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Best Practices For Event Pros To Stay Secure Online

It’s a safe bet that most of us aren’t doing everything we can to stay secure online. Many people use the same password across multiple sites, download files from sites they don’t know or trust, and access sensitive information on unsecured WiFi connections, all without a second thought. However, in 2019 there were between 1,500-2,100 corporate data breaches, and it’s safe to assume that we’ve all been affected by at least one of those breaches. The good news is that there are steps you can take to minimize the impact of cyber attacks on you and your business.

#1 – Don’t share your passwords 

Don’t share them with anyone. We’d like to believe that this is a no-brainer, but it’s not. Just don’t do it. We don’t recommend sharing accounts with others, either, but if you must, make sure that password is unique to that account alone.

Which leads us to another big no-no: don’t use the same password across multiple accounts. Doing so gives thieves and hackers easy access to several of your accounts if they manage to get a hold of one of your passwords. Keeping track of all those unique passwords brings us to…

#2 – Use a password manager software

These software systems are super secure, encrypted vaults to keep all of your passwords safe and organized. These password managers often include randomized password generators as well, which make it impossible for someone to guess your passwords.

New to password managers? Check out these popular options:

#3 – Install an antivirus software

AND USE IT! I have personally witnessed someone turning off their antivirus software in order to download a file from a website (the software didn’t think the site was secure— and neither did I!); please don’t be that person. It’s not difficult for someone to hide malicious software within files that will wreak havoc on your computer, which can easily lead to stolen data and/or destroying all of your files. 

There are many different antivirus programs out there. Here are some popular ones:

  • Norton 360 – $105 per year for 5 devices, but there are frequent sales
  • Bitdefender – they offer many different options to choose from for every device out there, with prices ranging from Free to $300+ per year, with multiple device options available.
  • McAfee – $30-100 per year, for single or multiple devices
  • Malwarebytes – Free to $80 per year for single or multiple devices

#4 – Use a secured WiFi network

While free, public WiFi can be handy, it can also make it easy for someone to intercept your data. When conducting business or accessing sensitive information, stick to secured, password-protected WiFi networks. If you’re travelling or frequently find yourself using public WiFi, consider using a VPN (or virtual private network) instead. VPNs make a “tunnel” around your internet connection to keep it secure and encr

ypted, and are pretty secure against outside attacks. While there are plenty of third party VPNs available, you may also have access to one through your antivirus software. 

#5 – Keep your software up to date

Do you know the fastest way to get rid of those annoying reminders to update your softwa

re? If you guessed “just update your software,” you’d be right! Not only will keeping your software up to date ensure that you have the best performance, but also the best security, as many patches address security issues and are crucial to the integrity of your software. Sure, they take time to install, but it’s worth it to stay secure online. We recommend authorizing automatic updates on your devices; automatic updates try to install all of your updates in the middle of the night, so you’re not interrupted by the installation process.

#6 – Back up your important data to a secure location

Just in case something does happen, you’ll still have access to your files. No only will this ensure you still have your data in the event of a virus, cyber attack, or theft, but also if you accidentally spill your coffee all over your computer. Like automatic updates, most software will allow you to automatically back up your data either instantly or at a scheduled time directly to the cloud, email, an online account, or to a hard drive— just make sure the backup location is encrypted and secure. We recommend backing up to the cloud; not only is it convenient, but it’s secure, too!

Don’t kick yourself later; make changes to your habits now

You may have noticed that most of these changes are changes to your behavior in addition to your software. Simply adding antivirus software will give you some protection, but you still need to scan your computer to stay secure online. Having a password manager won’t help you a ton if you’re using easy to guess passwords across multiple accounts. Software can’t help you properly if you never install updates. While staying on top of these things may sometimes seem like an annoyance, these simple steps can save you from huge headaches down the road, potentially protecting you from identity theft, data breach, or complete loss of your data. I don’t know about you, but I just checked for software updates!

Curious how Goodshuffle Pro can help grow your event rental company while keeping it safe?

Schedule a free demo today

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Charmayne Branch

Charmayne Branch is the Marketing and Communications Manager for NACE and brings 6 plus years of experience ranging from content marketing to social media content creation and website management.

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