Data security blind spots

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Modern hackers are sophisticated and strategic.

They search for holes in your IT system. If they access sensitive data, they can target you or your customers. Hackers can cause havoc to your business by holding you ransom, selling your information and more.

Here are some common data security blind spots to check.

1. Not securing network printers

Network printers are insecure by default. Most printers allow full access unless an administrator configures the device otherwise. If hackers can get into your printer, then your entire network could be compromised. A Quocirca Business & Analysis Survey found that 61% of US companies reported at least one printer-related data breach in 2016. Download the survey

2. Ignoring security patches

Hackers are always changing and evolving their techniques. So every time your computer prompts you to do an update, accept it. Remember, your first defence against hackers is your operating system.

3. Not securing WiFi networks

Unsecured WiFi networks let hackers access email addresses and passwords. You could be a target, especially if you deal with sensitive information, Hackers can get between your staff and guests and your network if you don't secure it.

One option for securing your WiFi network is using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN uses encryption to create a virtual “tunnel” between your device and the server. A VPN will secure your WiFi network.

4. Leaving Bluetooth on

Hackers love Bluetooth. Leaving Bluetooth on is like opening a door for hackers. Two main types of Bluetooth hacking are bluesnarfing and bluebugging:

  • In bluesnarfing, hackers connect to your device via Bluetooth and access its data. Hackers download the data before the device goes out of range (up to 10 metres)
  • In bluebugging, hackers connect to your device and make calls, send text messages and access the internet. Hackers can also access personal information this way

To be safe, turn off your phone’s WiFi and Bluetooth when you're not using it. Also use two-factor authentication on your online accounts. Both of these actions provide effective solutions to keep out hackers.

5. Using fake sites and apps

Fake sites and apps often look exactly like the original, but with a different spelling or logo. If you enter your email address or credit card information on a fake website, you could be at risk. Protect yourself by knowing how to spot some of these warning signs.

First, look at the URL. Make sure the address starts with https. The ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’ and indicates that the website uses encryption to transfer data. So any data you enter into forms is protected from hackers. Fake sites also mimic well-recognised brands or organisations. One example is with zeroes instead of o's. So always check the domain name, especially if you're typing it into the address bar.

If you're entering financial information, look for logos like DigiCert, Verisign or Symantec. A fake site may use these logos on their sites, so click on the logo to see if it loads details about the website’s security. If the logo is a picture with no link, the site is likely fake.

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