9 Tips to Make Sure Your Startup Doesn’t Get Hacked

July 15, 2016

7:00 pm

There’s no doubt about it – Getting hacked can be extremely detrimental to your company. A security hack can more costly than any failed launch or missed deadline. Most people have heard of the famous Sony or RadioShack hacks that cost the companies tens of millions of dollars, but they can affect small companies too. Tech security has been a hot topic and a frightening reality that every organization has to deal with.

The good news is that there are many preventative measure your company can take to decrease the chances of being hacked. While there is no foolproof plan for avoiding hacks, there are ways that you can decrease your chances. Here are a few tips and strategies that you can implement to make sure that your data is safe from hackers, and your network is safe from viruses.

Protect Your Social Media Accounts

Be relentless in making sure that your Twitter, Facebook, and other social media accounts aren’t chained together with a simple link. Keeping accounts unlinked will prevent them both from being hacked. You can also do the same for email. Using different email addresses for different sites helps you segment data and decreases your chance of a massive hack. If, on the other hand, you have all of your data tied to one account, then you risk a huge loss of data if that one account is hacked.

Have Strong Passwords

Don’t use weak, easily guessable passwords. Try to stick with random letters and numbers that would be difficult to guess. While it might be a pain to create and remember complicated passwords, it’s much less of a pain than a data hack. Also make sure to change your passwords frequently. Just because nobody has hacked your account today doesn’t mean they won’t tomorrow.

Use Dual Authentication

Dual authentication enables you to use both a password and an additional code. This method of having two factors make it more than twice as difficult for someone to hack into your account. The way this works is by setting up your accounts not only with a password, by also through your phone. You can require your emails, blogs, and channels to send you a code through your phone before you access them. Popular sites like Twitter, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft all offer this functionality.

Hide Your Browsing History

Keeping your browsing history secret is another effective way for preventing data breaches and hacks. Take it a step further by using Tor, which will send your web trail through servers and obscure your traces. The less hackers know about your online activity, the safer you will be.

Have a Password Manager

Using strong passwords and changing them frequently is helpful for preventing hacks. However, this can be an annoying exercise – especially if you forget your password. Utilize a password manager on your desktop to store all of your additional passwords.

Always Log Out of Your Accounts

Keeping your accounts open allows them to be easily accessible for someone else to manipulate. Make sure to log out of any accounts you are using before leaving your device. After all, everyone has been hacked on Facebook this way by their friends, and those are friendly.

Use Secure WiFi

WiFi networks are surprisingly easily for hackers to get into, if the network is unprotected. Whenever you have access to free Wifi, that service is often not fully protected. Instead, opt to use a private VPN such as PureVPN or ExpressVPN or secure WiFi before logging into the internet.

Don’t Click on Unknown Links

Hackers often imbed links in content to make them look appealing. If you don’t recognize the link, or don’t recognize the sender, then don’t click it: it could be a hack. Hackers are experts are making links seem trustworthy and inviting. However, you can never be too cautious. Sometimes, all it takes is one click for a hacker to gain access to all of your sensitive data.

Download from Trusted Sites Only

Even if you have been on the site before, there is a still a chance you can be hacked on your next visit. Especially when downloading content, make sure that the site is trustworthy and protected. Even protected sites like ESPN get hacked with fake download links; you need to be particularly carefully whenever you are installing software onto your computer.

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AJ Agrawal is an entrepreneur, speaker, and writer. He is the CEO and Co-Founder at Alumnify Inc.

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