Using the Internet securely and privately is becoming more and more of a challenge these days, and as we use the web for virtually everything in the modern world, a lack of security is not an issue to be taken lightly. If you’re located in Nigeria, you know that cybercriminals and hackers are a big problem, constantly coming up with new sophisticated ways to steal online information from business entrepreneurs. If you’re thinking of expanding your business overseas or founding a startup in Nigeria, you’ll definitely have to improve your Internet security in one way or another.
Fortunately, there’s quite a number of things you can do to drastically increase your protection from cyber attacks, and some are simpler than you may think. In this article we’re going to be discussing five tips about things you can do right now in order to make your overseas business more secure and less susceptible to hacking attempts.
Hackers have become exceptionally skilled at cracking and stealing passwords, so it’s a really good idea to protect yourself with an additional layer of defense. Two-step authentication (or two-factor authentication) gives you this extra layer by forcing you to input not only your password when you log in, but also a unique SMS code that’s automatically generated on each login attempt and sent directly to your phone. It’s much more difficult for hackers to get a hold of this code, which makes your website that much more secure.
Once you log in, you can no longer use this code, and the next time you want to access your website you’re provided with a new one. Just make sure to also keep your phone secure with some sort of locking mechanism such as a pin code or a pattern lock, so that no one but you can get their hands on the code.
One of the best ways that you can protect your connection today and make it more private is to browse through a virtual private network. By connecting to a VPN, your connection gets encrypted by a secure tunneling protocol such as OpenVPN which significantly decreases the chances that someone will be able to eavesdrop on your connection. You’ll also get a brand new IP address, which will make it very difficult for an attacker to discover your location (which would otherwise be simple, with your real IP address in their hands). So if you’re uncertain where to start, we definitely recommend that you just use a VPN like ExpressVPN, in order to get a very firm first line of defense against cyber attacks.
The best passwords are complex, preferably randomly generated and include numbers, symbols lowercase and uppercase letters. But who’s going to remember such a password especially when you have multiple accounts, and aren’t foolish enough to use the same password twice? The good news is, you don’t have to remember any of them – if you use a password manager.
A password manager is program that helps you create, store and organize all of your passwords. Offline password managers keep all of your passwords on your computer or device, and an online one will store them on the Cloud. It’s entirely up to you which one you prefer to use, and both options have their advantages and shortcomings. Certain newer, more sophisticated password managers even work with security tokens, which of course additionally increases your security. Whichever you choose, it’s definitely something that you should incorporate into your routine, as it will make your passwords much harder to crack.
Most of the software that we use today is constantly updated, and one of the main reasons for an update is often a vital security patch that serves to improve the overall security of the program. Always use the latest version of your browser and your operating system; just by keeping up with the updates, you can considerably boost your security. Of course, this also means that you’re potentially going to be changing up some hardware and upgrading your computer or device, but that’s unfortunately an investment that you’re going to have to make if you’re serious about your online protection.
Most software is set to update automatically these days, but check this for your browser or operating system just in case, as those are the two things that your security depends on the most. Modern browsers such as Firefox and Chrome will have this option turned on by default, although there’s always a chance that someone might have turned it off without your knowledge.
This is the most important one, in our opinion. Teaching your employees about all the potential security threats and how to avoid them is the only way you’ll truly be certain your business is secure from cyber attacks. There have been countless scenarios of sensitive business data getting compromised, simply because an employee used a flash drive to copy some files to his home PC, or forgot to change his password on time.
Especially if it’s their first job, most employees will have no idea about the potential security risks they may already be incurring, and no one is going to teach them about it if you don’t. You could start by requiring all employees to change their passwords every few months, and monitoring their Internet activity. A no-flash-drive rule is a must, as well, as you never know what kind of malicious software your workers might have on their USB drives, or who might have access to whatever they’ve copied to the device.