Protect Your Business: 7 Things You Need to Know about Cybersecurity

As businesses step further into the digital frontier, keeping them secure from cybercriminals is a top priority. Every day there are increasing reports of online thefts resulting in disastrous losses for business owners around the world. Protecting your business from costly data breaches or other malicious attacks is crucial.

Protect Your Business  7 Things You Need to Know about Cybersecurity

Whether you're just getting started in the e-commerce realm or already have years of experience under your belt, these tips will help set you up on the right track when it comes to protecting yourself — and your customers — from today’s sophisticated cyber threats.

Cyberattacks cause customers to leave your business

In today's digital world, cybercrime can have a devastating impact on businesses. Besides threatening sensitive information, cyberattacks can lead to customers leaving your business. Customers want to feel like their data is safe, and a single attack can shatter that trust. The fallout can be severe, with the potential for lost revenue and reputational damage.

That's why it's important to take proactive steps to strengthen your cybersecurity measures, from updating software to training employees on how to detect and prevent these threats.

IT security intelligence is not used enough

Despite the high stakes involved with keeping sensitive data secure, not enough companies are utilizing IT security intelligence to its full potential. With the constantly evolving threat landscape, businesses need to stay informed and proactive to protect themselves against cyber attacks. IT security intelligence provides valuable insights into potential vulnerabilities and emerging threats, allowing companies to take necessary measures to prevent breaches.

By leveraging this information, businesses can stay ahead of the game and protect their own proprietary information and customers' personal data. It's time for companies to take IT security intelligence seriously and make it a priority for the safety of their business and customers.

Many companies avoid encryption

Encryption is a data security measure that scrambles sensitive information, making it nearly impossible for unauthorized people to access it. However, despite its undisputed benefits, many companies still choose not to implement encryption protocols. The reasons behind this avoidance vary, from the high cost associated with encryption implementation to the fear of slowing down operational processes.

Yet, the concern over data security breaches has never been higher, with cyber attackers constantly targeting businesses of all sizes. It is paramount for companies to weigh the potential cost of a data breach against the upfront expense of encryption and make informed decisions for the security of their customers and their business.

Mobile devices may cause security breaches

With the convenience of being able to access information anytime, anywhere, it's no wonder we rely so heavily on them. However, with this convenience comes the risk of security breaches.

Mobile devices are a frequent target for hackers due to their ability to store personal and sensitive information. From banking details and passwords to personal photos and messages, a security breach can easily result in significant harm to an individual or organization. For this reason, you should stay informed of potential risks and take precautionary measures to protect your business's confidential data.

Poor email security poses a great danger

When emails are not properly protected, sensitive information can easily fall into the wrong hands, leading to a myriad of problems including identity theft, financial fraud, and data breaches. Hackers can use your email account to spread viruses and malware, causing damage to your business and whoever interacts with your email. It's critical to use strong passwords, enable two-factor authentication, and be cautious when clicking on links or opening attachments. In today's digital age, prioritizing email security isn't just an option — it's a necessity.

Employee negligence can compromise cyber security

It's not a secret that cyber security has become a top priority for businesses of all sizes. Unfortunately, employee negligence can compromise even the most advanced security systems.

Whether it's ignoring basic safety protocols, clicking on suspicious links, or using weak passwords, employees can unwittingly open the door to cyber criminals. Business leaders need to ensure they are empowering their employees with training and resources to protect company data. By instilling a culture of cyber security, companies can significantly reduce the risk of cyberattacks and protect themselves from costly breaches.

Most cyber threats could be easily prevented

With the rise of cyber threats, it's fundamental to understand how to protect yourself and your sensitive information online. The good news is that most cybersecurity threats can be easily prevented with a few simple steps.

For instance, regularly updating software and using strong passwords can go a long way in keeping your information safe. Additionally, being cautious when opening emails or clicking on links from unknown sources can also help prevent cyber threats from infiltrating your system. By staying informed and taking the necessary precautions, you can significantly reduce your risk of falling victim to a cyber attack.

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Even though cyber security is a complex issue to tackle, taking the right precautions can thwart potential risks and promote a safe environment for customers and businesses alike. Taking the time to understand current cyber threats is the best way to stay ahead of possible malicious activity.

Check the comment section below for additional information, share what you know, or ask a question about this article by leaving a comment below. And, to quickly find answers to your questions, use our search Search engine.

Note: Some of the information in samples on this website may have been impersonated or spoofed.

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Online Threat Alerts Security Tips

Pay the safest way

Credit cards are the safest way to pay for online purchases because you can dispute the charges if you never get the goods or services or if the offer was misrepresented. Federal law limits your liability to $50 if someone makes unauthorized charges to your account, and most credit card issuers will remove them completely if you report the problem promptly.

Guard your personal information

In any transaction you conduct, make sure to check with your state or local consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if the seller, charity, company, or organization is credible. Be especially wary if the entity is unfamiliar to you. Always call the number found on a website’s contact information to make sure the number legitimately belongs to the entity you are dealing with.

Be careful of the information you share

Never give out your codes, passwords or personal information, unless you are sure of who you're dealing with

Know who you’re dealing with

Crooks pretending to be from companies you do business with may call or send an email, claiming they need to verify your personal information. Don’t provide your credit card or bank account number unless you are actually paying for something and know who you are sending payment to. Your social security number should not be necessary unless you are applying for credit. Be especially suspicious if someone claiming to be from a company with whom you have an account asks for information that the business already has.

