Thanks to the advent of cloud software and the comprehensive mobile apps it’s enabled, our interactions with technology are very different than they were a few years ago. More and more people are working remotely and routinely using different devices for essential business processes.
For example, whether you’re on the road, at home, or at a client’s office, solutions like BQE CORE let you send invoices, generate reports, log expenses, and much more. This results in higher productivity, more flexible work schedules, increased collaboration, and impressive analytics, with the ultimate outcome being bigger profits.
CORE has impressive security standards: we use multiple geographically separated enterprise-grade servers to host your data. Our security team proactively monitors security systems, event logs, notifications, and alerts from all of our systems. We encrypt everything with transport layer security (TLS), and back up your data on firewall-protected redundant servers. The list goes on!
That said, software security is a two-way street: Users need to do their part to ensure that everything is safe. Here are some tips to do just that in today's workplace.
1. Use effective passwords. This may seem like an obvious point, but it needs to be driven home. Weak passwords or poor password management are responsible for more than 80% of all cyber attacks.
Make sure you have different passwords for your various accounts, and use a combination of letters, numbers, symbols, or even spaces every time. Don’t forget to change them regularly, too!
2. Turn off Bluetooth, AirDrop, and wifi when you’re not using them. While convenient, these features are often an easy way for hackers to get your information.
One time while using the public wifi at an airport, I received an AirDrop notification on my iPhone. It was a friendly but ominous message from a tech-savvy stranger, warning me to turn off AirDrop and never accept files from someone I don’t recognize. Lesson learned!
You should also be cautious about opening or using sensitive data when your devices are on public wifi.
3. Beware of phishing! Phishing happens when you open or click on a fraudulent email, website, or text that solicits personal information or accesses your network or device. It often takes the form of emails asking you to share information like credit card numbers, social security numbers, bank information, passwords, and so on. Some phishing scams will attempt to install malware on your computer or lock you out of your files. Many of these messages will prompt you to verify information, sometimes with a threat attached.
It can be hard to tell what’s dangerous, as phishing emails often pretend to come from trusted institutions, businesses, and friends. For example, one glance at the subject lines and senders in my spam folder show scammers pretending to be from eBay, FedEx, Chase, CVS, and Bank of America.
In light of this, you should keep a look out for awkward language, spelling errors, odd-looking graphic design, and so on. You should always note the sender’s email address—not just their name. Make sure you hover your cursor over any links, and don’t download anything. Remember that most businesses won’t ask you to send any important information via email. If it seems like an email from a client, family member, coworker, or friend, just pick up the phone and call them in lieu of emailing any precious data like bank account numbers or credit card information.
4. Keep your devices close: Whether you’re traveling with a laptop, using a tablet at a coffee shop, or have your phone in your pocket while you’re on the subway, it’s vital to keep track of all of your devices.
However, you should still ensure that your devices are protected with complex passwords. Most smartphones have a remote tracking and shutdown function, which you need to enable as well.
The Good News
While you should be vigilant, things aren't dire. Generally speaking, the time it takes to detect identity theft and the dollar amount per victim are decreasing. Furthermore, in recent years, smartphone theft has become less common in many places—San Francisco being one example—due to increased security standards. Meanwhile, businesses like BQE Software are constantly building on the most cutting-edge security measures to guarantee your data’s safety.