In the past couple of months, just about everyone has been forced to shift priorities. If you’re like many business owners, you are focused on pivoting your business to adapt to today’s “new normal.” In fact, you are probably investing so much of your time in trying to retain your customers and generate new cash flow that you barely have time to even think about cyber security.

The problem is that cybercriminals and hackers know there’s no better time to strike than during a global crisis. In fact, news of increasing cyberattacks proves they’re working overtime to craft new malware while the rest of us are trying to manage how our lives have been turned upside down. While business owners are so focused on their business and the health and safety of their loved ones, these hackers are finding new ways into your IT network so they can steal data and passwords, compromise your clients’ private information and even demand large ransoms.

Cybercrime is already on the rise and is expected to cause $6 trillion in damages by 2021! Here are solutions you can implement during these crazy times to help protect your business data, money and productivity:

1) Be More Suspicious of Incoming Emails

Because people have been scared, confused and not as focused during this pandemic, it’s the perfect time for hackers to send emails with dangerous malware and viruses. You have probably received a bunch of COVID-19 focused emails. Always carefully inspect the email and make sure you know the sender. There has already been a CDC.gov email address out there that’s not legitimate and has spammed inboxes across the world.

Avoid clicking links in the email unless it’s clear where they go. And you should never download an attachment unless you know who sent it and what it is. Communicate these safeguards to everyone on your team, especially if they are working from home.

2) Ensure Your Work-From-Home Computers are Secure

Another reason to expect a rise in cyber-attacks during these times is the dramatic increase in employees working from home. Far too many employees won’t think about security as they work from their kitchen table. 

First, if possible, it is preferable that your employees are not using their home computers or devices when working because it is more difficult to secure them. Second, ensure your work-at-home computers have a firewall that’s turned on. Finally, your network and data are not truly secure unless your employees utilize a virtual private network (VPN). If you need help in arranging or improving your new work-from-home environment, we would be happy to get your entire team set up. Our goal is always to help your business to thrive with greater cyber security and superior technology that improves efficiency.

3) Improve Your Password Strategy

During crises like this one, your passwords could mean the difference between spending your time working to grow your business and trying to recoup finances and private data that’s been hacked. Make a point now to reevaluate your passwords and direct your team to create stronger passwords.

Also, while it’s so convenient to save your passwords in your web browser, it also lessens your security. Because web browsers simply require their own password or PIN to access saved passwords, a skilled hacker can bypass this hurdle. Once they access your saved passwords, they can steal credit card information, customers’ private data and more!

Instead, you should consider a password manager such as My Glue (https://www.allcareit.com/password-management-solutions/), LastPass, Dashlane or 1Password to keep all of your passwords in one place. These password managers feature robust security.

You, your team and your family have enough to concern yourselves with at the moment. There’s no need to leave yourself vulnerable to more problems by letting your computer and network security slide during these times.

While COIVD-19 has negatively affected countless businesses, we are busier than ever serving our clients. If you need additional security advice or would like to have a complimentary security consultation to discuss how to keep your data safe or how we can help you work more effectively, please email helpdesk@allcareit.com or call us at 613.817.1212.

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