Cyber attacks happen often, and while there are steps to be taken toward these off, they are not totally preventable. The most recent large data breaches at Equifax proves it. This is a company that has the most personal information stored about millions of Americans, and their system was hacked and compromised. Any business, large or small, has the possibility of receiving some kind of attack.

The most common cyber attack is a malware link sent via email disguised as a person or company you know, or a link available on a trusted website. With a click, much information can be jeopardized, sometimes without your knowledge. Alternatively, a data breach at a large and well-trusted company, like Equifax, could happen. This affects both individuals and businesses, and this is not the first major breach to happen this year.

While totally ensuring that your data remains secure is not possible, steps can be taken to prevent an attack – both for yourself personally and for your business.

What You Can Learn from Recent Data Breaches

Don’t collect or store irrelevant information.

Only collect information that is absolutely necessary for your business’s operation. This could mean reducing the amount and type of information employees share, or reviewing what customer data you do not need to save. Share the least amount of sensitive information as you can to be cautious about data breaches and other types of hacks.

Don’t let everyone access all company information.

Only business owners, and potentially a few other individuals, need to have access to at-risk information. Allowing many people makes it easier for this data to be compromised. Be sure to have this information protected with security software, and potentially an OTP token, for another layer of security.

Train employees about personal and professional security.

Provide training for new and existing employees as software security changes. Make sure employees understand what the risks are of sharing personal information, and put a system in place for double-checking what company information should be shared. This should also include training about emails that are sent from scammers and what to look for on websites that might compromise your data.

Get rid of information that you do not need anymore.

Depending on the file, there may be different ways to properly dispose of unneeded materials. Be sure that you are not simply deleting or moving files to the trash, but actually wiping the files from your computer so they cannot be accessed anymore. Do a full wipe whenever you get rid of a computer or operating system to be sure that no information is compromised.

Following these tips are the first, basic steps to securing your personal and company information. This does not guarantee to prevent an attack, but following these precautions keeps you informed, up-to-date and prepared.