The New Tin Foil Hat: How to Prevent Unwanted Security Breaches

You've worked hard to build your small business. Through blood, sweat and tears you turned you dream into a brand, ready to serve your customers. But what if you knew your small business was under constant threat? Would it make you paranoid to know that a legion of faceless hackers lurks just behind your computer screen?

Well it's time to break out the tinfoil hat (aka cyber protection) because nearly half of all small businesses experienced a cyberattack in 2015; and your business could be next!

Below are some common threats aimed at small businesses as well as cyber protection tips to help you combat digital criminals.

Invasion of the Data Snatchers

Proper cyber protection is a lot like looking under the bed for monsters. While you may not find anything at first glance, it's best to check regularly to be sure. But unlike bedroom monsters, hackers really are gunning for your network.

Data snatchers, for example, disguise themselves to pilfer login information. Phishing scams use fake emails or text messages to convince employees to share their passwords via fraudulent websites. Similarly, pharming redirects legitimate URLs to malicious websites where users unknowingly provide hackers with their personal information.

More advanced cybercriminals will include ransomware downloads in an email attachment. Ransomware locks access to your computer, demanding payment for its release. They may even threaten to expose your information if payment is not made quickly.

While its best to avoid opening emails from people you do not know well, crafty hackers can send phishing links and malware from one of your infected contacts. So if you are caught off guard, report the incident to a computer specialist. They will help you remove the harmful software. Don't fork over any money! Even if you pay the fine, there is no guarantee you will regain access to your system.


Unlike the movies, hackers rarely target a single institution in hopes of cracking a code. Instead, cybercriminals cast a wide net to capture as many devices as possible; and one way they do this is through zombies.

Building a zombie army is easy. First, hackers develop malware and either disguise it as a free download or covertly embed it within legitimate software. The infected computer (known as a 'zombie') will do the bidding of its creator − propagating itself by sending phishing emails to all your contacts, infecting their computers and spreading to their contacts.

This is what is referred to as a 'botnet' and it will likely harm your vendor/customer relationships. Botnet detection and removal may require additional software.

They're Watching You

More than anything else, hackers are hungry for information. Adware and spyware is used to infiltrate your computer or mobile device and collect as much information about you as possible to share with third parties. This includes annoying advertisers and digital thieves tracking your surfing habits.

Even scarier is cyber eavesdropping. Hackers will prey on devices connected to free or fake Wi-Fi sources to collect unencrypted data transfers; and webcam hacking allows cybercriminals to spy on your conference room. Paranoid now?

Just Because You're Paranoid, Doesn't Mean You're Wrong

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned. Fortunately, most of these digital threats can be avoided by implementing cyber protection policies including avoiding suspicious emails and downloads. But even the best cyber protection policies might not be enough to plug every data leak, which is why it is important to invest in cyber liability insurance.

Protect your business, your customers and your reputation against all cybersecurity risks with CyberPolicy.

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