As a “creative entrepreneur”, a work at home mom who has made crafting my full-time-job thanks to the power of the internet. It is always a concern for me to make sure I know how to stop hackers from destroying everything I’ve worked so hard for. In this post, I will share with you some tips for protecting your small business. This is a continuation of my Selling Crafts Online series that you have all been enjoying!
As a crafty entrepreneur, digital safety is a huge issue for me.
The vast majority of my business interactions happen online, and if one hacker successfully takes over this website, a good chunk of my family’s income is at stake. Social media is also a large factor in my crafty business, and so I am always concerned with social media hostage situations.
For that reason, I have taken a few easy extra steps to protect myself and my family from cyber risks and wanted to share with you some tips on how to stop hackers and do the same.
Kaspersky Lab, The World’s Most Awarded Security, is a brand I trust to protect my business. Between the Password Manager application and the regular scans, detection of suspicious (phishing) links and sites, and data encryption of my important documents, my digital life and my family’s income is much more secure.
How to stop hackers – know what the risks look like:
The first step to working out how to stop hackers is to recognize where they catch you. Here are a few examples of where risks can come from.
1. Email Links
I recently heard a fellow creative entrepreneur share how she clicked on an email link that looked legitimately like those she receives dozens of a day.
That link prompted her to insert a password on what looked like a clone of a social media website, but essentially recorded her login information.
A hacker then gained access, locked her out, and held her social media hostage. She had to pay a huge fee to have it released. The social media website wouldn’t help her despite proof of ID, and the hacker threatened to delete the account if the ransom wasn’t paid.
To protect her business, she had to pay a large fee.
Hackers get cleverer every day, and they disguise their emails and websites to look like brands we trust. This leads me to the next digital safety concern:
2. Scare tactics
Hackers use scare tactics to bully their victims into paying exorbitant ransoms. They are aware that when your income relies on these accounts, it’ll be worth your while to pay their fees.
They also use scare tactics to get your login information. The classic scare tactic comes in the form of a private message from a clone account of the social network you’re on. They let you know that if you don’t click a certain link (which then prompts you to “re-enter your password”) your account will be deleted.
Often, the scare looks just like the “real deal” so if you’re working through things quickly you might not realize it’s a clone.
3. Risky Websites
Using some of the same methods as above (emails, and scare tactics), scammers might try to get you to visit an infected, unsafe website to insert malware on your device.
4. The silent threats:
As a self-employed entrepreneur, you probably need to fill out lots of tax forms, W-9 forms, and other forms with your social security information.
Storing it locally on your computer without proper protection puts you at risk of identity theft.
You also probably do a lot of online banking and transactions.
Sometimes you can’t even see the leak or the threat until it’s too late!
5. Saved passwords in your browser:
The more websites we use, the more services we use, the more we store in our browser… because who can really remember all those passwords?
And I dunno about you, but I’m pretty obsessed with getting the “green” on password strength for each new one I create…
But having our passwords stored locally leaves us at risks. And since craft sellers like me do a lot of online transactions and banking, we’re especially at risk if our accounts are hacked.
How to stop hackers – Internet security tips and steps to take:
All it takes is a few easy steps and tips on how to stop hackers and your business is much more secure! Now that you know the risks, you’re equipped to stop them.
1. Install Kaspersky Security:
Every creative entrepreneur needs an internet security provider they can trust. It’s one of the most critical steps I’ve taken in protecting my online business, and the most critical tip on how to stop hackers.
- Protect from ransomware
- Stop data leaks
- Block spyware from viewing online transactions
- Do complete scans to detect any kind of malware that compromises our privacy
- Block bad websites
- Prevent creepy webcam spies
2. Set strong passwords and use a secure password manager:
No more browser-stored passwords! Kaspersky Password Manager encrypts them and stores them locally, so you just need to remember one master password.
It syncs between your devices, and is easy to set up.You can import all your stored passwords from your browsers, and use it with the same ease.
3. Setup 2 factor authentication on all social media channels:
Always set up “2 factor authentication” on all your email and social media channels to give hackers a harder time. This requires you to approve from an already approved browser any time someone tries to log in from a new one.
It’s an extra layer of protection, although not foolproof if they manage to get hold of a code sent to your phone.
That’s why you need to protect your phone as well, with anti-theft features, in case it gets stolen. Kaspersky helps with that as well, allowing you to mark it “lost” from your My Kaspersky account. This will activate any anti-theft features that you chose including:
- Locking your device and turning on location so that you can track it
- Turning on an alarm
- Taking photos from the phone so that you can catch that theif
- Hiding personal data such as contacts and… text messages!
- Wipe personal information that you don’t want the thief to view.
4. Utilize File Encryption to protect your personal information:
Speaking of personal information, how about all those W-9s with your social security info you have stored on your computer?
Kaspersky allows you to create encrypted folders that can only be accessed with a password. You can lock up your tax forms, or any other personal data that you don’t want to share with the world.
5. Cover all your bases:
Kaspersky Security Cloud brings these features to the cloud, and also helps protect your WiFi network. It also helps optimize your devices so they run smoothly and efficiently.
It helps you be safer on the go, turning on secure VPN while you email from that airport lounge, and protecting your device if you misplace it.
6. Keep everything up to date:
Update everything! Whether it’s plugins on your website, or apps on your phone, plugins are often there to stop leaks.
Hackers often look for a way in via out-of-date software so make sure you keep your life up to date.