures of your phone lines and offer you reports and insights into how your
customer operates. With this information you can inform your staff and alter
your business operations to better cater to the needs of the customer. This
will help you grow and be seen as a reliable and professional contender in your
field of work.
While free emails are great for personal, every-day
use, consider investing in an email account provider. Having your company name
in the address ([email protected]) gives you the platform to come
across as more organised and professional when presented to customers.