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Cyber Security at Home and at Work

It’s that time of year: the leaves are changing color, pumpkins are on porches and in front windows, and we’re all turning our thoughts to cyber security.

After all, October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month!

But seriously, folks: cyber security is an issue of vital importance to all of us, from business owners to parents to teens permanently attached to their cellphones.

Think about it: 77 percent of small businesses do not have a formal, written internet security policy for employees. Sixty percent have a privacy policy in place that employees must comply with when handling customer information (but what about that other 40 percent?). Nearly 60 percent of small businesses do not require multi-factor authentication for access to their networks, and only half have their equipment completely wiped of data before disposal.

If you’re a business owner, you may be horrified by these statistics (and we’re hoping you don’t recognize your own business in them!). But even as a consumer, this is terrifying information. After all, it’s your data, as a customer, that is being handled so cavalierly!

Whatever your cyber-security status, here are a few tips that can help you protect your own data—and the data that is given to by others.

  • Install security software on your computer. Pay attention to the information it reports after inspecting your machine. Install updates to ensure your web browser and operating system are able to defend against the latest viruses, malware, and other online threats.
  • Use a good firewall.
  • Use spam filters on your email program. Stay informed about the latest phishing scams.
  • Never download an attachment from an unknown source.

Before you connect a device—like a USB, for instance—to your network, scan it.

Need more tips? The National Cyber Security Alliance has tip sheets to use, infographics to share, and inspiration for National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

Beall Financial and Insurance Services has been working with business-owners for more than 25 years to help them protect their most important assets, and their companies’ future. If you have questions about insurance coverage for your business, contact us.


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