Cybersecurity Best Practice for Entrepreneurs

A post by Lindsey Weiss

At Fightback Ninja Blog, we know that cyber threats are more common than most people think. While many aspiring entrepreneurs think they don’t have to worry about cybersecurity until their businesses really take off, no one is immune to these threats. In fact, hackers often single out small companies because they’re easier to infiltrate. Small businesses tend to lack the sophisticated cybersecurity systems employed by large companies, and cyber criminals have a better shot at success by targeting weak systems. To ensure your new business is safe from cyber threats, we’re here to share a few essential tips!

Understand Your Vulnerability

Why should you care about cybersecurity? A cyber-attack or data breach at your business can lead to significant losses. A cyber-attack can destroy your reputation and erode your customers’ trust in your brand, leading to loss of customers and loss of sales. Beyond this, a cyber-attack can directly result in financial losses arising from theft of financial information, ransomware demands, and website downtime. Not to mention the costs associated with repairing systems and devices as well as the legal consequences that follow a data breach.

Clearly, there’s a lot at stake. Let’s discuss some ways to prevent these losses and ensure your business is safe from threats.

Save Sensitive Email Information in PDFs

Businesses all over the world send countless emails every day, many of which contain sensitive information like financial data that cybercriminals would love to get their hands on. Email security is essential. To reduce the risk that a criminal can exploit information shared in a business email, try to convert emails to PDF files. Keeping sensitive information in your inbox leaves it vulnerable and prone to data loss. By converting emails to PDFs, you can save important information on your local computer and protect documents with passwords to ensure an additional level of security.

Follow Password Best Practices

We all know that it’s important to create strong passwords, but what does this really mean? Small Business Trends explains that password best practices go beyond the creation of strong passwords through a mix of letters, numbers, symbols, and upper and lowercase characters. While this is an important first line of defence against hackers, there’s more you can do. Use two-factor authentication to ensure you have to verify long-in attempts involving your username and password. This will keep criminals out of your accounts, even if they gain access to your log-in information.

Use Reliable Cybersecurity Software

Antivirus software is crucial for protecting your business from threats. TechForce recommends strongly against relying on the software that came with your computer as this is likely designed to protect consumers rather than businesses. Invest in an antivirus solution that offers the level of protection required for your business. Do your research and read online reviews from other entrepreneurs to make sure the software you choose will meet your needs.

Establish a Recovery Plan

Even if you implement strong safeguards to shield your business from cyber attacks, it’s important to establish a recovery plan so you know what to do in a worst-case scenario. The faster you act after an attack, the more you’ll be able to minimize your losses. First and foremost, be sure to maintain regular backups of your business data so you can get back up and running as soon as possible after a data loss event.

Once you establish a reliable backup and data recovery plan, make note of all the other steps you’ll need to take in the event of an attack. For example, plan how you’re going to identify those affected by the breach and notify your customers. You may also want to consider investing in cyber liability insurance to help you recover from a cyber security attack.

If you plan on launching your own business in the near future, take the time to learn about cybersecurity. Implementing good cybersecurity practices like using two-factor authentication, converting emails to password-protected PDF files, and purchasing robust anti-virus software will ensure your business will withstand anything cyber criminals throw at it!

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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Call Connection Services

Would anyone choose to pay £3.60 to be connected to a phone number that is well-known and free of charge?

The answer to that is that they wouldn’t do it deliberately.

However, imagine for example, your car breaks down and you’re stopped in a difficult place and in a hurry somewhere and it’s dark. A quick check on Google on your phone gives you a number for the RAC breakdown service and you call it.

Only afterwards do you realise that you called a call connect service rather than calling the RAC directly.

They advertise on Google and elsewhere to catch out people who are in a hurry or just inattentive to what’s actually on screen.

Your call will have cost about £10 more than it needed to.

Call connect services offer simply to put your call through to whoever you wanted – in this case the RAC breakdown line but they charge a lot for doing so. The RAC has free numbers but in the rush you missed that and the penalty for lack of attention is a bill you didn’t need.

Some of the call connection companies that place these adverts on Google etc. are up front about the fact you can dial directly and save money but some hide this fact.

Always call direct to save money and beware of ads on Google etc. designed to catch you out.

