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Data protection can lower the risk of cyber-attacks that could negatively impact your business and reputation. It is crucial to know and follow the best methods for protecting sensitive information. Any breach of your private information could result in lawsuits or fines that may have long-term consequences for your company or yourself.

Protect all files and devices by using a password. This simple step will ensure that hackers are not able to gain access to your information. Use strong passwords using complex combinations of letters, numbers and symbols. Change default passwords from vendors to more secure ones as quickly as possible. Make sure you update your antivirus software regularly and conduct a security test on your computer and servers.

Do not send confidential or personally identifiable information via email. This includes Social Security Numbers, bank account numbers passwords, etc. Email isn’t secure and could be intercepted by hostile parties.

Secure your data and network – Use strong encryption to protect your laptops, computers and portable storage devices. This will enable you to transmit information to third parties securely as well as protect information stored on the devices. It’s also important to have a plan for responding to a cyberattack and who to notify and how to respond (e.g., employees, customers, credit agencies).

Make sure you have a backup of all of your data. Save the offline copies in a separate location from the place where your primary copies are. This can help prevent attackers from getting access to the primary copies of your data or from deleting them.