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How-tos

3 security steps every small business needs to take right now

Presented by Oracle NetSuite

Presented by Oracle NetSuite

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Business accounts can be hacked just as easily as personal accounts. Imagine all your hard work being held at ransom by a hacker or your data falling into the hands of someone who can sell it to the competition.

You need to secure your business as best you can, and here are three crucial tips to get started. This tip is brought to you by our sponsor, NetSuite.

1. Don’t let everyone see everything

Access to information is critical for any business. The right people need access to your records, client files, financials and everything else you need to run your company. But not everyone needs to see everything. Does the new guy need to see the accounts receivable file? Nope.

If you keep files in a cloud storage system, regularly check who has access to what. Restrict files on a need-to-know basis.

The same goes for software. You don’t want your employees accessing more than they should. Our sponsor NetSuite lets you set different access levels so only the people who need to see certain things can access them.

2. Do a password check

We’ve warned you about using the same login credentials for multiple accounts. This is important for your personal accounts — and even more so for your business.

If you use the same credentials for multiple accounts, a bad actor needs only to crack one password, and they’ll have access to everything. And you could be in BIG trouble if one of your accounts is breached.

There are a few essential password tips to keep your accounts secure:

  • A password manager stores and generates login information for all your devices and accounts. These programs can be installed as software or accessed through a website, browser extension or the cloud. Tap or click here for more information on these useful tools.
  • Avoid using an ordinary word as the basis of a password. Go bigger and use a sentence. But don’t just write out a sentence; change it to make it harder to crack. For example, take the phrase “Cubs won the World Series in 2016” and abbreviate it to “cwtwsi2016.” Substitute some characters and cases, and you’ll have “cwTw$i2016.”
  • For even more security, go with a full passphrase. In this example, you can use cUb$W1nW0rLd$3r13$1NzOI6. Now that’d be tough to crack! It’s also difficult to remember, so don’t go more complicated than you can keep track of.

Tap or click here for 10 ways to secure your accounts with strong passwords.

3. Teach employees how to spot phishing attempts

Scammers need only get to one of your employees to cause severe damage to your business. Personal information such as login credentials can be found if they can get into an employee’s inbox. Just think about all the important documents in their inbox or sent mail.

Educate your employees on how to spot and avoid falling victim to phishing attempts. Here are some tips:

  • Never give out personal information if you don’t know the sender of a text or email or can’t verify their identity. Criminals only need your name, email address and telephone number to rip you off.
  • Carefully check that emails come from the usual email address of your contact. Look at the email address itself and not just the sender name.
  • Pay close attention to the URLs in any emails or text messages. Check for slight changes in the letters, any misspellings or suspicious characters.
  • Don’t click on links and attachments that you receive in unsolicited emails. In fact, don’t click on any link that raises suspicions, no matter who you think it came from.
  • Advise employees to pick up the phone and call their coworkers to see if it was actually them who asked for important documents or information through email or text before replying to the message.
  • Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for all your online accounts that offer it. This will make it more difficult for hackers to access your accounts. Tap or click here to learn the benefits of 2FA.

Bonus: Ditch QuickBooks for a better option

If you’re still relying on homespun spreadsheets or outdated finance software, it’s time to upgrade. Your business can only grow as big as your tools allow.

To see the complete picture, check out NetSuite by Oracle. Gain visibility and control of your financials, inventory, HR, planning, budgeting and more all in one place. With NetSuite, you can automate your processes and close your books in no time while staying well ahead of your competition.

Approximately 93% of surveyed businesses increased their visibility and control after upgrading to NetSuite. Over 31,000 businesses already use NetSuite.

NetSuite has a financing program for those ready to upgrade. Head to NetSuite.com/KIM for this special, one-of-a-kind financing offer on the No. 1 financial system for growing businesses.

You may also like: New report: Half of every phishing attempt worldwide impersonates this brand

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