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Outswimming Sharks


Cybersecurity for Businesses

When I was in college, my sister and I decided to take a SCUBA diving class just for fun. We practiced each week in the college pool with our oxygen and masks, and then eventually took a trip down to Florida to do an open water dive and get certified. One of our classmates asked what we needed to do if we encountered a shark. Our instructor grinned and replied that we don’t have to outswim the shark, just our buddy.

When we help businesses with Cybersecurity, many of them find it absolutely overwhelming to never make any mistakes, never use weak passwords, always recognize scam attempts, etc. And the advice we offer our customers is the same that my dive instructor offered us; you don’t have to be perfect, just don’t be an easy victim.

The truth in online security is, even if you let us design your systems to be completely impenetrable, your people are your vulnerability. And while you can’t reasonably expect them to never misstep, you can provide them the tools to be better than average, or outswim their buddy, if you will.

Here are some tips that you can share with your team that will automatically make them better than average.

1. Use good passwords. At least 8 characters. Never the word Password. An easy way to have a great, secure, easy to remember password is make it a sentence with the proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar. ie. I like dogs! Just like that with the spacing and everything.

2. Never click on links in emails unless it’s from someone you personally know and trust. If you need to go somewhere, type in the website address directly – scammers make emails that look legitimate but they are imitating others and linking you elsewhere.

3. Wait. Most of the scam artists use the sense of urgency to frustrate you and get you to act before you think. If you believe someone may be a scammer, take the time to ask for a second opinion or do your research.

4. Familiarize yourself with this infographic about half way down this page. This isn’t a test – I know what I just said in rule #2. Promise it’s legit. It’s a great way to see what to look for in an email to determine if it’s real or not.

If you fear you might be vulnerable, we’re willing to give a free security consultation. And if you’re already an IT customer of ours, remember we provide free semiannual security training.

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