• Adam Beaudry

Don't Click. Trust Me.

Years ago, I was an unsuspecting victim. I was just killing time surfing the web, reading articles, checking Facebook and then it happened. A compelling message thrusts itself onto my screen and states “If you are a Massachusetts driver, you must read this!”.

I knew better, but I clicked anyway.

Hackers are expanding their creativity as time passes and people are becoming more and more dependent on technology.

As a small business owner this is downright terrifying, so I started to research and here are some of the things I learned:

1. Do NOT close pop-up windows by hitting the X in the upper right corner, especially if it is trying to tell you your computer has a virus. Complete the following steps:

1. Disconnect from your wireless network.

2. Force the browser to close (ctrl+alt+del).

3. Save any files.

4. Open and reboot computer.

5. Run anti-virus software.

6. Pray.

2. All passwords need to be at least 12 characters long and include the following:

1. Upper and lower case letters

2. Numbers

3. Special characters

3. Use “multi-factor” or “dual-factor” authentication ( I know this can be a headache, but I am sure it is not as a painful as having your identity stolen.)

4. Change

passwords at least every 3 months. (Passwords that do not change for long periods of time allow hackers to crack them.)

These are a just a few ways to protect yourself from hackers. If you are as paranoid as me and would like to know more, the U.S. Department of Commerce published a 54 page on ways to keep your information safe titled Small Business Information Security :The Fundamentals. Yes, you read correctly 54 pages. Have fun!

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