Cybercrime is on the rise, as is evidenced by the fact that more than one million people are victimized by cybercrime every single day. At the same time, it isn’t just individuals who are at risk of a data breach. Businesses across all industries have been targeted as well. These not only include industry giants such as Home Depot and Target but small businesses that can’t afford to hire full-time IT experts to protect their business data.
Cyber Monday puts consumers and companies alike at increased risk of cyber attack as large volumes of data are transmitted over the internet when customers buy products and businesses process the personal information related to each sale. Thankfully, there are ways in which everyone can avoid data breaches while enjoying the benefits of shopping online.
Cyber Advice for Businesses
You don’t need expensive equipment or software to keep your data safe. However, you do need to take precautions when doing business online. These precautions include using two-factor authentication, choosing passwords that cannot be easily cracked and installing automatic updates for all your software programs on a regular basis. It’s also wise to provide ongoing training for your employees to ensure they know how to securely process and manage any business data they work with. You should also limit access to data to employees on a need to know basis.
Furthermore, businesses need to pay close attention to mobile security. Employees who need to access business data via mobile phones should only do so using a company phone. This phone should have proper security in place to protect data from falling into the wrong hands. It should also allow for data to be wiped remotely should the phone be lost or stolen.
Cyber Advice for Consumers
Cyber Monday shoppers should bear in mind that some retailers have a greater cyber risk than others. Upguard recently released a helpful Google Chrome extension that can help you access the risk of shopping on any online retail site. Many popular online retail sites such as Amazon, L Brands, Overstock, Apple, Wal-Mart, and Nike get good ratings. However, other brand names such as Macy’s, Best Buy, Neiman Marcus and Gap haven’t taken measures to keep your valuable financial data secure from cyber attacks. This doesn’t mean that you can’t shop at these stores. It does mean, however, that you should consider doing so in person and paying in cash. Your financial information is far more valuable than any sale that may be available on an unsecured online site.
Cyber Monday is a great time to shop as it gives consumers access to deals that aren’t available at other times of the year. At the same time, businesses benefit from the added sales leading up to the Christmas season. Allowing cybercrime to ruin this day would be a shame. If, however, businesses take measures to prevent cybercriminals from accessing valuable personal data and consumers shop on secured websites, both can continue to benefit from the financial savings and gain that Cyber Monday has to offer. The prevention of data breaches makes for a safer, more enjoyable online shopping experience for everyone involved.