Check your accounts

Regularly check your account transactions and report any suspicious or unauthorised transactions.

Don’t believe promises of easy money

If someone claims that you can earn money with little or no work, get a loan or credit card even if you have bad credit, or make money on an investment with little or no risk, it’s probably a scam. Oftentimes, offers that seem too good to be true, actually are too good to be true.

Do not open email from people you don’t know

If you are unsure whether an email you received is legitimate, try contacting the sender directly via other means. Do not click on any links in an email unless you are sure it is safe.

Think before you click

If an email or text message looks suspicious, don’t open any attachments or click on the links.

Verify urgent requests or unsolicited emails, messages or phone calls before you respond

If you receive a message or a phone call asking for immediate action and don't know the sender, it could be a phishing message.

Be careful with links and new website addresses

Malicious website addresses may appear almost identical to legitimate sites. Scammers often use a slight variation in spelling or logo to lure you. Malicious links can also come from friends whose email has unknowingly been compromised, so be careful.

Secure your personal information

Before providing any personal information, such as your date of birth, Social Security number, account numbers, and passwords, be sure the website is secure.

Stay informed on the latest cyber threats

Keep yourself up to date on current scams by visiting this website daily.

Use Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are critical to online security.

Keep your software up to date and maintain preventative software programs

Keep all of your software applications up to date on your computers and mobile devices. Install software that provides antivirus, firewall, and email filter services.

Update the operating systems on your electronic devices

Make sure your operating systems (OSs) and applications are up to date on all of your electronic devices. Older and unpatched versions of OSs and software are the target of many hacks. Read the CISA security tip on Understanding Patches and Software Updates for more information.

What if You Got Scammed?

Stop Contact With The Scammer

Hang up the phone. Do not reply to emails, messages, or letters that the scammer sends. Do not make any more payments to the scammer. Beware of additional scammers who may contact you claiming they can help you get your lost money back.

Secure Your Finances

  • Report potentially compromised bank account, credit or debit card information to your financial institution(s) immediately. They may be able to cancel or reverse fraudulent transactions.
  • Notify the three major credit bureaus. They can add a fraud alert to warn potential credit grantors that you may be a victim of identity theft. You may also want to consider placing a free security freeze on your credit report. Doing so prevents lenders and others from accessing your credit report entirely, which will prevent them from extending credit:

Check Your Computer

If your computer was accessed or otherwise affected by a scam, check to make sure that your anti-virus is up-to-date and running and that your system is free of malware and keylogging software. You may also need to seek the help of a computer repair company. Consider utilizing the Better Business Bureau’s website to find a reputable company.

Change Your Account Passwords

Update your bank, credit card, social media, and email account passwords to try to limit further unauthorized access. Make sure to choose strong passwords when changing account passwords.

Report The Scam

Reporting helps protect others. While agencies can’t always track down perpetrators of crimes against scammers, they can utilize the information gathered to record patterns of abuse which may lead to action being taken against a company or industry.

Report your issue to the following agencies based on the nature of the scam:

  • Local Law Enforcement: Consumers are encouraged to report scams to their local police department or sheriff’s office, especially if you lost money or property or had your identity compromised.
  • Federal Trade Commission: Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or use the Online Complaint Assistant to report various types of fraud, including counterfeit checks, lottery or sweepstakes scams, and more.
  • If someone is using your personal information, like your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number, to open new accounts, make purchases, or get a tax refund, report it at This federal government site will also help you create your Identity Theft Report and a personal recovery plan based on your situation. Questions can be directed to 877-ID THEFT.

How To Recognize a Phishing Scam

Scammers use email or text messages to try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could get access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Or they could sell your information to other scammers. Scammers launch thousands of phishing attacks like these every day — and they’re often successful.

Scammers often update their tactics to keep up with the latest news or trends, but here are some common tactics used in phishing emails or text messages:

Phishing emails and text messages often tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. You might get an unexpected email or text message that looks like it’s from a company you know or trust, like a bank or a credit card or utility company. Or maybe it’s from an online payment website or app. The message could be from a scammer, who might

  • say they’ve noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts — they haven’t
  • claim there’s a problem with your account or your payment information — there isn’t
  • say you need to confirm some personal or financial information — you don’t
  • include an invoice you don’t recognize — it’s fake
  • want you to click on a link to make a payment — but the link has malware
  • say you’re eligible to register for a government refund — it’s a scam
  • offer a coupon for free stuff — it’s not real

About Online Threat Alerts (OTA)

Online Threat Alerts or OTA is an anti-cybercrime community that started in 2012. OTA alerts the public to cyber crimes and other web threats.

By alerting the public, we have prevented a lot of online users from getting scammed or becoming victims of cybercrimes.

With the ever-increasing number of people going online, it important to have a community like OTA that continuously alerts or protects those same people from cyber-criminals, scammers and hackers, who are every day finding new ways of carrying out their malicious activities.

Online users can help by reporting suspicious or malicious messages or websites to OTA. And, if they want to determine if a message or website is a threat or scam, they can use OTA's search engine to search for the website or parts of the message for information.

Help maintain Online Threat Alerts (OTA).

Protect Your Business: 7 Things You Need to Know about Cybersecurity