I've been doing some work recently in the cyber security space and have been quite horrified to learn about all the ways that our personal information can be used for hacking purposes.
Now I should add, this is not a post designed to freak you out, but cyber crime is a serious issue and I will give you a few tips on how to protect your personal brand as well as the information people in your network have entrusted you with.
Did you know that hackers practice on individuals and small businesses as they hone their craft for the theft of secrets from bigger businesses, building up to the likes of ASIO?
Have you thought about what the cost would be to your business if your website was hacked and subsequently out of action for 4 days? It's not just loss of sales that you are measuring here, it's customer trust, your reputation, your time.
What would be the impact if you emailed a virus to your CEO, Executive team or your entire customer database?
What if you are an accountant, lawyer or a GP and you get hacked? Have you thought about what the cost of this would be to your business? Could you afford it? Should the receptionist really be in charge of the IT?
Do you realise that your Linkedin account provides a nice juicy decision tree for hackers if you haven't changed your privacy settings so that only you can view your connections?
If you haven't already done this, stop reading now and change your privacy settings on Linkedin. Top right hand corner under settings.
I believe we are moving into an era of the personal brand and with that comes the responsibility of managing that brand your reputation and your network.
Reputations are fragile, precious things. One tarnish can take years to rub out, if ever.
Your network is the same, it takes years to build and is dependent on the strength of your reputation.
So here are a few other things to think about that might just keep your information safe:
- Change your passwords, often
- Don't assume that the firewall and spam filter will catch everything
- Don't click on links that look dodgy or links from people who you know but who never email you
- Be very careful of the apps you download. Many are malicious.
- Back up and protect your database and contacts lists, along with other important information
- Check out this site for some best practice steps - http://www.priviad.com/
Next time I'll be talking about other ways you can enhance your personal brand and how you can build a great network.
In the meantime, stay safe.