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The Rates Rebate Scam

Various genuine companies offer to review a business’s rates situations to see if there are any rebates possible. Some charge for this service and some do the review without charge but want a share of any reductions they recommend.

One very determinedly spamming sender is

Brooklands Radio keep getting messages from them offering:

Claim your refund before it’s too late”.

“You may be considerably overpaying your existing business rates”

“You have no active appeal for your address”

“Brooklands radio identified as paying more than 3 neighbouring premises”.

This is just standard lazy Marketing. They have no idea what rates we pay and don’t care – they just send out the same lies to everyone on their purchased spam lists.

In fact, Brooklands Radio don’t pay rates as we rent council offices.

If you have any experiences with these scammers do let me know, by email.

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How to End Scam Calls

Most people just put the phone down when they receive a call from a scammer.

Others may say or shout rude things then slam the phone down and some try to convince the scammer to stop their illegal activities.

It doesn’t matter really what you do but you may as well have some fun at the scammer’s expense – after all – she phoned you to steal your money

George suggests – One good way I found was to say “you need to talk to the boss, I’ll just get him” put the phone down and carry in with your work. Come back 10 minutes later and hang up, the line will be dead.  Also, you could say “there’s someone at the door, I’ll just let them in”, put the phone down and hang up 10 minutes later.

Repetition, repetition, repetition.  brush with the law. What I say to scammers (and it works every time) is “can you please hold on for a second?” which they do… then I say “sorry about the wait just had to connect your call with the police… so carry on! What were you saying to me?” Straight away they will put the phone down on you!!!

Stanley says When I can be bothered to answer them, I usually say something along the lines: “How interesting, my husband/son/daughter works for the same company, they can sort it out in the morning. If they have not hung up on me, I’ll carry on with “not knowing what they actually do but it’s something secret which could be to do with investigations”.

It seems work quite well I don’t usually get very far into my tale! I have fun and hopefully they have a few moments of worry.

Ellie said A simple question is the answer. I find that responding to cold callers with “Did l ask you to call me?” has a 90 per cent good result. The phone goes dead or sometimes they respond “no”. One even managed to express his anger with a rather rude expletive.

Harry prefers to Play the easy target. If I am in a playful mood my first comment after their initial spiel is to ask if they would like my bank details? You would be surprised how many reply, “Yes please”!

Take on a new identity. I answered: “City Morgue, please supply number of corpse and date of death.” That worked, no problem.

Anne prefers silence. Once you have picked up the phone, wait for the caller to speak. Normally automated systems kick in on a voice activation which then gets picked up by a person from the calling centre. If you don’t like what you hear just hang up without saying anything. If it’s a genuine caller, they will call you back.

Paul goes for the polite response. With call centres now presenting me with calls several times a week appearing to be from various parts of the UK (and even appearing to be from personal mobiles) I am always polite if I happen, rarely, to answer the call. I realise many of these people are probably working for peanuts under terrible conditions so if they are not scammers, I can tolerate them long enough to say “No thank you. Goodbye.”

David is more confrontational and tries to poke holes in their offer.

Some years ago I was informed that I had won a large amount of money in a competition, but before they could send me the money, I would have to transfer a sum to them to cover transfer and administration costs. I told them how pleased I was and would be happy to pay them – this would be very simple, just deduct the amount from my winnings. They put the phone down.

Andrew Warren, Arundel says Does your mother know?

I once had a scammer call me who seemed really nice but I wasn’t fooled. I asked him if his mother knew what he did for a living and when he replied yes I asked if his mother was proud of him. He told me that his mother was very proud of him, my response to that was that if I were his mother I would be very, very ashamed of him. With that I said goodbye and disconnected the call.

Julie Farr suggests Too much information is a good answer.

Play the scammers at their own game and have a bit of amusement as well. When the opening try-on was “how are you today”, I treated it as a ‘polite’ enquiry.

My response was: “nice of you to ask but I am having a terrible day my haemorrhoids are really causing me a lot of pain and the diarrhoea is dreadful. I haven’t been able to get out for days so it is lovely to get your phone call and I can really talk to someone…”

The conversation ended suddenly as he rang off and never called again.

Have fun

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.