If you own a construction company, you might feel pretty safe from hackers. Your company may not have a website, physical office location or a big staff. But unless you operate on a paper-only basis, you could be susceptible to hackers who want to exploit information and steal dollars from you, your company, employees, and clients.
Why would anyone want to hack your company when there are so many others out there? Because they can.
Hackers around the world are constantly looking for ways to steal money and information from American businesses of all sizes. They’ve captured thousands of credit card numbers through major retailers like Target. They’ve gained access and exploited information from all types of organizations, ranging from Fortune 500 corporations to public utilities and small private companies. They find ways to get everyday people to download corrupted files or programs or even emails that give them access to the information on your computer.
While it may seem unlikely, construction companies like yours have plenty of things that hackers want access to, like bank account information, credit cards, incoming receivables, employee records and personal information. But hacking is preventable. Many individuals fall prey to phishing scams where hackers are able to take control of a computer and force you to pay them so that you can access it again.
Here are three easy steps you can take to minimize the chances of being hacked.
Update your passwords regularly
Do you use the same username and/or password for everything? If so, those accounts may be compromised already. Hackers, knowing that most people use the same log-in information, then use those same credentials to gain access to accounts on hundreds of different websites.
Large companies like Adobe (whose products include Photoshop or Acrobat) have been subject to hackers who stole username and password information from more than 150 million accounts.
While it is less convenient, your information will be exponentially more secure from hackers if you always use different passwords for your online accounts. For the most sensitive accounts like your email, online banking accounts and computer log-ins, you should change the password every three months and require your employees to do the same.
Add extra security
For many online banking and email accounts, you can choose to add another layer of protection to your account called two-step verification. Two-step verification means that the website or bank will alert you if anyone attempts to log into your account from an unrecognized computer. It will also force whoever is logging into that account to input a code that is sent directly to your mobile phone.
Don’t log into unsecure networks
- One of the most common ways for your computer and network to be compromised is to access free public WiFi networks like those at airports, coffee shops, or even the library. Because the networks have less protection, hackers can use them to gain access to your computer or accounts. If you need to use those networks, be careful about accessing sensitive information or logging into other secure accounts.
- For additional resources about how to secure your business online, visit the National Cyber Security Alliance’s Stay Safe Online website.