5 Tips To Safeguard Communications Within Your Business
As a business owner, you want to ensure that all of your business communications are private and shielded from external threats. However, it’s not always easy knowing how to go about doing so — especially if you're not tech-savvy.
Most companies now use virtual workspaces in all business-related transactions, and the technology that makes this possible is astounding. For instance, you can now directly send a document without a fax machine through virtual fax machines, like Google Fax. However, these technological advancements also mean that you need to strengthen communications within your business to protect these data.
This article will outline essential tips for protecting your valuable data and keeping it safe from hackers, scammers, thieves, and other threats. These tips apply to both businesses that need to protect a lot of sensitive information and those that want a way to keep their employees accountable in their work-related communications.
Ways To Create An Impregnable Business Communications
There are many ways to protect the communication lines within your business. All should start with implementing clear security policies and the right culture to follow.
1. Email Encryption
Encryption is the process of converting your data into a code that can only be read by someone who has access to its key. Encryption is crucial to processes like importing a digital business card (vCard) to Outlook and sending it to hundreds of your contacts to protect your business information.
The crucial thing to remember about encrypting all emails, including the attachments, is that any information stored on a laptop or phone could potentially be accessed if it's lost or stolen. Thus, ensuring that the encryption key is kept on a device separate from those being encrypted should be observed to avoid any vulnerability of data loss. Also, encrypting all important emails allows only authorized persons to access confidential information.
2. Use A Cloud-Based Data Storage
Cloud-based storage services are easily accessed via the internet rather than through your computer or phone storage. If your business uses cloud-based storage, it can help ensure that your data won’t be stolen easily.
There are also many benefits to using this system. These include easy access, less overhead, and better security, as your data isn't stored in one place anymore. Fortified communication lines are also possible because the data is encrypted and stored on a remote server.
3. Identify Phishing Scams
Phishing scams are a common cyber-attack tactic. They’re attempts to steal information, such as passwords or credit card numbers. Cybercriminals do this by pretending to be a trusted entity in electronic communication. Other cyber attacks can also cause severe damage and chaos for businesses that lack proper protection.
In the event of a phishing scam or other forms of online attack, your business must be able to respond quickly and effectively. Thus, here are some tips that can help you identify if something is a phishing scam or not.
- The email address of the sender doesn't match that of a trusted entity.
- You’re asked to provide personal information, such as passwords or credit card numbers.
- The attachment is from an email that's not from someone who has sent you attachments in the past.
If, unfortunately, the phishing scam was successful, immediately inform employees so they can be aware of this. This information can help them know what steps to take to avoid falling victim again.
Employees don't have to be on high alert for every email that comes across their desk or inbox; however, it's always important to be vigilant and keep an eye out for phishing scams.
4. Strong Passwords
With all of the data breaches recorded in recent years, it's clear that people’s passwords aren’t enough to keep your business's information safe. Thus, to keep your business communication safe, you should use strong passwords on all of your business's online accounts. Also, the practice of sharing passwords must be prohibited. It's also important to remind employees that their passwords should be changed regularly.
If you want an even more robust option for password management, you may opt for a software that can create and store passwords safely. This software easily generates a new one for each website that your business frequently visits.
5. Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
You might not be able to completely eliminate the risk of a cyberattack on applications you're using to be in contact with employees. However, you can significantly decrease it by using two-factor authentication, also known as ‘two-step verification’ or ‘login confirmation,’ wherever possible.
2FA requires account users to give two things: their username and password. The process will then require them to put in a unique piece of information for their computer or physical device. This can be a code sent by text message or a one-time pin.
It's crucial for employees to fully understand how 2FA works and set it up themselves on their devices. By doing so, they’ll be able to provide extra security measures when logging into business accounts.
Here are some common examples of two-factor authentication:
- Search Engine Authenticator, which is an application that generates a new code every thirty seconds. This code can be used to log into your mobile devices;
- ID Token, which is a physical device that generates a single-use code for logging in; and
- Mobile Passcode, which is a randomly generated six-digit number that you must enter along with your password.
Keeping your business communications protected is more important than ever, especially in this digital age. Following these five tips can help you stay safe online and communicate sensitive information with confidence.