1. Make your passwords secure—use a password app. (Free and paid)
It’s hard to think up truly random passwords. It’s even harder to remember them. A password app makes both those tasks a breeze.
2. Have all employees encrypt their hard drives with built-in programs. (Free)
Hacking isn’t just about illicitly accessing your data through the web—it can also be more immediate. Someone can simply steal one of your office computers and have access to a trove of valuable data.
That’s why all your employees should encrypt their data so that it’s only accessible with a password. Both Mac and Windows have built-in functions that accomplish this. Mac users should turn on File Vault in “System Preferences.” Windows users should use “BitLocker.”
3. Don’t use text messages—use a messaging app. (Free)
Messages you send over text are vulnerable to hacking. Instant messaging apps provide end-to-end encryption to make sure conversations about financial information or intellectual property are truly private.
4. Set your operating system to auto-update. (Free)
Companies are constantly offering updates that enhance the security of apps and operating systems they build. Have your employees set all company devices to update automatically to ensure you are never unnecessarily vulnerable to attacks.
5. Secure your internet with a VPN (Virtual Private Network). (Paid)
When you use the internet in public places, you are exposed to other people on the same wireless network. Using a VPN on your laptop and phone encrypts your internet data and protects you from data thieves. With a VPN you are assured of secure communication.
Bottom line: You do not have to spend a lot of money to make sure your startup or your small or medium sized business is protected against constant hacking threats! Sometimes it’s knowing where and when you and your employees are in the highest danger, and then taking simple steps and creating good habits to prevent the worst from happening.