Protecting data helps reduce the chance of cyberattacks that could affect your company or personal reputation. It is crucial to know and practice the best methods for protecting sensitive information. An unauthorized disclosure of private information could lead to lawsuits or fines that may have long-term consequences for your company or yourself.

Password protection for all devices and files – This simple step can stop hackers from gaining access to your information. Make sure you use complex passwords that mix numbers, letters and symbols. Change default passwords offered by the vendor to stronger passwords immediately. Update your anti-virus software regularly and conduct a security test on your server and computer.

Don’t send confidential or personal identifiable information via email. This includes Social Security numbers, bank account information passwords, etc. Email is not secure and may be intercepted by unfriendly parties.

Make sure your data and network are safe – Ensure your laptops, computers, and portable storage devices are secured by using strong encryption when sending information to third party parties and to safeguard the information stored on these devices. It’s also essential to have a plan of responding to cyber attacks which includes who to inform and how to respond (e.g. employees or customers, credit agencies, etc.).).

Make sure you have a copy of all of your data. Keep the offline copies in an area separate from where your primary copies are kept. This will prevent attackers from gaining access to your primary copy, or from the deletion of it.