How often should you change your passwords? More frequently than you think.

There are some alarming facts about email hacking that should motivate you to change your passwords right away. Even more scary, is that statistics show that cybercrime increases year by year. What does this mean for you and your small business? This article will outline some simple tips to keep your personal and business digital lives safe. Some studies suggest that 73% of Americans have been victim to some sort of cyber crime. One of our clients had their identification stolen and was used to file a fraudulent tax return. For me, my debit card information was gleaned from a dirty ATM in 2011, and my credit card information stolen from a hacked webpage in 2012. I think that everyone reading this article knows the importance of keeping our data safe. For an entrepreneur, dealing with protecting both your personal and your business data can be time-consuming if there is an incident. Here are some easy ways to make sure you don’t waste your valuable time becoming your own cyber security expert:

  1. You are not immune. No matter how small your business operation, hackers and bots go after everyone. It is big business to hack as much as possible in order to steal an identity or other valuable information used by criminals for gain. Don’t think that you are under the radar.
  2. Have unique passwords for your webpage, email, services, etc. Do not use the same passwords for any two accounts. If you need help making a password, use a password generator.
  3. Change your passwords every 90 days. Yes, every 3 months. Many of us are guilty of this! IT protocol at several companies companies and schools we’ve worked with will lock users out of their profiles until this happens.
  4. If your account supports two-step authentication, use it!
  5. If this seems overkill, it might be, but we feel it is better to spend the extra few seconds typing in a unique, secure, and new password instead of speaking hours (and sometimes lots of money) recovering from a data breach.

When you have your own small business, you could be liable for the transactions that flow through your webpage. Apply these rules above to both your personal accounts and your business accounts to keep your information and your customers’ safe. If this seems like too much work, there are many different password management tools you can use. We recommend last pass. Do you have a mac? Take a look at this article: Passwords: change early, change often!