As a business owner, earning and keeping the trust of your clients is crucial. Not only do they trust you with their care, but in many cases their personal information as well. Just as you wouldn’t let someone come in off the street to sift through clients’ personal files, you certainly don’t want an intruder accessing their information through the Internet.
There are many precautions home care business owners should take to not only protect their clients’ information, but the reputation of their business as well. Consider the following tips when drafting an Online Behavior Policy for your home care business:
When creating an online presence or computer server for your business, well-crafted passwords are a necessity. StaySafeOnline.org, powered by the National Cyber Security Alliance, suggests that when creating passwords we should refrain from using any part of your own name, or any other personal information such as a Social Security number.
When creating passwords, ensure they contain both upper and lower case letters, as well as numbers and symbols, while still being memorable. If you have difficulty remembering all of your passwords, try using a service like PassPack. These password management services are encrypted and require several layers of verification before accessing. Once inside the system, you can access a list of all the passwords you’ve added, as well as share them with employees who may need access to these accounts. For example, you can share the password to your Facebook account with your marketing manager, and when they leave the company, simply revoke their access to it and change the password.
It’s also a good idea to change passwords regularly. It’s difficult for a computer hacker to figure out a well-guarded password, but even more so with regularly changing well-guarded passwords.
Spam and phishing are tools that hackers use to try to obtain your passwords and other important information. These emails may appear to come from your bank or another trusted institution, providing a link to the login page and prompting you to log into your account to address an issue. Clicking on this link will take you to a replicated login page, which collects your login information and immediately transmits it to the hacker. When you receive emails like this, it is always best to contact the institution directly on the phone, using a phone number from their official website. They can then confirm whether the email is or is not from their company.
Malware and Botnets
Malware refers to any type of virus or spyware that can cause harm to your computer. Botnets refer to a network of computers that are infected all together. There are, unfortunately, conspiring people out there who create these types of malware for the sole intent of either destroying your computer or stealing important information. They can be loaded onto your computer simply by visiting a website.
There are programs out there that help to protect your computer from these harmful viruses. You can find a review of online software and their prices here. They cost extra but are well worth the investment, so long as you keep the anti-virus software up to date. Every day there are newer and more nefarious viruses being created, so by keeping your programs up to date, you significantly decrease your risk.
Online shopping has risen so much in the last decade that you can buy almost anything you’d find at a store, if not more, online. Anything from groceries to airline tickets to supplies for work can be bought online. But there are some precautions that need to be made when doing so. When buying online, first and foremost make sure that the site you are buying from is a legitimate and secure site. Many anti-virus programs will tell you which sites are safe and recommended.
It’s also important to know that a credit card is safer than a debit card for online purchases. A credit card is not directly linked to your personal account; therefore, if it is stolen and used, you can decline and challenge the purchases. If your debit card is stolen, however, thieves can empty your personal account, leaving you with no money at all.
You can know if an account has been hacked online when there has been activity that you did not perform. For example, if you find a post on your blog and you did not write it, you’ve been hacked. The best thing to do in this situation is to inform all clients and readers that you’ve been hacked and not to read or click on the posted link. Then delete the post.
Last but not least is external storage. For around $60 you can buy a 1 Terabyte sized external hard drive to store your computer’s important files. Having a backup of all your important files is crucial if there is a security breach on your computer. External hard drives help protect from theft, file corruption, computer viruses and natural disasters.
It’s important for all of us to not only learn how to use our computers well but to learn how to protect them well. By following the above steps you will not only protect your computers and business, but you will also protect all the important information your clients have entrusted you with.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]