Cybercrime is an increasing problem that Oklahoma businesses and individuals face every day. As National Cyber Security Awareness Month approaches, Better Business Bureau® of Central Oklahoma wants to help create a culture of cybersecurity and avoid online threats.
BBB wants to help educate and create resources for businesses and individuals to protect themselves from cyber fraud. It is strongly encouraged to address this issue before any problems occur, to prevent falling victim.
BBB and the National Cyber Security Alliance provides a five-step approach to improve security within small businesses and protecting sensitive customer and employee data:
Step 1: Identify. Recognize key technologies you use and know what information you need to rebuild your infrastructure from scratch. Keep track of likely threats and keep inventory of key programs or data your business uses.
Step 2: Protect. Be prepared as possible for a cyber incident. Protect yourself by putting protective policies in place for technologies, data and users, and ensure that your contracts with cloud and other technology service providers include the same protections.
Step 3: Detect. Stay alert of current or imminent threats to system integrity, or loss or compromise of data. Users should be trained to identify and quickly report incidents.
Step 4: Respond. Make and practice an Incidence Response Plan to contain an attack and maintain business operations in the short term.
Step 5: Recover. Know what to do to return to normal business operations as quickly as possible after an incident. Protect sensitive data and your business reputation over the long term.
The BBB hopes by providing this simple, five-step approach, and giving individuals and businesses the help and resources they need, they will not become overwhelmed with the amount of information available.
BBB also provides simplified advice and information regarding cybersecurity for individuals to use:
- Protect your passwords. Don’t allow hackers to easily guess your password combination. It is important that your passwords are long, complex, unique and stored somewhere safe if written down.
- Keep software current. To provide the best defense against viruses and other online threats, obtain the latest operating system, software, and anti-virus protections. The more up-to-date your software, the better protection it will provide.
- Be cautious of suspicious links. Use good judgment before clicking on any link that may seem funny, enticing, or rewarding. Only trust links and attachments from people you know. Often scammers use “click bait” to lure you with celebrity news or prize money. If you really want to visit a link, go directly to the source, not via email or pop-up.
- Smartly use public Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi at a coffee shop, hotel, or other establishment is public and should only be used for routine Web searches. Keep personal information such as credit card transactions or passwords out of range of public hotspots. Be wary of public Wi-Fi sources that require you to pay to use or unpopular Wi-Fi sources in public places that are not associated with the business or home.
- Avoid illegal file sharing. Stick to legal file sharing sites, which generally have safer more protected websites, whereas illegal file sharing sites can open your computer up to all kinds of malware.
Contributed by Maddie Mitchell, Communications Strategist
Maddie Mitchell is a senior studying public relations and international studies at the University of Oklahoma. She is a resident of Norman, Oklahoma, and a graduate of Yukon High School. She enjoys writing about tips and tricks for all occasions, and the books she can frequently be found reading.