I attended an Edinburgh Chambers Breakfast Meeting today where the fabulous Mandy Haeburn-Little from the Scottish Business Crime Centre spoke about threats to SMEs through lack of IT security and cyber crime.
The SBCC’s objective is to safeguard the economic wellbeing of Scotland, acting as an advocate for commerce in Scotland. Having just had my mobile phone stolen, this is a subject close to my heart.
My business is based on Google Apps, I store everything in the cloud (yes Miss, my head always was in the clouds!). Yet, I walk about with a mini computer (or walked) that releases my family data, social connections, hobbies – it even had nice little images on there that could be used to verify documents/applications. But I am not alone. To quote directly from the SBCC website:
“A study into smartphone security for the Scottish Business Crime Centre’s (SBCC) ‘Make One Change’ campaign shows that almost 45 percent (44.2%) of people surveyed do not secure their mobile with a password or pin, and that one in ten admit to keeping sensitive financial information on it.” Scary stuff.
So what tips did I pick up and can now share with other SMEs
MY Top 10 Tips on making your business more secure
- Shred every bit of paper with your name / contact details on it as identity theft is one of the fastest growing consumer crimes in the country and can leave you a victim with a trail of debt and credit rating problems.
- Destroy all credit card aplications received in the post.
- Reconcile your credit card and bank account on a regular basis.
- Password protect your phone and computers
- Log out of all mobile phone banking apps – and use Google Chrome browser online as I believe this is the most secure.
- Set up proper passwords on all websites
- Have an IT company hack into your site to audit its security (I have accessed a few client sites as a favour when developers have disappeared just by tracing their domain and hosting and working through the common passwords – with their authority of course!)
- Protect devices with security software and install all updates and patches – especially WordPress ones if your blog is integrated into your site
- Do not click into links that promise you’ve won money or pop ups that state your system is at risk and you need to download this bit of software…
- Oh and one last one, don’t follow the instructions of a person from the other side of the world who tells you that they work for Microsoft and you have a problem with your computer and must follow their instructions…
Now, I’d love to hear from the real techies what simple changes could be added to this list