Better online protection for your business doesn’t need to be a hassle. Some easy steps you can take include creating stronger passwords, knowing the signs of phishing and encrypting your website’s data. It is important to develop online safety habits so your business can grow and minimise risk. 

Make sure everyone in your business knows how to implement these five simple recommendations to protect it:

1. Keep your passwords safe

Passwords protect our devices, accounts and data. Choose them wisely. Here are some helpful tips: 

  • Your passwords should be unique and not reused for different accounts and devices. Use ‘passphrases’, passwords of four words or more that are easy to remember but hard to crack. 
  • You should never share passwords with anyone. Santander will never ask you to enter your complete password, PIN number or one-time passcodes. 
  • Consider using multi-factor authentication in your business or providing it on your app or website. 


2. Protect your information and equipment

Data are one of the most valuable assets of any business, and any breach or lost access can hurt productivity, sales and even reputation.

  • Keep operating systems, programs, anti-virus and apps up to date. Software updates can have important security patches. You can make updates even easier by automating them. 
  • Make sure your website is HTTPS (hypertext transfer protocol secure). If it collects information from customers or for payments, you should make sure your website encrypts it.
  • Run regular backups. This is a basic measure your business can take to keep running smoothly in the event of a setback. Decide which data you want to back up, how often and if they should be backed up on the Cloud or a local hard drive. 


3. Be discreet online and in public

It’s important to know what information about your business is public. This will help you manage your brand online and spot targeted phishing attacks. Hackers typically use public information to trick you, via social engineering, into revealing even more information for malicious purposes. 

4. Think before you click or reply

Most cyberattacks start with phishing. Although they can be easy to spot, sometimes it is tricky. 

  • Business Compromise Emails (BEC) are common phishing emails that target businesses. They often appear to come from senior managers or third-party providers demanding payment. 
  • You can get phished via email, SMS, instant messaging and by phone. Think before clicking on links, opening attachments, entering private information and replying. 
  • Hackers may also try to impersonate your business in phishing attacks. Have a process for handling customer queries and familiarise yourself with the organisations that can help you if you get phished. 

For more information on how to spot phishing, check out our infographic

5. If you suspect it, report it

If you get a message, call or text that looks suspicious, report it to the business or person being impersonated or to authorities if an attack has already occurred. Warning others is an important step in fighting cybercrime. 

Make sure everyone in your business understands why reporting is important. Also, make it easy for customers to check and report suspicious activity concerning your business; they may help you spot an attack. 

Help your business prosper by forming a cyber-aware team. 

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