Data protection can decrease the risk of cyber-attacks, which could negatively impact your business and your reputation. It is crucial to know and practice the best methods for safeguarding sensitive information. Any breach of your private information could result in lawsuits or fines that could have long-term repercussions for you or your business.

Protect all files and devices with the use of a password. This simple action will help prevent hackers from gaining access to your information. Make sure you use complex passwords that mix numbers, letters and symbols. Change default passwords from vendors to strong passwords as soon as you can. Regularly update your anti-virus program and conduct a security scan on your computer and servers.

Do not send sensitive or personally identifiable information via email. This includes Social Security numbers, bank account information passwords, passwords etc. Email is not secure, and it is susceptible to being accessed.

Secure your network and data Use strong encryption to safeguard your laptops, computers, and portable storage devices. This will enable you to send information to third-party organizations securely and protect data on the devices. It is also vital to create a plan for how you will respond to cyber-attacks that includes who you will be notified and what you’ll do (e.g. employees or customers, credit bureaus).

Make sure you backup of all your data – Keep offline copies of your critical data in separate places from where the primary copies are kept. This can stop attackers from gaining access to your primary copies, or from deleting them.