As the owner of a small business you work hard and deserve a great summer holiday. Before you head out of the office, take the time to ensure you have the proper on line security defences in place for your company.
The following top 10 tips for business owners and entrepreneurs who want to remain safe online no matter where their summer plans may take them.
1. Back up all your personal data before leaving the office, and at the same time, remove any unnecessary information such as financial statements, health records or employment contracts from laptops and mobile devices.
2. Make sure all devices are protected with strong passwords unlikely to be known to anyone else but you. Do not keep a hard copy password cheat sheet or sticky near your device.
3. Have your laptop and/or mobile device serial number, make and model numbers stored in your wallet or luggage. Activate the lost device protection option with your mobile security application.
4. Keep your devices with you, or safely locked away at all times. Do not store devices inside checked baggage or in station or hotel storage lockers.
5. Don't use public Wi-Fi hotspots when making financial or online banking transactions. If you need to do any transactions that could expose private information, use an HTTPS connection. When doing so, look for anti-phishing awareness cues, like the green address bar, indicating that it is in fact a legitimate organization.
6. Avoid connecting USB and thumb drives to "stranger" devices and conversely, avoid connecting thumb drives or USB keys, media cards, and USB chargers from unknown sources to your own devices. This type of sharing can often results in an unwanted souvenir in the form of potentially malicious software, known as malware, which may come home to your desktop.
7. Be aware of your surroundings and who might be able to view your screen / keyboard especially in public areas (e.g. shield passwords from view). Terminate connections when a device is not in use.
8. Clear your browser after every use (delete history files, caches, cookies, URL, and temporary Internet files).
9. Avoid using the ‘remember me’ feature on website, retype your password each time access to a password protected site is required.
10. When the holiday is over, create new passwords of all your personal and business accounts, even if not accessed during the travel. This includes banking, social networking, and webmail accounts.
Trend Micro Inc., a global leader in security software, strives to make the world safe for exchanging digital information.